There’s a healthy relationship between Jamaal Lascelles, the Newcastle United captain, and Rafa Benitez, our world-class manager.
And Jamaal has been interviewed in the Telegraph today, and he wants the club to do everything possible to keep manager Rafa Benitez on board.
The relationship between Rafa and Mike Ashley is reported to have become strained due to the manager not having been fully supported in the last three transfer windows.
Rafa has had an average at best Newcastle team who are Champions (second division) class according to some pundits such as Jamie Carragher and Alan Shearer to name two.
Rafa Benitez congratulates Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal has turned out to be both an excellent player and captain for Newcastle, and it’s in that capacity that he has said this in the Telegraph today about his manager:
“It does feel like a stable club at the minute,”
“We’ve got a manager who trusts us and he wants to be here, the fans are with him, so that’s really important for the players.”
“Now that the stuff with the owner and the takeover has died down, that helps. Whether it was going to happen or it wasn’t going to happen, it is less to think about as a player.”
“We now know we are in a stable environment at a stable club. You might not really think about it much, but it [the takeover stuff] probably did have an effect on some individuals.”
“Of course, as a player you don’t want to be in a team where there is loads of paper talk about stuff not related to us.”
“You don’t want anything negative coming out. Everything is running smooth now, everything is positive and I think it’s just down to us to make sure we keep the fans happy.”
“I think for a while now that the best thing that this club has done is brought the manager in. Since he has been here things have been on the up.”
“He has brought the club together and the city together. I think it’s important that the club keeps him happy and holds on to him for as long as possible.”
“He is an excellent manager, he has won trophies, he has worked in many different leagues and he knows what it takes to be successful.”
“It has only been positive since he arrived.”
Those are sensible comments from Jamaal and what most fans would say.
But it remains to be seen what Mike Ashley will do this summer – he’s always the big unknown.
The positive thing is we know Ashley wants (and needs) to keep Rafa Benitez at the club.
What do you think?