Rafa Benitez decided to make Newcastle United his next job after leaving Real Madrid.

After leaving the biggest club in the world, two months later Newcastle sacked Steve McClaren and Rafa approached NUFC to offer his services.

Even Mike Ashley couldn’t miss that own goal.

Rafa Benitez said he had approached the Newcastle United hierarchy because he saw the club as a long-term project, where over a period of time he could help build the team and club to be a force once again in the Premier League.

The new manager seeing that if realistic investment was made by the club in the Academy, training complex and first team squad, then Newcastle United could grow year on year.

Now 33 months later he has delivered instant promotion as Champions of the second tier, a 10th place finish in the Premier League, and now recovering (fifth best in Premier League recent form table over last six games) after a tough start to the season, the team in 14th and looking to push on once again.

The only thing missing in these past 33 months is investment.

No proper investment in the training complex (an ‘essential’ new state of the art one was promised by Mike Ashley back in 2013), no investment in the Academy, whilst Rafa Benitez has made a profit for NUFC/Mike Ashley in the transfer market since March 2016 when he walked through the door.

Asked over these past four months or more about whether he would extend his contract, Rafa Benitez has repeatedly said that he would wait to see what happened in the January transfer window.

After ‘broken promises’ in each of these last four transfer windows, Rafa Benitez has refused to do Mike Ashley’s bidding and sign a new contract blind, with no sighting of any change in the owner’s attitude and backing.

With now only that one transfer window remaining and five months of football before his current deal expires, Rafa Benitez has yet again sent out the ‘potential’ message to Mike Ashley.

That either he has to allow money to be spent on growing the first team squad quality (as well as investment elsewhere in the club), or else sell the club to somebody who will back/help the manager.

Talking on Friday, Rafa Benitez said that ‘just with one or two things’, Newcastle United could ‘easily’ be top eight, possibly top six.

One or two things could easily be imagined to be the quality centre-forward and number 10 that Newcastle have been crying out for since promotion.

With their late run of form last season Newcastle looked to be heading for a potential top eight finish, only to fall five points short, as after achieving early safety they eased off and lost four in a row before the final day win against Chelsea.

Top six is obviously another step up but it is all about doing all the right things and whilst the ‘big six’ are a tough nut to crack, only three seasons ago Southampton ended up top six. This season Man Utd have offered the chance for somebody to step up and if there had been more consistency from certain clubs, they could have been a good eight points or more clear of Mourinho’s team already.

It is all about getting a foothold ever higher and then trying to take advantage, Newcastle are one of the few (only?) clubs capable of breaking into that top grouping. You are talking over a period of time but why not?

Get everything at Newcastle pushing in the right direction and with the right man in charge like Rafa Benitez, you can reach for the stars. You might not get there but having a real go is what it is all about.

Tottenham have done a lot of things right over a period of time to establish themselves, yet not so long ago there was very little between the finances of the two clubs.

Even with Mike Ashley’s crass running of Newcastle United, it still brings in more revenue than pretty much every other club outside that ‘big six’.

Does anybody really doubt that there isn’t significant extra revenue and profit that can be generated with new owners?

For Newcastle United to have a chance, we need Mike Ashley to sell the club.

Everything else can flow from there.

Rafa Benitez talking to Sky Sports:

“I  think that this team could be in the top six, It could be in the top eight easily.

“When I say easily I mean just with one or two things.

“When I decided to come here, it was because I saw the potential of the club, the city, everything.

“Still, I can see the same.”

Challenging at the very top:

“With the right tools, you can stop Manchester City, but we are talking about £500m with a great manager and great players. Everything is positive for them.

“Can Liverpool stop Manchester City? Yes.

“Can Arsenal and Tottenham and Chelsea stop City? Yes.

“But can they be more consistent over a season? That will be more difficult.

“I do think that the top teams can compete with each other but it is a big difference to the rest.”

Dealing with the tough start to this season:

“That is where experience comes in.

“Do not get too high thinking you are a genius and do not get too low thinking you are the worst in the world.

“You just need to be consistent.”

  • Leazes.

    So you’re saying that Rafa doesn’t believe the club is for sale either?

    Comments welcome…..

    • Steven05

      I’ll give you my comment:

      I love Rafa Benitez and he has more class in a strand of his hair on a bad day than the people/person at the top of this club could ever have. He is a man of genuine humanity and class that is far too good to be wasting his time being messed around by the cancer known as Ashley.

      • Leazes.

        Absolutely…. he’s shown it by his actions in Liverpool for their fans movements and charities and despite losing his post continued to help.

        • Steven05

          Also am I correct in thinking that in Liverpool his wife is nicknamed the ‘Angel of Kindness’ due to the work she does for kids and families?

          • Leazes.

            That was in the chronicle so I’m not sure if its true or a bit of publicity…..

          • Tweed Mag

            It is true – she has her own charitable foundation. Concentrates on funding small charities who look after/support children. Good on her.

    • Toontaff

      Correct! Time to hop over to Paris for a proper protest?

    • KennySamsung

      Don’t think Rafa at this point believes anything Ashley says anymore.. such a shame it could all have been different, I fear I will be saying the same thing at the end of the season.

      • Sickandtired

        It could never have been different under this fat oaf. He made his intentions clear from the first season and has only gotten worse since.

      • Leazes.

        I’m looking forward to the chronicles excuses for their own betrayal on 31st December And 1st of February….. and that goes for Simon Bird, Starforth, Douglas and Ryder…..and our very own Mark Jensen!

        • Billmag

          Time will tell no doubt about that but are we expecting anything different from the named incumbents.

          • Leazes.

            They do what they always do….. jam tomorrow, transfer speculation, praise the ‘loyalty’ of the customers and show a few pictures from the training ground….. its cyclical…. we’ve been through groundhog day without making any amendments.

        • Wezza

          They’ll just tow the club’s excuse which will be couldn’t spend during takeover (lie) and then the 4 bidders that don’t exist will have wasted FCB’s time. If I could I’d pin this message because I’m confident this is exactly how it will play out!

        • KennySamsung

          A once great institution brought to its knees by misinformed so called expert foreigners (not from the black and white world) who don’t care, did I mention spineless moronic amateur no marks who think we are misled by untruths and gutter press trash. Think that covers it!

      • Kneebotherm8

        Definitely doesn’t believe a word Ashley says………it’s actions he’s after now,not words,from the FLCB…

    • X2

      I’m still shocked at TMG calling off the boycott (hope many will still boycott, though). I just can’t see how those within TMG who argued for cancelling the boycott could think it was ever the right thing to do. I’m wondering for the first time if those people are in Ashley’s pocket somehow.

      • Leazes.

        Not all of them…. just whoever had no faith….

    • Paul Patterson

      Rafa is probably hopeful of a takeover but is probably thinking that he’s in the last six months of his term at Newcastle . .

      • Leazes.

        I think that is the noise he’s making is for the press, but he’s not going to get backing because the sale isn’t genuine…..I think he knows it….. its not only fans being duped.

      • Kneebotherm8

        In the event of no takeover/no January investment he will be gone in 6 months……in the event of a takeover(😂😂)/January investment he could be here for the next 6 years………the former,as we all know,is the likely scenario.

    • Wezza

      Well there is never any communication so he probably knows as much as we do. Like us, he has heard it all before.

  • East Durham Mag

    Absolutely everyone knows the potential of Newcastle United including Fatty but he doesn’t give a f**k.

    • Kenny

      He never has, Nufc is an advertising tool

  • Alex

    Ashley hasn’t allowed Newcastle to try to realise that potential for 11+ years. Does anyone think he’s going to wake up to that in the next 23 days before January?

    (Sadly, some ‘fans’ do, I fear)

  • Billmag

    Rafa is a brilliant manager and a gentleman, quite the opposite to this clubs snake of an owner, Rafa has had nearly 3 years of the fat oaf so I would imagine he knows by now what sort of a lying toad toad he is. I see it’s been reported by Goal that Rafa has denied a £15ml bid for Almiron is on the table (there’s a shock). Yet more lies and deceit from this clubs hierarchy which has become the norm.

  • Sickandtired

    Everyone chuntering on about the cancellation of boycotts, and perhaps that was Fatty’s aim when mentioning takeover. Much more likely it was aimed at keeping Rafa here and getting him to sign a new contract before he gets shafted again.

    • Kenny

      Rafa`s not as daft as the sheep.

      • Sickandtired

        Of course not. But Fatty seems to think his lies are somehow believable. Looking at the Press and reactions of some of our support, he appears to be correct once again!

        • Kenny

          it`s worked as far as the boycotts concerned

      • Kneebotherm8

        Rafa will vote with his feet when push comes to shove……………unlike the sheep who deserve all they get.

  • Kenny

    It will fall on deaf ears i`m afraid the Fat Rat has no intention of spending in January or any other window for that matter.
    next season the sheep can watch Nufc nose dive once again into the championship as Rafa will be gone & that squad is not fit for purpose

    • Leazes.

      You can say that again, and probably will.

  • Paul Patterson

    But he’s selling the club. He told us last week on the telly . .

    • Leazes.

      The press seem to think this is a legally binding contract…… but then again our press believed United had a better side than Liverpool in 1974.

      (for those who are too young we got hammered at Wembley even with Supermac in the side)

      • East Durham Mag

        I was 8 but its a day never to forgotten. 😫

  • robbersdog

    From an article on football365…

    Unlike almost any other manager in the league, Rafa could stay at St James Park for the rest of his life if the fans were to have their way. But Mike Ashley is still squatting on the club like a gigantic bloated leech, draining the life force out of it with his vampiric feasting on its blood.

    • Leazes.

      Was that from John Motson?

      • East Durham Mag

        Certainly not Jim White or Keys and Gray.

  • James

    He’s probably just telling lies to the press about the sale of the club for a tactic to not spend in January. Again

  • Wezza

    Ashley isn’t bothered in the football club or it’s potential. It is just a tool he has taken advantage of to gain hundreds of millions and free advertising for SD.
    He will not back Rafa in January and never has.

    • Realist

      Copy & paste

    • Realist

      Thought I was soon to be banned wezza?

      • Chris-Chapple

        thought i had blocked you troll, i have now

        • East Durham Mag

          You can’t if their name is in grey. Best ignore it.