Richard Keys has never made any secret of the fact that he doesn’t like Rafa Benitez.

The disgraced presenter having used any opportunity to have cheap digs at the Champions League, Europa League, double La Liga winning manager.

Less than two weeks ago he wrote on his personal blog in praise of the job Sean Dyche is doing at Burnley, only for it to end up as a snide attack on Rafa Benitez (see below).

On Sunday afternoon Crystal Palace have taken on Manchester City.

During the first half, Richard Keys used his Twitter account to put out his latest cheap dig:

Richard Keys:

“There’s a long way to go yet – but Palace have done really well here.

“Are you watching Rafa?”

Bottom line is why not just praise Palace if they are doing well, why have a go at a manager who has been starved of resources.

Palace’s centre-forward today was Christian Benteke, who cost them £32m, around about the same as Newcastle’s front five that played against Man City on Wednesday, indeed Crystal Palace’s front five today cost over £80m and with the likes of Benteke, Zaha, Townsend, Cabaye and Milivojevic, they should have been nowhere near the relegation zone.

Newcastle and Rafa Benitez were criticised for the negative display against Man City when they had only 22% possession and two efforts on target. A lot of people choosing to miss the point that the major factor was that Newcastle faced relegation rivals Brighton and Stoke on the Saturday and Monday after Wednesday’s game. Rafa Benitez bringing back seven first choice players on Sunday for all the good it did.

Mark Hughes admitted doing the same against Chelsea as Rafa did with Manchester City, Stoke making seven changes yesterday and getting hammered 5-0, not having a single corner and Chelsea having 21 shots to their one. No massive criticism of them that I have seen.

Palace might have played ok today against an under-par Manchester City but the fact remains they only had 26% possession and had to wait until injury time for their first (and only) effort on target. This being a soft penalty, about as much of a penalty as the one Dwight Gayle didn’t get on Wednesday, Milivojevic seeing his spot-kick saved by Ederson.

The Mag – 19 December 2017:

It is amazing that they still let Richard Keys out of the house, never mind still pollute the TV screens.

Fair enough, he may have been banished from these shores, but by the power of technology he can still be seen in the UK.

Richard Keys also has his own personal blog, where he writes very similar rubbish to what he speaks on screen.

Half-baked arguments based often on false premises.

In his latest blog, Keys has returned to one of his favourite subjects, namely English/British managers are hard done by.

Rather than just taking about what a great job Sean Dyche has done at Burnley, Richard Keys has felt the need to lay into Rafa Benitez as the main thrust of his argument that Brits are best when managing outside the top half dozen clubs.

Facts are very flexible for Keys and he claims Rafa Benitez only got Newcastle promoted because he spent ‘£102m and took 17 players to St James Park’.

It was actually around £54m and 12 players in the promotion season transfer windows.

He praises Sean Dyche (rightly) for producing a transfer profit this summer, yet fails to mention that Rafa Benitez is currently almost £30m in credit on transfers at Newcastle, having produced a £40m profit in summer 2016 (see extract from club accounts below), spending nothing in January 2017, then a net spend of around £11.5m this summer.

He praises Chris Hughton (again rightly) for the job he did getting Brighton promoted…but then fails to mention that Hughton, as well as David Wagner at Huddersfield, had net spends of over £40m each, almost four times as much as Rafa Benitez.

We can all pick and choose statistics to use but it is pretty disgraceful the way Richard Keys puts forward his ‘arguments’, especially with the lies regarding what happened in Rafa’s promotion season with Newcastle.

He has admitted in the past that he doesn’t like Rafa Benitez and repeatedly criticised him but to stoop to cowardly attacks like this just sums Richard Keys up.

Richard Keys writing on his personal blog:

‘Here’s an inconvenient truth – the three Brits who’ve taken charge at Palace, West Ham and Everton have lifted those clubs 16 places since taking over. Not bad eh? Moyes is fast becoming a hero at West Ham, Allardyce has got Everton moving and Hodgson has got Palace off the bottom and out of trouble.

By the way, if Allardyce can deliver Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January then its ‘lift-off’ at Goodison.

But I’ve often wondered how a ‘Super Coach’ would manage at the wrong end of our league – and it looks like I might be getting my answer. I’ve said before – great credit to Benitez for the job he did getting Newcastle up. It was every bit as good as the job Chris Hughton did the last time they got promoted from the Championship. To get the job done Benitez spent £102m and took 17 players to St James’ Park. Hughton didn’t.

Now the Toon languish in the bottom 3 – having taken just one point from 27. I’ll say that again – one point from 27.   Benitez wants more money to correct the problem. 

Of course he does. I’m sure Alan Pardew does at West Brom. I’m sure Paul Clement does. I’m sure David Moyes, Eddie Howe and Roy Hodgson do. I sure Mark Hughes does. Will they get it? I don’t think so.

No, I’m sorry Rafa, it’s a different game at the other end of the table isn’t it? The run Newcastle are on is NOTHING to do with Mike Ashley and EVERYTHING to do with what’s happening ON the pitch – or rather isn’t happening on the pitch. No Rafa, this one is down to you.

Sean Dyche hasn’t had anything like £102m to spend at Burnley. In fact, last summer he traded at a profit -again. The Brits are obviously doing something right.’

Extract from Newcastle United accounts for period up to 30 June 2016:

‘Subsequent to the balance sheet date the club has generated a net surplus of around £40m in respect of changes to the playing squad.”

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  • Paul Patterson

    Because he’s a s**t stirring w****r..

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Is Richard Keys really having a dig at Rafa or is it more a case of a big name manager struggling at the wrong end of the table which is the story here ?
    It’s obvious that Benitez is going to be under more scrutiny than any other manager in the dog fight because of his profile.

    Personally I have always thought that the likes of Keys in Gray have a problem with Newcastle United more than anything else.

    • anyobrien

      They never liked us for some reason.

    • GToon

      They couldn’t contain their delight when Man Utd pipped us in 95/6. My mate used to try and climb into his telly to get them!

  • Soldier

    as a soldier in the British Army i kill enemies of the state on your behalf,
    well somebody`s got to do it. pity this guy isn`t one of those enemies

    • anyobrien

      Take him oot please

  • Scoutingfromtherooftops

    Not as embarrassing as this article. You need to stop acting so hard done by.

    You can’t criticise Hughes and gloss over Rafa doing the same thing. If it wasn’t for City’s wastefulness it would and should have been 5-0 at SJP too. Unfortunately Rafa’s gamble backfired spectacularly with the 0-0 against Brighton.

    You’re not the only one, but stop taking well-founded criticism of the club as if it’s a personal slight.

  • hetonmag

    If Hughes is still there at the end of the season he might just regret getting hammered off Chelsea, there goal difference being the worst in the league. As for the insignificant little hairy twerp why give him any publicity on these pages.

  • Cuh

    Benitez is becoming a bottle job. He has made up his mind about his starting 11, wether they play well or not. Youth team completely frozen out. This is not how to run a football club which spends very little in the window. He’s getting it terribly wrong

    • Clarko

      Spends 17/18:

      West Ham €45.40m
      Crystal Palace €37.20m
      Stoke €34.90m
      West Brom €45.70m
      Bournemouth €34.30m
      Brighton €47.60m
      Burnley €34.04m
      Huddersfield €44.40m
      Newcastle €49.30m

      • Steve Smith

        That’s not deliberately cherry picked from your pink seat to suit your own agenda at all.

        • Clarko

          I didn’t cherry pick teams, the purpose of this list is to show the teams who have spent less than Newcastle. Considering we are not expected to compete with the top 8, the only teams I “deliberately” left out were Swansea, Watford and Southampton.

          Swansea €50.30m
          Watford €61.50m
          Southampton €39.40m

          Hey look at that, Newcastle spent more than Southampton and an near identical amount as Swansea. I can’t believe you have just ruined my agenda, what ever will I do now…

          • Steve Smith

            It’s a good thing I didn’t say anything about teams bring cherry picked then isn’t it?

          • Clarko

            Instead of just looking stupid, you have lost your dignity, while still managing to look stupid.

            Wrong choice pal.

          • Steve Smith

            Whee’s looking stupid and losing their dignity?

          • Clarko

            ^This guy^

      • GToon

        Net spends? For a club constantly made to sell players that’s important.

        • Clarko

          Who did Newcastle sell in the summer?

      • GToon

        The statistics can be made to suit any argument. For example some of those teams have spend that much every year. What if Man City only spend £30 million next summer. Does that mean we can compete with them too? The issue we have is that the trend is downwards for us under Ashley. If you want to use statistics you need to show what we have spent under his tenure and what we have sold but even that tells half the story as it doesn’t include him selling when he shouldn’t (Carroll and Cabaye) or refusing to buy when we finished fifth and had the one chance under his ownership to actually move forward. The trouble with Ashley is it’s always short term gain for long term pain. What happened to the five year plans? What color are the players this week? Not purple I assume. Can you actually show me any kind of statistics that shows we have made any kind of progress under Ashley’s ownership?

        • Clarko

          Look, this is a common problem in every one of your responses, you throw out ideas, with zero evidence or numbers. Your post just becomes one big question, a pointless question because you ideas are largely wrong.

          “What if Man City only spend £30 million next summer”. Southampton spent €39.40m, they are not on the list. I wonder why 🤔

          “If you want to use statistics you need to show what we have spent under his tenure”. No I don’t, this is my argument and if you want to challenge it you need to use statistics and then I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.

          “Can you actually show me any kind of statistics that shows we have made any kind of progress under Ashley’s ownership?” This discussion has nothing to do with the progress made under Ashley, this is about the amount spent on the squad during the summer. Guess what? Newcastle spent money.

          • GToon

            So there’s no link between amount spent and progress made? Try telling that to Man City. You are trying to look at a snapshot of spending. Spending that had to be made because of the way the club has been run into the ground. It would take years of investment to get us to where we were before Ashley arrived. Rafa has made a profit in his time as manager. A profit of just over £10 million. But look at the state of the squad. It’s a shambles and on its way down yet again. I don’t want us to be balance sheet champions I want us to be competitive and punch our weight in this league. That’s not happening through a combination of Ashley and Rafa.

          • Clarko

            “So there’s no link between amount spent and progress made”. Where did I say that? Again, just more pointlessness.

            “Rafa has made a profit in his time as manager. A profit of just over £10 million”. And Newcastle won’t get that profit for “3-4 years”.

            “But look at the state of the squad. It’s a shambles and on its way down yet again”. Whatever state you believe the squad is 100% down to Benitez.

            Again, this has been a repeat of the conversation we had yesterday/earlier, you have appeared to ignored everything which was stated then and have just continued to repeat the same rubbish here, rubbish which is completely irrelevant to my initial comment on this thread.

          • GToon

            Your initial comment is merely a list of amounts of money spent by various clubs. It doesn’t take into account whether the money was offset by sales, money to boost an already impressive squad, money to develop a poor squad. If you are right why are so many people saying Ashley doesn’t back the manager in charge? Are all of us wrong? Is Rafa wrong? Reading in between the lines and listening to the quotes from Rafa I believe that promises were made over the summer about funds available that were not kept. Rafa is hoping the funds are still available in January. By the way I am interested to read what you put and don’t think it’s rubbish. I like to think I’m respectful to fellow Newcastle supporters whatever their point of view. Happy new year. Glyn

          • Clarko

            “Your initial comment is merely a list of amounts of money spent by various clubs”, and that’s exactly what it was supposed to be.

            “It doesn’t take into account whether the money was offset by sales, money to boost an already impressive squad, money to develop a poor squad”, my argument wasn’t about net spend or squad quality. You see where this is going, you’re making the same mistake, over and over again. Irrelevant pointlessness.

            “If you are right why are so many people saying Ashley doesn’t back the manager in charge?” Firstly, I am right, this is factual information. Secondly, ignorance and bias.

            This discussion had nothing to do with boardroom promises (same mistake), you believe Benitez because you’re biased, either for Benitez or against Ashley. There is no actual evidence that suggests any promises were broken, it’s a he said/she said type deal, if promises were broken why did Benitez stay? A certain Kevin Keegan situation springs to mind.

          • GToon

            I think he’s staying cos Ashley is going. Don’t think he would if Ashley wasn’t. The list of money spent is irrelevant. It’s like getting a car that is a wreck, spending a bit on it and thinking it should run like a Ferrari. The car Benitez inherited was a wreck. Anyway I cba with this discussion anymore. Perhaps the one mistake you are making is not looking at the league table or going to game now and again.

          • Clarko

            No the list of spends wasn’t irrelevant, the list was in response to the following comment:

            “This is not how to run a football club which spends very little in the window”

            Money spent is absolutley, 100%, relevant to that comment, stop talking rubbish.

            This hasn’t been a discussion, this has been a schooling, you are massively uninformed and you are trying to punch well above your own IQ bracket, this confirmed by your last sentence, you have nothing of substance to say.

          • hetonmag

            Glyn I can’t understand why you debate with that idiot you come across much more intelligent than him.All the best m8.

          • GToon

            Aye. I think he’s funny to be honest but I find his stand point to be interesting as he believes the opposite of most of us. I’m not sure what he actually supports though or if he is just against what most of us say. I don’t get the personal stuff but I think it’s funny. But at the end of the day we all support the same club and just want it to do well. Have a happy new year.

        • Vladimir Biggski

          Net spend in ten years would be interesting to see

      • Cuh

        What is trying to say is Newcastle is never going to spend as much as Rafa wants, unless maybe Amanda buys us. He needs to realise that and try to improve the players we have. Bournemouth, Leicester, Burnley all did same. They aren’t doing too bad.

      • Vladimir Biggski

        And sales?

        • Clarko

          Burnley sold Gray and Keane for €48.90m, Stoke sold Arnautovic for €22.30m, West Ham sold Nordtveit for €8.00m, ect…

          Which first team player did Newcastle sell?

    • anyobrien

      Contradictory that he constantly changes his team so how has he made his mind up on his starting 11.
      And you know how good or bad the youth team is coming through?

      • Cuh

        What does he constantly change?
        Atsu – Murphy
        Ritchie – Murphy
        Lascelles/Clark – Lejeune
        Diame, Shelvey are constants.

        • anyobrien

          He never plays the same 11 week In week out and I think that’s half the problem we never have a settled 11….tomorrow will be different from yesterday it always is.

          • Cuh

            Well, I think he can do better with selections. The morale we had last season, especially the hope that the u23s will get a shot has died out totally. It’s even evident in their games. Note how the results dipped at youth level as the season progressed

        • Vladimir Biggski

          El Mhanni?? Seriously

          The only two you mention that have any credibility are Mitrovic and Mbemba.

          We are in the premier league not the championship.

    • Vladimir Biggski

      Are you a Mackem?

  • GToon

    If we had beaten Brighton then he would have seen that maybe there was some sense in the approach v Man City but we didn’t. I don’t really care what he says but I do care about my team going down seemingly without a fight.

  • anyobrien

    One of these days someone will catch up with this ball bag.

  • Tomb

    Agree with Keys those tactics were unnaceptable at home. Bournemouth and Huddersfield were happy to attack them. Non league sides in the cup against premier league sides away don’t set up that defensively. We have failed to score in 5 of the last 6 home games. The negative tactics aren’t working. We play like a Tony Pulis team but because the manager is Spanish the tactics are genius. Along with West Brom we play the worst style of football in the league

    • Vladimir Biggski

      With the players at his disposal what tactics could he have employed? If Elliot had made the save at his near post it could have been a point. Fact is, if Rafa had benteke and Townsend at his disposal we would easy have another 10 pts by now.

  • 1957

    Surely the best thing to do is just to ignore him and not reprint his views

    • Andy Mac

      As I’ve said before, Richard Who ?

  • Andy Mac

    Keys was pushed off to Arab anonymity. So every now and again he needs to tell the rest of the world he’s still in “football” like “Jokeinnear” is still in football.

  • Coach Clagnut

    This bloke is irrelevant. He never watched the game let alone play it until he took Murdoch’s shilling. A knownowt chancer and a desperately sad man crying, nay, screeching me..me…listen to me, I’m a sage..i’m important.

    This website should never give the oxygen of publicity to anyone who disrespects the fans or the club. That’s our job and we have enough noodles waiting to vent at the slightest setback.

  • Rich Lawson

    Can’t wait for them to pair him with Ron Atkinson as an after dinner speaking duo !

  • Vladimir Biggski

    “No, I’m sorry Rafa, it’s a different game at the other end of the table isn’t it? The run Newcastle are on is NOTHING to do with Mike Ashley and EVERYTHING to do with what’s happening ON the pitch – or rather isn’t happening on the pitch. No Rafa, this one is down to you.”

    That statement confirms that keys is on the Mike Ashley.payroll. Where does he get £102million from?