Rafa Benitez Refuses To Be Drawn On Mike Ashley’s Words


In his press conference, this afternoon for the game at Huddersfield Town on Sunday, Rafa would not be drawn about Mike Ashley’s interview last week with Sky Sports.

That’s when he said Newcastle would not be able to generate enough money for Rafa Benitez this summer.

That’s among the things Mike said during his lengthy interview which included him saying he would sell the club if he got a buyer.

But he didn’t think he would get a decent offer and that he and Newcastle would be together for the foreseeable future.

Mike also admitted to making a multitude of mistakes since he took over the club 10 years ago but hoped that under Rafa Benitez the club would become successful and even win something soon.

Rafa Benitez and Lee Charnley run the club for Mike Ashley

Rafa was asked about the Mike Ashley interview, and this is his rather brief response as he refused to be drawn into discussing it:

“I’m concentrating on improving the team. It didn’t change anything of what I think.”

“The reality is that we’re ready to play the second game in the league and try to prepare as well as we can.”

“He knows what he told me and what I was thinking.” “We know where we are and what we want.”

“My focus is to win on Sunday.”

The game at John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday will be a big test for us, and we’ll be without the injured Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune who are injured.

Jonjo Shelvey is also missing as he serves the first game of his three-game suspension for his red card last Sunday against Tottenham.

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210 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 18, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #1

    The gift that keeps giving… Media stoked controversy at NUFC never lets up for a minute. ‘Rafa’s rather brief response…refused to be drawn into it..’
    Quite bloody right.
    Take it whichever way you like.
    At some point we have to start focusing on football matches, instead of recycling endless hypothesizing and non news.
    Thank God Costa is being an arse and Barca want to buy a Liverpool player, otherwise every journalist in the land would be hanging off us.
    Transfer window, OOT.

    19
  • toon kk

    Aug 18, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #2

    Tough one for Rafa, knowing we may not have enough to survive the relegation battle. He’s obviously willing to give it a go, but without coming out and saying it, MA only has himself to blame if we go down.

    10
  • Markaccus

    Aug 18, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #3

    Sitc

    Media sensationalism OOT! 😀

    5
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Aug 18, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #4

    I’m sick to death of such questions and neurotic clingy fans, can’t imagine what Rafa is really thinking when he’s asked the same thing over and over on behalf of such fans.

    2
  • hibbit

    Aug 18, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #5

    not sure what to make of Rafa’s latest interview ????
    Rafa is so very cleaver with the press he says so much, when in fact its so little !!!!

    4
  • hibbit

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #6

    got to be honest lads i think Rafa controlled today’s press conference he never got flustered once and at times he actual queued the next question and was in control from start to finish

    4
  • ToonTime

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #7

    I think Rafa is clearly saying that what he thought Ashley meant when he said he could have all the money the club generates is not what he now understands it to mean after Mike has spelled it out for him!
    But with head down he’s getting on with it and doing the best he can.
    As a self confessed happy clapper I think he’ll do just fine.

    4
  • SuperShearer

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #8

    @Hibbit – agreed. Rafa is renowned by journalists for being incredibly savvy when it comes to what he says and what he doesn’t say. Unlike MA he’s a shrewd operator and his words today gloss over the subject from a print point of view but will ring loud in MA’s ears. Smart, sensible and admirable. Still can’t believe we’re lucky enough to have this guy in charge.

    15
  • lochinvar

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #9

    Singinthecorner
    So right – just a pity that Shelvey turned their heads back onto us when Costa and Klopp and others could keep them occupied

    0
  • hibbit

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #10

    Hail Wor Ashley i don’t think those questions are asked on our behalf , there asked only to sell papers click bait on the web, viewers on sky’ the questions are asked for one reason to make headlines,
    nowt to do with us nufc fans

    10
  • toon kk

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #11

    Every manager knows they have to be Very careful what they say or at least how they reply to a question, or the press would have a field day. Every knows our situation and Rafa is reluctantly going along with it.

    0
  • magspuggy

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #12

    Cant wait till sunday for the next installment of the rafas oot headlines tbh.
    I wonder what he will be unhappy with this week ? My bet is its that greggs are now calling pastys bakes and the effect its having on the dressing room.

    All this press bs is working in our favour Its creating a siege mentality at sjp us v them and we will rise to the challenge like a fraybentos heartburn pie . Hwtl

    4
  • hibbit

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #13

    toon kk
    that’s not quite right every one THINKS know they our situation

    1
  • toon kk

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #14

    Hibbitt
    If there wasn’t a situation Rafa would have had extra £££££so to spend and Mash wouldn’t be giving a cover my arse interview on sky.

    2
  • hibbit

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #15

    toon kk
    we don’t know what Rafa has to spend and neither does anyone else

    12
  • optimistic prime

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #16

    Just imagine if the Ashley Rafa situation that’s being suggested was just a ploy to get more bang for our buck.

    Not saying it’s is but it’s a possibility, most summer windows the last two weeks is when most business is done. Clubs and players waiting for better deals.

    Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes. We could still end up with a few very decent signings.

    I’m not holding my breath but I’m not going to bust a blood vessel over it, I’d rather just hold my judgement until the end of the window.

    Bladeuser I’ll save you the trouble, optimistic prime out!

    8
  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #17

    hibbit,
    You’ve gone all Yoda on us 😀

    4
  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #18

    @13

    0
  • toon kk

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #19

    Hibbitt
    Your right we don’t know what Rafa has to spend, but we do know it’s not enough.

    3
  • Markaccus

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #20

    OP

    You mentioned his name!! He will unleash the full force of his paddy tantrum upon thee.

    1
  • Markaccus

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #21
  • lesh

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #22

    Rafa’s refusal to be drawn into creating media sensation is commendable. Ashley felt the need to make his position clear but failed miserably. Rafa’s silence reflects his media savviness and more particularly, his dignity. It looks as though Ashley could learn a lot from Rafa but his arrogance would tell him otherwise.

    3
  • toon kk

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #23

    One thing that is changing at Newcastle is we’re getting rid of the French revolution and replacing it with the Spanish Armada.
    Difference Rafa knows what he’s looking for.

    3
  • Bryan

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Proven lies were told to Keegan and look what happened. He resigned we got relegated. Can anyone see a similar pattern emerging? Its blatantly obvious from Rafa’s comments that he is having to bite his tongue when asked about Ashley’s interview. Lets all hope and prayer this has a better outcome. Personally i am not so sure.

    5
  • Reilly

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #25

    Lazaar spotted heading for departures at Newcastle Airport.

    2
  • hibbit

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #26

    Jail for Ashley
    the wife’s got family staying with us from Salt Lake City
    got me as daft as them

    3
  • SPRINGY

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #27

    If rafa wasn’t happy he’d be gone by now…he know this season regarding transfers will be nip and tuck…buy,loan,sell a few to make space and coin to get players in…. next season,if we survive is when the shit could hit the fan coz if we get some decent money for where we finish and ashley plays silly buggers and pockets the cash or interferes in rafa’s plans,thats when it could go tits up

    5
  • Ciaran

    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #28

    Springy

    That would be my fear as well. Ashley likes to play smoke and mirrors and cry poverty for a variety of different reasons and to some extent this can work but the problem is some managers will not put up with it – which is why he largely hires patsys and yes-men, men woefully under-qualified for the task at hand so they will put up little resistance.

    Keegan saw through the visage quite quickly and I fear Rafa will too.

    “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” seems to apply.

    2
  • magspuggy

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #29

    Now now lads its not blademongs fault he is a by product of stupid people breeding
    I blame the parents and so would he if he knew who they both are.

    7
  • AncientC

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #30

    The media wouldn’t be doing their job if they were not asking questions to clarify rumours/concerns, but some times they just ask repetitive questions in the hope of getting a manager to blow his fuse. Benitez is far too measured to be caught out with that old trick. I am sure Mourinho will pack up the slack on that one though.

    2
  • optimistic prime

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #31

    Mark

    Hahaha

    If we’re all positive enough maybe his head will explode.

    2
  • SPRINGY

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #32

    Ciaran
    Im not sure how much money will be available to each position in the league but rafa seems willing to stay and tough it out this season with the notion that any money available at the end of the season will be his….so im not worried about rafa leaving this season to much unless theres a total breakdown between ashley and him….my worry is more stopping up and then see if ashley is good to his word.

    2
  • Ciaran

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #33

    Springy

    I agree that I don’t think there is any immediate threat of Rafa leaving, but that if he perceives Ashley trying to pull the wool over his eyes he won’t be one for being made a fool of.

    For Ashley, I really can’t understand his end-game. The PL is such an open league these days – outside of the top 7 the other 13 can finish anywhere from 13th to 20th and the margin for error is so slim. I think Ashley is banking on Rafa being the difference between most other clubs in that bracket (and I think he’s right) which suggests to me that he’s not overly ambitious in the league as by having Rafa we have enough to stay up by default, whereas if he actually backed the man we’d crack the top 8 and have a real go at things!

    Am I being too negative in my assessment here?

    4
  • GeordieTwo

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #34

    But which word springy? I never know what Ashley actually means. There is no money to give Rafa. So how much of the club revenue can Rafa spend next summer? I’m planning to sell but there are no offers. But what is your asking price Mike? I can’t write a 200M pound cheque? How about 20M pounds Mike? It’s just all bollocks and meaningless. Rafa will spend what he’s given until he gets fed up and leaves.

    4
  • GeordieTwo

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #35

    Mike was never overly ambitious in the league. He always said he wanted a mediocre team because anything more requires huge money. He made that clear long ago. Whatever Rafa achieves will be despite Ashley not because of him. I’m laughing now at people on here who said Rafa had a 100M pound war chest to spend and listed half a dozen top players we were going to buy. I said 30M and even that was too high!

    3
  • Markaccus

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #36

    Ciaran

    If i can just chume in here 😀 …

    Probably too early to say of that assesment is too negative. I’m sure rafa has been given enough to establish us as a prem side again. The true proof will come next summer when we do have some real money. If mash backs him then many will have been proved wrong (and probably gladly) but if not, then your assesment proves true, and we continue along the path of mediocrity

    0
  • Markaccus

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #37

    Chime

    0
  • magspuggy

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #38

    G2 we have spent 35 sofar m8

    0
  • toon kk

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #39

    Funny statement off Cashley ,”i can’t compete with City” I don’t think many clubs can ” he should have said we can’t compete with every other club in the premier league.
    I do think there’s a decent amount but just not enough.

    0
  • SPRINGY

    Aug 18, 2017 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #40

    Ciaran
    I think ashleys pumped what he’s willing to put in to the club and he’s quite happy to stay mid-table and if,with rafa…we progress further then he’ll be happy for it looking after itself…i only think he’ll invest if we get relegated to protect his investment….hopefully someone with coin and ambition see’s the potential and makes an offer or we will be truly relying on rafas ability as a coach to make some sort of challenge in the next few year….granted ashley doesn’t stir the shite.

    2
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