Ruthless Rafa Seems In No Mood For Sentiment This Summer

One of the many reasons Rafa has been so successful in his management career so far where he has won three European trophies with three different clubs, is that he makes the tough decisions that need to be made to improve his sides and does not stand on sentiment.

In any management position you are always told to take the emotion out of the decisions and base it only on hard business reasons.

That’s not always easy to do, but that’s exactly what Rafa will be doing this summer.

Rafa Benitez after winning Championship May 7th at St. James’ Park

He did the same thing last summer when with the help of Lee Charnley he cleared a lot of the deadwood out of the club that should have been done a lot sooner, but nobody seemed to have the courage or the decisiveness to do it.

There was news earlier this week that he’s now unlikely to give new contracts to Vurnon Anita or Yoan Gouffran who will become free agents and can leave the club for nothing in July.

We expected at least Vurnon to be given a new deal, but Rafa must be bringing in a new right back this summer and we also expect him to sign some wingers including bringing Andros Townsend back to the club from Crystal Palace for the £13M release clause in his contract.

So it appears that at least Haris Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi, Vurnon Anita and Yohan Gouffran will all be released when their contracts run out at the end of June.

And Rafa is also expected to want to bring in a lot of new players in the next five weeks so they are ready for pre-season training starting in early July.

Expect there to be a very busy transfer window this summer with players coming and going and Benitez and Charnley having a lot of work to do in such a short time.

We were also wondering if there will be any improvements made to the Benton trainings grounds this summer?

The Chronicle is reporting he wants more minor changes made at the training ground and additional space in the player’s area, as he continues to make improvements to the Newcastle club in multiple different areas.

Love it.

But Rafa knows the most important area this summer is to vastly improve the Newcastle squad in all positions.

He knows better than anybody the types of players he needs to have at Newcastle, so we can challenge in the top half of the Premier League next season.

Our squad has to be a lot stronger come September than we had last season when winning the Championship.

Comments always welcome.

38 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 26, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #1

    All the best ED in your treatment !

    On Dummett well done lad giving 100% dedication for the Toon means he can rest when the international breaks are on ! Hes always picking up little injuries here and there so maybe not having to travel with Wales will help that!

  • lochinvar

    May 26, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #2

    West Brom will have to pay £35m if they want to sign Watford striker Troy Deeney, 28, this summer.(Birmingham Mail)

    You could but their Service Station for that money and get change. Ridiculous valuation,

  • lochinvar

    May 26, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #3


  • cyprus

    May 26, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #4

    All the best Ed!

    Just a side note, management must possess ‘soft skills’, even for purely business reasons, these days.

  • giimps

    May 26, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #5

    Stay strong Ed, and know the whole blog ,friends and family are all rooting for you in this stressful time.
    On Dummet, its a big decision to make as he is a very good defender as a lot of wingers will find out this season, utilised correctly he saves a team conceding chances down his side and can only get better going forward ,given the opportunity.
    Having better quality alongside him and in front of him would bring out his strengths.
    Hes not a world beater but hes a decent defender and Rafa trusts him, so its an our gain and Wales loss….imho
    On Rafas ruthlessness, he will only change a maximim of 3-4 players (starters) its difficult enough building a new team every 4-5 years never mind every season, he will probably (imho) keep the spine as is Darlow/Elliot , Clark,lascelles, Shelvey Hayden, Ritchie Gayle.
    He may not play them at the same time but will use these as the core, having and trusting Dummett means fo me he will be looking for starters in the following positions….
    Rb, lw,am,dm and most importantly St….he will want cover for the following, cb, lb am,St
    I believe there will be a few first teamers going , Mitro, Gamez,lazaar,Selz,anita,gouff,ginger jack,haidara,murph (sadly)hanley, and quite a few loanees too.
    Whatever happens were on the top of a rollercoaster in the good ship nufcblog captained by the true gent that is Dr Ed Harrison ,just waiting for the brakes to be released


    May 26, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #6



    May 26, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #7

    Hope everything goes to plan Ed. Appreciate your love for the blog, thank you.

  • martoon

    May 26, 2017 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #8

    lochinvar @2 – Deeney is a decent enough striker but like you say £35m – ridiculous valuation. It makes you wonder what we will have to pay for a new striker?

  • Average_Contents

    May 26, 2017 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #9

    Good luck Ed, stay strong.

    thanks for providing us with this excellent platform to discuss the toon. Best one on the web by far

  • AncientC

    May 26, 2017 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #10

    Good on Dummett for his Wales decision. I am sure he will look at it again, once Coleman is gone – who is about as overrated a manager as they come. Atrocious at Fulham & other clubs… Coleman is dining out on Bale.

  • expatmag

    May 26, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #11

    Best of luck Ed. You are a fighter and will overcome this affliction. Rest assured, the blog is totally behind you.

  • JohnJ

    May 26, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #12

    First of all Ed I’m hoping your treatment goes as well as it possibly can do and wishing you all the best.
    Your Blog is the best & first page I come to too catch up on news of my beloved Newcastle United who I’ve been following since 1957 back in the days of Bobby Mitchell & Len White and co. On Paul Dummett in my opinion he’s a very solid part of Newcastle’s first team (backed up by his number of first team starts) Rafa obviosly values him & he’s a Geordie who must certainly understand what it means to pull on a Black & White shirt. There are some that knock Dummett but I’m not one of those. I feel we should also value Jack Colback – you can’t knock him for effort and as another Geordie he also knows what it means to play for NUFC. I’m looking forward to a positive season ahead. At my age I thought time was running out to see our team collect a major trophy but now I have a whiff of something good on the horizon! At least I was at St James’ Park in ’69 for The Fairs Cup games and at SJP for the final and glued to the radio for the second leg of that final!

    Haway the Lads.

  • hibbit

    May 26, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #13

    good luck Ed stay strong

  • martoon

    May 26, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #14

    JohnJ @12 The Fairs Cup final is about the first game I can remember – like you say all gathered around the radio listening to a crackly AM signal – I seem to recall Bobby Moncur ended up with 3 goals.

  • Legolas

    May 26, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #16

    All the best Ed. I hope the treatment doesn’t make you feel to bad. Stay strong, the blog family and all your family and friends will be behind you.

  • jimmysmith

    May 26, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #17


  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #18

    Has there been an update on Ed’s health that I’ve missed?

  • martoon

    May 26, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #19

    Ibiza @15 – Well deserved – looks like the campaign on here yesterday worked! Strange though that our player of the season, Ritchie, was not even in the vote.

  • martoon

    May 26, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #20
  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #21

    Martoon…Deserved indeed. I think Ritchie goes somewhat unnoticed, unless you’re a frequent watcher of the team. When compared to a goal scorer anyway.

  • Ron Knee

    May 26, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #22


    From a couple of threads ago:-

    Health note: I had blood tests on Wednesday and got the go ahead to have my third chemotherapy infusion which took place yesterday afternoon.

    There are usually some severe side-reactions that happen over the next 9 days – so there’s a chance I will be missing in action on the blog at times and/or there will be fewer articles each day.

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #23

    Thanks for that Martoon!

    Ed…Keep it up, as others have said, we’re all behind you (Boo!).

    You’ve got this!

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #24

    Cheers Ron.

  • magspuggy

    May 26, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #25

    If dummett has sacked wales to prolong his playing time at nufc can we presume hes staying with us.

    I would be happy if thats true.
    He gets a hard time on the blog as all geordies seem too.
    I rate him highly and he will do a good job for us in the epl.

  • Mister Tuff

    May 26, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #26

    Good luch Ed – keep plugging away.

  • Mister Tuff

    May 26, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #27

    luch = luck

  • Wayayman

    May 26, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #28

    Ed – Aaal the best bonny lad.

  • BeeGuy

    May 26, 2017 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #29

    Hang in there, Ed. The world is a better place with you with us.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 26, 2017 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #30

    Dummett does seem to get a hard time on here but whenever he has faced a winger who was hyped to rip him apart hes marked them out of the game !He has also not really had the benefit of a quality left winger ahead of him for years

    Obviously we can upgrade him for a more attacking player but I think he is still a good squad member to have

  • martoon

    May 26, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #31

    Just noticed 41 year old Shay Given has been released by Stoke. I really think he messed his career up moving to Man City – I can’t remember him being first choice keeper again.

  • Oldgit1

    May 26, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #32

    Good luck Ed thinking of you

  • expatmag

    May 26, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #33

    Think that those people who continually slag off the kikes of Dummett and Colback dont know their arse from their elbow when it comes to football knowledge

  • hibbit

    May 26, 2017 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #34

    spot on mate could not agree more

  • woodsee

    May 26, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #35

    good luck with your treatment,you seem a top bloke.
    best toon blog by a mile,i seldom post but always view

  • U.S Magpie

    May 26, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #36

    Ed good luck for your sake, your families sake and our sake. Need the Blog, Howay the Ed!!!!

  • nufconceandfuturekings

    May 26, 2017 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #37

    All the best to you, Dr Ed.

  • JohnJ

    May 26, 2017 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #38

    Pleased to see I’m not the only one who appreciates the Geordies in wor team!


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