Rafa Benitez after the fabulous win on Saturday against Southampton was in a really good mood.
We knew that as we watched him take his glasses off at the final whistle and he had to shake hands with some of the other coaches before he got them into his coat pocket.
Rafa’s mood was one of quiet confidence and fulfillment as Newcastle again got the job done under his guidance – for the second win in a row – our 11th win of the season.
We are on 41 points and now safe after Liverpool won 2-0 at Cardiff City yesterday.
And after the game, Benitez soaked up the fantastic St. James’ Park atmosphere after another sell-out crowd had chanted clearly they wanted the manager to stay at the club and not leave in the summer.
Rafa was asked lots of questions in his press conference after the game, and a lot of them were on his future.
Rafa Benitez – is that manna from heaven I see?
He was asked about signing quality players this summer, and this is what he said:
“When you talk about quality, how much does quality cost? And how much will you pay in wages for these quality players? £120K a week? £150K a week? Or will you pay £50K a week?”
“What does quality mean? Balance is the key, and you have to be sensible with that balance. You have to be realistic, but we have to find this balance.”
“We have to compete with the teams that are between seventh and 10th, not think ‘can we finish seventh or can we finish 17th?’. I think that’s a big difference.”
“At the moment, we don’t have any issues about any players, because I have not had any conversations. We have had to wait, but what I say is very clear.”
“Until June 30, I’m the manager, and I have to decide if we sign anyone or not.”
“I cannot decide some other things, but when it comes to that, yes, I decide. So we have to sit down at any time and see where we are.”
“Does it have to be soon? Yes, obviously. Because if you want to sign players, you have to go early, and if you want to sign the best players, you have to go even earlier.”
“Even with young players, we can talk and talk, but the main thing is what you do.”
With Newcastle now safe in the league we are hoping that Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley will quickly start serious negotiations with the manager to keep him at Newcastle for as long as possible.
We hope it’s not possible for Mike Ashley to screw this one up.