Aston Villa have been flirting with relegation this season whilst Newcastle United are top of the table.

Two relegated clubs and January spending took Aston Villa way beyond what Newcastle have spent in their promotion push, never mind the difference in net spend once players sold are taken into consideration.

Newcastle United making a £30m+ profit in the transfer market under Rafa Benitez, whilst Aston Villa have a staggering transfer deficit since dropping into the second tier.

So what’s the difference?

Well Newcastle fans know that it is all down to Rafa Benitez, although the United boss is far too modest to suggest that.

The Manager pointing to ‘The commitment of the players and staff from day one was exceptional’.

Rafa also points to the brilliant support Newcastle have had with home average gates of over fifty one thousand, whilst Aston Villa have closed whole sections of Villa Park for the season as thousands of fans have deserted.

Rafa Benitez talking to the Chronicle:

Happy to have stayed at Newcastle?

“To be the manager of Newcastle United is a great privilege. I’m really enjoying being at this fantastic club and so of course, I’m happy with my decision, yes.”

Why are Newcastle top of the table whilst the other relegated clubs (Aston Villa and Norwich) have struggled?

“The commitment of the players and staff from day one was exceptional.

“Everybody was helping us and trying to improve in their own departments and the competition between players too has been fundamental to the results we have achieved so far. We have also benefitted very much from not having a situation where jobs and funding had to be cut at the end of last season. That allowed us to invest in some important changes to improve the squad and the facilities before the start of the season.

“Also to have so many fans behind us, having a full stadium at home and an incredible away following too, everywhere we travel. This gives you a great sense of the size of this club.

“Everybody put a little bit more effort in, if that was possible. It is not an easy division and it is not easy to ensure you can recover immediately from demotion. Demotion means there have been a lot of things wrong with your club, which you have to address very quickly, I think we have managed to do that well.

“We are really pleased with our business during the summer. To make a profit and also to bring in new players and help them to perform at the level they are performing at is very difficult.

“Just check the teams that have been relegated in the last five years and where they are now. So credit to our players, staff, fans and the club.”

Rafa Personalised Gifts  - shop.themag.co.uk


  • Leazesl Ender

    Au contraire ….’having a full SJP’ has had an adverse effect….. the results are mid table….

    • Geordie-7676

      Literally every single aspect of that comment can be shot down with 1 single, unavoidable, completely undeniable fact – NUFC current league position.

      • Hughie_Gallacher

        I think the point being made by Leazes Ender is that the massive home crowds hardly seem to be having a positive effect on the team. Taking into account home results only, Newcastle would be seventh in the table. Maybe not exactly mid-table but outside the play-off positions all the same.

        • Geordie-7676

          That is a valid point Hughie, a point I may of missed in my interpretation of his comment.

          I retract my statement Leazes!

  • Wor Monga

    Nothing needs to be said…he’s said it all!

    …a relegated club that loses it’s ever present ‘star’ players on the way down will usually be a ‘lead balloon’ the next season…until the ship can be steadied and possibly turned around the season after…or forget it…

    …the last time we were lucky that the real heart was still there, and Chris Hughton stepped up, but this time there was no real experience or understanding of the physical task facing us…without Rafa those players wouldn’t have come, and someone like JonJo would probably have been looking for a way out by now to save his reputation…

    …Those whingeing about the dropped points at Birmingham, etc…just don’t realise how lucky we are to be in the league position, that we’re in now, and that it’s all down to one person!!!

    • Leazesl Ender

      ….Lee Charnley?

    • Carlo Ancelotti

      yes we are very lucky, have you noticed that Nufc are in the championship. whats lucky about that

    • nufcslf

      Yes a filthy scum of an owner who was only ever going to get the club relegated again and managed to put £30 million in his greedy pocket to boot . As for Villa the damage has been there for years and only took the inevitable drop to show that they would, will and are going to be stuck in the Championship for a number of years. The mackems are going to follow suit when going down this season.

  • Cuh736

    We are really pleased with our business during the summer. To make a profit and also to bring in new players and help them to perform at the level they are performing at is very difficult.