Any Newcastle win over Chelsea is to be enjoyed and along with the rest of the Newcastle United fanbase, Alan Shearer enjoyed this one.
Rafa’s team were only playing for the prize of a top half finish on goal difference but they totally dominated last season’s champions.
The game could and should have been won by half-time but only a Dwight Gayle goal separated the two teams at the break, Ayoze Perez then adding two more to give a more realistic final scoreline.
At a normal well-run club you would have the fans only looking forward to next season now…but this is Newcastle United and Mike Ashley.
Rafa has made clear that there has been little or no progress in talks on extending his contract at Newcastle, the talks having began around a month ago when Premier League safety was reached with a handful of matches still remaining.
Instead of doing the right thing, Mike Ashley has refused to meet his manager’s needs/demands and so we now go into the close season with no idea of what to expect, very much hope for the best and fear the worst.
Instead of doing things properly and coming to meet Rafa Benitez in person to thank him and sort out any concerns and a new contract, Mike Ashley chose to get his PR people to release another ‘every penny’ statement (see below) in the aftermath of Sunday’s win over Chelsea.
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer was far from impressed…
Alan Shearer asked, on Match of the Day, what he thinks of Mike Ashley’s statement:
“Copy and paste.
“It is exactly the same as last year.
“Give him (Rafa Benitez) some money to spend.
“I am very concerned.
“He (Rafa) has got Newcastle into 10th position.
“If he can do that with that squad…could you imagine what he could do with some backing and some finance.”
Meanwhile, Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame dominated Kante and the rest of the Chelsea midfield on Sunday.
Diame was excellent: making six tackles, four interceptions and winning the ball back 11 times.
However, it was Jonjo Shelvey who was man of the match in the 3-0 win over Chelsea, with more passes (73) than any other player, as he dictated play.
Alan Shearer also believes the Newcastle midfielder should be on the plane to Russia, declaring:
“Jonjo Shelvey controlled the midfield.
“What we’ve made in the past with England is errors with gambling on players you can’t rely on because of injury.
“Jack Wilshere has had 12 starts this season because of injury and I don’t think you can take too many gambles.
“Shelvey isn’t a gamble.”
That Mike Ashley statement – Sunday 13 May:
“I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season.
“I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles.
“On many occasions throughout the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory.
“Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.
“I hope very much that Rafa will remain at Newcastle United.
“Finally, I would like to thank the fans for their unrivalled support of Rafa and the team throughout the season.”