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?