After discussions about the state of the squad and the challenge of avoiding relegation, Rafa Benitez has revealed that he has handed Mike Ashley the names of players he wants to sign this month, and that the club’s owner has agreed that these are players he is willing to back the manager with.
Maybe Mike Ashley’s much talked about holiday was a roadtrip to Damascus and he has reached a turning point in his life, or at least in relation to his running of Newcastle United.
Newcastle fans will need to see signings before they believe this is not yet another ruse by Mike Ashley and his PR people to deflect criticism.
Ashley’s recent holiday was used as a quite incredulous excuse by the owner’s PR people and their journalist helpers, as to why both a takeover and January signings were being held up.
Newcastle fans weren’t fooled and as for the takeover, Rafa revealed on Friday that Mike Ashley had told him back in December, before he even went on holiday, that the takeover was definitely not happening. So claims that takeover talks were on hold because of the holiday were purely lies.
As for transfers, Mike Ashley had a conference call with both Rafa Benitez and Lee Charnley to make these latest transfer promises for the remainder of January. With the power of technology, wherever Ashley was on holiday – Damascus or whatever…, the NUFC owner could have had that same conference call any time he wanted.
He didn’t have to wait until three weeks of the transfer window had passed by and been wasted, with Rafa’s very final deadline for all transfer (20 January) also having failed to be met.
Rafa Benitez says that the players Mike Ashley has agreed to make proper bids for, are players who have already proved themselves in the Premier League, or who have the quality to do so.
It sounds very much like Rafa is looking on the bright side and giving Ashley this one last chance not to let him down yet again, though his expectations in reality, pretty much match those of disbelieving Newcastle fans.
He is obviously hoping for the best, both in terms of Mike Ashley keeping his promises this time, and the fact that so much time having been wasted, not preventing the signings being made. Rafa saying ‘We will see how many we can get. (but) It is a little bit late now…’
No doubt just like the Summer transfer window and January 2017 one, Rafa Benitez will have had signings ready to go for, only to be undermined.
Yet again this transfer window his expert advice has been ignored.
Has Ashley finally at least realised just how likely relegation is if he doesn’t give the manager some help?
The next week or so will tell us everything.
“We have been working very hard to get the players we need to stay up.
“We gave a list to the owner and we have to wait and see what we can do.
“They (Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley) know the names.
“Whether loans or permanent – I need bodies with experience.
“The majority of this team (who played against Manchester City…and pretty much any other game) were in the Championship, so they don’t have much experience of the Premier League.
“We need that…we need players to give us something different, (Premier League) quality or experience.
“We will see how many we can get.
“(but) It is a little bit late now…”