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Warning for Mike Ashley – Without Rafa Benitez, Newcastle would have done a Sunderland

5 years ago

I hope Mike Ashley is keeping careful watch.

Sunderland are imploding and if Rafa Benitez had not stayed on last summer, this would have been Newcastle United’s fate.

The Mackems look a complete shambles, the whole club seems to be heading for disaster.

They got beat 2-1 at home by promoted Sheffield United earlier today and it was the 94th minute before they had a shot on target.

Their fans were fighting with each (in the Family Enclosure!!) and the ground was half empty.

Sunderland are looking well capable of making a double drop, after six games they have only won one match and are one point above the relegation zone.

The only manager they could land was somebody who has only found success in League One and were turned down by somebody from the Scottish pub league in the summer!

When it comes to Mike Ashley though, I think he honestly hasn’t got a clue how lucky he has been when managing to relegate Newcastle twice.

In eight Premier League seasons under Ashley’s regime, the fans have seen two relegations and a few near misses.

The two seasons in the Championship though, both saw very comfortable promotion campaigns with NUFC going up as champions each time.

The Sports Direct tat supremo honestly thinks he has got it sorted…if Newcastle get relegated then he thinks it is easy to get straight back up.

Rafa Benitez delivered the Championship title AND a £40m transfer profit, yet Mike Ashley treats him like a mug and is clearly trying to drive him out of the club, so he can employ another yes man idiot.

It was the same with Chris Hughton, Ashley sold anybody he had an offer for in summer 2009 and didn’t give the then caretaker manager a penny to spend in that summer transfer market.

Only for Hughton to show what an excellent manager he was, taking United up as champions on 102 points. However, Chris Hughton, just like Rafa, showed he would be anything but a yes man and so on promotion, rather than backing his manager who had done a brilliant job, instead decided to only give him a few million to spend on players and try to get him out at the first opportunity.

A heavy defeat at West Brom was used as justification despite Newcastle sitting safely in mid-table and having beaten Sunderland 5-1 and Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates only weeks earlier. Ashley making the tragic decision to bring in a desperate Alan Pardew, sacked from then third tier Southampton and willing to take the job on any terms.

Mike Ashley would love Rafa Benitez to walk out of the club tomorrow, collect compensation from Rafa/his new club and then employ another joker on peanuts and no say on any important matters, such as which players should go in and out of the club.

Surely the worst decision for any businessman would be to not value their most talented staff, that is Mike Ashley though. He thinks he can run Newcastle United using puppets like Lee Charnley and behind the scenes people like Justin Barnes from his inner circle, with the actual manager of the team incidental to any kind of relative success/respectability.

It would have been a disaster if Ashley had forced Rafa Benitez out this summer and an even bigger one if Newcastle’s owner still doesn’t value the Spaniard, after seeing what is happening down in Sunderland.

Not saying Newcastle are going to be relegated this season but obviously Mike Ashley has made it a strong possibility when refusing to back his manager properly in the transfer market.

Whatever happens, the most important thing is that Rafa Benitez is still NUFC manager in 12 months time and beyond.

Surely even Mike Ashley can see that now…

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