Ashley Can Still Screw This Up – Shearer Makes The Case For Benitez

Rafa Benitez was asked if he will be at Newcastle next season to lead us back into the Premier League and  he said this:

“You never know.” “That is football.”

“I am really pleased to be here, and really happy and proud for everything we have achieved.”

“Hopefully, we can put in the foundations for something that will be a guarantee for the future.”

The main thing is that he didn’t say yes.

And we know West Ham and maybe some other Premier League clubs will be waiting in the shadows to pounce if Mike Ashley hesitates giving the funds Rafa will need to continue his revolution to transform Newcastle into a European powerhouse.

Rafa Benitez and some of his team last night

It will be a test of Mike’s ambitions for Newcastle and they are likely to be lower than Rafa’s – which are basically through the roof – no limits for his Newcastle United.

Here’s what Alan Shearer told Radio Five Live last night:

“Rafa Benitez is hugely important, he is a huge figure at the football club – he loves the place.” “He loves the players – I know, having spoken to him.”

“He loves the passion of the fans here.” “So it is hugely important we keep hold of Rafa Benitez and his backroom staff.”

“He is very very experienced and has done the job he set out to do.” “I’m sure he will demand that the team has to be improved and demand a ‘few quid’ to do that.”

“That is what we are all hoping now because that is what you have to do – you can’t stand still for anyone.”

“You can’t be loyal and give all the players a chance that have got the team promoted – you have got to go out and buy new players.”

“I’m sure Rafa will go in and ask for funds to massively improve the team.”

“I think people will realise that the team will need improving to get to the place where they eventually want to get.”

“And that has to be in the  top half of the Premier League.”

Excellent points there from Alan Shearer.

Everybody associated with Newcastle United are right behind Rafa Benitez, so if the owner isn’t that says something very big (and bad) about Mike Ashley.

Surely with the way we are now so well positioned 13 months after Rafa took over and we’ve been to hell and back – so to speak – in the football wilderness at the very least  – he cannot possibly screw this one up.

That’s true – isn’t it?


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28 comments so far

  • jimmysmith

    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #1

    Bottom left?????????

  • DeanToon88

    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:36 AM

    Comment #2

    We need to sign these players to massivly improve the squad and are all affordable players,

    Atsu on a permanant deal
    Mccarthy from everton
    Bony, Andy carrol or sturridge
    Delph from man city
    also need a lb as dummet is no where near good enough for the prem sadly.

  • Moonraker15

    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:41 AM

    Comment #3

    Thank god you’re not the manager!

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #4

    He also said, ‘as long as we stick together like this, we can keep moving forward in the future.’ We all know what could happen, but until it does let’s at least enjoy the moment ffs. Give us a break. G’night.

  • lesh

    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #5

    Just imagine that much of Shearer’s comment were on Rafa’s CV as qualities and achievements. One would expect any ambitious owner would bust a gut to retain or recruit Rafa.

    Imagine also that Ashley was trying to recruit a manager and then wonder what his ideal candidate would bring to the party.

    Let’s hope we’ll see some signs that Ashley and Rafa are at one. A public ‘Well done Rafa’ from Ashley: Ashley attending a match (the Barnsley game’d be perfect) to give a public show of togetherness?

    Either, sooner rather than later please.

  • expatmag

    Apr 25, 2017 at 2:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Great that we are up but the hard work really does start now, if it hasnt already.

    First things first…..who is out of contract and leaving?

    Looks like Goofy, Anita, Ameobi, Vukic for starters. I think Riviere too. Wages off the budget here only.

    Secondly, who is returning from loan that should be sold or kept or loaned out again?

    Sold……Krul, Saviet,
    Retained……Dejong, Armstrong
    Re-loaned……Woodman, Toney, Longstaff

    Thirdly…..from the current squad, who should be sold?

    Out should go Sels, Hanley, Haidara, Murphy, Gamez, Diame and possibly Mitrovic.

    Who should come in?

    A decent right back, a decent left back and a commanding centre half. A playmaker. A winger and a quality striker.

    My list:
    Trippier ftom Spurs, Tierney ftom Celtic, Shawcross from Stoke, Gray from Leicester, Atsu ftom Chelsea, Cairney from Fulham and I like the look of Abraham of Chelsea or Wilson from Bournemouth if fit.

    That should see us midtable first season back.

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Apr 25, 2017 at 3:30 AM

    Comment #7

    Courtesy of the Daily Mail (so take it with a pinch of salt) we’re interested in Jay Rodriguez. Could be Ed’s new Charlie Austin or Alan Judge!

  • U.S Magpie

    Apr 25, 2017 at 4:25 AM

    Comment #8

    Listening to the game on the Radio today in the United States, took me back to when I was a kid. I am happy that the family were not home as I was going crazy, the noise level was way higher than normal. Well, if Im Mike Ashley I would have Rafa in my office first thing in the morning and literally asking him what he wants and that it. Nothing else need to be said, here’s how it should go. Morning Rafa, that was amazing your the man, now for next season. What would you like from me to make sure we don’t get relegated again, Rafa says I need this much money, Mike looks at Rafa and says here’s another 10 million to add to that. Rafa smiles and thanks Mike. The End. God if only that’s the way it would go!!!! Come on Mike trust the phucking man he done his job and deserves everything he asks for.

  • cyprus

    Apr 25, 2017 at 5:32 AM

    Comment #9

    Last night we would not could not be denied. Not exactly el clasico, but job done.

    Thanks Rafa and players for getting us out of this mess and back with the big boys.

    Won’t comment now on who must stay and go, would be cruel on the players who just promoted us.

  • terencelim

    Apr 25, 2017 at 5:41 AM

    Comment #10

    Don’t want to spoil the party but yeah, of course Mike Ashley will screw up again. We all know him well.

  • gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club)

    Apr 25, 2017 at 6:02 AM

    Comment #11

    Ahhhh, this has been such a strange, strange season.

    Glad to be up but even though I really like Rafa I can’t honestly say that they’ve been good this year. Brighton deserve to win it ahead of us in my opinion. We’ve spent the season grinding out wins without really playing particularly well. Slow build up and lots of sideways passing from many players who are simply not particularly great.

    I think the transfer style was wrong from the beginning- I still think we should’ve bought mostly young potential to develop over this year in the Championship to be potentially very good top level players but instead we clogged up the squad with lots of championship level players to grind promotion out.

    I can’t really criticise I know- they’ve done what needed to be done but it certainly hasn’t been done in style.

    I think there is going to need to be 8 or more players coming in the summer if we ‘re to even have a chance of staying up. I can’t believe that players like Anita, Colback (I know some people like him but I can’t see him as any more than a backup, he seems to have eyes on the sides of his head- no pass goes forward!), Hanley, Murphy will perform better in the Premier league. Then there are the maybes who for me are: Diame, Gouffran (fair play to him, he’s done much better than expected!), Lascelles (though he is improving) etc.

    I think it’ll be an interesting summer!

  • Salmon

    Apr 25, 2017 at 6:09 AM

    Comment #12

    Ed, this victory is for you,Congratulations.
    And finally i’ll get to see my team on tv.My first signings will be to slot Elliott in goal and to keep the classy center back Mbemba in the club.And please,no more linking of championship players to the club.
    We can do better than that.
    Enjoy your day!

  • Salmon

    Apr 25, 2017 at 6:22 AM

    Comment #13

    And oh, in Carr I trust !!

  • Our Toon

    Apr 25, 2017 at 6:40 AM

    Comment #14

    Yes yes yes, we are up and what a good performance from the lads. Now the hard graft begins with the right players acquired. We need to stay away from injury prone players like Wilson, McCarthy, Sturridge and hopefully bring in some exciting talent.

    Well done to Rafa and the lads, can’t wait for next season……yessssssss

  • jazzyp

    Apr 25, 2017 at 6:51 AM

    Comment #15

    Well done on promotion back to the Pl boys.
    Not been a season I’ll remember fondly as the football at times has been shocking… but hey we reached our main objective for the season, So congrats on that.
    My big worry now is that Ashley fails to back Benitez and he’s gone

  • Legolas

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:04 AM

    Comment #16

    Still buzzing after last night. Back where we belong.

    Great effort from the lads. We didn’t play great all game but stuck in there and we were rewarded.
    My only criticism is……………

    What was Anita doing. Looked like he had his mind elsewhere. Caught out of position a lot and kept looking around to blame others. Normally Mr reliable but awful last night.

  • Jib

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:05 AM

    Comment #17

    So far about 147 folk have said :-

    “I hope Ashley backs Rafa”


    PLEASE MOVE ON !!!!!!

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:12 AM

    Comment #18

    For a group of fans who’ve had nothing, and I emphasise the word ‘nothing’, for over a decade, an unacceptable proportion of us are very ungrateful. Be happy man! We’re only the 2nd team in the last 18 teams to be relegated that has come straight back up…

    “Rafa signed poor players” – Rafa signed players who have achieved their goal.

    “Rafa has us playing horrible football” – Rafa has us playing effective football, it’s achieved its goal

    “We should be walking this league” – what with the poor players you speak of? It’s a very, very difficult league.

    “We should be attacking more and finishing teams off” – Rafa has us playing effective football, it’s achieved its goal

  • Fostino

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:14 AM

    Comment #19

    The real fun starts today

  • magscar

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:14 AM

    Comment #20

    Got back late last night – well this morning really a bit jaded after being put through the mixer at match and drive home listening to Jason Cundy on Talksport trying to wind up us fans.

    Despite a perfect start atmosphere was tense and slow build up didn’t help until the one good move of match put us back in front. Preston didn’t play a high pressing game and were content to play a well drilled 10 man defence with an out ball to their left wing mainly which seemed to be their strength. Alternatively get ball up to Hugil who manhandled his way through first half with impunity bullying Lascelles and Clark (looked rusty). Charlie mentioned the very few backpasses to Elliot but given the time back 4 had there was no need to do so.

    Charlie as usual pretty much spot on with his assessment of players and atmosphere. Penalty was the release for fans and players and with a man light and fight gone out of Preston we bossed game finally and I and the rest of crowd could enjoy a tenseless finish.

    It’s been a hard season and I will be glad to get out of this league. My expected advantage for us at Home rarely panned out especially in 2cnd half of season. Opposition rarely looked to take us on nor were they intimidated by large crowd and the Stadium. In fact most seemed to raise their game and Fulham apart seemed content to defend well and catch us on the break.

    Nevermind and if Jason Cundy is reading this Yes the title would have been nice but it is job done and we are a happy bunch so take your thinly disguised attempt to wind up fans to get the callers in and stick it where you please. Does my head in listening to Talksport on way home in lonely hours aafter night match no matter who they are trying to stir up.

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:20 AM

    Comment #21

    Agreed Fostino, bring it on! 🙂

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:27 AM

    Comment #22

    It’s funny that you think the transfer style was wrong as all the pundits last night from the commentators to the TV studio guys who actually get paid to voice their opinion said our transfer business was excellent. A carefully selected mixture of players with both PL and Championship experience who done the job they were supposed to, as for Brighton deserving it more than us, let mackems and Brighton fans say that instead.

  • magscar

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #23

    For those lucky souls celebrating in pub or at home and not driving home Cundy was spouting the off repeated tripe by ill informed pundits about us to the effect –

    With a Champion League winning manager,biggest squad, keeping best players biggest crowds we should have won title by 15 points from plucky little Brighton. He gleefully interrupted and intimidated any fan trying to provide a more enlighten take on the season. Switched over in the end – why has Sports radio got to be so provocative in attempts to keep listeners. Does anybody other than those strapped into car seats on long journey forlornly looking to hear some balanced chat and a celebration of the night actually tune in. Nearly made Robbie Savages hysterical views on 606 palatable but not quite.

  • Jib

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #24

    Despite Rafa’s detailed explanation of his methodology for promotion in the Chronic (posted by Ed the other day) a lot of folk still didn’t get it for whatever reason.

    When you hear Rafa interviewed in Spanish one of his constant phrases is “enfoque pragmático” – pragmatic approach – you could say “cutting your coat according to the cloth”.

    In remarkably short order he built a team to achieve promotion from the Championship .

    This Summer he will build a team capable of easily surviving the PL.

    Benitez is by nature a winner , so the following seasons he will want to build a team to win trophies – whether this will coincide with Mike Ashley’s ambitions remains to be seen.

  • LGFUAD21

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #25

    Delighted to be back up even if we were second best in the first half. Need t get a hold of this crowd anxiety and pressure and get behind the team. Were great when were winning but we need to be cheering the team on when we arent too.

    Player ratings
    Didnt do much wrong. Some good saves

    Worst player on the pitch. Constantly caught out and getting mixed up with ritchie.

    Solid performance if unspectacular

    Our best cb. Very comfortable on the ball. Decent performance.

    Needs replacing. He has nothing going forward and recently his defending has been poor. His lack of a right foot is there to be exploited.

    Good performance. This guy gets around the pitch and brings a bit more fluidity to the team in both attack and defence.

    A magician. Wasnt his night tonight but he didnt really do much wrong. He wasnt helped today by the poor wing play offering him no outlets but his positioning and ability to drift all over the potch was good.

    Started a bit slow but grew into the game. I wish wed seen a bit more of him last season because he does have class but hes not been used effectively. I think hed have had a cracking season with a better full back behind him (notice he always plays better on the right hand side)

    My MOTM tied with Mitro. He may lack the pace of a traditional winger but hes a fighter aNd he makes stuff happen. Cool as a cucumber for the pen. Created some good chances. A solid performaer that can do a job in the prem.

    Still goes missing in games bt was in the right place at the right time tonight. I like the lads attidude and want him to succeed but still worry whether he’ll make it or not. Thought hed develop a lot more this season.

    As i said earlier. A contender for motm. Wish wed seen more of him this seasons because i feel he could have done really well with a more consistent run of games. He gives us a presence we sometimes lack up topand today showed hes a real team player. Great pass and vision for the atsu goal. Id be sad to see him go.

    Investment certainly needed.

    Left back, striker, no 10 and rght winger are the absolute bare essentials but i still reckon we need a decent 10 players to compete while keeper our too players from this season.

  • lochinvar

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:38 AM

    Comment #26

    Was I behind the sofa last night – no
    I was there.
    And this morning ?
    Yes the Sun is shining ( I checked ) – very brightly as it happens.
    Will the lads and lasses heading off to work have a spring in their step – you can bet they will.
    Will the population of Newcastle increase in nine months – undoubtedly.
    Thanks Rafa – you know what it means

  • magscar

    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #27

    On Rafa he was never going to prepare for a possibly high stakes poker game with owner by gleefully saying to camera that he will definitely be staying next season . Anyone really expect an experienced manager well aware of the club’s recent history to reveal his top card.

    I appreciate that because of the history some if not many are already downplaying next season but let’s celebrate where we are now before getting depressed. Some caller last night even forecast Rafa will go and Pardew return. Talk about masochistic.

  • supermac69

    Apr 25, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #28

    Damn right jail, hoots has been there for 5 seasons building for this and we had 3 months to put it together, Gayle was a squad player as was Ritchie and plenty of others, so for Rafa to gel these together speaks volumes of the man, oh and by the way me heeds knacking after last neet, hwtl, well done all and onwards and upwards…


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