Benitez Explains Difficulties And Dangers Facing Newcastle This Season

Three games ago we were flying high with 14 points from our first 9 league games.

But then in our last three games, we have lost all three, and our goal difference has been reduced by 5 goals in defeats to Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United.

So the reality is sinking in that this could be a tough season and maybe Rafa was right at the end of the summer when he was so disappointed he was not backed by owner Mike Ashley in the Premier League.

He was hoping to bring in a higher class of players than he got and that showed up on Saturday at Old Trafford – Newcastle don’t have enough top class players in the side.

Of course, they cost money – some big money these days and in Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaka Manchester  United had on display two players who cost a cumulative £165M in transfer fees.

Rafa Benitez – feet firmly on the ground

We spent a net of £12M in the summer and brought in six players.

Let that one sink in for a moment.

So Rafa is well aware of the fight Newcastle are in this season against the top six clubs in the league.

We saw that big difference in class at Old Trafford on Saturday.

And Rafa has gone  into some detail on the difficulties we face in the Chronicle today:

“I think you have the six teams at the top, and they are operating at a level where they are much better than the others.”

“We have to try to compete with everyone, but you have to do everything pretty much perfectly if you want to get a result against one of those sides.”

“Then, with the other teams in the league, if you play like we did in the first 30 minutes, then maybe you will get a good result.

“It is very hard to get away from the money situation. For a newly promoted team like us, it is always going to be difficult.”

“Because we haven’t had the same level of money for the last couple of years. That is a massive thing.”

“Then the teams at the top of the table, they have that money, plus all the extra money from the TV and the Champions League.”

“Plus the money they already had before. That is a big difference.”

“The money they have spent in the last five years is massive. The players they have are very good players.”

“So even if you are doing very well, if you do not take your chances, then you pay for that.”

“Afterwards, they can make substitutions and keep their level, and you have to do everything pretty much perfect.”

“For 90 minutes, that is very difficult at this ground.”

“It is difficult because they also have Lukaku around, and Pogba, and later Marouane Fellaini or Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Ander Herrera.”

“They have very good players.”

“You cannot just manage two players, you have to cover for the others and then you leave more spaces.”

Rafa is proving to be patient in a season when he was initially let down badly by Mike Ashley.

But fans are hoping and praying all this can change soon.

Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners Financial Group are working hard on due diligence as part of the acquisition process.

We hope she can soon become the new Principal Owner and everything will change for the better.

That’s the expectation today at Newcastle United that we can soon start competing with the top six clubs in England.

Comments welcome.

7 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 20, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #1

    Fingers crossed.

  • Slank

    Nov 20, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #2


    I’m getting a bit concerned that the Chronicle and The Mag as well as many on this blog somehow see the January transfer window as the saviour of our season and the reason why Rafa will remain at the club.

    Irrespectative of whether we have new owners and irrespective of whether we have 10 million, 100 million or (as some have said) 500 million the January transfer market historically has very few good players and even less quality players available to purchase.

    Rafa will be restricted for choice, perhaps not by funds available, but by what is available.

    I’m sure he would get a good price for Mitrovich or Gayle or Mbemba as teams fighting relegation from the Premiership and those hoping to gain promotion to it would welcome anyone of those three. But I think it would be foolish to sell both our strikers and also Mbemba who is sadly under-utilised.

  • Slank

    Nov 20, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #3


    ‘..We hope she can soon become the new Principal Owner and everything will change for the better…’

    What makes you think that ?

    She has never managed a football club, I doubt she has managed any sports club, I doubt she will be the owner as PCP are marriage brokers not owners and if they were I very much doubt they would be as rich as Ashley.

    The only hope is that she represents an as yet unnamed wealthy individual, consortium or state that has more than enough wealth to waste on a vanity project as owning a Premier League club is not the best investment in the world.

  • JohnJ

    Nov 20, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #4

    Well guys only seven days until the 27th lets hope we have some very good news by then eh?

  • lochinvar

    Nov 20, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #5

    Against Man Utd we took the lead and could have been 2-0 quite easily. Switching off at the back post again and in the 5minute spells before and half time shows a fragility that needs to be sorted and clearly now a more authorative keeper to strengthen the back five is a priority. Bournemouth was a game we should have won and so regard that as three points lost along with loosing one point each from not drawing with Burnley, Brighton and Huddersfield. We move on.

    I’m reminded of the fortunes of the Scottish rugby team who have a changed mind set from expecting to loose to knowing that they are capable of winning.

    Rafa is clearly the mastermind of how we are developing and there’s plenty to be positive about even with the missed opportunities in recent weeks. Just wonder if Rafa’s missing Cathro as his number two and interface with the players particularly when training.

    Gayle appears to be enjoying his game again and think we will now see him picking up goals in and around the box which has been the missing ingredient in recent games.

  • Slank

    Nov 20, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #6


    I think all Premiership games are hard, some more so than others. I never thought we would even draw let alone win at Old Trafford. Our track record there is abysmal. They are flying. We have lost our previous two games. They score freely. We score occasionally. We were missing two influential players whereas they welcomed back an outstanding world class midfield player to complement an array of world class players.

    But we were not disgraced. I can’t recall having heard that word or read that word in any narrative about the match. We gave it our very best shot for much of the game but in the end overwhelming class and quality prevailed over effort and tactics.

    We are going to lose against teams that we thought were home bankers and win against others against all the odds.

    I’m not sure about Cathro. I agree about Gayle. It looks like a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders. That goal will have given him a huge boost. He was a supreme predator in the Championship and the technique of a perfectly placed sidefooted low strike in the corner bodes well.

  • jayphoto

    Nov 20, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #7

    @Slank – surely her ownership would be through her company which is like a hedge fund? So other people investing but her controlling the investments.. the more interesting thing for me is the motive. There are numerous scenarios that could be in play, my first idea would be the money going into PCP for this deal comes from a less than clean source and the buyers wouldn’t pass the fit and proper owners test, which could mean money from somewhere like Saudi Arabia and they don’t want the media spotlight.
    Owner a football club tends to be a losing investment if you are trying to compete, but theres some really interesting reading material based around Chinese investment to do with Fosun who own wolves and why they bought them that could apply where actually owning the club and the club being successful is a factor but it aligns with a networking factor that is actually worth far more than the relatively small in big business terms loss of owning a football club. Worth remembering that owning a champions league or premier league football club gets you a seat at the table with people that do 20 billion pound deals in other areas of business, people like sheik Mansour, Roman Abramovich etc, its a way to strengthen networking relationships and in many cases, buys you 90 minutes in a room with a guy with power that far goes beyond footballs money. Its almost a club you can buy into but to do so you have to progress the club you own as its a reflection of yourself.


You must log in to post a comment.