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Opinion

Former star says Mike Ashley makes him feel sick over lack of backing for Rafa Benitez

2 years ago
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After playing Champions League football for Newcastle and regular finishes in the top four, Jermaine Jenas says that it is ‘difficult’ for him to look at his old club, as they are now.

The player turned pundit is full of praise for Rafa Benitez and the squad that got the club instantly out of the Championship BUT he says ‘it almost makes me sick’ that Mike Ashley has them refused to give the manager the necessary backing this summer.

Looking at the situation as it stands, Jermaine Jenas has a warning if Ashley continues to refuse to back Rafa Benitez: ‘Right now, Newcastle are amongst the bottom three teams’.

He says that whilst the market might be ‘crazy’, it is clear that Mike Ashley could and should still be doing a lot more to back his manager.

Like all realistic Newcastle fans, more money needs to be spent not with ideas of getting top finish, but simply to have a realistic chance of not being in a season-long relegation battle.

Jermaine Jenas saying that with the instant promotion and a manager like Rafa in charge ‘It makes no sense to not go for it and protect your status.’

Jermaine Jenas talking to Goal:

“I am 100% with Rafa (in terms of needing more quality signings).

“It is difficult for me because when I was playing for Newcastle United, they were third in the league and playing Champions League football, consistently finishing the in top four.

“Yeah they won the Championship and finished last season on a high but it almost makes me sick, that the players and manager put their heart and soul into the league and then they are not backed to improve.

“The market is crazy and they can’t afford to go too big on signings but as far as I am concerned, with the team that they have got now, will be in a relegation battle at the end of the season.

“Is that good enough for a club at the size of Newcastle? No, as far as I am concerned.

“So I am 100% behind Rafa Benitez. He has done his job, got them back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

“You have banked god knows how many millions for being in the Premier League, or you will bank it over the next few years, now invest it and back me as a manager.

“I am with him all the way. It makes no sense to not go for it and protect your status.

“Not only that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at what they have got and say it is not enough. I suppose Newcastle fans and even Rafa are probably only asking for signings to give them a better chance.

“Right now, they are amongst the bottom three teams.

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“He wants a chance to survive and that’s all he’s asking for. If they don’t get it, they could lose their most important person and that’s Rafa Benitez.

“I don’t think they have got enough goals – Mitrovic has had his season in the league below and didn’t see enough from him. Maybe they didn’t play to his strengths or maybe it was just his ability, I don’t see him getting double figures.

“They have Dwight Gayle, a proven goalscorer for them but the problem with Gayle is that he has to play in a two, then you are restricted with how you play.

“He is better with someone next to him in the Premier League but they won’t have a lot of possession in games.

“They have Ayoze Perez as well but there’s not enough there for me. Every year when I am talking about football in the last couple of seasons, looking at Sunderland, Villa and others. The relegated team’s biggest problem is always a lack of ability to score goals.

You can grind out results but if you can’t score goals, you won’t stay up.

“They even failed to loan Tammy Abraham. As a Newcastle United fan or manager or player, you expect a player to jump to play at Newcastle. He has gone to Swansea and you hope that’s a situation that doesn’t come back to bite you in the rear end.”

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