Pundits In Awe Of What Newcastle’s Proud Manager Has Achieved This Season


Pundits Andy Townsend and Owen Hargreaves have been looking at what Newcastle have done this season under manager Rafa Benitez.

And they have both praised the Newcastle United manager for what he has achieved with what has been a weak squad regarding quality.

When we went nine games with just one point just before Christmas, nearly all the pundits were agreed we were a Championship team and would be relegated.

But nobody told Rafa that, and he improved a number of our players and vastly improved the organization of the side.

We are now tough to beat and have won five of our last eight games including winning four games in a row and are in 10th place in the league.

The two pundits have been discussing Newcastle on the Premier League’s official website.

This is what Andy Townsend has said about the Magpies manager:

“He’s done a great job has Rafa Benitez,”

“I mean behind Pep Guardiola, for obvious reasons, and Sean Dyche again for the Burnley story.”

“Benitez’ Newcastle United team has over-achieved.”

“They’ve punched well above their weight this season.”

Owen Hargreaves, the former England midfielder, thinks the Newcastle squad is probably the worst one he’s ever had.

That’s not true, but it’s probably the worst squad Rafa’s had since he left Tenerife for Valencia back in 2001.

This is what Hargreaves has said about the gaffer:

“He’s probably third in line for the manager of the year award.”

“If there were three managers who would be considered manager-of-the-year candidates, he’d be third in line after Pep Guardiola and Sean Dyche.”

“He’s been exceptional, really.” “With the group of players he has; let’s be honest, this is probably the weakest team in terms of talent he’s ever had.”

“There’s been some canny additions to this team: Martin Dubravka’s come in and done very well, Kenedy of course has added a bit of flair and something else down the left-hand side,”

“I reckon this will be one of his proudest seasons ever as a manager.”

Rafa has done a superb job this season – as he did last season too.

It’s only right and proper that owner Mike Ashley gives him good money to spend this summer so he can significantly strengthen the side.

Hopefully, that’s now going to happen.

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Comments welcome.


128 comments so far

  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #1

    2 good seasons under Rafa and exceeded expectations this season.
    hopefully progress again next season.
    if we have an even better season will the likes of Jail and lesh be happy? of course not!

    3
  • chicousa

    Apr 26, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #2

    Ed,
    Great news on your body scan results!!! Keep on trucking man!!!

    On reports Ashley will give “massive support” to Rafa this summer….waiting to see if true, but doubt it.

    2
  • Ron Knee

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #3

    Great news, Ed!

    1
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #4

    doesn’t have to be massive just so long as Rafa is happy he is not unreasonable.

    1
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #5

    after the wages and bills are paid i don’t suppose there will be a massive amount left but there should be a decent amount which i’m sure Rafa will use wisely.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #6

    Jane,
    In your diabolical defence of Mashley not spending this January you pointed at Stoke and Southampton as examples to say “well they haven’t either”. They’re both about to be relegated you buffoon.

    5
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #7

    thanks Jail that proves my point!

    2
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #8

    what about all the other teams that didn’t strengthen much but aren’t going to be relegated?

    1
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #9

    i think Stoke and Southampton signed more players in January than most of the other teams!

    0
  • G

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #10

    Just whilst we’re on this topic, the year we got relegated Sunderland were the 3rd highest spenders in the season, not by paying massive fees, but lots of small fees. Looking at how that one played out I hope Ashley doesn’t plan on letting Rafa buy only low cost players, as low cost players seem to come with serious motivation issues. Not saying this is likely, just this is on of my fears for this window.

    0
  • G

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #11

    …one of my fears!

    0
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #12

    “not by paying massive fees, but lots of small fees. ”

    that was Aston Villa’s downfall the season they were relegated too.

    0
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #13

    but it doesn’t matter if large, medium or small fees are paid it’s far more important who it is spent on, there are plenty of examples of small fees being excellent signings which is a bonus!

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #14

    Jane,
    What about Everton who spent 150M and are only a place above us, like I said to Jiblets who was gloating about it, does that justify our not spending.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #15

    You also said that if Mashley is selling up this summer, maybe we shouldnt spend much to make the books look better, you can’t possibly have meant that.

    1
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #16

    “In your diabolical defence of Mashley not spending this January”

    our January signings were good but you are more concerned how much money was spent.

    Jail that speaks volumes about your priorities.

    3
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #17

    “You also said that if Mashley is selling up this summer, maybe we shouldnt spend much to make the books look better, you can’t possibly have meant that.”

    well done you spotted my little fun, the 😐 at the end was a clue!

    2
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #18

    “What about Everton who spent 150M and are only a place above us”

    to be fair to Everton i think they’ve made good signings on the whole.

    but still rely heavily on old reliables Coleman, Jagielka, Baines

    0
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #19

    “What about Everton who spent 150M and are only a place above us”

    maybe that shows how good we’ve done 🙂

    4
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #20

    so Jail you see it’s not how much you spend but what you spend it on. watch and learn!

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #21

    Jane at 8:
    “what about all the other teams that didn’t strengthen much but aren’t going to be relegated?”

    Who do you mean? Specific examples please.

    3
  • hibbit

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #22

    JAIL
    you rattling jib/jane cage again LOL

    4
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #23

    “Specific examples please.”

    you might of got me thinking about it! 😐

    0
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #24

    hibbit it’s Jail that’s rattled but he tried valiantly.

    0
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #25

    “Specific examples please.”

    Swansea, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Watford, Bournemouth?

    1
  • G

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #26

    Well that was a good way to kill a thread.

    1
  • the white tino

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #27

    Regardless of rafa being given sky and Premier league money the one big question that should be asked and why we will still lag behind most other Premier league teams is that all other clubs will have income from corporate and ground sponsorship, advertising which all helps with wage bill. But our fat controller continues to advertise for free and corporate earnings are way down on previous year’s apparently THE SLUG IS STILL STRANGLING OUR BELOVED CLUB

    5
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #28

    Sunderland should have at least been playing Rodwell you would have thought.

    “Rodwell has not made a senior appearance for Sunderland since September ”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43905840

    0
  • Jib

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #29

    White Tino
    NUFC look like they will finish 10th or above
    Over the past decade, just two of the last 30 teams
    who have been promoted to the top flight have ended
    the following campaign in the Premier League’s top half.
    The only two teams to finish in the top half of the table
    during their debut campaign after promotion in the last
    decade are:-
    Birmingham City – who ended the 2009/10 campaign in ninth place
    and
    West Ham United, who were 10th in 2012/13.

    Some strangulation that like

    2
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #30

    as free advertising is instead of income (to the owner) and loan interest it probably doesn’t make too much difference to the finances as one off-sets the other to an extent at least.

    success on the pitch as you rightly say Jib is the most important indicator.

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #31

    Just for reference NUFC have a net spend in 2017/2018 across Summer and Winter windows of £11.5m and we currently lie in 10th place

    Swansea – net profit 2017/2018 £30.5m, currently in 17th
    West Ham – net profit £0.3m, currently 15th
    Bournemouth – net spend £29.4m, currently 11th
    C Palace – net spend £41.7m, currently 14th
    Watford – net spend £51.6m, currently 12th
    Brighton – net spend £53.7m, currently 13th

    So, of the examples you’ve provided, the two teams who didn’t spend are currently squeaking home in 15th and 17th and all the others spent way more than we did – Bournemouth spent nearly triple our amount and they spent the least of all the others.

    I guess this backs up what we’ve said many times, spending money won’t guarantee survival, but buying the right players will.

    The thing that annoys most isn’t that we haven’t spent much, but that when Rafa has asked for money to be spent, the club has often refused or dragged its feet. Not backing our manager is a sure fire way to encourage him out of the door and that will almost certainly lead to yet another relegation sooner or later.

    7
  • SPRINGY

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #32

    Great news ed regarding your health…long may it continue.

    3
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #33

    that’s excellent info RobLeenio which you obviously spent a lot of time on but the examples i gave were teams that didn’t strengthen much in January whereas your info is for summer and winter windows. you’re right of course that as a generalisation the money you spend the better although it’s not always the case eg Hull when they were relegated.

    your last paragraph is important and if true would be my biggest concern too. i think though we don’t know enough of what goes on behind closed door to know very well what has gone on.

    1
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #34

    “when Rafa has asked for money to be spent, the club has often refused or dragged its feet.”

    we don’t really know the full extent of this because normally we are trying to glean this info by reading between the lines.

    3
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #35

    there is probably some tension between most managers and owners about budgets.

    2
  • ben.g

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #36

    What’s the spend totals without the net part?

    0
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #37

    one would assume that there has been/will be frank discussion between Ashley and Rafa and one hopes that Rafa is pleased with the outcome.

    1
  • ben.g

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #38

    Everyone net spend is about 40m I see.
    Its hard to find something with all the figures

    0
  • ben.g

    Apr 26, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #39

    Everyone, lol … Everton

    1
  • jane

    Apr 26, 2018 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #40

    “What about Everton who spent 150M ”

    i guess their net spend was much less though because of the sale of Lukaku.

    0

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