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Benitez Expains His Current Strange Situation At Newcastle

Rafa Benitez is a world-class coach because he gets the very best out of the players at his disposal.

That’s almost the definition of top-level coaching, and while Rafa has hardly been supported financially, he’s had three decent seasons at Newcastle’s helm as manager.

If we can get two wins in our last three games, we’ll be on 46 points, and that’s two more points than last season.

That would be some level of success for the club, but it’s nowhere near where Rafa or the fans want the club to be.

That may not be the case with owner Mike Ashley – and that’s been the big problem over the last twelve years – his complete lack of ambition for Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez – he needs help from Ashley

Here’s what Rafa has said in an interview with talkSPORT today:

“I am a coach coming from the academy system.”

“When I was at Real Madrid, two members of my staff (Perez and Antia) were my players when they were 16 years old,”

“You can improve players, you can coach them, but you have a limit. We know that we have a limit.”

“If you are in Formula One, you go, and the other one is faster than you; OK, in the bends maybe you can do well – but, after, they will pass you.”

“We have to decide that. I can do this because I like to coach players – I am a PE teacher – and I like to improve players.”

“But, at the same time, you know that Hazard can make the difference on his own.”

“You need help to be sure that you can compete where this club needs to be, and deserves to be.”

“For me, that is to be seventh, or close to seventh. At the moment, that would be the ideal situation.”

Rafa is finding out – if he didn’t know already – that his ambition for Newcastle far surpasses that of Mike Ashley.

The chasm between the men’s two visions for the club may be too wide to breach.

But once again we have no idea what Mike Ashley really thinks – since he hardly ever says anything in public.

That leaves a vacuum in communications and a distinct level of uncertainty – and that’s been causing problems over the last four weeks.

Ashley needs to get back from his Easter vacation and sort things out at Newcastle United.

Doing that this week would be perfect

Comments welcome.

99 comments so far

  • ashleysmate

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #1

    Couldn’t stop laughing at count’s attack/comments about Ed and this blog…he/it is def a mackem

  • giimps

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #2

    Should I stay or should I go?
    If I stay there will be trouble, if I go it will be double…….

  • giimps

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #3

    Strange having a name equal to something they probably can’t do

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #4

    tenbytoon from previous, that’s interesting insight into a fanbase which is too remote from us to get any kind of bead on generally.

    Of course they should be grateful to Hoots, he’s done wonders for them on a limited budget and has a good chance of keeping them up again, which would be a massive achievement.

    I fear that Hoots is destined to be under-appreciated anywhere he goes. I’m pretty sure that there was an element of our fans who never liked him – did he clog one of our players when he was playing for Spurs 30 years ago? It was a pretty esoteric reason anyway – he’s not the first or the last player to foul one of our lads.

    I thought he was great for us, I was furious with the fat one when he let him go.

  • SwissSte

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #5

    Ashley wonders why he’s loathed? This. Because of this. Because he doesn’t recognise his assets matter to other ppl than just him. We ain’t another of his sweatshops (he should’ve been charged with negligence over all those revelations of births in toilets and poor conditions). I would say he’s thick, but he simply lacks any kind of empathy or decency. After reading Swiss Rambles dissection of the accounts, it’s even more unfathomable why Ashley isn’t keen to grow our revenue streams.
    It’s completely true what Sir John Hall said, it’s purely about Sports Direct.

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #6

    Interesting comments from Rafa who clearly thinks we can compete consistently over a season with some of the teams in the top half, if not yet with the top six.

    It’s hard to argue with him, we have the right club to do it, if only the owners would release the handbrake.

  • Jib

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #7

    Ashley wonders why he’s loathed

    I don’t think he does

  • JohnJ

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #8


    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:30 AM
    Comment #6

    “if only the owners would release the handbrake.”

    The owner has his Newcastle vehicle jammed in gear with the car jacked with the wheels off! Greedy bugga that’s all he is!!!

  • martoon

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #9

    I have to say that is quite a good analogy that Rafa has used about Formula 1. When we play a team in the top 6 we’ll normally lose but just occasionally we can get a result like the Man City one!

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #10

    JohnJ “The owner has his Newcastle vehicle jammed in gear with the car jacked with the wheels off! Greedy bugga that’s all he is!!!”

    Lol, yep – I’m guilty of understating things obviously. I like your description better.

  • Madmag

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #11

    @Couldn’t stop laughing at count’s attack/comments about Ed and this blog…he/it is def a mackem

    I honestly don’t think you have to be a mackem to recognise that the great majority of Ed’s articles are what is known as ‘Click Bait’

    No the value of Ed’s articles lies in the space he provides for comments which provide hours of amusing reading.

    I sometimes wonder if you lot on here recognise just how dependant you are on each other. The interaction between certain adversaries gives me (and I’m sure loads of other lurkers) lots of amusement.

    Now as I know you lot, here is something to occupy you for a while that you can get stuck in to 😉

    Let me finish by saying the most sensible person on this blog is Jib (Actually the really sensible one is the guy called Bobby be)

  • Jib

    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #12

    You will now be accused of being one of my multiples

  • giimps

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #13

    Assley has a total disregard for our club, it is a business pure and simple, he sees the fans as paying customers who will pay the same to watch 5m players as they will to watch 50m players…..so why buy the 50m players?
    His business plan is to symphony off the revenue streams ( or at least reduce the costs associated with the revenue streams even if it means getting less for the club) buy cheap, sell high and most of all (albeit through good fortune rather than good management) keep the club in the premier league for as little money as possible by employing a good manager who gets the most out of what he is given.
    Personally, I think this can be one of two endgames by Assley, either he is looking to get out and so won’t care about upgrading the training facilities and academy ( why would he if he’s leaving) or improving the playing staff or even keeping Rafa (although keeping Rafa might/will increase the chance of getting out with more money for the club).
    The other, which I am more inclined to believe, is that he wants the club to do as well as it can while sticking to the blueprint of players potential sell on, age and value, unfortunately, unless he can convince Rafa to stay , our likelihood of being able to do this is slim, the upgrade of the academy and training facilities is the key indicator ( even more than the players Rafa wants) as if he agrees to this….he will (IMHO) be around the club for a lot longer, but hopefully he trusts Rafa to make the right improvements to allow the club to grow ,without him having to bankroll the club due to relegation…..all this is his fault, poor management,poor choices regarding advisors and poor customer relations……stack em and rack em will not work in the premier league, and neither will trying to undercut the opposition when trying to get quality players….pay the going rate ,get them in quickly to stop bidding wars and allow them to settle before the season starts……imagine where we might have finished in the league if the club had got Almiron on Jan 1st (admittedly we would have had to pay wages for an extra month and maybe an extra million or two, ) but we could have been in the top 10 ……..these are the things which must absolutely frustrate Rafa with the way the club is run…..I know it annoys the hell out of me

  • hibbit

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #14


    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    I honestly don’t think you have to be a mackem to recognise that the great majority of Ed’s articles are what is known as ‘Click Bait’

    but it defiantly helps 😉

  • Jib

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #15

    In defence of Ed
    If you check out how to make money by running a blog
    (I have just out of general interest – I have no desire to run one)
    The really determined owners of blogs let the threads
    run much longer than Ed does – in an effort to maximise hits
    So while there is an element of click bait to his articles it’s not the
    driving motive
    It is clear that Ed is a genuine obsessed Mag just like the rest of us

  • ashleysmate

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #16

    I based my comment simply at the way he attacked Ed and the blog..clickbait or not, it simply wasnt called for

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #17

    You’ve got something brown on your nose.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #18

    My thoughts on the handbrake and car issue is Ashley sold the handbrake. All well and good, the car will continue to move with the wheels but yes, they’re sold too.
    Standing still isn’t all too bad I guess but wait, why are all these other cars going past us?

  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #19

    Re multiples, you know what, if that floats their boat then let them get on with it. In the words of the loveable larikin, D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F.

  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #20

    (And yes, I know it initially came from the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers but they aren’t as well known as Kevin “Bloody” Wilson).

  • DaveD1000

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #21

    I find the whole multiples thing hilarious

  • count

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #22

    Anyone who has the time to bother entering into the multiples conspiracy theories really needs to get (back?) in touch with reality. It’s a sad reflection of your own mindset.

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #23

    Wait, there are lurkers on this blog?


    Seeing as it’s a quiet news day, why don’t we encourage the lurkers to stop lurking and say ‘Hi’?

    Howay lads and lasses, even if you just pop on to say hello, you’ll be boosting Ed’s blog and giving us all some new topics to natter on about endlessly and without ever reaching a conclusion.

    I’m sure Jib won’t be mean to you (much).

  • count

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #24

    Ashleys Mate. Your childlike input again has ruined me.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #25

    Jib I’m just wondering what your take on Rafa’s car analogy is? Is it fat-headed enough for you?


  • the ledge

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #26

    Multiples have some issues sad f##kers really !

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #27

    What’s reality?

  • Jib

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #28

    Formula 1
    Monkey hanger
    It’s a sport
    he doesn’t talk about a family saloon
    which is really fat headed

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #29

    Wonder if Rafa will see the Brighton game as one where he could blood a couple of the youngsters, it’s possible that Chris might field a weaker team to save his players for the other games where he has a real chance of winning.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #30

    I must admit I rather enjoyed my day as a multiple, caught Ibiza and a few others out 😀

  • Genjikai

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #31


    Apr 24, 2019 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #137

    Chief mechanic -” ok I need Snap-on sockets, a hydraulic ramp and an engine management laptop”

    Garage boss – ” ok to the snap-ons and the laptop but no ramp, sorry – can’t see a need for it. “

    Its more like: why do you need the ramp and computer thingy, isnt that why i pay you more money than most, to fix things with your knowledge.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #32

    And of course the people that Jib rubs shoulders with (in his basement) a Ferrari is a family saloon 😮

  • Jib

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #33

    Only Jail would think a Formula One car has a
    Ha ha ha

  • Genjikai

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #34

    I dont understand how Rafa can be so u reasonable me, how can he not see ashleys 5 year plan for the club is all good.
    His last 5 year plan didnt do Newcastle any harm did it? …..
    Whats with the telegraphs 5 point plan to make Rafa stay?
    Should be the bare minimum that everyone makes 5 points on each of there posts.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #35

    Rob, ‘Hi’

  • Genjikai

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #36

    Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a landslide no escape from reality?
    Think freddy was onto something.

  • Madmag

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #37


    Hi I’m a NUFC fan since 1962 and my only claim to fame is I saw EVERY home game of the Fairs Cup campaign in 68/69 plus all the others of course

    My name is Michael and I live (since ‘92) in Madrid, Spain, prior to that I lived in Paris

    There you go 😉 you asked and I answered (It helps that you are one of the better posters here 🙂 )

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #38


    Spot on, mate.

    Reality only exists in (some) peoples minds, or not!

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #39

    EGB, you don’t count. You only lurk when you’re feeling antisocial

    Hi back, though, in the interests of not being antisocial myself.

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #40

    For the fit and proper owners criteria, it would be nice if the owners were required to have some regard, simpatico and ambition for their club, not solely naked greed. MA says he is not the pantomime villain…well if the cap fits I’d say it’s a very apt description.


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