The next six weeks is a critical time for Newcastle United FC.
That will take us to the end of January and the end of the transfer window.
This is all eerily similar to what happened two years ago when we had to strengthen the side to have any chance of staying in the Premier League.
But we didn’t do it, and we dropped down below.
But last season in the Championship was a monumental success after Rafa stayed with the club and we were immediately promoted back to the Premier League as Champions.
It was all so positive at the beginning of May.
But things have slipped since then, and we are now in the relegation zone in 18th place – where we finished in May of last year.
But with Rafa in charge, we could have an effective transfer window and bring in some players with the experience and class we need.
Rafa Benitez – wants a strong January transfer window
Rafa remains as positive as ever – but realistic too.
This is what the manager has said about the upcoming transfer window as reported in the Northern Echo today:
“You have to have some time.” “If you go to January 30, it is always very difficult to do business in the last day.”
“You have to do business early and get players as soon as possible.”
“We have to do what we have to do to improve the team and be sure we can compete and stay in the Premier League.”
“We are where we are and we have what we have.”
“Hopefully, we will improve and be much better in the second part of the league, and compete against teams we can compete against.”
“We started so well that everyone expected us to be in the middle of the table or something like that,.”
“But the reality is that we’ve had a very bad run and still until last weekend we were not in the relegation zone so we were doing well,”
“It’s difficult for the other teams to get points too, they are winning some games but they’re losing a lot of games, too.”
“It’s not that you’re not winning and they’re winning everything, it’s not true. It’s all so close.”
“We’re one game away from being nearly in the middle of the table. Is it a bad run? Yes. Is it a concern for me? “
“Yes. But is it something I think we cannot change? No.”
“We can change it because we did it before and the team is so close to winning or drawing games.”
“It’s something we have to make sure we change in the future, and January will also help with that.”
Benitez is still waiting to hear from Mike Ashley what his budget is for next month.
But he has been talking to the owner this week, and he seems relatively confident the owner will do the right thing this January – as contrasted to what he did last January.
A year ago he did nothing and didn’t spend one penny of Newcastle’s money in the transfer market.
That is one of the things that has led to this position – and it includes giving Rafa just £19M net (including the £6M to sign Merino permanently) to spend in the summer.
It’s not surprising our team isn’t strong enough for the Premier League at the moment.