No Wonder Rafa Is Quickly Building The Trust Of Mike Ashley

Rafa Benitez has had an excellent interview in the  Chronicle today and you you start to get an idea of what he talked with Mike Ashley about in the four hour meeting he had last week with Mike and Lee Charnley at an undisclosed location.

But it seems that Rafa wanted to let Mike know in no uncertain terms that he knew what he was doing and didn’t just want to spend big money on players without also showing that he fully appreciated how the financial side of clubs are run.

It’s small wonder to us if Mike was extremely impressed with Rafa’s presentation, because it seems that Rafa even went through things he wanted to do to assure the owner he would even be thrifty with money.

Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez

Rafa is keen that Mike understand that he knows Newcastle have been a well run financial concern under Mike Ashley for ten years – if not  a successful one – well up until now that is.


Here’s some wise words Rafa has said in the Chronicle today :

“My feeling is that everybody has seen that the job has been done, and done properly – hopefully it is a good signal for the future.”

“If everybody sees that things are going well, you can trust the people in charge and then you can be more supportive.”

“We will have normal meetings, talking about ideas and things that will happen in the future.

“We will try to put things in place that Mike Ashley will realise are a professional approach, we are talking about a project and we’re not thinking about something that’s not possible.”

“We will only talk about things that we can achieve.”

“Transfer activity depends on the market and prices – sometimes you want to do things and you can’t because they are too expensive.”

“Sometimes you can, but you have to put everything together – once we know where we are we will make decisions about every single player.”

“I think we have already made steps forward and we have put the foundations down to build something bigger.”

Rafa comes over there as a well balanced, common sense kind of guy who knows exactly what he’s doing after spending  30 years in coaching.

The manager will want a free rein to run the club along with Managing Director Lee Chanley  and he is willing to meet and talk with the owner on occasion if that’s necessary.

What is clear is Rafa wanted to form a relationship with the owner and be able to discuss things directly with him when that is warranted.

As he’s done at his other clubs, Rafa will present a full report at the end of each season and it will contain financial information as well as how the team has performed and what Rafa’s plans for the next season are.

Maybe each year it contains an estimate of what the club is now worth on the open market to and a graph of how the club has risen in value since Rafa arrived – just to keep Mike interested?


This all sounds very good to us for the future of Newcastle United and Rafa seems to have shown excellent business sense as well as common sense in his dealings with the owner.

Comments welcome.

42 responses so far ↓

  • 1
    May 17, 2017 at 9:58 AM

    I think you’d get Cairney for around 10 to 12 million since Fulham aren’t going up, and I doubt we’d be willing to go much higher. Mooy about the same. The real money should go on a centre forward and winger I think.

  • 2
    May 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    3 targets by 10 O’ clock and none of them were Charlie Austin or Alan Judge!!

  • 3
    May 17, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    “Rafa is keen that Mike understand that he knows Newcastle have been a well run financial concern under Mike Ashley for ten years”

    And in other breaking developments from the…

  • 4
    May 17, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Or Townsend!

  • 5
    May 17, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Looks like RAFA wants them all in by start of pre-season and Penfold must be on Red Bull!

  • 6
    May 17, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Can you imagine Charnley on the red bull, why I bet he may even become animated enough to make a facial expression… don’t hold out any hope though.

  • 7
    May 17, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Anyone who saw Cairney at SJP won’t argue about his class. I watched a lot of Championship football and he was my Championship player of the season. Douglas, Holden, Bainbridge of Football Whispers agree.
    The £10-15million would be about right. Cairney is versatile and he joined Fulham as a winger.

  • 8
    May 17, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    Could you imagine being in a meeting with Rafa after previously holding these meetings with Pardew McClarren and Kinnear. I bet it wasn’t that hard for Rafa to convince him probably just had to string a sentence together

  • 9
    May 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    You guys think Benitez is going to try three at the back in pre-season? We’re being linked with a few centre backs like.

    If we keep Dummett he could do a great job on the left side of the back three.

  • barkel
    May 17, 2017 at 10:36 AM


    I’d be surprised if Rafa moved on from his 451. I think we’re going to be linked to almost every transfer that takes place between any of the clubs outside champions league.

    Guessing bringing in experienced players is to help develop what we have and they’ll be players that can get the job done if needed, much like Murphy this season

  • manxpie
    May 17, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Would rather will Hughes than either mooy or cairney tbh far greater potential, younger but with a lot of experience
    Then get Maguire and that would be a good start

  • jimmysmith
    May 17, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Dummett has come on, and would seem ideally suited to the left side of a back 3. I think he’s now good enough to do a regular job in the top flight either there or on the left of a back four, but it’s the 4 to 5 really good players that make the difference when supported by 7 or so capable ones, with all 11 playing in their correct positions, in a well prepared side with everyone willing to run for each other.

  • carl
    May 17, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    No system can disguise a lack of quality of a players technical ability to pass the ball well. Players get suspended, injured and as we saw with Shelvey out cracks begin to appear. You need players to fit into a specific system. Also if you try to press high up the pitch there is the risk of over committing and becoming vulnerable. 3-4-3 can be countered by pushing big up the pitch and getting distances between the lines and players right. We need more pace in the side.

  • BeeGuy
    May 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    I’ve re-watched several games and Dummit has a unique weakness amid his considerable talents. All his passes in the defensive half are great. All his attacking passes find a target. Any pass that goes across the center line is a 50/50 ball. Very strange, and needs to be worked on.

  • carl
    May 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    My point is you can defend deep say away from home and let the opposition enjoy possession but with pace and a range of passing counter well. It helps if you’ve got a master tactician like Rafa against Huddersfield. The defence has to have pace which for me means We should let Anita go.

  • jimmysmith
    May 17, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    We’ll play a bit differently next season won’t we. I don’t see us sitting back quite so much. The opposition won’t be parking the bus or playing with the same levels of adrenaline. They’ll back themselves more and take us on, and we’ll be similarly a bit more open, Shelvey is less likely to be sitting as deep for example.

  • ZIPPIE57
    May 17, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Cairney is worth every Penny Carl your right took us apart

  • carl
    May 17, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    If we are to employ wing backs in the 3-4-3 we have to have to have a lot of running as their basically playing two roles. Someone pointed out Atsu’s reluctance to get back to defend. Moses at Chelsea is a good example of what’s needed which is someone able to run more than the average of team .
    I see we’re being linked also with Carl Jenkinson but Isaac Hayden can play at full back or wing back as well as CB or DM.

  • expatmag
    May 17, 2017 at 11:20 AM



    Lascelles Clark Dummett

    Yedlin Shelvey Hayden Cairney Ritchie

    Mitrovic Gayle

  • carl
    May 17, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Zippie good time to go. Thanks.

  • OneAlanShearer
    May 17, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    I honestly think the team that starts in august or after the window shuts will bate very little resemblance to this seasons. A new captain, probably only shelvey and Ritchie starting xi, although I’d expect hayden, clark, Yedlin, Dummett, gayle, perez to play a significant part. I also think rafa will want sufficient re ruins do he is able to start a balanced side regardless of formation 442,451, 433 or 343. That way he can prepare tactically without worrying about having the right personnel.

  • geordie157
    May 17, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    Can’t see Cairney going for 20mill, actually think he’ll end up leaving for 15-16mill. He’s worth signing.

    Mooy for the 10mill would be good business.

    Morgan is a strange one but adds experience a bit like Murphy did this season. Would like to see us get Maguire personally.

    Keep seeing people mentioning Musa on here, am I missing something, everytime I have seen him he’s been awful.

    Will be interesting to see which striker Rafa wants to bring in, Ben Yedder adapted well too La Liga so he could be an option. Would take the city lad on loan, can’t spell his name.

  • carl
    May 17, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Watching Chelsea but In the Premiership most teams play with one up front and that allows the two wider CB’s as well as Moses and Alonso to move up. Few teams had two up front and tried to get between the spaces between the wider CB’s. However teams flood the midfield rather than force the wing backs back. Many sides ended up with six players at the back rather than being aggressive and reversing the tactic.
    If we get players in early Rafa will have time on the training pitch to drill and work on dragging into spaces where players don’t want to go.

  • DubaiMicky
    May 17, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    If we lose 3 or 4 games in a row next season (I hope we don’t but IF we do), how many of the muppets will be shouting Rafa out?

  • May 17, 2017 at 11:54 AM


    They’ll definitely be one asking where our ex hero is when we need him. Gobshite.

  • ShirebrookToon
    May 17, 2017 at 11:57 AM

    Give it 2 games. Like when we lost our first 2 in Champo and people were saying we will be great in League one!

  • ronaldo aarons
    May 17, 2017 at 12:23 PM

    I would be happy with mooy and cairney signing. I’ve said a few times that other than pace, we lack game intelligence within the team and the ability to control games. For all of shelveys abilities and passing he can’t control games. Not a knock on him, just something he doesn’t have but has other qualities that these two don’t offer. Mooy has shown he can do it from cm and cairney has shown he can do so at number 10.

    Still feel we need a defensive minded player to upgrade on colback and compete with Hayden. Someone with a physical presence. Also need a top quality striker and a top quality left winger to go with a lb and cb.

  • Oldgit1
    May 17, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    Just been reading up on the new sponsor Fun88, appears it’s not going on kids gear, so can I assume the under 17s won’t be playing in shirts that shows the logo. If so, are we able to get another sponsor? Ie toys 4 us, just for the kids who are the future supporters, that should be worth a couple of million. I think charnley should get on the case.

  • Jib
    May 17, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    toys r us

  • Jib
    May 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    Canny idea that

  • ronaldo aarons
    May 17, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    I read heardmans contract runs out this summer. I think he has potential but was never given an opportunity and even if he was offered another contract, I don’t see him getting any opportunities of first team football. Does anyone feel it’s better for him to move for his own sake? I feel we may regret it in the future but I think it’s best he does move on.

  • Novocastrian66
    May 17, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    We need fullbacks. We’ll get ripped apart in the big league if we do not strengthen our defence.

  • magspuggy
    May 17, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    @ oldgit
    Thats a cracking idea mate
    I for one wouldnt mind buying the bairns top with that on the front.
    Not sure if the rules would scupper it .

  • G
    May 17, 2017 at 1:05 PM

    Heardman does look alright, but nothing special. Heaney was the one I had the highest hopes for, but rumour has it he’s about to sign for Wolves. Peter Beardsley dropped a big bo**ock not giving him more game time I think.

  • ronaldo aarons
    May 17, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    Can anyone get this directly to Benitez? He urgently needs to see it if he want defensive reinforcements 🙂

  • ronaldo aarons
    May 17, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Yeah I never said he was special but I dont think there’s any denying that someone his size and style of play could be useful and make an impact. Plus you don’t need to look special to make a name for yourself, you just need an opportunity. Carroll for example did not look special at all before he got his opportunity with us in the championship and he’s an established player now.

    I’ve not seen or heard anything about Heaney leaving but I hope he doesn’t go anywhere unless it’s on loan.

  • G
    May 17, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    @36, his contract is up, and the Toon have not been forthcoming with a new offer. When you watch him play for the kids the shape of the team seems to change around his play, which is a rare ability for such an attacking player. I suspect the lad will play in the Prem, just a shame it doesn’t seem to be happening with us.

  • ronaldo aarons
    May 17, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Agree. I see him playing in the premiership but not with us. Regardless if we give him a new contract he won’t get games. It’s better for him to move on.

  • Oldgit1
    May 17, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    @ Jib thanks for correcting, it was a mixture of pets 4 us and toys r us, bloody hell cant even get that right. Hope Martoon hides my seasons predictions where I had Colback to finish as player of the season. My heart said local hero comes good. Should have gone with my head.

  • lochinvar
    May 17, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Oldgit1 // May 17, 2017 at 12:32 PM
    Just been reading up on the new sponsor Fun88, appears it’s not going on kids gear, so can I assume the under 17s won’t be playing in shirts that shows the logo. If so, are we able to get another sponsor? Ie toys 4 us, just for the kids who are the future supporters, that should be worth a couple of million. I think charnley should get on the case.

    Just hoping that the Kids shirts without the Fun88 logo will be available in Kids size XXXXXXXXXXXL ( youth age 55-65 yrs ) then I can buy a shirt without a logo as betting is against my religion (Presbyterian) and that would compensate for not being able to partake of a sherbet or two watching matches on Sundays.
    Or put a large blue star on the shirt as I like star gazing and that would be ample compensation.

  • Oldgit1
    May 17, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    @ lochinvar I still have my blue star top, never throw anything out. Re your faith regarding gambling, stick to wearing past shirts. There is no law to say you must buy the new one. You will not be seen as a social outcast.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley
    May 17, 2017 at 2:06 PM


    ______________New GK
    ____New CB__Lascelles__Dummett
    Yedlin___New CM_Shelvey_____New WB
    ______________New AM
    ___________Gayle_New ST

    So 6 signings to come into the first team I think. Obviously presuming we play this formation. (doubtful but what I would like to see).

    New GK – Don’t know why we haven’t gone for Begovic if we’re serious about a new goalkeeper.
    New CB – Hopefully Maguire, already played in a back three and is comfortable on the ball.
    New WB – I really like Charlie Taylor so I would love to see that, on a more unrealistic note, Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham. And if we felt like getting cover for the other side to compete with Yedlin, then I’d also go for Tommy Smith from Huddersfield. 10 assists from RB last season.
    New CM – If it is to be Mooy then he should be cover for Shelvey and to compete, I’d rather start with Hayden and then one of those two. But again, Mbemba could be used as competition for Hayden if Colback is shipped out.
    New AM – Hopefully Cairney, really enjoyed watching him this season at times, I think he’s what we’ve needed in the attacking midfield role. Great passing and creativity; we should give Fulham Diame in exchange.
    New ST – A few candidates for this role but I personally think Iheanacho from Man City would be a good bet. Get him on loan with an option to buy. Has a great record at City, worth a gamble.

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