Sam Allardyce has been talking about Rafa Benitez and what has been happening at Newcastle United.
The two clubs meeting on Monday night and the Everton boss saying the blues will be facing a ‘better Newcastle’ than they did in December.
Karl Darlow gifted an undeserved winning goal to Wayne Rooney after Newcastle had been comfortably the better team.
Everton scoring with their only real chance, whilst Newcastle saw Ritchie hammer an effort onto the post with Pickford well beaten when the match was goalless, then after going behind Merino hit a stunner from over 30 yards that once again came back off the woodwork.
Sam Allardyce actually praising his opposite number for the job he has done, saying ‘Rafa has progressed very well…they have put together a run or games.’
Newcastle meet Everton with a run of five wins in the last seven games and indeed four victories on the bounce.
Much of that due to loan signings Dubravka and Kenedy, whilst Islam Slimani has also now contributed in his two sub appearances.
When out of work and doing media last September [see below] and asked about Rafa’s complaints of such a low net spend allowed by Mike Ashley last summer, Sam Allardyce said ‘You can’t ask for more than that’ in reference to what Ashley had ‘backed’ his manager with.
Returning to that subject, Allardyce now says ‘He [Rafa] has always expressed his disappointment with not enough funds…we can all say we don’t have enough funds.’
It is laughable really, as Sam Allarydce inherited an Everton squad that had over £130m spent on it last summer, plus he was then allowed to spend another £50m in January. Compare that to Rafa Benitez who was blocked from buying anybody in January, instead working his magic with buttons, having to rely on loan signings that have thankfully worked out this time.
“From a difficult period, Newcastle have managed to recover and get in the Premier League and they have turned it around.
“They have put together a run of games and we will see a better Newcastle than we saw up there [at St James Park in December].
“Rafa has progressed very well.
“He has always expressed his disappointment with not enough funds…we can all say we don’t have enough funds.
“What he has managed with the funds he has, particularly in the January months, has been excellent.”
Sam Allardyce – 7 September 2017:
“Mike Ashley has openly stated he has given Rafa all the money he can possible give him, that the football club generates.
“You can’t ask for more than that.”