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.

Rafa Benitez:

“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…”



  • Mitros gotta start

    If sandro, kenedy and a goalie from one of the weakest leagues in europe are what he thinks will turn us into a premier league top 10 team then we are doomed

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Fatso`s now trying to cover all the bases, a new contract for Rafa & few players to keep us up & the gaffa happy, the blonde in the background.
    aye, old Mike`s sneak of the week, every week

  • Paul Patterson

    Ashley/Charnley are playing Rafa and the January situation again. If you haven’t done a deal by Jan 22nd, I fail to see how it’s possible to get transfers in, especially at this club.
    There will be no permanent signings and maybe a loan deal. However watch for the sting in the tail of someone leaving..

    • Jezza

      There won’t even be a loan deal but a first team player being sold at the last minute is a very strong possibility.

    • Down Under Mag

      Especially since any players we needed in, needed to be in as soon as humanly possible to actually get them in the first team and improve our situation against the likes of Swansea. I expect we will see a departure or two but “too late” as usual to be able to get them over that infamous line before the window shuts.

      • Paul Patterson

        The powers that be don’t seem to care that having new players on board would improve our chances against Swansea and Burnley and our survival chances.
        Sadly, the owner does like a gamble . .

    • Kneebotherm8

      I see Rafa’s summer loan signing target……proper left back,Southamptons Matt Targett….has gone out on loan today for the rest of the season to…………..Fulham…….
      Fulham?…..championship Fulham….they manage to get the loan deal over the line and Premier league team NUFC can’t………..fckn beggars belief that teams like that can get these deals over the line and we can’t/won’t…..we ended up with a fckn right back Manquillo instead….

      • mentalman

        another lucky escape then

        • Kneebotherm8

          Lucky we got Manqillo?……..you’re having a laugh….

          • mentalman

            your idol picked him

          • Kneebotherm8

            Not my idol,just the best manager we’ve had in the Ashley era although that’s not difficult given the cart horses we’ve had before him……the only one willing to question fat Mike…….unless I’m missing something…….you or your mate Monkseaton,will tell me different I’m sure.

          • mentalman

            i forgot he was fighting the regime but knew a month before it was made public that the sale was off and in that month carried on as if everything was the same and nothing had happened. more going a long with the regime than fighting it

          • Kneebotherm8

            As he’s stated the take over is not his business,it’s Ashleys.
            Benitez is a professional and the quality of the playing staff(or lack of it),whoever owns the club,is the only thing he’s concerned about,and that’s the only thing he’s voicing concerns about.

    • Guest 2

      It’s clear from Rafa that he was told the deal was off last month. Fatso and Penfold have done zero since to ready the club for new arrivals.
      Couldn’t get someone over the line is an excuse that won’t wash with anyone this time. Well maybe a few like Clarko and the halfwit from Monkseaton.

  • East Durham Mag

    Sorry lads we couldn’t quite get the signings over the line. We went as high as 2 goldfish and a bag of marbles but it didn’t work. Sorry but its not our fault.

    • Jezza

      There just wasn’t enough time to re-invest the Shelvey/Gayle/Lascelles fee in the few remaining hours before the window closed.

      • East Durham Mag

        So i just wapped into my back pocket. Bit of deja vu here Jezza.

  • Leazes.

    We’ve all been here before….. but each new manager hasn’t…. maybe someone should tell Rafa!

    • Guest 2

      Schteeve wasn’t. He got the only opportunity under Ashley to splash the cash and his idiotic appointment and signings got us relegated!

  • Peaky Magpie

    That shopping list will have been in the bin as soon as Rafa handed it over.9 days to go for looking in the ‘out of date ‘ fridge in the supermarket.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Whoopsies.

  • ghostrider

    If Rafa gets money for signings it better be a striker and a number 10 and he better use them to their maximum ability.

    Anything other than this will be a complete waste of time.

    • Pozz Mozz

      Why would you want Rafa get any money to sign anyone since you despise the man? You are a complete waste of time

      • ghostrider

        I don’t want him to get a penny. I’d prefer him to be sacked or walk right now.
        The problem is, I’m not in charge so all I can do is hope that, if he does get money, he signs the players we need and uses them correctly, meaning in a positive way, unlike what he’s been generally doing with the team.

        Newcastle United means everything to me as football goes. Rafa Benitez is just a glitch within it.

        • Paul Patterson

          Put Guardiola in charge and we wouldn’t be better off.
          It’s a CHAMPIONSHIP side man!! That’s what it was built for.

          • mentalman

            that’s a classic

          • Paul Patterson

            Which bit?

          • mentalman

            saying we wouldn’t be better off with guardiola in charge, he’d play the best team available out of the squad and play them in a way that suited the players not trying to make players suit the way he wanted to play

          • Kneebotherm8

            Guardiola would sht himself if he had to manage that squad………he’s only ever been used to the Messi’s of this world in his team….

          • mentalman

            he probably would sht himself but he would clean himself up and get on with the job in hand to the best of his ability utilising everything he has got

          • Kneebotherm8

            We’ll never know about that because as we know,he only coaches the worlds best players…….whether Barceona,Bayern Munich or Man City………….debatable whether he’d do owt with the championship squad we’ve got………..
            I’d like to know what Benitez is not utilising……….

          • mentalman

            players available to him, he’s using the same players over and over again even when it is not working

          • Kneebotherm8

            He rotates the squad,the only ones not getting in are Colback and Mitro,two players he wants out the club,for whatever reason…….that’s the managers choice at any football club…

          • ghostrider

            It’s not a championship side at all.
            It was a championship side that was dismantled enough to become a premier league side.
            The issue is always the same. People just follow on what gets said depending on whether things go good or bad.

            We play in the premier league because we WON the championship title.
            We won the championship because we were batter than what they threw at us in the championship.
            We got promoted back to the premier league because we deserved to be back in the premier league due to us having a squad good enough for us to be in it.

            That makes us a premier league club with premier league players that some of, were once in the championship, yet many were also in teh premier league.
            So let’s have a look.
            Premier league players.
            Lascelles.
            Clark.
            Yedlin.
            Mbemba.
            Mitrovic.
            Gayle.
            Ritchie.
            Atsu.
            Dummett.
            Joselu.
            Elliot.
            Darlow.
            Manquillo.
            Shelvey.
            Hayden.
            Perez.
            Colback.
            Haidara.
            Aarons.
            All were premier league before drop down.
            Then add Merino and Lejeune to the mix who came with top expectations who we are/were all happy with as prem quality.

            Rafa shipped out the few who he believed were championship quality at the time.

            Not all of those players listed are top premier quality but that’s not the issue. The issue is in prem quality.
            That list of players along with others I’ve omitted, like Gomez and such like, are plenty good enough to stay in this league in a reasonable lower area of it ( not relegation).

            If they are championship quality then over half of that premier league is, also.
            The reality is simple.
            We are in it and so are the rest because their football dictated as such, with the quality of players being part of it.

            The potential reality of what we have is, a team/squad that can be better coached to bring out the real quality in many in a careful and methodical advancement of what their skills are begging for, which are being destroyed by a manager and coaches who seem to spend far too much time having them perform the art of defending.

          • Paul Patterson

            10/10 for trying to justify it but you’re wrong.
            If we don’t stay in the league then we are a Championship side, we got out of the Championship side but that doesn’t mean you’re a Premier League side until you have successfully stayed there.
            There is a position called too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier League.
            I could go through players faults but it will be futile for you as it’s simply the Manager to blame. I have my questions about him but he’s not the problem.

          • ghostrider

            IF we don’t stay in the league then we are obviously a championship side for however long we are in the championship for.
            As it stands and has done since the end of last season….we are a premier league side.
            It works both ways.

            Too good to go down or not good enough to go up makes no difference if you go down or fail to get promoted.
            You can have a team full of Messi’s but if you get relegated it makes you a championship team until you get back into the premier league.

            You could argue that a team full of Messi’s simply wouldn’t be relegated and that would constitute a team deemed too good to go down, right?

            It’s a fine line between what people think a team should be and it depends on how that team performs.
            A bad manager can make a good team bad.
            A good manager can turn a bad team into a good team with better conditioning and tactics and mindset which includes a togetherness and a build of confidence.

            Mourinho at Chelsea is living proof of how a change can turn a good team into a bad team.
            Top players but no team playing to it’s strengths and all playing individually depending on their stance against their manager.

            It’s all about many aspects as we all really know.
            Success and failure can be measured with a broken ruler.
            Mediocrity can be the inability to balance things out.
            I believe Rafa is in this camp.

            On any given day we could be prem quality or championship looking.
            Generally his unbalanced ways with the team in being defensive, for me, is doing the squad/club more harm than good.
            People can blame Ashley all they want but I’m sure I wouldn’t hand money to a manager that threatens to buy chewing gum instead of the bread and butter he was sent out for.

          • Paul Patterson

            Either way, until the MANAGER get’s a chance to build HIS side without people pulling the rug from his feet, we won’t go anywhere.
            Ashley to blame.

          • ghostrider

            Ashley’s to blame for aa good few things. I admit that.
            He’s no angel and he’s certainly no fatherly cash on the hip ” there you go, go and buy yourself an ice cream with a flake in and get some red syrup on it with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on it….oh…and treat yourself to a double cone with double flake.”

            He tried that when he first came with signings he believed were trophy signings and then added Keegan to the mix thinking us fans wanted him as our second go at the all out entertainers and everyone’s second team scenario as well as being loved himself by the geordie public.

            Like the new kid on the block who comes in with sweeties to garner immediate trust and friendship by using kindness as a tool of immediate acceptance and friendship whilst hopefully integrating quickly.

            Stop dishing out the sweeties to the popular kids and you soon find that the rest set about you.
            You have two options from this point.
            1. You try to hand out more sweets to pacify the people.

            2. You stand your ground and understand that once you start you will be expected to keep it up even if you have no more money left to keep up that standard.

            Ashley took the careful stance. Number two.
            Ellis Short took number one until his head was pushed under the quicksand.

          • Ram Kishore

            This team has the quality to do well in last year’s 2016/17 league..Now in the summer 2017 the teams who were already in the league upgraded to the next level..
            We just stayed on the same level

            Please don’t ask me about the level..haha

          • ghostrider

            It appears that teams have upgraded but the reality is it’s the transfer fees that have upgraded into patheticness from stupidity.
            Next season they’ll upgrade again into sickening bile.

            The quality goes down for most because , like us, we are pacified into accepting that some kind of genius defending against the big Goliath teams shows managerial master class of how to set up a championship (apparently) football team against the elite rather than big the so called championship team up to show they can actually scare their back line and still have a chance.

            Merino said so himself.
            He said they’re just 11 men against 11 men and we can take them on.
            Silly thing to say mind because it got him dropped for daring to tease fans into thinking we would genuinely go at them. lol

          • Ram Kishore

            Too much speculation lol..
            U r saying Merino was dropped because he told what he wanted to say..
            I thought u were Impartial as a fan who just felt angry at Rafa because of our current state and struggles.

            U r clearly Anti Rafa lol
            And Complete Ashley supporter failing to see his mistakes..
            I see Rafa’s mistakes too and am not anti Ashley..I just see his Business attitude which is normal..

            If Ashley was the one who wanted Rafa why don’t he back him enough t o make Nufc a top contender.. This is just a question for ghost rider?

          • ghostrider

            Merino was a joke….or was it.
            I’m pro Ashley in a way, yes.
            I don’t like everything he’s doing but I also know this club could easily end up in a perilous position if he leaves.

            I’m certainly not a Rafa fan.
            His football is sickening.
            His interviews are laughable.
            He spouts garbage about his own players, calling them sub prem standard by calling them all championship players.

            The man is a clown.
            Hand him 1 billion and he might get a team top 6.
            Hand him 100 million and he’ll waste it.

          • Ram Kishore

            Yes Rafa did a mistake about
            “He spouts garbage about his own players, calling them sub prem standard by calling them all championship players.”
            Interviews dont determine a manager’s quality though..it is bullshit at times because of crazy questions media asks.
            And so called crazy journalists(I’m not talking about good journalists)
            Keeps asking just one question..how the hell can he give different answers if they ask the same question in different ways..
            I watched one interview ..the questions were total bs and so was his interview
            Ashley mistakes are bit more worse
            I don’t wanna go back to the past
            But he’s a bit of a bad owner in many cases..
            Am not Anti Ashley
            Just clarifying

          • ghostrider

            Rafa should hold his hands up in defeat instead of basically bemoaning players who spend 90% of a game trying to defend, then telling all and sundry how the team need to learn to cut out mistakes.

            He then should take the blame for a defeat instead of holding his hands up and saying stuff to the effect of, well this is what happens when you have a championship standard team but I’m doing my best to make sure they creep over the line.

            Excuses that pass the blame from anything he does, onto the players and anyone else but himself.

            He rarely employs a plan B and that reeks of stupidity.

          • Ram Kishore

            Yep at times he should hold hands with the team and defend them

            The team made mistakes refers to himself too

          • Ram Kishore

            Yes I am on you for this
            “He spouts garbage about his own players, calling them sub prem standard by calling them all championship players.”
            Give him a break man.. interviews are all about same BS questions from BS journalists (expect for Good journalists)

          • ghostrider

            I don’t care who the journalists are. They’re all in it for the scoop, whatever that scoop is for an agenda.
            Rafa slags his own players off. Not very sensible, is it?

          • Ram Kishore

            Yeah yeah how many times I have told lol..yes he shouldn’t have

          • Ram Kishore

            Most of the players were fringe or squad players in the premier league before we got relegated
            Clark became a fringe player on his last two seasons
            Laselles just started playing for us in the related season
            Yedlin Squad player at Sunderland until Sam allardyce played him more
            We knew Dummet improved a lot only from last season
            Diame played for Hull in the championship and got relegated with them in the PL
            Haidara deadwood..I don’t really blame him
            Aarons never played for more than few minutes
            Ritchie only PL season
            Joselu only one PL after that awful loan move last year
            Atsu Never played more than 5 games for Everton and Bournemouth
            Apart from Shelvey and Manquillo(2 seasons from Liverpool and Sunderland..one at Marseille)
            None has a solid 3 year PL experience…

            Fact Vs Fact
            Done

          • Kneebotherm8

            Exactly right……There’s not much,if any,experienced premier league quality in that list.

          • Ram Kishore

            See Monaco
            They spent crazily in the beginning
            But shifted to better sustainable manner.. we don’t need a rich owner..need a sensible owner or MD with sporting knowledge to create a structured and sustainable system..
            Ashley is great businessman for his firm but obviously not good for a football club. I’m not hating him because I could see he’s just trying to do what a businessman would do..

          • ghostrider

            The situation still stands. Not championship players when in the premier league.
            5/6 million a year Rafa should have been clever enough to enhance what they have in quality and a lot of them have much more quality in them than Rafa is allowing them to realise.
            Why? Defensive minded to the extreme and guess what?
            The fans crucified Allardyce for less than this.

            It’s amazing how fans can be pacified into accepting managerial dross all because the manager that is producing it is deemed world class.

          • Ram Kishore

            Sam is bred for that kinda style..when Sam allardyce was appointed he had a strong team
            Sam plays the same kinda play everywhere..
            Did Rafa do that last season in the championship, When he managed us for the last 10 games of the relegation,
            Have u seen his Chelsea team, Napoli and Liverpool..all played a balanced football..
            I followed when he managed Chelsea because we were also in the Europa..
            Just telling my view..
            Hope Clarko is not here lol
            Cheers mate

          • ghostrider

            If Rafa Benitez played a balanced game with this team all season I believe we would be better off, not only with a few more points but with a better feel good mindset of the fans.
            I’m certain in my mind that most fans are not happy with how we play and I do not believe for one minute that they accept the way we play is a needs must, because it simply isn’t.
            We have a big strong defence scaring international out in the cold. No defence likes to play against him….yet Rafa thinks Joselu is the better player because Joselu does something that Mitro doesn’t.
            Joselu chases back and will do that all game if he’s told to.
            Mitro isn’t built for that. Fine for defending set pieces but is required to be at the right end of the pitch to be provided.

            Rafa classes that as a player down.

          • Ram Kishore

            Yes u r right about the style of play..
            I got sleepy when I saw the first half
            I’m fine with your concern
            But Rafa has played attacking football.. u can see it everywhere
            I have told u that in another post

            He doesn’t want Mitro.. let’s move on about Mitro issue.
            If a manager doesnt want a player he feels doesn’t suit his style of play.
            Not only Rafa does this
            Pep did it to Ibrahimovic
            So let’s put a full stop to Mitro here lol

          • ghostrider

            I Know Rafa can play attacking if he wants to but he’s rarely doing it with us and it’s criminal.
            The fans do not take to it with any manager but seem accepting of it with Rafa.
            It’s almost like they’re hanging on to one thing they feel they can boast about.
            “We’ve got a world class manager who loves us.”
            It doesn’t seem to matter that he’s producing the most horrendous football that i’ve seen in a long long time and that includes Carver and Allardyce and co.
            It’s sickening.
            As for Mitro, I know managers do the same but guess what? They have players to take over. We have nothing except for the same old same old who are rarely used for what they are supposed to be there for.

          • Ram Kishore

            Look man u keep saying the same thing.. ur views I respect it..but Ashley needs to get players
            Because a change in managers have brought about a bit of movement upwards for Swans,
            Baggies, and others
            So we need players to bring a lift

          • ghostrider

            Ok we need players. Let’s get the right players and use them for what they are bought for.
            Striker and number 10 as a must. Do you agree?
            If Rafa brings in anything other than that, do you still back him?
            If he brings in the right players and plays as negative and we get beat doing it, do you still back him.

            If we go down despite bringing in the right players, does Rafa get any blame or was Ashley too late and too stingy?

          • Ram Kishore

            Yep a striker
            A attacking midfielder who plays along the above the midfield
            A left back and there is a possibility he could bring for other positions
            Yep I agree with u
            At the same time u must remember Rafa says he has given the list to Ashley..if he doesn’t bring the striker but brings the left back alone..u can’t blame Rafa for this

          • ghostrider

            We are not in dire need of a left back so yes I would blame Rafa.

          • Ram Kishore

            What if Dummet gets injured
            So u will blame yourself Ashley?
            U want us to play with makeshift left back
            Obviously he won’t go.for a permanent left back signing

            At times..like clarko..u are cherry picking only the left back issue to blame Rafa now..just a opinion..just saying

          • ghostrider

            Makeshift left back?
            We’ve been playing all season with all kinds of positions being makeshift.

            Mbemba, Colback, Manquillo is right and left.
            Haidara.
            Aarons.
            The list is endless of cover.

            They might not be worldies but so what.
            The real positions that need real bonafide filling is a striker or two or a striker and a number 10.

          • Ram Kishore

            A proper left back can plug the goals ..make more forward runs.. Think

          • ghostrider

            How many goals have we conceded this season where the left back’s been to blame?

          • Ram Kishore

            Our left backs don’t put in crosses and neither do they support the attack..as yedlin does for Ritchie

          • ghostrider

            What attack?

          • Ram Kishore

            Have you see yedlin’s attack? That’s attack.. please stop with this kinda dumb questions lol

          • ghostrider

            Oh you mean the rare times when we counter attack. Ahhh right, ok.

          • Ram Kishore

            On the left we don’t do that anymore..maybe that’s an upgrade..

          • ghostrider

            We actually do but the quality is worse than the right and doesn’t stand out.

          • Ram Kishore

            Yeah.. how long have u been a Newcastle fan?

          • ghostrider

            45 years.

          • Ram Kishore

            The last part of your question ..only can be told in the end of Jan 31 and May
            Cheers mate

          • 1957

            Diame is I think our most experienced PL player mainly as a result of his time with Wigan and West Ham where he was established in the sides. He is approaching 200 PL games.

          • Ram Kishore

            That was when he was in his mid 20s.. he’s past his prime..
            New and talented players have come and gone by..

          • 1957

            He’s only 30 and meets your criteria for solid PL exprience

          • Ram Kishore

            Yeah he is but he’s past his prime..
            Solid PL players do slowdown..he has slowed down a lot..am not blaming him..just saying we need more quality to make him play better

        • Kneebotherm8

          No you’re not in charge,but the man who is,if reports are to be believed,wants an extension to the Benitez contract……..just shows what an irrelevance your opinion on Benitez is…..

          • ghostrider

            Who told you this?
            Ashley himself?
            Benitez?
            Chronicle?
            Mirror?
            A club insiders dads sisters cousins best friends uncles nephew?

          • Kneebotherm8

            Read what I said dimwit…..if reports are to be believed……..

          • ghostrider

            Aye I did.
            And then you went on to say : “.just shows what an irrelevance your opinion on Benitez is…..”

            It’s as if you sort of knew, as I mentioned earlier.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Your opinion of Benitez is an irrelevance………….if it was relevant we’d be having massive “Benitez out” protests as we had with Pardew,McLaren etc.
            The relevant opinions are those of the vast majority who know Benitez is doing a good job in the circumstances.

          • ghostrider

            He’s not doing a good job but I believe he’s capable of doing a good job if he stops being so defensive/cautious in games where it’s criminal to do so.

            I understand the bigger games being more cautious but not to extremes like Man City. That’s not just giving them respect, it’s acting like a rabbit caught in headlights or a mouse with a broken leg and a trapped paw in a little mouse trap as a big snake is slithering towards it.

            I thought I’d go a bit overboard. lol
            As the situation stands (and you can admit it or not) the reason why there’s no Rafa out shenanigans is solely because he’s been bigged up as the world class manager who is doing some kind of fantastic job with a championship team.
            Added to the hate for Ashley to smooth is almost god like way into the fans hearts.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He’s not being “bigged up” as a world class manager,his achievements in the game speak for themselves,and whether you care to admit it or not this is a virtual championship squad which is struggling as most of us suspected would happen at the start of the season.
            Benitez has not been backed by the owner since he was appointed,our owner has little ambition for the club and that’s why he’s hated by the fans.
            Benitez is respected by the fans(not in a derogatorily God like way you sneeringly mention) because he wants the team to succeed,just like us, and he’s willing to put his neck on the block and let Ashley know that. That’s a breath of fresh air compared to the Pardew,McLaren,Carver “yes men” we’ve had to endure these last few years..

          • ghostrider

            To say Benitez has not been backed by Ashley since Benitez became manager is a blatant lie.
            And of course Benitez wants to succeed. We all want the club to succeed.
            The issue is in how we manage to get to the point where success is deemed a success.
            10th?…….6th?…….4th?……title?…..FA cup final?
            FA final winners?
            League cup?

            Europa cup ?
            Champions league winners?
            Avoid relegation on the last day to cheers and Rafa flags,as if we actually won the league or a cup?

            Out of all that, what do you deem would be a success for this club?
            This isn’t a smarmy bunch of wording. I’m serious.

            I just wonder what we are entitled to demand that other clubs are entitled to demand.
            Where do we stand against other clubs?

            Under a run of the mill managerial name, like a Pardew or a Monk or whatever, we would be seeing banners and all kinds of bile wanting change as it stands.

            Under Rafa it appears that staying in the premier league by goal difference would constitute a successful season.

            It’s a funny old game, isn’t it?

          • Kneebotherm8

            I’ve just corrected a paragraph for you……
            Under the chancer/gambler Ashley it appears that staying in the premier league by goal difference would constitute a successful season every time.

  • FatParosite

    2 expensive but short term loan deals this week followed by….

    A late deal for Lascelles by Arsenal that can’t be turned down.

    Ashley thinks the PR has been done in that he’s used Staveley as an excuse not to be on point with transfers.

  • MadMag83

    January 2017 Ashley didn’t spend a penny, his excuse being that the squad was good enough to secure promotion, fair enough.

    Summer 2017 and the excuse for the limited transfer activity was an apparent lack of funds “I can’t compete with Man City” etc.

    Fast forward to Jan 2018 and it’s yet another excuse. There’s no reason to believe that this penny pinching Jabba of a man is about to invest anywhere near the amount required to bring in the sort of quality this side needs.

    • HarryHype59

      He has already had a large wedge of this years TV money!

      • MadMag83

        Whilst pleading poverty.

    • TheFatController

      Bear in mind that in October he thought he’d make £100m out of selling the club.

      Now he knows he won’t. So as owner now, in his head he knows he has less money in the club than he did when he said we had no money and couldn’t compete….

      • MadMag83

        It may be the case that he had already made his mind up last January that he was going to sell the club if we got promoted. Hence the lack of investment, he gambled on the squad being good enough to get promotion. That meant he was then reluctant to invest in the summer as he was going to put the club up for sale. It may be that with PCP not meeting his valuation that once again he’s prepared to gamble on the squad being good enough to get over the line.

  • S.G.M.

    Surely if were destined for the Championship, (which most people on here are saying) wouldn’t we be better off keeping this squad. It is after all the squad which won the Championship.

  • S.G.M.

    Rafa could be the first ever manager to take the same side from the Premiership down into the Championship TWICE

    • Guest 2

      You mean the first NUFC owner the get the club relegated from the Pl 3 times.

      • S.G.M.

        No, I meant what I wrote.

  • TheFatController

    Ashley doesn’t have form of converting to high spending on the road to Damascus, but he does when he’s on the road to relegation.

    Expect no signings in the summer if we sign anyone now. We know how it all works ….

  • Speccy_Lee

    If Rafa really does have the best interests of the club at heart he would walk if no signings are made in this window. By staying he is inadvertently helping Ashley in run the club into the ground.

    • Guest 2

      Would you pay fatty 6 million to leave?

      • Fiddler

        Constructive dismissal

        • Guest 2

          Give over. Like Rafa is going to give cause for being dismissed? Pretty sure he’ll have a payout clause in that event too. Only way he’ll go is if someone buys out his contract

  • DavyB

    Love that Rafa has refused to talk about his contract until after January. By doing so, he’s told MA that if he doesn’t invest, Rafa will walk. I can see this having a massive effect on both Rafa’s and the teams performances between now and the end of the season with relegation a very real possibility. Nice one MA – you’ve done it again!

    • Damon Horner

      I think he’ll see out his contract, be doesn’t seem the type to break contracts but generally I think you’re right. He won’t go through the motions so a contract renewal under these circumstances just won’t happen.

    • mentalman

      do you think MA cares if rafa walks?

      • DavyB

        No, I don’t! He doesn’t give two hoots about Rafa, the team, or the club. He’s only interested in turning a profit for himself.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    “Rafa has handed a list in for players he expects to be signed.”
    What does that even mean in the scheme of things ?
    We have had ten years of transfer windows with Mike Ashley where he either fails to strengthen the squad significantly or at all !
    What makes anyone think that this time will be any different to previous occasions ?

    I would love a tenner for every time someone has uttered the words like : “Maybe Ashley Has Changed, Maybe He Has Seen The Light”, And all the other stuff that goes round and round and round.

    Where Ashley is concerned you have to always read between the lines for your real answer to the question.
    It says he will “Try” to back Rafa which in reality equates to the fact we ain’t getting no one over that imaginary 100 foot line !
    If we’re lucky we might get a couple of last minute loans but don’t put it past him to have the rotors spinning to turn yet another profit.

  • thewildchimp

    Seems to me they are taking a p’ss at each other.
    Ashley trying to spite Benitez because of his previous statements in a cheated housewife manner: “You said you needed players before Jan 15th, well, I care not, I’m going on a holiday and you are going to get players when I want and if I want.”
    Benitez, on the other hand, issuing ultimatum of “reinforce, or I’m out”. Which is, I must admit, what a man of integrity would do.

    Ashley is to be blamed mostly, but while they are playing their mind-games – out there NUFC suffers. Can’t stand it anymore…

    P.S. It’s not really too late, if we shop wisely we could get a player or two with limited influence on this season but fully integrated starting next one. And I believe quality and experience would make massive difference even at this hour.

  • Lhc

    Out of curiosity when is the direct debit renewal decision date for season tkts ? Wondering when ppl who pay that way have to decide

    • 1957

      I believe its the end of February but I’ve cancelled mine on Friday just to make sure.

      • Lhc

        Braver than me!

        • 1957

          I’m just sick and tired of the chaos on and off the pitch

          • Lhc

            It seems never ending

      • S.G.M.

        Yeh right.

  • Ram Kishore

    Isn’t it clear.. This interview looks just like the interview he gave after the signing of Joselu who eventually happened the last buy of the summer..

    Déjà vu

  • Rich Lawson

    Ashley on the road from Damascus sees a blinding light ,hopefully it is an incoming missile toward his helicopter !

  • Mitch forster

    Heard a big rumour that our transfer record is going to be smashed this week on a striker. Just passing the message on.

  • 1957

    I’m I intrigued to see who these players are who have proved themselves in the PL or have the quality to do so are. They can’t be the ones reported in the media, I’m especially unimpressed by a goalkeeper playing in a league that’s weaker than the Belgian one.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Best of luck with that rafa. If you still believe in santa Claus then youll believe Rafa has a chance of getting some players in. I’ve lost all faith in fatty delivering anything but lies and broken promises. He has the morals of a scrapyard dog!!

  • GToon

    As Harry Hill would say – “what’s the chances of that happening!”