Two wins. Two. It doesn’t sound a lot when it’s put like that, does it?

That is all Newcastle United may now need to secure a second successive season of top flight football. Touching distance.

There are eight games in which to net the haul of points which are needed. The triumphs against Manchester United and Southampton felt just as pivotal as the wins last year over Brighton and Huddersfield during the promotion push. It turned the tide then, it my have done so once again, just in the nick of time.

The debate is now turning back to the subject of the manager’s future.

This is Groundhog Day for the fans. In the spring of 2017 we were all left wondering whether Rafa Benitez would be given enough assurances and incentives to remain at NUFC. It felt touch and go. While assurances were clearly provided at an end of season summit with the owner, manager and MD, we then saw the traditional transfer window malaise which has dogged the club under Ashley. Rafa stayed.

His patience was tested to the limit. He’s been messed about over the last three transfer windows. In January just gone he was met with a wall of silence. He didn’t know the budget and seemingly had to wait until the owner returned from a holiday in Florida. That in itself was a complete joke for a Premier League club like Newcastle. Rafa stayed.

This year it feels the same as 2017. We don’t have the confidence the owner will do enough to keep a manager like Rafa Benitez happy. He has one more year to run on his deal and so far he’s been coy on the prospect of extending it.

But the chances are that Rafa will honour the deal. It’s lucrative and he may want to keep working on a project he has started, as long as he manages to retain the club’s top flight status.

I’ve seen a fair range of views on social media about the manager’s future. Some think there’s no way he’ll stick it out under the Ashley regime.

But here’s the thing…I have a theory. I can’t stand it up. It’s just a theory, but it’s one I’m sticking to, even if it may be wishful thinking. I don’t think Rafa Benitez is going anywhere this summer.

The bottom line, for me, is that Rafa loves being the manager of Newcastle Utd. There is an emotional pull there for him. He loves his players. He loves his staff. He loves the passion of the Newcastle fans. It’s a strong brand and it all feels such a good fit.

Rafa loves the politics. He’s a workaholic and a football club like Newcastle gives him his fix.

He knows there is potential there. The next round of TV money can help him to bring in more players. It’s a project that is just getting started.

The power brokers at the club must do all they can to get Rafa tied down to a longer contract. Get it sorted before another club makes an offer.

There is no rhyme or reason to the theory that Benitez will stay just because he loves it here…but it’s one that I genuinely believe in.

I even think he will end up signing on for another three years – just so long as Ashley and his mates don’t completely mess it up.

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  • Steven05

    Is that your heart talking – or mine?! 🤞🏻

  • TheNutJob

    has this lad been comatose for the last 11 yrs or so, Fatty has no intention of taking the club forward, his agenda is to get as much as he can for Newcastle and do a runner.
    🏃 🏃 🏃

    • FatParosite

      I agree with all of that… except the runner bit.

  • Dingus

    I think he’s become the same as the majority of fans. He desperately wants a new owner. Difference is, of course, he gets millions of pounds a year while he waits. I think he’d sign a new deal if he got some decent backing this summer, enough to make Kennedy and Dubravka permanent signings and a few more first teamers in various positions. I’d say he’s the type that wants rid of any of the players he clearly doesn’t rate too. If he gets this bare minimum of control and support, he’d likely stay given the club is so close to his family home. He’ll still be hoping for a new owner though.

  • Leazes.

    Where did you get the idea ‘he loves it here’?….. he lives in an enormous palatial house on the Wirral and is very closely linked to the people of Liverpool.

    If I didn’t know better I get the impression that all of the Mag writers are women or maybe just one woman!…. its just this constant feed of ‘love’ and ‘positives’ and ‘praying’ and other Mills and Boon guff!

    I put it to you David… you’re a woman aren’t you?

    • Ram Kishore

      Very harsh lol

    • IAmYTM

      So to be a bloke you have to be miserable all the time? That probably makes you the biggest bloke in history…

      • Leazes.

        No you have to cut the mills and boon cr*p.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    There is no doubt that Rafa will stay. He loves the club the people and Ashley will give him all the money which available in the Summer. Had a couple of drinks with some one who works with him tonight and they said he is a true professional .
    Can see him staying for least five more years and Ashley will be there to as no one buys clubs in the North East or Yorkshire.

    • Steven05

      Your mate did

  • He might stay, until the end of his contract.

    Ashley might deprive him of transfer funds again, another club may pay his release clause leaving Ashley richer.

    We might get taken over by an owner who cares about all sorts of things, from football to ethics, who values a world class manager and who is prepared to invest.

    The world is full of opportunities. Ashley’s reign is full of disappointments.

  • Desree

    As I write this, I can see another Mag headline “Laughable exclusive in the Sun” we also get other articles “Opposition Fans Response Laughable”

    Then I read this type of article and it is more laughable than anything else anyone outside of the fanbase has to say about the club.

    Get a grip man.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    If he`s the man i think he is he`ll be offski as soon as the Great Fat Oaf pulls his usual stroke in the summer but this time Rafa`s wise to his antics.
    Sign the players & i`ll sign a new contract or Adios

    • Leazes.

      Late deals for loanees followed by the sale of Lascelles…… you know what’s coming!

      Pause for thought of the day: Why are the financial fair play rules discriminatory towards clubs who have money?

      • Lord

        Are you suggesting NUFC should get fined for not spending enough? I like it!

        • Leazes.

          That’s a possibility.

  • Wor Lass

    I tend to agree with you, David. Rafa is on a great deal financially and he loves a challenge. He`s taken the region to his heart and – the big IF – IF fatty agrees a workable budget this summer then there`s no reason for him to go. It`s a potentially massive club with lots to be done to keep him busy. He does seem to like a bit of political infighting and, with the state of the club at present, there`s no great pressure on him for results. The ideal scenario is that the barrow boy sells up to someone with a bit of integrity and enough backing to get us established quickly as a top half team but if that doesn`t happen then Rafa can do it despite Ashley`s obfuscation.

    • Leazes.

      By ‘Loves a Challenge’ do you mean he wants to struggle perpetually? If he is fighting for control against Ashleys accountant then he’s losing!…. badly!

      Linked with freebie players and loans, the chronicle will be coming out with headlines like ‘Rafa in competition with Watford for Seven million pound Star’…. if it had been Pardew it would be a resignation note headline!”

    • Lord

      That’s an interesting point about there being no pressure on him for results. There is pressure, of course, to keep us up, but you never get the feeling Rafa’s job has ever been under threat, even when we slipped into the relegation zone or went on that potentially disastrous run last year. Nor did the fans turn on him during that run.

      I suspect the club wouldn’t even sack him even if we go down.

      There can’t be many clubs around where Rafa will get his level of salary, that sort of job security and that support from the fans regardless of results. He’s the good cop to Ashley’s bad.

      The question is whether that is enough of a positive to balance out the chaos and frustration he must feel working under MA.

      • Wor Lass

        Exactly.

  • TheFatController

    I don’t think there will be a problem spending the money the club generates – why? Because to Ashley, the money the club generates day to day isn’t worth getting out of his bed for.

    What does make it worthwhile getting out of bed is the benefit to SD, and the potential profit if he sells at over £300m.

    I’ve therefore accepted as reality his ‘you can have all the money you earn’ line. By July we’ll have earned the best part of £150m across the year, with the same amount guaranteed next season if we stay up.

    What is Ashley going to do? Pocket any profit? Why? He doesn’t need it as much as he needs the club to stay up. The club is worth £300m (or more if secure in PL) to him, that’s where the money lies.

    This summer will be like the summer when mitro, wijnaldum, janmaat etc arrived. Spending on players with some pedigree who will maintain or increase in value, and keep us in the PL safety zone. Difference will be they will be the manager’s choices, if Rafa stays.

    Logic suggests Ashley doesn’t want the day to day money, he wants to sell at profit and in meantime keep SD name high profile worldwide with a heavily televised PL club.

  • robbersdog

    I agree with this article…apart from the bit about Rafa signing a three year contract to stay at Newcastle.

  • Mike

    aye and Santa is real…if a “proper run” club with assurances to Rafa come knocking then why should he stay in this mess/circus? he could leave anytime with head held high. someone has to go and its not cashley

  • Jonas

    All that.stands between this wishful thinking and reality is Ashley.
    its therefore almost certain Rafa will go and the cracks will even bigger than before.

    its madness to even think otherwise until Ashley goes.