I bit like a broken clock, Paul Merson must get it right sometime.
Though exactly when his time will come, nobody knows yet…
On 14 May 2016 after Newcastle were relegated, Paul Merson confidently stated:
“Benitez will leave Newcastle.
“Did they (Newcastle fans) really think if they went down that Benitez was going to stick around to get them back up?”
Then on 29 April 2017 after Newcastle had been promoted, our favourite cockney declared:
“Rafa Benitez can leave Newcastle a hero if he walks out this summer – and I think he will. The fans shouldn’t hold it against him either.”
You just can’t keep a good man, or Paul Merson, down. He’s back for more.
Asked yesterday which Premier League Manager will be the first to leave their club (either sacked of jump ship), Paul Merson amazingly decided on…Rafa Benitez!
You would almost think he was willing it to happen…
As Rafa Benitez has stated, just so long as Mike Ashley keeps to his promises, then the transfer activity he (Rafa) wants to happen this summer, will happen.
If that is the case and Rafa Benitez is manager when the season kicks off and the transfer window ends, I would argue there is hardly a manager less likely to leave this coming season than Rafa Benitez.
He has no history of walking away during a season and even Mike Ashley wouldn’t think it was a good idea getting rid of the Spaniard during a potential relegation battle. A massive payout if he sacked Rafa and you are hardly going to find somebody more capable of keeping the team up, if it is indeed a season of struggle.
Paul Merson speaking to Talksport – 19 July 2017:
“I don’t like to see anyone getting the sack but I always worry about the teams coming up.
“I’m going to go with Rafa Benitez.
“He is a great manager but I just think that Newcastle haven’t bought anybody yet.”
Paul Merson – 29 April 2017:
“Rafa Benitez can leave Newcastle a hero if he walks out this summer – and I think he will.
“He’ll wonder how much further he can take them in the Premier League.
“It doesn’t look like they will be denied promotion because of the tax fraud probe but what if they’re hit with a transfer embargo?
“He might wonder whether it’s worth it if he doesn’t get a big transfer budget. Without new signings they’ll finish 15th or 16th at best in the Prem.
“And he could walk into another job fairly easily. He would be in demand. The fans shouldn’t hold it against him either.
“He stayed and took them straight back up when he could have walked away. He can leave with his head held high.
“You have to think long-term in this game and he might wonder what’s coming down the line at Newcastle.”
Paul Merson – 14 May 2016:
“Benitez will leave Newcastle.
“Sam Allardyce must have enjoyed sending Newcastle and Rafa Benitez down this week.
“Without Jermain Defoe’s goals they would never had stayed up, but Allardyce is the master of survival.
“He’s been there and done it before. He knows what to do. Benitez? He hasn’t. Newcastle had to beat Aston Villa last week and they played one up front.
“That was criminal for me. I said when he took over that Benitez is the sort of manager who sets teams out not to lose games, instead of trying to win them, and look what happened.
“Did they really think if they went down that Benitez was going to stick around to get them back up?
“He started the season managing Real Madrid. I can’t see how you can go from the Bernabeu to the away dug-out at Burton so quickly – can you?”