The newspapers are ablaze this morning with news that indeed Rafa Benitez is not happy with the January transfer window.
The Newcastle hierarchy were unable or more importantly – maybe unwilling – to bring in a winger and a central midfielder in January.
That’s what Rafa wanted and right up until 11:00 pm on Tuesday night he was expecting at least Andros Townsend to come in on loan with an option to buy – but even that didn’t happen.
The news now is that Rafa feels that Mike Ashley has not kept his promises of last May and that Rafa is even furious with the Newcastle owner.
Rafa Benitez – perplexed with what’s going on
We are hearing in some reports that Ashley promised Rafa £30M in the summer transfer window and that some of those reports this morning say Mike Ashley thinks Rafa spent enough last summer and doesn’t need any more money to get Newcastle promoted this season.
But that makes no sense, because in the summer Rafa made Newcastle about £30M in profit as well as lowering the wage bill by loaning out players with the big wages like Tim Krul and Siem de Jong among others.
So at least in theory if Rafa was told he could also spend money he made by selling players (he was also told he didn’t have to sell one first team player) then Rafa could have £60M to spend last month.
Newcastle spent not one penny – so you can see why Rafa is perplexed.
It seems Newcastle could have gone out and got Townsend for £13M and James McCarthy for £20M andRafae would have spent just over the £30M he was promised in transfer fees for last summer.
So what’s wrong with that?
But it’s not the money that’s the real problem.
Rafa wanted to bring in two top players for the Premier League that he wouldn’t need to bring in this summer – Townsend and McCarthy – Mike didn’t think the team needed improvement.
That’s the big problem in philosophies between the two men – they have a huge difference in ambition.
Rafa as a world-class manager will always want to improve the side – it’s continuous improvement.
If in years to come he wins the Champions League again he will want to improve that side but Ashley has always shown tendencies when everything is going well there’s simply no need to spend any money.
Only if we are in relegation trouble has Mike Ashley showed a real willingness to spend big money and we will not be in relegation trouble with Benitez.
It’s a question of different levels of ambition – pure and simple.
Rafa will have been told of all the stories about Keegan and himself by Alan Shearer before he joined Newcastle and how Alan Pardew had his hands tied behind his back as Graham Carr basically ran the show,
Rafa didn’t want that, which is what he has everything written down in his contract on what powers he has at Newcastle.
If Mike Ashley doesn’t relent on this, Rafa could leave Newcastle and find an owner or Chairman of another big club, who want to win the Champions League and do everything to help Rafa do that.
It doesn’t look – at least on the surface of things – that Mike Ashley wants to do that at Newcastle.
Shame on him.
And it’s the poor fans who once again are taking the brunt of all this stupid stuff going on internally within the club.
A final message to Mike Ashley – get some ambition and help Rafa do his job, which is to make Newcastle great again.