These Are Desperate Times For Newcastle – Rafa Makes Urgent Call To Ashley

The Chronicle are reporting that Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley have held a last-minute phone conversation to try to get a striker and other players in before tonight at 11:00 pm – about an hour after our game finished with Burnley at St. James’ Park.

Otherwise, we will have a third transfer window in a row that ended up negatively because Newcastle didn’t bring in the players Rafa needed.

They spoke yesterday morning by telephone as Benitez was stressing to Ashley that it’s crucial to bring in at least a striker before the window closes tonight – in about 15 hours time.

These are desperate times for Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez – not happy with transfer system Newcastle use

Let’s say right now we don’t expect that to happen today and Ashley has once again screwed things up.

We hope we are wrong.

He had ample warning that Newcastle face a tough relegation fight if we don’t strengthen the squad this month.

It seems that Ashley and Charnley have gone down the list Rafa gave them and there’s nobody available, so they are literally scouring Europe to try to get in a striker.

What a ridiculous situation Mike Ashley has put Newcastle in – it’s criminal.

We lost out on loan signing of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge and wouldn’t pay the price Feyenoord wanted for top target Nicolai Jorgensen.

So Ashley would rather have Newcastle relegated than pay over the odds for a striker in January – Rafa’s top striker choice?

Maybe that’s some of what Rafa was telling Ashley.

Here’s what Rafa said about the telephone call to the owner:

“We were talking about different options in the transfer market, that’s it,” 

“We have been talking about everything. It has been one month with our targets, so we had plenty of targets to talk about.”

“We have to do something before the end and then that’s it.”

“Obviously, everybody would like to see players early, but they are not here so we will try to do something in one day.”

“Any player, if it’s a good player, will make an impact and bring something.”

“It (my relationship with Ashley) is fine. We have to talk, it is the way they like to do things.”

“In every single club I have been, normally I finish with profit, success and titles.”

“Or at least not creating a problem for the books,”

“I understand what is going on in the market and I will try to find players early at the right price.”

“If a player is too much I will not say: ‘Go for this one.’” “But, in this case, in this time, it has not been the case.”

“Each club has their own way to do business.” “I think we can do things in another way but it’s just where we are now.”

“It’s Burnley next, that’s the main thing.”

It’s hard to say that with those comments Rafa is impressed with what Newcastle have done this month.

Rafa’s right – things must change in the transfer window, but there’s no way that’s going to happen with Mike Ashley as owner.

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Comments welcome.

27 comments so far

  • Nufc-83

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #1

    LGF you have clearly never watched Ayew if you think he is on par with Joselu or you now jack about football.

  • Nufc-83

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #2


  • hibbit

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    Comment #3

    will be very interesting to see if Charnley takes his seat at 7-45 tonight
    or will he be to with all those last minute deals ??
    all eyes on the directors box tonight i guess ?

  • geordiemark

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:48 AM

    Comment #4

    they have had all month and longer to sort this out and failed like they have always have, well done Ashley another 75 million in the coffers for you to buy more shares in other companies from the football club at the clubs expense

  • DubaiMicky

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:49 AM

    Comment #5

    If merino is sold above Rafa’s head (ie on the say so of Ashley), I wonder what he’ll do. I’d be apoplectic.

  • geordiemark

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:49 AM

    Comment #6


    if Ashley and that nut job has any sence they will keep miles away from the ground tonight because I reckon there will be hell on

  • ashleysmate

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:51 AM

    Comment #7

    I see fat Sam is about to do us a favour and sign mangala….

    I wonder what Rafa knows what’s really going on behind the scenes that us mere mortals don’t?
    I don’t want him to leave but for the life of me I don’t know why he’s still here after the way he’s been treat by mashley

  • geordiemark

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:52 AM

    Comment #8


    cant see rafa walking out if he does go really because he hasn’t really played him has he plus they all do what Ashley tells them to do, its 3 points tonight no draws no defeats or I can see a massive protest on during it and after it, its a powder keg ready to blast

  • hibbit

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #9

    going to be a very very long day with a lot of rumors flying round and a lot of very frayed tempers by 11pm !!!

  • c-dog

    Jan 31, 2018 at 7:57 AM

    Comment #10

    Still think we’ll end up with Jorgensen. No idea if he’s enough but time will tell.

    If we sold Merino people would be unhappy but nothing would happen. We’ve already bottomed out.

  • Mag52

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:00 AM

    Comment #11

    Rafa needs to feel our support this evening after the week he’s had.
    He has no reason to stay on other than the love he gets from the fans.
    HWTL – IRWT.

  • firebug666

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #12

    It’s deadline day, except if you’re a Newcastle fan, it’s just Wednesday.

  • Tinman

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #13

    Just sign Dembele from Celtic

  • DaveD1000

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #14

    Raf making noises that he isnt walking gives me a slim hope he knows something we dont

  • sing in the corner

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #15

    Rafa will be simmering of course, but he knows going further with his views in public right now is the worst thing that he could do. He is still here because we are still afloat, just about, and the only way to get out of this is try to keep what focus he and the players still have despite this distracting circus that Ashley has led us through – over the last 2 months especially.
    We can still get a result tonight. We are struggling at home but Burnley are on a crappy run of form too. Did I read they haven’t won a game this year?
    Our rivals have got tough games tonight..

  • kimbo

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #16

    We have the worst home record in PL. I cannot see anything but heartache today. No signings no points and broken toon army. Ashley what pleasure do you get out of this ? The only pleasure I will get is not renewing my season ticket until you have gone, this is the only thing I and others can do that will affect you.

  • firebug666

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #17

    Chris Waugh
    Verified account

    7m7 minutes ago
    Sources in Czech Republic say #nufc returned last night with a new offer for Slovakia international goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. Seems like Sparta Prague believe a deal can be agreed before the deadline – & are already looking for a replacement. #nufc are still after a GK

  • sing in the corner

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:08 AM

    Comment #18

    I expect full on support to Rafa from the crowd tonight. And lots of anti Ashley venom. Just as it should be. Let’s do this DESPITE him. Lots of points to scrap for. Mistakes happen in games but no getting on any players’ backs from me…unless they don’t show up in terms of effort.

  • firebug666

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #19

    Keith Downie
    Verified account

    43s43 seconds ago
    Newcastle winger Rolando Aarons is in talks with Hull City over a loan move until the end of the season.

  • Bigjim67

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #20

    Mag52 @11. Totally agree. The fans are the only reason he is still here imo.

  • stan anderson

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #21

    Someone just said Penfold has failed.
    I dont think he has failed,he is doing the job the slug pays him to do.
    Just dont spend any of my cash,thats all.
    If anyone thinks this window was gonna be different to previous what a shock it must be.
    A Leopard never changes its spots as they say.
    But 52,000 will still ferkin turn up to be treated as mugs not SD mugs,Geordie mugs.
    Ashley OOT.

  • sing in the corner

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:12 AM

    Comment #22

    firebug @19

    Along with Saivet that’s maybe 2 of the 2 or 3 players Rafa alluded to talking to other clubs about moving out then. Disappointing we’ve still got unwanted players hanging round picking up their cash..

  • stan anderson

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:14 AM

    Comment #23

    What i just dont get is the supposed links to a Goaly,when we cant score f/n goals.
    Am i missing something here,we have 2 adequates and a youngun full of promise and we are after more.
    Just adequate mind.
    Ashley OOT.

  • Bigjim67

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #24

    If we don’t sign a striker today before the team sheet is announced, i really hope Mitro is in the squad. Very much doubt it like, I’ve been hoping the same thing for the last ten games or so.

  • firebug666

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #25

    I agree, if the likes of Colback got moved on, that would at least free up squad space, and remove another Ashley excuse for not bringing in any signings.

  • lochinvar

    Jan 31, 2018 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #26

    Firebug(from previous)
    The Merino rumours are deliberately created by the press. The Spanish press do it because Rafa and Merino are Spanish so it’s easy for them . Noted that it wasn’t a German or French journo who created the story.

    Yesterday they deliberately asked the questions of Rafa to force a response which then gives them the ability to quote him and thus they have a story. Fills space.

    It’s the oldest journalist trick in the book. If you don’t have a story invent one. The best way to invent one is to come up with a contentious idea and put a question mark at the end of it which creates a reply or denial to write about.

    Along the lines of :

    “Is Elvis living in Benwell ? ” When asked a spokesperson for the Benwell Housing Association stated that “we’re unable to reveal details of individual situations about clients housed in Heartbreak Hotel” . The Ronnie then writes, ” Presley living in Benwell. Spotted buying Blue Suede Shoes in Aldi”

    “Will Torres sign for Newcastle United today ? “

  • Premiership Manager

    Jan 31, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #27

    I can’t say I’ve been a fan of the clubs transfer policy, business decisions or the way the club has been managed. I can understand the rationale of some of Ashley’s and the boards decisions but now I’m totally bemused, given the issues last window and where we are today with only Kennedy signed on laon

    What makes it worse is that today I’m having serious doubts about Rafa, his management of the club and dealings with the board. Before somebody tries to shoot me down, let me explain.

    Since he has been in charge he has signed some of the worst players to wear a black and white shirt.

    Yes we were in the championship but the team he built should have been one with potential, that would adapt and evolve as a Premiership team

    Players bought are as follows:

    Dwight Gayle
    A player who excelled in the championship and should have been able to deal with the Premiership but has fallen a long way short of the required standard and cannot progress as a player.

    Matt Richie
    A player who excelled in the championship and has a work ethic second to none however he’s struggled to recapture his form in the Premiership. The worry now is has he passed his best

    Ciaran Clark
    A decent squad player however at 28 it’s unlikely he’ll improve

    Isaac Hayden
    A decent squad player who’s still young but needs to step up to the next level

    DeAndre Yedlin
    A player who is still young and has a lot of potential and has the ability to lead counter attacks from the back.

    Christian Atsu

    Has been a bright light in some games, able to open up defences and cause lots of problems. Still needs to develop but has lots of potential. The arrival of Kennedy could make a big difference in link up play and benefit Atusu.

    Mo Diame
    Should have been a midfield colossus but very inconsistent, past his best and now a millstone around the clubs neck in terms of salary as playtime will be limited and nobody else will want him.

    Daryl Murphy
    Did a job and we were lucky to move on

    Grant Hanley
    A wasted signing. Luckily we moved him on

    Matz Sels
    Who? Should have been a good player, never good enough.

    Achraf Lazaar
    Another player not good enough

    Jesus Gamez
    Another player not good enough

    Javier Manquillo
    Still young but a great deal to prove. Likely to be no more than squad player

    No where near good enough another player who will be a millstone around the clubs neck. Stoke must have had a party when they moved him on.

    Mikel Merino
    The verdict is still out for me. Brilliant in some aspects, however has also made some very costly mistakes. Has outstanding potential but needs to step up to the mark and deliver

    Florian Lejeune
    Was supposed to be the key to galvanising and anchoring the defence. The fact that we made an approach for Mangala does ask some very very big questions. Has failed to impress to date and needs to step up to the mark.

    Jacob Murphy
    Starting to show his potential after a shaky start but needs game time and confidence. Time to drop Richie or move him infield.

    Classed as a coupe, the boy has both history and potential. Time will tell but if he’s any good only Chelsea will benefit in the long term.

    So in summary we’ve signed some dross however the worry is Rafa’s insistence in playing his Spanish compatriots in particular Joselu who’s manged to scuff more goals than he’s scored cleanly.

    Rafa’s management of Tim Krull and Jack Colback both who have been good servants to the club was shocking and put simply when he wants rid of Joselu and Manquilo I don’t think they’d be treated the same.

    Team choice and tactics have left some fans bemused at times however for me when we are a goal down needing to change the course of the game the substitutions have left a lot to be desired particularly his habit of waiting until 70 or 80 minutes. I’d rather see the Robson philosophy of lets shake it up and all or nothing with 2 or 3 players coming on after half time where they can actually influence the game.

    Now for the current situation. Imagine this. You’re an internationally renowned manager who many clubs would jump at the chance of employing. So here is the point.

    You gave the board a list of players last window, telling them what you need to progress the club and stay up knowing full well that the team that came up was a championship team with a few players with potential but with a number of squad players who struggled to get their place in the championship. You tell the board you need experienced internationals or Premiership players and what do you get, Joselu, Lejeune and Merino. One player who can’t get his place at a struggling Stoke, Lejeune who is underachieving and Merino who’s potential is yet to be realised. According to reports Rafa was silently fuming as he knew his job would be almost impossible.

    Everybody knows we need a Forward, ideally two. Why Mitrovic who bounces of Perez has not been given a chance defies logic, again the management of Collback and Krull spring to mind.We also need a quality holding midfielder, a creative midfielder and a proper left back so why have we been constantly linked with a goal keeper and Mangala a centre back? We have two of the best young keepers in the game and 4 decent centre backs. For me Mbemba is a sleeper, he’s a very capable player who needs game time and confidence and I don’t think we should consider letting him go as he’s quite versatile.

    Now back the widely acclaimed international manager. In any job if the company In the case NUFC make it impossible to for you to do your job, you can take them to tribunal. KK did exactly that and won.

    Either Rafa knows something we don’t know or has his own agenda. As a fan I would have far more respect for Rafa if he laid down an ultimatum to the board stating “either you invest in the club and provide 3 or 4 quality players today or I will resign in the morning.”

    He did tell th board all of the transfer business had to be concluded early, by 20th January. Yes there are extenuating circumstances in the takeover business but at the end of the day a player is an asset and adds to the value of the club and ultimately the sale price. That is standard business and what I can’t fathom is how NUFC when every team around us is investing significantly to ensure PL survival, not to mention gaining points, why are the NUFC board sitting on their backsides letting it happen knowing that they will lose the PL revenue not to mention reduced sponsorship, reduced gate fees and everything else that comes with Championship football. Also which of our young potential stars will want to stay.

    We’ve seen what has happened to Sunderland, Forrest and Leeds. None of us want to see this happen to the club we love. I’d like to say in Rafa we trust however when it comes to integrity and honesty, I don’t see how his position will remain tenable if the board do not sign the players he needs today.


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