Ashley’s January Transfer Mess Still Bothers Rafa Benitez

After the game last night Rafa Benitez was pleased and excited that he and his coaching staff and players have managed to pull off what is really difficult these days.

Being relegated one season and going straight back up in an automatic promotion spot the next – it’s been done now only twice in the last six seasons.

Gone are the days when it was regular in any way – the Championship is a lot tougher than it was seven years ago.

Jamaal Lascelles, Rafa Benitez and Vurnon Anita after the game
Rafa delivers the goods!

That’s what Rafa with the team he built last summer did last night against Preston at St. James’ Park in a very good 4-1 win when our boys really delivered the goods.

Rafa  basically built a whole new team last summer when he  brought in 12 players with the excellent assistance and hard work of Managing Director Lee Charnley.

After the game last night he was delighted and happy but yet refused to commit to Newcastle for next season.


Rafa was asked if he still expected to be in charge at Newcastle next season:

Here’s Rafa’s long and interesting response to that question as reported in the Guardian:

“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 fans have been amazing with me, their loyalty means everything. Having this city behind you means everything, they should have a top team.”

“That is why I decided to stay after relegation in 2016, and now I am even happier than before that I made this decision. I am really proud and really pleased.”

“Now is the time to enjoy what we have done. But then I must make sure we do the right things, we have to prepare everything to be strong enough for the Premier League.”

“It feels really good,” “I’m really proud of everyone because we knew it would be difficult. At the beginning everyone was saying, ‘Rafa has no experience of the Championship and it will be tough’.”

“They were right, it was very difficult, but the commitment and hard work of the players every day, and the staff and everyone involved, and then the support of the fans, has made a massive difference.”

“It is a day we have to remember because it is not easy to go down, and then come straight back up. This is my third promotion so I have some experience.”

“But the Championship is so hard because you have to play so many games, and it is so physical. It is very difficult to play three games in a week.

“This division is totally different, you have to change half your squad after relegation.” You have to perform and win, and keep all the fans behind the team.”

“We had to put everything together quickly last summer but we did it.”  “So I say credit to our players, our staff and everyone in the club.”

“Some people don’t realise how difficult it is when you go to play against teams who are in the middle of the table and playing for nothing.”

“But they still fight and compete because they are playing against Newcastle United, who are the top side in the division.”

“Or when they come here with 52,000 fans, and they run and work so hard. It has been like that for every single game against us.”

“We watched some teams and thought it might be easy against them, but then they were running double because they were playing us.”

“It was more difficult than ever, and we have had that situation every single week. That has meant we have had to keep going, work hard and be strong mentally.”

“But even when there were signs of anxiety, we reacted well.”

It seems that Rafa was  really upset at Mike Ashley in January for pulling the rug (full of money)  from under him.

Rafa expects people to keep their agreements in the contracts he signs – most people do.

But it looks like any money he was promised in January wasn’t given to him and he didn’t like that one little bit.

But it’s still got to be long shot that he will leave Newcastle.

First of all he loves the players and the fans and secondly he will not get the opportunity of total control at many other big football clubs in England, which is where he now wants to manage to be close to his family in the Wirral, Cheshire.

Benitez now holds all the cards and if Mike Ashley doesn’t come clean and continue to let him run the club (with executive assistance from Lee Charnley) on all football matters there could be trouble brewing.

Rafa also needs some serious money this summer to start building maybe one of the best teams in our history – he doesn’t want the owner to tie two hands behind his back as he tries to make Newcastle great again.

If he doesn’t get these things then Rafa could walk.

That would be both ridiculous and tragic and then Ashley would have nowhere to go but to sell up.

We don’t think MIke will do that – we really don’t.

It’s good news on the horizon for Newcastle United Football Club – I feel that in my heart.

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Comments welcome.

19 comments so far

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:00 AM

    Comment #1

    “Newcastle back in Premier League after thrashing Preston.”

    Beautiful headline!

  • Jib

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #2

    You say

    “It seems that Rafa was really upset at Mike Ashley in January for pulling the rug (full of money) from under him.”

    There’s no evidence for that other than the scribblings of some so-called journos who have no love for NUFC.

  • hibbit

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #3

    well i’m going to enjoy the moment, days like today don’t come around to often for newcastle fans
    2 games to go lets win them put the pressure on brighton and see if they fold
    then we can see where we are in the ashley v rafa main event
    good luck toon army

  • anthc

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #4

    Is that not mitro?

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #5

    Time to enjoy what has been a successful season, objective achieved! 🙂

    Everything you read for the next 3 months or whatever about Rafa stay or go is pure conjecture. Like all the endless links to possible transfers.
    In his post match press conference Rafa just said words to the effect of he is happy here and we will see. Nothing to be read into that except what we would expect of a respected and ambitious manager.
    What will be will be.

  • firebug666

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #6


    I’m with you marra enjoy the moment, and reading what Rafa has said above gives me plenty of optimism that he is going nowhere, he is planning for the future with Newcastle in the premiership.

    I have a feeling that it is going to be a great summer transfer window.

  • Mag52

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #7

    Great effort by Rafa, his staff and the squad to get us over the line with two matches still to play.
    The ball’s in your court now Mike Ashley. Don’t mess it up.

  • anthc

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #8

    I thought we didn’t play that we’ll last night but we got the job done.
    I see anita got some stick on twitter for his performance. I think teams have targeted him a few times this season with long balls towards him due to him being small and slow. Would definately have yedlin in over anita as although he’s not the finished article yet he has pace to burn. Overall, we’re going up and more than likely both blunderland and boro are going down, could be a great weekend!!

  • catchy in norway

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #9

    click bait.

  • catchy in norway

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #10

    the only person who can get joy out of this headline is jail for ashley.

    it really has no place on a day like today.

    the sun is shining and we are finally up.

  • martoon

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #11

    It’s all about opinions LGFUAD21 thought Lascelles & Clark were comfortable and Dummett was terrible whereas Charlie thought Lascelles & Clarke were poor and Dummett was our best defender! We all agree Anita was poor – he was being done for pace but even his passing and link-up play was poor which is normally his strength – he may not have been fully fit after his knock. I think I’d have subbed him for Yedlin at half time but it didn’t matter in the end.

  • martoon

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #12

    Also couldn’t believe Rafa went 4 4 2 at the end of the game with Murphy & Mitro up top – normally he goes ultra defensive 8 1 1 😀

  • El Sleeve

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #13

    whatever, January is in the past, what is important is now and the immediate future. First, lets try and win the remaining two games, then hope and pray that the end of season meeting between Ashley and Benitez goes well. I real hope Ashley can see that the running of a club doesn’t extend to how healthy it’s balance sheets are.

    Then new kit, new sponsor, and full throttle in the transfer market. Hope we can see good progress made by the end of June.

  • frankie

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #14

    Definitely mitro in that photo.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #15

    Bit of a negative article this for no reason what so ever. January was back then, promotion is now and no fcuker is spoiling this special day for me. We’re back in the Premier League and already there’s negativity about will, won’t Rafa stay. Stfu and enjoy the moment FFS!!!!!

  • martoon

    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #16

    At the risk of upsetting JFA you could argue that Ashley’s decision not to spend any money in January has been vindicated and there is now more money available for Summer transfers. However I don’t really believe that because a signing of the likes of Townsend would have made promotion easier and we’d have still him for next season and Rafa would not have been upset.

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 25, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #17

    I’m sorry but I still can’t understand why we persist in this story of the mid-season transfer window sparking a row between Raffa and Ashley. This entire story came about as a rumour, and as papers do, they all start to take on a domino effect leading to all the papers running the same story without any evidence.

    If the story is in fact true, why on earth would Rafa or the club leak the story of trouble brewing withing the hierarchy? Therefore, it’s quite simply been about selling papers…and like so many of the (unrelated) stories which we’ve been accustomed to believing since the turn of the century, if more and more people are saying it, it must be true. Show me the evidence!

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 25, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #18

    Let’s just focus on actually enjoying our promotion now and watching our lads play their final two games in this league without biting our nails.

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 25, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #19

    ShirebrookToon @ 15

    Completely with you there! Agreed!


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