Bellamy – Rafa Could Still Stay At Newcastle – Even If Arsenal Make Approach

It’s not surprising that with Arsene Wenger likely to leave Arsenal since being there since 1996,  Rafa Benitez name has come up as a possible future Gunners boss.

Arsenal are one of the great English clubs, and they have plenty of money to spend on players, which doesn’t seem to be the case at Newcastle.

Well, not at the moment anyway.

If Arsenal did make an approach for Rafa this summer, it could be a challenge to keep him if he decides he wants to go to a bigger club.

But former Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy, now a Sky Sports pundit, has stressed that if Rafa can just get some help and some money on Tyneside he could turn Newcastle into a top club again.

Craig Bellamy – speaks highly of Newcastle United

That’s what Rafa’s trying to do, but he has hardly been helped by owner Mike Ashley.

Craig makes a lot of sense in what he says and stressed Newcastle are a top football club.

This is some of what Craig has said on his Sky Sports Debate podcast:

“Look Newcastle’s a great club, big club, it’s been disappointing to see what’s happened over the last couple of years.”

“He (Benitez) went there, I’m sure he didn’t expect them to get relegated, but it happened, got them up, this year he hasn’t been able to spend as much money as Rafa usually likes to spend.”

“Does he deserve a move to a club like Arsenal? “If he can get Newcastle going it’s a top, top football club.”

As we said, it could be difficult to turn Arsenal down if they do come with an offer for Rafa.

But it’s a plum job to be sure, and if Arsene Wenger finally does leave after 22 years, the Gunners will go after a number of world-class managers, possibly including Rafa.

If there is a Newcastle takeover soon or Benitez gets real cast-iron assurances from Mike Ashley about transfer funds being available in  the future, he could sign a new contract at Newcastle this summer.

But one thing is definite – Rafa really wants to make Newcastle great again – that’s the only reason he’s at Newcastle in the first place.

Why is Ashley screwing this up?

What do you think?

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29 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 8, 2018 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #1

    And again

    Congratulations to The Heed for winning their quarter final match against Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy, onward to Wembley for them!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 8, 2018 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #2

    “Does he deserve to move to a club like Arsenal”, really Craig what a silly question, he’s already managed better clubs than Arsenal.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 8, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #3

    EGB – Lol, are you Akinfenwe’s agent?


  • Oldgit1

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #4

    @ Essex Geordie Bill, err the heed needs to get past the mighty spennymoor/Bromley first before they get to Wembley. I don’t fancy their chances if the Moors beat Bromley. On their day they are very good.

  • AncientC

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #5

    Benitez to Arsenal. Oh come on. I wouldn’t go worrying about that one.

  • AncientC

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #6

    I am sure Benitez could get a job with a club that has an owner with a lot more ambition than Ashley, but succeeding Wenger is going to be one of the biggest job’s in world football. Arsenal can pay in the top 3 manager in the world bracket. It’s going to be somebody like Ancelotti for them.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Really, why not, he’s a proven winner with two CL finals under his belt. Arsenal fans weren’t complaining about George Grahams football when they were winning titles.

  • AncientC

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #8

    Jail, it’s a different set of Arsenal fans these days. Benitez has a good record, but Arsenal will be looking for one of the very best managers in the world, and that means one of the best, right now.

    Arsenal will be able to throw around wages that are twice what Benitez earns in a year.

  • Mag52

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #9

    The Arsenal job for Rafa ? I imagine he’s well aware of the poisoned chalice that managing the gooners so soon after Wenger’s departure would be.
    Those miserable Arsenal supporters, with their short memories of the success Wenger has brought them over the years, would soon get on the back of any manager who didn’t bring home the premier league title or the European cup within twelve months of taking over.
    They’ve been spoiled by success over the years and don’t live in the real world any longer. Look how long it took for Man.U. to find a manager following Fergie, and I’m not convinced Mourinho is the answer either.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #10

    Oh and Ed whilst I think about it were you saying earlier that you might temporarily suspend the blog after the Southampton game, if we lose it, until after our three week break?

    Thought this needed re-posting, could understand why Ed might consider this move but hope he doesn’t.

  • AncientC

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #11

    Ancelotti has won the CL three times and been to four finals. I didn’t watch the Liverpool CL final, but it sounds like they were rather fortuitous being drubbed at half-time. Perhaps Liverpool were forced to come out and play in a way which wasn’t to plan… which shows the CL final was no masterplan.

    I did watch Chelsea in the Europa League final, and they were poor. Benfica looked the better side to me, but Ivanovic popped up and scored from a corner in the last minute—if I remember correctly. Again, I don’t believe that was a cunning masterplan to score in the last minute from a set-piece. I would say the same thing about Man Utd winning the CL under Ferguson after scoring goals in the last few minutes.

    I am not attempting to discredit Benitez, but he isn’t one of the very best manager’s in the world right now. Once upon time, absolutely. If Benitez can get Newcastle firing on all cylinder, his stock will rise once again.

  • Our Toon

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #12

    Don’t think many established managers will want to take a punt on that job if Wenger leaves, less pressure if someone one else goes in and fails.

  • G

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #13

    I think the Arsenal job is one that needs a complete rebuild, as they are very much a ‘Wenger’ team right now. Whomever they hire will be expected to achieve instant (relative) success, therefore whomever they hire will probably not be given enough time to do the job and get sacked if they are not running away with the title this time next year. I suspect Benitez will recognise this, and should he be approached assuming Newcastle are still a Premier League team stay exactly where he is, and where he is appreciated by the fans.

  • hibbit

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #14

    Essex Geordie Bill
    i’ll be the first to admit if i’m wrong
    ” but don’t hold your breath”

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #15

    EGB, I can;t imagine Ed shutting down the blog – like all community hubs, if it closes for a short while, the community members will drift away and may never copme back

  • Mag52

    Mar 8, 2018 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #16

    The task of finding discussion topics, usually at least six, every day, day in day out has to be hard work.
    Then when you have a three week period with nothing happening, and you’re not feeling on top of the world anyway, I’d quite understand it if Ed. felt like taking a bit of a well deserved break.
    I’d be very surprised if it had any serious effect on the number of contributors to the blog.

  • hibbit

    Mar 8, 2018 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #17

    Ed its your health and family and have to do what’s best for you and yours
    football is just a minor part of life a very minor part

    i’m with you whatever you decide, and i wish you only the very best stay strong

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 8, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #19


    I don’t think Ed has any intention of suspending the blog if we lose the Southampton game. He wrote that article in one of the most frustrated tones I have read from him – probably early this morning (in his time zone). He said

    “So it’s almost all or nothing for our lads on Saturday and if we win we promise to celebrate big time. However a draw or a defeat would put us further in the ongoing battle to survive this season and I’m not sure what I’d do in that case – disappear for 3 weeks maybe?

    A win is what we need on Saturday and nothing less. Hope I’ve made that clear.”

    I think he was just saying that, like the rest of us, he would be expecting a very miserable three weeks until the Huddersfield game if we lose to Southampton. Nothing more sinister than that.

    And, if he does write these articles sequentially and in real time, then he had got his mojo back an hour or so later…

    “But one thing is definite – Rafa really wants to make Newcastle great again – that’s the only reason he’s at Newcastle in the first place.”

    At least, I hope that’s the case.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 8, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #20

    Arsenal fans wudnt touch rafa.

  • beefman13

    Mar 8, 2018 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #21

    How about a swap? Wenger for me all day.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 8, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #22

    Jail this isn’t a direct comparison but managers peak like players. Years ago I did have happily had Martin o Neill at nufc. Now? I’d hate it. Either way arsenal will go lala if rafa rocked up at Highbury. Spoilt best fans but they wud want more than him and he is too associated with control and defensive football that they wud want

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 8, 2018 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #23

    What time is the ticket office open till

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 8, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #24

    Ed I hope ur faring ok in the circumstances

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 8, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #25

    If he just read your comments Munster then he’d think the Newcastle fans wouldn’t touch him either.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 8, 2018 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #26

    beefman, although the Arsenal fans are keen to see Wenger replaced, I’m not sure they’d swap him for you any day.

  • Jib

    Mar 8, 2018 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #27

    The Europa League match in half an hour
    is basically Wenger’s last throw of the dice this
    If they get bounced off of AC Milan he could be gone
    before seasons end,

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 8, 2018 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #28

    I’d have either rafa or Wenger here any day. Wenger might suit Ashley more though. Get plenty of cheap French guys and train them up

  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 8, 2018 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #29

    EGB #2
    Rafa could do worse than choose Arsenal. At least he knows he can expect better than 2 loan deals and a crock on the last day of a transfer window.


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