Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has said a lot of things over the past week following the team’s capitulation at Sporting Braga last Wednesday night when we went down 4-0 – conceding all four goals in the second half.
Rafa has not been supported in this transfer window as we all know, and it’s the fourth window in succession he’s been disappointed at the funding provided by owner Mike Ashley.
Rafa should not have to work so hard to get Ashley to sign good players, but he does.
And he has pointed to his past record in management as one of the world’s best managers.
It’s only at Newcastle that he has had his hands tied behind his back and has still done wonders over these past two seasons.
The 58-year-old has talked to the press as reported today in the Chronicle, and he wants to be given a chance on Tyneside:
“When they trust our people normally we deliver. We did in Napoli, we did in Valencia, we did in Liverpool.”
“So you think about Liverpool, they were competing against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal and we won trophies.”
“And we did with Napoli against Juventus and we won trophies in Valencia against Madrid and Barcelona.”
“We even did at Milan where they didn’t give me any money, not one signing, yes we did Coutinho but he was a young player, but we won a trophy.
“If they trust us, if they give us the tools – we deliver.”
“In this case I was thinking we could deliver something especially after one year, finishing 10th in the league and now we will try and stay in the Premier League – our main target.”
“And see what happens but that will be our main target because you see the potential of other teams.”
“We have been working really hard. My idea of how to do things, was at this stage of pre-season, everything will be completed and the team will be ready and you will be working with your players for one month.”
“It’s not the case but at the same time I think we are trying to improve the squad – is it enough?”
“No, I don’t think so. It’s enough to compete and trying to win games but we will do it so… with this team we finished 10th but the margin was very narrow.”
“So we were not ahead of a lot of teams, it was so close you could finish 10th or 15th, so that was my point.”
“We were ready, we were working hard in the summer to do things the right way and we are where we are and we will try to do our best until the 9th.”
“Bring in the best players we can get and improve the competition and after that, we will be working as hard as we did in the past.
“Will it be more difficult than last year? I think so because Fulham, Wolves, and Cardiff – especially the first two – are spending money.”
“They are not like Huddersfield and Brighton, and were promoted with us and then have the potential that these two clubs are showing in the market.”
“Then Crystal Palace, West Ham, everybody has spent some money and it will be more difficult.”
“But at the same time, we have to be sure we approach with confidence to get results doing the things we did last season – staying together and working really hard.”
There’s been no net money spent in this summer’s transfer window, but we still have managed to get in five good players – Dubravka, Kenedy (loan), Sung-yueng, Schar and Muto for a gross outlay of £16M.
We are expecting to sign Salomon Rondon on loan today from West Brom with Dwight Gayle going the other way.
Rafa, in addition, is hoping for two or three more players to come through the door before the window closes on Thursday night at 5:00pm.
Let’s hope we get them.