It was Premier League launch day in London yesterday and Newcastle were represented by manager Rafa Benitez, new signing Jacob Murphy and last season’s Player of the Season Matt Ritchie.
Rafa spoke live on Sky Sports yesterday morning, and it was another fascinating interview with the man who can talk about football for hours and hours on end.
And often does according to Bob Moncur.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
Our game is being televised live on Sunday at home to Tottenham and that game has a 1:30 pm kickoff time.
It’s clear that Rafa Benitez has been frustrated by this transfer market so far and we just don’t seem to have the money this summer to bring in the quality of player that Rafa would like to bring in.
But the good news last night was that we have signed Chelsea’s 21-year-old Kennedy on loan for the season.
This is some of what Rafa said to Sky’s David Jones yesterday:
“The Championship is quite complicated but we did well. The teams, the fans, the city were together and that was crucial for us.”
“We had good players. The fans, we had 52,000 fans every game at home and especially the fans away – everyone was pushing.”
“The staff, the club – everyone was trying to achieve what we wanted to achieve. Only 33% of teams go back up first season, it’s quite complicated.”
“If you don’t go up, it’s even more difficult because there is more pressure.”
“The team is fine. Still we can improve – every manager wants to improve. But we have a good team and we’ll see if we can improve the squad a little bit.”
“The Premier League is a massive challenge, it’s another level.”
“It’s very hard. The prices are crazy. We missed some targets at the beginning and I think we are paying for that but hopefully we can find solutions to bring what we need.”
“Sometimes it’s not what you want, it’s what you need and what you can afford now.”
“It’s quite difficult for every team but especially the ones that do not have as much money as the others.”
“The teams at the top have put the prices so high that if you go for average players they ask for big money, big commission, big wages.”
“Everything is more difficult.”
“Sometimes you have to sign what you can. Then it’s a tricky question because if you sign players people will say ‘Is it the player you wanted?’”
“Maybe it’s the fifth on the list but he’s still your player and you have to support him and make sure he’s good enough.”
“We are trying to do our business.”
“The story is as I said before we missed some targets at the beginning and now we are trying to do our best with what’s available.
Rafa is an excellent communicator and he lays it out there about what’s happening in the market so our fans can understand a little better.
We should be much better off next summer financially and we will have to rely on Rafa’s magic to get the best out of the squad we have this term.
It’s not what we wanted but we can still do very well under the brilliant Mr. Benitez.