Rafa Benitez has admitted that lack of transfer backing from Mike Ashley means he has no choice but to use the tactics, approach that he does.

The Newcastle Manager opening up as the international break draws to a close.

He says that it should be clear to anybody what the limitations of his squad are, having seen them in the Premier League last season and if things (lack of support from Ashley) were different, he would then do things differently, stating ‘Would we like to do things in another way? Yes!’

Rafa Benitez declares though that it isn’t all doom and gloom and that he is confident he can coach players to be better, putting up Jamaal Lascelles as a prime example.

However, he once again points to transfer market failings providing obstacles, with the refusal of Mike Ashley to allow him to bring in his targets early, meaning the likes of Rondon and Muto came in so late they didn’t take part in pre-season, leaving it for Rafa forced to play catch up.

The Newcastle boss exposes the stark realty of the situation, saying ‘We aren’t better than anybody on paper so we have to be better on the pitch. We have to have a game plan, follow it and be consistent.’

Rafa Benitez says that the only show in town/toon is to avoid relegation and he has no other option but to set out his team in a certain way to achieve that.

Both fans and manager wondering how different things could be if only, like pretty much every other rival club, Newcastle United had been allowed a realistic transfer budget this summer.

Rafa Benitez:

“We know what we have because we have watched our team for one full season in the Premier League and this team hasn’t changed too much, so what are we expecting from our team?

 “Would we like to do things in another way? Yes!

“Maybe we can’t, or maybe we can’t right now, so we have to wait and see how this team is progressing.

“I like to coach players and I like to improve them, Jamaal Lascelles is an example of a player who is growing in stature – everybody can see the difference.

“To improve players you need time and we are at the beginning of the season, some players (signings) arrived late (this summer) so now it’s a question of time so that we can improve – our fans can see our fixtures were beginning too so we had to cope with that.

“We have to be sure we improve defensively and in the transition (turning defence into attack) and also to attack, if we can we will have more chances in games against the big teams and the other teams.

“But we aren’t better than anybody on paper so we have to be better on the pitch.

“We have to have a game plan, follow it and be consistent.

“If something was wrong we would change but we weren’t wrong last season, as we made less mistakes than others and finished 10th, so we we’ll try to do what is right for our team and if something isn’t right I will be the first one to be unhappy.

“There are different ways to achieve what you want to achieve and if you have more money you go in one direction, with less money it means you have to head in another direction.”

“You can argue if you like but with the players we have in our squad we have to manage.

“We have to make sure the stats at the end of the season are right, that means finishing in a good position, and in this case it means finishing 17th or above.”



  • Wezza

    We know this. It’s all going according to MA’s plan 17th or above, collect another 100M+ then force Rafa out so he doesn’t have to spend any more of the clubs money for the next manager. If we survive then what do we have to look forward to next season? Survival.
    Get him out!

    • Squintytoonarmy

      David O’leary

      • TheFatController

        Gordon Strachan

        • Peaky

          Paul Lambert

          • Ron

            Jack Ross

          • Mike

            Carver

  • Mrkgw

    Ashley out! Worst owner in the history of the club when taking into account the collosal amount of money available and scandalous lack of under-investment. Something has to give here and it can never be the supporters. Time to crank up the pressure yet further. Somehow, at least.

  • Billmag

    Unfortunately or us supporters and Rafa the fat odious one gets his kicks from being the pantomime villan, god knows what will happen when Rafa eventually goes, John Hall you need to apologize to the hundreds of supporters around the world for selling to such an odious creature.

    • 1957

      John Hall always looked after himself and NUFC was no more than a money making vehicle to him from the day a decision was made to float the club.

      When he realised he couldn’t keep paying himself dividends when the club made a loss, he sold up

      • Mike

        But it was KK & best football ever at St James we will never see that again

        • 1957

          Keegan left the club before the flotation, it was rumoured to be a major factor behind his departure, the restrictions on his ability to buy weren’t acceptable to him. The football for 3 or 4 years after was abysmal, SBR was promised funds to get him to be manager, but even he had the rug pulled from under him after 3 years, due to ‘financial constraints’ despite dividends being consistently high.

          Hall really was the robber baron…

  • JohnnyH

    Write to ; [email protected]

    Ask them about the missing millions

    If enough of us make this uncomfortable for them, we can effect change.

  • Cushty lad

    Well that’s a good team talk. Right listen up lads. You lot are worse than any other team in prem…….now, err, go out and get the 3 pts to mo!

    • TheFatController

      He’s been saying it for two seasons now but the team always give everything so don’t worry too much about the psychology of the players.

      Unless you’re a psychologist?

    • Down Under Mag

      He’s actually just saying they can’t expect to beat teams just because they are supposed to be better – he’s not saying they are worse, he’s sayign they are not better…he’s saying they need to get things right on the pitch adn work hard and they will beat teams that are of the same calibre as them or have spent loads more on supposedly better players. Up to our players to prove that money and hype dont count for anything its just what you do ont he pitch that counts!

  • Nut

    The grass is always greener…. except when you get to the other side you then realise it’s more a muddy brown and you were better off where you were.

    Ashley isn’t the ogre many on here paint him outo as.

    Rafa is arguably a world class manager and was bought here by Ashley, he had plans for the club then but perhaps that 2nd relegation shocked him a bit and then he realised that he couldn’t afford to financially compete at the level he might like us to and so lost interest.

    (Rafa has his faults though too, a lack of adaptivity of his system to the players at his disposal and perhaps, an over reliance on financial backing in his previous sides albeit he has managed on a shoestring budget too in the past.)

    Perhaps people’s efforts could be better spent by making attempts to get the owner to fall back in love with the club he purchased.

    In those early days he certainly seemed to throw himself in perhaps a bit too much.

    However mistakes made by his regime cost the club and cost him his affinity with the fans.

    If he feels negatively about the club then he won’t put money in.

    However if fans give him positive vibes and get behind him then he will most likely be way more inclined to invest or find an owner that can.

    People at present are really cutting their noses despite their faces and it’s hurting the club.

    Positive action, not negative is the way forward, empowering everyone!

    • Billmag

      Dream on his skin is thicker than a Rhino, after 11+ years of his ownership its been nothing short of disastrous, one blunder after another and he’s had a free ride off supporters really, through him the club is in free fall, so don’t give us all this be nice to Mike 💩.

    • Mike

      err check his record of dealing with folk. KK Houghton etc etc…proven LIAR

    • panther

      are you drunk?

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Ashley is one of the worst human beings engaged in management in corporate Britain. But his ownership of Newcastle is not really any worse than his business management at Shirebrook etc.
      At least SD shares have dropped 25% in recent months. Schadenfreude !