Rafa Benitez has kept a lid on everything…until now.
Since the summer window closed and Rafa expressed his ‘disappointment’ after an £11.5m net spend, the manager has always tried to accentuate the positives.
Once again he did express his belief in the current squad in terms of survival this season – but was also now ready to put it on the line about how he was let down by the club’s owner.
Rafa Benitez stated that whilst Newcastle have to compete on the pitch against Burnley, Brighton and Huddersfield (who they have all lost to…), he couldn’t compete on wages and transfer fees in the summer with that trio of clubs.
To sum it up, he defended the contribution of Joselu but added that an average striker costs £15m and even one who can just ‘kick it forward’ costs £10m.
Joselu cost £5m but Rafa didn’t elaborate on what that got you these days!
As for the upcoming January window, the United boss was very open and says it is obviously a possibility the takeover might not happen, stating ‘Our fans need to know it could be even worse. If we don’t sign anyone what can we do?’
His message if it all goes pear-shaped? ‘We have to stick together and keep working hard until the end of the season’.
“We have to compete against Huddersfield, Brighton and Burnley – but we couldn’t compete (in the summer) against those clubs and sign the players that they were signing.
“We couldn’t pay the prices they were paying or the wages they were offering.
“This group of players can manage if we stay calm and continue in the same way. Our fans know where we are and why we are here.
“We knew that before but we have 14 points and are in a good position.
“Are we happy? No….it could be better…but it could be worse. If it gets worse then you keep on going.
“I think that Joselu is doing a lot of things right and he is doing a great job for the team, making the rest of our team feel more comfortable.
“If you want to sign a striker who will score 20 goals – you must pay £40m.
“If you sign an average striker it is £15m.
“Or £10m if they can (just) kick it forward.
“We didn’t do it and that is the situation we’re in. We must stick together and I still have full confidence in our team.
“Yedlin didn’t have a bad game, he was up against two top quality players and we have to win games as a team.”
“We do not know what is going on (with the takeover) and what will happen.
“Our fans need to know it could be even worse.
“If we don’t sign anyone what can we do?
“We have to stick together and keep working hard until the end of the season. The fans appreciate that this group of players really care about the shirt and what they are doing.
“No one should forget that on September 1 all of them (fans) were saying that it was going to be a difficult season. Nobody said it would be easy but we are 14th and in a good position and I think the majority of fans know the reality.
“We have a good team but we also have injuries and our squad is not as big as some.
“Could it be better? Yes, 100%, but everyone needs to understand our reality.”