After a season that ended on such a high, Rob Lee feels that Newcastle United are in danger of throwing that momentum away.
The former Newcastle star points to Rafa Benitez giving up his summer holidays in order to devote time to sorting the Newcastle squad for the new season.
However, he thinks that Mike Ashley won’t give Rafa the cash he needs (deserves?) and this will mean the club/manager missing out on their ‘top targets’.
With only five days to go until pre-season training begins, Rob Lee thinks that Mike Ashley has once again created uncertainty at the club, with no signings being made and no reassurance from the club that things are running smoothly.
Rob Lee talking to The Star:
“Optimism has been replaced by a lot of anxiety – just last month Newcastle was in a very good place.
“Talks between Ashley and Rafa had gone well and it was all systems go but the club has lost a bit of momentum, everything seems to be cloaked in uncertainty.
“I don’t know if talk of this Chinese consortium is a smokescreen or not but suddenly no one knows what is happening anymore.
“Is Ashley looking to leave?
“How disillusioned is Rafa?
“Why haven’t we signed anyone yet?
“Questions, questions when what the fans want – and deserve – is answers, a bit of clarity from the top. The longer this goes on, the more worried I’m getting.
“We have got a world class manager in Rafa who gets the club and gets the area just like Kevin (Keegan) did, but so far he has been unable to sign the players he wanted.
“The man even cancelled his summer holidays because he was so keen to hit the ground running.
“For one reason or another, no one’s coming in. No disrespect to Tammy Abraham, who’s a good young player, but when he goes to Swansea instead of Newcastle it does not really bode well – maybe the pull is not as big as we think it is.”
“It always seems to be one step forward, another one back, call me a cynic but I always suspected Rafa wouldn’t get the players he wanted.
“He will get some funds but not as much as he wants and in today’s market, that means missing out on top targets, players required just to stay up.proving
“I’m not asking him (Mike Ashley) to spill any state secrets, just let the fans know if he is staying or going and why player recruitment so difficult.
“This should be a great time for my former club. I’m praying they don’t blow this opportunity.”