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This Problem Must Be Sorted Out Quickly – This Week

For the second summer running the Newcastle players are at odds with the hierarchy about what their bonus payments this season should be.

Last summer it was solved by captain Jamaal Lascelles talking directly to owner Mike Ashley to sort it out.

And it has to be sorted out quickly because it seems to be having a negative effect on the dressing room, according to Rafa.

These are some of the things that happen when a club has an owner who is a penny-pincher through and through.

Jamaal Lascelles and Rafa Benitez – two important men at Newcastle

The players yesterday refused to talk to the press after the game just as they did last Wednesday in the 4-0 capitulation to SC Braga.

Benitez was asked if the players were in the right frame of mind given the problem and this is how he responded to that question as reported in the Shields Gazette today:

“I will tell you before the game against Braga, maybe it wasn’t.”  “Today I will tell you yes.”

“I think the players will tell you that our job is to perform on the pitch. I can’t complain about the players or the way they approached this game or we missed this pass or made mistakes.”

“For us, it’s about the team.”

“Last year we saw the team spirit and staff, that was the key.”  “So it has to be the key next year. We don’t talk about the transfer window.”

“We’re trying to improve the squad as we said before, but we don’t know if we can do it or not.”

” So it’s just carry on working and try to our best before August 9.”

“Then after we have to do our best on the pitch.”

Once the window closes we’re sure Rafa will ask for unity from the fans, the staff, and the players.

And finally, the only thing Mike Ashley seems to think about is money, and that’s been one of his big problems at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

86 comments so far

  • geordieboy83

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #1

    I’ll say after Rondon we will get 2 more players in. That psg kid, and maybe a cb. Hopefully we could offer Bernard a nice little wage packet on a free transfer. And potentially ozyakup could rear his head again as our no10

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #2

    Ganging up time, I don’t know.

    Tut tut tut

  • hibbit

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #3

    if Rondon is classed as a championship loan that leaves the door open for ings as a second and final prem loan

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #4

    Ron, sorry I’m going for 3 including Rondon.

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #5

    Posada AKA Blog stalker

    Jib and I have a bit of friendly banter now and again..Nothing personal. Where as you have made it so with ya constant sniping. Yet again you have chosen to try and belittle and engage me when you have a choice to leave me alone. Go back over the last week or two and you have called me a part time fan..I only go if I get corporate tickets, You have questioned my integrity regarding actually going to games.Basically made me out to be a liar and now its got to the stage where every day I come on you have a pop at me???
    This morning I have had some friendly banter with various posters who’s views are of a similar nature yet again you choose to single me out..Again.
    If you have nothing good to say to me don’t bother, Again please feel free to skip over my moniker.Why every day go through the same ritual of stalking me ??
    And again stop being a pussy and lets engage over a pint at a match, No malice intended. But lets see if you macho enough to come across as you do on here eh Stalker.
    The simple thing is to skip over my name dude as I do to some on here who I have no interest in engaging in a debate.I have never engaged you so please do th e same for the sanity of the blog

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #6

    TOF, yes Irish girls play hurling too.

  • Whistler

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #7

    I think there’ll be just the 2 in with Gayle and Armstrong out… Rondon loan swap and N’Soki who plays both CB and LB

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #8

    More signings on the way, I believe it when i see it.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #9

    If we get three more decent players including Rondon then I’m not going to call that a bad window. I think Rafa has been let down again but he has applied public pressure and the window is still open.

  • TomaKaThor

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #10

    And why wait right until the end of the window to so called realise we need new players in lol….oh so we can say we tried to get some over the line but just missed out…same old fatso regime.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #11

    Has bobbybee been on about arma yet? It’s a shame he didn’t get more chances but he never looked like a striker for Rafa’s 4231 preferred set up.

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #12

    Whistler we need another forward.


    Rondon is the only one that can lead the line.

  • hibbit

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #13

    well its 4 for me including Rondon either buys/loans
    i also still see another 3/4 leaving gale arma and a couple more

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #14


    Out of interest can fans still vent there anger at the board if another 4 signings are made, Or do they automatically have to become optimists??
    I would love more players to be brought in but its the way the club has gone about this window as an whole. No leadership and no vision throughout to the point where our manager doesn’t know what the hell is going off. I think we would be hard pressed to find another club run in this manner

  • Whistler

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #15

    @ Welsh
    We do you’re right but not confident that we necessarily will when we’ve got Joselu on the books still

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #16


    Me too. 2 plus Rondon.

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #17

    Rafa didn’t take a holiday and instead lined up 5/6 deals to the point where Charnley just needed to rubber stamp. These where worked on and ready to go nearly 2 months ago…1 week till Spurs and none of those players have come in #Nufc
    @CaulkinTheTimes talking on @talkSPORTLive

    Pretty shocking statement there if true. No wonder Rafa has had enough

  • posada

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #18

    Jazzy P AKA Blog Drama Queen
    It’s a blog, the wind ups and the tasty comments are part of that.
    How come your dummy just goes flying at the least bit thing.
    I had you and Shire down as a couple of tough guys who could dish it and take it.

    Shire your mate coming on to say there there don’t listen to him is a bit pathetic.

  • L Toon

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #19

    Absolutely damming

    Signings to come – but more questions than answers at Mike Ashley’s dysfunctional Newcastle

    Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has been left frustrated by the club’s unwillingness to think big this summer


    Mark Douglas

    12:00, 5 AUG 2018

    The sun shone on St James’ Park but there was no escaping the long shadows that have been cast over another Premier League season by off-the-field politics at Newcastle United.

    ‘Twas ever thus at United – especially in Mike Ashley’s appalling eleven years at Newcastle – and a desperate summer does not always mean a desperate season. In 2011, the final friendly at St James’ Park was called off at half-time after an unseasonable downpour rendered the pitch unplayable and brought a turbulent close season to a fittingly chaotic end. The team finished fifth that season.

    Last year’s transfer politicking didn’t stop a tenth-place finish either but there is a more weary feel to this summer’s impasse that you worry may bleed into what should have been a season spent looking away from the bottom three.

    To recap: Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Augsburg was the third goalless game for Newcastle, a club whose need for a striker has been critical since January. It was played out with no resolution to the bonus schedule row which Rafa Benitez admitted affected the player’s focus out in Portugal and with the manager now admitting that any late progress in the transfer window will be nothing more than a salvage job when what he’d wanted was for the club to follow through on meticulous plans he had laid to get Newcastle challenging for the top eight and a trophy.

    It is that which makes this summer of discontent feel more acutely frustrating than those that have gone before. Benitez offers opportunity for Newcastle but absentee owner Ashley’s insistence on doing things his way means it will be frittered away.

    “Normally when we have had time and support, we deliver,” Benitez said afterwards when quizzed, once again, on the club’s approach in the transfer market.

    “So we have won trophies everywhere and it was the idea to do something similar here and I am not happy we have to just survive every year but at the moment we have to see if we can improve the squad.”

    Survival is now the aim and while it is not befitting of a club of Newcastle’s potential, it does tally with the way the club acts – as if they are Premier League pretenders rather than mainstays.

    It is a situation which has led to much conjecture on social media but there was little sign of that in the stadium on Saturday as a youthful, family atmosphere gave the game a genteel feel rather than anything more toxic. Not that Ashley – now 15 months and counting without an appearance at St James’ Park – would have noticed, given that he skipped the match.

    That is not unusual these days, Ashley choosing to get involved in Newcastle matters fitfully and with the effect of creating a sort of ambiguity which means even the manager is left shrugging when asked the questions which are on everyone’s lips.

    Benitez knows Lee Charnley is the man he deals with day-to-day and he held talks before and after Saturday’s match. But is it Charnley or Ashley driving the policy which is curtailing Newcastle’s spending power – or even someone else, like Justin Barnes?

    While the midweek complaints about market moves might have irked Charnley, progress on the deal for Salomon Rondon suggests some things are moving. Rondon will be followed by others as United, belatedly, back their managers requests for more bodies. “I’m not saying we’re not working, but the point is we were ready to go and we knew what we wanted to do,” Benitez said afterwards.

    But the bigger issues – about who controls what, where the power lies and what the logic is behind transfers – remain shrouded in layers of mystery Benitez hasn’t been able to get to the bottom of, even while he holds what should be the powerful bargaining chip of the unsigned contract that United have offered him.

    So here are the questions Newcastle need to answer. Those are, in no particular order: Where’s the TV money and the cash from sales gone? Why can’t Newcastle compete in the transfer market? How is it that there’s money to bid £20million for one player but not enough to do other, smaller deals? And finally: Why do Newcastle not see the chance they have with Benitez and run with it?

    It may be cynical to say this confusion suits those holding the purse strings. It also feels entirely reasonable given that sometimes it is far from clear who has the final say on transfers – and why one thing may apply in certain deals but not in others. It certainly doesn’t help create a culture where a manager who took no summer off in order to try and tee up deals feels supported.

    As a side note Ashley’s absence was not the only notable one: there was no sign of Barnes or PR man Keith Bishop either, two men who seem to wield serious influence at Newcastle but are not officially employed by the club and therefore have no accountability.

    They are men with direct connections to Ashley but no football knowledge and they should be answering questions. We’ve never had an answer about Barnes’ role or who pays for his work at Newcastle and part of the problem is there is no-one to ask. Who does he work for? Newcastle or Ashley? So where to direct the questions? The same is true of Bishop, whose PR company has Ashley as a major shareholder. It is a confusing picture that puzzles even some of those who work for the club.

    None of this might matter if Benitez was able to cut through the red tape and actually get what he needs but he hasn’t been able to, despite sanctioning sales for internationals like Aleksandar Mitrovic, Adam Armstrong, Matz Sels and Chancel Mbemba. Mikel Merino has left too but none of the additions so far have cost more than £9million. Insiders at the club say they simply refuse to pay the going rate when it comes to personal terms or fees – which leaves them competing with Cardiff for players rather than even the Fulhams, Wolves’ or Southamptons.

    Bournemouth, three years in the Premier League and with a ground a fifth of the size of Newcastle’s, will complete a £25million transfer deal this weekend – which is nearly £10million more than United have ever spent under Ashley. In the 2011/12 season Ashley’s United hit their high watermark of fifth in the Premier League, the Cherries finished 11th in League One.

    The crazy thing is that Ashley has seen the club relegated twice on his watch. Benitez reminded him of that when they met face-to-face as he pleaded with him to take care of the football side of the club as carefully as he did the business side of it. But there was no dice and Newcastle will be left to rely on the same things they had last year: the hope that cut-price signings are astute, commitment, discipline, the goodwill of their public and a very astute manager.

    While others skipped the game, against Augsburg they showed some bright touches. The midfield looks sharp and they created plenty but there was no striker to apply a finishing touch. Hopefully Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon, who will join this week, will be able to remedy that but neither player has scored double figures in their last three seasons.

    United had their chances in this contest – Matt Ritchie went close and Jacob Murphy hit the bar and saw his shot turned away during a bright cameo. Ayoze Perez and Christian Atsu also should have done better. Michael Gregoritsch made them pay with a close range header and it was strangely reminiscent of their horror period last season when plenty of pressure couldn’t be converted.

    None of the players spoke afterwards once again as the bonus row rumbles on. The least Newcastle could do is settle that, given this is not the first time this issue has been on the agenda before kick-off.

    Hopefully the signings this week will alleiviate some of those worries. United should have enough to ensure there is no repeat of the damaging mid-winter collapse. But at Ashley’s dysfunctional Newcastle, it seems we always run the risk of cursed history repeating itself.

  • hibbit

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #20

    jazzyp what board there’s only Charnley and i’ve said for years he gets of very lightly

    just out of interest that’s the first home in a couple of season bishop never showed !!

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #21

    L Toon

    Does Ed pay you by the word?

  • posada

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #22

    I have arrangements re the Spurs game as far as a pint goes.
    If we get a home draw what about before the league cup round 2.
    Oops sorry I forgot.
    It’s a mid week game.
    You’ll be at the bingo.
    Ah well another time perhaps.

  • bettyswallocks

    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #23

    There are a lot of if’s with Danny Ings regarding his fitness and whether or not he has lost any pace etc. but if we do end up with him on loan I really hope we agree an option to buy that is watertight.

    He is still young enough to become a consistent PL goalscorer as he has skill , good upper body strength with a low centre of gravity and an instinctive eye for goal. We haven’t got a natural finisher in the squad and haven’t had one for a while. Ings could surprise a few people with a run of games under his belt.

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #24


    My dummy ain’t flying out anywhere sunshine, I wouldn’t be inviting you out for a pint would I if that was the case..Think about it. And if you have an issue with Shire then take it up with him.
    As for friendly banter I am all for it but go back over your posts when calling me a part time fan and making me out to be a liar..Step to far kid.
    Now can we please draw a line under this episode because truth be told it’s becoming very boring and no good for the blog.I will not engage you so please do not engage me,

    Thank you

  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #25


    Why do you feel the need to include me in your petty argument? And as for the comment saying don’t listen to him, was referring to Jib who I like to have a bit of banter with.

  • geordieboy83

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #26

    Ability wise I don’t think anybody could knock ings, it’s just the fitness. 2 years ago I would’ve snapped your hand off for sturridge as ability wise he is unreal, but injuries have destroyed him and I just fear it could be the same with ings

  • Moonraker15

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #27

    If it’s true that the hirearchy have reacted to Rafa’s protests, it’s a sad Indictment of the running of the club. They seem to have little or no business plan at all other than to not spend any money and as for players bonuses; well it’s pathetic!

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #28

    Posada I am at the Chelsea game a date is set sunshine you patronising prick. Please tell the blog how the f@ck I am supposed to get to a mid week game when I don’t finish work till five over in Leicester then I dont get back to Mansfield till gone 6. Two and a half hour journey gets me to the game for half eight at the earliest .

    Ya making yourself look a right tw@t on the blog and definitely a first class stalker as it is for all to see now.

    Chelsea it is sunshine and cannot wait

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #29

    So we’ve got someone on here not only having sly little digs at Ed now and again (if you don’t like what Ed is writing on here then trot off somewhere else – you won’t be missed by the majority), but he’s also name calling like a five year old on a daily basis and then has the cheek to accuse someone of being ‘childish’ today!

    Three guesses for who I’m referring to 🙂

  • Optimistic Panda

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #30


    I’ll meet you for a pint, lol

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #31


    with pleasure mate Cannot beat the banter with like minded souls.
    You going Chelsea mate??

  • gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club)

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #32

    Pretty pathetic to try and show off as if you’re a “Better supporter” on here. Drop the insecurity, everyone’s in different situations so how about not acting like a spoiled 12 year old brat?

  • bettyswallocks

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #33

    geordieboy……….. You may well be right that the injuries have taken their toll on him , but unlike Sturridge who is made of glass and gets one injury after another of all different sorts, Ings appears to be more robust and players do fully recover from broken legs.

    Anyway he’s worth a chance on a loan with an option to buy as he’s still young enough to re establish himself.

  • posada

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #34

    Jazzy P
    I’ll draw a line under it if I choose to draw a line under it.
    This is a public blog and within certain parameters I’ll read and say what I like.
    Meet up for a pint. We all know what that is about – thinly veiled threats.
    Showing your true colours I’m afraid.
    I know you can’t make it on a Wednesday. Do you not get it. It was a wind up.
    Seems to have worked.
    Questioned some of your statements ? All I said was it was difficult to get tickets tickets on a match by match basis before the stadium extension. You implied the rest from there.

    Shire, I know you were referring to jib.
    However, does he need you to say there there.

  • geordieboy83

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #35

    Jazzy don’t worry yourself with posada mate. Poor excuse for not getting to midweek games though haha, sack work off. Posada appears to be like a dog with a bone at the minute.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #36


    It’s only a pint of water he will be buying ya mate. He does it to me all time on a matchday. Rings me to say there’s a pint here for ya in nine bar mate when ya ready.

    Sometimes he might stretch to a couple of ice cubes in it 😆

  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #37


    Like you say. It’s a public blog so I can say what I like when I like. Jib loves the banter from me n jazzy. Hence why we I like to jump in and say there there 😉

  • Toonces

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #38

    If Ashley was so concerned about letting Rafa have his incomings because he might not be here next season then surely he wouldn’t have let Rafa sell key players for the same reasons. But the club’s selling of Mitro under these same circumstances proves otherwise. Rafa may not rate him but a new manager might. Ashley saw a chance to cash in and try to bully Rafa by withholding the funds raised. He thought his media cronies could turn opinion against Rafa but it hasn’t worked. Ashley Out!

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #39


    I implore anyone to go through the blog and see what I have implied.. Nothing and how many times have I said for a friendly pint, So yet again your making things up to justify your point.
    You can say what you like regarding football matters dude, Knock ya self out. But leave me alone as I do not wish to engage ya. We clearly have nothing in common and the blog can see clearly what has and hasn’t been said.
    So once again leave me the hell alone its quite a simple statement rather than accusing me of all sorts of pointless crap

  • jazzyp

    Aug 5, 2018 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #40


    Cheers mate but this has been going on for a while now and im sick of it


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