There can’t be another club, certainly not in the Premier League, where the manager remaining in position is more important than is the case with Rafa Benitez at St James Park.

Some outsiders choose not to understand, both fans of other clubs as well as some in the media.

It isn’t that Newcastle fans think that no other manager in the world is as good as Rafa Benitez.

It is rather that Newcastle supporters know that any other manager remotely in the same ball park as the Spaniard, wouldn’t touch a Mike Ashley owned Newcastle United with the proverbial bargepole.

We know we are lucky to have Rafa and we know that he is the only positive thing at NUFC presently, which could lead to a better future.

We have a handful of decent players, with maybe one or two such as Kenedy (only on loan) and Lascelles who could potentially turn out to be a bit better than that, but they are no world beaters.

So our hopes, as it stands, all rest on Rafa Benitez. The driving force then behind the reasoning for the #IfRafaGoesWeGo supporter initiative.

Just like a year ago, the Newcastle manager has chosen to wait until the pre-season training camp in Ireland to express his concerns about the lack of transfer activity.

Until that point he had stayed quiet, presumably hoping some ambition and goodwill would be shown by Mike Ashley.

With the foreshortened summer window now, by the time Rafa spoke out before the first friendly against St Patrick’s Athletic, there was only four weeks until the kick-off of the Premier League and less than that until the transfer window slams shut. He literally couldn’t have left it any longer before speaking out and telling everybody that Newcastle needed so much more in terms of new signings.

Benitez has gradually ramped up the comments/pressure and then it really exploded on Wednesday night, a totally demoralising performance and result saw Newcastle lose 4-0 to Braga.

To be honest, I think it would have happened four days later, if not for the fact that Porto were denied a four goal minimum victory due to the woodwork, great goalkeeping, bad luck, and some desperate last-ditch defending.

However, the Braga game broke the dam and Rafa Benitez spoke out, the vast majority in sympathy with him due to his impossible predicament with Mike Ashley, but a minority now pouncing negatively on his very public demands for more backing on transfers (not even taking into account the zero investment on the Academy, training ground and St James Park).

A typical example was Richard Keys on Friday:

“Shut up Rafa – or walk – which is your right. “The club will survive you.

“Mike Ashley isn’t going to change for you. He was right last season – you had more than enough.”

A lot of other people are also, bizarrely, using the relative success of last season AGAINST Rafa Benitez.

I think that with the small net spend that was allowed last summer, plus no buys allowed in the January, and the level of squad Newcastle already had, there would have been a 95% chance of relegation under any other manager (who Mike Ashley would/could have appointed).

The players of course deserve credit for responding to the manager’s direction and passion BUT Rafa Benitez was surely at least 75% of the reason why Newcastle survived last season.

Now the likes of Richard Keys and others are turning around and basically saying, ‘look, Newcastle were the 10th best team last season, the same group of players should at worst only drop a couple of places, so what’s the big problem?’

The truth is something very different, with Newcastle being deep in relegation trouble for the first eight months of the season and ending up with a points total as high as 44, due to a key combination of Rafa’s expertise, almost no major injury issues, and big helpings of luck at times.

For starters, 44 points is the lowest ever total to get a top half finish in the Premier League, and if results had gone wrong on the final day, Newcastle could have finished as low as 15th.

Also, most of the football was negative and poor to watch but only because Rafa had no choice. With such a limited squad, the manager had to try and battle it out and eke out points, especially against others at the bottom.

On top of that, the survival was based on two smallish runs of games/form, when Rafa Benitez managed to get players as a team, performing above themselves.

After two defeats Rafa motivated his players to then go on a seven match run which featured four wins and two draws. Between 26 August and 21 October, Newcastle beat West Ham, Swansea, Stoke, and Crystal Palace, all struggling teams who also battled against relegation all season. Rafa’s game plan really worked dividends as we edged past them, West Ham the only really decisive win.

Then from 11 February to 15 April, Rafa conjured up another seven game run of form, this time five wins and a draw that took us to safety. This run being massively down to the initial impact Dubravka and Kenedy gave us – wins over Man Utd, Leicester, Arsenal, Southampton and Huddersfield following. The fact that this group of players played above themselves was summed up, when that run was followed by poor late season defeats against Watford, West Brom, Everton and Tottenham.

The bottom line is that you simply can’t rely on that same group of players hitting anywhere near the same heights over a whole season, without additional significant investment in the team/squad

Actually, it sums it up if when you take away those two runs of seven games, the other 24 matches saw only three wins and 16 defeats. The three victories being close wins at both West Ham and Stoke, as well as that end of season finale when Chelsea totally failed to turn up.

It WAS an achievement to get 44 points and finish 10th, and the Newcastle fans rightly celebrated, BUT only really because it was such a triumph against the odds as Rafa Benitez had performed a minor miracle with the squad that he had.

Holding up that tenth placed finish as something to beat Rafa Benitez about the head with, is just so wrong.

He is demanding proper investment in the squad to give Newcastle the best chance of staying up and some kind of opportunity to maybe match last season’s points total and league position.

He is not, as the likes of Sam Allardyce and Richard Keys would have you believe, demanding unrealistic extra cash to try and get Newcastle moving on towards that top six, or even top eight.

Burnley finished seventh last season with 54 points and I would be amazed if any Newcastle fan thinks this current team/squad has the remotest chance of matching that points total/league position. even the same with Everton who were eighth on 49 points last time, minimal/zero opportunity for this NUFC squad to match that.

However, if Rafa Benitez had been given the same transfer backing this summer as Fulham, then who knows what he/we could have done?

Instead, the Newcastle manager is once again scratching around for bargains and with Adam Armstrong now also moving out and adding a couple of million to the total, Mike Ashley is currently sitting on a transfer surplus of some £27m+ this summer on buys v sales.

Rafa Benitez is most definitely the answer, not the problem, at this club. It is pretty much everything else at Newcastle United that is rotten under Ashley and ruining any chance of NUFC once again moving forwards.

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  • Geordiegiants

    Dean let’s be honest, only z listers are making waves to try and get some publicity.

    • Toon River

      I wouldn’t say they are z listers mate, they are obviously doing something right. I wouldn’t mind being a million pounds behind either of them haha. I don’t listen to it too much though. The vast majority of football opinion and journalism is hot air

  • Kneebotherm8

    Conversely…….Ashley is the problem at this club and not the answer.

  • Toon River

    If you look at it from Keys point of view you can understand the bare bones of it, he’s sick of hearing Rafa moaning. We know Rafas frustrations but someone who doesn’t support the club could find it tedious. I get sick of hearing Mourinho whinge about lack of spending at Manchester United, yet they’ve spent a fortune since he’s been there. Keys has probably said it without thinking how many people he would annoy. He’s not alone in his thinking, for whatever reason there’s a lot of people who don’t have much time for rafa. It’s the same in all walks of life, some people love you and others can’t stand you. I try not to listen to the sports media world too much. It’s all just personal opinion

    • Damon Horner

      I think it would be more understandable if it wasn’t for the fact he’d be roundly blamed for a relegation. I honestly think if Keys had Rafa’s job he wouldn’t admit to be grateful for generous backing.

    • Ram Kishore

      Nice comment. i suspect few of Nufc support may also be feeling bad about Rafa’s interview.
      I am not gonna lie..i was a bit annoyed about Rafa last season because he voiced his concerns too many times from the end to June until August.
      This time I feel he’s been more Calm, collected and diplomatic yet i feel this could have been avoided by the club. Because there must be a positive atmosphere before a season starts in my opinion.

      • Toon River

        I agree, all this negativity is certainly not going to inspire the team.

  • Damon Horner

    Considering we’ve just seen a West Brom side who finished the season before in 10th AND Stoke who finished with 44 points both relegated, tells you it’s just plain stupid to think it can’t happen.

    • HarryHype59

      I think 99% on here agree with you on that point. I wish the owner would realise this.

      Short term profit > long term financial growth in eyes of this owner.

  • Megatron1505

    Richard Keys is neither a journalist or a commentator, he is simply an agitator in the mould of Adrian Durham on Talksport. Much like the current troll infestation on here he knows he is spouting nonsense to try and get a reaction and therefore publicity. He is the football equivalent of Jeremy Kyle.

    Anyone taking anything more than a cursory look at last season will know that relegation was a distinct possibility for most sides in the league well into the last month. We finished tenth, but it was far from a comfortable tenth.

  • Billmag

    Key’s has had his golden day now he is just a nomadic sole in the desert.

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Man Utd survived Fergy – though not without major problems, but Newcastle may not survive in the Prem without Rafa – or even in the Championship. We will not attract a manager above journeyman standard when he goes.

    When he arrived I was somewhat cynical about the “Fat Spanish Waiter”, but his conduct has been exemplary on and off the pitch. His standard of professionalism and ability with players dwarfs the dismal skills of the window cleaner from Palace, and his predecessors. He would be a natural for another 10 years at SJP – if he had the support of the owner., and I’d bet he’d get us to 6th-7th on a regular basis with more investment in players.

    He’s had to play a cautious and damage limitation game given the quality of the squad and hunt for points rather than playing the beautiful game – but he has pretty much got the best out of the players. 10th was above most of our expectations.

    • ghostrider

      His conduct has been far from exemplary. He’s whinged and whined his way through his tenure.

      • TheFatController

        You’re hopeless at changing people’s opinion on Rafa.

        People probably like him more not less when you start your bizarre vitriol. So carry on…

        • ghostrider

          Keep your opinion until you expire. The same goes for anyone else.
          I have no wish to change anyone’s opinion but I will certainly have mine.

          • BanJones

            Ooooh you are so bwave.

          • BanJones

            and blocked.

      • Rafalution 14

        Because he is not a yes man to your God.
        He has won enough across multiple leagues and countries to know what is needed to improve a club within an acceptable budget.
        Pardew, carver, Allardyce haven’t won a major trophy in their life

        • ghostrider

          Rafa winning trophies at other clubs means nothing to me.
          What does mean a lot to me is in him earning his massive wages.
          This means he coaches and manages the players the club affords him.
          If he can’t do it then let someone else try.
          If he believes he can, then stop whining and get on with what you’re paid to do.

          If he’s so upmarket that he requires bigger money bag clubs to cater for his whim, then he should go and hand in his remarkable CV and make that club super proud to have him onboard on massive wages.

          I don’t buy into messiah’s anymore….not after the Keegan fiasco.
          I buy into any manager that can get a team to play football to entertain the fans with a potential bonus of winning something if at all possible.

          • Rafalution 14

            Good that you mentioned “players the club can afford”. Rafa’s best signings in terms of value in last 5 year(, I wouldnt includ players like Reina, agger, torres,Coutinho, sterling) based on research.

            Kalidou koulibaly ( bought for 6.5 mil current value approx 50 mil)

            Dries Mertens ( 9.5 to current value of 45 mil)

            Jorginho ( 7.5 to current value of 50 mil)

            Ghoulam, callejon etc have their values appreciated too

            I am sure based on what he has generated, the club can afford players like these

            So if you get his A Listers early they are not that expensive.

            Getting them early is the key.

          • ghostrider

            Sterling? Coutinho? Jorghino?
            I think you’re being a bit sneaky aren’t you?

            If you want to argue from those points then all we have to do is wait for Murphy, Atsu, Dubravka,…and so on and so on…Rafa’s buys to end up in the big brackets like those you mention and then he can wheel and deal in the higher stakes.

            Fair enough?
            It seems he’s not interested in that because he won’t sign…so why won’t he sign?
            Is it because he wants those kind of signings as ready made?

          • Rafalution 14

            Sneaky ??

            Those were his signings .he signed sterling for Liverpool before he left, coutinho at inter and jorginho at Napoli.

          • ghostrider

            You fail to mention all the rest who he signed.
            That’s why I say sneaky.
            You’re playing a bias.
            You’re also handing him a lot of one upmanship with those 3 I mentioned who were kids.

          • Rafalution 14

            What i meant was, he has a good eye for players even when his own future is uncertain.
            Of course every manager makes mistakes, so does he.

            But a successful manager makes few mistakes.
            His dedication to work and attention to detail is unquestionable.

            Well in any case it’s his last season here under Ashley’s regime.

            It will not affect Rafa’s market value, it will be a loss to Newcastle United.
            I remember media, carra and Gerard saying how Hodgson will transform Liverpool after Rafa.
            We all saw what happened then.
            Liverpool finally reached knock out stages of champions league 7 yearsafter Rafa left

          • KK

            Grow up, Ashley’s mouth piece

      • Laurents left foot

        And why shouldn’t he whinge and whine, he wants the very best squad of players he can get for this club. He has to say these things in public because that is the only way he can communicate to the owner.

        I cannot believe that you are a genuine fan of Newcastle United, if you are happy with a club that is ran by such a spiteful, clandestine, hubris owner, who only cares about Fattening his wallet.

        • ghostrider

          So tell me what you want…you being a fan of Newcastle United.
          Tell me what Rafa should be given and also tell me what wages this club should be stretching to in order for Rafa to have his wishes.

          I’ll await your answer.

          • Laurents left foot

            I would love to have an owner who does not use smoke and mirrors and pr/media friends to keep its fans expectations as low as possible. All I know is this is not a properly ran football club and you may say that it was before Ashley took over but at least then I actually felt like we tried to compete, a cup run was not out of the realms of possibility. I don’t feel like that anymore.

            We all know rafa is not being backed otherwise he wouldn’t be saying what he is saying.

            I didn’t mention anything about wages but I’m sure we have enough in the bank to be competitive.

          • KK

            Go and get a life, ghost whatever

          • KK

            Ghostrider and Mike Ashley are very similar, they both chat absolute rubbish

          • KK

            Rafa should be told the truth and treated with respect, Ashley hates any person that is a good person as he does not understand how to be caring and respectful.
            Ashley struggles to form relationships with good people as they can see right through him and you are just like him.

      • KK

        So would you if you kept getting punched in the mouth

      • Angelswithdirtyfaces

        As you constantly whinge and whine about Rafa, and clearly despise him, however much you deny the fact, then your opinion is worth zilch

        • ghostrider

          My opinions are worth everything to me. They may not suit you or many others but that’s fine. Many of other people’s opinions do not suit my way of thinking but I respect their opinion even if I counter argue it.

      • Ron

        He is fighting his corner to try and compete with the rest of the PL

        • ghostrider

          It seems like he’s spending far too much time whining and putting down his own team/squad.
          He has been competing with the best of the rest of the premier league.
          This club doesn’t have the big bucks to compete with the elites, so we have to pick the bones like all the rest…regardless of whether people think they’re spending big money and are better set up.
          They’re simply not better set up and in my opinion they are playing a dangerous game with their funds.

          We aren’t.

  • ghostrider

    Most fans will not admit it but this mindset and hatred of Ashley and adherence to Rafa is based on having the sweeties taken away not long after Ashley arrived…in Keegan.
    Fans scorned, never to be pacified, until they get pacified, only to feel scorned once again.
    Basically speaking, we want what we feel we deserve because we are Newcastle United fans and we are a massive club that have no right to be playing anywhere other than up the very top.

    Will many, if any fans admit to this?
    Of course not, because it makes them look deluded and petty, etc.

    The hatred for Ashley runs so deep with some, that they will hang onto anything and anyone who appears (even a smidge) to go against him.
    This is why Pardew and co were never ever going to win a managerial accolade with the fans but a person like Rafa….like Keegan will do not wrong in the eyes of some…no matter what issues are in their tenure.

    This is why Rafa can get away with baffling tactics that depress most fans in a lot of games and as to why 10th is played out as a success.
    Rafa can literally leave out players (Mitrovic as an instance) that could potentially change things up, striking wise in favour of a player (Joselu) who the fans could clearly see was having little to no joy in the system Rafa used…but somehow it was reasoned that Rafa was a genius and he knew all along what he was doing.

    You see, Ashley had apparently stifled Rafa so much that the fans were willing to accept us finishing 1 point above relegation and Rafa was to be called a master genius for managing to accomplish this so called mammoth task.

    They were even ready to back Rafa if he relegated us and pour all the blame onto Ashley.
    It’s thankful that the real general consensus is not quite as nailed on as it appears, which is why the ground gets filled on most occasions.
    But still, the issue is in fans following the leader or bandwagon jumping in order to not let on that they don’t fully agree with everything the die hard movement/boycott crew decide is the appropriate action.

    Rafa is allowed to bemoan all transfers as if he’s being forced into them as somehow his 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th or even not a choice at all.

    And yet we never get to see his supposed first choice targets that he somehow always fails to get.
    Are they real or are they so far out of the reality of the club as to not merit a mention?

    Instead, Rafa would rather put down the players he has by saying they are not good enough, but using choice words to clearly play the same effect to anyone willing to listen or decipher.

    We get told that he can’t keep producing miracles in keeping this club 10th with the players he has.
    Miracles?

    Did any fans take note last season when he was producing football so dire that even the players lost all interest?
    Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, etc….just looked like they gave up.
    They were dropped and also given a right old going over by certain fans for not putting in the effort…but they were putting in the effort it was simply, they were burning out because they spent most of the game defending and being bored out of their tree.

    Rafa dropped them and tried to carry on playing his mind numbing football.
    We went on a relegation run and were looking favourites for the drop right up until January.

    Then a miracle really did happen.
    Not only did Rafa earn a stroke of luck and reprieve with Kenedy and Dubravka hitting the ground running, he was actually forced into playing football in a much more balanced way…attacking as and when feasible to do so, rather than sitting back against teams that were no better than we were.

    That’s why we ended up 10th…because we had a go…because Rafa had little option to do otherwise.
    We ended up 10th because Kenedy breathed new life into the rest of the players and gave them the chance to get some forward impetus.

    Rafa played a get out of jail free card.
    As for being some kind of genius. Not a chance.

    The man is riding on his own ego backed by certain fans who as massaging it…and he knows it…and it’s a dangerous precedent to set because it does not aid the club in any way shape or form when you have one employee being paid a fortune by an employer and that employee is leading the fans on and using them against the employer, to get his own way and to show that he’s supposedly no yes man.

    Rafa is covered yet again because of this pre-season hatred of Ashley, just like he was covered last season.
    This time he can run out his contract no matter what the team does, because everything plays into his hands.

    If the new signings do well and the squad seem to be doing well, Rafa will be a a genius working under strained and miserly conditions.
    There will be begging banners for him of ” please don’t go” and all the rest, because it’ll all be down to him.

    If it all goes wrong amid a movement that unsettles the players and also a Rafa set up that is basically as dire as last season…and we end up near the bottom….it doesn’t matter because it’s all Ashley’s fault and everyone else’s except Rafa who’s having to work under the most treacherous conditions known to man, whilst banking his 100,000 plus a week wages.

    He’s a messiah so what can we expect?
    The best thing that can happen to this club is for him to walk away or be sacked….IF…..I say “IF” he decides to carry on moaning and also sets us up negative.

    I want him gone, personally. I don’t like him as a manager. As a person I think he’s a man who massages his own ego but plays it out as if he’s badly done to if his ways are not adhered to in every aspect.

    I’ll hazard another guess as well.
    It would not surprise me one bit if many of the players would like to see him gone and a new manager with a spring in his step is a hope.

    As for the players coming out and championing him. I’ve seen that all my life as a fan.
    It’s always a set amount of players stood out before us to champion a manager, no matter who it is…so I take very little notice of that as anything like a truth.

    It’s got to the stage with Rafa, with me, that’s he’s starting to sicken me with his shenanigans.

    Won’t commit?
    Do the right thing Rafa and walk….or pipe down and get on with what you signed a contract for, that you spend many weeks going over with your lawyer to dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s to cover everything in your favour.

    Well, apparently your contract must be getting honoured or you could walk away owing nothing…but it seems that you can’t walk away, so what gives?

    • SuperDesHamilton

      4/10

      Would not read again.

      • ghostrider

        Once is enough.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Too much, read the first few words. It’s appatheic rubbish as usual

          • ghostrider

            It’s there for anyone to read. It’s not specific to you so you can read one word or the lot.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Cool story

          • ghostrider

            Don’t you do like the rest do and put bro at the end? lol

    • Steve Smith

      Didn’t read. You’re a very bored troll.

      • ghostrider

        Clearly you did read.

        • BanJones

          Is there any end to the drivel you spout? Good God man, get a grip!

      • Wezza

        He is a Man Utd fan who troll here to wind people up and they live for the reaction they get. I say they because it is two brothers on loads of different ID’s.

        • Ron

          I’ve blocked two others but not him, I do think he’s a Newcastle fan, but deluded.

    • TheFatController

      Sorry you lost me three paragraphs in. I have a life, this is a forum format, not fourFourtwo

      You’re also are always on the same subject – Rafa v Ashley and you’re in Ashley’s corner.

      Why do you not even venture into talking abkut anything else? Agenda-led monologues are your thing, making great generalisations without any research (today I saw the claim ‘the ground is full because plenty agree with you that it’s as much Rafa is the problem as Ashley and he should get on with it as he’s had plenty’)

      What a poor writer you are that you can make these claims yet have absolutely no idea what most fans are thinking. Who does know? There’s no survey. You can’t speak on behalf of 52k people. You make this site poorer for such boldly proclaimed but woefully unsubstiated rubbish.

      • Wor Lass

        My compliments, Sir! That`s as gentlemanly a way of saying, “You`re a complete and utter bell end, why don`t you just f*ck off and don`t come back” as i`ve seen in a long time. It won`t have the desired effect, though.

      • ghostrider

        52,000 fans do not have to think like me.
        But 52,000 fans are not following the thoughts of those that want Ashley out and Rafa rules…are they?
        They are there to support and be a fan of Newcastle United football club which puts a team of players on that pitch for their adherence to at any time.
        Those players will regularly change, just like Rafa and just like Ashley.
        Even the fans will change into offspring and alternatives whilst others expire in life….but as it stands there’s 52,000 at a time watching.

        That’s because they know that one man does not make a club and one manager does not rule one, just as no player becomes bigger than it.

        • Ron

          I honestly think 51995 don’t think like you, you are entitled to your opiniion, but I happen to think you’re wrong.

          • ghostrider

            No problem if you think I’m wrong. You are absolutely entitled to your opinion.

      • Superdooperhooper

        I don’t often block people but his long winded ill informed drivel was doing my head in

      • SuperDesHamilton

        He despises Benitez and it really skews his views/judgement wonder if Rafa rattled his wife or something

    • Silva Fox77

      I don’t think it’s quite as cut and dry as you suggest. The club has money, it’s just choosing not to spend it! Our first team isn’t bad on paper, but still needs a good striker (we’ve known that since Demba Ba) Rafa has kept very quiet until this week, and I feel for him, as it’s obvious that promises were made that have not been kept! We have shipped out a lot of players, reducing the wage bill and bringing in some good money, however what is the point of selling Mitrovic if the money won’t be there to reinvest. The team struggled through good parts of last season and our squad as a whole is pretty weak, a couple of injuries and we’re in trouble (Lejeune will be a huge miss!) Ashley is taking the fans for mugs, and although I don’t believe Rafa is the messiah, he is a bloody good manager that was promised reinvestment in a team that could have progressed from last season. Now it looks like it’ll be another season of scraping points from the teams at the bottom!

      • ghostrider

        You mention we need a striker. We have just bought one…..but…

        Rafa played Joselu for most of last season. Fans said Joselu was forced on Rafa or that he was 4th/5th choice or whatever.

        We had a player (Mitrovic) left in the doldrums who didn’t appear to fit into Rafa’s plans/set up….and yet Joselu did.
        Here’s a question for you.
        Why didn’t he play Mitrovic into a system?

        If Fulham believe Mitrovic is worth 27 million then that theoretically means that we had a 27 million pound player just thrown to the dogs whilst a 5 million pound misfiring (but grafting) striker was consistently sent out.

        No matter how many ways it can be looked at and argued in a favour of Rafa…..none of it stacks up as being rational…unless Mitrovic was laid up in a full body cast which nullified him.

        • Silva Fox77

          I see your point, I really do but in Rafa’s eyes, Mirtovic either didn’t have the mentality he was after or didn’t fit his system. I agree that Joselu didn’t work out either. Muto is a high energy player but his scoring record isn’t great and people that have seen him play in Germany have suggested that he just isn’t good enough…Hopefully they’re wrong! If we get Rondon in, and fullback cover I’ll actually think it hasn’t been a bad window! The crux of the situation is an owner who constantly tests the fans rather than pacifying our fears and desires by discussing what his plans are! Ashley is a leech on the club, or he is too shrewd. Either way releasing a statement to the Chronicle would at least give the fans some answers rather than tuning in here everyday for some more blank news! Look at how Fulham, Wolves, Palace and West Ham are strengthening their squads, and then compare them to our outgoings. It makes us look inept, cheap and brings disharmony to the city.

          • ghostrider

            If Rafa can play Joselu as a striker then Mitrovic can fit into a system.
            Unless Joselu wasn’t played as a striker and was merely played as a defensive forward…if that really makes any sense.
            Because that’s how Rafa looked to have employed him and as to why he played him so often.
            Too many fans worry far too much about the owner. They worry about how much the owner will hand out.
            Who cares?
            None of us can change what is handed out or whether it’s a wheel and deal.
            It will be what it will be and each time it’s always the same. We sell players and get players in like every other club.

            Ok so we don’t break records or buy players that have some kind of name we can all adhere to…..so what?
            Yeah West Ham and all the rest are buying big. Fulham have just splashed out 27 million on a striker. How ambitious?
            How silly of the selling club to sell such a striker. (Can you see where I’m coming from?)

            Where did all those big spending clubs finish last season, outside of the elites, compared to us?

            Too many fans are getting caught up in the nonsense of the big spend or die carry on…but the reality for most will be…spend big and die …unless you are the elite.

            We all want more but we have to accept that hope and expectation have to be separated, because there’s always hope, regardless…but expectation gives no scope for hope….only misery, because it can never ever be achieved.

            To enjoy your fan experience you have to think humble and think club/team/squad as is and as was….not what should be or what’s expected to be.

            Any player can be any price you want in your mind. It doesn’t require digits on a TV screen or in a paper coming in or out of our club to place value on what we think on a player.

            The free transfer can be Mr prolific or dependable.
            The record signing could be an overall flop and disliked.

            It just depends on how we all see the players and evaluate them on that pitch.
            That’s what we,as fans, should concentrate on…not the man behind the curtain.

          • Silva Fox77

            Again I agree with you in many ways, I’m not asking for a marquee signing of 40m, but I expect along with most fans that the TV revenue from sky should be reinvested into the team.. Whether that be improving the pitch, youth academy, stadium facilities or essentially players! I would have liked to have seen Mitrovic utilised for most tof the season ahead of Joselu, but I’m not the manager… Rafa was verbally promised cash to invest in the squad l, that wasn’t forthcoming so he’s worked hard to reduce the wage bill and surplus players, but again the cash isn’t there to get more through the door… We need fullback cover desparately along with cover for the injured Lejeune.. The problem has always laid with the owner not talking to fans, while pocketing money and then not explaining anything to the fans… Our recruitment has been pretty awful the past few windows, the championship is hard league and different players are needed to that of the prem, so we need to improve. I’m not asking for the world but when you have one of the top managers in the game leading your team, it would be good to back him and go get the players he wants… None of them were too expensive for a premiership team! I hope you’re right but I feel that the team will struggle for goals again and we’ll be desperate for the January window when it opens!

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Does Ashley’s S**** taste like money?

          • ghostrider

            Not sure. I suppose it would depend on whether he dines out on cash and notes.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You’d be the man to know

    • Gareth Jones

      If for one ridiculous second Rafa was holding us back ( not signing the contract = no funds), then surely Mike Ashley would have no option other than to fire him? Surely as the ‘custodian’ of the club he would have to act swiftly, as all the uncertainty would be potentially catastrophic for the club? But he hasn’t has he? Because we are just his plaything and he doesn’t give two hoots about any damage done – in fact he’s loving it! All the while coining it in….

      • ghostrider

        Ashley might sack him if he believes for one second that Rafa is not putting his all in.

    • scumtest

      your wisdom is comparable to that of a certain green Jedi!
      ASHLEY LEADS TO HATE, HATE LEADS TO SUFFERING…

      • ghostrider

        I’d say the hate of Ashley leads to the suffering of the haters.
        Basically they are the instigators of their own misery.

    • Down Under Mag

      I think it has a lot more to do with the fact ever since Ashley was called out BY Keegan (and found in a COURT OF LAW that he has willingly and deliberately lied to Keegan, the media and the fans) and the fans turned on him, all he has ever done is use the club and treat the fans with utter contempt rather than own up to his own mistakes. While some fans definitely went too far, Ashley has never owned up or taken responsibility for his own part in that saga. He went from being “one of the lads” buying everyone beers, having his name sung in the away section to being hated by an entire region overnight.

      Every time things start looking like they are going in the right direction, everytime the fans ease off and start hoping for more, every time the club is in a position to build…Ashley puts a spanner in the works. The fans have actually given him chances to claw back credibility and every time he spits in their collective faces and seems to take pleasure in rubbing their noses in the dirt. We finished 5th…a perfect time to build on that success. A perfect time to back the manager. A perfect time to allow the fans that joy, but no, he didn’t spend and we went backwards. Event his summer, after a better finish than we ever expected we could have built to challenge for top 7, to look for a good cup run, but again no…Ashley has to throw the towel in on the football side. Is it that rafa is mor epopular than he is and feels he needs to show everyone who is boss?? I get the feelign that may just be it. I fully expect Rafa to leave in the summer and some no-hoper with a bad record to sign up and get (and waste) a small fortune int he market just as an “I told you so” to rafa and the fans. Ashley seems to take pleasure in this type of thing and until that stops being the norm, until he shows the fans that he can be trusted, the fans will continue to berrate him. He has been given chances to prove he wants to succeed rather than just make money. He has been given chance upon chance to build the club, to follow through on promises and prove to everyone he can be trusted at his word. Every time he has let everyone down and been shown to be a liar, a cheat and a fraud.

      The fans are not asking for Man City style spending. We are asking for Rafa to be able to buy who he wants and to be judged on the players HE buys. Does he get it right all the time? Of course not, and i’m the first to point out when he’s clearly got things wrong. If Rafa wants rid of Mitro because he doesn’t fit in with the desired tactics then fine. But Ashley needs to give Rafa the tools to do his job and that means giving him the money to spend. Not only have we failed to spend any of the TV money but we’ve actually turned a profit in this window on player sales. Of course we all know the money is paid in installments so won’t be available and Ashley demands we pay all the fees up front ourselves as well as taking into account wages from any fees recieved.

      To be honest, Rafa is not the only person we could have in charge. BUT he is the best we can hope for at this moment in time. If he leaves then we will not end up with anyone remotely as tactically astute. He has us playign the best defensive football i’ve ever seen. Organised at the back, solid in midfield. Lacking up front and in creativity. Hence the need to spend.

      I for one don’t subscribe to the notion of spending large sums – it doesn’t guarantee a top player. At least not at the levels we will be capable of. We can’t go and pay 80m for one player…those are the guaranteed top drawer players. To buy a decent premiership player it’s still going to cost us 30-40m and then it’s still a gamble. BUT, it should have been up to rafa to spend the money he was given any way he saw fit and sell players if he needed more. he should be the one to decide if he wants to splurge all of the cash on one player or buy 4-5 good players. We’ve bought those players, but the fees involved and the positive balance this window while Rafa claims he’s not being allowed to do his job is laughable and wouldn’t happen at any other club, let alone have fans trying to justify it all somehow.

    • Squintytoonarmy

      Answer this a) are you an actual fan b) do you actually go to games c) if so where do you sit d) where do you drink before games

      • ghostrider

        I’ll let you decide all of them things. And feel free to think in any way you want about what you think I would answer them with.

        • Squintytoonarmy

          So you are not a fan then but you are a complete twaaaat

          • ghostrider

            Your put downs are so mild they’re almost pleasant. Put some effort in.

  • Elvin Burdon

    I think ghostrider could easily get a job doing story lines for Jackanory