Rafa Benitez led Newcastle United to Premier League safety with five or six matches still remaining.

After being badly let down by Mike Ashley, the Spaniard has won widespread praise, not just from Newcastle fans, for the job he has done at St James Park.

Indeed, only this [Saturday] morning it was announced that Rafa Benitez was one of six nominations for the Premier League Manager of the Season award.

However, despite Premier League safety being achieved some weeks ago, on Friday Rafa made clear that things have to change at Newcastle before he commits beyond the year he has left on his current contract.

The Newcastle Manager yet again citing a lack of backing in the transfer market from Mike Ashley, saying this can’t continue if he is to stay and try to progress the club.

Responding to this, Ed Malyon – Sports Editor at The Independent, has had a go at the United boss, saying: ‘The problem with Rafa is he will always want more…rarely a sweet spot where he gets what he wants and is happy with that. Fighting follows Rafa wherever he goes – Valencia, Liverpool, Inter, Madrid, Newcastle – but I’m sure it’s the owners’ fault every time.’

I’m not an expert on other clubs Rafa Benitez has been at but what I do know for sure is that it’s pretty ridiculous to include Newcastle United in this argument/generalisation.

A host of players demanded a move after relegation in 2016 as well as a load of others having to be cleared out, Rafa Benitez creating a £40m transfer surplus whilst still winning promotion as champions. I don’t remember any complaints back in summer 2016 from Rafa Benitez, claiming he wasn’t happy and demanded more.

However, when we got to January 2017, Rafa made clear when not a single player was bought that ‘promises’ from Mike Ashley had been broken to back the manager.

Summer 2017 was more of the same, players were bought but it was a low net spend, as the other promoted clubs massively outspent Newcastle. Rafa once again saying promises hadn’t been kept and he couldn’t even compete with Huddersfield and Brighton on transfer fees and wages.

January 2018, with relegation threatening, Ashley blocked Rafa Benitez from buying any players, having to settle for loans, with two of the three only arriving on the very final day of the transfer window.

Rafa Benitez was happy with the first transfer window but gutted with he way he has been treated in the next three, how could he be happy after that?

Ed Malyon has had his say on social media and some entertaining replies from Newcastle [and Liverpool] fans.

Ed Malyon – Sports Editor of The Independent:

“The problem with Rafa is he will always want more.

“There is rarely a sweet spot where he gets what he wants and is happy with that.

“Good coach, but that causes problems.

“You can like Rafa, he’s been good for Newcastle, but he gets in these scrapes at every club.

“I don’t really care what you [Newcastle fans] have to say about it because it’s true.

“Fighting follows Rafa wherever he goes – Valencia, Liverpool, Inter, Madrid, Newcastle – but I’m sure it’s the owners’ fault every time.”

Hanoi Toon:

‘You think he enjoys not having money to spend?

‘I hope he keeps on fighting Mike Ashley. I’m sure he’d prefer having the money and not having to fight.’

Rohan Banerjee:

‘Ed you have had a mare here mate.’


‘Rafa isn’t the problem here it is the incompetence of mike Ashley and Lee Charnley to do their part of the job.’


‘Why is that a problem? Why shouldn’t he aspire to be better?

‘There’s not a manager out there that doesn’t want more than they have – surely a normal trait in the best managers?

‘Fact is, if we don’t give him a chance to achieve things here, another club will. Good for him.’


“The problem with Rafa is”

‘No point reading any drivel that follows that to be honest.’

Aodhagan Mackey:

‘So you’re saying he likes the rows….give it a rest.’

(Liverpool fan) Keep Khan:

‘What makes you think he enjoys it?

‘Wouldn’t it have been better for his career if he worked for better owners who gave him the resources ?

‘Valencia didn’t pay out his contract.. Hicks and Gillette almost led LFC into administration .. Ashley is useless owner… and he had no “political” issues at Madrid or Inter,was raved about by the Napoli president, and did really well under Abramovich ,but you stick to your story.’

Jamie Swan:

‘The man is quality and in trying to get blood out of Ashley’s stone he can poke the bear as much as he likes.

‘As soon as the Jan transfer window shut it settled and having signed Kennedy and Dubravka it changed our team, momentum and season.

‘Ergo – Rafa was right. Fancy that.’

Howard Walker:

“He will always want more” – this is precisely what I want from the manager of my football club. This is an asset, not a problem.’


‘I think you see his striving for perfection as a negative because typically you don’t want arguments / politics at a Club.

‘However, this is exactly what NUFC needs (which is why the fans defend him). Ashley wants to do the absolute bare minimum. Rafa wants absolute perfection.’

(Liverpool fan) Levi:

‘If you are using Hicks and Gillette taking Liverpool within days of liquidation to make a point against Rafa to suit your agenda then it shows how clueless and naive you are.

‘Those owners tore our club apart, lied to the manager, staff and fans. We sold to buy.

‘Think Rafas net was 10m a season? He fought for our club big time.

‘We nearly lost our club because of Hicks and Gillett. I suggest you read the epic swindle and you’ll probably never mention Rafa’s ownership troubles at Liverpool again. Unless it’s to heap praise on him.’

Rohan Banerjee:

‘It’s odd how mainstream sports media is so desperate for us to turn on Rafa. Why?

‘Through thick and thin, he’s been our constant. He’s been our cool head. Infinitely more capable than the last 3 managers.

‘He stays, we succeed. Why would we complain?’

Hanoi Toon:

‘Well aware of his career. Still doesn’t mean he isn’t right to be ambitious and to bring this up in a Newcastle context is an incredible overlooking of the current situation.

‘Rafa still in defecit spending since taking over.’

Mr P:

‘You need to know more about NUFC to understand the fans defence of Rafa.

‘After almost a decade of complete apathy from the top down, Rafa has given some hope, he will fight Ashley rather than sit back and be thankful.

‘Politics at NUFC is not gratuitous, it’s essential.’

  • Weyhhadaway

    We all know Rafa isn’t perfect, but he is perfect for us.
    He brings a professional approach, knows how to win a game and doesn’t take any rubbish from an owner with a track record of deliberate under achievement.
    He is in the top ten coaches in the world and I am hoping he gets enough backing from the club to hang around a while longer.

    • Wor Lass

      Amen to that!

    • porciestreet

      So do we all my friend, but I’ll bet you a pound to a pinch of chyte that Ashley would prefer to lose Rafa than be seen to give way to him. He is the BIG I AM and will not be questioned.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Well he`s blocked me on twitter so you can guess what i said to him & i`ve been suspended for 12hrs,
    no worries there then

    • Wor Lass

      What have you been suspended by? Sounds a bit kinky!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Ha ha

      • Mike D

        Cheese string.

  • Wor Lass

    Jackie, you`re feeding the troll.

    • Leazes.

      Pay your taxes!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose


      • Wor Lass

        Penalty to the lads! Oh, we haven`t kicked off yet ..

  • Ram Kishore

    I’m not Ashley supporter or Apologist but Rafa didn’t create 40 million transfer profit alone.. it’s multiple factor and include Lee charnley t9o
    The writers at Mag could correct this

    • Weyhhadaway

      You miss the point completely. Creating 40 mil profit isn’t the problem, not putting it back into the team is.

      • Jezza

        The very fact that the club made £40 million profit on tranfers tells you everything you need to know about what is wrong with NUFC.

  • Leazes.

    The first thing I would do is look to see who he supports, my guess its a club where the owner doesn’t have to ask for financial backing. The photo head on his facebook page shows a stadium visualisation, I’ve no Idea where it is, it might be Spuds new ground? He attended University in Manchester, so is that a clue?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      you have to live up here to realise whats happening, exceptions are the likes of wor lass, tax exile, Peaky, Jezza and maybe a few more die hard Newcastle fans. that guy knows nothing!

      • Leazes.

        He’s making a presumption that the club is allowed its own money to spend and the size of support means he thinks its a lot.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Team out, no comments,
    it never ceases to amaze me that the likes of Manquillo starts & even Haidara is ahead of Mbmeba who can give you cover for 5 positions.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    What a moron…

  • Steve Smith

    Independent’s target readership is the lowest common denominator. Hardly surprising.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Stoke relegated

  • Simon Ritter

    I keep thanking my lucky stars Senor Benitez is our manager. And wishing he had arrived at SJP two months earlier.His immediate predecessor has just spouted this tripe after watching the Stoke v Palace match: “Stoke didn’t have enough over 38 games and you end up where you deserve. The squad is not good enough which has been proven today.” While that is in some ways true, on paper their squad are certainly not among the three worst in the Premier League. Which means we need to look at the manager/s. Hughes and Lambert have been unable to get the best from their resources. Obviously, that is NOT something McClaren would recognise. Or accept responsibility for. #wallywithabrolly!

  • Wor Lass

    Are we winning yet?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Losing 1-0 they scored in 2 mins

      • Leazes.


        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          i`ve lost my link to the match. thats my bet down.
          i told Nut we wouldn`t win again this season yet i was daft enough to bet on them

          • DC1964

            That’s not a bad thing, we’re abysmal!

          • Leazes.

            No appetite for it at all.

          • DC1964

            Not very professional!

          • Leazes.

            don’t used saved searches….. First Row BZ.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Got it, i`ve switched to my laptop

          • thewildchimp

            I predicted 41 point at the end of the season (Peaky as well) and was exalted to see us reach that mark 5 games before the end. Then I hoped for something like 48 or 50, but little did I know…

          • porciestreet

            Silly lad..this is The Toon sonny boy.

  • paul mclaughlan


    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Na, they`ve just reverted to what they are, we had a purple patch & it saved us but look at the bigger picture over the whole season we are krap

  • Leazes.

    penalty missed

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      just as well it`s a nightmare

      • Leazes.

        Wasn’t a pen the player came in behind our defender….. that’s about 25 to the opposition in the time we’ve had two.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      I`m going to give the Spuds match a miss

      • porciestreet

        Methinks we’ve already got our last points for the season.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        You’ve not been to a match, ever. How can you give it a miss?

  • DC1964

    What an amazing double save!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      It was at that

  • Philip Whitehead

    Thats a disgraceful 45 minutes.Right from the start they werent at it.Dummett diabolical Murphy Diame Perez and Gayle non existent.The fans who travelled there in their thousands deserve at least a bit of effort.

    • porciestreet

      Problem is you see, you can’t put studs on flip-flops…..!

  • pedrodelgardo

    It is Rafa’s responsibility to the club and it’s fans to ask the owner for more money, in the same way it is a reporters job to generate as many clicks as he can for his owner – nothing to see here.

  • Philippines

    Strange.. comments below don’t seem to match article above.