Rafa was interviewed earlier this week on media day, and he talked a lot about his current situation and what he is hoping for this summer in the transfer window which closes three weeks tomorrow.
Rafa has to deal with characters like Mike Ashley and Justin Barnes, but it seems he is trying to keep a good working relationship with them – something he already has with Managing Director Lee Charnley.
After working very hard this summer, Rafa has little to show for his efforts.
However, Newcastle have brought in three excellent players for next season – Kenedy, goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and free agent Ki Sung-yueng and Rafa is pleased with those three.
Rafa Benitez in Ireland
Rafa has talked about not signing a new deal yet and that it was not a problem:
“Still, I don’t think it’s an issue with my contract. I told Mike and Lee and Justin.”
“They know that, if we do the right things, then I am keen to stay here for five years or whatever.”
“But they have to do things in the way that, for me as a football professional, there is a way to do things and we have to be sure that we do that.”
“If you want to sign an extension for a lot of years, the main thing and the first one has to be the Academy, for example.”
“Then all these things, you have everything in place – I am really pleased with the fans, the city, the atmosphere at the games, the staff are professionals, everyone.”
“We have all the potential to grow and to be a top side, a proper top side.”
“We will see at the end of the window how well we did. We are working to add players to improve the squad,”
“Every manager wants something more. I am happy with the three players we have signed.
“We have more or less a similar team to what we had last year. Now we have to keep growing and improving.”
Rafa seems to be clear that he just wants Mike Ashley to do the sensible things – but that could be a challenge for the Newcastle owner.
If we lose Rafa next summer, then Mike Ashley will need to sell the club as our best opportunity for a long time will have been thrown away.
Newcastle beat St. Patrick’s Athletic 2-0 last night in our first friendly with Sean Longstaff scoring a goal late in the first half .
Sean played very well, and he will have done his first team chances no harm with last night’s performance.