Phil Thompson is a fully signed up member of the Rafa Benitez appreciation society.

Last season the former Liverpool defender was full of praise for the job the Newcastle boss did on such limited resources.

Moving on to the new season and Phil Thompson sees it very much as same again, declaring ‘Rafael Benitez has done incredible stuff at Newcastle but it’s just déjà vu.’

Newcastle’s top half finish last season, was the first time in five years that a promoted club had achieved an instant top 10 position in the top tier.

However, for Rafa to progress the team, Thompson says: ‘He needs more backing and he’s not getting it.’

Phil Thompson picks out Lascelles and Dubravka as key men this coming season but is in no doubt as to who the real top man will be: ‘Benitez can get them on a few good runs to get them over the line.’

Fair to say that Newcastle fans are more concerned at the other end due to a lack of creativity and goals, the final three pre-season friendlies seeing NUFC fail to score any goals whatsoever.

With Rondon and Muto so far unavailable and both Shelvey and Kenedy not playing a lot of minutes pre-season, there is at least some scope for improvement, especially if there is some other positive news late in this transfer window.

Extracts from the Sky Sports Newcastle United preview:

‘Newcastle became the first promoted team in five years to secure a top-half finish at the first attempt when Rafa Benitez guided them to tenth place thanks to a strong finish to the season. But any hope that this could prove the catalyst for further improvement is now diminished given the lack of investment in the club over the summer.

In a world of ever-escalating transfer fees, Newcastle have not broken their transfer record in 13 years. Mike Ashley’s protracted sale of the club has stalled and this has left them in limbo, hoping to do just enough to stay up but with an owner who is seemingly unwilling to invest any more than is absolutely necessary. It is not an inspiring environment.

The supporters remain passionate about their club and while Benitez is at the helm, they will continue to dream. Jamaal Lascelles has developed into a formidable centre-back – a reminder that there is still some talent at St James’ Park. But with Benitez out of contract next summer, Newcastle go into the campaign with concern as well as excitement.’

Phil Thompson:

“Rafael Benitez has done incredible stuff at Newcastle but it’s just déjà vu.

“He needs more backing and he’s not getting it.

“If he’s going to stay then he’s just got to get on with it as it is a joy for every Geordie that he is there.

“We hear about these stand-offs but Rafa remains there, so it can’t all be bad.

“The transfer business isn’t fulfilling any of the passions, but they know Benitez can get them on a few good runs to get them over the line.

“Rafa has always been a great defensive organiser and signing the goalkeeper is key as he impressed me with the way he organised the back four.

“Jamaal Lascelles has been a player who has attracted the interest of top clubs and he’ll be vital for Benitez in keeping the defensive unit solid.”



  • Monkseaton Magpies

    If we can get four points out of the first two games it will be four more than last season. These two games are important so get behind the team on Saturday.
    Seventy five single seats left otherwise it’s limited in the Family Enclosure or the sixty two pounds tickets in the Platinum.

    • TheFatController

      The supper for Rafa and the team will be massive.

      Which, given both are on a stand off with Ashley must get right up his nose. If only he could be loved and have a beer in the Emirates away end like the good old days.

      But just like his childhood, he makes friends but then his need to have it all his way meant everyone just took an intense dislike to him.

      Repetitive patterns eh?

      • Wor Lass

        Love that predictive text!

        • TheFatController

          Sorry – changed. The fans and Rafa aren’t likely to get Ashley’s Massive supper. If there’s one thing he loves more than money…

    • Ken

      🤡

    • SuperDesHamilton

      If wishes were fishes we’d all be swimming as well

      • Wor Lass

        Swimming with the fishes … good idea!

    • Tino11

      Challenge to Monkseaton, I will meet you outside any pub/bar in Newcastle or Monkseaton, on any day or night whilst it is still light. We both have a copy of that days Chronicle and have a photo taken together showing ourselves and the name of the bar/pub, the photo is then uploaded to imgur, you can hide your face with the paper if you wish. Then within 2 days you log in to your disqus account and confirm the meeting took place and tell everyone how to find the photo on imgur.

      Do we have a deal Monk?

      • Megatron1505

        He’ll have to check the National Express schedule from Manchester first.

        • foggy

          Or Shirebrook.

      • Ben Jones

        Completely unnecessary, you think we wouldn’t believe your word?

        • Ken

          troll 🤡

          • Wezza

            Ben Jones and Monkseaton have the same IP address. How about that.
            It’d be quicker for me to meet him in the Black Horse but he won’t accept because we all know he is a troll.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            All you lot do is just turn everything into troll this troll that, just block them for goodness sake! Try add something to the discussions

          • Ben Jones

            Oh really, what’s the ip address then?

      • Billmag

        Nice one 👍

      • TheFatController

        Pub, bar, or lift, maybe?

      • Christopher Smeaton

        👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

      • Squintytoonarmy

        I’ve already offered that. Was willing to meet him in Chinatown where he claims Monty drinks. I’m surprised generally there isn’t a forum get together

        • Kev Newcastle England

          Monty the alleged legend from the 80’s? East End?

          • Squintytoonarmy

            That’s him – i actually think Monkseaton isn’t a troll. Others think he is a Man Utd supporter but he refers to Monty and how he was in Berwick. A Man Utd fan wouldn’t know that.

          • Brian Standen

            I have a feeling I know him, don’t agree with a lot of what he says but his knowledge of some games you can’t find on the internet!

          • Squintytoonarmy

            Agreed – snippets of what he says isnt one of two brothers from Manchester. He can go back years on some obscure matches

      • Wor Lass

        Whether or not he`s from Manchester or Monkseaton I really don`t know but what is certain is that he`s a wind-up merchant. He loves getting under people`s skin and always does just enough to get a response. There`s no way he will meet with you or anyone else because he loves the mystery persona he`s created and the fact that his alleged “real self” is the elder statesman of a trolling dynasty so he`s not going to spoil it. I really don`t mind him because he does at least refer to the football and current issues at the club rather than launching simple, child-like tirades and making snidey little comments along the lines of Ben Jones, Des Hamilton and Tony English.

        • Ben Jones

          I don’t feel there’s any need to drag Tony into this

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Cheers for the shout out 👍🏻

          • Wor Lass

            You do at least make comments about the football as well as doing all the peurile stuff, I`ll give you that.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Maybe pepole were sick to death of the Leazes and his mafia so decided to act

          • Wor Lass

            “decided to act” …. like kids.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You’d know all about that though aye? What’s your pals ever brought to the table except troll this troll that Blocked?

            Go look at how I’ve just explained about that defender at Toulouse or how we bought the wrong defender from Depor I know more than moat people so I can say what I like especially when I bring a hell of a lot of information to the discussion

          • Wor Lass

            As I`ve already said, below, you do, in fact, comment on the football and your knowledge of the European game is good – a lot better than mine. Stick to that, it`ss much better.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Tino, I had hoped to meet Monk’ at Wembley last season for the Spurs game but in the end I couldn’t go (he did). I hope to arrange to see him at Man City later this month if you want a pint.

        • TheFatController

          I’m sorry, is that supposed to prove mugpie is real?

          That’s the best ever yet on here. Priceless !

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            No, simply that there are some simpletons on here believe there are fake accounts who don’t join in with the ‘Ashley out’ nonsense. If there are any simpletons who are old enough to drink then I am happy to meet them for a pint before or after the games I go to. This should prove there are no fake accounts. Monk’ is a better fan than me and will be at all the games so folk can kill two birds with one stone.

      • Leazes.

        He’s not from monkseaton, but he is also….’fleckman’

      • Brian Standen

        Can I come to as the camera man, perhaps I can get some leaflets to give him to share with his mates!

    • Ken

      🤡

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Wtf

  • Ken

    he obviously doesn`t know about the £6m penalty clause

  • Sickandtired

    He’s still here because, quite rightly, he’s not prepared to pay Ashley £6 million to break his contract!

  • East Durham Mag

    Its not joy for everyone on here as some fkwits want him to go. Dunno what they are though apart from trolls.

  • Wezza

    One of the rare times I will agree with Phil Thompson.

    If this was Jose Mourinho in Rafa’s situation we would never hear the end of it.
    He is the one moaning and whingeing on yet he spent 50+ million on Fred? Why isn’t Jose being slaughtered? Clearly the trolls are hypocrites and live in the shadow of the blue half of the city. They can’t compete with City and this season Liverpool will overtake them as well, perhaps even win the title. It’s going to be another season where we can all laugh at Man Utd!

    • That club has been run poorly for ages and so has Barcelona, but NUFC are not like that. Rafa needed 100m this window and was willing to sell unwanted players and has, but he actually made money and still got some better players than last year! That was an almost impossible feat considering the wage and transfer fees standard of the Premier League!

      • Wezza

        I agree mate he has been exceptional at motivating the players but the fans at home last season were great and really spurred us on to beat the top teams. I really hope we get like that again this season but all this negativity and the disagreement over the squad bonuses are enough to effect the performances.

    • Mark Davies

      Agree with what you say but please dont call then city. They are man city at best same as the other lot are man u and thats pushing it.

      Theres only one United and they play in black and white…a lot of cities though. Always been partial to norwich after the milk cup final against a small town in durham haha

  • Considering Ashley never buys in January, unless we are facing relegation, it’s safe to assume, what Benitez gets now will be it.

  • Ben Jones

    If this big nose idiot has said anything bad about rafa or good about the clubs prospects I’m gonna be livid at the ugly [email protected], but if the footballing legend who’s opinion I’ve always respected praises rafa and takes a dig at the owner then it just cements my initial belief this guy is smart

  • Phil Yare

    sit down pinocchio