Rafa Benitez now has six days to prepare his players for their Premier League kick-off.
With a ‘disappointing’ transfer window, there looks to be next to no chance of any new faces being named in his starting eleven against Tottenham, unless injuries or real desperation takes hold.
Fabian Schar will only start if either Lascelles or Clark get injured, the Swiss international not looking great in the friendlies so far, probably still not up to full fitness after his extended World Cup break.
Similarly, Ki Sung-yueng won’t be starting on Saturday unless injuries intervene, though it is a worry with Hayden still desperate to leave, Shelvey only playing the last half hour against Augsburg after missing Braga through injury, whilst Mohamed Diame was forced off with what appeared to be a hip injury in yesterday’s first half.
Yoshinori Muto will train with his new teammates this week but Spurs will come far too soon.
Whilst even if the Rondon move/swap at last goes through, I can’t see Rafa Benitez throwing him in from the start, that is unless he feels that he has to, with no other option but Joselu.
What a mess.
In the aftermath of the Augsburg defeat, Rafa Benitez has revealed what might have been.
Last summer the manager was left angry and frustrated when he put in a lot of work to line up a number of early signings, only for Mike Ashley to block them.
Moving forward 12 months, the manager has confirmed that this has occurred once again.
Rafa saying he and his staff ‘were ready to go’ and bring in the players they had identified, Benitez stating ‘we knew what we wanted to do.’
The United boss is realistic and says that his plan wasn’t to compete with Man Utd and Man City in the transfer market but that with realistic backing on transfers, he know he could have made the team more competitive.
As before he has said he wanted Newcastle United to be a long-term project where over a period of time the club/team could improve, Rafa Benitez saying this season Newcastle could potentially have got ‘closer to European positions, maybe we could challenge for a trophy…’
Instead, he has to try and force a few late desperate signings to try and fight another successful relegation battle.
Mike Ashley continues to stack the odds further AGAINST his manager, whether Rafa Benitez can overcome them this time must be in grave doubt.
You would have to be daydreaming if you honestly think there will be any late change in Ashley’s position, so the best we can hope for in terms of transfers by 5pm on Thursday is maybe Rondon and another one or two other fair to average players, who aren’t going to suddenly transform our fortunes.
“When I decided to stay at Newcastle United it was because it was a project.
“Everyone knows that we can’t compete against Man City or Man Utd…but we can do things in the right way.
“Maybe we can be more competitive, or closer to European positions, maybe we could challenge for a trophy…That was the idea.
“Then we finished 10th, and credit to our players (for doing that), but I still thought we could do something more (this summer in the transfer window) to be closer.
“(But) It is not the case.
“We will see where we are and we will fight until the last minute (this window), trying to improve the squad first, then after that the team.
“I was talking with Lee Charnley before the game and I will maybe see him after the game.
‘I’m not saying we’re not working, but the point is we were ready to go (with lined up transfers) and we knew what we wanted to do.”