Martin Hardy’s Answers In Today’s Sky Sports Interview Are Concerning


There’s a little bit of a worrying report out today on Sky Sports where Hardy – the Times on Sunday reporter for the north-east – who wrote Rafa’s Way and released it in May this year answers various questions about Rafa.

Martin talks about how he believes Rafa is unhappy at the moment with Newcastle for not giving him the money he was presumably promised by Mike Ashley at the meeting on that Tuesday night two days after the Championship season finished in early May.

This is not the first time we’ve heard of discontent coming from Rafa this summer but he’s still signed five good players, and we still believe Newcastle will finish in the upper half of the Premier League table this season.

We are even fairly confident we can now sign Arsenal striker Lucas Perez if the news today that Newcastle is willing to pay the full £13.4M for the star Spanish striker.

Martin Hardy with Rafa Benitez

So let’s not overact to this report – but it’s definitely worth reading here and there are lots of positives in it from last season and since Rafa signed for us on Friday morning March 11th last year.

Fans will remember it very well.

But Mike Ashley also has to wake up and support his world-class manager before he wakes up one morning and Rafa Benitez is no longer his manager.

Mike has to stick by his word and he told Rafa he would give him every last penny Newcastle has to help the manager build a team worthy of Newcastle in the Premier League next season.

Here are some tweets about Martin’s Q&A today with Sky Sports.



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214 comments so far

  • Posh_Geordie

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #1

    Been reading this blog since it started a decade ago but just lurked. Felt I needed to post to wish Ed all the best. This Blog helped me through some tough times after a bad accident as I’m sure it did others.

    I’ve stopped using Newsnow. I was only using it to link to this anyway as I was sick of click bait sites like football insider and there laughable “reliable journalist” misleading headlines.

    To me I think we have transfer money for the right player but we need to clear our wagebill to sanction any new players in. But as so many have pointed out the deadwood are on high wages and, understandably, don’t want to drop wages after failing at a high wage paying club.

    On the captain issue I’d wade in saying the Captain needs to be a plater that is almost a guaranteed starter but no one should be undroppable if out of form.

    12
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #2

    There’s probably too much smoke for there not to be a fire.

    Once again FatAsh the gambler takes another punt

    1
  • marshy

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #3

    I am beginning to think that maybe ashley is deliberately stalling to drive rafa to resign so that he can bring possibly pardew in as he gets no quibbles from him.

    2
  • Mag52

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #4

    Is he simply promoting his book ? Possibly.
    Is there any truth in this ? Well he certainly has more credibility than most who have been saying the same thing for some time.

    7
  • JP...from The Rock

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #5

    Just get us Perez from Arsenal already and we can pit all this negativity to bed at last. What a frustrating window this has been jeeeez!!

    2
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #6

    Far as I am concerned Ashley brought in this finance guy to be another link in the chain of stalling in buying players. rather pay for people like him than pay for players.

    I thought he had a business brain – would it not be sensible to go that bit extra this season buying decent players in so that we can stay up and consolidate this season. that would mean at least £100 million this season and £100 million next season instead of taking a chance and if it fails only get £100 million from this season and the parachute payment from relegation.

    Unless he is selling up and running and does not give a shit what happens to the club and it’s supporters.

    Thinks of himself and F**k anyone else

    4
  • Jib

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #7

    Posh_Geordie
    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:02 PM
    Comment #21

    On the captain issue I’d wade in saying the Captain needs to be a plater

    Personally I’d prefer a welder , or a riveter , at a pinch – no boilermakers though !

    😀

    4
  • Davies

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #8

    Meh.

    0
  • lesh

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #9

    In fairness to Ashley, he didn’t say every last penny would be available to Rafa. His words were to the effect that every last penny gained from promotion, player sales and other sources would be. The promotion prize money wasn’t a lot and player sales haven’t generated a lot either.

    I must stress that I am not defending or supporting Ashley’s strategy coz supporting Rafa – or seemingly not! But, it’s clear that unless some or all of the deadwood is rid of, Rafa’s gonna have difficulty building a decent squad. That being so, one would reasonably expect any decent business owner to support his reporters when things become tough. Are there any signs of Ashley supporting Rafa – even with words? Nope!

    Turning to Perez, I’m not getting too excited. Even if Charnley reaches agreement on a fee or loan terms, there’s the small matter of offering Perez acceptable terms etc. I think we’re all wise enough to know that unless Charnley and Barnes are really trying to bring a player in, they’ll low-ball any offers to enable them to come out with the old chestnut about player demands etc.

    We can but wait and see but one thing’s for sure is that Rafa needs total fan support to jolly him on. The downside to that is that Ashley could and probably will do bugger all knowing that the fans won’t turn against Rafa.
    A win on Sunday could encourage to believe that the squad’s adequate and it’ll be interesting to see whether Rafa turns up at SJP. Somehow, I think not.

    5
  • Jib

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #10

    From Sky Sports News Desk
    Sky Sports expert Jamie Carragher says he’ll be surprised if Antonio Conte is still at Chelsea in a year’s time.

    The Italian steered the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season, but has stated he expects the next campaign to be the most difficult of his coaching career after reportedly growing frustrated by the club’s summer transfer activity.

    And Carragher reckons Conte is not happy with having major transfer decisions taken out of his hands by the club’s hierarchy.

    I can guarantee that Conté’s Chelsea and Benitez’ NUFC will be slogging it out for the PL title in 3 seasons time.

    10
  • lesh

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #11

    marshy @3

    My very thoughts and don’t put it past Ashley to bring Pardew back and shaft him too! He wouldn’t dare would he? He bright Kinnear in twice!

    0
  • Markaccus

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #12

    The monthly “Rafa may walk” story surfaces. Move along, nothing to see here.

    5
  • AncientC

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #13

    Just in regards to the previous article. It may be worth taking into account the club will have received £12 for Sissoko by now. We also have to remember that Merino is option to buy, so he may not even be signed, that fee shouldn’t be added to the net-spend.

    Therefore:
    Incomings = £29.5 million. (I am not adding the loan fee for Merino as £2.5 million loan fee for a player valued at around £6 million does not add up)

    Outgoings = £31 million (including £12 million for Sissoko to date)

    Result : Net spend -£1.5 million

    If you want to include the Merino loan fee; Result: Net spend £1 million.

    2
  • lesh

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #14

    Bobby

    I know you hold great store with what Rafa’s said in Hardy’s book but we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that whatever Rafa thought when it was written, he thought then and his perceptions and opinions could have changed dramatically over recent months.

    3
  • Toonces

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #15

    Martoon

    Final League Position: 1st
    Final No of points: 114
    League Cup Round (7 = Final): 7 – Winners
    FA Cup Round (8 = Final): 8 – Winners
    Player of the season (Blog): Atsu
    Top Goal Scorer: Mitrovic
    No of Goals for TGS: 38

    Dare to dream!! HWTL!

    Yes it’s not too serious. I just don’t see any fun in picking us to finish 12th or 14th or 9th or on 44 points or 48 points or whatever. I do think Atsu will be our player of the season and Mitro will be top goal scorer. He’ll probably bag 15 goals. I do think we will have a good cup run – the League Cup most likely of the two.

    3
  • lesh

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #16

    * coz = vis
    and
    reporters = reportees

    0
  • jimmysmith

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #17

    Lucas Perez is legitimately fast, and runs hard. Yedlin, Manqillo, Merino, Shelvey, Ayoze, Murphy, Aarons and Perez, while never likely to ever be on the pitch at the same time, would certainly carry an incredible attacking threat if they ever were. Real nice balance of genuine pace and guile amongst that lot.

    1
  • geordiemark

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #18

    like I said the other day if I was rafa id go to Ashley and just say I want these players you have 2 weeks to get them or I am off and ill leave you to what the fans will do, everyone must have seen this coming anyway when has Ashley ever kept his word to anyone, all this Chinese bull shit was a smokescreen to sell the season tickets yet again and the fans fell for it yet again but word of warning mr Ashley I wouldn’t want to be you if rafa does walk

    2
  • lesh

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #19

    @9

    Whoops

    A win on Sunday could encourage to believe that the squad’s adequate and it’ll be interesting to see whether ASHLEY turns up at SJP. Somehow, I think not.

    1
  • geordiemark

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #20

    lesh

    Ashley doesn’t have the balls to turn up he knows what he will get, imagine our club owner whos to scared to even come to his own clubs football matches because of the way he deals with the running of the club but this is all down to him theres no one else to blame bar from Ashley on this score and he bloody well knows it

    1
  • Jib

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #21

    Lesh
    I hope Rafa does turn up at SJP on Sunday !
    Ha ha ha
    😀

    3
  • martoon

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #22

    ShirebrookToon – Apologies for missing you but I’ve definitely recorded your predictions now.
    YoungMag – You got an emoji because the last 2 characters of your name got converted (I think you knew that really)
    Toonces – I know you’re joking but as I run some stats on the numbers I haven’t recorded yours so as not to skew the figures – still time for a serious go if you want to?

    2
  • Toonces

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #23

    Ancient @ 13 – the Sissoko money may not all be in the bank yet but the club could borrow upon that money including the future amount. It is a guaranteed payment from Spurs so should be easy to get loans against it and the remainder if the club really wanted to.

    0
  • Average_Contents

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #24

    Martoon

    If there’s a timescale on the predictions would it be ok if I posted mine on Saturday (don’t get back until then) and reception is very spotty (took me 3 hrs to find enough for this lol)

    I’ll try and check back later

    Cheers.

    1
  • Toonces

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #25

    Martoon – to indulge you…

    Final League Position: 11th
    Final No of points: 45
    League Cup Round (7 = Final): 7 – Winners
    FA Cup Round (8 = Final): 6 = quarters
    Player of the season (Blog): Atsu
    Top Goal Scorer: Mitrovic
    No of Goals for TGS: 15

    1
  • Posh_Geordie

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #26

    Jib, looking at some of our deadwood I’d swap them for a welder or a plater even ?

    1
  • TheDrewid

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #27

    Long time reader of this blog and for the most part a lurker. Just wanted to hoy my twopennorth in regarding this summers transfers.

    As a club, we’ve been floundering at the wrong end of the table (apart from Pardews blip) since Ashley took charge and been relegated twice. As much as we might like to believe to the contrary, at the moment we are not an attractive proposition. When you look at the business dealings thus far in the EPL, the only clubs outside of the big hitters to make any sort of wave in the transfer market have been Everton and West Ham. Nobody else has made a signing that’s made the rest of the league sit up and take notice. I’d say, as things stand, we’ve got a squad that could feasibly compete for anything up to 11th place and as a newly promoted club, I’d be happy with that. There’s still plenty of time for things to happen in the transfer market and I’m quietly confident we’ll bring in at least another couple of new faces.

    7
  • YoungMag :P

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #28

    Lol martoon I actually had no idea. Now I feel really, really silly. It was quite obvious thinking about it. My word…

    1
  • YoungMag :P

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #29

    😛

    0
  • martoon

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #30

    Average_Contents – no problem I’ll take them until about midday on Sunday (when I go to the match).
    Cheers Toonces – I like being indulged 😀

    2
  • BANDWBURNABY

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #31

    We are in a no win situation on Sat, if we manage a win or a good performance against Spurs there is no chance of the fat man opening his purse & if we get hammered by a Spurs team looking for revenge Rafa will blame lack of support & be half way on his way home to Spain

    5
  • cyprus

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #32

    I’d bet lots that Rafa knows the financials, exactly. He’s not a kid waiting for a handout by MA. That’s not how it works, he ain’t dumb.

    Rafa is frustrated with the market, the agents, the competition etc.

    Why is everyone adding this disclaimer, for fear of being attacked by the mob? Anyway, here’s mine too: with this I’m not supporting MA 😉

    10
  • toon kk

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #33

    Martoon
    Final league possition 17th
    Final no. Of points 41
    League cup round 4th
    FA Cup round 4th
    Player of the season Atsu
    Top goal scorer Gayle
    No of goals for tgs 15

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Aug 8, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #34

    Lesh, it’s like I’ve been saying all along, I won’t panic on ‘what ifs’. You can’t spend your life worrying about things that might happen when there’s plenty of things to worry about that are real. I don’t understand what people expect us to do – protest on the grounds that Rafa might leave?
    There’s nothing anybody can do about ‘what ifs’ mate. I’ll worry about it if it happens, but seriously, what am I meant to do about rumours that have little basis in reality.
    Mark Douglas has just been on talksport as it happens, saying the frustration is aimed more at the window, prices and wages, rather than those above him. He says Rafa walking is a long long way ahead and unlikely to happen any time soon.
    It looks like Rafa has named a 23 man squad and the rest can go. That leaves two places to fill up.
    The problem is, when you look at those not in the squad, just the wages are stupid. Clearly Rafa was expecting to move those out but can’t, because of the wages they’re on. Like it or not, from a business sense it’s not good business to add more wages when you’re paying for people to sit on their arse for another season.
    That’s not defending Ashley, it’s just commonsense.
    We all want Ashley to sell up – so does Ashley – but finding a buyer isn’t easy and paying people silly wages for doing nothing isn’t helping. That’s why Barnes is there, to make it a more saleable asset, whether we like it or not.
    I don’t know the answer to any of it, it’s way above my head marra. Ashley out is the answer, but until he gets a buyer we’re, stuck with him.

    5
  • hibbit

    Aug 8, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #35

    premier league pre season managers meeting in London today Rafa’s there and so is Arsene Wenger ?????

    5
  • mactoon

    Aug 8, 2017 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #36

    Just listened to him interviewed on TalkSport and to be honest he didn’t sound too negative. He thinks Rafa is frustrated more at the transfer window than the club. He is bound to be frustrated as he isn’t getting his main targets in.

    One thing to throw in to the mix. When Ashley agreed the budget it was before they knew that prices would go bonkers. This means the budget and inflated prices of the players Rafa wants will be poles apart so this would explain why the negotiations have been so prolonged. We even haggled for weeks about how to pay the release clause of Lejeune because we wanted to pay it in instalments to release further funds for other players. The big problem is we have players surplus to requirements who aren’t in the 25 man squad but are draining the club’s finances in terms of wages.

    I think if they splashed the cash for Perez, even on loan, that would satisfy Rafa.

    6
  • hibbit

    Aug 8, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #37

    BANDWBURNABY

    Rafa’s home is not in Spain and has not been for a very long time

    2
  • ToonTime

    Aug 8, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #38

    Martoon
    Final league possition 9th
    Final no. Of points 51
    League cup round 4th
    FA Cup round 6th
    Player of the season Lejeune
    Top goal scorer Mitrovic
    No of goals for TGS 16

    1
  • lesh

    Aug 8, 2017 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #39

    Jib

    We all hope Rafa does get to SJP on Sunday. Whether he gets there or not’ll depend on their lass and what time she’s ganna dish out his Sunday dinner. But then again, he might just say bollocks and have a few more pints in Rosie’s – if it’s still open these days.

    0
  • BANDWBURNABY

    Aug 8, 2017 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #40

    Hibbit Rafa is a Spaniard I am a geordie born in Newcastle but havnt lived there for 50 years, home to me is U.K. You cant change where you are born, Rafa was born in Spain, Rafa is a Spaniard Spain will always be home

    1
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