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Ashley Unlikely To Offer Rafa Enough To Stay – Squad Off To Warm Weather Training

In his column today in the Times George Caulkin says Newcastle are the just enough club, and that will not be good enough for Rafa Benitez, who wants to build a side in the next few years that can win trophies.

It will be at Newcastle or elsewhere, but he doesn’t want to fight relegation for the third successive season, and who can blame him?.

Just enough means that owner Mike Ashley will do what he thinks is just enough to ensure Newcastle survive in the Premier League and a couple of times he’s failed to achieve even that low goal.

Ashley doesn’t seem interested in wanting Newcastle to be a top-six side and win things like …. trophies.

And the Times doesn’t think Mike Ashley will offer the manager enough to stay on Tyneside after the last two years of very little money being made available for the top players Rafa has wanted.

Well, not until there’s only five months left on his contract.

Much better for Rafa to join an ambitious club like Leicester City – as one example.

The next game coming up for Newcastle is at Wolves on Monday, and then we have a 12-day break.

The game after that is a decisive game of the season and another relegation 6 pointer at home to Huddersfield on Saturday 23rd February.

The players training toay at Benton

The Times is reporting that after the Wolves match the Newcastle squad will head off to Spain for a warm-weather training camp.

That’s much as we did last year when we were also eliminated in the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Oh to be successful and not have the time to go for warm weather breaks.

The squad should come over to Raleigh where it’s sunny and will reach 74 degrees Fahrenheit today, but it’s a lot further away than Spain.

Comments welcome.

80 comments so far

  • Munster Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #1

    Leicester will be all over rafa. I cant see why Ashley can’t understand the business case for producing more Longstaffs and the benefits of top class facilities. I bet almiron was used to better in the US

  • JP...from The Rock

    Feb 6, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #2

    Ed those can’t be the players training today at Benton with Dwight Gayle and Merino in the picture!

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 6, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #3

    Who shrunk Ritchie?

    He looks three feet tall on that photo

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 6, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #4

    Image looks like warm weather training from last year

  • hibbit

    Feb 6, 2019 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #5

    Munster Mag


  • martoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #7

    Where’s Jib when you need him with some training pics from today? :mrgreen:

  • martoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #8

    Toonbrother – I don’t think Ed is anti-Lascelles but even if he was I find your scoffing ironic given the amount of stick you used to give to a curly haired ex captain of ours!

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #9

    Hibbitt – your link to the Atlanta training ground. Makes you realise
    (having a comparison) just how far we are behind – not just in the training facilities but really in most aspects of how the club is run/operated.
    Bit of a shock really seeing Atlantas’ standards.

  • Mag52

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #10


    He does get through a huge amount of running every match.

  • hibbit

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #11

    Mister Tuff
    we can now see why Rafa wants/needs improvements

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #12

    When’s Ashlies update due?

    Reading Caulkin early and things don’t seem so positive regarding Rafa staying beyond his contract.

    No contract offers this season?

    Haven’t kept up to date with the blog for 3 days or so, ain’t seen any rumours, so it looks like the same old story.

    I hate waiting over a week for the match, it’s like being in limbo, especially with the “update” due, which will probably be 45 seconds of BS we’ll discuss for weeks.

    Roll on Monday night

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #13

    Why do we need improvements?

    I bet we’re the only team in the league with mobile alfresco ice baths!

    Beat that Citeh.

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #14

    How can Jib sort out any training pictures when none have been published so far today.
    Is he in possession of some sort of magic camera.

  • Tonyd3b54

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #15

    Seriously when will these transfers be updated in FIFA? Can’t wait to blow by people with barreca and almiron

  • martoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #16

    Calm down Mr Tuff – it was said in jest as Jib is normally first to share a link when available!

  • c-dog

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #17


    This weekend Ireland will face the same domination Ulster witnessed in the 17th century when Scottish settlers successfully(and still to this day successfully) colonised Irish lands.

  • Jib

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #18

    In Andalusia at the moment
    Just had a day in Granada
    Visited the Alhambra
    Fantastic !

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #19

    That web site looks like it cost more money than our training hut.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #20

    Talking about where Almiron will play makes me wonder who Hasn’t been paying attention. For the last two seasons plus Rafa has been asking for a new No10. It hasn’t happened.
    He then specifically stated he wanted Almiron – or else.
    Almiron plays No10. He scores and creates, goals and has throughout his time at Atlanta, being a direct link between the midfield and striker.. So unless I’m missing something here and Rafa intends to play Almiron out of his natural and, very successful position, then I kinda guess he’ll play him as No10.
    And so he should. We’ve lacked goals from the No10 position for seasons. I know Perez has, his fans, but frankly, apart from a from a goal every six or seven goals, I think he offers, very little.
    Just watch how he jogs around without actually doing anything. You can count his tackles every game on one hand and a new, No10 is what we’ve been screaming out for for ages.
    A No 10 must contribute goals and assists and be prepared to tackle back. Any tackle and he’s down for ages, instead of getting up and tackling back.
    Perez was brilliant first season, but since then he’s stagnated badly. Almiron is a massive upgrade and I know where I want to see him play – linking up the attack.. We need goals. We score so few, we, need someone who can add to the goal tally and Almiron is that man. Whether he can play on the wing is irrelevant imo, we need his goals, not his wing play.
    Next time you’re at a game, watch Perez closely. He’ll jog between players without putting pressure on them. He’s got away with it for far too long .
    People have said Perez isn’t a No10 and I agree completely. Almiron is a proper No10 and we’ll see the goals come at last.

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #21

    I would like us to try this line up


    Keeper Dubs

    Right w back Yedlin
    Left w back Barecca

    3 defenders

    3 midfielders
    Diame (or Longstaff)… holding

    Just Behind the striker – Almirón

    Target man – Rondon

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #22

    You staying at the Kings house Jiblets or Julio.Iglases

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #23

    When all fit

  • Jib

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #24

    To be fair to Perez he is no No.10 to be sure
    He has given it his best shot
    I think Rafa will give him a go up front in a 4-4- 2

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #25

    Do you think we’ll go to a 4-4-1-1 or stay as we are?

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #26

    To push on next year we need

    Upgrade to yedlin

    Sign a left back (or Barecca) if impressive

    New expensive / centre midfielder for Longstaff to learn from (defensive type)
    Basically a Diame upgrade

    Centre forward (Rondon)
    Bring Sorensen back to go on the bench to get bits n pieces/ experience at the end of matches

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #27

    What I expect from Ashley

    2 sales

    Potentially Lascelles / Shelvey

    Cheaper replacements (potentially a centre forward) as that’s a MUST

  • lesh

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #28


    You must think people’s daft. The one called Jane’s been posting as though it’s going out of fashion.

    You’ve been to Granada today? Pffft, the only Spanish city you could’ve been to’s in Whitley Bay!

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #29

    If Ashley sells up we only need 50/60 million to push on (7th – 8th) a possibility

    The thing we have to be aware of is that the majority of teams will invest as much or more in the summer so next year will be harder again without investment

  • lesh

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #30

    Optimistic Panda

    I’m sure we can expect AshLie’s update soon – as soon as he can assemble the media journos so he can present it and take questions from all there and give full and honest answers.

    When can we expect it to happen like that? Ah, well, that’s tricky one.

  • lesh

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #31


    I bet they haven’t got a mobile pool and portable ice baths at Atlanta United.

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #32

    “Everton face Manchester City tonight, and if they haven’t got enough problems at the moment, they have to cope with the possibility that winning will give the lot across the park a pretty hefty boost in the title race. And that prospect has proved too much for some people. “Definitely,” one Everton fan said on Sky earlier, when asked if he’d be happy to lose, thus enabling City to nudge ahead of Liverpool on goal difference at the top of the table. “Don’t want Them winning the league. We’ll never hear the end of it. Do you have to work with Kopites? They’re ‘orrible.””(Grauniad)

  • Jib

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #33

    Wolves flew out this a.m.
    Staying in Puerto Banus just down the coast
    I might go to their training sesh and nobble their

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #34

    Jail, tbh I gave up second guessing Rafa a while back mate! 🙂 His five at the back has proved successful when needed and I think he’ll continue to use horses for courses.
    Against the better teams he’ll stick with five at the back, but, mainly at home, he might revert to his favourite 4231.
    For me Perez never got up with the striker quickly enough, but Almiron clearly has the pace – and importantly workrate – to run beyond Rondon and cause havoc.
    I actually like Perez, I just think he’s become complacent from a lack of competition.
    With a back five, we can have two speed merchants in Barreca and Yedders joining with Almiron and Rondon, giving us one of the quickest counter attacking sides in the league. An exciting prospect indeed.
    And of course if Rondon does get injured, we’ll get chance to see Perez playing striker which will offer a different attack with the ball being kept on the floor.
    Sometimes just one player can transform an entire team because of what he can offer in various options. Almiron could be that man for us. Let’s hope so anyway! 🙂

  • hibbit

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #35

    anyone think ashLIE would spend money like this on a training facility 😉


  • c-dog

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #36


    Almiron may prove to be an upgrade on Perez. But we actually do not know yet.

  • geordietom

    Feb 6, 2019 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #37

    how insensitive NANTES want CARDIFF to pay the 15 million for Sala …

    not fair on the two familys who lost love ones …

  • geordietom

    Feb 6, 2019 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #38

    #37 loved ones

  • geordietom

    Feb 6, 2019 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #39

    jib … pishing in their water bottles lmfao

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 6, 2019 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #40

    He talks about Almiron as a 10 who can also play out wide. Now we are playing Atsu tucked in and behind Rondon on the left, with Perez in and behind on the right. Almiron could slot in either side, if we stay as we are, which seems to suit us. He may play him as a 10, but that obviously means changing the shape that has worked well for us recently, and would mean some good players missing out. 4 at the back, Schar probably misses out for example. Perez to the wing or dropped. Cant see him playing Rondon and Perez up top with Almiron behind, for example.


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