Michael Gray says that it is ‘very bizarre’ what’s happening at Newcastle United at the minute.

After losing to Forest 3-2 in the League Cup on Wednesday night in extra time, the former Sunderland player says that it showed yet more proof that Rafa Benitez and his squad are struggling.

The United boss made 10 changes but the team should still have been good enough to beat a Championship side that also made their next league game the priority.

Once again the subject of Mike Ashley’s promises and the failure to deliver the signings  Rafa wants, rears its head, and Michael Gray states ‘If he (Rafa) is not being backed then he is a powerful guy’.

This is yet another unpopular messenger but hard to disagree with much of what Gray says, as he only speaks what are our fears as well.

Michael Gray adding that the Newcastle boss would be in demand if he couldn’t take any more: ‘He has a wonderful CV…Why is Rafa Benitez staying at Newcastle United?’.

Michael Gray speaking on Channel 5:

“It is very bizarre for me, what is happening at Newcastle.

“It seems to me that Rafa Benitez has been promised the funds to make them stronger in the Premier League but he has found it really difficult in the transfer market to bring in the players he wants.

“He is struggling and you could see tonight that at times they were struggling.

“He needs fresh faces but if he’s not being backed then he is a powerful guy.

“He has a wonderful CV.

“Why is Rafa Benitez staying at Newcastle United?

“He has got every opportunity to walk away if he wants to and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did that.

“I know I will get criticised for saying that because this is Newcastle we are speaking about – but the writing is on the wall.

“He could actually walk away.

“Whether or not he does is another thing but they need to turn things around quickly.”

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match go here)

(Read Rafa Benitez’ opinion on Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 3 here)

(Read what Mark Warburton had to say about the game here)



  • Steve Pearce

    Here we go again – some [email protected] stating the obvious. You lot should be getting behind we fans and not spewing out negativity!

    “The Mag announces that it is leading the campaign to find us a new owner” is the headline most of us would like to see – but there’s as much chance of that happening as me becoming the next Alan Shearer….

  • Mrkgw

    Have to agree with Gray who, despite previous connections, talks sense in footballing terms. Ashley has behaved shabbily and hanged yet another manager out to dry. Who would want to work under such conditions, Rafa does have too good a CV to put up with any of it. I have said for a long long time now that Pardew will return – we draw ever closer to that day as the plan unfolds.

  • Kneebotherm8

    Gray could well be right,Rafa doesn’t need this contemptuous treatment by the owner,although I’m sure the mackems will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of him departing.

  • Leazes Ender

    Nobody can fathom Ashley at all….. If you buy a new car, you polish it and watch out for pigeons from the window….. you don’t deflate the tyres, key the paintwork and run away.

    This owner has no pride in his club….. he doesn’t deserve the privilege of owning it.

    • Mrkgw

      He is more stubborn to shift than rust and even admitted in that interview that we will remain together for years to come. As things stand, the there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

  • East Durham Mag

    The squad is what is left from being assembled to win the Championship with players let go who weren’t deemed up to premier league standard. Now we have been beaten by an ex Championship team and a current one consecutively. It’s glaringly apparent to all but a few fans and the pr*cks on the board and Fatty that our bargain basement buys aren’t good enough. Getting behind the side will not be enough for survival. We needed Fatty to be sincere and honour his promises made on live national television. Oh look a squadron of flying pigs. Whatever his past is Mickey Gray is right.

    • Jimblag23

      The thing is, Bournemouth, Burnley, Watford and more I’m sure haven’t looked this bad after coming up from the championship with their championship players.
      NUFC is rotten to the core.

      • East Durham Mag

        Got to agree with that.

  • HappyToons

    Go back to the beginning when Ashley was first going to sell and the Chron kept us updated that for months there was a Nigerian consortium interested. Just picture him in the pub having a big laugh at our expense-‘Geordie Mugs’. What did he promise the last time we escaped relegation??? Leazes Ender’s analogy about the car is spot on. Yet sometimes you’ll find an old classic car stored away in an old barn that needs restored; because some rich geezer bought it, but forgot about it, as it was then just another rich man’s toy at the time. It was totally neglected, though some of the rich man’s boys might have climbed around in it from time to time and tooted the horn and played with the steering wheel. Until some one who genuinely loves that classic car and comes to buy it and wants to beautifully restore it, the car is being steered no where. From a distance the paintwork still looks ok though … pity about the mice in the engine bay and the Rat under the seat.

    The thing about rusting old classics,- it takes years to restore them and a lot of money. So you need a genuine enthusiast with deep pockets to see the restoration to the end, but it is usually worth it!

    • Rich Lawson

      Did the Nigerian consortium ask for his bank account details to make a payment ? That must be why there are no funds left for transfers ?

    • TheFatController

      About a decade ago, in a galaxy far far away…

      Phone rings – ‘hello, the FA’
      Hi, I want to buy NUFC….
      ‘Ok, what’s your connection the the club?’
      None, never been there before, just fancy it…
      For their good or yours…?
      ‘Well, I might use it as a vehicle to promote my own company…’
      And you’ve no experience running a club either ?
      ‘No.’
      And do you have a good reputation for the way your own company conducts itself..?
      Err…..
      ‘Sorry. We’re blocking that purchase. It’ll be nothing but a decade is misery for the fans…’

      If only we could re-write history.

  • Geordiegiants

    This time last season lots of people were on here with all the negative stuff after a couple of bad results, look at where we went from there.
    This time around I just can’t see us moving forward, I have always tried to be honest in my assessment of the situation, and have always been positive regards Rafa, (never about Jabba) but this time I find it difficult to be anything but disappointed. I hope I’m wrong and we pull through, but I just can’t see it.

    • MadMag83

      Same here. I can’t see things improving as it stands. Last season we knew we had a much better squad than the rest of the league and the mood around the club was a positive one despite the poor start.

      This pre season has been doing and gloom, transfer dealings have been slow and uninspiring, players have been transfer listed and dropped, Rafa seems at odds with the board and the general mood is one of defeatism.

      I’ll be astounded if we get a draw out of Wet Spam on Saturday.

      • Jimblag23

        Yep, even if by some miracle we buy a couple of players, I don’t think that is enough to lift the gloom.
        They would have to be amazing, do we look like we’re about to buy “amazing” players?

        • Geordiegiants

          We need a marque number 10 to stand any chance of lifting the place.

    • Milo79

      I think last season it was a case of finding out feet, and acclimatising to the division.This year we are just woefully short of quality; a situation we all felt would have been rectified in the summer. Unfortunately funds are in short supply and Lee Charnley is the most torpid deal maker in football history.

  • Rich Lawson

    Because he is an honest and principled man and has a £5mil penalty clause for walking out ?

  • Paul Patterson

    No manager walks away from a contract these days.
    Plus he’ll want to cite constructive dismissal..

  • Kev-82

    In all honesty it seems Rafa has had enough but rather than walk with his head held high, I suspect he’s now trying to get sacked so he can get his payout.

  • Martin Rooney

    He’s trying to get sacked by playing rubbish football, he did it last year too just the premier players he had just kept on winning

  • Gallowgate1982

    why is it that this publication insists on publishing the views of a known sunderland fan and ex player when not one NUFC fan has any respect for his views.
    This is turning into Talk sport publishing stuff in the hope of getting a reaction to help keep the advertising funding on board…time for me to check out of The MAG…I have every single copy of the paper versions of this “Fanzine” ( Has not been a fanzine for ages) they are in stark contrast to this sh*te. Bye now

  • Alreet

    So 3 losses and the world falls away. They call us fickle. Looks like we not only dont trust the gaffer but we are seemingly pushing him out.

    Give him some time. We lost a few at the start of last season the went on a right run.

    He doesnt put this much work in then just give up. He wants to win.

    Lets see what happens in the west ham game and if we win what is next. Gloom lifted or what.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    because [email protected]#k you Michael, that’s why

  • Hughie

    Yet another repeat of the blindingly obvious media speculation of the last few weeks. All that has changed is the name. Incredibly tedious and a waste of space. Come on editor please stop trotting out lazy nothing articles.