Rafa Must Press On – He’s Galvanized Newcastle – But Knows The Takeover May Not Happen

We are in the midst of bids being made for Newcastle United FC from a consortium led by Amanda Staveley.

The first offer was made last Friday, but it contained lots of different clauses where Mike would get less money or more money depending on how Newcastle performed on the field and also some other clauses.

Only if everything went very well in the future would Ashley get close to £300M for Newcastle.

Staveley is said to be working on a second offer which is said to be imminent, and we are hoping she has increased the offer – significantly.

On the other hand, Mike Ashley has lowered his asking price to £350M which is always a good sign that he does want to sell the club.

Former player John Barnes has commented on the takeover and on Rafa in the local papers.

John reminds everybody that the takeover may not happen – however tragic that might be for the fans and for the club.

This is some of what John has said today as reported in the Shields Gazette:

“The important thing is to be realistic about where you are and who you have,” “Newcastle have what they have.”

“Rather than looking forward and saying if they can get more money they can get better players, I think Rafa will be focused.”

“He will be thinking ‘let’s worry about what we could do with more money and better players when we get more money and better players’.”

“You have to be realistic and think ‘this is what we’ve got at the moment’. If it happens, it happens. But it may not happen.”

“If it doesn’t happen, and people are getting excited, they will forget about winning these matches and playing these games.”

“I’m sure that’s what Rafa’s focused on. Forget about the future and a takeover and there’s money to be spent.”

“If there is, it would be nice. But if there isn’t, you still have to be competitive.”

“The fans are superb,” “It’s a huge stadium. The potential’s there, but what happens now, in the financial climate we’re in, is (all) about money.”

“I understand the passion that the fans have. It’s a fantastic city and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and for the fans more than anything I’d love to see them do well.”

“The first season in the Premier League is really about cementing your place there,”

“Everything has been positive because of the fans’ support of Rafa. It means they’ve done well.”

“Under different circumstances, and under a different manager, it could have gone the other way.”   “But the fact that the fans like him meant that they stayed with him and picked up.”

“All you can ask any manager to do is maximise the potential of what he has at his disposal, and he’s certainly maximised the potential of that team.”

“Rafa’s galvanized them, and, with better players, he could do better.”

“You can’t ask any manager to do better than how Rafa’s doing with the players he has.”

Whatever happens with the potential takeover the most important thing for Newcastle in the next six weeks is to concentrate on the 10 games we have coming up, starting against Watford at home tomorrow afternoon.

We must keep picking up the points – and hopefully some wins.

And Rafa is a savvy experienced manager and knows he has to concentrate on the team’s performance on the field and forget about the takeover.

It may or may not happen.

But whatever the situation in January, Rafa must strengthen the squad with a top striker as the primary target.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Watford?

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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

65 comments so far

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #1

    John Barnes, you may have enjoyed your time here, I didn’t and I doubt many others did

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #2

    If we became the richest club in the world and bought 25 of the best players in the world, I wonder would Lawerenson and Mrs Merson predict a win.

    Hope we find out, a win maybe asking to much so they may predict a draw

  • lesh

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #3


    You’re a hard man forcing Jazzy to work and miss the match. 🙂

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #4


    So Monday is D day?

  • martoon

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #5

    Optimistic Panda – whatever you thought about Barnes as a player he is a really nice guy. My brother-in-law was a teacher taking kids on a school trip (to Paris I think) was sitting next to Barnes on the plane. They got talking and when they got off the plane Barnes slipped him a couple of hundred quid to take all the kids out that night!

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #6


    That’s nice, he does seem a nice chap, he was still dire here though.

  • Jib

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #7

    Barnes was very gracious about NUFC
    You could do with taking a leaf out of his book
    It wasn’t his fault Dalglish brought him here at
    the twilight of his career

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #8

    if the takeover does not materialise, it would be very difficult for rafa to continue knowing the owner doesn’t want to be there and has no interest in backing him at any point. That said, doesn’t rafa have to buy himself out with 5M.

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #9


    Even you must have been chuckling to yourself when you wrote that.

  • Darlingtoon

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #10

    Panda – also didn’t help that Shearer was injured that season and Barnes was asked to play up front for most of it…..still ended that season as our top scorer!

  • Jib

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #11

    if we do lose tomorrow would that put pressure on Ashley to lower his demands ??

    What you asking us for

    Your’e the guy with the inside track

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #12


    You sir truly are a clown

  • hibbit

    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #13

    how about that pint jib i’ll pay ????????????

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #14

    The whole dog leash chapter is best forgotten along with sour plusses tenure.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #15


    A pint of j fluid

  • hibbit

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #16

    I had Domestos in mind

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #17

    ”this turgid and tyrannical regime has oppressed the supporters who have desperate for change for so long”

    no not us, …. Viva Zimbabwe

  • lesh

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #18


    Jib’s not a clown. Clowns intend to be comedic and seemingly stupid!

  • RUNAWAY777

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #19

    Hibbit you’ll be lucky if he turns up iam still waiting pmsl

  • Jib

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #20

    when you join the rest of the blog
    old timers in a bully fest you do remind
    me of Denis Healey’s comment about
    Geoffrey Howe attacking him
    ‘like being savaged by a dead sheep’

  • YoungMag :P

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #21

    So Rafa acknowledges that Mbemba can play midfield.

    Why haven’t we seen that yet? Could we see that tomorrow?

  • lesh

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #22



  • RUNAWAY777

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #23

    Hibbit shirebrooke yous seen owt of toontaff2 of late hes been quiet

  • jimiley

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #24

    We have to remember that the takeover may not happen. That may not be a bad thing. We should be grateful to Mike for saving the club from oblivion and establishing it on an even keel. He has not spent enough money on players but we are now an established and progressive team in the Premier League. The Staveley bis is basically Arab and Chinese. We think.??? We are being bought by people and we do not know their identity. Are you sure guys?? And who wants to watch mercenaries getting paid a hundred grand a week? Citeh and Chelsea have lost their soul to the prawn sandwich brigade. In any event when Jezza gets into power and taxes them 98% none of those mercenaries will want to come here. Better the devil you know?

  • Jib

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #25

    toontaff was going in search of winter sun
    for a couple of weeks

  • hibbit

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #26

    grateful to Mike LOL

  • Tsunki

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #27

    I hear what you’re saying jimiley.

    We should never invented that damn wheel. Look where it got us.

  • Our Toon

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #28

    Greatful to Mike, are you having a laugh. Some fans just confuse the hell out me, same rubbish argument of we could have done a Leeds or a Blackburn claptrap gets rolled out.

    Yes he paid off debts which he was stupid enough to not explore when he bought the club. If it wasn’t for rafa or Houghton the club would be in the championship in first division now. If praise goes to anyone for saving the club it’s them 2 managers that got us up first time of asking otherwise we would have done a Leeds or a Blackburn or worse still a Portsmouth!!

    That bs argument can work both ways

  • lesh

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #29


    We are now an established and progressive team in the Premier League even though Ashley’s presided over two relegations in 10 years?

  • RUNAWAY777

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #30

    Dont no why everybody has a go at each other o i forgot we are nufc supports cheer up lads could all be good news well maybe if not, we will still be there week after week to cheer the team on.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #31


    Everything makes sense now, when you left the area to better yourself it must have been so exciting.

    Joining the greatest show on earth, every boys dream.

    Must have been great travelling with the circus and lots more money than the Spanish city.

    Your village must have missed you though, what was your clown name?

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #32


    very good, nearly bit for a moment.

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #33


    I remember Jimiley has always had a good line in irony and sarcasm

  • ashleysmate

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #34

    Panda #2,
    Yes, and sky sport would still just talk about Citeh, utd, arse, chelski, lpool and spurs!!

  • Ben Afri

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #35

    I’ve been having this niggling thought since the idea of a takeover, especially an Arab backed one, became a possibility. At the moment, our club’s supporters are life-long genuine fans. What worries me is that the magic of feeling close to a club might fade away if we turn into a club that only thinks of winning trophies as a success.

    Under KK, we spent MASSIVE amounts on the best players in the world at the time (Asprilla, Shearer, and even putting in a bid for George Weah), but it always felt like our club. Even then, success was the type of attractive football we played even though we never won anything. Now I look at Chelsea and see that the fun has been taken out once everything becomes just about trophies. Don’t get me wrong, of course I’d love to win trophies, but I also want that feeling that this club is still ours, not just a brand name.

    Does anybody worry about us becoming that kind of club or am I overthinking this?

  • Ben Afri

    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #36

    I suppose to counter my point, under Ashley, it probably has felt less like our club than under Hall and Shepard.

  • jimiley

    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #37

    I wrote pages 7 years ago about Mr Ashley and that he is a disaster. Most scribblers were writing nonsense about him being good for the club as he had saved us financially and he would not hurt us as he was only hurting himself. He has despised this club ever since idiots started slagging off his daughter and family. Gradually over the years most people have to to realize that he is not good for the club. Worst owner ever in my opinion. Even Mr Harrison has belatedly realized that Mr Ashley has to go. After 8 years the scales have come off his eyes. Mr Harrison would not even condone demonstrations against the owner and I seem to recall was opposed to them. So what was the turning point Ed?
    I have not returned to SJP for 4 years on a point of principle as I believed a boycott was the only was to get him out. So I want him out more than anybody!!!!!
    But I have been proved right and have my place in the sun.

  • Ben Afri

    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #38

    Maybe my concern is just silly considering the alternative of our club being nothing more than a giant billboard.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #39

    Think the lack of takeover news is getting to people

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #40

    I was thinking the same thing mate. Where the hell is toontaff


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