Rafa Benitez has laid bare the problems he faced this summer.

The past seven days have seen Newcastle lose to both Burnley & Bournemouth and the United boss says he couldn’t even compete with those clubs for transfers in the summer.

Burnley finished only one place above the relegation zone and Bournemouth were/are expected to be relegation strugglers this season, yet both clubs smashed their record transfer fees.

Bournemouth paid £20m for Nathan Ake, over £10m for keeper Begovic, plus a massive commitment on wages for ‘free’ transfer Jermain Defoe, meanwhile Burnley paid over £15m for striker Chris Wood.

Elsewhere, as is the trend with promoted clubs these days, the owners of both Brighton and Huddersfield committed to a net spend of over £40m per club, using some of this season’s forthcoming Premier League cash in order to give them the best chance of staying up.

In contrast, despite making a £40m transfer profit for Newcastle in summer 2016, Rafa Benitez was blocked from signing anybody in January 2017 and then limited by Mike Ashley to a net spend of only £11.5m in the summer window.

The refusal to compete on both transfer fees and wages, as well as even loan fee in the case of Tammy Abraham, left Rafa Benitez desperately looking for bargains.

A situation which meant he didn’t land the new first choice goalkeeper, left-back, number 10, and centre-forward, that he desperately wanted/needed. Which in turn led to having to rely on £5m unwanted Stoke reserve striker Joselu for goals.

Rafa Benitez declaring ‘You can talk about players at Bournemouth or Burnley that we couldn’t sign because we couldn’t afford the fee or their wages’.

Whilst understandably not taking any notice of what people are saying on social media, the United boss admits ‘The real fans were upset on 1 September because we didn’t have a massive transfer window’, no doubt Rafa is including himself in that group of disappointed real fans.

The Newcastle manager though does see room for optimism, no mention here of any takeover, but he foresees staying in the Premier League and then getting a more realistic transfer budget to work with next summer.

Can Newcastle get to next summer safely? Rafa Benitez states the current position ‘Could be worse and could be better but we must stay calm’. It remains to be seen exactly what backing, if any, Rafa gets in the January window, if Mike Ashley is still in position.

Having already lost to the likes of Huddersfield, Brighton, Burnley, and Bournemouth, it underlines the challenge ahead. So many games will be decided by one goal, just as those four were, as well as was the case in wins over Stoke and Palace.

Rafa Benitez talking to the Chronicle:

“After some months this team will be stronger because they continue to work very hard.

“Then we will stay in the Premier League, we will get money from the TV and we can compete (next summer/season) against teams we couldn’t this year because of wages and transfers.

“You can talk about players at Bournemouth or Burnley that we couldn’t sign because we couldn’t afford the fee or their wages.

“We are now in a really good position and we have to enjoy it, stay calm and support the team – we are not at the bottom of the table.

“It could be worse and could be better but we must stay calm.

“Can you guarantee we’ll score goals? No, you can’t, because other teams set themselves up to defend.

“We have to learn that we are a team working hard and giving everything for the fans and the club – Home and away – they appreciate that.

“We can’t control what they (people/fans) are saying on social media now because there’s a lot of people on there.

“But the real fans were upset on 1 September because we didn’t have a massive transfer window.

“The only way now for us to compete and stay in the Premier League this year is to stick together.”



  • Mitros gotta start

    Maybe he shouldnt have spunked 12 million on a winger we didnt need or 5 million on a goalkeeper that isnt even at the club anymore…..could have bought a decent striker with that cash.

    • Mitros gotta start

      And his treatment of mitrovic is insane considering how bad we need goals right now…..talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face……rafa is not without blame either

      • Damon Horner

        There mightn’t be a personal issue. There’s something there preventing him from starting which could even be his fitness.

        • Mitros gotta start

          And what is his excuse for not giving aarons a chance i wonder……

          • Damon Horner

            I don’t think he needs excuses to play one player over another if he prefers the other player.

            You’d play Aarons, thousands might prefer Atsu.

          • Mitros gotta start

            No problem with atsu….but i would bring aarons on as a sub before murphy……his confidence looks shot….hell i would give him a shot instead of ayoze in the number 10 role aswell

          • Damon Horner

            I love Aarons, he looks at ease on the ball but it concerns me at the moment he can’t string a run of games together without getting injured.

          • mentalman

            Aarons has what the team is missing at the minute, the willingness and ability to put crosses in to the box

          • Damon Horner

            I’d have said the same for Ritchie in truth, we just don’t play direct.

            Also nobody to aim for. Mitro is tall and powerful but needs to be a bit more improved in accuracy and his timings, just remembering some of the performances before he got dropped and intermittent games in-between

    • HarryHype59

      You could also add £4.5m on a full back who was hopeless for the Makems and £5m for a Stoke reserve who had scored five goals in twenty seven games!

    • Coble’s Return

      Just maybe Rafa took Ashley at his word signed Murphy as part of his longer term plans for the club, before the rug was pulled from under his feet by the human fire douser.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Could we compete with Brighton, Cos if he looks up they are above us as well as Huddersfield & at the rate we are going they`ll stay there

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The final spend from Sky Sports and the Mirror group show Bournemouth spent £30m,Brighton £39.65 and adding in the Merino signing Newcastle £45.3m.
    So we spent the most out of the three promoted clubs it’s how it’s spent that counts.

  • hetonmag

    Here we go again more Rafa bashing how many more times have we got to say he wanted a GK a LB a number 10 and a striker ( Abraham ) as we all know he didn’t get what he wanted, he had a budget which was no where near good enough so he was left to mix and match. Like he says the real fans were upset on Sept 1st because we didn’t have a good transfer window, but social media is ever so ready to put us down when things go wrong.

    • Viru leckworth

      I agree. It is probably the same supporters (or sons of) who grumbled about sir Bobby which got him fired and sent us un a downward slope since. Of course they all know better than Rafa who deals with the players and their attitudes day in day out.

  • Paul Patterson

    Pay peanuts, you get Joselu.

  • Steve Pearce

    All I can say is roll on the new buyer……

    • Chris J

      Here, here

  • Mike

    shocking………..how low have we got. cant compete with anyone

  • nufcslf

    The blame has to be shared from a useless owner to Rafa not dropping Joselu and trying something different. Until fat [email protected] is out of the picture, the football is going to be affected in one way or another and leaving a bitter taste in the mouthes of toon supporters world wide that just want to be entertained on the pitch. Roll on a new owner and quick.