Former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce was interviewed on talkSPORT yesterday and he seemed sympathetic to Newcastle’s plight in another very poor transfer window under owner Mike Ashley.
If we sell Adam Armstrong for £1.5M to Blackburn early next week we will have made a profit of £26M in this summer’s transfer window – not including loan fees and agents’ fees.
So reports at the beginning of the summer transfer window of Rafa getting £40M to £50M of the club’s money and then any transfers he can negotiate (currently that’s at £42.5M) were well wide of the mark.
If nothing changes Rafa will have made a profit of £26M in this transfer window and therefore Mike Ashley has effectively spent nothing at all and is not helping Rafa improve the side in any way that we can see.
Sam Allardyce believes the side will be OK in the coming season based on Rafa still managing to bring some good players in at bargain prices.
Sam Allardyce while at Newcastle – circa late 2007
And the players have already gained a valuable full season in the top flight after we finished in 10th place in May and earned £123M from the Premier league for that.
This is what big Sam told TalkSport starting with how the fans and Rafa will be feeling:
“I think they’ll be worried.”
“Once other clubs start going way past you in how much they’ve spent like they have then it makes life difficult for Rafa Benitez to improve on last season.”
“They’ve dipped into the transfer market, but when you look at some of the clubs who’ve come up this season, they’re exceeding Newcastle.”
“You look at Newcastle and they’re in the lower regions on this summer’s spending again, and it’s right that it concerns Rafa and the Newcastle fans.”
“What that means is you’re relying on Rafa’s experience to make sure they stay in the Premier League and then try and build again from there.”
“Rafa has very good knowledge in the transfer market and I think that was the key element in Newcastle staying in the division last season.”
“Because of the size of the fees now there is no margin for error.
“You have to be a very brave man and very self confident to criticise your club’s owners. Effectively forcing Mike Ashley into spending more money and in today’s world that is extremely dangerous.”
“I can’t imagine many other managers doing that.” “But Rafa is brave enough to do it and he’s experienced enough to do it.”
“I think if a bigger club had already been in for Rafa he’d have been gone. You can tell he’s not happy with his body language.”
“But walking is another matter because the contract will be so tight I would imagine Rafa would have to pay the compensation himself and that’s probably why he won’t walk.”
“He has signed some good players since he’s been at that club.” “I don’t think they’ll struggle as much as they did last season. I think a lot of the players will benefit from the year’s experience they’ve had.”
“I think they’ll be OK.
“I think the fans should look forward to the season but sometimes up there with the fans it’s beyond the real with the expectations. They always want that little bit more.”
“But at the minute the focus should be on stability and sustaining your position in the Premier League and grow from there.”
We have a really tough start to the season and face five top six sides in our first eight games.
It will be important to get a decent start to the season.
The final preseason game is this afternoon against FC Augsburg and hopefully, the lads will put up a decent showing.
And it has to be much better than at SC Braga on Wednesday evening when we were taken apart 4-0.