George Caukin’s Balanced View On Troublesome Benitez Situation


George Caulkin is one of the most respected journalists in the north-east and his reports are usually accurate and balanced and never sensationalized.

So it’s interesting and worthwhile to see how the accomplished Times journalist has reported the news on Rafa Benitez via his Twitter account.

You can quickly get the basis of what the argument is about – it’s about trust, relationships and communication – which have never been good since Mike Ashley bought the club.

If the Newcastle hierarchy have any sense they will nip this thing in the bud quickly – it’s all negative for the club if Rafa leaves – they cannot win on this.

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

Here’s George’s tweets he put on on the situation last night.

The Chronicle are reporting today the basis of the story on Rafa’s discontent is accurate and is coming from well sourced people.

That’s not good!

Here’s George’s full article in the Times – well worth a read.



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98 comments so far

  • toontaff2

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #1

    Thankfully we have plenty of upcoming games and the return of Wally tomorrow. It helps seeing his hairdo, his unhealthy face and manic stare, accepting the slowly greying bonce, the widening waistline and age lines on the mush! Schteve is only 55, but looks like the grandpa of The Joker, from Batman!

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  • OneAlanShearer

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #2

    I think someone with big nuts needs to set Ashleys expectations. It’s almost as if nobody has the guts to tell him what the reality of football is or he just doesn’t want to accept it. That may work in business but this is football. Mike do us all a favour and know a good thing when you see it. Rafa is pulling you out of the fire so don’t throw petrol on him please as ultimately you are throwing away your best and possibly only chance of turning this club/business around.

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  • toontaff2

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #3

    Well, the season ticket renewal time is going to be interesting! At least RAFA is actually highlighting the real problems that have been going on SJP for10 years – I, for one, would not renew, if this pans out badly, but wonder how many would keep going, no matter what happened. The return to the ground was only down to RAFA staying – hoping things would actually finally improve – prepared to give Mikey boy one last chance.

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  • toontaff2

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #4

    Tomorrow will certainly be interesting!
    N out some of my ‘AshleyOot’ paraphernalia!!

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  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #5

    not 100% sure how true this is but i do trust the guy who passed this on

    a lot of talk within the club about a meeting between charnley and rafa which i think the press have picked up on
    now here’s the interesting bit rafa has instructed the press office that he will not host todays press conference if the said meeting does not take place …..

    read into that what you like i can not guarantee it but i do trust the source

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  • toontaff2

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #6

    n – bring
    Gremlins at work again!
    https://goo.gl/images/keEAPP

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  • toontaff2

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #7

    n – bring
    Gremlins at work again!
    https://goo.gl/images/keEAPP

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  • Mag52

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #8

    If Caulkin has this take on it, all those who are hiding under the blankets , refusing to believe the news, hoping it’s all a bad dream, had better wake up and smell the coffee.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #9

    Well if Rafa does walk or gets pushed it should keep happy all those that feel that the signings of Hanley, Lazaar and Gamez were disasters and we can go back to our elderly scout picking our ‘stars’, also we can see an end to the one dimensional defensive football from our gormless over rated manager. I welcome a guy like Stuart Pearce who knows how the club works and what the fans want to see, Pearce is worth a few quid so wouldn’t want the job for any other reason than he wants to bring success to the club and definitely wouldn’t take shite from Ashley while playing slick attractive football with a plan A, B and C!!!!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #10

    toontaff,
    I hope Rafa lets us know before the renewal date!

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  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #11

    why is anyone surprised

    jfk twice
    wise
    llambias
    pardew
    treatment of KK
    wonga
    sports direct bad press etc etc.

    Just for a little while we could forget about this wholly repellent and repugnant individual while Rafa put a smile on our faces.

    Oh well, TOF and others will be pleased. Because of the odious Ashley we will probably lose the only world class manager we’ve had who was prepared to come to us in the championship. Stand by for a warnock type appointment.

    Rafa was the only good thing to happen under Ash. if this really is true you’ll still see the wonga wearing numpties turn up, but after 46 years that’ll be it for me. rafa was the only show in town.

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  • one fine day

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #12

    Mag 52 ,
    Caulkin is one of very few I read and respect.
    But even he is speculating and it’s geared more towards the summer .
    We go up and rage gets some serious cash all good ..
    It could have been Townsend / agents taking the proverbial for all we really know .
    Still have A feeling ( hope ) this is something being generated by the southern press to distabelise us again .
    As yet I am not inhaling my macchiato

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  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #13

    toontaff at 1

    You’ve just described me to a tee !!!

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  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #14

    reilly mentioned this happening and no one believed it!!!

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #15

    one fine day
    Rafa didn’t know why the club didn’t bring players in after the QPR game u can’t blame Palace or Townsend for that

    Also mate all the papers are saying the same thing released at the same time that’s a briefing imo

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #16

    I think Carr has got his grubby hands involved again.
    Correct me if I am wrong but when Pardew was manager was there not a flaming row between him and Carr because Pardew would not play some of his signings i.e. (not in the shop window).

    And RAFA’s team at the moment features very few (Perez) players that Carr brought in so has he been winging to Ashley that his players are not in the ‘Shop window’

    Me new there would be trouble – part of RAFA negotiations should of been if you want me Carr goes and I’ll bring in my own scouts..

    Also with Cathro gone RAFA has no buffer right hand man to speak to.

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  • JamesToon

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #17

    Just hope the atmosphere really improves now the fans are starting to panic about rafa. Show what made him want to stay here in the first place and bring back the noise!

    If we lose rafa then the only way is down, we won’t get anyone as near as good as him, he’s the perfect manager to establish us as a prem club and take us forward.

    With Rafa we have a brighter future than Brighton/huddersfield/reading/Leeds etc and even brighter than some prem clubs as we have a manager who’s probably better than a lot of their managers

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  • Jib

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #18

    The other side of it is.

    If Rafa should say at his presser that it’s all just over-hyped horse feathers.

    Will there be a reaction against the press and in particular the Mirror Group ?

    I still think it’s an amazing coincidence that all the Southern Sports writers break it 50 minutes after Brighton get battered by Huddersfield.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #19

    Charlie
    Carr leaving wouldn’t change anything Ashley its the shot caller mate

    As for Cathro u might be right but really we have no idea what he was doing under Rafa, hes the one that was brought in for McClaren rather than by McClaren which is why he stuck around but as far as am aware he wasnt assistant manager under Rafa he was just a coach

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  • toontaff2

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #20

    Well, at least no one has mentioned that line……….yet!

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  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #21

    for once i agree with jib the southern press are definitely fanning the flames but there’s no smoke without fire !!!!!

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  • getoutofworeclub

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #22

    I new all this was true yet some people on here r saying its just paper talk really u just need to look at Ashley record to no it true I mean even before it came out in the papers today u could tell on Rafa faces and by what he was saying that he had been screwed over so Rafa will be gone by the summer we will be back up Rafa should just walk now cos it won’t make a difference cos we will be back down again in a season or 2 nothing will ever change under Ashley I was saying all this a few days ago and also that Rafa would leave but many on here wouldn’t have it am done with the toon till ash goes time to wake up fans and that’s the truth

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #23

    Charlie,
    You haven’t really had a lot of good to say about Rafa so why you fussed?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #24

    Everyone knew Ashley was capable of throwing a spanner in the works but what was the point of worrying about it until he done it.

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  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #25

    Two pertinent facts.

    1. Rafa said he’s been in constant communication with Charnley over transfers. Then says he doesn’t know what happened when none materialised (after sounding fairly confident previously). Embarrassing and humiliating.

    2. Rafa has signed Jesus, Lazaar and Sels. They look very poor. Even Ashley would recognise that. I’m no fan of Graeme Carr but Lascelles and Darlow are miles better business.

    When the Board doesn’t pull together with the manager, it breeds discontent, which more often than not permeates through the club and effects player performances. Is it a coincidence that we are underperforming?

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  • lesh

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #26

    Expect Freddy Shepherd on talksport

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  • mad-serb

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #27

    hibbit

    I guess we will see how this pans out in a few hours but Rafa knows he will get asked about it today as its everywhere, so he basically wants to know what goes for what as to what he needs to respond to.

    I remember him at Chelsea coming out and stating after a similar situation that he will not stay longer than the end of the season and he will leave somewhere around Feb of the season.

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  • Jib

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #28

    I think lots people in the North East in their splendid isolation did not realise how much jealousy there was around the country for NUFC’s securing of Rafa’s services.

    Early in the season there was a brief attempt quickly nipped in the bud , to link him with West Ham by the press.

    The Townsend situation was always a weird one given the antipathy twixt Rafa and Hippoheed.

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  • Spoof

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #29

    Rafa will take us up but we will need at least 6/7 quality players to hold our own next season and that costs money, which is something that Rafa won’t get, Ashley will replace Rafa with someone who will toe Ashley’s line, strange how Ashley starts to interfere almost immediately after Pardew gets sacked, as we know Ashley does like his little clique, do not be surprised if Pardew gets reinstated.

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  • lochinvar

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #30

    No one knows.
    Full stop.
    Speculation – that’s different.
    Newspapers – can’t handle the truth.
    Chinese whispers – more difficult. If Ashley has ambitions to sell in that direction then there may be financial or tax reasons why he wants to asset strip the club before selling. New buyers might fancy appointing their own man and buy a whole new team .

    Actually it’s all bollocks and the best way for Rafa the players and fans to respond is to kick the crap out of the situation by winning matches with attitude.

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  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #31

    Benitez will have to address this matter in his press conference.
    What does he say – saying nothing will lead to further unwelcome speculation.
    Saying something against Penfold/Tubbs will get him the sack (potentially).

    There was a hope that all this stuff was behind us – seems a forlorn hope.

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  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #32

    Pardew being reinstated would be the final straw for thousands of fans !!!!!
    i dont ever see that happening ever

    1

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  • Budge123

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #33

    Rotonda it might be enough for you come the Summer but please don’t castigate all those who will still go as wonga wearing numpties.

    All things must pass and at some point Ashley will be history. I’ll continue to watch and enjoy and not enjoy without being a wonga wearing numpty

    Just because you might have had enough doesn’t mean all those that still go are in some way wrong.

    Different strokes for different folks and all that

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #34

    Jeffery
    Its interesting that the papers are never lying if its positive about Newcastle, those Croatian lads for example u believe we bid for (when we didnt) and Mooy who uve decided we bid for because of a paper across the world mentioned City turned down an offer

    Or is it just that u believe everything in a foreign paper because they arent trying to sell anything or get clicks?

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #35

    Jail
    Am I not allowed to criticise – have I asked for him to be sacked?

    I am not against RAFA but at the minute we are struggling big time.

    What I am watching is poor at the moment – seen glimpses of how good we can be – but we always seem to be to over cautious and go back to keep the ball pass sideways and backwards.

    Maybe adapt play three at the back go two up front

    Change subs earlier.

    We need to change because teams all to easy know how we play!!!

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  • OneAlanShearer

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #36

    Why on earth does Ashley want to own a football club, hire a great manager and then not listen to him. He’s saving your bacon mike. Wake up. Why would you undermine the bloke saving your busines?

    The players can respond by throwing everything they have at every team they play. Promotion is in their hands.

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  • Moonraker15

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #37

    Rafa is used to these situations with owners and I’m sure it goes on at all clubs from time to time. Unfortunately he is big news and so is Ashley.
    I’m not sure Townsend would have been a good buy as Atsu is for me a better option and Sami is a reasonable back up.
    We definitely lack support for Jonjo and they didn’t seem to be trying to cover that position which was strange.
    Saturday we need to have a full house right behind the team and chanting Rafa’s name throughout like last season v Spurs.
    A good win puts us in pole position again and confidence will flow back. We looked poor against qpr but should have won. Brighton looked even worse against Huddersfield who over ran them. Could be Brighton going into a bad period as last season!
    Whatever, let’s get behind the team and Rafa tomorrow! Howay the Lads !

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  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #38

    Mister Tuff
    i think the meeting with charnley this morning (if true) is so rafa can say honestly that he knows what went wrong and he accepts the reasons
    any other answer will only cause more problems

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  • Moonraker15

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #39

    By the way; Perez needs to be rested!

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  • Moonraker15

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #40

    I think also that Rafa relishes these situations as it deflects criticism of the team, which is underperforming.
    Rafa has history and while at Liverpool he had spats with the owner.
    Hopefully they will all rise above it and pull together.

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