Rafa Benitez has met the media on Friday afternoon for his pre-match West Ham press conference.

An interesting one as predictably the United boss was grilled about the transfer window, as well as Saturday’s match in London.

Rafa confirmed that he would be missing Jesus Gamez who has had an operation on his ankle.

Whilst the manager also stated that he expects Aleksandar Mitrovic to be missing for the festive period, saying ‘out for around 10 days’. This would take us up to 1 January which is the away game at Stoke, a fourth game in a nine day period for Rafa’s team.

As for potential reinforcements in January, the United boss confirmed that no agreement has been reached on any players coming in or out. It was claimed earlier this week that Chelsea’s Kenedy had been ‘secured’ as a loan signing by Newcastle.

In terms of backing in the transfer window, this sounds like a challenge to the club’s owner if ever there was one: ‘I’m confident that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League’.

However, Rafa Benitez also said ‘We are progressing and trying to make things happen. But I don’t know the budget I have, whether players need to go first yet, or whatever’.

Not the most positive of messages as we all wait to see what Mike Ashley will actually do, if anything.

As for any Newcastle takeover to potentially help save the situation, that is about as clear as what Mike Ashley will do in this transfer window.

First things first though and three points at West Ham would do everybody a favour.

Rafa Benitez West Ham press conference:

“In terms of transfer window, we don’t have any agreements with anyone. We have to keep focused on football. The scouting department are looking at players and are working hard.

I’m confident that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League.

“We haven’t received any offers for our players. We have to do things as quickly as possible but I have the confidence and belief that we will do it.

“We are progressing and trying to make things happen. But I don’t know the budget I have, whether players need to go first yet, or whatever.

“We have to keep the team spirit. Against Arsenal, we were pushing and making chances at the end. The players are giving everything. They care and they are trying.

“We create a good atmosphere in the training sessions. We create competition between the them. If we win one game, it will change everything. The confidence will come back.

“We will train before the next game. We will have time on the pitch (on Christmas Day), then give the players some time to spend with their families.

“We were doing so well that everyone was expecting us to be towards the top of the table. We have had a bad run but we are confident that we can do well.

“Some of these games are one-goal margins. We have to be sure we don’t make the same mistakes.

“We are talking about a very good team (at West Ham). They have some good players. Maybe it was the confidence. Now they are reacting and doing well.

“We have to put all of the effort in to make sure West Ham have a tough game. I am confident we can win.

“We have some injuries and not too much experience. I have to see if the players are fit and available and pick the best players for every game.

“Mitrovic still has a problem with his back. He will be out for around ten days. Jesús Gamez has had an operation on his ankle.”



  • Saul williams

    Rafa,where does your confidence in Ashley come from?you can’t trust Ashley.He’s a liar .Turn the clock back to the summer window.

    • Jezza

      ….and last January’s window too.

  • GToon

    That says nowt really. We are training. We have a game. I will pick the team. I don’t know how much money we have. The only thing you could disagree with is the bit about mike delivering what we need to stay in the league. The rest of it’s fine.

  • Leicester Mag

    The best thing Mike could deliver is himself on the end of cattle prod.

    • Taz

      Or better still sucking on a sawn off and pulling the trigger

      • Leicester Mag

        If Hos aimed it he’d be safe!

  • TheNutJob

    I`m confident that Santa is real

    • Leicester Mag

      Well there’s more chance of him delivering than our beloved rotund cherub

  • hetonmag

    Rafa knows exactly where he stands with Ashley having been let down before.

    • Soldier

      apparently he doesn`t coming out with statements like that

      • hetonmag

        Can you not see the big picture.

        • Soldier

          well you can`t that`s obvious

          • Damon Horner

            Sounds like a veiled message to Ashley mate rather than misplaced faith, not sure if that’s how you see it.

          • Soldier

            Ashley doesn`t worry about threats, in fact he worries about very little

          • thewildchimp

            It’s not a threat, mate, just a polite way of saying: “Give me money, or we’re relegated.” He calls him out publicly but in a manner where no one loses face.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He worries about relegation out of this league and all the money it offers.

          • hetonmag

            I know the bigger picture it’s ignorant people like you that can’t.

  • wheyayeman

    Rafa is just trying to call Ashley out before the window opens – it probably won’t change Ashleys response to his latest crisis in the slightest but Rafa is just putting it out there that Ashley must act.

    • Kneebotherm8

      I don’t think Ashley needs reminding…….its panic stations for him, his meagre outlay on second class signings pre season was a failed gamble and now he knows we need some quality additions,loans or otherwise,to survive.

  • robbersdog

    “I’m confident that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League”.

    Pull the other one Rafa, it plays Jingle Bells.

  • Bowlsey

    It’s clever of Rafa to put the ball in Ashley’s court like that. It helps to pile on the pressure and force him to make a decision quickly in order to save the complete shambles that our season has become. I’m sure Rafa is not confident at all about recieving backing from the owner so he has to pressure him into acting.

  • Right now we need experienced players who play second string in bigger teams.
    The link last week with Stefano Sturaro is the type of player we need – Outclassed by big names in his team, but eager to prove himself and already has plenty of experience. Sadly, I don’t see this particular move coming through because of how Italian players are and especially those who play for the bigger teams.
    However, there are plenty of good players from Top 6 sides in Europe who are frozen out or out of favor with managers who would love to come to the Prem, the problem is they are there for cover and not many clubs/managers would lose their good cover options in the middle of the season.
    We find ourselves in an even worse situation if we don’t climb out of the bottom 3 within the next 3-4 games to attract a bit more decent players.
    Forget the links to David Luiz, we cannot afford these type of players, but plenty of Gayles, Ritchies and Merinos in other leagues we can bring to improve our team and survive in the Prem.
    HOWTL!

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    you’re the only one who is confident mr benitez…

  • Clarko

    Yusuf Yazici. Make it happen.

  • 1957

    It’s amazing how £5m a year can make you believe in the impossible…

  • Taz

    He will probably de bacon as well but that’s about as much as the FCW will spend