An interesting article in The Times on Friday morning.

With it being written by George Caulkin, who covers Newcastle United for the national newspaper, it gives the piece extra credence. George is usually pretty much on the ball and not one for idle speculation.

Caulkin talks at length about Rafa’s frustrations this summer, particularly in the transfer market.

Having joined an all but already relegated Newcastle United only two months after leaving Real Madrid, he says the latest Mike Ashley nonsense ‘is not what was envisaged by Benitez’, particularly after the job the manager has done so far with minimal backing from the owner.

George Caulkin says that Rafa’s love and respect for the fans is genuine, not simply ‘belly-tickling’, I think most Newcastle supporters with a few years on the clock know the difference between the genuine ones and the chancers.

The likes of Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson stand out like beacons, with also the likes of Chris Hughton somebody who Newcastle supporters have total respect for.

There are one or two others who could be included in that respected grouping, whereas there are far too many obvious candidates you could list when it comes to chancers we have endured.

Like most Newcastle fans, the man from The Times understands why Rafa Benitez has no intention of staying unless there is significant changes in how the club is ran.

As for the nitty gritty of this current transfer window, Rafa Benitez has already made clear that he can’t bring in any more players unless he sells others and raises cash to buy replacements.

George Caulkin says that with Mitrovic soon to go, that will then allow the manager to at least bring in target Salomon Rondon. Indeed, despite the overall desperate negative picture he put forward this week, the Newcastle manager did say that he still was confident he would get a striker in – though he understandably didn’t put a name to who he expected that to be.

With only 20 days until transfer deadline day though, his report details that including the likely capture of Rondon, the United boss still desperately wants six more new players.

George says that it is unlikely he will get either the quantity or quality he wanted, with Rafa likely to still get some more new signings, but having to go down his list of options and unrealistic as things stand, that it will be anything like the full half dozen.

The picture George Caulkin has put forward is a realistic one, in terms of the kind of recruitment Rafa Benitez wants and indeed needs. The end of last season saw Newcastle with just about the ability to put together a full eleven players that were (to varying degrees) up to the job but beyond that there was next to nothing on the bench.

With Dubravka and Kenedy part of that team last May and with Ki Sung-yueng having replaced Mikel Merino in the squad, the bottom line is at best we have stood still and needing at least six more signings is realistically needed.

George Caulkin from The Times:

‘Benítez is not simply belly-tickling supporters. He loves his relationship with them, the honest spirit of the team he has built, the club’s stature and their city’s rhythms.

‘At the same time, trust has been chipped away and if Ashley will not listen to him, does not offer clarity, will not invest and will not sell up (the owner’s £400 million asking price is prohibitive), then why would he stay?’

On the transfer market:

‘With Aleksandar Mitrovic close to completing a £20 million move to Fulham, there is money to sign Salomón Rondón, of West Bromwich Albion, but Newcastle need more.

‘Benítez wants another five players — unlikely — but even though there will be additions, they will not be from the top of his list.

“If you don’t act quickly then you lose the opportunity and the next player is more difficult and the next maybe doesn’t have the same quality,” he said.

‘This is not what was envisaged by Benítez, the Champions League winner, the serial trophy-hoarder, the details man who came to Newcastle because he saw potential and the chance to mould a club…’



  • Monkseaton Magpies

    As I say judge it at the end of the transfer window not now. I like the line the ever reliable George from the Times. He is an arrogant man to say the least.

    • Graeme Simpson

      I haven’t commented on here for donkey ages now. But what

    • Squintytoonarmy

      It’s donkey ages since I’ve been on here. Intrigued really, why does Jezza think you are a Man Utd fan? I don’t necessarily agree with your posts but they have too much local knowledge to be a Manc?

      • SuperDesHamilton

        His lass ran off with a Geordie hence the hatred

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        He thinks I work for Sports Direct, live in Manchester and have a season ticket for Old Trafford. The truth is I live in Monkseaton, have not missed a home game since 1975 and in the top fifteen supporters for loyalty points for away games. While I do not mind his insults nor others what I object to is the lies and telling other people to block me. Not everyone agrees with my posts but having been there in the bad old days with crowds of 7,000 in the second division I do not class these as troubled times. Some one gets on here called Brian Standen he knows I am genuine so ask him when he next posts.

        • Wor Lass

          I disagree with a lot of what you say but you have a perfect right to say it. You do wind people up at times but there`s nothing wrong with that – don`t we all do it? These sites need a full range of views and are better for the banter that that brings but nasty comments, wishing people dead and so on, are not needed – even in the Fatman`s case.

          • Superdooperhooper

            Surprised you haven’t been called a snowflake or loony leftiy by now . It’s extreme opinions or nothing on here. Either ashley should be dead or you lick his hoop . And all mackems are nonces BTW according to sdh and gg

          • Wor Lass

            I`ve always said what I believed in. Sometimes I`ve had those names – along with happy clapper and others – but I`m actually not bothered. I take being slagged off as a challenge and try to take people on with a bit of humour. It usually works. Most people on here are OK and when it does get nasty it`s usually down to frustration with Fatso.

        • Squintytoonarmy

          You defo not a Manc – I know a lad down here (Gloucestershire) who is good mates with Monty from Berwick as mentioned in another post. In the 80s you knew Monty was at a game as he usually had the shittiest bus in the car park.

          • Wezza

            They google and assume the identity of a Newcastle fan. Like multiple ID’s = multiple personas. I don’t even want to understand the reason why but loneliness comes into it. Rumour was that one of their wives left them.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            He has just moved to Spain recently but will be back for some matches. If you ever want to catch up with he drinks in the Landmark top of China town and stands at the bar.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            He drinks in a restaurant????

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You still never answered my question, why would someone stand at a bar of a restaurant instead of the million bars around it?

      • Superdooperhooper

        I dunno about the man United thing but he was on today saying there’s only 79 season tickets left or something . I asked how he knew and I’m awaiting a reply. My guess is he’s an ashley bean counter or PR stooge

    • Tweed Mag

      Oh dear. Issuing personal insults as a way of undermining the article. I thought you were above that, especially when defending your hero Ashley. Are your wind-ups wearing a bit thin?

      • SuperDesHamilton

        Monkseaton is trying to reach his safe space

        • Tweed Mag

          I thought he had a safe place – an office at Sports direct HQ. It is easy to take the mickey when he posts such drivel.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            I think he’s gonna have a breakdown this weekend the more anti Ashley things he sees.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            If you are from Berwick and a fan you will know Monty.

          • Tweed Mag

            My dog is called Tweed. He also struggles with your opinions.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Please see above for my reasons it is not a personal insult just a fact. Yesterday someone asked me to jump in front of a Metro another jump off a pier. I took it but hate that bloke George and Luke Edwards.

        • Tweed Mag

          There is no need to hate someone because they have a different opinion, or support another club. The fact that you have admitted to such a strong feeling (hate) will always blur your ability to take a balanced view. Ashley has consistently made a mess of his period of ownership. That is a fact and you know it. If there is a lot of money spent on good players before the season starts – great. Recent history would suggest that is a necessity. It also breeds confidence and gives clear direction. Perhaps you can pass that on to your leader.

    • Ram Kishore

      The end of the window is the right time to make a full understanding as to how we did in the transfer window. I have always had that view..

      But imho George is not arrogant ..He pieces have been true in most of the cases..
      Just because he put an exclusive with Stavely that questioned the remarks made by Ashely doesn’t make him a arrogant man..
      Now u seem to be the arrogant one here

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        He is indeed very arrogant. At a meeting at the Irish Centre I said that Ashley had put money into the club and he told the bouncers to throw me out just because I had a different opinion to him. Needless to say I finished my pint first.

        • Chuck D

          Utter b*llox!

          If they wasn’t for the likes of Caulkin and Edwards the truth wouldn’t get out!!

        • SuperDesHamilton

          You’re like a modern day Roald Dahl with these fairytales

    • Paul Patterson

      Like Schteve McClaren’s Judge me after 10 games, then the next ten, then a full season, whoops were relegated . .

      • Kneebotherm8

        😂😂😂😂……….yeah give individuals like that the rope and they’ll definitely hang you…..

    • Chuck D

      Was that arrogant or accurate?

    • Big Hairy Man

      Arrogant? Because he doesn’t lick the hoop of your lord and master.

    • Desree

      Pot kettle black

  • robbersdog

    Six new signings? Perhaps, but only when hell freezes over.

  • NUFC9

    Even if money was made available to buy 6 players we’d have to clear out some of the deadwood first to make room in the squad. Can’t see there being any takers for the likes of Saivet and Colback on premier league wages. False economy signing “cheap” players like this in the first place.

    Mitrovic is the only surplus player any decent club would actually want to buy and he’s a better player than Rondon anyway.

    • NUFC9

      Looks like we could be as we were for the second half of last season but with Mitro downgraded to Rondon, Merino downgraded to Ki and Benitez in the last 9 months of his contract. Progress?

    • SuperDesHamilton

      We’ve lost a potential market of sale regarding Saivet bevause the Turkish economy is on its death bed

  • cc

    Id add Glen Roeder into the list of genuine ones

  • East Durham Mag

    I reckon Boris Johnson hit the nail on the head saying “you can’t polish a t¥rd” Is anyone convinced any money made will be available to Rafa to buy players? Cloud cuckoo land.

    • Leazes.

      Actually you can but you have to freeze it first! The idiom is a lot older than Boris de pfeffel

      • East Durham Mag

        Lol you haven’t tried have you 🤯

    • Desree

      An old boss said you can’t polish a t#rd. But you can roll it in glitter

  • SuperDesHamilton

    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    God loves a trier

  • Paul Patterson

    Yeah right . .

  • Awaymag

    Dont we all

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Rondon,
    looks like another Duck Egg, has Rafa asked for the guy because 1 look at his CV
    say`s he`s not a goal scorer, i wouldn`t pay half what WBA are asking

    • Wor Lass

      He could job share with the Hoss.

    • NUFC9

      Rondon only missed 6 PL games in 3 years for West Brom and has 8 goals per season to show for it. I’d fancy Mitro or Gayle to do better than that if regular first choice. Probably Perez too. Even Joselu could get close to 8 if given a full season.

      • Mxpx

        Mate I’m 3 stone overweight and play 60 mins football a week which is a bit of a challenge fitness wise with work colleagues I reckon I could hit 8-10 for us as well we do create chances it’s converting them were bad at

    • Rich Lawson

      If he hangs on for another season he goes for nowt ! Seems like we are being overcharged here for a man of questionable ability at prem’ level ?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I`m not worried because there`s no way the Great Obese One will
        sanction it

    • Mxpx

      Completely agree wba went down partially because they didn’t score enough is rondon really any better than Dwight gayle

  • Desree

    #IfRondonsignsIgo

  • Foggy

    We have to ask ourselves, do we really want six bargain basement Gamez types at the club? Just because a player has a pulse doesn’t mean we need him, much less want him. All tied down for three years or so? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Sorry Rafa but I don’t see the point in spending money that does not improve the team.

    • HarryHype59

      This club needs quality over quantity. The are at least a full bench of “shirt fillers” on salaries that no one will match and on long term contracts , who are now where near good enough for the first eleven.