While most of our fans are disappointed the club seems to be struggling to bring in some of our targets this summer, when the lads return on Monday we should get a lift and Rafa will be back and hopefully he’ll be interviewed and in high spirits.
We think Rafa will come across as usual as very confident, dedicated and enthusiastic for the new season and hopefully, while he is disappointed with transfers so far, it’s not terminal and he has no real wish to leave Newcastle United.
We sincerely hope that’s the case and we expect that to be the case, otherwise it will could all turn out to be another tragedy for Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez with his best technical player – Jonjo Shelvey
There was good news yesterday that Jonjo Shelvey has been training for a month so he can get a good start to preseason and certainly Jonjo, under Rafa’s guidance, has real ambition back.
Jonjo wants to be the very best and last summer he also came back after hiring a personal trainer and he played very well for us last season and he’s certainly a talented footballer with huge potential.
If only he can control himself on the field a little bit more and there are definite signs he is trying hard to do just that.
And Jonjo showed real commitment to Newcastle when he was one of the first players to say that he was staying on to help Newcastle get promoted and that’s exactly what he did.
Like a number of players at Newcastle over the 15 months or so, Jonjo is gaining from having a world-class manager who tells each player exactly what they need to do to be at their very best and Jonjo is certainly listening.
This is what Jonjo said last year as quoted today in the Chronicle:
“I feel Rafa has done that already for me now fingers crossed.”
“There have been big changes with England now so you just never know what they are thinking.”
“Fingers crossed I can hopefully get back into the mix and contribute.”
It’s good that we have an excellent attitude being shown by Shelvey and he genuinely wants to fulfill his enormous potential and if he can do that then Newcastle will be in a good position.
We also have the current captain Jamaal Lascelles coming back a week early for preseason and setting the example for the rest of the lads.
The good news that we keep forgetting, is we do have some players who are much better now after a year training with Rafa and we need these players – like Jonjo and Jamaal as two good examples – to start off very well for us next season.
We think they can do that and help Newcastle have a successful season back in the Premier League.
But we also need some (very) good players coming in and look to Managing Director Lee Charnley and owner Mike Ashley to help Rafa get those players through the door in every way possible this summer.
But the bottom line is there’s still a lot of positives about Newcastle this summer when you look at the big picture, but we must show our ambition in the transfer market and sign those targets.
We are hoping we finally sign 26 year-old Eibar center-back Florian Lejeune is the next couple of days – that would be a decent start and give fans a lift.