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Rafa Wastes No Time – The Newcastle Dream Continues

It would have been much better if Newcastle could have survived in the Premier League last season  and then we would still be in the top league in England and getting some publicity.

In the Championship it’s hard to find much news on Newcastle when you look online at national newspapers like the Mirror, Mail, Telegraph and the like.

There may be something right at the bottom of their seven pages of coverage of the Premier League – maybe.

We hadn’t realized just how much it’s all about the Premier League in England as much as this season when we are not in the top division.

Rafa Benitez with the players in training

Newcastle are doing very well right now and we are top of the Championship and being down below for a year – as long as it’s just a year – doesn’t mean we have wasted a full year.

Rafa has already done some big things at the club and made plenty of changes.

He’s cleared out all the dead wood in the squad  in the summer – something the club resisted doing for far too long.

Rafa’s  made upgrades to the pitches by installing 4G technology over the old and outdated 3G pitches and that seems to be  paying off with so few injuries this season.

He’s also made changes inside in the configuration of the Benton training grounds and look for more and bigger changes there in the summer.

Rafa has also made what looks to be some stellar buys in the transfer market and we’ll just mention Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark and Isaac Hayden as some really terrific buys for the money.

Each of these players have improved this season under Rafa’s expert coaching.

So Rafa has already made some big changes at the club since he arrived in March and of course we did make a profit of £31M in the summer transfer market – so the coffers are in good shape.

Rafa has also inspired the Geordie fans and we regularly get full houses at the home games like the 52,000 there for the 4-0 win against Birmingham on Saturday afternoon.

The away ticket allocations are also sold out very quickly.

Assuming we do get promoted back to the Premier League this season this year will not have been wasted and Newcastle can then bring in some top players this summer to further strengthen the squad for an assault at the top of the Premier League.

The players we have now all know what’s expected of them and what Rafa wants from them – something that would take time whichever league we were in.

And there are good signs that the big clubs spending stupidly high transfer fees on good players while the smaller clubs are spending a lot more wisely is leveling things off in the Premier League and making it a lot more competitive.

And the fact the Leicester City won the Premier League last season after struggling mightily against relegation the season before gives us all hope.

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that if all goes well this season Newcastle United could be back challenging in the top six of the Premier League next season.

And just think – we’d be back in the national papers again and be able to see the games live on television.

That’s the hope – but first things first – and we need to win as many games as we can as soon as we can – and ensure we are promoted this season.

Then the dream can continue.

26 comments so far

  • jayphoto

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #1

    I’m actually really enjoying this season! Helps how often we are winning, but also in Rafa, for the first time since Sir Bob, we have a manager to be proud of. I’ve no doubt the money he’s on is a part of why we have him, but Rafa has thrown himself into the community! So many stories you see in local press, of him turning up to local jobs and schools etc, but also if you follow social media, the amount of Geordies that have great mini stories about meeting Rafa in this place or that! Whether you agree with his selections, tactics etc or not, the guy is truly a class act! The level of detail and the thought and work that’s going into everything is amazing! Not saying he’s the worlds greatest manager, but honestly, there is no one in world football I would rather manage us right now than Rafa!

  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #2


    Let’s hope he’s here for a long time.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #3

    @welsh yeah, I’m hoping there’s not many jobs he’d get that would tempt him away!

    On a separate note, what you making of Bobcat Bradley?
    Swans form seems all over the place, but gotta be honest, like hearing the guy talk, seems to know his stuff and doesn’t beat around the bush etc! Much more media savvy than most English bosses. For me, the swans have a poor squad, which isn’t a reflection on Bradley, reckon he’s getting a raw deal because he’s American and theres a stigma attached.
    If he signs his son in January you’ll have a player on your hands! Runs for days, really good athletic midfielder

  • martoon

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #4

    Jayphoto – we keep saying Rafa is the best manager we’ve had since Sir Bobby. However I think if we’re brutally honest he is probably better than SBR for the simple fact that Rafa is in his prime whereas Sir Bobby probably came to us about 5 – 10 years too late. Hope I don’t get too much stick for this!

  • AncientC

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #5

    “we did make a profit of £31M in the summer transfer market – so the coffers are in good shape.”

    Getting relegated from the PL to the Championship for the 2016/17 season, will not leave the coffers in good shape at all.

    The players wage bill alone would be in somewhere around £50 to £60 million, then there is ‘other’ costs which usually total around £20 million per season, and you also have £5 million wages for Benitez to add in.

    I think a few people are going to be surprised at how little the club will have to spend over the next two windows. The funds are just not there, and Ashley will not put his hand in his pocket, that’s not how he works.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #6

    @Martoon – I agree with you actually! we didn’t get Bobby in his absolute prime, and looking back, he had a really great side
    Think rafa’s attention to detail is second to none, preparation, training etc whereas I’d guess Sir Bobs strengths were more in motivation and actual management

  • Spoof

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #7

    Sir Bobby was fantastic for us as was Kevin Keegan, but due to Sir Bob being a local lad and due to KK having a great affection for us due to his playing days you can understand why they did come to us, but why did Rafa, why did he come, it just doesn’t make any sense at all, we were a club rotten to the core due to Ashley and in a relegation which even Rafa couldn’t stave off, yet he has stayed with us.

    A top manager in his prime staying at a rotten to the core club in the championship makes no sense at all to me, yet to anyone who has been in a comer during our Ashley years but has just awoken and is now looking at us will see a big ambitious club who seem hell bent on succeeding, and who says miracles never happen, well I used to say that, but not now.

  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 12, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #8


    Don’t know about Bradley, time will tell.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #9

    Many people are saying we beat Brum easily because they were so bad.

    Is it not more the case that they were so bad because we were so good.

    Poor passing is often the sign of a team under a lot of pressure, which they were from the off.

    Most of that £31m profit was from the sale of Sissoko and Winaldum. We don’t have anyone else like them to sell so the starting coffers are no more that that. So as AncientC says theres probably not as much in the piggy bank that many are surmising.

  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #10

    Out of all the managers past and present, my fav manager has got to be Sir Bobby Robson, I might not be from Newcastle but that’s my reason why I follow this great club, when i was young I remember him as the England manager and under him England should have won it twice, loved by millions home and abroad, what a legend.

  • martoon

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #11

    Welsh – I have to say I thought the makems were favourites last Saturday and it was an excellent result you pulled out – Bradley has to be given some credit for that.

  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #12


    I honestly didn’t think swans was going to win that after Spurs thrashing, haven’t been too bad at home last two matches, my worry is away from home, West Brom on Wednesday is going to be tough, they played well yesterday, so fingers crossed,

  • jayphoto

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #13

    saw the brum manager, rowetts interview, loved hearing what he said about Newcastle! He said they came expecting to be out played by Newcastle, but they didn’t expect to be outrun to Newcastle to the extent that they were. Every inch of space on the pitch seem to constantly have a Newcastle player running into it….
    great observation at how hard this side works

  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #14

    Again this season might go down to the last two or three games, wouldn’t like to bet on which three teams, at least six or seven teams could be in trouble, swans might survive but i don’t know about Sunderland or Hull.

  • martoon

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #15

    Essex Geordie Bill @9 – I take your point but believe me as much as we played well Birmingham were dreadful. I think it was a combination of we bossed them, they had a very off day and their number 9 – well he was simply hopeless.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #16


    It looks to me that anyone from CP down is in the relegation mix.

    The strugglers that win the most against those teams will be the survivors. The most nailed on relegation candidate for me is Hull and a dogfight for the rest.


    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #17

    I don’t think Rafa took this job with no transfer budget agreed which he hasn’t touched yet rather added 30 mill to it

    The issue comes from the wage budget of which we may only have what Sissoko was earning to play with though that’ll be a decent wedge it may not be enough to get the level of player we will want

    But really we all want new players in Jan we may not need any to get promoted

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #18


    Can’t help feeling that there will be a lot of teams that will look as bad as they were against us. It would probably have been the same with NF but for some reason.

  • Jib

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #19


    Accountancy not your forté I see.

    NUFC received £71 million in June for their season 2015/6 in the PL (even though relegated you stll get the PL dosh at season’s end)

    I’m fairly sure part of the agreement with Ashley was to ring-fence that money for player purchases , on condition Rafa got the wages down and binned the deadwood.

    The parachute payments for this season should cover the Benitz reduced operating costs

    So we have a war chest of around £100 million – although the club will not like it publicised too much for obvious reasons.

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #20

    I think the current bottom three could well be the bottom three come the spring. Even in the same order. Out of the others just above them if I was you I would be looking at Burnley or Boro as teams you could most hope to drag into it. West Ham and Palace are a shambles at the moment but I think they have some quality and goals in their squad, which might get them enough points to get out of trouble.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 12, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #21

    I hope that is correct, It would be a major boost if £30 to £50m were spent on a single player in January.

    Griezeman would be a good buy, any others?

  • Moonraker15

    Dec 12, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #22

    Your point about Birmingham being poor is true; however I think that is the standard in the Championship and most of the teams I have watched have been equally poor at some point. We just have to maintain our level and we will beat most teams. Where we have not, we have either been unlucky (forest) or let our level drop (Blackburn etc). Generally the standard in the championship is poor, but if you have Rafa we can’t fail. Bruce will get Villa promoted next season if not this one. If Rafa hadn’t come and made his demands I fear we’d be down for years like Leeds etc.

  • Moonraker15

    Dec 12, 2016 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #23

    I take it you are talking about Griezmann with tongue in cheek as he would cost 100 million!

  • Moonraker15

    Dec 12, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #24

    Rafa saw the huge potential when manager at Liverpool of a single club city with huge crowds and hugely underachieving for decades. He had been manager of the world’s greatest club and there were few challenges left for him. This is that challenge and I think we should give credit to Charnley for selling the project to Rafa having failed with McClaren and then getting Ashley to agree to Rafa’s demands!

  • Dondatta13

    Dec 12, 2016 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #25

    Ed…. and anyone else who is looking to keep up with all things NUFC…

    Just google newsnow newcastle united. The site scans the internet every 5 minutes for all things nufc and you can keep up with the latest news on out club. It also have info on just about any subject you may be interested in too.

  • ZIPPIE57

    Dec 12, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #26

    Jib well said
    Ancient C , please go away and come back when you realise we are technically in profit etc on transfer dealings and more money to come re Thauvin . I dont wish to appear rude but sick of negativity when there is no reason for it .
    Go and support another club if NUFC are not for you


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