This January transfer window is, sadly, already a disaster for Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United.
The signs weren’t great anyway, after the lack of ambition and nonsense from Mike Ashley in the summer, as well as Rafa’s two previous January windows, when he wasn’t allowed a single signing in January 2017 and not allowed to buy any players in January 2018 – only loan players.
As usual though, a small part of you hopes for better, that this time will be when we see change. Obviously only a fool would have assumed this to happen, though we could still hope/dream.
If this January transfer window was going to see the Newcastle manager belatedly getting a proper and realistic level of backing, we surely knew we’d quickly see evidence of it.
Players lined up to come in as soon as the window opened, a buoyant Rafa Benitez buzzing and upbeat due to more positive workings behind the scenes, the squad lifted and showing better on the pitch.
The reality however, has been no new players announced, indeed the lack of any even positive speculation/claims in the media has been loud and clear.
Added to this, Rafa Benitez is increasingly looking more and more downbeat, sadly looking like somebody who knows now he has been fighting a losing cause from the start with Mike Ashley.
As for the players/squad, the Man Utd match wasn’t terrible but there wasn’t exactly any new spark, whilst the Blackburn FA Cup game was horrendous on Saturday. If those players are aware of a lot of positive things happening behind the scenes they couldn’t have hidden it better, in fact they would be deserving of Oscars.
If there was to be help given to Rafa Benitez then everything would have been geared up to make sure he had new players available for the crucial six pointer against Cardiff on Saturday 19 January, a game that has ‘must win’ written all over it.
That game is only 12 days away now and even if by some miracle Newcastle actually signed a decent quality player(s) sometime this week, it would be very unlikely that they would be starting against Cardiff. We all know how meticulous Rafa is with his planning and with any signings almost certainly coming in from abroad, if they ever happen, then having only a week for them to settle in and work with their new teammates wouldn’t be enough from the manager to throw them into such a tough game.
The lack of leadership at Newcastle United away from the manager is as always, laughable.
Rather than Mike Ashley and/or his people doing everything they can to help the manager and the squad in this relegation struggle, we instead have been treated to simply more PR stunts and smoke and mirrors, this weekend in particular.
Instead of Mike Ashley and/or alleged interested buyers making sure, as far as possible, that the team/club will be safe this season by helping in this January transfer window, we just see feeble storylines played out in the media.
The Peter Kenyon letter ‘leaked’, allegedly by both sides – embarrassing.
If there was any deal imminent then surely the two parties would come out and give us a joint statement to reassure everybody, especially Rafa Benitez.
Meanwhile, we are now told once again that Mike Ashley is refusing to give Rafa any transfer funds unless he signs a transfer extension.
Sadly, we can believe this one, as we were told the same thing before the summer window and sure enough, a £20m+ profit and Rafa blocked from spending on the players needed.
We are left looking at Rafa Benitez getting something more out of this same group of players, yet again, what a nightmare.