Rafa Benitez was very annoyed about last summer’s transfer window.
The manager explained in great detail to Mike Ashley in May, after he had won the Championship, that the owner had to invest in the squad and that we must sign players early in the window.
It turns out that Newcastle did neither, and that followed a January transfer window when not a penny was spent – and Rafa wasn’t happy at that either.
It was a strong and confident Rafa Benitez at his press conference yesterday as he explained he had been right about the summer transfer window and what has now happened.
Newcastle are starting to struggle now because it looks like we don’t have the players.
Rafa Benitez – things could get worse
Rafa also wanted to sign some experienced Premier League players in the summer, but that didn’t happen either.
But Rafa is also somewhat limited in his attacks on the owner and quickly switched to saying he and the players had to get on with what they had and get the job done – it is as it is.
But if Mike Ashley is still the owner in January there is more than a hint Rafa may not get any money to spend.
It seems he has not been told by Ashley yet how much he will have to spend if the potential takeover doesn’t happen by the end of the year.
This is some of what Rafa said yesterday:
“I was very clear in my meetings with Ashley, and I was right.”
“I was right because I was telling them this, that, that,”
“You have a manager to manage and then because we cannot change these things now, what you have to do is concentrate on West Brom.
“But again I will say, the message is very simple: we knew that could happen. Now we have to make sure that we try our best to improve things. That’s it.”
“If we can bring in better players in the future, OK, fine, good. Competition is good.”
“But in January, it could be even worse (because we may not be able to strengthen), so we have to stick together and be sure that until the end of the season, we maximise what we have.”
It would be complete folly if Mike Ashley refuses to back Rafa with transfer funds in January.
But it would also be par for the course by a man who should never have bought Newcastle United in the first place.
It’s been disastrous for over ten years now and even with a world-class manager in place Ashley still doesn’t take advice from those who have spent their complete careers in football.