Local media have this Friday morning been telling Newcastle fans to trust in Rafa Benitez.

With pre-season training starting in only two weeks time (3 July) and signings failing to materialise yet, supporters are understandably hoping that this changes very soon.

Christian Atsu was signed on a permanent deal in May but that transfer had to be made within a specified timeframe after the Championship season ended, if Newcastle were to get the winger for the previously agreed £6.2m price.

As expected, Newcastle have been linked with a ridiculous number of transfer targets since winning promotion and we all are very aware that most of it is made-up rubbish.

However, included amongst the ever growing list of players, there have been some that Newcastle and Rafa Benitez do appear to have credible interest in.

Despite that, no signings through the door and the clock continues to tick, four weeks today and Newcastle play their first (so far) confirmed friendly at Hearts.

A year ago, the first friendly was away at Bohemians on Saturday 16 July and Newcastle had already made five signings – Isaac Hayden, Matt Ritchie, Matz Sels, Jesus Gamez and Dwight Gayle.

All five of the new boys played that day, early signings getting a full pre-season being a massive bonus for the coming campaign.

Thursday night brought news that Mike Ashley had sent in one of his trusted retail empire key people, Justin Barnes, to be the most important figure inside St James Park.

The Telegraph reporting that Lee Charnley had to pass any major financial decisions on to him for the go ahead, with Barnes also said to have been sent in to prepare the club for a potential sale, or more likely selling a share in the club to an outside investor(s).

We can only speculate on exactly what is going on inside Newcastle United but as usual it appears to bear little resemblance to how other similar sized clubs are run.

Newcastle still ran by a skeleton staff, with the same people (Lee Charnley, Graham Carr etc) remaining in position who were at the club when a second relegation in seven years was ‘achieved’.

It is stating the obvious but of course Newcastle fans believe/trust in Rafa Benitez, I doubt there is another Manager in the Premier League, including Conte at Champions Chelsea, who would get as high an approval rating from their fans as Rafa would get from Toon supporters.

Instead, it is the rest of them the Newcastle fans don’t trust, the Mike Ashley minions that we can see, as well as those that remain anonymous, such as this previously unmentioned Justin Barnes.

Rafa Benitez clearly had signings lined up that he wanted to bring in during January but found them blocked by Ashley, including loan signings. The Newcastle Manager going public with his frustrations at the failure to sign anybody, before then saying that this had to be now put to one side and everybody who was already at the club to now concentrate 100% on making sure promotion happened.

Given a reasonable budget and freedom to sell and buy as he sees fit, no sane Newcastle fan wouldn’t trust Rafa Benitez to do a better job than anybody else at the football club and indeed most other top line managers.

However, after what happened (or rather didn’t) in January and the so far visible lack of transfer activity since the season ended, Newcastle fans are going to have a certain level of anxiety until bodies come through the door.

The trust will always be in Rafa Benitez but we just hope he is also convinced that he can trust Mike Ashley and his minions.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Billy Ellwood

    Yeah that’s the problem. How can we trust a man whose broken promises to previous football people. And I don’t mean Pardew

  • Leazes Ender

    According to the Chronicle interview with Sir John Hall, 14th June… I quote….. ‘Ashley is a great bloke who is very, very shy’

    I fell off my chair…. they live in a different world these crims.

  • Wor Monga

    Let’s face it Dean if you weren’t worried about something…you’d be more worried…you could worry for England, and (be honest) if you weren’t worried about
    Ashley staying at the club then you’d be just as worried about him leaving…but why are you so worried when (like LeazesEnder) you stopped ‘actually’ supporting years ago, and there’s well over 50,000 fans (and Rafa) who aren’t very worried by the slow transfer action at this stage…

    …Players, clubs and agents are holding out for the best possible deals, but there is plenty of choice out there…the right deals will be done in time so keep calm and don’t wet your pants!!!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      If as you say Leazes stopped supporting the club then why is he so critical of the regime, if he wasn`t a supporter he wouldn`t care, would he

      • Toon

        To be fair he comes across as somebody who whined during Keegan in the 90’s. Every point the same, every snipe at fellow supporters the same, yawn

        • Leazes Ender

          Not true at all…. I was critical of the sale of some of the players though.

    • Pelican

      Since when did you speak for 50,000 people.

      • Wor Monga

        …Is that wanting the best for the club, then?…just permanently existing in a perpetual state of worry and fear about things that may never happen…when we know for certain (after 10 years) that we are not going to change either the ownership or the owners decisions at the club which he values at around £400m…simply by
        whinging non-stop on an internet site…

        …Rafa is obviously happy with the way things are because if he wasn’t then he wouldn’t still be here, working non-stop this summer to make a proper PL team…EOS!!!

        • Pelican

          You don’t get it, do you? Viewing the reality of the situation is not some manifest emotion that you can just manifest. You cannot just ignore Ashley, hope things will be better – for it to magically happen. You must have a very good nature that is easily exploitable. I hope for your sake you keep an eye on your friends if you have a wife… such is your gullible outlook and nature.

    • Guest 2

      It’s because he actually cares enough to do something about it. Typical to call someone not a supporter any longer simply because they stopped attending the match due to that same level of commitment.
      Face the fact – there’s a very large number of the 50,000 now who would still turn up if Joker returned along with the poison dwarf. I know which ‘fan’ I would therefore call a true supporter of the team/club.

  • Damon Horner

    You can’t live a life with permanent anxiety, it has to get to a point where Ashley becomes irrelevant and we can enjoy the football, obviously something may happen that is damaging but why sit with that permanent apprehension?

    • Pelican

      Probably because some people care. The day you allow Ashley to pursue the culture of decline at the club, is the day you give up on wanting the best for your club.

      • Damon Horner

        Are you suggesting that the only peope who care about the club are those obsessed with Mike Ashley and those who believe he is out to sabotage his own investment?

        Football clubs are about the football mate, not the boardroom politics. While Ashley is sitting down and behaving like a good little boy I intend to back the team.

        • Pelican

          “If you want to tell other fans they don’t care about the club as much
          as you because they aren’t hysterical about Ashley then it’s up to you.”

          That is not what I stated. You are fully aware that the club is in decline due to Ashley taking away advertising revenue from the club. If some people want to brush that under the carpet because it makes them feel happier, so be it.

          I find it strangely ironic how those fans that take an interest into the club’s finances, and object to how it is being run because they care about the club, are called “hysterical” or “whingers” or “obsessed” or any other term of similar meaning. Did you ever think maybe, just maybe, these people are not being hysterical or obsessed, but rather have a point.

          Now I am sure I will receive a reply telling me how helpless it all is, and how Ashley’s mind cannot be changed… give it all up etc. A big enough consensus can be extremely effective.

  • TheFatController

    Reina hasn’t decided, lejeunes buy-out matched, Abraham approached personally by Rafa, Semedo chose Villarreal, Fulham warned us off Cairney… and that’s the ones we have heard about from either player or clubs involved. Rafa met with Man City. atsu signed.

    How many clubs/agents would see a quick sale as good for their player? If, by comparison, you look at Man Utd now signing players, for the player there’s not much to think about so the agent moves quick to avoid them going elsewhere I’d suspect …

  • Andrew Cowley

    Hate to say it but ican see Rafa resigning before the season as signings fail to materialise.seems every year we offer less then the asking price to keep up appearances and make it seem we are trying to sign players.hope I’m wrong but the signs are worrying to say the least.

  • Albert Stubbins

    ITS not the same as in the championship- we were the big fish in a small pond. Now we are in a league where everyone has big money to spend. We can offer a class manager and class fans but little else. Its going to be difficult to get a lot of these players linked with our club in but I have faith that Rafa will have the squad looking significantly more prepared for the premiership by the start of the season than what it is now.We’ve got to accept we are a little way down the pecking order at the present time,but that’ll hopefully change for the better in the next few seasons.

    • Damon Horner

      don’t disagree with the first point but it works the same for tactical approach. Man City and the like will get more respect on the pitch than we will and we’re geared to take advantage of space behind with the abilities Shelvey, Ritchie and Gayle possess, we will have less quality man for man but the tactics should play in our favour more which is why I don’t see us struggling as badly as some suggest.

  • HarryHype59

    Rafa will be restricted financially due to loss of TV money compared to the other EPL teams. I am confident he can avoid the drop if he is given 100% autonomy on transfers and adequate funds. If Ashley blocks Rafa’s dealings like he did in January, Rafa will walk and Newcastle will be relegated again.