Former Liverpool center-back and now Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson thinks that Newcastle will do OK in the Premier League in the coming season – even though Rafa wanted to improve the squad a lot more than he’s been able to this summer.
Once again Mike Ashley has withheld the club’s money from Rafa and it looks like we will make another profit in this summer’s transfer window – so no net spend at all by the club.
Why is that?
Rafa doesn’t understand why there’s no money available since we finished 10th in the league last season, and got £123M for that.
Phil Thompson – thinks Newcastle will do OK under Rafa Benitez this season
And other clubs, even including recently promoted Fulham and Wolves are outspending Newcastle by large amounts.
We don’t understand it either, other than Mike Ashley doesn’t like spending money and would rather keep the club’s money in the bank than use it to build a good team that can start to win things – something the manager is used to.
And that’s where the owner is at odds with the world-class manager we have – maybe for the last season.
This is what Phil Thompson has said:
“Rafael Benitez has done incredible stuff at Newcastle. but it’s just deja vu.”
“He needs more backing and he’s not getting it. If he’s going to stay then he’s just got to get on with it, as it is a joy for every Geordie that he is there.”
“We hear about these standoffs but Rafa remains there – so it can’t all be bad.”
“The transfer business isn’t fulfilling any of the passions, but they know Benitez can get them on a few good runs to get them over the line.”
“Rafa has always been a great defensive organizer and signing the goalkeeper is key as he impressed me with the way he organized the back four.”
“Jamaal Lascelles has been a player who has attracted the interest of top clubs and he’ll be vital for Benitez in keeping the defensive unit solid.”
Thompson seems to think we’ll be reasonably safe next year because of Rafa and so do we.
And even after another poor summer transfer window, we’ll still have a better squad than we started with last season – a much better squad and a better starting line-up.
Dubravka and Kenedy made a huge difference when they joined us in January and Ki Sung-yueng will be a big success – he is so skilled and experienced in the Premier League.
We are hoping that Rondon and Muto can help get some goals for us – which remains our big weakness – and we are disappointed that Dwight Gayle has gone for the season.
Florian Lejeune is going to be a big miss for us as he’s likely to miss most of the season through his serious ACL injury.
We are hoping Newcastle will not be in a relegation fight again.
We are also hoping that somehow either Mike Ashley leaves the club or comes to some workable agreement with Rafa so Rafa stays on past next summer.
But that’s looking more doubtful all the time.