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Why Rafa Benitez Unlikely To Announce Decision On Future Until The Summer

There is a report in the Chronicle today that Rafa Benitez will not discuss his contract until after the January transfer window is over.

With Man City at home and Tottenham away two games that are coming up – we could well be locked in the bottom three by early February.

At the moment, after yesterday’s games, we are 3rd bottom of the league with a meager 18 points from 22 games played and only four wins for the season.

The last time Mike Ashley talked to Rafa about his contract was at the Pizza dinner in Ponteland on October 3rd – that’s more than three months ago.

But the £6M release clause in the manager’s contract has ended, and anybody can now talk to Rafa about a new job – much like what happens to players in the last six months of their contracts.

He can leave Newcastle for nothing before June 30th, but he will not do that.

Rafa Benitez with Francisco de Miguel Moreno yesterday

If somebody had said back in the summer of 2016 that we would be back in a relegation fight like this almost three years later we would have asked them what had they been smoking.

We don’t want to overstate it, but it’s a disastrous situation brought on once again by the owner.

Funds are available but only for players who Ashley wants at the club – players under 26 whose value can increase while on Tyneside.

Why he’s still insisting on that while he is supposed to be selling the club is a mystery to us – but a lot of what Ashley does at Newcastle makes no logical sense at all to us.

It never has.

Apparently, Rafa wasn’t allowed to buy Salomon Rondon last summer because at 29 – he didn’t fit with Ashley’s profile of the players he wants brought in.

As we’ve said before with the massive money Newcastle now get from the Premier League every year, Ashley’s stance on younger players makes less sense these days.

Rafa is right when he says we need a balanced mix of youngsters and experienced players in the squad.

The Chronicle is reporting there has been significant activity behind the scenes on transfers, but many deals have stalled because of money – both in transfer fees and wages.

So what’s new here?

One example is Miguel Almiron’s demands for £100K/week wages and his club wanting up to £25M for him.

Unfortunately, Ashley could well do what he has done in the last three January windows with Benitez at the club and limit him to bringing in loan players or giving him nothing to spend at all – which is less likely.

And we are unlikely to know what Rafa’s career decision is – if he makes it next month.

If he’s staying, then he won’t want to say too much in case we are relegated and he will surely not want to spend yet another season in the Championship.

He’s already risked his career and reputation once already for Newcastle doing that.

And if he’s leaving it would so decimate the fans and the players that he would not announce it.

Knowing Rafa is leaving during February would mean almost certain relegation for us

The best we can hope for is Rafa will announce he will stay if we can avoid relegation.

But we are now back to where we were three years ago …….

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player In Chelsea Defeat?

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Comments welcome.


87 comments so far

  • geordietom

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #1

    day 13…

    no players bought…

    no positive take over news …

  • kc2012

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #2

    From last post:

    Not been on the blog since before the game Yesterday so not sure whats been said but,

    On the game itself, I thought we played well for large parts considering how depleted our team was. Longstaff was good and held his own against some world class players and that’s a positive going forward so fair play to him. We went out and tried to match Chelsea which could’ve been risky but in all we didn’t look out of place against them but on the balance of the game they probably deserved a narrow win but I don’t think they would’ve had too many complaints if we’d have got a draw. I think we missed diame massively though, his presence in the middle might have given the players abit more confidence but I cant really criticise the lads.

    It’s clear to anyone though, we are badly missing a proper number 10 and a creative winger. I like Ritchie and Atsu but they seem to operate better when theyre playing more centrally. I’d love to see Ritchie play in that number 10 role, he’d be a huge improvement on Perez anyway.

    As far as relegation is concerned I do believe we’ll stay up just because of how terrible Huddersfield, burnley, Cardiff and Fulham are all round (even though Burnley won without having a shot on target Yesterday).

    Transfer wise, we don’t need to spend huge money and don’t need loads of new faces, just 1 or 2 players who can create something going forward. It will be a bargain transfer window again but I do believe we’ll sign a couple of players. The players we sign though will very unlikely be the players near the top of Rafa’s wishlist and ones that are maybe seen as just a short term solution as Rafa will no doubt be off at the end of the season weather he keeps us up or not.

    The negative about us playing relatively well against the bigger teams though (apart from the Liverpool game) is that Mike Ashley will be looking at it and no doubt thinking if we can play well against these superstars then why spend money when the teams around us are going up against these bigger teams and getting demolished whilst we’re only getting narrowly beaten. He doesn’t really understand how football works.

  • Jib

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #3

    Outside the White House an assassin takes
    aim at the President and a Secret Service
    agent shouts
    “Mickey Mouse !!!!!!!!!”



    He meant to shout
    “Donald Duck”

  • hibbit

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #4



  • geordietom

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #5

    starting get ticked off big time with the in fighting on here … the one upmanship…the ganging up on each other …

    scoring points off each other …

    going on about hearts on here me i dont give a toss if ANYONE HEARTS ME …


    you said this you said that come on lads we are all grown ups ( i think )…

    shoot me down as i dont care i a big lad now i can wipe my own arse


  • Tsunki

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #6

    Well NUFC.COM were hardly glowing about it but i thought our performance against Chelsea was heartening even entertaining. Usual fools talked about Rafa’s “defensive football”, “goofball” and “parking the bus” obviously didn’t watch the same game. Yedlin, Ritchie and Atsu unfortunately although industrious are our weakness connect thing to the front line, the delivery was mostly appalling. Yedlin all too often gets dragged inside to the wrong man or stands off his opponent too much. Still, bodes well for the run in especially islly if we get some more regulars back and match fit. We did ok at this point last time, maybe we will again.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #7

    Goofball and hoofball are actually the same thing 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #8

    Jib – believe me when I say the blog was much better when you took a break. You should take your own advice.

    Munster – it’s evident that when your argument fails you become childish so yes i will ignore you.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #9

    I’ve no problem with others views it’s the wild or outlandish claims that piss me off.

    Like having a much better squad than last year or better team than x amount bellow us, Rafas not getting the best out of players etc.

    Simply not true, none of our players have better records elsewhere, they may have had a 1 off better season but all are playing at their level or slightly higher.

    The squad is pretty much like for like from last year, no better and there’s a argument it’s worse. We got Rondon and Muto for Slimani Mitro and Gayle, stronger in defence maybe but weaker going forward.

    Most of the teams around us have experience we’re a young side and that’s what’s losing us points atm, in game decision making, game management.

    That’s why Rafa looked so pissed off yesterday, silly mistakes and poor decisions on the pitch.

    I would’ve nutted Ritchie after the game for not putting that corner in, even if I was Rafa or the physio.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #10


    Rafas teams do better in the 2nd half, I thought we deserved a point.

    We should be ok, 2 or 3 decent signings would all but guarantee it.

  • geordietom

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #11

    op# @10 …

    agree with you on that mate …

  • Optimistic Panda

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #12

    Who ever had the idea of short corner needs a slap, we’ve had our best opportunities from good delivery into the box.

    We have a threat from it, we’re too slow and indecisive to try something clever it just gives the opo a chance to catch us off side, crazy tactic.

  • Bladey

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #13

    Day 13
    No takeover No transfers
    All going to plan

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #15

    Tsunki, I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, re childish etc?

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #16

    Good to see you talking footie tsunki, instead of castigating people as olg pointed out. Agree re the game yesterday. I thought we were brave but just lost to a richer team with better players. No shame in that. Hopefully longstaff will play more. He was brilliant St pats. Weak team obviobyt you could see he knew his eggs.

  • Jib

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #17

    The problem with us making a fist of yesterdays match
    Ashley when asked for reinforcements will point to the fact
    that Ki and Muto will be back in February.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #18

    Good link panda. For some reason the renaming of the ground sticks in the gut more than some of the other rubbish he inflicted on us. At least arsenal have said they can’t spend this window so some of the ungrateful gooners will be livid 🙂

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #19

    Munster Mag
    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:48 PM
    Comment #82
    Ronaldo, that’s a fair question mate. Is hard to define 10% but I’m only using it as a figure of speech. Sadly because I defend the right to express good and bad about any manager its perceived that I hate rafa. Far from it, I want him here funded. If not him, another capable man funded. You surely don’t think it’s unfair for a fair to criticise any manager after the Fulham game? I didn’t criticise him or the players for liverpool, or yesterday’s game etc. As I have sais all along, despite so much vitriol here, that’s a fair view.

    Not just the 10% bit, just asking what you actually mean by ‘attacking more’? Bodies forward more, change of formation etc.

    Just trying to get my head round it. Think you know I’m not having a go and don’t think I’ve given you stick. Maybe little cheeky jabs in the past lol but I’ve done that with most.

    For me, I find lots of people fail to grasp that teams like Fulham when they play us were organised, made themselves hard to break down and were resolute. This leaves little space to attack and don the have the players to break this type of set up down. We struggled with this for years and even in championship. We’re also very susceptible to counters and have a habit of losing the ball cheaply. So you’re left in a catch 22 situation, become more open to try and get victory and end up like West Ham game or hope you take your chances.

    This is why I ask people for how exactly they approach this ‘attack more’ issue that keeps getting raised on the blog, not only yourself. I’ve yet to hear anyone explain how other than attack more which isn’t very insightful and quite annoying actually when you keep reading it but no substance to what they are saying.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #20

    It’s not just scoring that is a problem it’s defending down our right.
    Yedlin great going forward but defending we are wide open leaves the attacker to much space to work in and also is quite isolated as our half’s backs don’t seem to be able to cover him either which means big space in front of Yedlin for the opponents to exploit.
    Ps – thought Longstaff was excellent

  • c-dog

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #21

    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:57 PM
    Comment #17
    The problem with us making a fist of yesterdays match
    Ashley when asked for reinforcements will point to the fact
    that Ki and Muto will be back in February.

    Ki and Muto won’t really improve us
    A few £30 million pound signings would

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #22

    Ronaldo, yes, v Fulham push up the pitch a bit more, commit one or two more players forward, don’t sit back, close down faster, yes don’t play five at the back, maybe play 2 up front. More than that, it’s about belief and the energy that comes with a harder press, with the fans getting more involved. So I thought for a good spell v chelsea we did that and we need to see that in games like Fulham at home. Ie against s club / team who was not in a good place. If not, then we might accept relegation because if we can’t have the belief that we can take on Fulham in St St James, what’s the point of it all?

  • L Toon

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #23

    Perhaps someone could enlighten me on who these gamechanging players are that rafa is supposed to have at his disposal? Are these the same players that are continually pulled to pieces by all on sundry on here on match day? Do we all imagine reading Kennedy has been abysmal, perez is woeful, diame is terrible, Ritchie is pathetic, joselu is garbage, lascelles is terrible, atsu was a shambles every single week?

    Has rafa proved he can improve the players? Absolutely. Has rafa proved he can get players performing above their level. Undoubtedly. Have these players proved that they can play premier league football? Without doubt. But whats also been proved is that these player’s cannot perform consistently week in and week out in the premier league, and their in lies the problem.

    But the team wasnt bought to perform week in week out in the premier league
    was it? The team was built for the purpose it was intended for, to do a job. That was a squad that was capable of promotion and players that could make the step up to form the basis of a squad in the premier league. SQUAD NOT TEAM. I dont know what is difficult to understand about that? The team was always going to need upgrading so no one can be shocked or surprised about that. 8 of the 11 that started yesterday couldn’t beat blackburn rovers home and away im the championship.

    I fullly understand no manager gets everything or every player he wants, but rafa isn’t asking for the earth is he, just the power to improve and shape the team the way he sees fit, given a certain budget. But he cant move the players he doesn’t want on as he simply doesnt trust the muppets to replace them, so he’s been left with the task of having to continually get rolls royce performances from joselu, hayden, diame, perez, Kennedy, ritchie, manquillo, atsu and yedlin which has proved doesnt work.

    Can we not afford a better striker than joselu? Is rafa wrong to want a proven striker than can score the goals to keep us out a relegation battle? Or a creative number 10 that hes wanted for 2 years? Or improvements to the infrastructure? Or investment in the scouting and youth department? Or control over the budget and how its spent? Or to have the power to go outside the remit of our stupid transfer policy? Or a team thats fit for purpose?

    Defensively i think we can all agree that we are more than solid enough and can be considered stronger. Apart from an attacking left back for competition for dummet and likewise for yedlin. Can rafa tell the player’s to attack? Of course, but i genuinely believe he doesn’t trust the players to do it. We sold nearly 40 million pounds worth of attacking player’s and rafa was given absolutely nothing of that money to replace them. So to say the squad is far stronger going forward is ridiculous. How are you improving if all your doing is replacing one player with another? How in this market do you sell a player and buy a better player with absolutely no money at all? but that is what rafa is somehow expected to do.

    I have always and will continue to back rafa until the day he walks away from our magnificent football club, which sadly isnt far away now because i know he isnt the problem at this club and with the right backing could finally win us that elusive trophy we all covet so much.

  • L Toon

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #24

    In summary, as we all know the club want players to provide future sell on value, which rafa doesnt like as he believes he should have the final say on transfers. His idea is that if he spends aload of money and it doesnt work out and the club are relegated then blame him and that the club should sack him and he would totally accept that. Rafa says he cant be judged on this idea that he is only allowed to sign a certain type of player. Rafa feels the team need experience.

    Every deal has to be financially conducive from three perspectives :- wages, transfer fee and agents/signing on fees. Rafa’s found ever since hes been there they agree to two and then say no to the other and he feels the club make excuses not to do the deals he wants. Club says they dont have the resources other clubs do so every deal has to be financially just right.
    The club have put names to rafa, but hes not interested, he wants his own players. Wont be part of a transfer comitee. When club say we can get this player in for you he says no as he wants his own names.

    Rafa wants to know his budget so he can speak to player’s and agent’s and get deals lined up. Club say you have no budget you come to us with a list of the players you want and a decision will be made on a case by case basis. So just because they have the money to apparently bid for plea, they dont have it for rondon. Club say they have given rafa leeway in signings of ki, rondon and Fernandez. A whole 6 million leeway. All deals have to be ratified by lard arse.

    Everything id so dysfunctional and the club just want a manger like a padull or mcnugget who will just be grateful for what they can get and not someone who will strive to improve the club and continually challenge them on the way the club is run.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #25

    Yes it’s good to talk footy but let’s keep a bit of balance and remember it’s a NUFC blog, not a purely footy one, there’s loads of those.

    In the interest of fairness it may be good to discuss what the latest is on –

    Takeover News
    Transfer News
    Whether to change the manager News

    Any ideas?

  • toon22

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #26

    Maybe OLG can make some more fakeover stuff up

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #27

    Tbf, the West Ham game was recent to the Fulham game. We did all that bar from play 2 up top and got exploited for pace. Do you no think agree that employing similar tactics could result in us getting beat? I mean they do have schurrle and sessegnon. I say that while admitting it could also result in us getting a win too. So not dismissing what you’re saying at all.

    Fulham may not have been in a good place but neither were we. Plus they justgot a new manager in and as yesterday showed, they are tightening things at the back. Burnley although they won didn’t have a shot on target v Fulham.

    Agree with your last point but that’s confidence and momentum for you in football. We are lacking that. We found it last year after beating Man Utd and look what happened after that.

    Overall though, I think we shouldn’t be expecting results v anyone in this league, home or away. Whether they’re Cardiff, Bournemouth or Arsenal etc. This league is apparently the most difficult where anyone can beat anyone. Nobody I know or read on here are happy with the Fulham result/performance but just how you see it. Some may see attacking more as you put it can get a result but similarly can see us losing with the same tactics. There is evidence that both are right if you look at the past season or two.

    I’m not saying you’re right or wrong, or I’m right or wrong. Just find it a little pointless to hang up on a certain game and suggest if we attacked more would have resulted in a win when it could have gone either way.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #28

    I saw online guys twitter account yesterday for those that want to follow it.

    It’s @soccersauce


  • geordietom

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #29

    errr …

    thanks for the hearts lads I THINK lmfao…

  • dig-n-dig22

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #30

    Munster 34 previous thread

    It looks like “HEART ATTACK” on this blog has a totally different meaning ?

  • martoon

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #31

    geordietom @5 – I afraid it’s always like that – especially during & after games and late evening – I normally try to avoid those times!

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 13, 2019 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #32

    Extraordinary parallels between Keys and Catchy. Both desperate attention seeking creeps and wronguns who can not seem to muster any people skills to operate in normal everyday society.

    Apparently OLG had Ashley brought up in the house of commons….wow, just wow!!
    And OLG also comes on here to tell us he didn’t need the money from the press for his alleged takeover ”scoop”.
    What scoop would that be exactly? Would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

  • Jib

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #33

    A valid comment on Twitter
    If Ferdinand was indeed a Bishop recruit
    it has really blown up in their faces.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #34

    L Toon

    With Lascelles, Longstaff and Lejuene it really is!

  • Tsunki

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #35

    Ferdinand is no affiliate of Ashley or his PR crew. He’s just a simpleton with a simplistic view. This is the guy who wanted to become a boxer but was refused the licence because he displayed all the characteristics of being punch drunk already.

    His argument that we say Thank You for Ashley protecting his income by investing just enough to get us back into the Premier League is infantile. His argument that hiring Benitez as we were a “yo-yo” club is just risible given the guy who hired him made us into that club in the first place.

    He’s no hired goon. He’s just a goon.

  • Bowjaw

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #36

    What Rio doesn’t understand now but will in the future, is that BFM will bleed him for everything that he can, then drop him like a bad habit.
    I wonder if he will be speaking so highly of him in five or six years time. I will remember his comments.

  • simon376

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #37

    I can’t believe all the comments and upset over the loss yesterday. We were playing Chelsea, 4th spot at their place with so many lads missing, I actually thought we played really well. Another point, all the stick Dummett gets, yes he doesn’t get forward much, but he’s a defender and not many get past him, I’m my eyes that’s what a defender is supposed to do, going forward as well as good defending is a bonus. Not sure who pointed it out, but most of what we have conceded has been over via Yeadlin. I really like him, but yes great at going forward but not good at defending, that’s what his role is. Maybe that is where improvement is needed as well as left back cover. Let’s not forget what we have. Of course we still need another forward and attacking midfielder as well as another central midfielder for cover and instead of Hayden. Only way it’s goung to happen is if someone does come and buy us unfortunately

  • Tsunki

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #38

    Ronaldo – I’m disgusted and appalled by your attitude. The disgraceful abuse you have handed down to an innocent blogger is horrifying in its terrible awfulness.
    How you can sleep at night knowing the whole world looks at you for the heinous despicable etc etc etc I’ll keep humming join in when you know the words….


  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #39

    Yes it’s strange the people Bishop enlists to smear Rafa. Real Z listers and scuzzy types who would instantly get people riled up.

    Again why would anyone give McLaren 80M but starve a worldie like Rafa

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 13, 2019 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #40


    it was me about yedlin. Sorry you could put together a compilation video of all our goals conceded and many of them are down to him. showing william inside is schoolboy stuff. Poor, poor defender.


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