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Is Lee Charnley Echoing Rafa On Newcastle Academy?

This past week Rafa Benitez wrote a heartfelt passage in his blog about Matty Longstaff’s goal against Manchester United.

Rafa has been a looming presence since he left Newcastle so unceremoniously three and a half months ago. He has seemingly every month popped up with something to say about his former club and its fans.

It’s usually something sentimental about the Newcastle area and its people. Though there is often an ever so slight dig at the ones who run the club.

His latest remarks are no different as he spoke about Matty and his delight at seeing Geordies in the Newcastle side. This is what he wrote last week:

I was really pleased to see Matty Longstaff scoring the winning goal for Newcastle; he was great when he was training with us and it was a good decision from Steve Bruce to make him play.

I was also happy to see a few Geordies playing together at the same time; Carroll, Sean and Matty; surely it shouldn’t be difficult to see the benefits of investing in the Academy? £4m every year for 10 years means £40 m (one player); one ‘Longstaff’ every year for ten years seems good business to me.

The £40m could be seen as a reference to the Joelinton transfer and how maybe the money could be better invested in other ways. One of those ways is upgrading the Academy.

Interestingly, Benitez mentions one ‘Longstaff’ every year. Rafa is clearly indicating that Newcastle should be investing in the Academy by bringing in local youngsters.

Well, Lee Charnley has echoed these very sentiments in an article in the Athletic. This is what the managing director now says about the Newcastle Academy:

“To see Sean do it last year and Matty get his opportunity – and he looked like it was his 25th or 50th game, not his first – was so pleasing for everyone,”

“I think it was fantastic, and we’ve seen the public reaction, not just the Newcastle public. I saw what Gary Neville tweeted after the game.

“We want to be the best academy in the region. Between nine and 16, it will be an academy with boys predominantly from the local area. There will be exceptions, but, generally, it will be local.

“People say it might be because of this reason (not wanting to spend money) or that, but it’s not. It’s a conscious decision to get local boys, because we want local boys to see what’s happened with Paul (Dummett), Sean and Matty, and say that’s who they want to be.

“They’ll know, if they’re good enough and work hard enough, they’ll get an opportunity at their hometown club. That’s what we want.”

We are very happy to hear that this is in the club’s thinking. However, when it comes to fruition is another subject.

The club did do some restructuring of the Academy over the summer which was planned when Benitez was still at the club. They also appointed Shola Ameobi as a loan coordinator for the lads ready to go out on loan.

This was what Rafa said about the Academy overhaul in March

“We will have an idea how to improve things and we have waited too long to do it. But now it is a good sign. My future is not linked with that but it is still something positive.”

“I have been talking with Ben Dawson in the past and he told me the idea for this year. It is not that I am deciding. I am just informing.”

“To be fair we have been talking about it with them for a couple of years now.”

It was also reported over the summer that money would be invested in getting some top young talents for the U-23 side. This season three free agents were signed and are now playing for U-23 coach Neil Redfearn.

The improvements to the Academy have been in the works. However, as Rafa stated in March, it took far too long to get underway. This is one of Lee Charnley’s big weaknesses, he is just too slow to get things done.

Lee’s recent comments about having the best Academy in the area stocked with local talent could be seen as a reaction to Rafa Benitez’s comments in his blog. While we do think the timing is suspicious it may be just a coincidence since Lee was being interviewed about local talent.

However, the timing is suspect and he basically confirms what Rafa said in his blog. It is also in contrast to what Lee said earlier this year while trying to defend the club’s inability to keep Rafa on Tyneside.

Charnley had said a few months ago that the priority was going to be on the squad. This was at a time when he inexplicably starting taking shots at Benitez at the start of the season.

He and Rafa had been engaged in a bit of a back and forth in the press in which Charnley claimed Rafa went to China for the money but Rafa insisted it was due to the club’s failure to keep its promises. One of those promises was to upgrade the training facilities and the Academy.

This was Lee Charnley’s reasoning in August for not upgrading the facilities like Rafa had expected:

“What we have said is, it is about priorities. There is a pot of money. Where is the greater need? At this time it’s on field.

“It’s not unreasonable, the pot of money can only go so far. You go and spend it on the training ground it means there is less to spend on the team.

“Spend it on the Academy, there is less to spend on the team. Spend too much on wages, there’s less to spend on the team.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t spend in all those areas, because we do, but our view has been at this point in time the priority is what goes on to the field. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to update the training ground.

“Does it mean at some point in time we would like to update the training ground? Absolutely, yes. It is about priorities. It doesn’t stop us doing what we need to do on a daily basis.

“Our pitches are very good, our gym is perfectly adequate and functional. Do we have a swimming pool or water facilities? No.

“Would we like to have it at some stage? Absolutely.”

Well, it looks like he has come around on the Academy if what he said in the Athletic is truly part of the club’s plans. His quote, “Spend it on the Academy, there is less to spend on the team” flies directly in the face of what he is saying this week.

His original comments were from August 14th so just two months later, Charnley is talking about the importance of the Academy.

This is a must in our opinion to start a process of keeping local youngsters in Newcastle. We truly hope that it will be followed up on. However, with Lee Charnley at the helm it may take a while to be fulfilled.

30 comments so far

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #1

    What do you call a talking frog?
    A quantum leap.

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #2

    “This is one of Lee Charnley’s big weaknesses, he is just too slow to get things done.”

    But what decision-making powers does he have, anyway?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #3

    From the Buxton advertiser
    A man in Buxton, Derbyshire, accidentally shot himself in the face after a dispute with neighbour geordietom who he claimed was keeping him awake with his shite patter.

    The unnamed man was rushed to the emergency room after the incident and is said to be in a critical condition.
    The incident occurred when the man, who had already been upstairs and banged on geordietom’s door to ask him to be quiet or at the very least stop talking shite, reportedly fired shots into his own ceiling in an attempt to quieten him down. However, one of the shots apparently ricocheted off the ceiling and hit the man in the face. Under the circumstances police said the man will not be charged with any offences but geordietom has been placed on an ASBO and been warned he will be jailed if he doesn’t cut out his unbelievably bad craic.

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #4

    ron …

    yep your right takes him ages to get owt done , thats why we miss out on players as well as Ashley being a tight ass…

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #5

    ah whats up JAILY have i had a go a your green friend , or are you one of his alts …


  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #6

    A chemist, a mechanic, a electrician, and a programmer were driving in a car when it broke down.
    “This must be because we’ve mixed the wrong fuel additive!” said the chemist.

    “Bollocks!” said the mechanic. “This is clearly a mechanical problem. There must be something wrong with the engine.”

    “Both of you are wrong. The problem lies with the car wiring and the battery.” argued the electrician.

    The programmer sighed and said, “Guys, calm down. I think we should just close all the windows, turn off the car and turn it on again.”

  • AncientC

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #7

    You have to laugh at Nufc-83 with his fallacious supposition and name calling—then obviously considers himself a powerful debater. Great parodies and comedy sketches have been written about these types. Steve Coogan built a career out of it.

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #8

    Jail the electrician comes home to his wife after working a job at a millionaires house…
    He says to his wife “honey you will not believe this, the house I worked at today had a golden toilet.”

    She says “Really? I need to see this.”

    They take a ride across the neighborhood and pull up in front of a huge house.

    The electrician knocks on the door, a woman answers and the electrician says “I did work on your house today and would love to show my wife that golden toilet you have.”

    The woman calls out “Dave, I know who shit in your tuba!”…

  • Nufc-83

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #9

    Ancient I feel even more privileged now that you don’t have to search for my posts you actually remember to the word what I have said. Wow amazing thank you.

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #10

    A dog walks into a bar
    The dog says, “Gimme a beer.” The bartender says, “Wow! You can talk! You should get a job at the circus!” The dog says, “They’re hiring electricians at the circus?”

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #11

    From The Guardian.
    A man has been arrested after a dispute over a garden fence allegedly erupted into violence, leading to the hospitalization of his neighbour. geordietom, 63, had been involved in an ongoing dispute with Donald Dowman, 56, according to neighbours in Matlock, Derbyshire.
    A 6ft fence was recently erected between the semi-detached properties in the quiet suburban street so that Mr Dowman could drown out his neighbours voice as he was constantly talking shite morning, noon and night. Shortly after 10.30am yesterday police and paramedics were called to the home of geordietom who was still blabbing away when they arrived,. Mr Dowman was pronounced to have severely perforated ear drums at the Royal Derby hospital a short time later.
    It is understood a weapon hadn’t been used in the assault and that geordietom’s unbelievably bad craic had caused the injuries. geordietom is being held on suspicion of causing GBP

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #12

    You don’t have to collect old posts and put them on to word documents you simply type in to a search engine Jeff from Benwell twixt nufcblog.com then do the same for Jib, they’re all there.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #13

    It must be big news today that Matty Longstaff is only on £850 a week, a lad I work with who doesn’t even follow football asked me about it. I wonder how much they’re going to offer him considering he’s in his last year and there’ll be a host of clubs willing to take a look at him now.

  • Plodding Pudding Bruce

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #14

    I recently spent an evening at a friends house, this friend fosters kids and is very good at turning them around and getting them on the right track. However, 2 of the girls of similar age spent most of the evening sniping and points scoring from one another when they would be best off on the same side.
    That evenings shenanigans had nothing on this blog.

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #15
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #16

    On the article, they’re proven liars, introducing Rafa to an architect they knew fine well nothing was going to come out of. Until they’re gone the club will continue to either stagnate or go down.

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #17

    jail #13…

    surely the will put him on the same money as his brother ?…

  • Jib

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #18
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #19

    Plodding Pudding Bruce,
    Are they toon fans?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #20

    I’m not sure how much that is but they’ll have to come up with something good or he’s got them over a barrel.

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #21

    what i dont get is why are we being linked with fullbacks centre halfs , we have enough defenders at the club its the top end of the pitch we need players yeah we got Joelinton . dare i say it we should of bought Rondon for the £16 million . we got Andy Carroll instead …

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #22

    jail …

    it will be a case of same as your brother take it or leave it , how long has the younger Longstaff got left on his contract ? …

    cant afford to let these young lads go being Geordies proud to play for the club but money talks as the saying goes …

  • Moonraker15

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #23

    It’s taken over 12 years for this regime to realise what every true toon fan knows; that a properly invested academy will pay for itself in home grown players coming through.
    It shows how negligent the owner is and how clueless they are.
    Newcastle remain the biggest sleeping giant in world football!
    Ashley OUT !

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #24

    If any of it was logical you could try and make sense of it all, but it isn’t. I don’t agree with it and think it is a ridiculous decision but at least understand why at 29 they have a flawed reason for not buying Rondon. What I really don’t get though who how or who decided that Plea was only worth 20M and that Joelinton was worth 38M.

  • geordietom

    Oct 13, 2019 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #25

    jail …

    logic and our club dont go together , you should know that by now …

  • Just a fan

    Oct 13, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Jail re Geordie tom
    You say it’s banter.
    Seems a bit one sided to be banter

  • Just a fan

    Oct 13, 2019 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #27

    The playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks .

  • Just a fan

    Oct 13, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #28

    Geordie tom
    Re jail at work.
    Is he really that busy

  • Just a fan

    Oct 13, 2019 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #29

    Jib at 18
    Was that online guy

  • Just a fan

    Oct 13, 2019 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #30

    Jail sorry
    I’m passed my quota


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