The Rafa Benitez Brighton press conference has taken place on Friday lunchtime.

The United boss giving an amusing perfect riposte to the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher after their comments/criticism on Wednesday night.

Rafa declaring ‘As a pundit, you have to just give opinions. As a manager, you have to take responsibility.’

Whilst Pep Guardiola was once again calling for opposition teams to come out and play more football against his team, Rafa Benitez has rightly pointed out ‘If you want to keep the Premier League very open, maybe you have to change the financial rules.’

The respective 18 man matchday squads on Wednesday saw one costing £423m more than the other, as Manchester City feel the benefit of owners successfully getting around the FFP rules.

Whilst on the other side of the coin, Newcastle have an owner who constantly undermines his manager.

Rafa Benitez Brighton press conference:

“We will try to score goals (against Brighton) and try to play at the level we did at West Ham and when we were doing well. You have to change tactics against different teams. We know what we have to do.

“I was really pleased with the character the other day. The character at West Ham, the reaction was fantastic. They were working and helping each other. That is the way we have to do it.

 “We trained indoors (due to the snow today). It’s no problem. You have to recover after a game so you can’t train too hard before the next game. You have to prepare tactically and be ready mentally.

“(Against Man City) we did what we have to do. We didn’t just want to draw, we wanted to win. As a pundit, you have to just give opinions. As a manager, you have to take responsibility.

“If we had scored a late goal, they would have been saying ‘perfect’, ‘fantastic’.‏

Pep Guardiola was clear – he has played against teams with different approaches. If you want to keep the Premier League very open, maybe you have to change the financial rules.

“I won’t talk about other clubs, other players, other transfers. I will concentrate on football, that’s it.

“Chris Hughton is a great person, a great manager. He is doing a very good job. We know Brighton are dangerous.

“My concern is to be sure that we approach the game with the belief we can win. If we win, my next press conference will be easier. If we don’t, we have to carry on. The message is clear.

“The reaction of the fans, it’s clear they know all the players are giving everything. It’s crucial we have the fans behind us. You can say what you want about our fans, but they are supporting us and are trying to help the team.

“Our fans know these players care. That is the way – stay united – and be together. Happy New Year, feliz año nuevo!”



  • toonterrier

    Bring back the cap on players wages then the greedy gits will not be so keen to keep moving on for more money. Plus lets have no more than three foreign players on the pitch per game to help bring on the young British lads and that’s not being racist just trying to get our own kids into the game.

    • TheNutJob

      nice thoughts but it would be against the law to cap the wages & i`d rather give the under 23 striker a go then Hoss

      • Phil

        It wouldn’t be against the law to cap wages. It has been done in rugby for years. It would be difficult if not impossible due to the greed of the players, agents and the likes of Harry redknapp.
        The legality of saying you can’t play because you are foreign would be more of an issue.
        Something needs some though. Football has always been ran by money. With clear rules set it would be a more even playing field and more enjoyable for everyone. It would get fans back to a lot of grounds.
        Cap it so nobody can spend more than 50 mill per transfer window or something along those lines.
        It won’t happen but it would improve the competition. If it was the same for all major leagues that is

        • TheNutJob

          it won`t happen anyway

          • Phil

            Nope. Couple of seasons and you will have players on £1,000,000 a week

        • Leazes Ender

          just saw your reply

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          The FFP rules have hamstrung NUFC this season and just allow those already in the rich club to keep a closed shop.

      • Leazes Ender

        No it isn’t they do it in rugby.

    • Geordiegiants

      I agree, especially with the Johnny forgeiner rules. As much as I would love it if it was Newcastle in that position, it is ruining football. Sky started the ball rolling Abramovic cemented it, and Citeh have just spoilt it.

      • Leazes Ender

        The alternative was Manure winning forever.

        • Geordiegiants

          Say what you like about them, they are self sufficient.

          • Leazes Ender

            That is what the league had become…. it was a joke then.

          • Geordiegiants

            Chelsea and Arsenal gave them a good run. The back bone of their team were from the youth set up, their manger was one of the best ever. The team in Sir Alex’s last season was as weak a team he ever had. It wasn’t just about money with them.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Because the home nations were world beaters when the league didn;t have many foreigners playing.

      Are players greedy? They earn less than actors and I’d argue that sportsmen are far more talented than actors and actresses who’s only skill is playing at ‘let’s pretend’

      I think footballers get the money they deserve, I’d love to have been able to do it but didn’t have the skill, persistence and self control that these guys have.

      We’ve always had dominant clubs, the TV era did not start with Sky. Man U became the biggest club on the basis of the Munich disaster being broadcast into rooms accross the country and they became one of the first clubs to have support from outside their geographic area. Wolves were also trail blazers with Liverpool following.

      • Phil

        I agree footballers are talented but when you put it into perspective the money is obscene. Old cliches but when you have a nurse earning 20k per year and an average footballer getting that per week it is sick.
        I work very hard and I am good at my job. I struggle to get to as many games and provide my kids with replica shirts etc. The money they earn is obscene and nobody will ever justify it to me

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          I look at it this way, at school I was in the top 5 at maths and have gone on to earn a decent living doing big sums. I was in the top 3 at football, school captain and managed for less than a season to get some travel money for playing football, the best player in my school managed to play for the Army side. Amongst the players I played against in the league and in the league rep teams, only one had a career of any note – he was not even the best but he was a fitness fanatic and absolutely determined to give it a go. My point is, you have to be very very good and you have to work at it.

          It may be hard facts but the Nurse was possibly not the best in class and biology and chemistry and nobody is going to pay £35 to watch her work nor have a worldwide TV audience. Oh, and she doesn’t have her career ended through injury.

          The fact you struggle to get to the games and your kids want replica kits says these lads who have made it are very good at what they do.

          If you ever get the chance to play football against an old pro, even from a level that doesn’t earn top money and you will appreciate how good they are.

          • Phil

            You are right. I wouldn’t pay £35 to watch a nurse or doctor. I’d give everything I own to watch one of them save a family member though. A lot of footballers who make it aren’t the best… Colback. Rivière. Boumsong. They got lucky for whatever reason.
            Players are insured to protect against injury. Suggesting nhs staff don’t get injured at work is naive. They are regularly attacked. Physically and verbally.
            Footballers are good at what they do. But cannot justify their wage. I sort of see where you are coming from. Just feel totally differently about the subject

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Colback was in demand and is still considered good, Rafa wants him out because he arrived on big wages because of his free-transfer. Big wages hamper Rafa’s recruitment far more than a lack of transfer funds.

          • Phil

            It will be interesting to watch the bidding war for colback unfold.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            wages are a problem! It’s a problem for clubs that go down from the EPL and have established EPL wages. Those EPL players gave us the edge in getting promoted but have really held us back in aquiring players

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It’s a strange one, it’s better for us to give him away than lend him out and contribute to wages even if he could get a transfer fee later on.

          • Phil

            I don’t think many clubs will be in for him. If we could get 2 mill for him I’d be surprised and over the moon. Be a half decent signing for a championship team

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Getting £2m isn’t the point here. Whilst he’s on the payroll, we can’t afford another player on a similar wage AND keep within FFP rules. It’s better for us to let him go for free to free up a space than to hold out for a transfer fee.

          • Phil

            I can’t see what colback earns in a week affecting us that much!! Certainly not enough to get us in bother over FFP.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            FFP is hampering us more right now than the availability of funds.

          • Phil

            Really? I hadn’t seen anything on that. Thought we were announcing profits? I’m not sure how this FFP carry on works to be fair though

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Almost certain we will make a loss of around £15m last season. Mad as it is, FFP has little to do with profit.

            It’s all about wages, if you have a wage bill in excess of £67m you can’t increase wages by more than £7m a year unless you make a profit. In the Championship, we made losses and had a wage bill in excess of the the two promoted clubs and the other play-off finalist combined.

          • Kneebotherm8

            I agree,I’d give him away for nowt,he never cost us a transfer fee,but I couldn’t see Ashley sanctioning that one,.
            Mitro’s the same,we’ve still got him because the ownership aren’t willing to take a loss on him,not exactly backing the manager are they?
            Time to cut and run and give Benitez some backing.
            The policy is to the detriment of the manager/team/squad.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            They’ll take a kiss on him and Colback

          • Kneebotherm8

            They’ll still be here at the end of the season,or longer,if a deal doesn’t suit the ownership.
            The manager/team /squad are of secondary importance.
            No wonder Benitez is pssd off.

          • Geordiegiants

            I have a good friend that played for Blyth Spartans and he was head and shoulders above anyone I ever had a knock about with.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            And I bet he hardly earned a living doing it.

          • Geordiegiants

            He had a full time job, as he only got pennies from Blyth. I think it was £2/300 a week or something like that. Saying that it was about 15 / 20 years ago like so would of been a nice little top up back in those days.
            I also had a pal that was at Newcastle as a youth and went on to a few different clubs, he played for Darlo under George Reynolds, he got a couple of grand a week.

          • Phil

            I used to regularly play 5 a side against olly bernard and Trevor Benjamin. Not world beaters in the premier league but both solid players and brilliant at 5 a side regardless of injuries and age

          • Wor Lass

            I played against Peter Beardsley when he was about 13 and he made us all look stupid. That was probably the defining moment in me realising how cr*p I was. I still liked a game, though.

          • Phil

            Haha. He was the messi of that era. Unbelievable skill. Beardsley number 8 was my first Newcastle top!

          • Wor Lass

            My favourite ever for Newcastle and England.

          • Wor Lass

            I take your point, Bobbi, but lots of nurses have their careers ended due to back injuries caused by lifting patients. Also, many nurses are male. I`m surprised Clarko hadn`t briefed you on that!

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The nurses aren’t male in the films I watch

          • Wor Lass

            I bet!

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            That said, none of them are English either, I wonder what will happen after Brexit.

          • GToon

            You will end up like me mate. I’ve just had a blow up doll in a nurses uniform off my mates at work in secret Santa. It’s next to my bed now. I’m gonna put it in the garage in a minute so my daughter doesn’t blow it up and put it with her teddies!

          • GToon

            Top man! You’ve gone sky high in my opinion with that comment. Hahaha

          • GToon

            I understand what you are saying and unfortunately life just isn’t fair. The politicians make very little difference but this isn’t about our country it’s about a game. A game I thought we are in control of. Would it be wrong to rethink things? I can only think of two or three teams who would object – Chelsea and the Manchester clubs.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Devil’s advocate, why would a player go to Newcastle if the wage cap means we can’t pay more than say, Man U or Liverpool?

      • Phil

        Id say greed is rife in football. 50,60,70,80k per week for part time hours? I’d snap your hand off. These guys want more though.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          They do because that’s the going rate. Their employers are earning £100m on the basis of league position, if you’d just helped your employer earn £100m on the basis of your work (shared with 10 others) you would think it fair to get a slice.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Greed is rife in society, it’s within us all, it’s known in polite circles as ambition.

          • Phil

            So a player who earns 100k a week but wants 150 is ambitious? I’d say they have made it. They are being greedy.
            Depends how look at life. I recently worked in a home where the occupants are paying 120k a month to rent the property. Lovely house. Nice things. The child living there had nannys and body guards as role models. I find that sad

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            On the other side of the coin, some players have come from poverty in Africa, they send money back to support hundreds (yes hundreds) of family and community members.

            Newcastle’s youth side got beat in the Northern Ireland tournament by a team called Right to Dream. They are a programme of getting kids out of poverty through sport and the money the players earn money through their graduation into the pro-game and money goes back to ‘right to dream’ and family members.

          • Phil

            We (through Lenny Henry and co) have been sending money to Africa for years. It hasn’t made that much difference.
            Due to the GREED of the people running those countries and the GREED of the charities

    • Wor Lass

      Would you cap everyone`s wage or just footballers? Would that be just in the UK? UEFA have tried to cap clubs` activities via the FFP regs but it doesn`t seem to apply to the likes of City and PSG.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Financial Fair play doesn’t seem so fkn fair does it,I always thought it was brought in to curb these clubs,but the gap seems to have got 10 times worse.
        Best bet is just to scrap FFP altogether,a total waste of time which is penalising the “smaller” clubs really.

  • TheFatController

    The argument about Man City and the squad cost differences misses the real morivating factor behind the ‘parking the bus’ storm in a teacup this week.

    Sky and the FA have made relegation too risky, there is no middle ground so the bottom twelve teams, 7 of which have new managers this season, have to restrict how they play to ‘survival mode’ (hence Allardyce and Pulis never being out of a job), even in December. The first PL manager was sacked in August…

    So, when we won’t attack Man City, it’s because we can’t afford to. Clubs were fearing relegation in August.

    • GToon

      Spot on. But where do we go from this position? Isn’t it all a bit too late? Are Man City going to hand back the players they paid millions for and promise not to buy anybody again. It’s a shame really for a club who brought through some really promising youngsters.

  • Lord

    Anyone remember the grubby episode earlier this season when Scudamore tried to get a bigger slice of the TV money for the Top 6 PL clubs due to their ‘increased TV audience’?

    The fans’ opinion counted for zero. Inevitably it still got vetoed by the other 14 clubs.

    I find it quite satisfying that Sky got a glimpse of what will happen by increasing the discrepancy between top and bottom. It ain’t pretty and will ultimately devalue the PL as a global brand.

    Rafa inadvertently gave TV deal makers a wake up call this week. Good on him for speaking up.

    • Phil

      To put it bluntly…. Football is f#cked

    • Geordiegiants

      Its gone from a working class game to an elitist game. Sky have made money for a lot of people, and made some poor kids richer than their wildest dreams. Ultimately they have spoilt what was the beautiful game. The rich owners like Citeh, have only come in as it’s a rich mans / women’s (better get that in before the lefty extremists start) play ground now. If it was like 20 years ago they wouldn’t give a toss. Even Citeh will make money one day, Chelsea run as a self sufficient club now.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Spot on.

  • Mike Adam

    They draft players from colleges. The lowest finishing teams get the first picks. Also, they have a hard salary cap. I think 2017’s was 168 million or something.

  • Ian

    Shearer is now just like Neville – he’s always pulling the team down for the sake of his career as a ‘pundit’ not as a nufc fan. Get behind the team Alan and nor your ego!

  • luciano26

    This excuse shouldn’t fly. Leicester