Rafa Benitez is now coming under fire from Newcastle fans.

That is if you take notice of the media and/or social media.

What the reality is of course, might be totally different, depending on how you see the situation.

I’m not convinced that there is any desire for Rafa Benitez to leave Newcastle United now.

The people I speak to before, during and after home matches, I don’t hear anybody thinking it makes sense for Rafa to go.

The same with those I work with and socialise in between games.

Obviously there are a lot of angry and frustrated people out there but all that anger and frustration is aimed at Mike Ashley, not Rafa Benitez.

Load of Newcastle fans I speak to, do think that Rafa should have made different team selections and substitutions, but that is just all normal fan stuff.

Supporters of any club all have their own ideas about players and tactics but surprise surprise, this doesn’t equal wanting rid of your manager.

Newcastle fans booed when Yoshinori Muto and not Ayoze Perez was subbed against Brighton, maybe they were right and maybe they were wrong (with their opinion on the substitution) but this is normal stuff.

There is actually only one thing I do blame Rafa Benitez for and even then, I also accept there is a valid argument as to why he did what he did.

I don’t think Rafa should have stuck it out.

I believe he should have walked out this summer when he discovered exactly what ‘every penny’ meant this time.

Surely the NUFC manager would have had an overwhelming case for constructive dismissal, just like Kevin Keegan before him. All of those broken promises on transfers and commitment to ‘every penny’ to spend, clear evidence of Mike Ashley not keeping his side of the deal.

I honestly think that it would have been better for everybody – the fans, the players, indeed Rafa Benitez himself, if he’d left St James Park.

Once it became clear what Ashley was doing with this summer’s transfer window, Rafa should have called out the club’s owner.

Forget some of the comments the NUFC manager has made since the window closed, trying to keep the squad’s morale up.

The refusal to allow proper investment in the squad meant Newcastle were destined for a relegation fight and very likely to go down. Rafa Benitez would 100% have known this and I believe should have came out and said that he had been badly let down and was walking away from the club because of Mike Ashley’s actions, or inactions.

Short-term pain for long-term gain.

This club is a joke under Mike Ashley and having a decent manager such as Rafa Benitez is sadly only prolonging his time here, before the club totally crashes.

Mike Ashley has to sell and the sooner he is forced into a position where he feels he has no option to do so, is all that matters.

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  • Kenny

    6 million reasons why Rafa is still here, even a rich manager cant take a hit like that

    • Leazes.

      Mark Douglas…. he was there before Ashley covering the previous regime in saliva…. don’t forget they were draining the club of money as well…

      …’So for the record: the Chronicle’s editorial stance – from the sports department – is we’re 100% behind Benitez, we know where the problems at the club lie, we are a critical friend of the club and we’re listening (and reporting) on fan movements and protests. We are the only – stress, only – mainstream media to have covered Magpie Group meetings’…

      Douglas is 100% behind Rafa…… until he gets his poll in order.

  • Mirandinha9

    Wholeheartedly agree – Rafa should have walked and was gullible to even think that Cashley would have dreamt to back him. A leopard doesn’t change his spots. He has been devoid of any ambition for the club throughout his tenure. It was short sighted for Rafa to believe that Cashley shared his ambitions to go for silverware or enable the Toon to perform at an optimal level.

    • Kenny

      He has a £6m penalty clause if he leaves before his contract is up,

  • Paul Patterson

    It could have been so simple. Just back a world class manager. It’s not hard. Rafa may endorse the signings like the professional he is but they weren’t first choice.
    The clubs policy of bidding low in the hope of saving a few million is a fallacy.
    It will result in a third relegation.
    Not Rafas fault..

  • t00nraider

    He should be applauded for sticking it out, fighting for the club’s future and helping the recovery from years of wreckless spending from Shepherd and Hall and incompetence under Ashley as well as not panicking or having tantrums. He also knows we’ve been very unlucky with injuries and over the course of the season should get a bit more luck and show the true squad strength.

    • JohnnyH

      Get someone to proof read it then have another go

  • Leazes.

    I’m afraid he couldn’t walk Dale…. he would have had to pay the club. It was in the caveat of his contract….Rafa sacked his agent for signing him up to a golden handcuff agreement.

    That tells you his intentions are not to sign a new deal and see out this one.

    • FatParosite

      There is an extremely solid case for constructible dismissal. Unfortunately now Rafa has HIS name on a few unwanted records and coukd also dirty his hands with a relegation. Rafa would likely console himself with everyone “knowing” that relegation is not his fault however you only have to look at the media to see that intelligence is a luxury when it comes to common perception.

  • Kneebotherm8

    If Rafa walked it’d be exactly what Ashley has been angling for these past few transfer windows………….why give the FCB the pleasure?…….whatever Ashleys public declarations have been about wanting to keep Benitez,it’s obvious to a blind man that he’s wants him out and a grovelling yes man in his place…..

  • DeadToiler

    Rafa’s saving paying the contract up but damaging his reputation. He’s going to be seen as the man who got us relegated twice. That can’t help future job prospects he’ll look like one of yesterday’s men. He could have walked away with his head held high after a fantastic job and easily got a top job and made the £6M back. He could have obviously done better with more resources but there’s too much malaise set in now. If (though most unlikely in the short term) we do get a new owner I’d like to see a fresh start. A new young manager (though who I don’t know). I would wish Rafa well. Ashley can **** himself, the greedy capatalists ****. Good article Dale.

    • JohnnyH


    • Down Under Mag

      I don’t think anyone in their right mind would blame Rafa for getting us relegated last time, he failed to “save us” from relegation but that was because the damage had already been done. He got us promoted at the first attempt and despite an previous discussion I had with someone on twitter this morning about the facts surrounding his “stumble” over the line for the title that is and of itself was an amazing feat. This time, while he can take some responsibility the main problem is and always has been Ashley’s inability or unwillingness to back the manager in the transfer market. Rafa, in my opinion, has every right to walk out, refuse to pay Ashley and take him to court ala Keegan for being lied to but I think he is playing his cards close to his chest. It will be very interesting to see what revelations Rafa gives about his dealings here under this regime when he does leave.

  • Leazes.


  • robbersdog

    Rafa’s the best manager we’ve had since Sir Bobby, but he can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, and he knows it.

    He’ll be leaving at the end of the season and I shudder to think who Ashley will bring in as a replacement.

  • DeadToiler

    I know it was the buffoon McClarren ( I can’t be bothered check if I’ve spelt his name correctly) who mismanaged so grossly that it was a virtually impossible job. The point is that some people only look at the bald facts that he will be the manager that took us down twice. I do hope I’m proved wrong and he turns the season round.

  • Themoscow72

    Rafa is not like Keegan and will not walk out of a club at the drop of a hat like he did twice under the Halls and England and many other clubs. The only thing Rafa has done wrong is let Gayle go for a crock and not come out publically t o condemthe protesters. He wants he fans to be united and behind the team what he actually means is he hates the protesters.

    • TheFatController

      Why would he hate the protesters when they are united by sharing the same sense of being betrayed by an owner who said ‘every penny’, laid out plans for training ground improvements years ago that we cannot now afford (allegedly), and didnt turn up to a game for over a year?

      Rafa loves the protesters and the protesters love Rafa.

      The fact that no one loves Ashley in all this might just explain the bizarre self defeating motivations of our illustrious owner ..

      • Anne Mumford

        If Rafa hates the ‘protests’ I don’t believe that he hates the protesters. He has an affinity with the fans and I’m convinced he understands why the fans feel so strongly, but we can still support our team x

      • Themoscow72

        Rafa has no time for anyone who protests in the ground and neither have I . Would ban them and put them on an express train to Sunderland and not stop off at Heworth.

    • MadMag83

      Gayle’s lot for bulldozed by the mighty Derby County last night 😂

  • Gallowgate1982

    Totally agree with the sentiment! Problem is Rafa loves the club and the fans and is hoping something happens to allow him to deliver us from evil so will hang on until his last finger slips from the precipice. MA does not care less either way hes a winner and if anyone thinks he still cares what the fans think they are deluded beyond belief club will not be sold whilst it still make him money end of