An interesting Rafa Benitez press conference on Friday afternoon

The Newcastle boss confirming a meeting with NUFC’s head of recruitment earlier in the day, saying that there is an idea for a plan ahead of January’s window.

However, Rafa says that plan depends on one ‘small’ factor: ‘Now we just need to see if we have any money.’

Of more immediate concern/interest, Rafa Benitez update on the injury situation.

Happily, he confirmed that Salomon Rondon is fit to start against Crystal Palaxce, plus Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey are also fit and ready to be named in the starting eleven.

Lascelles missed Arsenal, whilst Shelvey and Rondon were unused subs.

Rafa says that only Florian Lejeune is on the injured list now.

No excuses this weekend. No guarantees of a win of course, but up against average opposition and with almost a full squad to choose from, fans will be expecting the team to go toe to toe with Palace.

Rafa Benitez taking to the media ahead of Crystal Palace:

“Jamaal Lascelles was complaining about his ankle.

“He missed a couple of sessions but he’s fine (now).

“Jonjo Shelvey was training and we knew he was injured.

“He is so positive though and wants to play every game – but we had to be careful.

“We have just Lejeune (missing) who is a long-term injury, the others have been training and are available.

“It is very clear that the team, in the way they work and train every day, they have confidence…

“The team is mentally ready and we hope we can see that on Saturday.

“I was talking with the head of recruitment this morning and we have an idea for the next window (in January).

“Now we just need to see if we have any money.”



  • Ashley-out

    Is Rafa daft or what, he will get nothing out of Ashley in January or any other window, wise up Rafa

    • CKO

      It’s almost as if Benitez hasn’t been allowed to spend €142.65m since he was appointed, oh wait…

      • Ashley-out

        go away, troll

        • CKO

          How does stating a fact make me a troll?

          • Mike D

            Because choosing which stats to put forward, especially an isolated stat with no context, makes you sound like Dennis Wise.

          • CKO

            I’m choosing the stats that are relevant to the subject and my point. How does that make me a troll?

          • Mike D

            Because that stat alone doesn’t paint the full picture. Oh, and did I mention that you sound like Dennis Wise? He’s a troll. He lives under a bridge and snatches goats.

          • Mike D

            Ps. The bit about McLaren’s spend being an irrelevant stat to your comment, I totally agree with. Just to clarify.

          • CKO

            So what don’t you agree with then? Because so far all you’ve done is call me ‘Dennis Wise’ and talk about pictures?

          • WayneClayton

            So even focusing purely on Rafa, his net spend whilst at the club is -£18m at a time when the club is currently at it’s richest.

          • CKO

            And that is a terrible sin, you know what else is? Having Joselu as our staring striker in the Premier League after 2 and half years of your reign and €142.65m spent. Let’s talk about it.

          • giimps

            So ,answer this, why if he had money to spend on a decent striker ( baring in mind there are €180m ( you like to talk in euros to make the numbers higher ,although why not use Egyptian pounds, or Turkish lira ,they would be really high numbers?) Then why would he buy Joselu for 5m, a guy who was probably 10th in his list of strikers and probably the only one the club bid for that wasn’t derisory and insulting.
            Your selective pricing of the spending of Rafa, does this include the fact he’s had to in effect buy 2 teams, one to get out of the Championship then another one to stay in the premier league?
            Your selective remarks regarding the sale of quality players to bring in the players he’s bought…..where else was he going to get the funds from?
            Cashley was not going to sanction the club spending any money, the team needed goals and a different type of player ,Rafa spent money to get us up and was then rewarded with funds being made available for a new striker (Joselu,) manquillo, and Murphy but…we lost Thauvin, Sameobi, Anita, Gouffy and Vuckic…this unfortunately is a snapshot of the Cashley era, zero expenditure unless premier league status is under threat ,more importantly though, as the cost of players has increased 3-4fold due to the rise in the premier league tv money, we , are still paying the fees ( usually less) that we were paying for players when he (Cashley ) arrived, so your huge €142m has served Rafa by allowing him to bring in 21 players at less than €7m per player, with those players, he has guided us up from the Championship as winners and secured a top half place at the first attempt……..
            And your trying to criticise this man, a man who with his hands tied behind his back, blindsided,blindfolded and shackled financially and by the incompetence of his seniors, a man who single handedly has brought the fans of our great club together, has reignited a footballing ethos within the club, a man who is loved by his peers ,loved because he cares and wants more for the club ,more for the fans and wants to be able to do his job without hinderence,lies an deceit…..it’s not much to ask, but it’s not what he signed up for ,instead of holding the €142m as a stick to beat him with ,it should be used as a sword to knight him with…..imho

          • CKO

            I use Euros because that’s what the database transfermarkt uses dummy.

            Joselu shouldn’t be anywhere near the list (do you have evidence that he was 10th?). The club made a bid of £20m for Plea in the summer, money was available to spend if the club felt the transfer would represent good business.

            I didn’t make selective remarks, he sold players and replaced them with lesser players, that has been constant throughout his time here, it’s has nothing to with funds.

            Let’s not pretend that winning the Championship was some sort of miracle, with the money that we spent, we should’ve walked that league.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Clarko?……

          • CKO

            It does paint the full picture. Again you can’t tell me why, the only person being a ‘troll’ here is you, look at your response, you’re calling another person ‘Dennis Wise’ because you don’t like hearing the truth. Grow the f**k up man.

          • Martin Rooney

            I think we need to be lobbying our local education depts.
            There performance is way worse than Ashley’s

          • Danimal

            It must be, if they failed to explain the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’ to a cretin like you.

          • Wezza

            Just block the troll mate.

          • Mike D

            I give up. I thought it was obvious what I was getting at. I really can’t be Ashleyed to explain it.

      • JohnnyH

        Net spend averages out at €20 million per season (x4) if you include his debut season in 2016 when arrived in March when we were already goosed. Plus some 2016 purchases were not his.

        18/19 +8,72 Mill.
        17/18 €-24,90 Mill.
        16/17 €+37,10 Mill.
        15/16 €-103,28 Mill. €
        Net spend since 2016 € 82.3

        Troll

        • CKO

          Why are you talking about net spend? I’m talking about how much Benitez has spent, not Ashley, and why did you include the 15/16 net spend? Benitez arrived after both transfer windows… That’s just sloppy. Benitez has spent €142.65m on players since his appointment.

          How am I the troll for stating a fact?

          • JohnnyH

            Ok have it your way,
            Itemise the spend since his appointment
            And itemise how much he has made in sales over the same period
            If you want to be less selective about his overall financial performance.

          • CKO

            I’m not judging his ‘financial performance’, I’m stating how much he has spent on players, he has spent €142.65m.

            How am I a troll?

          • JohnnyH

            Ok then do us a favour if you’re unbiased and state how much he has made.

            Putting up a sarcastic selective comment which is not representative of Rafas tenure makes lots of us think Ashley must be paying you. That’s why I think you’re a troll.

            Troll

          • CKO

            No no, it is representative of his tenure, you know what isn’t? The money the McClaren spent in 15/16 that you thought was a good idea to add to your total dummy.

            I’m not going to sit here, go through and list the net spend, list the total spend, talk about the garbage that he has signed, talk about the talent he has sold, talk about the talent that was here before he came to Newcastle and sold which he is getting credit for, I’m not going to talk about how he got us relegated, losing all of that TV revenue in the process, I’m not going to talk about his massive salary or the abysmal football he has us playing just to be called a ‘troll’ by some moron who doesn’t like the truth.

          • JohnnyH

            There you go you’ve just proved my point.

          • CKO

            How’s that?

          • Danimal

            Moron.

          • CKO

            “Please stop speaking the truth, it hurts”

          • Kneebotherm8

            He’s calling you a dummy mate……….it’s obviously Clarko……..CKO without the LAR…

          • Danimal

            If you sell a lot of very good, high value players you will need to buy a lot of players to replace them. If you are only allowed a certain maximum transfer fee and a maximum wage, both well below what the outgoing players commanded, you will have to be very shrewd and/or lucky.

          • CKO

            A) No you don’t and B) not the argument.

          • Ram Kishore

            He will come up with a comment ‘Not th argumena’ when u include the value of sales

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            he will never respond to anything about net spend… shouting nonsensically about total spend (and then insulting everyone who correctly points out that his statistics are junk) is his only move

          • Carverlier football

            Being selective is what he’s all about. Lies, damned lies and statistics…

      • Squintytoonarmy

        You’ve missed DI off your username

        • Kneebotherm8

          Absolutely correct…..😂😂😂😂

        • Jezza

          Or THI…

          • Cockneytrev

            Or pri…

      • Kneebotherm8

        Every penny spent has been returned handsomely through player sales…..

        • CKO

          I’m not talking about how much Ashley has spent.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Rafa spends around the 10 – 12 million mark on players whilst Ashley pockets 25 to 30 million on certain players….that puts it in a nutshell……we can all see the problem…….apart from you like……

          • CKO

            I’m not talking about Ashley, we all know he has held back funds.

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            then what, if anything, is your point? total spend is NOT RELEVANT (in anyone’s head other than your own)

          • CKO

            ‘Is Rafa daft or what, he will get nothing out of Ashley in January or any other window, wise up Rafa’

            Benitez has been allowed to spend €142.65m. That is not ‘nothing’. If you don’t think that number is relevant then you don’t know what the word means.

          • Martin Rooney

            Ah yes Rafa should have paid £25m for Muto.

          • Danimal

            Jesus Christ, are you some kind of evangelist Donald Trump enabler? How about letting him spend £25m on a £25m type player? Now there’s a crazy idea.

          • Martin Rooney

            There seems to be a fascination with breaking g the transfer record regardless of whether the player is worth it or not.
            What on Earth is an evangelist Donald Trump’s enabler?
            He’s had the money it’s up to him how he spends it. Take left wing position in the last 13 month he’s spent 21 million and booked long term wage commitment. So it’s there he’s just doing it his way and Newcastle will be alreet

          • Kneebotherm8

            Only because he would never be allowed to spend 21 million on ONE player.

          • Kneebotherm8

            You’re half right there……….£25m yes………..but on Muto?…….no…..

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            of course you aren’t, that would make your entire argument sound idiotic

      • Billmag

        CKO is short for Cuckoo.

        • HarryHype59

          The bloke is an absolute bell end! Best to block the attention seeking clown.

        • Jezza

          It should be obvious to all regular users on this forum what it’s short for. Just block the latest in his long line of different IDs.

          • Billmag

            Yeh Jez I know who he is he even accused me of stalking him on this website 😀😀😀😀

        • grantham mag

          I was thinking cok

          • Danimal

            It’s Clarko, so both of the above.

        • cmrowley

          No, I don’t see at all. What are you talking about?

          • Billmag

            Work it out Dumbo.

          • cmrowley

            Hello, why the insult?

            If you’re interested, which I doubt, I don’t know what he’s talking about, it has nothing to do with my question.

            But thanks for your valuable input.

          • Billmag

            No problem sorry for the insult.

      • cmrowley

        If I sold my house for 200k and bought a house for 150k, in the same area, do you think I’ve got a better or worse house? (All things being equal).

        • CKO

          I don’t know, how good is your estate agent?

          Who was the better buy, Clark at €6.00m or Hanley at €6.60m?

          Who was the better buy, Salah at €42.00m or Morata at €66.00m?

          Who was the better buy, Groß at €3.00m or Klassen at €27.00m?

          Who was the better buy, Richarlison at €12.40m or Izquierdo at €15.00m?

          Do you see where I’m going with this?

    • Jezza

      I can see the club making another transfer profit in January. I’m sure Fatso is already salivating at the thought of flogging Shelvey and/or Lascelles.

      • Ashley-out

        sums it up nicely

      • HarryHype59

        100% true. Fatso will sell in instalments. Rafa will be lucky to receive the down payment on Lascelles and Shelvey.

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’s not daft…….he’s just making sure all the fans are aware of the situation…….which the vast majority of us are anyway…….the club is being screwed by the owner….

    • Billmag

      He will if we are in the bottom 3 if we are middle of the table he won’t, and by the way Rafa is anything but daft, that’s a silly outburst.

      • Kenny

        No it isn’t Rafa is acting as though money will hopefully be available
        That’s being daft ok. After he’s been shafted for 2 years

        • Billmag

          Read between the lines Kenny Rafa knows more than any of us about dealing with fatty ok, as you say Rafa has been let down too many times by fatty but don’t for one minute think he’s daft.

      • Jezza

        The way I see it, if we’re in relegation trouble there will be two or three players coming in on loan, in the highly unlikely event that we’re mid table, there will be no new players. Either way the club’s substantial profits will not be dipped into at all in January.

        • Billmag

          Jez fatty has signed players before in January to try and stave off relegation, mind I’m certainly not saying he is going to do it this time because personally I think he wants rid of Rafa.

          • Jezza

            Yes that’s true he has bought in January before but last year we were in serious relegation trouble and all we got was three players on loan. On paper that was nowehere near enough but somehow by sheer luck it saved us. Therefore you can guarantee that Fatso will be thinking that’s the way to do it now. January loans to get us out of trouble without dipping into the profits.

          • Billmag

            Yeh without doubt he can’t be trusted I think Rafa before he leaves is going to cause fatty as many problems as he can without hurting the team.

          • Ram Kishore

            I am not defending Charnley here.. but in Jan its a pretty tough window to sign players permanently and even if we wanted to sign someone we’d have to overpay.. let’s not forget Jorgensen link.. Rafa wanted him, Feyenoord were greedy. I felt like we dodged a bullet and i also felt we would have wasted a huge sum. If we had bought him for less than 10m it would have been fine yet i doubted the player doing any impact for us..
            Rafa does fail in few of his signings..Manquillo, Hanley always sit on my mind.

          • Jezza

            Other clubs seem to manage to sign players in Jaunary OK. I remember a few years ago Liverpool tried to sign another club’s top scorer and best player right at the end of the January window when therre was no time left for the other club to sign a replacement. Liverpool still got that player.

            It wasn’t because of Feyernoord that we never got Jorgensen. We didn’t get him because NUFC never had any intention of signing him. It was all a publicity stunt. If NUFC really were willing to spend £12.5 million buying Jorgensen why did they refuse to pay the £1.2 million loan fee for Daniel Sturridge and what happened to that £12.5 million in the summer?

          • Ram Kishore

            I am just going to be remind u that.. Maybe our club had no intention of signing Jorgensen. But I remember most of them saying we dodged a bullet.
            U know that 12.5m was not the fee asked by Feyenoord. It was closer to 20. U have to go back to th reports .. i don’t know how much the Sturridge’s loan fee or i don’t know how u know it.. but U know that Sturbridge was the one who preferred to go back to his native Midlands. He accepted the deal and then he decided to not join us and preferred a loan move to West brom. U can’t just leave other facts Jezza. I know our club didnt do well in that window and should have got the three loan players early..
            U are right about our clubs intention to not buy players in that window but wrong about few things too .. bringing in a player involves other factors too.

          • Jezza

            Yes Feyernoord wanted £20 million for Jorgensen. Newcastle offered £12.5 million knowing for absolute certain that it would be rejected.

            Newcastle spent several days haggling over the Sturridge loan fee and his wages when West Brom came in and agreed to both figures.

            The story about Sturridge choosing West Brom for “geographical reasons” was nonsense. He’s a Brummie not a Baggie. You wouldn’t expect a Geordie footballer to choose Sunderland over a bigger club in a higher league position for the same reasons would you.

          • Ram Kishore

            Because we valued Jorgensen at 12.5 and that seems to be reasonable one and i also remember many accepting 20 million as a crazy sum. U wanted not to sign him for 20. I also remember few stating the facts that he maybe worth that much.
            Birmingham is closer to West brom is it not?
            Even if he’s a brummie that wouldn’t matter once he becomes a professional footballer and there have been many examples of players playing for their boyhood club’s rivals..
            I don’t really know about Birmingham and west brom rivalry.. but if players who are Everton fans and who may have played for Liverpool and vice versa..

            We can only speculate about Sturridge. Then why did we agree to Slimani’s wages which is also more than 100k.
            We really don’t know the full picture of every player whom we tried to sign.. Jan windows are always complicated.. we read only from newspaper reports which gives only a half baked truth.

          • Jezza

            It was a publicity stunt, nothing more. They never intended to sign Jorgensen. I repeat my question. If it was a serious bid, what happened to that £12.5 million? Why was it never spent? If they had £12.5 million to spend why couldn’t they pay the £1.2 million loan fee for Daniel Sturridge?

            You are also completely wrong if you are saying I didn’t want the club to sign Jorgensen for £20 million.

          • Ram Kishore

            Please read my previous post regarding sturidge Jezza.. we tried to sign him but he preferred west brom and we also paid the 100k wages for Slimani.. u keep forgetting that we got him on loan for higher wages and we would have paid a loan fee too..I am not defending the club.. i am just trying to prove that Jan windows are always complicated..The players and the selling clubs wait until the last day hoping for a better club or better deal

          • Jezza

            I read your post about Sturridge. I also corrected you about him supposedly choosing West Brom for “geographical reasons”. Please read my posts.

            Let me also correct you about Slimani. He was on a pay per play deal at Newcastle with no loan fee involved. Regardless of what his wages were, Newcastle United only paid those wages when he played for the club which was only 2 or 3 times.

          • Ram Kishore

            Is west brom closer to Birmingham? Or Newcastle?
            Both Newcastle and West brom were in relegation battle…
            What is ur geographical reason man
            Do u have an inside source about your claims of pay per play deal with no loan fee involved? Since the moment we signed him u have been claiming this.. i just don’t understand how u come up with this.. i am not discrediting u or anything..
            All i am saying Jan windows are difficult than summer ones.
            “The story about Sturridge choosing West Brom for “geographical reasons” was nonsense. He’s a Brummie not a Baggie. You wouldn’t expect a Geordie footballer to choose Sunderland over a bigger club in a higher league position for the same reasons would you”
            Birmingham plays in championship and west brom in PL.. who are in a better position ..
            As for your info on him being a brummie.
            He may have been born there but he supported Derby county and Arsenal as a kid. Just because u r born in Birmingham doesn’t make u Birmingham city follower Jezza. I just read this in wiki.
            He moved there because he wanted to go there when we delayed a bit west brom caught the chance.. I read your posts completely..

          • Jezza

            You may read my posts but you just don’t get my points. Sturridge is from Birmingham. He’s got no allegiance to West Brom who are not a Birmingham club. There is an underlying tribalist animosity between people from Birmingham and West Bromwich regardless of which team you support just as there is between Tynesiders and Wearsiders. You say he chose West Brom instead of Newcastle. Newcastle are a bigger club than West Brom and at the time were in a higher league position. You are saying he chose West Brom instead of Newcastle because he’s from Birmingham. That is equivalent to a Geordie footballer chosing Sunderland AFC ahead of a bigger club in a higher league position because he’s from the North East. That would never happen.

            I repeat Newcastle spent several days haggling over the loan fee and the players wages then West Brom came in and agreed to both figures and that’s why Sturridge went there and not to Newcastle. That’s all I’ve got to say on the matter. End of discussion.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      it’s called being classy. If he felt it was prudent to say “I won’t get a nickel from that tight fisted liar I work for…” then he most certainly would.

  • JohnnyH

    I see it as the start of a dignified exit, having being well and truly shafted by Ashley, just every other manager before him.

  • joe mac

    he dosnt have to wait til January, i can tell him now he will get nowt!!

  • Kenny

    Wise up Benitez you’re getting FA in January

    • Danimal

      Yes, the FA Cup. If we get a Conference team at home, the adventure could even stretch to two games.

  • Ron

    You all seem to be under the illision that it was the head of recruitment at NUFC that Rafa was talking to. I’m not so sure – he could be booking his place next season.

  • HarryHype59

    By January the club will have recieved the second tranch of this seasons TV money. This is in addition to the £126m recieved last season and £40m in transfer profits.

    This club has never been richer in its entire history. Fatty just doesn’t want to spend the surplus on improving NUFC.

    • Jezza

      Yes that’s exactly the point I’ve been making for a long time. The Ashley camp are trying to create the impression that the club is skint but the reality is, as you say, that the club has never had more money than it’s currently got. It’s just our transfer spending that is at an all time low.

      • Wezza

        I’ve too thought this for years Jezza. Even when Pardew insisted we couldn’t compete with Stoke.
        Our wage bill is the lowest in years too.

      • Lord

        I think the next set of accounts will also show us as ‘skint’.

        Since the Rangers podcast I’ve become convinced that Ashley is diverting all sorts of revenues streams via different holding companies so the official company accounts show no commercial income growth. He can’t hide the TV or gate money but all that other stuff around food, shirts, club merchandise, advertising – there’s no need for that to pass through the club accounts if he’s signed over the rights to other connected companies.

        With hindsight. The ‘Every last penny’ quote was maliciously clever – we’re not getting the full revenue through the club in the first place.

        • BigHairyDog

          Club shop and ticket office is run by Sports Direct, what if the food and drink vendors in the ground are leased to Sports Direct to? There could be a whole river of cash that should be in NUFCs coffers diverted to SD.

          • Carverlier football

            And then (assuming any such reports have been true…) buyers come in, do due dilligence, see that club revenue is tied up lock stock and barrel to SD for years, understandably say “not at that price mate”, Ashley calls them time wasters, and they can’t tell anyone why they’d be mad to buy the club because of non-disclosure agreements

          • Jezza

            Excellent comment. A very good analysis of what is most likely happening.

          • Danimal

            In a nutshell.

          • Billmag

            Spot on.

        • Wezza

          Spot on!

    • Mxpx

      And the tickets the merchandise the sponsorship money (well minus the free adverts for sports direct) it all adds up

  • Paul Patterson

    That’ll be naff all . .

    • Jezza

      Nothing but loans and free transfers in January.

  • Mxpx

    Mike Ashley “We’ve had a whip round and we’ve got together £3.20 however Janice the tea lady has just nipped out to get milk sugar and coffee with it for penfold sorry rafa “

  • Wezza

    Rafa may have handed in his plan and is doing his job but funds WILL NOT be released. Probably another token loan signing and free transfers.
    Also by now nobody and I repeat nobody is going to fall for the ‘what if he changes’ He will not, he has not and never will.
    Ashley out!

  • BigHairyDog

    The only way Ashley will fund a spending spree is in the summer if we find ourselves in the Championship, then he’ll find the money to put his SD advertising hoardings back on worldwide exposure as he did 3 seasons ago.

  • Tweed Mag

    Money could be an even bigger problem in the future, now that it seems likely that SD are struggling to find an auditor for their annual accounts. None of the four big companies want to do the job. This will be a major headache for Ashley and it indicates how his reputation continues to spiral downwards. The last SD AGM was a farce and the self inflicted pressure continues to mount.

    • Carverlier football

      Hopefully it’s an indication we’re getting into the later stages of the Rise and Fall of the Ashley Empire…

      • Toontaff

        The thought of Ashley running into the North Sea, like Reggie Perrin, then returning as a sewerage worker!

  • GToon

    How can we expect to buy players when we are owned by somebody who has become rich from selling things. We are disappointed every time. This time will be no different.
    And Rafa, the answer to your question is “none” by the way.