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Ian Wright comes out in support of Rafa Benitez against Mike Ashley

2 years ago

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.

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“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.”


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