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.