Rafa Benitez has said that the situation isn’t hopeless, in terms of avoiding relegation and/or extending  his stay at Newcastle United.

Rafa asked if he’d consider signing a new contract if Mike Ashley proved his commitment with proper backing in the January transfer market, the manager saying he would consider it because he is happy at the club.

The Spaniard reaffirmed why he moved to Tyneside only two months after leaving Real Madrid, saying he believed he was joining a massive club, with a whole City behind it, that could quickly turn itself around and become a top eight club with great potential

The Newcastle manager breaking down what comes next.

Rafa Benitez saying he and his coaching staff have the expertise and experience and are putting in 12 hour days to turn things around on the pitch, to get results in the next couple of months.

Then it will be a case of the January window and if the club/Mike Ashley ‘do things right in January’ and land the ‘right targets’, it could help transform the picture both on and off the pitch.

The other side of the coin of course is that Rafa Benitez is surely yet again telling Mike Ashley and the Newcastle fans, if he doesn’t get proper support from the owner in this next window, then it is a pointless exercise staying at the club, destined simply to endless struggles just to survive.

For many/most fans of course, they simply want Mike Ashley out of the club and a decade plus of experience has told us that Mike Ashley is poison for Newcastle United.

Friday night saw two months worth of protests announced by The Magpie Group, including a one-off boycott of the Wolves match on Sunday December, this despite Rafa Benitez having previously said he’d rather fans stayed simply supporting the team in the stadium, rather than staying away in protest at the owner.

Whatever happens in January could prove too little too late for both the team and fans.

Even if Mike Ashley very belatedly makes proper transfer budget support available to the manager, it isn’t likely to change many fans’ opinion that the owner still needs to sell up, whilst for the team they could still end up relegated despite any belated quality signings – such is the mess Mike Ashley has created by starving the squad of proper support.

Whether what Mike Ashley does, is enough to convince Rafa Benitez is a whole other question.

He has already previously stayed at SJP despite the team ending up in the Championship, would he be prepared to do so again?

Rafa Benitez asked if he could still extend Newcastle contract if Mike Ashley proves his commitment by backing the manager with transfer funds in January:

“Yes I am happy here.’

“We still have plenty of time to talk about the future but the main thing is to be sure we do what we have to do now, on the pitch.

“Then after we go to January and hopefully we can do things right.

“We have to find the right targets to improve things and do it.

“If so we have more chance to survive, last year we were at the bottom and we did things right in January, we finished 10th.

“So that is an example for this year.

“We (Rafa and his coaching staff) are here at 7.30 in the morning and leave 7.30 at night, we are trying to do things in the same way we were last year.

“I have to be calm and I have to believe because we have done this before.

“We (Rafa and his coaching staff) have been successful for years.

“When I came here, I decided to come because of the potential of the club and the city behind it.

“I felt it would be a team fighting to be in the top eight and I still believe that, if we do the right things…

“Now we are in a position that I am not happy with – but I have to deal with that. I will try to do my best.

“Am I happy with the position? No chance – but still I have to believe that we will survive.’

Rafa Benitez was invited to appear on Sky Sports’ Monday night show this week but pulled out at last minute, replaced by Graeme Souness, the manager explains why….

“There was an invitation and I said, ‘Listen, if the time is right, I will go on.’

“As soon as we win some games in a row, then no problem, but I have to respect the fans.

“You cannot go on there to talk about other things when you have to concentrate on your own team.”

  • Paul Patterson

    All well and good, but sadly by January I fear it could be too late.

    Backing the manager should have happened the day we secured premier league safety. That was in April.
    The owner has no intention of doing so . .

    • Hindsight doesn’t help us now. What’s done is done. All those boycotting should now go to games even more and start supporting the team better! Should be cheering when they feel like boo-ing. We aren’t getting any new players for two months at least, would have to at least give the current players full support or we are certainly relegated!

      • Paul Patterson

        What part of progressing the club and actually competing with 19 other teams is ‘hindsight’?
        To leave signings until the a**e end of August is negligent/deliberate sabotage. Players need to be on board ideally before pre-season.
        Substantial funds were required, we made a profit. Owners fault . .

        • Leazes.

          And anything that comes in in January will be panic….. stopgap…. Rafa isn’t building for the future, Ashley isn’t building for the future either except for his new metal SD signage at SJP.

          • justchampion

            At inflated prices too. Not sure how that figures in his ‘business model’.

        • Never said it isn’t. We need to rally behind the players since we won’t be getting new ones until January and they may be more squad players.

      • Tweed Mag

        There has been a lot said about player recruitment for a long time – it was the same last season. Ashley does not listen. Hindsight has nothing to do with it, he has been told time and again to invest, but he ignores those who know better. The players know what the fans think and they know they have our support. The owner is the one that has to show his belief in the team and the club.

      • drc74

        hindsight doesnt come into it, the fat twxt has played the percentages, ie we finished tenth last season, so without any real investment in the team we should on paper alone achieve 4th bottom and surrvive, then i can buy debenhams

      • chris

        Support the team? Who ashley team? He’s had enough from me am not putting nowt in his pocket again. He owns the team he can support it. He has made nufc a club with no ambition. I am not paying to watch. The team just try to survive. Leave the ground empty. Make him look the fool he is and he might just pi$$ @££.

        • No, our team, Rafa’s team (or more like his third choice team). We aren’t getting new players before January and if we want to attract a few decent ones we can’t be in the bottom 3.

  • If we haven’t got more than 12 points come January I doubt Rafa will still be at the club and even if he is, Ashely would not back him enough to give him a chance of survival. Even more, which decent player will want to come play for an almost certainly relegated club?
    Newcastle need to do themselves a favour and start winning games to at least climb out of the relegation zone by Boxing day, otherwise even if money is available, nobody will be willing to sign for the club.

    • HarryHype59

      Just a thought, how long will it be before we break the ten point barrier?

      • killymag

        Probably next season

    • Clarko

      ‘Ashely would not back him enough to give him a chance of survival.’

      Really? Did he not spend €20.70m in January 2013 when Newcastle were struggling? Did he not spend €68.85m in the summer 2015 window after Newcastle narrowly avoided relegation in the previous season? Did he not spend €38.70m in the January 2016 window when Newcastle were fighting relegation?

      • BanJones

        Desperately fire fighting rather than long term sensible investment – you are right.

        • Clarko

          He’s invested €142.65m in players since he appointed Benitez, two and a half years ago, what does he have to show for that investment? Joselu?

          • BanJones

            Yeah as you say Joselu – I am certain that with a free hand to spend sensibly Rafa would not have bought him, Rafa is picking from the bargain basement and unable to make a long term recruitment plan because the assett stripper won’t allow him full control of a known budget. Ashley evidently knows nowt about football while Rafa is a multiple winner in the pro game – the evidence is plain to see when you look at the table. Drip feeding a minimal budget might work in retail, football is a different industry. Last minute this last minute that – ridiculous as are you for defending it.

          • Billmag

            He’s been peddling the same rubbish for the past month.

          • Clarko

            And you’ve been replying with that same comment for the past month, while being unable to explain why it’s rubbish…

          • Clarko

            If he had a ‘free hand’ he would’e brought in Tammy Abraham in on loan, what happened to him? Didn’t he get relegated with Swansea? Who is he playing for now? Aston Villa right? In the Championship? Joselu shouldn’t be anywhere near our team. All of the players (bar Dubravka) he has signed shouldn’t be anywhere near our team.

            Bargain basement? Graham Carr did alright on the same budget… It doesn’t excuse his signings, two wrongs don’t make a right.

          • BanJones

            Tammy A under Rafa’s tutelage? Who knows? Rafa might have seen an easy tweak to make him a better player, maybe that’s why he wanted him?
            Joselu is what £5m get’s you in todays market. the under spend on goal power is criminal. It stems from the assett strippers love of cash and ignorance of football. Look at the board situation! Penfold the most over promoted CE in the league being paid a fraction of what the job should be worth at a properly run premier league club.

          • Clarko

            ‘Rafa might have seen an easy tweak to make him a better player, maybe that’s why he wanted him?’

            Why hasn’t he done that with anyone who he has bought?

            ‘Joselu is what £5m get’s you in todays market. the under spend on goal power is criminal.’

            Murphy – bought for €3.50m
            Joselu – bought for €5.50m
            Gayle – bought for €12.00m
            Muto – bought for €10.70m
            Mitrovic – bought for €18.50m (sold for €20.20m)
            Rondon – bought for €17.00m (by West Brom)

            Benitez has had €67.20m worth of talent at his disposal, not ‘£5m’.

          • BanJones

            Exactly – when shopping at the cheap shops you are taking more risk, players with some of the attributes but full on rounded goalscorers cost real money that an assett stripper is not going to invest in.

          • Clarko

            Risk? That implies that Benitez has had some success in the transfer market, he hasn’t, he’s failed.

            Again, Benitez has had €97.70m worth of talent at his disposal, your point is invalid:

            Murphy – bought for €3.50m
            Joselu – bought for €5.50m
            Muto – bought for €10.70m
            Gayle – bought for €12.00m
            Rondon – bought for €17.00m (by West Brom)
            Mitrovic – bought for €18.50m (sold for €20.20m)
            Slimani – bought for €30.50m (by Leicester)

          • BanJones

            Well done on the addy ups! You don’t understand my point that’s your problem. I’ll try again : if you as owner only approve deals if you are happy with the agents cut or follow the advice of a Chelsea groundsman and don’t listen to your world class manager and let him go with a proper realistic budget you are a tragic penny pinching assett stripper doomed to fail at football but fill your piggy bank.
            Silk purse – pigs ear. Ashley is making a dog’s breakfast of the club.

          • Clarko

            The points you’ve tried to make during this argument (and my counter points):

            – ‘Desperately fire fighting rather than long term sensible investment’ (€142.65m)

            – ‘Joselu – I am certain that with a free hand to spend sensibly Rafa would not have bought him’ (Abraham)

            – ‘Rafa is picking from the bargain basement’ (Graham Carr)

            – ‘Tammy A under Rafa’s tutelage’ (No evidence)

            – ‘Joselu is what £5m get’s you in todays market. the under spend on goal power is criminal’ (€97.70m worth of strikers)

            – ‘Exactly – when shopping at the cheap shops you are taking more risk, players with some of the attributes but full on rounded goalscorers cost real money’ (€97.70m worth of strikers)

            You can’t change subjects to ‘Chelsea groundsman’ and ‘agents’ and claim that I don’t understand your point after I’ve countered every single point that you’ve made…

          • BanJones

            You must be great fun at parties Clarko. Quoting the numbers on one side of the equation goes nowhere near answering my point, I can’t be bothered have fun – i’m going out.
            Why defend assett stripping?

          • Clarko

            And there we go, you’ve been proven wrong again, I understood every single one of you points and countered all of them.

            1) What do you mean by asset stripping?

            2) Where did I defend asset stripping? Quote me.

          • LA toon

            and in sales? Cherry picking are we?

          • Clarko

            He’s invested €142.65m in players since Benitez was appointed, net spend doesn’t change that dummy.

          • LA toon

            Does your carer type for you or do you use your pointy head?

          • Clarko

            And there we go, nothing to say…

      • East Durham Mag

        Yes Clarko keywords being “struggling” “narrowly” “fighting” no long term plans just short term panic buys then selling any saleable commodities afterwards.

        • Clarko

          So when he doesn’t spend he’s being greedy but when he does spend he’s panic buying? How does that work? So based on your comment we shouldn’t spend anything in January because that would be panic buying? And spending €68.85m in the summer 2015 window is classed as panic buying is it?

          ‘selling any saleable commodities afterwards’ – That’s a lie. Not true.

          • East Durham Mag

            Ah your favourite word ” lie”. As for money spent it was given to Graham Carr and Stcheeve Mc. Not a patch on Benitez. Two strikers out one in on loan. Big spender is’nt he? Doubtless you will bombard me with “facts” and “figures” again and again and accuse all of us of lying repeatedly. Thats your perogative.

          • Clarko

            Now you’ve changed the subject to who he gave the money to and the summer 18 transfer window…

            You were wrong, you lied and your reasoning was incredibly stupid.

          • East Durham Mag

            Whatever you say. Liar. Conversation over. Thank you.

          • Clarko

            And there we go, nothing to say, I wonder why 🤔

          • East Durham Mag

            There you go, a fantasist. You have a nice day.

          • Clarko

            What did I imagine? Are you lying again?

      • And two of those times we got relegated and he never learned his lesson.

        • Clarko

          No, we only got relegated one of those times, spending €107.55m in the process, considering Ashley has refused to spend this season it looks like he has learned his lesson. Looks like you were wrong, twice.

          • Yes, when it was too late and we recouped more than half of that selling players when we went down.

          • Clarko

            ‘when it was too late’

            How is spending €68.85m in the summer transfer window too late?

            ‘we recouped more than half of that selling players when we went down’

            That’s not what we’re talking about you dunce.

  • Kenny

    If there are some quality buys in January its to save his own Fat a$$ and not for
    the club

    • HarryHype59

      Quality buys…😀😁😁😃This is NUFC under Ashey. It will be more bargain basement punts and panic loans.

      The Fat fool will lead poverty whilst diverting the eight figure Jan TV lump
      sums into one of his “special accounts”

    • killymag

      What quality player will come here in January into the toxic atmosphere created by the Fat Man when the first thing on his C.V will be relegation, the only club that sells quality players in January is nufc

  • East Durham Mag

    Fatty is too stupid,greedy and arrogant to realise this will be shitorbust for Rafa, the Fat Oaf needs to realise he will never have another manager of the quality of Rafa again. He should have backed Rafa a long time ago.

    • Geordiegiants

      He isn’t bothered anymore he has had his money ten fold and is squeezing for as long as he can before it goes boom. Out of spite he will leave us like the inbreds.

  • Mrkgw

    Could this be Rafa preparing for the sack? Very strange shift in declaring that he might now be willing to sign a deal. Remember, previous statemements have been his refusing to discuss such matters. Something seems ‘off’ here….

    On a further note, here’s hoping for three points today. We desperately need that much.

  • Billmag

    Cast your mind back Rafa to when you wanted Townsend in the January transfer window fatty wouldn’t back you because we where going ok in the Championship, you wanted player’s in early in the summer, the begging bowl was out until the back end of the transfer window because the owner thought we had enough to compete because we finished 10th last season. The bottom line is Rafa and you should know the owner by now he will only back his manager’s if the club’s in trouble, he isn’t to be trusted under any circumstances. Ashley out.

    • Clarko

      ‘Cast your mind back Rafa to when you wanted Townsend in the January transfer window fatty wouldn’t back you because we where going ok in the Championship’

      On the 21st of January we were 2nd in the table, 2 points behind Brighton who were in 1st place, which was our next match (which we won without Townsend) and 9 points ahead of Reading who were 3rd in table, that was after spending €63.75m in the summer, an amount which theoretically would have bought Brighton’s entire squad at the beginning of that season. I think the decision not to buy Townsend was justified.

      • Billmag

        What you think is immaterial, it’s what the real fans think is the most important, so don’t respond to my post’s Cuckoo.

        • Clarko

          “I don’t like it when you prove me wrong by using facts”

        • Wezza

          Just block the troll mate, with luck he will get banned again soon.

  • magpiefifer

    The fat leopard isn’t going to change his spots!
    Rafa will not get the tools he needs and will be sadly away at the end of the season.

  • GlasgowMag

    It doesn’t matter if the fatboy supports him or not in January the only thing that will help this club if he sells up!! Even if he put 50million down in January it will only be to secure his SD premiership free advertising cash cow!! Get on board guys no show for the Wolves game there is no future until this workhouse owner is gone!! Ashley out!!

    • Clarko

      Fans Forum Minutes:

      ‘There is now an agreement in place whereby Sports Direct pays for all advertising in the stadium.’

      ‘Sports Direct is only allocated what the club doesn’t sell and that arrangement can be terminated immediately by the club if another company is willing to pay more on a fair commercial basis.’

      • GlasgowMag

        liar, liar pants on fire!!🤔🤔😂😂🤣🤣

        • Clarko

          “I just ignore information that I don’t like”

  • Wezza

    Hmmmmmm…. lets see here.
    Rafa WILL NOT get backed in January. (just a hunch)
    He has not been backed, ever, and it would be silly for anyone to think the FCB would change his spots.
    We will have to sell to buy and at the last minute deals will be off and can’t get them over the line leaving another massive profit plus more PR spin and propaganda – ‘held to ransom, club wouldn’t sell’ The excuses year on year are insulting to our intelligence.
    What paper is this from? Source? Mirror?

  • nufcslf

    Reading decent comments and then Clarko and BanJones show up. What a couple of c**ts and not surprising that they back the stupid fat c**t that is running this club or his club into the ground. Don’t bother replying either of you, I won’t be reading it. Just a general comment.