Peter Beardsley has talked in the Chronicle today about his boss Rafa Benitez and of course they both get on very well.
It’s Peter’s job to bring the lads through the U23 side into the first team, although of course it’s up to Rafa as to which players make it through to train with the first team squad and then hopefully become first team regulars over time.
Rafa is busy working his socks off along with Managing Director Lee Charnley trying to bring players into the club this summer and it’s proving to be a very difficult transfer window so far.
Peter Beardsley with Rafa Benitez at training
The prices of players seem to have increased dramatically again, but hopefully things will calm down a bit as the summer progresses.
Peter has lots of good things to say about the manager who has completely transformed the club in a very short 16 months:
“He’s been brilliant.” “He came in before reserve games last season and gives these kids as much encouragement as he can.”
“Going forward he has a lot of decisions to make.” “But you look at the reaction of the city.”
“He’s had a chat with Mike, him and Mike get on well.” “Everybody wants to know what’s going on.”
“They know what’s going on and that’s all that matters.” “To be fair, it’s something that we try and open up to the lads.”
“A player of ours in the first-team is a feather in our cap.” “There’s one or two looking towards the first-team.”
“Whether they’re ready or not though it isn’t for us to decide. I might think they’re great, but I may have a different opinion to Rafa.”
We’ve heard a number of times that Rafa and Mike very much see eye to eye on things, probably because the manager has a very good handle on the financial side of club football and is willing to work within some financial guidelines.
Peter’s U-23 side will start pre-season at Darlington on July 17 before their game with Celtic in the semi-finals of the Whitby tournament.
It will be interesting to see this coming season how many of the U23 team make the first team squad for the Premier League next season, with a number of talented young players pushing hard to be part of the squad.
Pre-season starts two weeks today, so it’s not long before the lads return to training and hopefully we will have a couple of new players in by that time.
What do you think?