Jamie Carragher says that sadly it will be Rafa Benitez and not Mike Ashley who leaves Newcastle United.

Carragher describes NUFC as a ‘failing institution’ and questions exactly what the owner’s plan is?

Well this summer it became very clear what the short-term plan was, to continue to undermine the manager and leave Newcastle United facing a huge challenge to avoid relegation.

Mike Ashley insisting on a £20m+ transfer profit and Rafa Benitez restricted to loans, free transfers and a few bargain basement buys.

The NUFC manager will be able to walk away with his head held high: instant promotion as Championship winners, 10th in the Premier League, then whatever he can make of this shambles he has been left with this season.

Jamie Carragher forecasts Rafa will go abroad to a club who will give him one last chance at attacking the Champions League.

Something which he says is in stark contrast to not even being able to challenge the likes of Crystal Palace when it comes to transfers.

When Rafa does leave, almost certainly next summer, Jamie Carragher declares that ‘Yet again the Newcastle fans will suffer’ and wonders just who Mike Ashley would replace the manager with.

Ashley lives just season to season and I doubt if he has given it a second thought, because if Rafa Benitez does walk away, he will simply get yet another ‘Pardew/JFK, McClaren/Carver’ who won’t be up to the job but who will do as they are told and not complain.

What a club.

Jamie Carragher talking to The Telegraph:

‘Rafael Benitez is wasted at Newcastle – he has to leave this failing institution.

“If Ashley stays, Rafa will have to go.”

Those were my final words when I dedicated a column to Newcastle last season. Looking at the situation at the club at the start of this one, from a footballing perspective it is difficult to explain why my former manager is still there.

For a coach of Rafa Benítez’s pedigree to be treading water with no prospect of doing anything beyond retaining Premier League status is incomprehensible. There is nothing more he can do at St James’ Park. Not without regime change, and that is not happening.

Yet again, the Newcastle fans will suffer when this has played itself out. While they cherish Benítez’s coaching talent, those running the club are wasting it.

It would be fascinating to hear from Ashley what exactly his plan is for Newcastle. Not just this season, but beyond. Does he have one? Is there anyone sitting in his boardroom working out where the clubs needs and wants to go and how they intend to get there?

Ashley’s only concern is preserving Premier League status so while he has a manager who can keep the club up the constant sniping at his ownership has no effect. I don’t even believe he is actively trying to sell the club.

Other than the continued employment of Benítez, everything at St James’ Park smacks of zero ambition. Is there anyone at Newcastle drawing a list of managerial successors to Benítez when his contract expires in June?

What kind of manager can Newcastle expect to lure once Benítez has gone? No-one of his calibre will go near the job given they know how little money has been spent on the team.

Rafa was given full control of the club’s football operations when he decided to stay to regain promotion, but what does it amount to?

We continuously hear about targets not being pursued vigorously enough by the hierarchy, players’ wages being considered too excessive to complete a deal, and a multitude of reasons being presented not to secure a transfer a month before the signing eventually arrives on deadline day – thus ensuring they need a month to fully adjust to the new set-up. 

Ashley can argue Benítez is one of the highest paid managers in the Premier League so he has spent more than he is credited, but the transfer fees over the last four years and beyond paint a different picture. The club came out of the last transfer window with £23.2 million profit at a time when they had to spending a minimum of £40 million net to improve the team – and that is a conservative estimate in the current era of spending.

Ashley has baulked at players salaries from the most moderately paid players by Premier League standards. Newcastle is a club that used to dream of fighting with the top clubs for players, now they can’t even compete with promoted teams like Wolves and Fulham for the same targets. At the moment they are losing out to clubs like Burnley who are more willing to meet contract expectations. That is what happened when the clubs were pursuing Jack Cork a year ago.

The owner must be calculating he can save money now by relying on Benítez to keep the club up, but it is a false economy. The bill will come later as a less capable manager will need cash to match the job he is doing next season.

But the reality is Newcastle travel to Selhurst Park as underdogs. Crystal Palace, on paper, is a superior side. There is no-one of Wilfried Zaha’s class in the Newcastle squad, which is why Benítez has opted for a much more defensive approach to keep the team up.

Knowing Rafa as I do, he will be desperately missing the Champions League, watching those games in midweek and so frustrated he is not trying to outsmart those younger coaches. He will feel he has one more crack at the European elite in him, but he would have to go back overseas to do it.

The shame for Newcastle is they could have been that ‘one last big job’ if they had just some of the cash – and ambition – of Premier League rivals.

Newcastle fans justifiably argue they can never achieve such lofty ambitions until Ashley gets out of St James’ Park.

For Benítez to satisfy his and enhance a decorated list of honours, he will go first.’



  • Danimal

    That’s pretty high profile. The message is finally getting out there, there’s been a definite shift in the last couple of months.

  • Cockneytrev

    At last the pundits are finally starting to come out with what we’ve been saying since keegan left,,,
    We now know carragher isn’t in his pocket,,
    We need to keep the pressure up,,,,

  • Paul Patterson

    “It would be fascinating to hear from Ashley what exactly his plan is for Newcastle. Not just this season, but beyond.”
    Answer- 💰💰💰💰💰

    • Leazes.

      Running down his contract after sacking the agent who didn’t notice the golden handcuff caveat that he signed is a bit of a clue.

      • Kenny

        😃😃

    • Carverlier football

      Answer: more SD advertising

  • Peter

    Carragher was one of the very first media pundits to see through Ashley and speak out. It is good to see he is still doing so…

  • Scott Robinson

    In the ’80’s demonstrations including pitch invasions; naked streakers and lads who were even prepared to get arrested. Raucous atmosphere and loud vocal demonstration. Police dogs and truncheons. Life and football has moved on. No one wants to get arrested and lose their job, but I wonder how many would enjoy running through Debenhams and House of Frankenstein with out their clothes on? That would make good telly demonstrating against Super Mike Ashley. But more seriously …

    5th November, Bonfire Night. A massive Mike Ashley effigy. Bring all your old sports direct purchases, if you are mad enough to have any. Where is it legal to have the biggest Bonfire in the UK and set up in our area with thousands there to celebrate! That would make the news, but it has to be a massive Bonfire for that massive effigy! WE just need the place as we all know the date and we all have the time, and someone to make a 20 ft Mike Ashley! The biggest, best, Bonfire ever!

    • Steven05

      I thought your comment would have received some positive feedback!!

    • Albert Stubbins

      If you ran through debenhams with nee clothes on you could get accosted by all the middle-aged women in the lingerie department. Might give it a go myself!!

    • Danimal

      On a slightly different angle, maybe have a word with the people who made the Trump baby blimp.

      • Cockneytrev

        Love it,,,,👶

        • Danimal

          With a wad of notes in one hand, a lager in the other, a Tat Direct t shirt on, with belly hanging out. Flown over SJP at every televised match. Lovely.

  • Kneebotherm8

    Wise words from Jamie………he’s spot on with all his observations…….thanks again to fckn FCB…….

  • mactoon

    Great words from Carragher. The truth will out

  • Kenny

    Can’t fault the article

  • Tweed Mag

    Good stuff, what has been obvious for some time is getting through. Bishop will struggle to counter this sort of coverage.

  • James

    Carragher finally gets it

  • East Durham Mag

    Sad but true. Benitez will have no other option.

  • Leicester Mag

    Spot on what a pity that past players, in some cases legends bury their concense and close their eyes to this and turn away instead of speaking out.

  • Peaky

    Read that Shola and feel very very ashamed of yourself 😡😡

    • Toontaff

      Poor old Shola may need someone to read it to him!

  • HarryHype59

    Good, perhaps the other media ‘talking heads ‘ will finally grasp what the fat one is doing to this club.

  • Ken

    Some sense and perspective from a Sky Sports person, slowly they are coming round. We need to keep the fight against the fat one going until we are rid of the parasitic leech.

  • nufcslf

    Very well said and as already pointed out, it is nice to see the criticism coming from the right places. About bloody time.

  • Ashley-out

    Most of the pundits know the score with the parasite, he has the bottle top say it

  • Albert Stubbins

    How much could we save up to pay him to gob on Ashley?

    • Carverlier football

      Maybe we could get Barton to put a cigar out in his eye while we’re at it…

  • GToon

    It’s a shame we don’t get any TV money like the other clubs in our league or make a profit in transfer windows. If we did those things Rafa might have some money to spend. Oh wait a minute……..

  • GlasgowMag

    Yip very well put!! The negative reactions to Ashley’s lies and blatant asset stripping is intensifying!! What’s his next move the clubs up for sale lie hasn’t worked this time. mabye his next move will be January panic buy strategy to avoid relegation and try to keep Rafa watch this space!! Ashley out!!

    • Carverlier football

      He might panic buy but it won’t fool Rafa

  • DC1964

    Cant disagree with that article, pretty spot on to be honest. I long for the day Mike Ashley packs his bags and does one!

  • Wezza

    Agree with Jamie.
    Not only are we a shadow of a football club we will be damaged for years to come whenever the scum sell so up. Nobody near Rafa’s class will touch us – just another yes man. What will we have to look forward to? Avoiding relegation.

    • Paul Patterson

      If Ashley is still here, Lord knows who will be appointed . .

      • toonterrier

        Probably Ameobi. God help us.

  • JohnnyH

    As much as I dislike Carragher, he’s come out and spoke for most of us I reckon.

    I don’t think any amount of transfer money would keep Rafa here now. Relegation and more spineless yes men are waiting in the wings

    • Paul Patterson

      I think every season it would be fair and reasonable to give the manager £50m plus whatever he makes the club in profit.
      ‘Every penny’ was a buzz term used by a proven liar . .

  • Carverlier football

    Can’t disagree with anything he said there

  • Wor Lass

    There`s a real difference between the attitude of the BBC pundits and the Sky ones – no surprise there.

    • Dillon Tovak

      What do you mean?

      • Wor Lass

        BBC have Shearer to enlighten them whilst Sky seem to be in the Fat man`s pocket. Anything they can do to help him seems to be no trouble.

        • Dillon Tovak

          Yeah I think on the whole you’re right. The BBC do have some cretins though. Jenas seems to make his mind up on the day, depending on what side of the bed he’s got out of. Sky has that Graves guy that occasionally reports the fans side and Carragher has spoken well of Newcastle on more than one occasion. More more often than not it’s Bellamy or Wise or some other detestable character.

        • Toon Arnie

          Ferdinand on BT is in his pocket as well due to his links with Sports Direct. It might slowly be changing with Sky though – Steve Howey played a blinder recently and even bitter Bellamy seems to have softened. Shola was a disgrace and he needs to hang his head in shame.

  • Tino o

    Hes just about covered it. How depressing is it to support this club? Rafa has already showed too much loyalty I for one will wish him the best of luck when he has gone. He deserves better.

  • Dillon Tovak

    Jamie is completely spot on. I hope he rants like that live on sky sports rather than just in an article which will have far less eyes on it.