Benitez Hints At Things Newcastle Must Do In January At This “Crucial Time For Us”

One way to almost guarantee Newcastle are successful is to follow the blueprint that Rafa presented to owner Mike Ashley in May at their meeting after we had brilliantly won the Championship on the very last day of the season – in stoppage time to be exact.

Who would have thought it was possible to overtake Brighton when they were 7 points ahead with 3 games to play?

But a Rafa Benitez led Newcastle did just that.


Rafa Benitez – with Championship Trophy in early May

The news from the meeting when Rafa presented his blueprint was that Ashley agreed with what Rafa said and promised him every last penny the club had to support Rafa in building a top team.

It didn’t happen and remember last January when halfway through the window Ashley decided he wouldn’t spend a penny in that window.

Well – would you believe that Ashley again restricted the transfer funds available in the summer to £19M in net terms.

How can you make Newcastle a great club and a top team again when you have an owner you simply cannot trust?

The correct answer is that you cannot.

And it seems that Rafa knows that now.

The manager was asked if it was possible with today’s Financial Fair Play rules in place for the case of teams like Manchester City and Chelsea to be replicated.

Those clubs built top sides quickly with massive investments in the playing squad from their Billionaire owners when there was little or no restrictions in place.

This is the interesting way in which Rafa answered that question:

“If you talk about the massive money that has been spent in football in recent years, maybe it is not easy. But you never know,” 

“To improve teams like Newcastle United Football Club, if you change some things and do the right things, sometimes it is enough to be strong enough and be bigger and to compete.”

“If you spend £200M or £300M every year, even if you make mistakes you will still have a good team. But without spending so much money, still, you can improve and do well.”

“That is my idea if we are capable of staying in the Premier League.”

“I think that still this club has great potential. If we do the things that we have to do now in January, and we stay in the Premier League then it’s one of the teams that has to be in the top eight.” 

“Watching the table, watching the size of the others teams, if we do what we have to do, it’s a team that can be in the top 10 for sure, and top eight if you do well, then compete.”

“We have to be sure that this is a crucial time for us.”

What do you think about this?

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190 comments so far

  • toontaff2

    Dec 26, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #1

    Merson: Watford are on a glass mountain with moccasin slippers 😮
    Toontaff: Sunderland are plodging through the clarts with concrete boots.

  • Nufc 4ever

    Dec 26, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #2


    Got that wrong 8th and a final. There fans were not happy with the style of play Claude Puel now the Leicester manager

  • lochinvar

    Dec 26, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #3

    See Boro have appointed Pulis who has now managed at Stoke, West Brom and Middlesbrough. Three of the most picturesque dumps in the land. That apart he’ll probably get them into the play offs.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Dec 26, 2017 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #4

    Just look at Burnley play man United at Old Trafford. Look at what Sean dyche is achieving. And they have 5 first team players out.

    That’s what can happen when u play with guts and good manager.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 26, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #5


    god job we’ve got one then

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #6

    Can’t believe what I’ve just heard on the radio. The commentator and talksport saying about Mourinhos subs were bizarre and if any other manager done it he’d be called an idiot. He then went on to say if that had have been Joe Kinnear at Newcastle the crowd would have gone ballistic. How utterly disrespectful!!!

  • davetoon

    Dec 26, 2017 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #7

    WH equalised against bournemouth which is good if neither get 3 pts

  • Jib

    Dec 26, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #8

    MU equalise in
    2nd minute of time added on

  • Online Guy

    Dec 26, 2017 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #9

    Commentator on Radio Newcastle Sheff Utd match , just said, ” we’ve got Baldock at the back but he’s playing more like Baldrick….. “

  • lochinvar

    Dec 26, 2017 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #10

    West Ham 3-2 up after 91 minutes, Bournemouth back to 3-3 in 94th minute with disputed goal, ref overrules linesman, David Moyes a tad peturbed.

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 26, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #11

    Champion! No damage today really. So back to the festivities 🙂

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #12

    Totally free hit tomorrow, only Palace Arsenal can affect us until we play Brighton. Stoke have Chelsea away up next so a win against Brighton will be massive. We’ve seen with the likes of Everton and Palace what back to back wins do, get tomorrow out of the way and there are three very winnable games before coming back to earth. Even two wins and a draw would be massive before the squad is bolstered.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Dec 26, 2017 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #13

    Definitely a free hit tomorrow – some good results for us today. Keeps the bottom half wide open and we aren’t losing ground on anyone.

    For tomorrow I would like a good performance and to just keep it a low enough score line so as not to damage our goal difference too much. Maintain that confidence from the West Ham and take it all guns blazing into Stoke. We need to get 4 points out of Stoke and Brighton at least to ensure we keep them down there and push away.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #14

    Don’t forget Swansea as well, not a bad little run at all after tomorrow. It’ll be interesting to see what team he puts out for Luton, it has to be half decent or full of U23’s the squad is that thin there’s no middle ground.

  • lochinvar

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #15

    Sadly it’s an indictment of what Ashley has failed to do in recent years that leaves us with few options but to go low key with the FA cup to ensure that we have full first team fitness and preparation for the League. If four or five new players turn up at Benton on the first of January Rafa has other options. I await developments with interest and hope that Jib is camped out at the training ground with flask and sandwiches to bring us news as soon as it happens.

  • Jib

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #16

    Turkey sandwiches
    mmmm yummy

  • RUNAWAY777

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #17

    Good set of results today just need liverpool to beat Swansea now

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #18

    IMO Rafa will not put out anything like the first team against Man City, as there are 3 games we can get points from, in eight days beginning on Saturday. Brighton, Stoke and Swansea are more important matches than the two against the league leaders.


    Give 60mins to Dummett to get him back up to match fitness.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #19

    Team for Luton.
    Sterry Mbemba Clarke Dummet
    Murphy Saivet Shelvey Aarons
    Perez Mitrovich.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #20

    Sorry mate but you need to lay off the skunk if you think he’ll play that team against Man City, maybe against Luton.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #21

    Interesting isn’t it that the newly demoted premier league team of mackemland-under-wear only manage to be 7th in away support. I suppose given their performances that’s all they can afford to pay for.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #22

    Lindisfarne I think that side classes as an execution. You might as well supply a couple of old crones to knit by the touchline. 🙂

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #23

    I have not been indulging and the point being the ‘real’ players will be uninjured for the following three matches. But it is only alternative perspective about what could possibly happen. There is always a slight possibility we could get a point, or three against the runaway league leaders, however unlikely.

  • DubaiMicky

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #24

    dd you read Morinho saying that spending £300million is still not enough now?

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #25

    I expect the majority opinion is to give Man City a good go and then let the cards fall, filling in for potential injured players with those from the squad. The justification being to continue a winning mentality and maintain confidence within the club that could equally enable us to carry on gaining points in the following three games.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #26

    I don’t think losing a player to injury would be anywhere near as damaging as putting a team out to the slaughter.

  • Belfast

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #27

    Well Swansea are absolutely crap. Doomed!

  • Belfast

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #28

    Don’t even think Fireman Sam could rescue them.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #29

    Kevin De Bruyne started against Bournemouth having been ill in the days beforehand and he is not thought to be a doubt for the Newcastle match.

  • jazzyp

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #30

    Looking at Swansea’s next 6 games.. There going down.
    Glad to see the Christmas spirit hasn’t effected your mind

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #31


    I agree a 0-5+ score line would be very damaging. Having now considered both sides I would like to change my opinion!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #32

    Good choice. Try the Orange bud it’s a lot more mellow.

  • magpie6699

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #33

    On a different note: any other oldies saddened to hear of the death of Willie Penman – a Scottish striker who played for us in the early 60s. Never a big star but a skilful player – I remember him scoring a hat-trick once.

  • Nufc 4ever

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #34

    Dont enjoy watching the likes of games like bindippers and swansea. Just reminds me of the difference between the top 6 and the rest
    That can easily be us tomorrow these teams can make the score what they want. Not a good spectacle or level playing field. Although Rafa can hopefully keep the score down. Love to win but

  • DubaiMicky

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #35

    Interesting piece in The Guardian, do us fans really want this sort of an owner? Selling our souls for a cup run?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #36

    In an ideal world we’d be owned by an outrageously wealthy philanthropist who hated mackems. But we don’t and Ashley certainly isn’t any better than most people who want to own a football club.

  • Shot Bru

    Dec 26, 2017 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #37

    Totally Nufc 4ever, massive gap between the top clubs and the rest.

    The title race is over already before the year is out. It’s awesome to see Man United and Mourinho feeling the pressure, reckon he’ll be gone at the end of the season.

    Reckon Swansea and West Brom are strong candidates for the drop now. Pretty stoked West Brom sacked Pulis for Pardew, does our survival hopes no harm

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #38

    I wonder why they never went down the obvious road of hiring Pulis. Maybe they thought that Britton would step up like Gary Monk……. until they sacked him.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 26, 2017 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #39

    Mark Robinson
    2m2 minutes ago
    My mate’s just seen Mitrovic in the departures lounge at Newcastle Airport, obvs won’t be in the squad tomorrow.. Can’t help but wonder if he’s played his last game at the toon 🙁

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #40

    Shot Bru,
    Pardew hasn’t had that new manager bounce that I feared, I think he only had that at Palace because he was some type of cult hero for that goal he scored. Swans, WBA and Stoke or West Ham would do me nicely.

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