No Let Up For Rafa This Summer As He Builds New Newcastle Team

We often wonder where Rafa Benitez gets his relaxation, but maybe he’s one of those lucky people who just loves his job so much that it’s not a strain on him because he simply loves what he’s doing.

Rafa loves football and since he took four hours one afternoon with some of the reps from the Fans Forum last season to demonstrate how to defend from corners, we have to believe he’s a fanatic on everything to do with football.

Just like the Newcastle fans.


Rafa Benitez – Newcastle United manager at Norwich last season

Rafa didn’t take any time off last summer as he was preparing Newcastle for life down below in the Championship.

And he’s did so well last season that other clubs seem to want to copy his blueprint and build a team specifically to get out of the Championship – and for that you need to have experienced Championship players.

Rafa will never get the credit he deserves for what he did for Newcastle last season, when he took a massive risk in his career staying with the Magpies; just imagine what would have been said if we had finished in mid-table last season – the press would have had a field day criticizing the world-class manager.

But everything worked out well and he’s back in the big time with Newcastle where we both deserve to be.

And he’s just now completely and utterly focused on ensuring he can build a first team squad for Newcastle to finish in the upper half of the Premier League next season and maybe win a domestic trophy for the first time since 1955 when we hammered Manchester City 3-1 at Wembley.

There’s no time for Rafa to take a break this summer and one reason is that he doesn’t seem to even want to take one; just let’s hope he can spend some time with his family in the Wirral for most of the next five weeks.

Wonder if Rafa will think of buying a place in Newcastle, where his wife and two teenage daughters  can come and visit during the season?

We’ve never quite known a person so utterly committed to his job.

Rafa could well become the best manager Newcastle United have ever had and that’s what we are hoping for in the next few years.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

45 comments so far

  • Douglas

    May 28, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #1

    Idealy Rafa would lay the foundation for a successfull club for the next 25 years.

  • JP...from The Rock

    May 28, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #2

    Ed – you sure love Rafa and can’t praise him enough lol he us great for NUFC but he ain’t God. Still did some bizarre substitutions last season and hardly ever changed formation. Apart from that I agree that he is exactly what we need and we’re lucky to have him. I see a very bright future with him as our manager and long may it continue. The future is bright with Rafa and I can’t wait to see who we sign this summer.

  • BarcelonaMag

    May 28, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #3

    Hi, everybody. I’m confused about something. When does the transfer window open? It says on Sky Sports that it’s June 9th but on other websites July 1st. Can anyone confirm which it is?

  • OneAlanShearer

    May 28, 2017 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #4

    I believe players contracts tend to start/end July 1st but you can sign players so many days after the last game so June 9th sounds right to me. Only a educated guess though


    May 28, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #5

    I’ve read 9th of june as well mate so guess we’ll see if anything happens on that date….before i read it.. i was convinced it was 1st of july tbh.

  • sparky55

    May 28, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #6

    This season will always be about what exceptional talent he can attract to the North-East. Keegan was brilliant at it, SBR not quite as good but still very good…everyone else since then bloody useless because they were nowhere near their level as either proven players or proven managers.

    Rafa IMO is at the same level as SBR but won’t be as persuasive as Keegan in bringing in the exceptional talent…so it all hinges on that…who can he bring in…because if all he can attract is run of the mill premiership talent…then that’s all we’ll be…very average and hanging around the 10th to 15th places 3rd tier of the premiership irrespective of how good a manger he is.

  • AncientC

    May 28, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #7

    I wouldn’t overly worry about bringing loan signings in and losing them again at the end of the season. It really does take something truly exceptional and world class to get into some of the bigger sides, especially when they have money to splurge every window.

    Everton had the right idea with Lukaku, got him in on loan, made sure he enjoyed himself… then when it came down to it, they had an advantage over everybody else in signing him.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    May 28, 2017 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #8

    Cant complain about Rafa not changing formation JP. It won us the title haha.

  • Clematis

    May 28, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #9

    In Rafa we trust, but I hope many of these players we’ve been linked with have no truth to them.

    Reina? Nee thanks. Great distribution but that’s it; he can’t even dive anymore as he’s built like a heavyweight.

    All the defenders we’ve been linked to are either shite or would never come to us or come from an inferior league. Lascelles, Mbemba, Clark and Dummett will do for me. However, I’d sell Hanley and buy Aden Flint from Bristol City.

    I hope that we retain the nucleus of the side that won the Championship, and buy sensibly over the next four windows. I also hope we do start utilising the loan system to nuture tomorrow’s superstars.

    I would be happy with:

    Cairney (12m)
    Mooy (loan)
    Robertson (10m)
    Abraham (loan)
    Townsend (13m)
    Gray (15m)
    Clucas (10m)
    Flint (3m)

    Total: 63m

    Get rid:

    Lazaar (3m)
    Hanley (4m)
    De Jong (3m)
    Thauvin (10m)
    Saivet (2m)
    Diame (4m)
    Anita (free)
    Gouffran (free)

    Total: 26m

    Net spend: 37m

    That’ll do for me 🙂

  • hibbit

    May 28, 2017 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #10


    could we have Emmanuel Riviere added to that list …………Please

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    May 28, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #11

    Michy Batshuayi has reportedly told a Belgian newspaper that he is not opposed to going out on loan this upcoming season. Could it be to the TOON.

    In Observer today TOON could be after Watford’s Dion Pereira – don’t know if he has been mentioned in dispatches yet

    See two Local lads scored for Blackpool today

  • Clematis

    May 28, 2017 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #12

    Hibbit @ 10:

    Oh, deffo! I forgot all about that bag of shite! And Krul to go, too – he’s had a nightmare in Holland by all accounts.

    Charlie @ 11:

    Batshuyai would be ideal, but i think we stand a better chance of getting Abraham.

    I would love Sessegnon, who tore us to pieces last season. However, he’ll go for about 30m to the bin dippers.

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    May 28, 2017 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #13

    Charlie – think Ed had a story on Pereira a day or two ago. He doesn’t miss much at this time of year!

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    May 28, 2017 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #14


    Sessegnon – I and wasted – like a lot of players who go to the ‘Big Clubs’ pay over the odds and stick them in the reserves or go out on loan. frightened in case they miss someone

  • Bambams

    May 28, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #15

    I am still over the pond in Florida and every morning look at the blog hoping we have signed someone!!!
    Ed you are reading with the headlines

  • Clematis

    May 28, 2017 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #16

    Charlie @ 14: yeah, mate…the usual! Maybe we can be the club that rescues Sessegnon from his future nightmare, haha!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    May 28, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #17

    The short version is the transfer window opens on June 9th for English clubs…

    A PL club cannot register/buy a foreign based player before July 1th though.

    Have a Nice summer everyone ?

  • Ron Knee

    May 28, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #18


    Can it really be …?

  • lochinvar

    May 28, 2017 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #19

    Looking at that photo Rafa is clearly trying to get as far away as possible from Norwich before HMRC arrive to see what receipts ( sorry recipes ) Delia has deposited into their Shred Station in the lobby.

    Does every club have one of these ?

  • beermonkey

    May 28, 2017 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #20


    he was more worried delia was gonna ask him if he wanted to earn a few quid in the close season by waiting tables in her new restaurant

  • Average_Contents

    May 28, 2017 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #21

    Oh my Jesper, he’s alive lol.

  • Average_Contents

    May 28, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #22

    Nice to see you Jesper, in a roundabout way 😉

  • RUNAWAY777

    May 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #23

    I said three weeks ago it was 9th June when the window opens and shuts 31st Aug enjoy back in toon early aug for the season starting.

  • Levi

    May 28, 2017 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #24

    Quite a few people on this blog are a bit neave with transfer targets. We had a good season and seen players doing well in the championship but the Premier league is miles away.

  • RolandoOverhead

    May 28, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #25

    In the past, for decades in fact, what has let us down season after season is the amount of goals we’ve conceded. We’ve splurged umpteen millions on bringing in goalscorers and have left the garage door unlocked at the back with just a latch to keep out the burglars.
    Would you guys not say that our current back 4 is the best we’ve had for decades too? Even if it does include Dummett!
    goals conceded –
    2012/13 – 68
    2013/14 – 59
    2014/15 – 63
    2015/16 – 65
    2016/17 – 40

  • JamesToon

    May 28, 2017 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #26


    Clucas and Flint??? No thanks mate. We can do way better. Would take any of maguire zouma mangala or semedo

  • Levi

    May 28, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #27

    I agree mate but you can’t compare championship season. I would like Harry Maguire

  • Levi

    May 28, 2017 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #28

    I wouldn’t take clucas or flint. Worse than colback. To be honest I would take Robertson and Maguire however having half the back 4 from hull(who have just been relegated) is a bit worrying

  • beermonkey

    May 28, 2017 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #29


    poor coaching has been to blame for alot of those goals
    mclarens last 10 games we conceeded somthing like 21 goals

    rafa’s end to the season was about 10
    its not all down to who we have at the back but how the team perfoms in front of them as well

    think it was cathro that said one of the biggest changes rafa did was get them working as a team

  • jimmysmith

    May 28, 2017 at 8:47 PM

    Comment #30

    Saivet, De Jong and Rivierre. Hard to sell because of their wages. Loaning them out is only a way of running their contracts down while saving a little on wages and on a par with paying them out. Do you bring them back to flesh out the squad and focus on fewer and better signings. All part of the mess Rafa inherited. We have an astonishing number of players, and an astonishing number of players who apparently aren’t good enough. Even Rafa might be undone by it, or at least require 3 or 3 seasons to fully sort it out. Added to that we now have a number of Championship players on long contracts and a decent wedge, who we needed this past season but really don’t now. Bit of a concern, because surely he’ll be required to create room and generate funds to get the squad we are all hoping for.

  • Levi

    May 28, 2017 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #31

    I think we need a top quality defensive midfielder. I better version of tiote. Go rescue Alex song from Russia. Dunno how old he is now mind

  • beermonkey

    May 28, 2017 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #32


    make them free with a sell on clause and chip in on there wages if we have to
    but just get rid

    although i can see dejong staying playing back up to our new no10

  • Clematis

    May 28, 2017 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #33

    JamesToon @ 26:

    Although we have Rafa at the helm and get 52,000 through the door, I don’t think Mangala, Samedo et al will come to us until we’ve had a decent go in the Premiership. Maguire is going to Spurs for about ÂŁ25m.

    Flint would not be my 1st choice but he’s a better 4th choice CH than Hanley. Plus he’s 6ft 6in and his goal return is mental for a defender.

    Clucas wipes the floor with Colback. He can run at players and pick a pass.

    The players I mentioned are all realistic and under 26. We are not going to sign Fabregas and Peresic, or anyone wanting a wage over 40k a week.

    Although some of the players I mentioned are Championship players they could all do a job in the prem.

    However, this is just my perspective and I appreciate others have their views, too.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • jimmysmith

    May 28, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #34

    It’ll be interesting to see how he fairs. He did well last off season, but he was shifting quality back then. This time round we are looking to shift “dead wood”. I suppose this will be why Anita will most likely be moved on, and Rivierre may not, when certainly given the choice between the two, Rafa would probably far prefer it be the other way round. There’s all sorts of complications to overcome in reshaping a squad, and I suppose a manager can rarely if ever get the group he really wants.

  • RolandoOverhead

    May 28, 2017 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #35

    I rate de Jong highly, he’s had a crap time with injuries, but unlike Dummett and Colback, the guy is Premier League quality. He’s also a natural #10 and had he been fit and played for us, would have scored a bucket full last season and assisted in a heck of a lot too.
    Riviere, Cabella, Saivet all need offloading asap, but rather than loan them out, I’d like to see some part-ex deals going on.

  • jimmysmith

    May 28, 2017 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #36

    DeJong doesn’t look a great bet, despite having obvious qualities. Fitness concerns, compounded by a lack of pace so much a requirement for the greatest majority of players to do well in England. He and Saivet could possibly contribute as part of the group, although you’d doubt it, while Rivierre has clearly been an inexplicably bad signing if he is indeed on a six year deal.

  • G

    May 28, 2017 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #37

    @35 Cabella? The one we sold to Marseille quite some time ago?

  • beefman13

    May 28, 2017 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #38

    Kevin Mbabu is a player of huge potential, I would love to see this lad impress in the office season.

  • jimmysmith

    May 28, 2017 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #39

    I think the two greatest indicators of where a side will finish is the relative quality of the manager and his level of autonomy and also the size of the wage bill. We are the seventh biggest club in England with the right manager in place, so if we end up with the 7th highest wage bill too, then that’s where we are most likely to finish. It may take two or three seasons, but that is what is most probable I think, barring an Ash attack of course.

  • jimmysmith

    May 28, 2017 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #40

    With all the money in the EPL now, and the focus the senior sides have on the League and Champions League, the team that does finish seventh is going to be a real chance of winning the Europa League or a League Cup.


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