Jermaine Jenas has been asked his opinion on how Newcastle United will get on next season.
Jenas having played in the last real quality NUFC side of Sir Bobby Robson, Champions League football and fighting it out in the top four.
The one-time Newcastle midfielder was asked a provocative question, which was that surely Rafa Benitez wouldn’t be happy ‘kicking about in the bottom half of the Premier League?’.
To his credit, Jermaine Jenas insisted that it was a longer-term process and that Rafa Benitez saw it as a ‘project’, looking to build gradually towards potential success rather than expecting to instantly be (relatively) successful next season.
The player turned pundit stated that the first step in the project was simply to not be relegated, which he thinks they will do ‘easily’.
Jenas insists he isn’t claiming that Newcastle will be top 10 in their first year up and it would be ‘a surprise’ if that did happen.
Though looking at the current Premier League table, there are only eight points between 8th and 17th though a massive 15 points between 7th and 8th, suggesting that top 10 is a bit of a different animal these days and really it is a top six or seven then the rest battling for pretty much any spot below that.
As we know the English top tier is more competitive than any other in its depth and Jermaine Jenas sums it up as ‘a brutal league, it is ruthless’.
Jermaine Jenas speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live:
‘Asked the question ‘Rafa’s not (prepared to be) kicking about in the bottom half of the Premier League is he?’
“Its a project, it’s a process.
“The first phase is to remain in the Premier League.
“Easily I would say.
“Not saying I think Newcastle can finish in the top 10 – it is a brutal league, it is ruthless.
“If they finish in the top 10 it will be a surprise.”