Another Ashley Gamble On Newcastle Could Lead To This Disaster Scenario

We read in the Chronicle that Rafa Benitez is becoming more and more frustrated with the Newcastle hierarchy.

There was news in the Chronicle today that Benitez expected back in late November that this January transfer window would be much like the previous two – and he would get no help from Ashley.

We are in a similar position as we were last season, but there are some real differences too.

Rafa is not as confident with his squad as he was a year ago when he said we would do better in the second half of last season – which we did and even finished in 10th place.

His is not saying those things at the moment – but that it will take a miracle for Newcastle to avoid relegation this term.

Rafa has done his best to alert Mike Ashley to the dangers Newcastle face in the final five months of the season.

Rafa Benitez – at Watford this season

But we have heard nothing from Ashley and 10 days of the window are already over.

Benitez has refused to sign a new deal at Newcastle unless the way transfers are done at the club is changed radically,  and the manager also has much more say on how the transfer money is spent.

He also wants more money to spend so he can bring in a better class of player and wants to know the level of Mike Ashley’s ambitions for the club.

We can tell Rafa what they are right now – it’s to spend as little money as he can in keeping Newcastle as a Premier League club.

Rafa has been at the club now for coming up to three years and he will know that if Ashley doesn’t sell things are not going to improve any time soon.

And even if Rafa keeps Newcastle s a Premier league club this season, he will surely look for a more ambitious club than Newcastle are under Ashley.

Former Premier League Champions Leicester City are one of those clubs reported to be interested in signing Rafa in the summer.

The only hope for us seems to be that Rafa can somehow have Newcastle survive relegation in the next several months and a new owner emerges before the summer.

It will take those two things to happen to prevent the disaster scenario at Newcastle.

That’s Rafa leaving the club and Newcastle relegated for the third time from the Premier League under Ashley.

The more we don’t strengthen this month the more likely that disaster scenario is of becoming real.

Comments welcome.

266 comments so far

  • Dondatta13

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #41

    bettyswallocks, you do realise as a professional EPL player, he probably has certain contractual media obligations.

    We all get upset when we hear nothing from the club and we seem to get upset when we do.

    Damned if they do and damned…..

  • Corv

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #42

    Leazes Flags ????
    Leazes Flags ????
    Received a text msg from the club advising to come and collect all remaining flags and to hand in our security passes.
    Looks like we’ve touched a nerve and the club don’t like the truth. #shameful

  • BeeGuy

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #43

    Hey, gambling is fun for MA. Let him take a chance with his toys. IF NUFC stay up, he is the happiest man in the world. If they go down, he can throw enough money at the club to get a trophy in the Championship.


    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #44

    This almiron talk is doing my nut in…its all bollicks….they are saying that we have agreed wages but not a transfer fee…this seems backward to me….i myt be wrong but i thought u couldn’t talk to a player without first agreeing a fee with the club then the club allows u to try and sort something with the player…they myt allowed it if tr deal was close,like just a few millions out but we are apparently 8-10 m out…..utter shite!! ….hope im wrong but looks like utter crap and hot air for me.

  • catchy in norway

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #45


    it seems now you can only have pride in our club if you support Rafa.

    right now everyone who had anything to say about Pardew or Shteve seems to have put what ever logic they had to one side to get behind the Spanish one, our chosen one if you like.

    Under p45, the football was terrible and he was a total liar.
    Shteve just wasn’t liked from day one, i didn’t mind the football in the first 2 month, but results didn’t follow, the squad seemed to not be playing for him, and he had to go.

    under Rafa, the football is the worst i have ever seen, the results are now on par with Shteve, he throws the players under the bus like Pardew, Moral is at an all time low, Ritchie just said as much the other day.

    yet the one walking around untouchable is Rafa.

    people asking for better players seem to just forget the clubs he has been at, and that terrible football followed him to these clubs.

    for people to even suggest he is world class is an insult to managers like SBR who left clubs on good grounds.

    right now out of sheer hate for Ashley, people are backing Rafa.

    utter madness

  • Mag52

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #46


    There’s no guarantee that Ashley would leave if we were relegated. Nothing is guaranteed with our man Ashley.
    It’s pretty certain though that Rafa would call it a day, and who could blame him ?
    There’s certainly no guarantee that we would come bouncing back into the PL under a new manager who would pretty definitely be inferior to Rafa.
    A year or more in the Champo, and possibly a further relegation would have to get Ashley thinking about getting out, and wouldn’t it be some sort of satisfaction for us fans who have been sh@t on for so long by the fat leech, to see him losing money big time on his investment ?

  • hibbit

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #47

    there would be no guarantee of a quick return to the Pem, even with a lot of money thrown at these days

    abject misery for us fans

  • Mag52

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #48


    I think all those who never stopped having a go at Pardue and the others have, late in the day, realised that the problems on and off the field in the club are largely down to one man and one man only. Our esteemed owner.

  • Dondatta13

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #49

    Catchy… An analogy for you.

    We have a car, lets say for arguments sake that its a Porsche (NUFC)…

    We let the Stig set a lap time on the Top Gear test track.

    Now, we have the same car, a Porsche (NUFC), and we swap out the original Porsche engine and fit, in its place a 1.3 Petrol engine. Then we take the 22 inch wheels and replace them with 13 Inch wheels. We then give the keys to lets say Lewis Hamilton and ask him to set a new lap time around the Top Gear test track.

    What do you realistically think the outcome will be?

    Id say the second modified car would set a much slower time.

    Is that because Lewis Hamilton is a terrible driver? Or is he not playing on a level playing field?

  • Bambams

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #50

    I cant believe the Leazes Flags boys have been told to hand in their passes ! This is disgraceful and it appears Ash is just doing whatever he can to annoy the fans.

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #51

    catchy, you need to get over your reliance on performance and stats and open your ears to what the majority are saying.

    The reason we can all see that Rafa is the best thing that has happened to the club is he is the one person in a management position there that has tried to improve the club in a meaningful way in over a decade.

    If he goes, we’re back to having an Ashley ‘yes’ man and that’s a situation we all want to avoid.

    Sometimes you cannot prove a person’s worth with cold stats.

  • ashleysmate

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #52

    Has Lewis Hamilton signed for the toon?

  • hibbit

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #53

    would he lose money ???

    i don’t think so i think he’s well in profit now and would still get this season sky money plus the 3 parachute payments and even when he decided too go the the club would still have a value he wont be losing any money on his he might not be getting as much as he wanted but losing money on us defiantly not

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #54

    Bambams, if Leazes Flags are alone in having their pass recalled, then your comments are very valid. If it’s part of a wider recall of security passes, then there could be other reasons behind it.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #55

    Where’s the insulting aspect of sending back a loan player that’s not working out?

    In terms of Chelsea it’s a business for them to loan our players and giving them valuable playing time.

    Don’t they have something like 40 players out on loan?

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #56


    I agree to a point with that.

    Rafa has a style that you personally wont enjoy, not matter who the personnel are. I accept that. For me I much prefer a high energy, pressing game.

    What I will say is that Pardew had much better players. Ba and Cisse (in his prime) are miles ahead of what we have now, even Remy was. He then had decent creative players in Ben Arfa and Cabaye. Sissoko had his moments too.

    In defence of Rafa (and I’m not one who’d want him running the team if we got a new owner, I’d prefer a different style if we were to be lucky enough to have somebody to invest heavily) he has very limited squad. There is little quality, little pace, little goal scoring threat and also we have a group who in my opinion don’t really have a lot of drive and passion, regardless of who managed them. A number don’t see to take responsibility and work hard enough.

    Some of this can be dropped at the manager as he should get the best from people, but at the same time, if you have a core of players who don’t work hard for anyone and have been discarded by other clubs, then what can he do.

    As others have said, he is a very good man and is very good with the club, fans and city. I have family (not close family) with kids in the academy and they have said he is very approachable, open to chat and is a good club man, he wants to be involved. That isn’t the be all and end all in management, but it’s important. Even more so now given the hatred that exists for Ashley and his approach.

    I may sound like a Rafa apologist here, but that’s my honest take on it.

    As much as you want people to see it from your view, I think you should consider those points and see why people like him. Same for others who just don’t want to listen to your arguments, it’s always worth trying to see where people are coming from and why they think certain things.

    ps. before anyone complains, I appreciate people on both sides have said some very deplorable things and that shouldn’t be ignored either.

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #57

    Transfer Sage “I’m not one who’d want him running the team if we got a new owner”

    So, you think it would be acceptable to allow a guy who has shown unswerving loyalty to the club, the player and the fans through three years of bullsh!t to just be given a pat on the back, a golden handshake and a wave and then have to look on from the sidelines as somebody else spent the new owners’ fortunes and grew the club from the foundations he had put in place?

    That’s ok in your book, is it?


  • carltoon

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #58

    Why would anybody not want to give Raffa a chance to take the club forward under a new owner and better players.

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #59

    Transfer…Far too reasoned for this blog.

    As always, a calm and respectful offering to the blog. Good for you.

    Something that gets lost in this debate, is that many people did back Pardew, like they are Rafa, solely due to some believing concentrating efforts elsewhere takes the pressure of Ashley. Personally, I came around to the idea that Pardew needed to go, as he was a willing mouth piece. Now however, I don’t think it helped or hindered anything really. It just buys Ashley time, each time.

    For the life of me I don’t understand why people have allowed the discussion to become about Rafa’s style of play. What’s the point in defending it? There is no definitive proof that one style or another works better than any other, it’s personal preference. Whether people should use Rafa as a pawn in the Ashley fight however, is another debatable point. For me, 100%, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some issues with Rafa, it’s just they pale into insignificance in my personal bigger picture.

    Jesper…I think the point being made is more that they weren’t sure how Chelsea would respond to giving us another loanee, if we cancelled the existing one early. It is business, but you would have thought it would impact their decision of whether we’re a good fit for their players in the 1st place?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #60


    Wondering if the new owners have already told Rafa he’s not getting kept on ? Might be why he is so cheesed off?

    Oh wait that is 100% Ashley’s fault!

  • scott

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #61


    I can’t breathe with your “pride in the club” comment!

    Where are your “pride” comments when the lads go on a winning streak???

    Oh yeah that’s right your “busy” life takes over until we lose then your time suddenly free’s up!!

    & you wonder why TRUE fans have a go at you!
    It’s makem wum behaviour with a sprinkling of bigotry “accidentally ” thrown in!

  • Corv

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #62

    The Ashley Nufc Dictatorship trying to silence free speech!

    It beggars belief!

  • carltoon

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #63

    Yes there is loads of multi cup winning champion League winning mangers out there for any new owner coming in.

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #64

    carltoon #58 absolutely 100% correct. Why would anyone not give Rafa a chance? He deserves our support in any circumstances just for the fact he gave the same to us.

    If after a couple of years and a realistic budget having been spent by him on players he wants we’re still languishing in the lower reaches of the Division and at threat of relegation, then he would have to be judged in the same way as any other manager.

    I’d stake my house on that not being the case, though.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #65


    Honestly yes. It’s not about him not deserving it because he does.

    I just personally prefer a more high tempo style of play which Rafa isn’t known for throughout his career. It’s not to say he couldn’t be successful with money here, he may well be and of course I’d welcome any success he brought no matter how it was done. I’d take 0-0 in every round of the cup if we ended up winning it on penalties, winning it is so important.

    I just think if a new owner came in, he’d want a different style and by letting Rafa buy his own style of players, if things didn’t work and we’d need to make a change, then we’d need to revamp the whole squad again in the future.

    It might seem disrespectful to Rafa but he wouldn’t be the style I’d want long term. Again, not to say his style can’t bring success or have merit, it’s just not for me.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #66

    Jesper we have to write it off and take the hit , this season hasn’t worked out for Kenedy but last season he played a big part in our survival in fact a lot more than Slimani , who was reported to be on £90.000 pw at Leicester who hardly kicked a ball for us. If we sent Kenedy back to Chelsea ,the next time we came looking for a loan deal I wouldn’t expect anything other than 2 big fingers.

  • Bianconeri

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #67

    Do we want Almiron
    Yes in my opinion.
    Why because he is Rafa’s 1st choice.
    People say Murphy and Muto were not 1st choices and if it were true, they were bought by charmless then it’s time Rafa got what HE wanted and not a make do.
    I personally like Muto, and Murphy could improve,but what kind of team would we have if Rafa was given his head.
    Certainly not bottom 5

    If the leazes flags passes were taken from them because they complained about the flags being skipped, then the throwing the toys out of the pram needs addressing by the media,especially the chronicle.
    The sooner we are rid of cashlie and all his tat the better

  • RobLeenio

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #68

    Transfer Sage, I have to disagree – the Liverpool fans weren’t complaining about the style of football when they won the Champions League. We weren’t complaining about the style of football when we won the Championship, at least not after our rocky start to the season.

    Give Rafa the appropriate backing and he will build not just a competitive team but a competitive club, ensuring long-term success.

    I don’t care for your ‘preferences’ – we’d all love a return to the football of the Keegan era, but Keegan himself disbanded the reserve team, not a move to give long-term success.

    What is more important than preferences is justice, honour, integrity and loyalty. This is what defined our club in the past and these are the values we should be striving for in the future. Way more important than whether we play attacking or defensive football.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 10, 2019 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #69

    I think it’s premature to talk about high tempo pressing football as a preference when we are stuck right in the middle of a survival campaign. It’s a bit like wishing for someone to leave a suitcase full of £50 notes on your doorstep. For all the chewing about “having a good go” at teams, this manager has a tight remit and limited resources and I guarantee he would have gone long ago after a few whitewashings from mediocre teams with a “gung-ho” approach. The time to talk about a more confident approach in games is when we are more confident the playing personnel can actually pull it off. Some bloggers think this squad is that good. Sr. Benitez has his reservations. I’m with him I’m afraid.

    It appears few of our cavalier approach advocates think about the ramifications on morale of a few sound bearings for leaving ourselves exposed. And in case anybody hadn’t noticed, we do attack teams all the time. We just don’t have the ability to succeed at it.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #70


    Appreciate you views, everyone has a different take. As I said, I’d watch a a Rafa team win a cup and enjoy every minute of that, heck I’d watch a Pulis team if we won a cup.

    I’m just reading a book at the minute called The Barcelona Way. They generated long term success by picking a style of football, making sure all coaches at all levels trained the same style, then hired only managers who bought into that style and culture (obviously some mistakes along the way as nobody is perfect).

    I’m not saying we should be that successful, please don’t think I’m being unreasonable. I just think that Rafa’s style isn’t as successful as it was in the past, just my take from watching the successful clubs around Europe. I may well be wrong and happy to discuss it with people here.

    It’s not just my preference for what I want to see (although that plays a bit part), it’s my preference for what I think would bring longer term success.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #71

    I stubbed my toe earlier. I blame that damned Ayoze Perez!

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #72


    I don’t think we can do too much different with this team. As I said to catchy, the squad is very very limited in many areas and Rafa is trying his best.

    I was merely talking hypothetically. If we were to get an owner who’d spend, if we were still a premier league team, etc. There are some many variables that I don’t think there is a right answer, it was merely what I’d personally prefer.

    I also wouldn’t be upset if a new owner gave Rafa a 5 year deal. Football would improve with more money and better players. It’s just purely my dream scenario if we had everything.

  • catchy in norway

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #73


    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #49

    you assume with your stupid analogy that the race your in is against porches with top drivers.

    now for some reality, Blackburn would be a robin reliant, with only 3 wheels.

    you can throw any stupid comparisons you like, im not comparing us to man C or Liverpool,, im comparing us to Wolves,Watford, Cardiff Huddersfield, surely at home we can take the game to the other team a little, for 60 mins we gave man u a good game, would we have lost the game, probably, but we lost by 1 goal and had a go.

    Fulham, no shots on target at home, are we saying that fulham are a porsche?

    according to transfer-market, NUFC are valued at 158 mil ad watford are valued at 160 mil,, breaking it down they say the average value of a nufc player is 6,11 million, watfords is 5,74. yet watford make us look like we are blackburn whos squad value was 18 million.
    at what point can we expect the world class coach to show he is a world class coach against these types of

    every man and his dog slates pulis pr sham, for hoofball football. no one says a word about Rafa
    3 season in a row, with a half decent squad.
    his acutall results at Milan, Madrid, Napoli, with ferrari and rolls royce players, was massively under par.

    so if the football was poor with very good players, are our players really that poor, or could it be that he isnt a good coach, rather he is a tactician, and can only work for a short time with good players before he wares them out.

    but go, make excuses up and totally ignore the facts

    im not disputing he won things nor am i saying he is a bad person, i am only judging him on the football i watch and dont like

  • Tsunki

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #74

    Couple of things i don’t understand about the fair and balanced criticism in regard to what this criticism hopes to achieve are, how is this criticism going to be applied to Benitez, how should he respond to it, how should the owner see to it that his response is appropriate, and what should the owner do if it isn’t? Also what role do the fans play in challenging Benitez regarding his style of play? Should they apply pressure on him, the owner, or both to respond, and what would they demand if the response is unsatisfactory?

    Also in regard to the idea of making Benitez a “Director of Football”, can anyone describe how that is any more than shoving him in an executive box out of the way of team business so he can eat canapes with local businessmen?

  • Dondatta13

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #75

    Transfer Sage, how much debt did Barca amass long the way to the promised land of free flowing, attacking football?

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #76

    Mike Ashley is a cancer on this club. He can do what he likes and no one will challenge him or make things difficult. Fans will continue to go and support ‘the team, not the regime’. But yeah, when Ashley messes up again next time, there’ll be hell to pay. Or so I’ve been told so many times.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #77

    Transfer fair enough but there is the possibility the football would improve along with the skill level of the playing staff to the point where we can enjoy the sort of nights Liverpool fans look back fondly on with Benitez. I’d take a champs League cup with his style of play any day of the week.

  • Bambams

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #78

    Lee Charnley Bunga Party #60

    To be fair mate that would explain why he is suddenly more fed up than usual, we are just taking it as a given that Rafa would be someone they would work with – could you imagine Keegan and Big Al ?


    Re the return of the passes, I did consider it could have a wider implication but due to me banging on about my hope for a takeover, I didn’t mention it. Ash seems like he is on a collision course with a mountain the way he is behaving this last few weeks. Is this his final hurrah !

    More wishful thinking from myself – again.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #79


    For me, the criticism here is just like discussing with friends. It’s nothing that should formally be taken in by the club, by Rafa or anyone. It’s just people bouncing ideas off of each other.

    Ultimately Rafa has a style he wants to play. He’s adapted that to the players he’s had available and he will have planned a way to deliver survival with that squad. He ultimately believes it’s the best method and the one that he is personally able to deliver. He shouldn’t change just because of my opinion of it.

    I think the criticism would be more vocal from fans if he’d been given a lot of money to build his team and everything was still poor. Unfortunately for us and Rafa, he’ll never get that money from Ashley.

  • Toonces

    Jan 10, 2019 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #80


    Isn’t “the next time” now?


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