If the unthinkable happens and relegation occurs once again under Mike Ashley, I could stomach it if Rafa Benitez stays and gets control of player recruitment, which puts the pressure on Ashley to realise that the football board is not fit for purpose and needs disbanding.

They have taken control of over £100m of Ashley’s money and their recruitment decisions have been woeful to say the least, with the exceptions of Shelvey and Townsend (should they have bought a prolific striker plus defenders I hear you say?).

The fact that Rafa has terminated Obertan and Marveaux’ contracts indicated he is planning ahead, let’s hope.

This got me thinking, who should we retain/let go and replace to prepare for the Championship?

The only players I would keep are:

Darlow, Elliot, Krul

Mbemba, Lascelles (Captain), Mbabu, Janmaat, Dummett, Haidara

Aarons, Shelvey, Townsend (Vice Captain), Colback, Anita, Tiote

Perez, Armstrong, Mitrovic

Wijnaldum looked fantastic early on but what happened…will he perform or want to play in the Championship? II doubt it.

That’s 18 players who could do a job in the Championship leaving another seven players to come in and complete the 25 man squad.

The rest either won’t perform in the Championship or haven’t performed well enough this season to be given the chance. We would be lucky to get a price for any of them but anyone we do sell will lower the wage bill and (hopefully) provide funds to bring in new players.

Although how players can be responsible for the club’s position and then not want to stay and get the club paying their wages, back in the Premiership, is beyond my comprehension (Owen, Given and Duff spring to mind).


Perhaps Sissoko will get his dream move to a Champions League club based on his performances this season…

Perhaps Coloccini will find a club worthy of his talents of continually wanting to return to his home country, where he won’t get ‘injured’ during a warm down after a game he didn’t take part in that keeps him out for 3 months…

Maybe he can also take his mate Steven Taylor who, while I like his Geordie passion, but to still have the centre half partnership who took us down in 2009, beggars belief.

Riviere – no words…

De Jong – no game time, no evidence either way…

Doumbia – what was the point…

So what do you think should happen if we end up in the Championship next season?