Rafa Issues Worrying Response About Staying At Newcastle

While we don’t think Rafa is really contemplating leaving Newcastle anytime soon, he was definitely not happy in January when the club refused to pay the asking price for Andros Townsend, when Crystal Palace wanted a £2M loan fee for half a season loan and then the full release clause of £13M for the England International

That was £2M more than we sold him for in late June and if you put two and two together Mike Ashley didn’t want to pay that £2M, but presumably we will go back in for Townsend for £13M in the summer.

But it was probably that pettiness of not wanting to pay the extra £2M that Rafa was warned about by people like Alan Shearer and possibly Kevin Keegan before he agreed to come to Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez on March 11th last year

When you are trying to make a club great again and get promotion, which means an extra £150M on average a year, worrying about £2M is not the right attitude – you need to think much bigger than that.

Rafa could well have been questioning Newcastle and Mike Ashley’s ambitions in late January.

It’s Rafa’s one year anniversary at Newcastle tomorrow and it’s been a great year that started off very badly when we couldn’t avoid relegation.

But Rafa showed his dedication to Newcastle by agreeing to stay on and manage in the second division and we are currently top of the league.

We have at least a cushion of 7 points over Huddersfield, even if they win their game in hand, because of our much better goal difference.

And the Terriers have 10 games to make up 7 points on Newcastle.

Rafa was asked where he would be another year and he refused to directly answer that and gave this reply to the question and then talked about his one year at the club:

“I will be here tomorrow trying to win against Fulham and then after, we will see.”

“I didn’t realise it was a full year until I was told. Another year, that means you are getting older. It has been a great experience and the main thing is to see the club going in the right direction.”

“The fans are enjoying this time because everything is going well.” “Hopefully things will continue going in the right way.”

“Before I came, everybody was talking about a massive club and a massive city and fans behind the team.”  “That is clear for me, you can see in every home and away game.”

“In the city, everybody is loving the club.” “They love the name of the club and the stature.”

“In terms of pressure and all these things, you know what can happen when you go to a massive club.”  “We are in the Championship but we are still a massive club.”

“We have to have the winning mentality you need, but still be humble and work hard.”

“I have some good memories. ”  “To be relegated was the worst thing, but after, the reaction of everyone has been fantastic.”

“We have had games, like Norwich and QPR away where the team has been doing so well.” “This week we have had very good results against the teams at the top of the table so they are more good memories.”

“Hopefully the best one will be at the end of the season.”

“I don’t think about the next games. Every week, everything can change, we have to just think about this game, that is the best way.”

Rafa doesn’t like to answer questions not related to the next game at any press conference at the best of times – so it was probably just that why he refused to answer where he would be in a year’s time.

But it would be an absolute tragedy if Newcastle cannot keep Rafa Benitez on Tyneside – something the fans will never forgive the hierarchy for he does leave the club.

Everything should be OK – but with Newcastle you never really know and Mike Ashley has proved in the past he is very adept at messing things up.

That’s the concern we have.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • derekm

    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #1

    The Arsenal job will be a massive temptation for him.

  • CAC

    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Maybe Derekm, but I think it’s just Rafa focusing on job one which is beating Fulham. I think talk of beyond this year in the press is still premature especially since promotion has not been assured. Until then I expect his answers to be just like what he gave today.

  • Toonces

    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa will always have options because of his CV. We have him now and the job at hand is to win this league. All this paper talk of next year – where Rafa will be, transfers, shirt sponsors, etc. don’t mean anything until the season is done and dusted and hopefully we have a nice trophy to lift up. Our team is trying for us this year. It is what we asked for – we don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a team that tries. We are in great position at the moment. Don’t stress. Enjoy the now.

  • barkel

    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #4


    Has there been any more talk on shirt sponsors? I remember a couple of months back talk of broon ale but I thought that was knocked back

  • Toonces

    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #5

    Barkel – just the recent article and comments in the fan forum that a new shirt sponsor is locked up and it is worthy of a top premier league side. We need to be promoted of course to close the PL quality deal.

  • wynsleap

    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #6

    Ashley has to dig deep at the end of this season if we go up and continue to back Rafa all the way and give him a free hand.
    Anything other than this is unthinkable and really could spell the end of the Controller as I don’t think the fans would let him get away with such an insult to their magnificent support.
    We’ve forced managers out before and I know it’s a lot more difficult with an owner but other clubs have shown the way with their concerted actions and displeasure at the way their club has been run until they have forced their owners out.
    I’m hoping it won’t have to come to that and The Ash sees sense for once but carelessly and irresponsibly losing this world renowned manager really would be the LAST straw for many.

  • giimps

    Mar 10, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #7

    Sorry, but where was it confirmed that Toonsend was available for loan?
    Afaik he was not even for sale never mind being allowed to leave on loan.
    This is again pure media speculation trying to cause disruption , Rafa has always and will always comment one the next game only .

  • hook_menu_alter

    Mar 10, 2017 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #8

    Politics to keep the club on their toes IMO.

    If he came out and said “yeah, no worries, I’ll be here next year”, you can imagine what the club would do. Limited funds and half-hearted attempts to sign players.

  • ic0gcds00

    Mar 10, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #9

    I wouldn’t like to see him go,however there are some very good English managers that would love to come if he doesn’t,
    Gary monk,Shaun dyche,Eddie Howe,to name a few.

  • banjax

    Mar 10, 2017 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #10

    I know its tempting to talk as if Rafa is staying at our club and the that be will be playing in the Premier League next season – but hold on a minute let’s not tempt fate by getting ahead of ourselves. Rafa would be big loss for all of us but the rankles with Ashley over January transfers are obviously still smarting in Rafa’s mind. Everything pretty much is in the hands of M A so if he doesn’t say the right things, then Rafa would no doubt move on much like Kevin Keegan did. Top class managers have too much pride to take crap from Tin Horns. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen but in the meantime let’s keep our feet on the ground and not take anything for granted.

  • sickandtired

    Mar 10, 2017 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #11

    I have no idea whatsoever why anyone wouldn’t accept that Ashley is more than capable of blowing everything up again. He doesn’t care about winning anything – he just wants us back on the PL gravy train. If he thinks Rafa wants too much or has become too ‘big for his boots’ he’ll simply replace him with another journeyman who he believes can keep us mid table and raking in 130 million a season. It’s not like 10 years of his ownership would suggest otherwise, is it!

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 11, 2017 at 1:01 AM

    Comment #12

    With all due respect rafa is not a Mgr arsenal wud want!

  • de only ethiopi

    Mar 11, 2017 at 5:27 AM

    Comment #13

    Rafa will stay arsenal will not come for him just because of the “arsenal way of playing”..

  • NoahJ

    Mar 11, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #14

    will be controversial, but here’s my take on Rafa:

    He’s the best thing that has happened to this club since Sir Bobby Robson (including the second coming of KK); he’s injected life back into the club, and hope back into the fans, after misery under pardew, carver, mclaren, not to mention the farcical kinnear era. However, I have yet to be wowed by our performances, even in this league- I’m always unsurprised if we get beaten. I’m praying this will come with time, but increasingly I see a mismatch between the quality that Rafa is, and the dubious level that the club is/ will ever be under Ashley. It’s like the feeling of: would you rather be scrapping in the prem, where you rarely get the winning feeling, or coasting in the championship where you can enjoy that feeling a lot more. would you prefer to have a middle level manager, or a top manager that you’d always be afraid of leaving (which would invariably crush the club)

    That’s just my thoughts for the day 🙂


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