It’s A Concern – Working With Ashley Is Wearing On Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez was interviewed by the Telegraph last week when he had the team in southern Spain during a warm weather break for his first-team squad.

The four days in Murcia seemed to go very well with double training sessions every day ending with a 1-1 draw with Royal Antwerp on Sunday – a game in which we created many chances but could only score one goal.

We also missed a penalty right at the end of the game.

We have mentioned before that Rafa has taken the full burden of keeping Newcastle in the Premier League this season.

We haven’t heard from Mike Ashley, and he doesn’t attend the games yet if Newcastle are relegated it will knock close to £175M off the value of Newcastle United, and we will lose £100M at least next season.

Rafa Benitez – it’s been a needlessly difficult season for the manager

We know all this because it happened two years ago.

Mike Ashley started off the summer by reneging on his agreements with Rafa, and it ended with Rafa not having a  good enough team, and by mid-January, he was desperate for reinforcements.

It seems that only then did Mike Ashley talk to him and help to get three loan players into the club – two of which – goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and Kenedy – have made a difference to the team.

The third loan signing – Islam Slimani – is still injured but hopefully, the striker will be ready for the all-important game on 31st March against Huddersfield.

But Telegraph reporter Luke Edwards believes working for Mike Ashley has been wearing on the world-class manager this season.

When asked if he had enjoyed this season Rafa said no – but was satisfied with what he had been able to achieve.

Hopefully, Rafa will be a lot happier when we are safe from relegation.

It’s what Luke Edwards has said in the article that is worrying to us.

This is some of what Edwards put in the article:

“But all is not serene. The 57-year-old loves this job, the club and the city.”

“He enjoys the sort of adulation not seen on Tyneside since Robson was in charge 15 years ago, but he has found working for a man like Ashley difficult to say the least.”

“Yet, still he stays, offering hope of harmony where once there was only discord and for all of the political and economic distractions that come with working for Ashley, the Spaniard remains happiest on the training ground.”

“Newcastle have a manager who only wants the best for the team, but they have an owner who does not seem to understand why that matters.”

“The relationship between the two most powerful men at St James’ Park remains strained and until is it is healed, Benitez’s future will remain a cause for concern.”

We had hoped there was a decent relationship between Rafa and the owner.

But if Mike Ashley thinks he can keep messing with the manager, then Rafa could walk.

Of course, we hope that doesn’t happen, but we wouldn’t put anything past Ashley, given his record over eleven long and (very) painful years as owner of the club.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

104 comments so far

  • Jib

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #1

    That’s more of an opinion piece from
    Luke Edwards – not many quotes to
    back up what he says.
    There have been other journos who
    have been bothered to get off their
    arses and joined the squad and Rafa
    in Murcia .
    They are singing from a totally different
    song sheet than the Ashley hating Torygraph.
    I remain sanguine about the whole ownership
    issue Ashley knows he has to up his game to
    keep Rafa and Rafa’s attitude says he thinks
    that will happen.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #2

    i think everything is in place for us to do well except for the owner. Unfortunately this is vital in terms of ambition of where the club wants to be and the releasing of funds. Enter TMT…

  • Bambams

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #3

    If it’s true the club were unhappy at the £15000.00 cost of chartering an aircraft to go to Spain, well I can’t see Rafa getting decent money for any transfers in the summer.

    I bet there is a gas/electric usage meter within the training ground that Graham walks around switching the lights and mobile chargers off.

    I wonder if Rafa knew then what he knows now if he would of agreed to be our manager (first contract)

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #4

    Ron, I agree, but as Jib says Ashley’s back is against a wall. He’s not stupid, just stubborn, and he wants to sell. His experiences of recent months have proven he can’t sell for what he wants if we’ve been relegated or are in danger of relegation and he also knows Rafa is his last best hope for stability.

    If he doesn’t back him (and I’m not talking stupid money), Rafa could walk, leaving us and the chubby one in the clarts. He’s not going to let that happen, which puts Rafa in a great place.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #5

    Bambams, it’s about budgets. The transfer kitty is a separate pot to the wages, which is separate to operational costs and so on. The flights would have come out of the operational pot, which Ashley has trimmed massively. Probably broke this month’s ops budget, but hey-ho.

    And honestly, I think Rafa was probably a bit naive at the time he first walked in here. I think he would have taken the job anyway, knowing then what he knows now, as he sees the bigger picture. But he won’t be as naive next time round.

  • lesh

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #6


    Are you able to qualify your suggestion that Rafa’s actually happy that he’s got, had and will have Ashley’s full and unqualified support?

    Come on, be bold, let’s be seeing the evidence.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #7

    How many next times does ashley get? Hes been here over a decade. I never called him stupid but but you have to question his mindset if he keeps making mistakes and not seemingly learning from them.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #8

    bam bams
    Your post reminded for some reason the time there were a lot of questions about the andy caroll money. One of pardews responses was to say we put in a bore hole in the training ground. Lol, does anyone else remember this?

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #9

    Pain in the blog

    Just read your first attack of the day on me … I really can’t be bothered with you but I suppose I need to reply..bored now though.

    Your obsessed.

    Insinuating I’m a multiple last night ..naughty Jimmy .

  • Jib

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #10

    If you have learning or reading difficulties
    may I recommend

    I said
    Ashley knows he has to up his game to
    keep Rafa and Rafa’s attitude says he thinks
    that will happen

    If I may explain
    happen means – occur
    happy means – joyous

    I hope this helps

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #11

    Let attacks/insults go please, too many people have grudges on here and its pointless.

    Maybe go on warcraft and beat each other up or something. actually ill come to watch that!

  • Jib

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #12

    ronaldo Aarons

    I think the situation with the last
    couple of windows was affected
    by the possibility of a sale .

    I wouldn’t buy new carpets
    if I had a buyer for my house

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #13

    Maybe true but then it becomes a case of, would he be spending his own money or the club’s money? if it was his own then understandable not to put money in but if its the clubs generated money, why was that blocked from being released. If its the clubs then not sure how that would affect a take over.

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #14

    Ronaldo Aaron’s I echo your sentiments .

    Well said’s hard to get out of answering lies about oneself though and one does feel compelled to answer .

    People with grudges are the worst kind, as each day , after probably sleepless night about the person they have the MISPLACED GRUDGE against …they set about the daily task , ritual , of attacking that person.

    It’s very childish.

    It’s awful having to protect oneself against the slurs and the lies .

    Perhaps they should be ignored altogether.

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #15

    I have noticed in modern day culture the fact that a lot of grown men rush home from work to play on their play stations…I would say that it’s not for me at all..but I recall football comment on here last year and beyond became somewhat surreal with people debating the merits of one another’s teams in Football manager

    It amazed me how some thought it was real enough to relate animated crap on the pc screen to the real game and then argue about it

    Plays stations and kiddie games OOT ! As Tuff would say.

  • Jib

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #16

    Online Guy
    Ironic you should mention Mr Tuff
    Your literary style is very similar
    He was obsessed with gay themes also

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #17

    A Pain in the blog, Jimmy.

    How is ” THE GRUDGE” going ?

    Seen the first of your dailys on me .

    Don’t you think it’s childish this ongoing pursuit ?

    In life there are more important issues .. your an Adult …Grow up man.

    I offered to put it to bed and a handshake last week .. a magnanimous gesture from me in the light of your demeanor and daily attacks on me ..

    Seems you don’t want that and continue to attack me each day .

    It’s laughable now Jimmy.

    Still I’m open to settling it with that handshake . I would like to get back to the football instead of replying to you each day .

    What do you say ? There’s my hand. Can’t say fairer than that ( Iv got a lisp )

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #18

    online guy
    so youre saying my achievements of winning the premier league and champions league with newcastle on championship manager is meaningless? I challenge you to a bout of warcraf! You think a grudge with pain in the blog is bad, you have no idea! 🙂

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #19

    Jib ..I got to thinking that this multiple thing is actually a good laugh ..but being accused of being the wazzik Rupert Pink was below the belt. Lol.

    Come clean Jib how many names do you operate under ..dare you publish them’s no shame ..bit of fun. Gan on ..

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #20

    Ronaldo..there’s a bloke across the way that is obsessed with it …everytime I call in He’s on it even when everyone’s grafting delivering lambs . ..etc

    I’m scared to go near it case I catch it. Looks good though .

  • jane

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #21

    “Come clean Jib how many names do you operate under ..dare you publish them’s no shame ..bit of fun. Gan on ..”

    ok i admit it i’m also jane. can’t fool i guy like you!

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #22

    Online guy
    I havent played it in absolute years and I wont go near it now at all, so addictive and time consuming.

  • Jib

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #23

    Online Guy

    I would like to get back to the football

    WHAT !!!!!

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Jib

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #24


  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #25

    im ronaldo aarons and jane and online guy and lesh, and robleenio, and bambams. For the past two hours Ive been talking to myself, is that weird?

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #26

    i missed jib inadvertently lol, sorry. 🙂

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #27

    or did i really miss jib if i said i was jane???

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #28

    Im also rafa benitez (all hail me), ask me anything you want about the club and I will give you my honest answer.

  • Jib

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #29

    ronaldo aarons
    At one time I used to do flight simulators
    shooting down messerschmidts flying
    a stormovik over the crimea in 1943
    or tank battles in Normandy 1944
    now I’m happy with the odd card game

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #30

    How times change lol

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #31

    Ronaldo, it’s only wierd if you put on different voices to do it.

    Besides, you can’t be me – I’m you!


  • Bambams

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #32

    This blog is crackers…..


    I see what you are saying about the various pots, I just ‘scratch my napper’ thinking how a club the size of ours have to seriously think about £15k for a chartered flight when it all makes footballing sense (to get them away).

    Ronaldo Aarons (or me)

    I do recall the ‘Bore hole ‘ that would save on the water costs, I thought it was revolutionary at the time. But still think it’s unfair the players have to pop along to ‘exercise 4 less’ to shower after a session…. (smiley face)

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #33

    Talking of multiples and secret identities etc, I insinuated the other day that Oldgit1 may be Steve Wraith, given he seemed to know Floyd Mayweather and Steve Wraith is the promoter who brought him to Tyneside. I haven’t heard from him since.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #34

    Has anyone on the blog ever actually been confirmed to be an ex-player, agent or someone otherwise connected with NUFC at all?

  • lochinvar

    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #35

    It’s A Concern – Working With Ashley Is Wearing On Rafa Benitez

    It’s a concern for all of us and thankfully we don’t have to work with him.
    I’m worn out by it.
    Just need Amanda to do the deal and that would feel like winning a holiday in the sun.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #36

    Where’s this info about the charter plane?

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #37

    good so im no weird then, i just put on different wigs.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #38

    I’m back at work now so you will be all saddened to know that I won’t be posting as much for the next two weeks 😮

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #39

    I just find it hilarious that he explained that the carroll money went to a bore hole. Its not like theyre £35m a hole.

  • Rupert Pink

    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #40

    Hey ! Mey name iz being taalked abooot all th bloody teym banddeeing Mey name aboot.

    Yiz cin currit oot. Divvint ye dare say am otha people.

    Whaats gannin on hea leyk

    It berra stop.

    AAl be reporting yiz to Robbobbeeleeanio He’s telt me off the other neet . he’s the boss , he’s the adjudicata he let me off the otha neet with a warrnin. Meynd he’s a neyce blokey from what av hord. He was Storrin the sheyt the otha neet mind ..

    Meynd Robbbobleeanianyyo Ah said eez waz funny..then ah sed he wasn’t funny , then a sed he was funny …Av changed me meynd ..he is not funny ..Naaw av changed me mind agyin…he is funny ..yi knaa waat ah cannot make Mey mind up .

    Ah got rong for talking to the future Duke of Nowthumabaland. On hea ..he was on hea . Bet yi hes got neyce sheets on his bed . Ah offered to Polish his shoes for a small return ..Shur it ! Said knaa

    Av aalso hord a rooma that them Ginja Scottish ugly blokes th Proclaimas hate wi . Tha Anti Inglish men. The hate wi .

    AAl this is stressing me oot Mey Doreentrance iz noticed am sweating a lot and shaky .
    Am back with Blue Billy but ees neva changed ees undapants for four days that aa knaa of.

    Still insists he never stole mey gloves .

    Dorty Basted.

    Am expectin a visita the neet it’s Edward from Harbottle eez comes hear expecting to eat me out of house and home ..ees still got the bark on him . Av hid the sardines and me pineapple.

    Ah can smell slurry when ees here ..strangely enough it’s attractive meyt say quite evocative.

    Hev yiz missed iz ?


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