Ian Wright has been talking about the situation at Newcastle United.

Not always a favourite for Newcastle supporters, the former Arsenal striker is right on the mark this time.

Ian Wright says ‘They (the club/Mike Ashley) have not given Rafa the players when they come into the Premier League to survive’.

The pundit points to the fact that Newcastle United had all of last season to prepare for a return to the Premier League ‘knowing they were coming up’.

It is at this point that things have gone badly wrong.

Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley agreed on a plan to get out of the Championship and this worked, Newcastle ending up as champions and Rafa delivering a £40m profit on transfers last season.

However, the plan on preparing for the Premier League has crashed and burnt.

The manager clearly thinks there was a plan agreed with the owner and the problem has been Mike Ashley not keeping to his side of the bargain/plan.

Rafa was blocked from making signings in January that could have helped prepare for the return to the top tier, whilst this summer the United boss has increasingly made clear that the promises to properly back him have not been kept.

As Ian Wright says, Newcastle need to ‘spend a lot of money’ and not ‘a pittance’.

A net spend of just over £20m for Newcastle has seen Huddesrfield spend almost twice as much, whilst clubs such as West Brom, Swansea, Burnley and Bournemouth are buying players at that £15m+ level, whilst Rafa has been forced to look for bargains to rescue the situation.

Ian Wright speaking to Radio 5 Live:

Andy Carroll would be a signing that the Newcastle fans would get behind.

“He is one of theirs, a striker coming back who they need – he scores goals.

“Yes there is the problem of him staying fit but they do need some inspiration right now.

“Whether they’re going to get it from the man upstairs (Mike Ashley) and give Rafa Benitez the money to attract new players to Newcastle, they’ve got to spend a lot of money.

“It’s not going to be a pittance. It’s good money for players they need to stay in this league.

“It is still an opportunity for those so called second string players to stake a claim.

“Rafa is obviously looking for someone to do something, to give them some buzz or impetus.

“Someone to inspire and do something.

“If it carries on like it is, you have to say right from the off Newcastle have a very good chance of going back down.

“They had all that time last season in the Championship knowing they were coming up. They were the best team in it.

“They could prepare themselves for being back in the Premier League and they have not really backed him.

“They have not given Rafa the players when they come into the Premier League to survive.”



  • Paul Patterson

    Wor Al has probably had a word in his shell.

  • fistsofsteel2

    You can’t build a spaceship with a tool kit bought at Poundland.

    And you can’t expect to survive the premier league with bargain basement inadequate players.

    Ashley has supplied Rafa with a Poundland toolkit and asked him to build a spaceship.

    Ashley is an idiot……doesn’t he realise investing in two or three £20-30million players will keep Newcastle in the premier league – thus making money long term. It’s almost like he’s wanting the club to be relegated.
    Who would blame Rafa if he walked out? There is NO ambition whatsoever being shown by the club under Ashley.

    • East Durham Mag

      Ashley is an arrogant [email protected] but he’s a self made billionaire he isn’t an idiot. He just doesn’t care and has no interest in Newcastle United than furthering his own interests and wealth. It also seems like he just does things to spite us all.

      • Leazes Ender

        He is an idiot….. businessmen have very low IQ’s but are channelled towards making money…. the BBC did a competition thang a few years back where they pitted groups of professionals against each other…. businessmen had lower intelligence quotients than footballers…. Ashley is a really bad specimen.

        • Jezza

          Being highly intelligent does not seem to be an essential requirement to succeed in business. The characteristic I notice most in successful businessmen is that they all seem to be arrogant and bullies.

          • GToon

            “Ruthless” is the word you were looking for Jezza. And our esteemed leader has that particular quality in spades.

          • Jimblag23

            The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson is a great book on this subject.
            Ashley would definitely qualify as a psychopath.

    • HappyToons

      I wonder why Mike never purchased ‘Poundland’? Seems just his sort of business and can you imagine ‘pundland’ on the front of your shirt. I’ll be over the moon when he leaves…or is abducted by aliens.

  • Kev-82

    Whilst he clearly needs more money it doesn’t give me much confidence that he has had £30m+ and spent it bringing in yet more squad fillers rather than the left back, Striker & No.10 that we so desperately need in our first team to give us a chance of staying up.

    • Paul Patterson

      If your mam says she’s going to give you £40 to go and buy the tea for the family, you’d make plans to buy all kinds of wonderful things.
      If she actually then just gives you a tenner, your priorities then change..

      • HappyToons

        The panic starts when she snatches the tenner back and says you still need to go and buy the tea …or sell some of the tins of 1945 Corned beef amongst the spider webs in the pantry.

        • Leicester Mag

          You are an optimist if you think Mr Biscuits won’t have troughed it!

      • Kev-82

        Lol, get what your saying but the money spent so far could have gotten us the left back and possibly No.10, more money would have still been need to get a striker and a few squad players but think with limited funds first team players should have been prioritised over squad players.

        • TheFatController

          We don’t pay first team PL wages is the stumbling block for Rafa. That’s why they’re squad players and under £10m because they’ll accept the lower wages.

    • Leazes Ender

      …. and a Keeper…. and an attacking midfielder.

    • TheFatController

      Had he bought another striker (he’s bought one) a number 10 and a left back with that £35m we’d have two wingers not four, no commanding CB that you need in the PL, no ‘passing’ cover in MF for Shelvey.

      We desperately needed 5 players at £10-15m plus a few squad men and he’s been given £35m. He then can’t afford anything over £15m on one player as it’d break the wage structure given the likely wage demands of average players …

      We have squad fillers because we can’t afford the wages of PL first team players. Rafa will try to get players on loan I suspect where the other club pay part of the wages – maybe Wiltshire or Remy if we’re lucky, but we won’t get anyone decent as we don’t pay decent wages.

    • Jezza

      Regardless of who Rafa should or shouldn’t have bought, the fact is that £30 million was nowhere near enough to bring this Newcastle squad up to the required standard to have a chance of avoiding relegation.

      • Geordiegiants

        No where near enough. If we were to only buy a quality left back, a number 10 and a number 9. It wouldn’t of been enough for 2 of them, never mind all 3.

  • Leicester Mag

    You, I or any pundit can say what they like. It’s like shouting in a storm he won’t listen. 10 yrs of self hubris can’t teach Mike anything. Maybe we can’t drive him out but even the biggest optimist must realise things will not improve, ever.

  • Steve Pearce

    Blaaa blaaa blaaa blaaaa….