Rafa Benitez is an intelligent well-educated man who has improved since he’s been the manager of Newcastle United – and that improvement is by his own admission.
In his press conference yesterday, for the game tonight at Wembley against 4th placed Tottenham Hotspur, he was upbeat and cheerful.
He didn’t look like somebody worried about his future.
Rafa is a good businessman and that should be an advantage in his dealings with Mike Ashley.
He is not one of these managers who spend money for spending’s sake, and he wants good value for money.
Rafa is also keen on picking up some bargains each summer – players like Martin Dubravka, Isaac Hayden, and Mikel Merino are three good examples.
The top target for Rafa this summer is a striker who can convert some of the many chances the team creates.
Rafa Benitez – speaking to the press
And he has said it may be necessary for Newcastle to break our (measly) transfer fee record of £17M that we paid out for Michael Owen from Real Madrid in August 2005.
This is what Rafa said yesterday – that he’s willing to work within a budget at Newcastle:
“If you want to bring a striker with a guarantee of more than 10-15 goals per season, you have to pay money for him for sure.”
“I have been unlucky because normally I like to coach players, to improve players, and that means sometimes that the owners don’t spend too much with me.”
“I was always concerned and taking care of the numbers. I was learning in England to work with a business plan.”
“You have to have a realistic business plan and then if you know that (business plan), you have to work on that.”
“Does that mean you have to break the record? If it is necessary you can do it. But if it’s not necessary, it’s just to be sure you have the funds to compete.”
“Coming from Europe, the coaching for me, I like to coach players, improve players, but you need to choose the right ones, so the scouting is crucial.”
“Even if you make great signings, someone has to be expensive to be sure that you have the experience and the quality that you need in the Premier League.”
“Then you have to work on all these areas.”
“If you want to compete now, you have to spend some money, but for me, it’s even more important to be sure that you can create the right structure.”
“And then to work together trying to maximize what you have.”
Those are the right words coming from Rafa, so maybe he’s getting closer to signing for the club long term?
We hope that’s the case and he does hint at a possible compromise in his negotiations with the club.
It’s going to be a tough game against Tottenham tonight, but we are hoping we can take something out of the game.