Richard Keys has a long record of slating Rafa Benitez.
The disgraced formed Sky Sports presenter openly admitting that he doesn’t like Newcastle boss and having regularly got digs in whenever he can, often using ‘facts’ that are anything but.
As an example of his shameless attempts to undermine Rafa Benitez, last December (2017) was a perfect illustration (read below).
With Newcastle’s underfunded squad, Rafa had just seen his team take one point from nine matches and drop into the relegation zone, and was asking for investment in the January window.
Richard Keys slaughtered him and taunted Rafa, saying he should look at the examples set by how well the ‘Three Brits’ Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes were doing.
Richard Keys smugly declaring: ‘I’ve often wondered how a ‘Super Coach’ would manage at the wrong end of our league – and it looks like I might be getting my answer.’
Keys adding: ‘I’m sorry Rafa, it’s a different game at the other end of the table isn’t it? The run Newcastle are on is NOTHING to do with Mike Ashley and EVERYTHING to do with what’s happening ON the pitch – or rather isn’t happening on the pitch. No Rafa, this one is down to you.’
The one compliment he did give Rafa was in getting promotion but that was just an excuse to really to have another sly dig, saying he’d had £102m to spend and brought in 17 players. The truth of course being that a massive number of players left in summer 2016 and Rafa had to rebuild the whole squad, he did that by bringing in 12 first team squad players (not 17) and actually made a £40m profit in that promotion season, with an estimated spend of around £50m with £90m worth sold…not by spending £102m.
Moving back to the season just ended, Rafa Benitez did a brilliant job, even though restricted to only loan deals in January whilst every other club spent (Allardyce alone spending £50m on Tosun and Walcott), the Newcastle boss ended the season in the top half, ABOVE Roy Hodgson and David Moyes, whilst both Allardyce and Moyes have now got their marching orders AND both Everton and West Ham would love to attract a manager of the ability Rafa Benitez has.
No surprise that Richard Keys has been very quiet about this, unlike when Rafa and Newcastle were struggling in December and Keys was putting the boot in.
However, Richard Keys has now piped up again, but only to have yet another go at Rafa Benitez, this time attempting to portray the Newcastle boss as somebody who will walk out on clubs when he doesn’t get what he wants.
Richard Keys saying on Twitter:
“Rafa won’t leave Newcastle will he?
“He loves the club.
“He’s not the type to walk away when it suits him.”
The sarcasm is 100% obvious but as always he is way off the mark…
This is his managerial record of these past 18 years….
2001-2004 – Valencia:
Won La Liga twice in three years amazingly against the odds, then resigned on 1 June 2004 and taking up the chance to manage Liverpool, a club seen as a significant step up despite Rafa’s success against the offs at Valencia.
2004-2010 – Liverpool:
The highlight was of course winning the Champions League as well as the FA Cup, as well as being losing Champions League finalists another season. Even when the disgraceful Hicks and Gillett took over at Liverpool, Rafa stuck it out for a number of years as he dealt with owners who were almost as bad as Mike Ashley. They eventually forced him out after a six year spell at the club and Rafa was paid compensation, he didn’t walk.
2010 – Inter Milan:
Rafa Benitez had a fractious time at Inter and was sacked only six months into the job.
2012-2013 – Chelsea
Came in mid-season and did an excellent job, winning the Europa League and qualified for the Champions League. However, his short-term contract wasn’t renewed.
2013-2015 – Napoli
Rafa Benitez saw his two year contract out at the Serie A club and still remains on good terms with the hierarchy at the club, as well as coaches and playing staff who remain.
2015-2016 – Real Madrid
Rafa had a go at arguably the toughest and biggest job in World football but it didn’t work out, Real Madrid giving him the push in January 2016.
2016 – ???? – Newcastle United
Well we all know the story at Newcastle don’t we…yes Rafa is fighting his corner but so he should be.
He knows what is needed for Newcastle to progress and he also knows all too well what Mike Ashley is like.
Unlike what Richard Keys is intimating, Rafa Benitez is loyal to the clubs he is employed by but is driven by wanting to compete.
Who wouldn’t want a manager like that?
The Mag – December 2017:
Richard Keys writing on his personal blog:
‘Here’s an inconvenient truth – the three Brits who’ve taken charge at Palace, West Ham and Everton have lifted those clubs 16 places since taking over. Not bad eh? Moyes is fast becoming a hero at West Ham, Allardyce has got Everton moving and Hodgson has got Palace off the bottom and out of trouble.
By the way, if Allardyce can deliver Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January then its ‘lift-off’ at Goodison.
But I’ve often wondered how a ‘Super Coach’ would manage at the wrong end of our league – and it looks like I might be getting my answer. I’ve said before – great credit to Benitez for the job he did getting Newcastle up. It was every bit as good as the job Chris Hughton did the last time they got promoted from the Championship. To get the job done Benitez spent £102m and took 17 players to St James’ Park. Hughton didn’t.
Now the Toon languish in the bottom 3 – having taken just one point from 27. I’ll say that again – one point from 27. Benitez wants more money to correct the problem.
Of course he does. I’m sure Alan Pardew does at West Brom. I’m sure Paul Clement does. I’m sure David Moyes, Eddie Howe and Roy Hodgson do. I sure Mark Hughes does. Will they get it? I don’t think so.
No, I’m sorry Rafa, it’s a different game at the other end of the table isn’t it? The run Newcastle are on is NOTHING to do with Mike Ashley and EVERYTHING to do with what’s happening ON the pitch – or rather isn’t happening on the pitch. No Rafa, this one is down to you.’
Extract from Newcastle United accounts for period up to 30 June 2016:
‘Subsequent to the balance sheet date the club has generated a net surplus of around £40m in respect of changes to the playing squad.”