Ashley Must Show Ambition Now – Secure Benitez’ Newcastle Future


There is news today that West Ham will review the position of their manager Slaven Bilic at the end of the season and his future at the Hammers seems to depend on how the team fares against high-flying Tottenham and Liverpool in the next two games.

And of course with the story breaking in the national press today the name of Rafa Benitez as a possible successor to Bilic was immediately raised.

The powers that be at West Ham are disappointed the team has not done well this season after they finished in 7th place with 62 points in Bilic’ first season in charge.

Rafa Benitez – deserves a new long term deal at Newcastle

Currently West Ham are in 15th place on 38 points with three games to play.

It’s not too surprising that West Ham are very interested in signing Rafa because in June of 2015 he was close to signing on at the Hammers – and everything was agreed.

At the last minute however his home-town club Real Madrid stepped in and offered him the job which he of course accepted immediately.

It looks like that important meeting between Rafa and Mike Ashley will now take place after the last game of the season s at home to Barnsley next Sunday afternoon.

At the meeting Rafa will present a long-term ambitious blueprint for where he wants to take Newcastle United – and in short it’s to the very top.

Rafa is a good savvy businessman and will present business cases for the various players he wants to bring in this summer as he revamps the Newcastle squad for the Premier League.

It would seem appropriate, since Rafa has only two years left on his contract that he gets  a new long term improved deal to stay on board Newcastle with full control of all football matters at the club.

That would be a reward and bonus for Rafa agreeing to stay with us down below in England’s second tier and risking his very good name in world football.

Just think what would have happened if we had finished out of the playoffs this season like Aston Villa and Norwich did.

But the manager got the job done and he will be in a league he knows all about next term – the Premier League.

Rafa’s stellar reputation will only have been enhanced by what he did for Newcastle United over the last year,  when he built a new team last summer to get us promoted immediately.

Sunderland are even being urged to use Rafa’s blueprint for promotion for next season down below.

Mike Ashley now needs to back Rafa 100% and offer him and his extended team a new long-term contract to keep Rafa at Newcastle for years to come.

That’s the initiative and ambition Mike Ashley needs to show and he needs to show it now.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



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101 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #1

    What do I think Ed?

    Is that a trick? 🙂

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #2

    Rafa is the Premier League?

    Should give us an edge.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 3, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #3

    What a signing Hayden was for 2.5 million ! There are a lot of good young players not getting game time at the likes of Arsenal , Man Utd, City and Chelsea who would thrive under Rafa and I can see us looking at a few from there to bulk up the squad !

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  • ShirebrookToon

    May 3, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #4

    True Geordie on Sunderlands relegation

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JYSWtqoTn4&feature=share

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  • catchy in norway

    May 3, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #5

    what do you think Ed ?

    Ibiza, does Lascelles show great leadership on the pitch? or just in the media, he is a poor defender on the pitch and looks lost without clark next to him , but talks a good game to the press

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  • WWSBRD

    May 3, 2017 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #6

    Ibiza
    From previous
    Aye Colo certainly became the symbol for it but he was as much a victim of it as anyone he was the best defender by some margin and never really got any level of help towards that in fact the only time the club tried to being in a good CB was because they thought he was going to leave…who wouldnt get sick of that?

    Clark is quite vocal when setting up the back line from what I can tell but outside of him I think we’d have to buy someone imo

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #7

    Catchy…I don’t think I said great, just leadership.

    Is it enough or could be better? Open to debate, but for me, he is our most obvious choice. On the pitch his leadership can be inconsistent, but he’s young and learning. He needs a decent CB pairing, as do most CB’s.

    For me, it’s more a question of who, if not Lascelles?

    Yo…Then as club captain, I feel he should have fought harder for what we needed. He just appeared to be buddies with the regime and couldn’t be less vocal.

    I do forgive a lot of our ex-players a lot. As a fan i’ve found the pasy years beyond frustrating, I can only imagine what it was like for them.

    I don’t wish Colo any harm, but was certainly glad to see the back of him.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #8

    Those damn pasy years! Whatever they are.

    Perhaps past years. Who can be sure?

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #9

    Lee…Indeed, what a good signing.

    Should be an interesting summer.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 3, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #10

    Ibiza
    Tbf he got captaincy by default as there was no one else (and though he was happy to get it he never really wanted it) Nolan and Barton were shunted out the door, Cabaye would of caused too much uproar in the team, Tiote? Haha aye right, Taylor would get injured putting the arm band on I couldnt name an alternative to Colo at the time

    Worst thing Colo did for me was not leave when we signed Mbiwa

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #11

    Yo…I don’t fault him for being captain, but with it, comes more responsibility. He didn’t step up to the plate imo.

    Not that it matters anymore.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 3, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #12

    Ibiza
    True no need discuss a Lascelles replacement then surely?

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  • magspuggy

    May 3, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #13

    Will he keep the band in the prem ??

    If rafa goes 3 @ the back is he even 1st pick 2 play.

    Jonjo could wear it i guess.
    Ritchie not for me hes too hot headed and if he tones it down it risks changing what i like about him.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #14

    Yo…Not for me, was just interested who people would have picked if not Lascelles, as some seem unhappy with him for the role.

    I would say that Lascelles is more relevant to discuss than Colo mind 🙂

    Can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. On the one hand I can’t wait until Sunday, on the other, we’ll be entering silly season with no football for ages.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 3, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #15

    Collocini was the worst captain this club ever had.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #16

    mags…Is Shelveys temperament really any better than Ritchies?

    He’s a class player, no doubt, but not sure he’s captain material at this stage.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 3, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #17

    Ibiza
    I dont think that many are unhappy with Lascelles being captain tbh

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 3, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #18

    I dont see Shelvey as captain material next season he should be allowed to concentrate on his own game

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  • lesh

    May 3, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #19

    This meeting between Rafa and Ashley’s to take place after Sunday’s match? Mmm, but how long after it, minutes, days, weeks? The when depends on Ashley’s determination to keep Rafa and support him.

    Ashley being Ashley, he’ll probably be aiming to negotiate Rafa’s position down rather than have a sensible discussion during which both parties share the same aims.

    And West Ham’s possible interest in luring Rafa could stiffen Ashley’s resolve not to be intimidated by it and harden his position in negotiations.

    Let’s hope the whole issue of Rafa’s plans are sorted quickly and amicably – waiting weeks while things are batted back and forward between the legals won’t help one bit.

    Please Ashley, please Rafa, keep it simple and amicable.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 3, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #20

    WW…,
    I’m happy with him as captain but my concern is that if Rafa brings in a more vocal commanding CB more suited to the captains role how do you possibly take it off Lascelles, you can’t.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #21

    Yo…Just giving the minority a voice 🙂

    Lesh…I’ve little doubt that Rafa will have his legal team all over it anyway. I’d hope good news will filter through sooner rather than later.

    Jail…Not sure it’s a case of can’t. Over time it would happen organically. If Lascelles doesn’t continue to be a starter, then I would have thought a new captain would eventually emerge.

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  • Tsunki

    May 3, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #22

    Lascelles wouldn’t have been worried about going under the knife as Catchy has been sticking it in him for months now. 🙂

    When he comes back from his op he should be able to progress nicely as a player – as Jail said the Catchy Seal of Disapproval© should work wonders. 😀

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  • magspuggy

    May 3, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #23

    Is lascelles 1st pck moving forwards.
    Im not unhappy with him just unsure.

    Our defence has done well in the championship
    Will we send the same lot out in the epl i dunno.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #24

    I’m loathed to say this, as it could be interpreted as me saying we don’t need to buy players (which isn’t the case), however, it’s worth looking back at the form Rafa got our relegated team playing at the tail end of the season. The first early results were poor, but I think if you look at the last 6 games or so, he got them doing the business. Lascelles featured heavily in that.

    Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me though.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #25

    Our last 6 games in the PL:

    NUFC 3 – 0 Swansea
    NUFC 1 – 1 Man City
    Liverpool 2 – 2 NUFC
    NUFC 1 – 0 – Palace
    Villa 0 – 0 NUFC
    NUFC 5 – 1 Spurs

    12 points from 18, including 3 of the “big boys”. Not to be sniffed at with a relegated team.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 3, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #26

    Jail
    If Rafa brings in a player like that they wont need the title or arm band and if they do then they arent that player. Lascelles has earned it if a player is brought in who wants it they should have to do the same…also nothing to say Rafa doesnt see Lascelles as a big part of our team moving forward hes a young English well thought of defender who was good enough to be brought in to train with the England team not that long ago with the right attitude

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  • LewSpi v2.0

    May 3, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #27

    Ibiza

    You are correct, Townsend played a big part in it too

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #28

    Lew…He did indeed. You could also say that he half got Sissoko turning up too.

    We will need additions, quality in some positions, but I don’t think the prospect is quite as scary as some think.

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  • JDdubai

    May 3, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #29

    I think Lascelles would be suited to playing in the middle of a back 3. He wouldnt get pulled out of position too much with cover either side, just organise and head it basically.

    Im frustrated we didnt try it much this season as Mbemba and Clark are perfect for playing either side in a 3. Both have played fullback so can bring the ball out when needed, right foot/left foot also and would have allowed Yedlin to be wingback and removed the need for Gouffran to be our LW, just needed to find a left WB.

    Lascelles did well the back end of last season, deserves another shot for me.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #30

    Anyone know how Gayle is getting on?

    Wondering whether he has a chance to go for top goalscorer still?

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #31

    A cheeky 5 goals that’d be.

    Perhaps not 🙂

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  • LewSpi v2.0

    May 3, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #32

    I completely agree. I’m in the pro-Townsend camp if I’m honest. Would put him near the top of my ‘wants’. Can see why he left, a loan might have been better suited mind you. But you never know if that was an option do ya.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 3, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #33

    We went 6 games unbeaten as soon as Dummett came back into the team as well!!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 3, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #34

    Ibiza,
    I couldn’t remember beating Swansea 3-0, just looking back at the results I was at tge game as well 😮

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #35

    Lew…He was really the only one I was disappointed about leaving. Completely understood it though (although joining a Pardew team didn’t sit well whilst quoting footballing reasons).

    Don’t see how we could tempt him in the summer, nor why Palace would let him leave. Hasn’t he been in terrific form for them lately?

    A loan would of indeed been a great option for us, as you say though, may not have been a viable option.

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  • magspuggy

    May 3, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #36

    Thats a good point Ibiza.
    If given more time i think rafa would have kept us up.

    I think we are much better now than then.

    This lot know anything less than 100% and your dropped

    Rafa bingo proves that.

    New players are needed but i like most of what we have atm.

    We also need to buy cheap and sell high if we are ever going to be able to buy proven prem players
    So the risks wont go away any time soon.

    Dummy is the same imho hes been our best player for his role this year but is he good enough to keep ?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 3, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #37

    Five is the only figure we have not scored in one through to six, if only we’d attacked more……….

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #38

    Jail…Ha ha, well, you are the blogs no nowt!

    Lee…Is that when Dummett returned? Clearly Rafa likes him, I just always feel he could be upgraded fairly easily, but perhaps that’s not fair on the lad.

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  • Jib

    May 3, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #39

    Last 6 games of last season extrapolated over a full campaign
    76 points with a + 51 goal difference – good enough for second place most seasons.
    and that’s with a back four of Anita Mbemba Dummett Lascelles

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 3, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #40

    or know nowt.

    Good one Ibiza 🙂

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