We Hope Rafa Stays Even If Ashley Remains Newcastle Owner

We don’t know why Rafa puts up with his treatment at Newcastle – he’s been so messed around this last year by Ashley.

We are in a relegation battle because Ashley has not provided Rafa with sufficient funds to bring in good enough players.

The squad Rafa now has is a massive challenge of his management capabilities to keep Newcastle in the Premier League and (yet) another relegation would be catastrophic to the club.

It would mean the end of Rafa at Newcastle and also catastrophic to Ashley, who says he is trying to sell the club and leave Newcastle once and for all.

And then if we do survive this season – the fourth time of the last five Premier League seasons that we have been fighting relegation – there will still be uncertainty.

Mike Ashley – Newcastle owner

Here are Newcastle’s finishes under Mike Ashley – pretty pathetic.

Premier SeasonPositionNumber of Points
2008-20091834 - relegated
2009-20101 (Championship)102 - promoted
2015-20161837 - relegated
2016-20171 - (Championship)94 - promoted
2018-20191818 - after 22 games

We’re not sure what Rafa thinks of his treatment by the miserly owner, but we still hope he stays on Tyneside.

Let’s hope Rafa gets some big money to spend this summer – even if Ashley is still the owner.

Given where we are in the league at the moment – if we do survive and Rafa signs a long-term contract to stay at Newcastle then that will be the definition of nirvana for Newcastle fans.

Let’s hope that happens.

Here’s where we stand at the moment – just 5 points out of 10th place.

11Crystal Palace38-1044
13West Ham38-2042

Comments welcome.

344 comments so far

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 5, 2018 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #1

    AncientC (from previous), do you think it’s right that people who you don’t agree with (Tommy Robinson) should not have a voice on social media?

    ie, the twitters and facebooks of this world are the censors who say what the populace can read, see or hear?

    That’s a very dangerous route to take.

  • AncientC

    Mar 5, 2018 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #2

    DubaiMicky, not personally, no. It is good for differing opinions to be shared and debated, even the unsavoury type. To each their own.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 5, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #3

    I suppose when Rafa came in last time we were in the premiership it took him about 4 games (actually when Dummett came back in at left back) to get the right team to get results !

    Recently we have only been beaten by City and Liverpool we have actually more than held our own against other teams and but for lapses would have seen a few more games out!We can certainly compete with West Brom , Watford , Everton , Arsenal, Huddersfield and Southampton at the moment its just a worry that a few players that we need are currently fitness risks in Shelvey, Gayle, Merino and Slimani!! Kennedy also looks like he can’t complete a full 90 minutes!

    If we can just get the win against Southampton it will give us a couple of weeks break to rest some players

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #4


    Evelyne Beatrice Hall quote often attributed to Voltaire.

    “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Just thought I’d chuck that into the blog mix.

    Not aimed at anyone in particular, I hasten to add.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #5


    Yeah it looks like the injury curse has returned to bite us in the ^rse.

    But to Quote Pete Seeger (And many others) “we shall overcome”

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #6

    If Merino and Shelvey are both out, could we see Mo Sangare on the bench? He’s getting some good reviews at the moment. Bet Dan Barlaser would be gutted if Sangare gets ahead of him in the queue whilst he is sitting on Crewe’s bench

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #7

    Is Mbemba out on loan, I’d have thought he’d be the obvious choice to go into the mid field.

    Bet Rafa’s kicking himself for loaning out the Ginger Makalele. 🙂

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #8

    Saivet and Sterry are two others that could possibly be of use to us now.

  • toon kk

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #9

    This season was always going to be a very high risk season, we’re the weakest team in the premier league, as far as a attacking team goes, and with MA refusing to strengthen its makes it even harder.
    I do think we’ll be relegated again unfortunately. At least we can compete in the championship though.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #10

    toon kk, how do you think we’ll be relegated? Who do you think will finish ahead of us?

  • Tsunki

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #11

    I wouldn’t bank the house on Brighton just yet. A couple of injuries or suspensions and the team that struggled against Stoke and Southampton and got royally tonked by Liverpool and Chelsea may well return. The Arsenal result was good, but more a product of politics at the Emirates i feel. I don’t think man city, Leicester, man utd or liverpool again will lay down the red carpet for them.

  • chicousa

    Mar 5, 2018 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #12

    One potential positive for us over last 9 matches is the “flip flop factor”. Three of our remaining away matches are against mid table teams (Leicester, Watford and Everton) who are far enough away from the drop zone (or soon will be) and yet too far away from top 6 that they will already be looking forward to a nice summer holiday, not fearing the drop and not much hope of a higher position in the table.

  • Our Toon

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #13


    Doesn’t matter about Brighton as they have points in the bank mate. They have ole 15th of breathing space and have only lost to Chelsea, Liverpool, city at home. The big boys only so at home they are a force unlike us.

    Maybe because they attack teams and we prefer to keep it tight

  • Tsunki

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #14

    Our Toon I’m saying it because it’s as likely we will be above them at the end as any other scenario. They did themselves a lot of favours turning over arsenal, but we may be looking at our man utd win and holding Liverpool as pivotal. Why everyone is getting so despondent and using our defeat against Liverpool as a floodgate to start crying doom again I don’t know. It’s hardly supportive is it?

  • toon kk

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #15

    I’ll flip that why do you think we’ll survive? Goals mean points remember.

  • beermonkey

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #16


    have i missed something has merino picked up an injury ?

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #17

    Tsunki, I agree – the negativity on here the last couple of days stinks…

    toon kk, in order to be relegated, we have to have a worse points total or an equal points total but worse goal difference than three other teams. I honestly cannot see us finishing behind West Brom, Stoke or Crystal Palace (unless Zaha comes back for their Huddersfield fixture), Everton are on a terrible run and will be in trouble if they can’t turn it round, Saints are struggling to get any kind of momentum. We could end up between 17th and 13th on around 38-42 points

    So, I’ve answered your question. Your turn – who do you think will end up above us in the table, forcing us into the relegation spaces?

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #18

    beer – something Jib said earlier, I was just speculating.

  • beermonkey

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #20


    well i hope he and shelvey are fit for the next one

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #22

    I’m not one for being negative but since the run of Swansea, burnley and palace games I’ve felt we could very well be the third team to go down. Gayle and Joselu as our strikers means we struggle with goals, in turn making it hard to win matches, turn losses to draws and turn draws to wins. Man Utd game did briefly raise hopes but they were soon gone after the Bournemouth match. Too many times we have actually thrown matches away and it could very well be decisive in the end.

    Liverpool game is what it is, espected to lose, we lost. Southampton is a big one, failure to win means we will continue to struggle with the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, arsenal and Leicester to play in remaining games. Shelvey is injured, merino struggling for sharpness and slimani being inured. I don’t think our record v Southampton is great either so in addition to our home form I could see a draw.

  • toon kk

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #23

    We’re just one point above the relegation zone, injuries to key players, play defensive football and the main reason we really struggle to score .
    I really hope I’m proven wrong. If we do it will depend on other results.
    Hardly competitive.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #24

    Ed…Rafa’s contract is up next year I think! He’ll be gone in the summer if someone of interest comes knocking…

    It will be like the final period of his Liverpool stint. In the end he was not even communicating with the club and everything when through his lawyer!

  • Our Toon

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #25


    No on expected us to get anything from the Liverpool game, the problem is dropping points against those around us and throwing away leads as we’ve done recently. I couldn’t care less about the Liverpool game, I do believe with 10mins left against Bournemouth with a 2 goal lead that we can and should see games out.

    Doesn’t help with Shelvey almost being on all 4s whilst others try to cover for him. If he was injured then he should have been taken off!!

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 5, 2018 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #26
  • Our Toon

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #27

    The only games we’ve truly attacked in are both West ham games, the first game as we were desperate for a win. The 2nd game we were on a shocking run but it’s the only match where we consistently had 3 to 4 players in the opposing box.

    Made a massive difference getting numbers forward, problem is we are playing with the handbrake on. I said the same under pardew and remained consistent with what I see.

    Would those who refuse to pay any blame at the managers door as well as Ashley feel the same if McClaren or pardew were our managers? The answer is that they would be calling for there heads…..reputation means nothing, it’s the job you are doing which dictates whether you should be accountable not CL win a decade ago with another club or league win almost 20 years ago.

  • Jib

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #28

    Our Toon

    A valiant effort to discredit Rafa

    His last 2 clubs before NUFC

    Napoli he won 2 Italian domestic cups

    Real Madrid he had a winning ratio
    of 70% in La Liga and 100% in the
    In fact Perez recognised his Euro feats
    so much he paid Rafa £200k out of
    Real’s CL prize money after he’d signed for us.

  • Our Toon

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #29


    Napoli have kicked on since he left and zidane won the champions league with a squad that rafa struggled with. Rafa fell out with hamsik at Napoli and Ronaldo didn’t like his tactics at Madrid. In fact the fans are the ones who got him sacked as the football was boring and not the Madrid way.

    Jib why did you leave Inter out, his stint before Napoli? He took over a treble winning side and got the axe again. His record for liverpoolvis impressive and his record for Valencia very good, his only league success. A man who’s had a stellar career with his best success coming a while back

    He’s certainly done well in cups but the league is all I care about at present

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #30

    Our toon it’s all or nothing very soon now. The Bournemouth game until the last 10 mins give a me hope for optimism but I wouldn’t be expecting too much attack. I sometimes refer back to the Sunderland game as a 6 pointer 2 yrs ago and we had much better players than them but we didn’t lay a glove on them. The same is quite likely v saints, just hope we can squeeze out a 1-0 and not blow a 1-0 lead for the sake of being over cautious. Come on rafa go for the jugular. Another man u effort was be great.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #31

    That’s just great Jeff…but what’s in it for us?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #32

    Our Toon,
    Do you think we should start calling for the managers head, if you say we’d be calling for the heads of those other two incumbents then surely it’s only fair if we start sing to Rafa “you don’t know what you’re doing”.

  • toon kk

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #33

    Rafa at Real Madrid, Liverpool etc can’t be compared to being manager at Newcastle. The difference is massive in terms of player quality.
    It’s top quality squads Rafa built his reputation on.
    We are playing Rafa’s style of football but with no cutting edge, lack of quality and no consistency we are where we are.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #34

    Madrid was always a bad fit, to be fair. That doesn’t mean he can’t do well for us. That said even with a weak team I think a lot of fans would have hoped to be a few places higher. Maybe that’s harsh on rafa I don’t know .

  • Tsunki

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #35

    Unbelievable. I say this without any tinge of hysteria or keyboard battlers’ overenthusiasm, but isn’t the blog being infiltrated by certain rival supporters? The willingness to look on the black side i hope doesn’t filter to the team because support it isn’t.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #36

    Looking at the PL fixtures, FA Cup schedule, CL calendar and the International break; our rescheduled match away at Spurs could be the Wed 18th April, if they knock Swansea out of the FA cup. The semi-final is to be played on the 21st, which removes Spurs Friday night match against Brighton off the fixture list. Otherwise we will be rescheduled to play Spurs on the 9th May in the week before the last match against Chelsea. These are the only two possibilities I can see but we will not know for sure until 17th March (or officially on the Monday following).

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #37

    12 matches this season we have not scored in.
    8 matches we have not won when taking the lead.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #38

    And just to add, aren’t the posters trying to sow discontent largely the same group that tried to do the same during last season’s championship winning spell?

    Odd isn’t it?

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #39

    At least we have not had any 6 goal thrashings like we regularly got with P45dew and Wally McBrolly.

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