Richard Keys says that Steve McClaren had to be sacked but he thinks employing Rafa Benitez won’t make any difference to Newcastle’s slide into the Championship.

The Andy Gray sidekick accepts that Newcastle have improved their chances of staying up by bringing in the Spaniard – but believes the difference will be minimal.

Richard Keys tips Newcastle to lose 1-0 at Leicester and end up in the bottom three after the final match on Sunday 15 May.

The main reason for that is something that Rafa Benitez can’t change in the short-term – the quality of player he has available.

Keys thinks only Gini Wijnaldum is the only current Newcastle player any other decent club might want.

Whilst I agree with Richard Keys when he says that a lot more has to happen at Newcastle United than just changing Manager/Head Coach, his comments suggest that he hasn’t seen eye to eye with Rafa Benitez in the past. His comments at odds with what Rafa achieved at Liverpool in particular.

A bit laughable when he says Alan Shearer was ‘supposed to have the Midas touch’ back in 2009. Considering he was only given eight matches to try and save a rotten attitude squad from relegation.

This is the biggest weakness for Rafa Benitez as I see it. Mike Ashley should have got rid of McClaren far sooner and whether it was Benitez or another credible manager, I can’t believe that they wouldn’t have got more out of these players than the clueless former Middlesbrough boss.

Richard Keys speaking to Sport360:

‘Yes, McClaren had to go but I can’t see appointing Benitez is going to change what is going on at that club. Newcastle have gone from being the entertainers to the wholesalers. They are an opportunity for Mike Ashley and co to hawk their name around and sell product.

Yes, he has invested money, but how wisely? This is history repeating itself.

The man with the Midas touch was supposed to be Alan Shearer when he took over and look at what happened to him. At the end of the day they are just a poor team at a badly run club and I don’t see it changing until Mike Ashley sells the club and goes.

Rafa Benitez, like at Liverpool, will want to have the final say on everything. He is very dictatorial. It’s all about him. I don’t think he endears himself to the people he works with and I just don’t think he is the answer.

Yes, there is more chance that Newcastle will stay up than not with Benitez in charge but I don’t think he has got the players you would want alongside you in the trenches. I don’t see anyone in that team, except perhaps for Georginio Wijnaldum, that any other manager would want to buy and that has to be the benchmark.

I am not saying Benitez is the wrong guy I just don’t think it matters whether it is him, Steve McClaren, Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes or anybody else. Things aren’t going to change in the long term unless there are big changes within the club.

As for Monday, Benitez will give them a lift and I expect a reaction but they won’t beat Leicester. 1-0.’