Friday saw Newcastle United kick off their pre-season schedule with a 2-1 win over Hearts, a typical friendly run out against lower level opposition, as the team build up their fitness.

Good to see Dwight Gayle score a couple of goals but also a worry that nobody else really forced the keeper into a save, something which hopefully going to be addressed in this transfer window…

Speaking of which, there were some cross words after the game in Edinburgh, as journalists revealed that Rafa Benitez hadn’t been made available for them to quiz after the win over Hearts.

The Newcastle boss would of course have been asked about the game but obviously the main event would have been questions about what is, or isn’t, happening in the transfer market.

Some people made the point that managers don’t always have press conferences after a friendly game but fair to say that if everything had been going smoothly on the transfer front, Rafa Benitez very likely have been happy to talk about success on AND off the pitch.

Instead, there was only a short interview given to the club’s own official TV channel, where predictably the United boss wasn’t pressed on the lack of new signings.

The Newcastle squad are now off on their pre-season training camp in Ireland, which is normally the key time for bonding between the existing squad and any new faces. Florian Lejeune will be popular then…

Rafa hasn’t been available at all yet for the media to ask difficult questions, the day that Florian Lejeune was presented to the journalists, the Newcastle manager was again conspicuous by his absence.

Little surprise if the Spaniard is waiting until movement in terms of transfers, before he chooses to trade questions and answers with the press pack.

Hopefully that day comes soon because now only four weeks until the Premier League kicks off and the need for further team strengthening at St James Park is obvious.

When the day comes for Rafa Benitez to meet the assembled media, with or without more signings, we will no doubt gauge by both his answers and body language, just how relaxed the manager is about the action so far.

If Rafa Benitez is happy by the time the season kicks off then the fans will be happy, let us hope it is that win-win situation because anything else will spell trouble.



  • Martin

    This site is more negative now than what it was under Pardew. Get a grip. Plenty of clubs are struggling to get business done. We still have 6 weeks until the window closes. Relax.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      are they, not according to the stats they show that to date a record amount has been spent & it`s going up on a daily basis
      if you have any good news please share it, Cheers us all up

      • Martin

        Dude… you’re well known on this site as being one of the top two doom merchants. Anything I say will go through your negative head and out the other side.

        • Leazes Ender

          Tell us what the good news is then?…. you aren’t allowed to spin, that’s the rule.

          • Martin

            And there we are… can’t have one without the other.

          • Leazes Ender

            Is that the good news then….cheers.

          • Martin

            How about we are in PL. And we have Rafa. And we have 6 weeks until the deadline. The bad news… supporters like you who moan every single day and create hostility around our club. I’m pretty certains Its supporters like you who would have been part of the get Sir Bobby out brigade. Never happy.

          • Leazes Ender

            I think you’ll find the ones that wanted Bobby out were those who gained Shepherds ear on a drunken flight back from Lisbon…. The Fairs Club.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Did you enjoy the Duty Free on that flight Leazes?

          • Damon Horner

            good news? Saviet is back, he is like a new signing….

            There doesn’t have to always be good news, for a start this team might be better than they’re given credit for and we won’t truly know that until the season kicks off and we see how we line up.

            Everybody would have liked to have seen more new signings but it’s not a massive error until it costs us in competitive games.

          • Leazes Ender

            That’ll be August then.

          • Damon Horner

            Maybe. No doubt you’ll hope that’s the case.

      • Jezza

        Yes I’d also like to know what there is to be positive about. Not only has there been a record level of spending by Premiership clubs while NUFC have done nothing, even our recently relegated and cash strapped local rivals have bought more players than us this summer.

    • Jezza

      Considering 10 weeks have already passed since the window opened and NUFC have stood still in the transfer market while a record amount of money has been spent by our Premiership rivals, I’m not holding out much hope of anything happening in those remaining 6 weeks.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        So you want to double or quits my promotion winnings on us signing 2 players between now and the window slamming (r) shut.

  • Franzcarrsuperstar

    It’s quite common that managers don’t do full press conferences at this stage of pre-season. Shouldn’t read too much into that.

  • TheFatController

    Rafa has spoken about transfers – he said it’s a crazy market, and he’s frustrated.

    Apparently Klopp and Mourinho are frustrated also. We know Conte is. I thought Everton were doing well till they sold lukaku and I read Barkley hasn’t signed a contract.

    Perhaps the reason they are managers is they look at things in context of the reality, and not in the context of ‘show how desperate I am and see if that drops wage demands, transfer and agent fees…’

    Every time Charnley makes a bid The selling club and player’s agent must say ‘have you read the Mag? They can’t stand not getting everything easily, which is not the real world but makes our jobs easier. you’re supporters play poker like amateurs. You need players and I have one – show me the hugely over the top money’

    • Andy Mac

      I dont agree! It’s not beyond the wit of the pillock in charge to

      1. Ask Rafa for his priorities way ahead of the window opening
      2. Ensure those targets are likely to want to join NUFC
      3. Confirm the availability of the target from the agent

      4. Make the deal happen quickly and without fuss.

      Alternatively earmark all the outgoing players and make sure you’ve got a buyer for them first and sell them off asap to raise funds and reduce wages. FFS it’s his job so why cant he do it ? As it stands it looks like this whole transfer window came as a huge surprise to Penfold ?

      • Damon Horner

        number 4 can be very hard when the belief is the other club has a good bit of money and the player, agent and selling club want a good share of that.

        If it’s the case our boardroom lacks the context of the current transfer window then these are all fair comments but often enough these instances usually end up waiting for a club willing to pay the demands of the player, agent and club (fairly or ludicrously), otherwise the need to do the deal prevails and it happens later on.

      • Wor Monga

        Doesn’t happen like that in the real world of buying and selling players…only in the fictional world of Melchester Rovers or Oil Money FC…in the real world where everyone wants the best deal for their players or clubs, if you show your hand too soon then the stakes will be raised, and you’ll be made to comeback with another bigger offer…

        …Cool down…stay calm…Rafa doesn’t want to come out every morning regurgitating the same stuff for the benefit of sites like this…it just makes them say he’s getting desperate, and guess what…only the trolls and prophets of doom are…he’s not!!!

        • Rich Lawson

          Melchester Rovers,is Roy coming then ? Inspired signing.

      • TheFatController

        he’s signed loads of players in the last two years ? What facts are you basing your assertion that he doesn’t know how to sign players on when we have a squad full of players (earmarked by manager and scouts) most of whom were signed by Charnley over the last four windows?

        I’m all for kicking people with facts that show their faults, but not for kicking people for not signing players early because if he doesn’t people get upset and can’t control their nerves.

        It’s like when you’re a child and someone is a ‘very bad man’ because he doesn’t spend stupid amounts on players to make your day special …get your mum to have a word and spend our limited revenue stupidly so we can be like Man city for the day…

        • Andy Mac

          He huffed and puffed over Murphy and then caved in ? Lejeune took over a month to process and we still end up paying what they wanted ? If clubs know you’ll pay what they want what’s the point of haggling ? Get the fkrs in and start the team building.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        You are deluded if you think it’s all that simple Andy. Teams hold the contracts for players and are desperate to get the best deal for them, it’s in their interests to hold off until all interested parties are flushed out. The player’s agent will alwasy try to flush out other buyers, it’s in his clients’ interests to get the best deal from the buying club. The buying club wants to get their man for as cheaply as possible and sometimes better to drag it’s feet if it knows it’s in a strong position, why pay 10 weeks wages (£1/2m for an average premier league earner)?

        The problem I have with the criticism is that if it were our money, we’d not be so bullish. Most of the whiners will not even have £10 with me that we’ll stay up.

    • Damon Horner

      unless we’re losing obvious quality on the playing side it’s hard for me to feel frustrated, it just takes a bit patience, there is a picture forming and we just have to wait and see if we like it, a top deal two weeks ago makes little difference to one done in four weeks time.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      It’s fortunate that the management do not take any notice of some of the vocal fans.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    How many times are fans going to trot out the same soundbites in regard to Mike Ashley’s sordid reign at Newcastle United ?

    • Leazes Ender

      De Jong is like a new signing.

      • Wor Monga

        Why not?…hey, we could have spent £30m on a new signing, and be dancing in the streets right now…like those Spurs fans last year when they wrested Sissoko away from us…

        at least De Jong wants to be here, and work!!!

        • Leazes Ender

          Indeed he could prove to be Charnleys savior, and he works as well getaway unlike lazy accountants who have never done an honest days work in their lives.

  • Leazes Ender

    Here’s a challenge for the happy clappers.

    How has Charnley learned his lessons with regard to squad building, the timing of signings and planning for the future of the club?

    Come on then….

    • Damon Horner

      1) He’s learned not to offer biscuits when negotiating around the table. He learned the hard way not to give away Mike’s biscuits.

      • Wor Monga

        He’s now prepared to offer the all but the chocolate digestives, and the jammy dodgers!!!

        • Damon Horner

          I think they make an exception for Lee Ryder as long as he keeps up his top class local sports writing.

          • Leazes Ender

            Now that’s just cynical

    • Wor Monga

      Why don’t you tell those supporters?…I’m sure you’re dying too, and if it’s as good as your Squad Valuation drivel…it’ll be worth a hee haw!!!

      • Leazes Ender

        I’ve no idea how he wasn’t sacked after the first or second relegation and as he exhibits exactly the same degree of urgency and ineptitude, its a bit of a puzzler…..maybe his boss is thick as pigs sh*te, its a distinct possibility……. If you had cost your Company in the region of £100m you know you wouldn’t get a bonus unless you were a banker.

        • Franzcarrsuperstar

          I don’t think Lee Charnley was MD when we were relegated in 2009.

          • Leazes Ender

            He was washing his hair.

          • Franzcarrsuperstar

            Probably. Was he club secretary then? Something like that…

          • Mark Potter

            Charnley was the Football Secretary before becoming MD in 2014. He worked for the club for almost 15 years before his appointment. It’s a common misconception that he was Ashley’s man brought into the club, like Llambias before him. He wasn’t, he was there many years before Ashley bought the club, starting even before Bobby Robson was manager.

          • Jezza

            I believe he started of as Russell Cushing’s tea boy.

    • Damon Horner

      2) He’s worked out now he looks more professional not writing with or chewing on crayons. He now holds a pen and is learning to write.

    • Mark Potter

      He’s been at the club about 18 years. He was there during 30+ transfer windows, saw Bobby Robson in action first hand, and worked with a wide range of other managers such as Shearer, Pardew and Kinnear. He was there during two relegations, but also an FA Cup Final, qualification for Champions League, and several EUFA Cups. He personally agreed terms with Rafa Benitez. The best signing for the club since Bobby Robson departed.

  • Lhc

    Thankfully! Diego Rolan is off to Fulham I see. Now they move onto the next target they have scouted of championship manager

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    There may be trouble ahead
    But while there’s music and moonlight and love and romance
    Let’s face the music Penfold and dance…. like you never danced before Marionette! #AshleyOut

  • Desree

    Our squad is worse than the one that got us relegated. The two teams who we competed against last season have strengthened. The 3 weakest teams last season have been relegated. We are way off being competitive to finish 17th.

    • Jezza

      Agreed. Our current squad is simply not capable of avoiding relegation.