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Newcastle Hierarchy Still Woefully Short Of Matching Rafa’s Ambition For The Club

When Rafa returned to Newcastle last Monday to take the preseason training, we were hoping he would quickly be interviewed and tell the fans what exactly was going on in the transfer window this summer.

That’s after we seemed to have lost out on Sporting center-back Ruben Semeda who  joined Villareal and Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who preferred a season loan move to Swansea City

It’s also looking like Fabian Delph is going to Stoke City for about £12M and 22 year-old Chelsea central midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah could be joining Watford for a bargain £5M fee – two of our other targets.

The triumvirate running Newcastle – who has the real ambition?
Hint – he’s not standing on the outside

We also balked at paying £17M for top target Harry Maguire, because we would not pay that and valued him at only £12M.

We finally did sign Florian Lejeune from Eibar for £8.8M last Monday, but that took us about six weeks to agree with the Spanish club on the structure of how we would pay the release clause – presumably either all up front or in two installments.

The worrying thing about all of this is that Newcastle seem to have slipped back to the way they used to operate a couple or three years ago.

They are (continually) demonstrating how difficult it is to make a signing, when you seem determined to make a bargain on every single deal and at least from the outside Newcastle seem to be guilty again of severe penny-pinching.

It’s not always possible to get a super-duper deal for  every player we go after – and sometimes you have to bite the bullet  and pay the going price.

We are reported to be unwilling to pay out 20M (£17.4) for 28 year-old Greek international  central midfielder Andreas Samaras of Benfica and reportedly have bid around £3M less than the asking price and now free-spending and newly ambitious Everton FC have moved in.

And this after we did so very well last summer.

At this time last year we were just signing Jesus Gamez from Atletico Madrid and he was the fourth player through the door after Matz Sels, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle had all been signed.

So we have two players though the door now in Christian Atsu and Florian Lejeune compared to four at the same time as last year.

However, a short three days after Gamez arrived at Newcastle we announced 21 year-old Isaac Hayden had been signed for £2.5M from Arsenal, so we were buzzing at this time last summer.

The danger for Newcastle fans is that Rafa will quickly see through the two above him in Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley and they are going to penny pinch far too much.

And we don’t know of many clubs who have become really successful in Europe like some of  Rafa Benitez teams of the past, who have been guilty of penny-pinching.

You have to have real ambition to become a top club in Europe and we still don’t see that from Mike Ashley.

Otherwise maybe he would be loaning Newcastle some funds for this summer and it could be paid back over a year or so – if we are really short of funds – which is not at all clear.

There’s also been very little communication over the last week or so on transfers to the fans which with Rafa at the club – is unusual.

And yes Rafa has been very quiet.

Mike Ashley and company have to realize quickly that top managers like Rafa Benitez don’t allow themselves to be messed around for too long – and that’s one reason they have been successful.

If they decide they just cannot become successful at a club for whatever reason, they move on and they have lots of suitors waiting to snap them up too – especially with the massive money on offer now in the Premier League.

Yes – it’s still very early in the transfer window we know, but it’s worrying that Newcastle seem to have slipped back to their old ways of bartering for every single dollar (or pound or euro) in this summer transfer market.

And also not having much to say about what is or isn’t happening and that’s not too promising either – at least at the moment.

We have every confidence in Rafa Benitez – he’s already proved his complete loyalty to Newcastle United by risking his stellar career by going down below with us last season.

But Mike Ashley still seems like a dark horse and we don’t know what his real intentions are for the club.

Comments welcome.

144 comments so far

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #1

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:27 AM
    Comment #28
    Oh bliss! Trouble in paradise down at Stamford Bridge! Chelsea fans turning on Abramovich because he won’t keep bankrolling them!!! They owe him a billion smackers already, the ungrateful bunch of – insert your own juicy word.
    Seems he wants players now to move up through the academy, which is hardly asking too much.
    Conte threatening to quit, blah blah blah.
    Seriously, I would love it – LOVE IT – if Roman said enough is enough and called his debt in. Not going to happen like, but one can dream

  • jazzyp

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #2

    Edd man ya have gone and done it now.
    No doom and gloom on here please pal, Rafa’s working at breakneck speed haha

  • geordiemark

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #3


    aye was waiting for that, same as arsenal wish we where as stable as them clubs, the club better show some ambition in this transfer saga or theres trouble brewing

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #4


    If you had an ounce of common sense, which is obviously lacking, you would know that Krul was a back up to Harper and whilst he did make his debut as a 17 year old v Palermo, he DID NOT consolidate his LEAGUE position until tbe first game of tbe season in the championship away to WBA when he came on as a sub at galf time

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #5

    Ed, don’t get dragged into this. Rafa hasn’t said he’s unhappy, in fact he’s said little. All this is paper talk and the truth is, we don’t know exactly who we’re in for. Being linked to 170 players tells you that much!
    Until I hear it from the horses mouth, there’s still plenty time to get our targets.

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #6


    Even then, despite impressing, once Harper was fit, Krul reverted back to the bench and didnt nake the position his own until the first season back in tbe premiership after Harper got jnjured at Everton.

    Niw, we know you lije to build yourself up as the fountain of all knowledge regarding NUFC but obce again, you have failed

  • jazzyp

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #7

    Tin hat time

  • hibbit

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #8

    take cover

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #9

    Expat, here we go again. Grow up eh? Being ‘thrown in at the deep end’ is not what consolidating your place is about. It’s when you’re literally placed in a position you’re not used to. If you had any sense, you would know that. He wasn’t expecting to play, yet came on and did a great job. Fact. Like I said, most Toon fans remember it vividly. I’d wipe that dummy before putting it back in your mouth if I were you. 🙂

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #10

    Booby B

    If you cannot accept tbe facts when you are clearly wrong, this blog us not the place for you and childish jibes and name calling only makes you look even more silly in most people eyes on here.

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #11


    Not a problem mate. …….lol

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #12

    Do me and the blog a favour Skippy. You don’t talk to me and I’ll reciprocate. I have no desire to talk to you, or be bothered tying you up in knots as usual.
    For the blog sake, once again, I’m walking away. I come here to talk football you idiot, not get dragged into these pointless arguments that get nowhere.
    You lot need to learn to let things go. You’re truly pathetic.
    Later chaps.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #13

    Ha ha ha ha. You know, you do my job for me. You started AGAIN. You talk about name calling by starting your post with Booby ffs. I’m not needed in this row, you make yourself out to be a right plonker. Well done. Your really name isn’t Simon is it? Like pies a lot? Jesus wept. I’ll come back on when the kiddies are in bed.

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #14

    You always know a loser in a discuszion when he continually tuns away.

    BOOBY B is the master of this

  • ash1001

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #15

    Yes have to admit its a little worrying, nothing from Rafa, nothing from Charnley. I though Rafa was in charge of transfers, the way I read it, he decided who he wanted and Charnley etc did the deal, but it appears as if there is some other factor lurking in the background. Remember Ashley’s statement a short while back – Rafa will have the funds, we were guessing about £75 million – not a lot of that has been spent,
    Even the players that have been mentioned as ‘possible’ do not get the pulse racing, they appear to be other clubs cast-offs, as for all the talk about a goalkeeper, think most fans would have that at the bottom of the pecking order – so why all the talk about getting someone in, other departments need bodies before goalkeeping.

    The fans have put there money up front, its now time for the club to respond, or its going to be a bad start, and its then difficult to recover, One other point – any player we are linked with, we seem to be battling with the likes of Brighton or Swansea, its never Man U or Arsenal etc, so we are far away from the big boys with a Big Club Manager in Rafa, lets see some positive action, before he jumps ship.

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #16

    Sticks and stones Booby



    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #17

    Clearly Rafa isn’t happy, his work was again ignored and he skipped his holiday for no reason. Money might not be the huge issue but speed and ambition to use it

    We could of had Abraham and free players by now but we didn’t move fast enough…Rafa was working why wasn’t the club?

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #18

    Whoops. Temper getting the better? Look, this is never a discussion. You and your little gang bore the pants off me. If you don’t understand what ‘thrown in at the deep end’ means, then fair enough. Lack of education, probably not your fault. Just entering a battle if wits unarmed isn’t advisable.
    Can someone tell me if I’m explaining myself right? I don’t wish to converse with you. Is that really hard?
    So, I’m walking away not because I’m wrong you dingo, but because I’M BORED WITH YOU.
    Most adults can have a disagreement and not drag it on for years. Only an anally retentive people can’t let things go.
    Try Dynorod, I believe they claim to be able to clear any blockage. Drops the mic and see ya later Skippy.

  • posada

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #19

    I have always found Bobby’s comments on here to be sound.
    He contributes a lot to this blog.
    If someone gets a fact slightly wrong from memory does it matter. We can all do that when we are thinking back ten years or so.

    Anyway, back to Ed’s article. Personally it gives the wrong impression for me. The club being run by penny pinching fools. Fact is transfer fees have gone mad. 17M for Maguire. Very average player.

  • Oldgit1

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #20

    There you go again expat, you can’t comment without trying to have a go st people. I would much rather read comments from Bobbybee than a guy who has never graced the holy turf. You are a typical keyboard twat. So can you respectfully fcuk off. Why don’t you discuss things that are football related instead. It would make a nice change.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #21

    Cheers lads, appreciated. Listen, I’venever backed down in my life

  • Reilly

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #22

    Northern Echo: Newcastle have had discussions with Crystal Palace for Andros Townsend and are ready to make a move.

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #23


    Nothing wrong in making a relevant point.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #24

    Whoops! Move that submit button Ed.
    …and won’t now, but please, discuss football and I’m your man all day, but this is every time I come on, the same morons start a row. I’ll admit I respond, but you do, don’t you? Not going to take mindless abuse lying down.
    Like I say, I’ll walk again for blog’s sake. Nobody wants to hear this BS I’m sure of that.
    Catch you later.

  • toon kk

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #25

    To be fair All the lack of activitie at Newcastle is nothing new, it’s how our club is run, parting with money is a major issue.


    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #26

    Also this Lejeune bargain basement tag is incredibly harsh his release clause doesn’t represent his value it’s 9f been double what we paid if that clause wasn’t there

  • Reilly

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #27

    any chance we can have emojis selection bellow comment box.

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #28

    See ya BOOBY

  • ToonRich

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #29

    It was myself and Pootle that suggested we’d be happy to see Woodman get an opportunity in the first team. I also mentioned Krul’s age when he was ‘thrown in the deep end’!! Not sure why conversation has gone sour on the subject!!!

    Anyway…any new or reoccuring rumours today lads?

  • ToonRich

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #30

    I see reports we’re interested in Niang of AC Milan now…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #31

    Any need for that expat, I’d slow down on the shiraz if I were you it’s only nine o clock 😮

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #32

    ‘Thrown in at the deep end’. To throw somebody in at the deep end
    to make someone do something difficult, especially a job, without preparing them for it or giving them any help I had to deal with a strike threat on my first day – talk about being thrown in at the deep end!

    Dictionary definition. Not mine. Like Krul in the European game? Not a few years later when he’d had practice and played in the Championship. Lucky I’m not anally retentive or I’d never let you forget that Skippy. 🙂
    Wanted to watch the cricket anyway, but thought I’d improve your poor education before I left.
    Remind me? Who’s wrong? Ha ha ha ha! Priceless. 🙂
    Good blogging chaps, can’t be far off the time they put the senile to bed in Oz. I’ll be back later. 🙂 xx

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #33


    Just fighting my own corner mate

  • Ron Knee

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #34

    Only 37 days until the new season starts. Pull your finger out, Charmless!

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #35


    And yet another insult from you. Senility is no laughing matter. I hope you never have to deal with it.

  • one fine day

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #36

    The toonsend thing kicking off again ?
    Wasn’t that fussed either way to be honest but after some of tHe dross we have been linked with ..now hoping this has legs .
    Have to say getting a bit tired of the constant shite on here about those who are not within a bare foots walk to the gallowgate are somehow less entitled to voice an opinion .
    Bit ironic as the blog is set up and run by a man in North Carolina and from what I have always gathered was give a platform to fans of nufc from all corners of the world .
    There is an argument as to who is most loyal ? Those who haven’t missed a game since the days of long baggy shorts etc …or those who were born in the north eats and for one reason or another have found themselves an 18 flight away .
    Loyalty takes many forms lads
    I bet going through couple of relegations is a lot easier when your surrounded by fellow Geordies who get it.
    Try been in the pub at 4am watching a game surrounded by ex pat man urd and worse still Chelsea and man citeh .
    Or Monday mornings hearing them w@nk on about spending 60 mil on a player but still not on the top 3 bla bla .
    There are thousands of us around the world spreading the good word so maybe worth a second thought before jumping on someone’s case about not been at a home game for a couple of years .
    Spent most of my former years under the scoreboard in the gallowgate after seeing my first games from the milburn paddocks .
    And judging from my last visit the super fans of the modern era are not even close to the volume we used to knock out watching mostly shite and we didn’t even have a roof .
    Apologies about the long post but this has being boiling my piss of late .

  • nightfa11

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #37

    we will have the best squad in universes by the start of new season 🙂 i know 🙂 mark my words 🙂

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #38

    Getting back to football, the next 10 days will be crucial.

    Ir will give Rafa enough time to sort out who hs committed or not and where hus priorities are in strengthening.

  • magspuggy

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #39

    One fine day.

    Well said fella.

  • expatmag

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #40


    The Krul discussion re olved around a certain other poster saying he was thrown in the deep end but my argument was that it was only one game at Palermo in the meaningless Intertoto cup.

    My point was that it took Krul 3 more years to actually establish himself mostly due to injuries to Harper, initially in the cgampionship season of 2009 and then primarily, in 2010, after Harper was seriously injured at Everton in 2010.

    The certain other poster tended to disagree with my opinion by resorting to further insults and then running off the blog.


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