This May Be A Veiled Message From Rafa To Mike Ashley

Rafa Benitez talked recently about bringing players through the Newcastle Academy, but the Newcastle manager is also very pragmatic and knows what works in football and what doesn’t – and he has said you cannot rely on the Academy for all your players.

Rafa is talking about what the top teams have to do to be competitive – teams like Real Madrid, Liverpool, Valencia, Inter, Chelsea and Napoli – all teams he has managed in the past.

And since Rafa is now at Newcastle United he is talking about the famous Tyneside club.

Rafa Benitez in his office bring interviewed by nufcTV

Rafa has given a long 25 minute interview with nufcTV on his first year at the club, where he talks at length about a number of different subjects.

This is some of what he said about bringing in players and using the Youth Academy at Newcastle:

“It would be perfect to have a lot of local players, homegrown players, playing in the first team, but it isn’t easy.

“It is not difficult here, is not easy everywhere else.”

“You can sign players from Spain, France, Holland or Italy and they are just Academy players, they go alongside the English ones.”

“To have someone like Paul Dummett, who can go into the first team and play so many games is really good for the spirit of the team.”

“The ideal situation would be to bring a couple of players from our academy each year, but if you want to compete at the highest level it is difficult.”

“If you want to do that you have to bring in players from outside, or abroad, to compete with the other teams.”

When Mike Ashley arrived at the club in late May ten years ago, he wanted to set up a thriving Youth Academy and then Chairman Chris Mort did that and brought in five top youngsters the following January.

As a walk down memory lane those five youngsters were Hungarian Tamas Kadar, Swede Ole Soderburg, Englishman Ben Tozer, Italian Fabio Zamblera and Frenchman Wesley Baheng, and all will have left the club without making it.

Tamas Kadar did the best of the five and there were rumors we may even be after him last summer during the Euro 2016 Championships, when he was playing well for Hungary.

But we have not been all that successful in bringing players through the Youth Academy.

That’s what Rafa wants to do, but the above may be a veiled message to Ashley that you need to do more than that if Newcastle want to be a top club in Europe again – like spend some real money on top players.

We hope that’s want Mike Ashley wants to do – because it’s certainly what the fans and what the manager wants.

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Comments welcome.

22 comments so far

  • magspuggy

    Mar 15, 2017 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #1

    The dream of eleven local lads starting @ SJP.

    Whatever happened to that ?

    It would be great if we could improve all nufc squad’s and cherry-pick the local talent.

    Continuous improvement but with a massive task to achieve just to catch up with what the Big clubs do

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #2

    That went out the window when the FA blocked plans to move to a massive fanless SD stadium/wharehouse in Toulon.

  • benjohnsen

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #3

    Not too worried about Mike Ashley giving Rafa enough transfer money. From the owners perspective I do understand the concern around high transfer prices, especially if you look at the buys in the summer of 2015. You got to wonder what happened? Newcastle spent an awful lot of money and I can’t say the return on investment was great. No guarantee just because the transfer price is high.

    Historically under Ashely our best signings have been on the lower scale. We signed Tiote for £3.5M, Demba Ba – Free, Cabaye £5M, Ben Arfa £6M, Townsend £13M.

    We paid £12M for Cabella, £14.5M for Thauvin, £15M for Mitrovic, which haven’t turned out to be great signings.

    Another are which is important to highlight is the restriction of signing experienced players that are around 28+ and salary levels offered.

    It also helps to have a manager that can attract the right type of players.

  • benjohnsen

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #4

    Regarding players from our own academy. They are competing against all the other academies around. There are so many fighting for a spot just to reach top flight football in Europe, not too mention PL.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #5

    If he’d of hired the correct personnel to oversee the spending with an ambitious manager to persuade them to come things might be a whole lot different.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #6

    Again if we hadn’t of set up the acedemy on a shoestring we would have been graded higher and therefore a wider range to scout.

  • magspuggy

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #7

    I agree jail . Its madness that we do not invest massive amounts into the bairns even if its just too boost the coffers

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #8

    Shortsightedness that came from not being run correctly.

  • magspuggy

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #9

    Ben sod the foreign youngsters what about the local lads the next shearer , Carroll ,gazza beardo, etc they all dream of playing for us and we should bring them through.

    We got turned over by a sixteen year old bairn living his dream ..

    We need a load of them.

  • hibbit

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #10

    Chronicle are reporting
    Sponsorship story coming very soon !!!!!
    this will be interesting
    any ideas anyone ???????

  • magspuggy

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #11


    Agent provocateur or Rampant bunny rabbits

  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #12

    A far east sponsor with a closed season tour of Asia – – – mmmm – – – interesting .

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #13


  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #14

    Ah Jib,
    I thought you might have been back sooner with your list of left footed CB’s that have kept their right footed counter parts out of the side solely down to their left footedness.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #15

    Or we could just talk about rugger 🙄

  • AncientC

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #16

    ‘Newcastle United are understood to have had interest from companies in the Far East over a potential new commercial deal.’

  • AncientC

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #17

    ‘Sources in the Far East also claim United been approached about spending pre-season in China, but with summer fast approaching the chances of a long-haul tour and high-profile friendlies in that part of the world could aren’t too high.’

    Lee Ryder has sources in the “Far East”? Okay then.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #18

    Just don’t let Lee Churnley book it through easyjet like the last one.

  • AncientC

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #19

    ‘The Telegraph has reported that Newcastle United are subject to interest from China – here’s what we know about interest in the club.’

    Chronicle story from October last year. Hopefully there is a link between the two.

  • magspuggy

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #20

    Lee Ryder’s far east sauce,s come from Just eat.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #21

    There’s no way he’s selling up, that SD advertising in one of Europes iconic stadiums is priceless.

  • AncientC

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #22

    If there was ever a time for Ashley to sell up, it would be after getting the club promoted. The Premier League TV money may have peaked, and Ashley is at risk of getting the club relegated again. It would dependent on buyers and a will to sell, but if Ashley isn’t interested in selling this summer – goodness knows when he will be.


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