Newcastle Must Show Real Ambition With Rafa This Summer

The minutes from the recent Fans Forum meeting were released just before the game yesterday and they are generally positive and contain good news.

It seems Newcastle have agreed a good deal with a new shirt sponsor and that will be announced soon.

They also have a long term deal with Puma and the new shirts for next season have already been designed.

The other good news is that transfer business is going well and there was some news in the Sun today that Newcastle are close to a deal for Hull center-back Harry Maguire.

Rafa Benitez – give him a new improved long-term deal

There was some debate with the Fans Forum on the hiccup we had in mid-January, after the report in the People that Mike Ashley wanted to change the transfer system back to the one that has never worked.

But that was played down and they indicated that Rafa still has the same authority that he was happy with and agreed to last May, when he signed on for three years at the club.

So this summer he will have only two years left on his contract after hopefully getting us promoted straight back to the Premier League.

We have to understand that Rafa took a huge risk in doing that and managing in what has to be the toughest football league in football.

But he’s done extremely well and we are now very well positioned for promotion with just 11 games to play.

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Mike Ashley must support Rafa fully this summer and it would be good if the club could also agree a new long term deal with Rafa and his top coaches.

They did that with Alan Pardew and his coaches back in October 2012 after we had finished in 5th place in the league and Rafa Benitez is in a completely different class than Alan.

Rafa is a world-class manager – Alan isn’t.

So in addition to ensuring Rafa gets the players he wants this summer and that enough money is made available to him to do that – the club should also offer Rafa a new deal.

He is not driven by money but by achievement and he’s certainly not the type of character who will ever sit back on his laurels – he’s a workaholic and driven to be successful with a single-minded approach to football.

Benitez understands fully what a fabulous club Newcastle are with the best supporters in the land – if he didn’t know that before he arrived he knows that now.

He wants to win trophies at Newcastle.

Mike Ashley should do everything possible to help Rafa do just that.

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • catchy in norway

    Mar 5, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #1

    Wow, i watched a different game to that reporter, it was hand ball by jonjo, but that phase of play had passed and in the box there was minimal contact, but that is all that is needed,
    2nd goal, nothing wrong with it at all, keeper only had one hand on the ball, that makes it fair game.
    there pen again was minimal contact and i think the ref tried to balance things up.

    our 3 goal was just great pressure by Gayle, there keeper ran out to fast and over shot, and that’s one of Gayles great attributes

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 5, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #2


    You know it, I know it, 52000 fans know it, but it all depends on the fat man’s ego and inate ability to screw up a good thing when he sees it.

  • Howay50

    Mar 5, 2017 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed, sorry to read your health update but like NUFC you’re a fighter and you also have all of our support wishing you a speedy recovery. HWTLs!

  • catchy in norway

    Mar 5, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #4


    why only 52000?

    there is hundreds of thousands of fans 😉

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 5, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #5

    Aye, well done for putting Anita in at RB AND resisting the urge to shoehorn Yedlin in, quite unlucky for you that mate, I’ve had way too many 10/11, my lowest was a seven mind.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #6

    Players being substituted take an age to leave the field. It winds the crowd up. Atsu did it yesterday. The ref should have the discretion to restart the game as soon as the substitute steps on the field.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #7

    Blackas, whet with you being in the ‘Uddersfield end, did you openly vent your frustration at Atsu or don you infamous parrot dressage and pretend outrage or neither?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #8

    dressage? dress

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #9

    I could understand the fans frustration because it happens too often from the opposition at SJP. A simple rule change would sort it out immediately. Why should the ref allow the substitute to take up position before he restarts when the team is guilty of time wasting?

    I kept it real, although I couldn’t help sighing or moaning at us conceding needless free kicks, cursing Colback in particular. The people around me knew I was a Toon supporter but I got no grief fortunately.

  • hibbit

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #10

    thought Mooy only got in the game when Colback came off ??

  • Our Toon

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #11

    Didn’t get a chance to come on yesterday, what a win though ahaha. Rafa got his selection right this time unlike the Brighton game, thought Murphy did well upfront.

    Tactically it was the only way we could have played and won, we countered very well and defended superbly. This should guarantee promotion.

    Well done to rafa and the lads…..big clear out needed for next season though!!

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #12

    Yorky – I agree with Fostino. I don’t think Diame is lazy – I think he gives his best but his best is really not good at all. His touch and passing are both poor so he doesn’t link up play at all which is crucial for a no. 10.

    That is why we depend so much on shelvey and the two wingers because nothing is created down the middle.

    In the Premier League we will need a classy no. 10. Sigurdsson would be quality. Even for now maybe away it is a good tactic because he wins headers up the pitch (although I still disagree and would rather Murphy play that role with Gayle running off up top).

    At home – definitely – he should not start. We will not create enough to put the game away. Which is our mistake at home – we don’t kill teams off early enough. The no.10 and striker when we are at home needs to be 2 out of Gayle, Murphy, Perez.

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #13


    just talking about our home match crowds, not the millions of nufc fans worldwide.

  • Oldgit1

    Mar 5, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #14

    Sorry B&B but must disagree with regards to Colback, he did a job on Mooy. People must realise that players have to follow Rafa instructions. His was to snuff out their midfield ie Moot and Billing, it was a great tackle on the latter early in the game that subdued the player, although to be fair I would take him next season.
    Just a word on Dummett, thought he had a brilliant game and showed his defensive attributes to the full. Can’t understand the stick he gets on here.

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #15

    Oldgit1 – I agree Dummett is an unsung hero. Defensively he is solid. Colback at this level is enough but in the Premier League he doesn’t cut it as we have seen from previous seasons. He is not strong enough to dominate the midfield in the position that he plays – players like Kante, Can, Fer, Wanyama etc dominate him. Plus he gives too many cheap fouls away which can lead to goals from free-kicks – he does that because he not good enough to make the clean tackle then ends up stopping the play by committing the foul.

    Again – we can get away at Championship but not Prem League. The spine needs to be upgraded in summer – CB, CM (partner for Shelvey), No. 10 and Striker. Then what we already have is decent backup.

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #16

    If this great run continues for the next 4/5 games making us mathematically up – I honestly think we should test out Mbemba for the CDM partnering Shelvey role for the remaining games.

    He has the physical attributes over Colback for it – who knows he could well adapt to it under Rafa’s guidance and that would save us money to spend elsewhere in summer. Either way Colback cannot start in that position come August.

  • JackBall

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #17

    Van Toon,

    Besides the obvious advantage of winning the next few to assure promotion is that added ability for Rafa to try players in other roles. How I hope we get to see that sooner than later. Hey, we may even get to see Gayle and Mitro/Murphy at the same time.

  • Mag52

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #18

    On the subject of showing ambition with Rafa, I’m afraid that depends on how much ambition Ashley has for the club.
    Has he changed enough to be ambitious to actually win trophies if we get back up, or will his ambitions be limited to simply staying in the PL and collecting the big money at the end of the season ?

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #19

    Jackball – agreed it would make the remaining few games exciting to watch with a potentially more exciting team!

    In the scenario – what would your experimental starting team be?

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #20

    Colback drives me mad with his nonchalant tackles that earn him yellow cards. It’s reckless. Wreckless Eric. Rafa was right to take him off early. Not soon enough for me. It’s not just the red card threat. It’s the stupid free kicks conceded in dangerous areas.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #21


    I think that’s called a rhetorical question!

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #22

    Extended highlights:-

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #23

    I would not be looking at Billing. He wasn’t even setting the heather alight at 23s when I’ve seen him. He’s definitely showing something at the minute but I’m not sure he’s got the desire. I think we’ve benefited greatly from having so many home nation players. More of them please.

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #24


    I don’t think rafa will want to keep mbemba. tbh i’m not overly impressed with mbemba or mitrovic and wouldn’t be heart broken if both are moved on in the summer.

    colback’s big problem is lack of speed which leads to so many stupid and daft fouls.

  • JackBall

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #25


    Two many permutations to consider. I would be interested to see a back three (Clark bookended by Dummett and Lascelles) with Yedlin and Lazar as wing Backs. I’d leave remaining five to Rafa.

    Also would not mind seeing Gayle and Mitro on at the same time to start a game along with Ritchie and Atsu.

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #26

    Rotonda – agreed speed and he also lacks stength – gets outmuscled by opponents in equivalent position.

    No doubt Mbemba must have lacked desire this season or something to not impress Rafa but he still has attributes better than Colback so if/when we are mathematically promoted I would give him a runout in the cdm position for the remaining games. Need to have full assessment prior to summer transfer window.

  • JackBall

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #27

    I wonder how everyone here feels about winning the league or experimenting. If we assured at least second with 4 games to go, would you prefer us to stay the course and grind out the wins, or you you like to see some creativity in the lineups?

  • Ian Toon

    Mar 5, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #28

    Oldgit- I agree Colback is not full of silky skills but he balances out the midfield. He handled Mooy very well when it mattered. Colback as a DM is always more likely to pick up cards because he’s there to win and breakdown possession.

    I wasn’t at the game but Billing was one of few that impressed for H’field. Incidentally Tom Cairney @ Fulham – I’m told had another outstanding game.
    H’field had possession without penetration; with the backdrop of a home crowd appealing for everything and anything. I think they thought they could blitz us as they had Brighton – in that game they had the game won @3-1 at half time . Largely because Brighton had competed in the H’field half. H’field strengths and weaknesses are well known and unlike us they tend not to overly vary their tactics.

    Benitez however got his tactics spot on . We did not press high up the pitch and risk over committing and making ourselves vulnerable to a counterattack . When we did we got distances between the lines and players in place . The two CB’s were outstanding and we defended well throughout. Not a criticism but Darlow did a steady job nothing more- I would prefer him on occasion to hold onto the ball rather than push it out. De gea for example makes everything look easy whereas Darlow tends to do the opposite. Shelvey played deeper than usual but whilst not so adept at switching the play helped in nullifying attacks through the middle. So much for Smith and Kachunga being a major threat down their right side I thought Dummett was not phased and just continues to grow in confidence. He looks extremely fit and I am informed has been working after training with the fitness coach.
    Benitez tactically won the battle of the managers and perhaps now this will also conclude Blackley’s cognitive dissonance.

  • Toon Tang

    Mar 5, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #29

    Not heard one of G2\s deranged ramblings for a while, are we all in agreement he’s probably had his face ripped off by one of his own honey badgers.

  • clinath@ed

    Mar 5, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #30

    So yet the the team win the league, then you drop one of the more contant members who got you there for the run in? Not a great way to build team confidence and camaraderie…

  • clinath@ed

    Mar 5, 2017 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #31

    I don’t even know what the start of that was meant to read….

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 5, 2017 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #32

    Jack 100% – I would rather see an experimental team for the last few games once promotion is confirmed as opposed to grinding out just to win the championship.

    Looking and preparing ahead for August begins the day after promotion is mathematically secure.

    I would test something out as follows:

    Anita – – Lacelles – – Clark – – Lazaar

    – – – – – – – Shelvey – – – Mbemba – – – – –

    – – Yedlin – – – – Ritchie – – – – Atsu – – –

    – – – – – – – – – – — Gayle – – – – – – – – – – –

    Mitro Perez Murphy – good impact subs.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Mar 5, 2017 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #33

    just got up massive hang over last night now to watch sunderland get turned over.

  • geordiesteve520

    Mar 5, 2017 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #34

    Thought the lad Billings was good and Izzy Brown showed glimpses of brilliance. Both would be good buys imo.

  • Moonraker15

    Mar 5, 2017 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #35

    100% Rafa wants to win the Championship. He is a winner and probably hates coming second in anything. You can forget about experiments until we’ve won it and I agree with that. Having said that, if you offered Rafa 2nd place now with 11 games to go I’m sure he would snap your hand off!


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