The best signing of last summer…and indeed this summer, was confirmation of Rafa Benitez staying.

However, a lot of Newcastle fans appear to have unrealistic and indeed, unfair, expectations of what the Spaniard is capable of.

Yes he is a talented and respected Manager with plenty achievements in the tank already BUT he does need to have as many other factors as possible also running in his favour this coming season and beyond.

Anybody voicing any concerns is often shouted down with cries of ‘don’t worry man, Rafa will sort it’.

The truth is though that whilst in reality the Championship was no more difficult than any previous promotion, the Premier League is a different matter.

The sheer amount of money and the relative fairness of the share out, means that spending power is obvious throughout the 20 competing teams.

Chelsea were brilliant this past season with 30 wins from 38 games but Sunderland, who were useless, are still going to be handed roughly two thirds of what the champions earned in TV/Premier League money.

Rafa is guaranteed a full stadium of fans supporting him this season, likewise the existing squad of players are certainly playing for him.

Possibly the most important factor, luck, is something nobody can control.

However, the other key factor the United boss needs is for Mike Ashley to be fully behind him AND let Rafa get on with the job.

No restrictions on who he signs, a decent budget, and no interference no matter what happens this season.

With all of these factors running in Rafa Benitez’ favour we can look forward to the season ahead BUT any negatives coming from the owner are sure to make it a tough 10 months.

Hopefully a new era of working together for a United cause, if so the future is looking bright.



  • toonterrier

    Its a certainty that if Rafa doesn’t get the support he was promised then he will walk away and who could blame him. When KK came back we were all super chuffed but it didn’t take long for the rug to be pulled from under his feet. Have lessons been learned. Doubtful.

  • Damon Horner

    To label any expectations as realistic or unrealistic you surely need to define the what the expectation is regarding Rafa?

    Otherwise it’s an expression of confidence in him that you’re downplaying.

  • Kev-82

    Sick of hearing about our supposed expectations. I’m sure for the vast majority that the main expectation is to stay up, anything above that is a bonus in this first year back. Looking at this seasons Premier League there is little difference from 8th down so there is no reason we can’t be challenging up there but I would never expect that, I’d just say that is the top end of what we could achieve.

  • Grahame Johnson

    No expectations from me, a squad,manager and backroom staff fully committed to my club will do

    • Haitchdee

      I will go along with that

  • Sean Lynch

    Of the estimated 6 million Toon fans worldwide, do the comments of a handful truly represent the majority.
    Your article has more in common with the Southern Press than the majority of fans in the region let alone globally.
    Do we have expectation? – Sure we do.
    Do we think we’ll win anything under Rafa ever? – We hope so. But we’re not blind nor stupid, we know that given a blank chequebook and Carte blanche to buy anyone regardless of cost or wages, can’t guarantee anything.

    Manchester City had a net spend of £162.48m this year, on top of their already glittering array of talent and won NOTHING!
    We hope, we don’t expect, we leave that word to be banded about by those who haven’t got a clue about our fans.

    • Mal

      Well said. The author seems out of touch with the hopes of the majority of fans.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    1 year on from relegation the premiership is a different ball game, £20m to £30m for a player is turning into the norm.
    Man C loan out the current England No 1 and are looking to sign a young keeper for £33m
    West ham are bidding £25m for a Mackem keeper & even the likes of Bournemouth & Palace think nothing of spending £20 or £30m on 1 player.
    I`m sure Rafa is up to speed on this but £100m isn`t going to get you far.
    one things for sure in this league you need at least 1 top class striker & the names iv`e seen so far linked to Nufc hardly boost my confidence

    • SH.ER

      Hmmm remember when you said Rafa will be gone in the summer?
      Wrong,,, hehe …
      I think right now we need the PL money,1 season in the prem before we think about breaking records, right now Benitez need to get as much good players as he can with the money he has ..

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        the summer isnt over yet & with Fatso anything could happen

    • HarryHype59

      You make a fair point. The 2015 relegation meant that Newcastle were missing out of the new bumper TV deal that paid out to EPL clubs for the 2015 – 16 season. Even the hapless Mackems will pick up £100m and the fourth bottom team Swansea will receive £110m.

      The financial head start existing EPL teams will have over newly promoted Newcastle is staggering. That is why I would take 17th place now. Survival will result in a TV payout of £110m which can then be used to develop the team.

      Many of our financially illiterate supporters saw last season as a success. Financially, relegation in 2015 was a major set back, irrespective of winning the fizzy pop league.

      • real mag

        who are these financially illiterate supporters? – eveyone knows the score – don’t denigrate people pls. thanks

        • HarryHype59

          The numerous people who think Rafa has 100m to spend upfront on players for next season. These same people who refuse to accept that getting relegated in 2015 had massive negative financial implications for this club.

  • Albert Stubbins

    I’m a realist- 10/14th next season and then build. Mind- i’m sure I seen him walking across the tyne the other day- surprised the chron. never got a picture like.

    • SH.ER

      I would be happy if no one mentioned us in any relegation battle next season & then maybe the season after that we can think about competing with the top 8 :)

  • Wor Monga

    Rafa did well enough in the short time he was given to try to keep us up…and that was with a bunch of players who knew that if the worse happened they would be off to better things, haha!…he almost did enough to keep us up, and if it hadn’t been for some very suspicious out of character results that the scum put together…namely against Chelsea and Everton he would have done, but that’s just water under the bridge now and we now will have a team that wants to wear the
    shirt and play for us…home and away…Rafa will see to that…

    That’s all we expect isn’t it…that’s all any true fan can expect, isn’t it?!!!

  • HarryHype59

    The financial restrictions faced by Rafa this season, resulting of the loss of TV money, means I would settle for not getting relegated next season. If Rafa keeps us up, the TV money can then go toward improving the squad next year.

    Swansea who finished fourth last in the EPL will get £110m, Newly promoted Newcastle will receive around £45m for winning the fizzy pop league. This season Rafa may have to sell players just to cover the 96m operating costs shown in the 2016 accounts.

    • Mal

      The £45million you mention will be shown in this season’s accounts (2016/17) , along with the profit on player sales made at the beginning of the season. The £100+million to be received next season will appear in the 2017/18 accounts so I’m pretty sure he will have been given assurances about a transfer budget for the 2017/18 season which takes this into account; otherwise I don’t think he’d still be here.

      • HarryHype59

        That’s what we all hope but! It means ensuring the club avoids relegation to remain on the EPL gravy train. The cost to the club of the last relegation was far higher in terms of lost TV money than the previous 2009 relegation.

        Transfer fees are increasing as existing EPL clubs share out the lucrative TV deal. Rafa will have to wheel and deal because of the cash restrictions which is why I would settle for 17th place next season. If Ashley let’s him keep the 124m for new players ( minus operating costs) then the Rafalution may begin.

  • Geordiegiants

    Got to say, I expect a top ten finish this season, from 17th to 7th there was nothing in it last season.
    Rafa is a winner and will be aiming for a top half finish no doubt.

  • Soldier

    we`ll finish mid table and that will be mission accomplished as far as the Pie Man is concerned because that is the height of his ambition

  • Andy Mac

    I’d like to think that when Rafa finally sorted out the men from the boys in the last PL season 15-16 we were pretty well matched against any team in the league ?

    The last six games were undefeated and included draws against Citeh and the RBD’s as well as wins against Swansea, Palace and Spuds. OK Gini, Townsend and Sissoko have all departed but I see Rafa bringing in players of a similar if not better quality.

    Taking on that cluster of clubs from Southampton downwards I’d be very surprised if we cannot finish top half next season ? Dont see that as “unrealistic” ?