Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Richard Keys embarrasses himself yet again with another cheap dig at Rafa Benitez

4 years ago

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.”


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2022 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks