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’.

Rafa Benitez:

“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.”

  • Martin

    At least the away fans will stick with the team tomorrow. A pity the same couldn’t be said about the home support which was awful on Saturday. If you can’t bring yourself to support the team then best say nothing. Booing and getting on the players backs is stupId. Any fan can wave a flag and sing when you are winning. It’s the support you give the team when it needs it that counts.

    • GeordieReeva

      Just wait until we get rid of the fat man, start winning more than we have been and end up finishing 5th, bed sheet brigade give the press some pics and the large majority dash off for a quick one or to catch the metro…

  • fistsofsteel2

    I think this is why Rafa is deliberately not selecting Mitrovich. Because if he does and Mitro was scoring he mightn’t be given as much to spend.
    There can be no other explanation for his continued selection of the the dreadful Joselou and terrible treatment of Mitro.

    • mactoon

      He doesn’t play him as he doesn’t trust him as he is a yellow card waiting to happen but the way Joselu is playing I would drop him for Mitro and just let him play. If he gets sent off who cares, the goals he can score make it worth the risk. At the minute we are starting with a draw and conceding goals because the current strikers can’t score

      • fistsofsteel2

        I’d rather Mitro play 7 out of 10 games because he’s serving regular 3 match bans than allow Joselu or Gayle to meander uselessly, and ineffectively, every single game.

        • GeordieReeva

          Apply brother….pop your Linkedin in…

      • Rich Lawson

        Bang on,so what if he gets sent off and is unavailable for a team he is not getting picked for now ? Start him !

        • mactoon


      • mentalman

        he plays Shelvey who is a red card waiting to happen

        • mactoon

          He probably rates Shelvey more than mitro

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Neither Joselu or Mitrovic are good enough for prem.

      We dont know the ins and out but there is more to Mitrovic not playing much than meets the eye. Could it be hes fell out with a large amount of the squad and doesnt train well?

      If you’re at work and one kid gets soell brat treatment to not train well, have bad attitude etc etc it demotivates and undermines the management and their focus on hard work. I hazard some of that is whats at play and more.

      Mitrovic needs to sort himself out and he needs to be making it so hes undroppable. Hes never done enough for me for the hype and clamour. Hes the serb equivilant of taylors fist pump and he was a load of brown stuff. He might be a memorable character and toon fan but he still rubbish and should never ever have been signed.

  • fistsofsteel2

    Mitrovich over 38 games would score 20 goals or get close to that.

    Rafa won’t play him because he want’s more money to spend.

    • GeordieReeva

      It’s amazing how much I can both agree and disagree with both of your points…

    • Toonrobbybobson

      20 goals???

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Back to the wall really and he deserves some sympathy working under
    the Fat Scumbag.
    although i don`t agree with him about the Hoss we have limited options up front.
    get us a result tomorrow & hope the likes of Merino, Dummy, Atsu & Lascelles are soon back in the team

    • Whitehurst

      Who’d to thought 12 months ago that some would be crying out for the sight of Dummett?!

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Absence makes the heart frow fonder. Dummett and Lascelles are a big miss.

  • fistsofsteel2

    “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.”

    – absolutely astonishing quote from Rafa. Has he lost his senses?

    • Leazes Ender

      Its called ‘doing a Pardew’…… lying.

      • Natturner26

        It indicates to me that Joselu will keep playing, which is very scary. The more he plays the closer we’ll get to relegation.

      • GeordieReeva

        To what end? Bigger picture, of which ‘we’ haven’t seen yet? Rafa or Pardew? I know where my eggs would be…

    • TheFatController

      I just presumed that whilst making the point ‘you get what you pay for’, given we are reliant onJoselu’s inclusion in the squad til Jan earliest, he used his experience to not shame a player and thus not only damage his confidence further but not damage the relationship with the other players by publically shaming a team mate.

      But hey, let’s hope Rafa can now do what all good managers refuse to do and publically shame professionals and discuss their job skills in public ….

    • 1957

      Yes he has…anyone who continues to select Hoss (or SloMo as well) on a regular basis has lost the plot or the game looks different from Level 7 where I sit to pitch level where he is.

      I suppose such delusion partly explains why he prefers Hoss to Mitrovic.

    • Rich Lawson

      It’s better than the one where he says Yedlin didn’t have a bad game !

  • Leazes Ender

    I guess a lot of people thought that if Rafa was presented with this Scenario then he would have retained his honour and walked out….. it just goes to prove he’s not adverse to ruining his hard built reputation for a last pay-day with Ashley’s paupers…..

    ….. I don’t have any faith any more I’m too bloody old for that idiotic soundbite.

    • TheFatController

      I think Rafa decided to stay on because he knew Ashley would be selling.

      Watch him rise to your expectations of him by walking the minute Staveley walks …

  • Mrkgw


    • GeordieReeva

      There’s only a corner between it hopefully being so.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    So we spent more money Gross than Brighton and Huddersfield and pay higher wages these are proven facts it was up to Rafa who he spent his forty seven million on as it was to the Brighton and Huddersfield managers who had less money to spend than Rafa it was just Rafa wasted most of the money on Murphy Joselu and a full back worse than Dummett,

    • Whitehurst

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing!!

      • GeordieReeva

        Amazon sells it by the Milliliter so I’ve heard…

    • GeordieReeva

      Murphy was signed to do a job, which he did quite well, moved on with the intention of being replaced with a more suitable Premiership standard player but this was then hindered by the cunky fellas business model. Joselu was the last resort, and who is, at the very most, a 1 Mil player due to the constraints put in place by the anti-jogger and the LB that isn’t a LB but plays there due to Dummett being a bit krank. Do you really hail from Monkseaten? Sorry, that was petty.

      • steve

        Wrong Murphy

        • GeordieReeva

          Thanks guys… Paddy Murphy was my intended subject, forgot about differentiating between him and the wee fella, or shall I say, I got a little button happy to just get a Murphy out there :-p

      • Jezza

        Yes Murphy is undoubtedly better than Joselu but keeping Murphy would never have been the answer. We desperately needed to invest sufficient money on at least two strikers who could cut it in the Premiership not a pittance on a reject from Stoke City’s reserves who can’t hit a barn door from two yards.

        • Toonrobbybobson

          He wanted other strikers he was fed lies and planned around those lies which messed everything. It was smoke and mirrors by ashley like usual to not spend.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Yes hail from Monkseaton but it’s a fact we spent more money than Brighton and Huddersfield and we have a higher wage bill
        so sick of hearing we cannot compete.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Rafa had a plan which was based around lies fed to him.

      IF he had known the whole state of play I doubt very much Murphy would have been bought but he would have addressed the striking issue if he could make the wages work with you know who.

      The big piece of puzzle was Tammy Abrahams loan. A lot of weight on a young lad but he would get goals at this level and think he would have done better for Newcastle than Swansea. Charnley and Ashley stalled thinking he was expensive – fatal error he was the best budget option and Rafa is being proved right by the situation he was left with digging around for some loose change to buy a bargain basement bottom of the sack last pick striker in Joselu.

      Rafa having real facts and not lies could have shaped NUFCs squad a bit better in the summer. Ashley is a compulsive liar though and has no interest in football related matters.

      Fans got carried away with our purple patch run but Rafa is our ray of sunshine in this mess and one of the main attractions to a buyer.

      It was the right time for Rafa to dish out a dose of realism because 14 points is a good return so far.

      Back the lads and Rafa its the only way until things no one else can effect change.

      If a Pardew, McFoolish, Carver, Moyes etc were in charge of this squad we’d be rock bottom.

      • mentalman

        Go and watch Abrahams interview he did on sky a while back, he says that our offer was a lot more lucrative than Swansea’s but he was advised by chelsea’s coaching staff who all knew Clement pretty well that he’d be better going there as there was less distractions and also clement has a better record of working with young players and he was more likely to develop under clement than rafa.

  • Peaky Magpie

    I hate to say it but I really do think we may be beginning the final throes of Rafa’s tenure.

    • GeordieReeva

      Me too. I would be rather peeved if that were the case. But if that were to be the case and it was to be in anyway caused/effected by us ‘keyboard proffesional tactitians’ then we should all just log off, delete accounts and apply for the jobs ourselves and prove the fat man, the spanish waiter and all the southern puss-press wrong… easy innit?! We, myself included, mocked the Carver statement….I’m sure you remember which one.

    • Coble’s Return

      It’s simple enough – club gets sold, or Ashley backs Rafa in January and it is likely that he will stay (although maybe only until the end of the season in the latter case). If not, we’ll be looking for a new manager after Christmas

  • Coble’s Return

    The bile that comes out on here sometimes defies belief. If the manager keeps quiet about the grim conditions that he works under, then he is an apologist for Ashley. If he calls the situation as it is, then he is in some way complicit and should have walked as a point of principle. Please – any one of you – if not Rafa, then who? The past few have been a pile of sh!te. Give me strength.

    • Steven05

      I was under the impression that Rafa is the only ray of light we’ve had in a long time. Am I wrong?

      The truth is – he’s too good to be at this shadow of the club we were. We won’t and can’t get anyone better than Rafa

      I really hope the minority who are starting to winge about Rafa can just take a look at the biggger picture. They are happy to (rightfully) blame Ashley for not signing the players Rafa wanted, but then start questioning Rafa when things aren’t great

      I hope they don’t make it easier for the lazy southern press and turn on Rafa

      Rafa brings hope, and we have Rafa

      For now

      • theoriginalbomberman

        In what way is Rafa too good to be at this club? What has he actually achieved since 2005? When he took over at Chelsea they went from title contenders to competing for a champions league spot. He was poor at inter, under achieved at Napoli and was an absolute train wreck at Real. Just because he won the champions league 12 years ago doesn’t make him a deity who is above criticism.

        • Steven05

          Because for over a decade we have been an embarrassing train wreck of a club

  • GeordieReeva

    In Rafa we trust – unless we disagree then he’s a muppet and Mitro is a calm headed “20 goal a season man” Lit-lol-ling x

  • Toonrobbybobson

    If any Toon fan is chasing Rafa out the door hang your head in shame.

    Without Rafa we are gone. No doubts whatsoever about that.

  • Rich Lawson

    I’m smelling the coffee but downing the vodka !