If Rafa Benitez has intentions of leaving Newcastle in the summer, you would never know it.
Rafa is going about the business of how to ensure Newcastle are a Premier League come May and in our six league games this year we have 9 points, and we have been unlucky in the draws with Burnley and Swansea and could have won those games.
But these things tend to level themselves out over time, and we did carry some luck last Sunday but still deserved to win the game against Manchester United – a massive and unexpected 3 points.
One area of the club Rafa has changed dramatically are the injuries and we haven’t had many over the last two seasons – that was too easy for Rafa to accomplish.
But why hadn’t other people identified the reasons for all the injuries – which seemed to be the 3G artificial pitches?
There’s a report in the Chronicle today that Rafa has wanted the club to reward players who have done well for Newcastle with new and improved long-term contracts.
Jamaal Lascelles was the first one to get a new contract that keeps him at Newcastle until June of 2023.
Rafa Benitez – transforming Newcastle into becoming a well-run club
And only last week local lad Paul Dummett received a new extended contract that will keep him at the club for the next four and a half years.
And although Karl Darlow has been replaced in goal by new loan signing Martin Dubravka, Rafa wants to give the former Nottingham Forest a new contract to stay on Tyneside.
The Chronicle are reporting that Lascelles and Dummett were identified as two players who needed to receive new long-term deals back in the summer yet it has taken this long to get them to sign new contracts.
These are areas of the club that must improve, and they must do these deals much more quickly.
Lee Charnley must also do the transfer deals with more ambition, decisiveness and more quickly if we are to sign the player before other clubs step in.
It was a soap opera last summer to get Florian Lejeune signed when he knew he would be moving to Newcastle in late April, yet he wasn’t signed until early July.
And we seemed to have loan signing Tammy Abraham from Chelsea signed early in the summer but then for some reason, we lost him to Swansea.
Rafa has rightly identified transfers as an area Newcastle must improve on if we are to become a successful club in the Premier League.
It’s going to be very interesting how we do things in this summer’s transfer window.
We fear that Mike Ashley will again try to restrict the club’s money given to Rafa in the next transfer window so he can keep the financial records at Newcastle looking (very) good so he can sell Newcastle for a high price.
It also remains to be seen if Rafa will sign an extended contract if Mike Ashley is still the owner.
If he does, we could even see Ashley remain in charge of Newcastle – and that would be terrible news for Newcastle fans.
But we do hope that Newcastle can sign Rafa to a long-term deal – then we only have Ashley to worry about, and how to get him out of the club.
What do you think?