Rafa Benitez endgame now in sight – Refuses to guarantee he will stay after Thursday if credible signings not made
A big Rafa Benitez story late on Monday night.
The newspapers collectively agreeing not to put it out until 10.30pm last night.
The Newcastle boss asked if he would/could give a guarantee that he will stay after Thursday and at least see out the rest of the season, if Mike Ashley fails to back him in these remaining hours of the transfer window.
The Rafa Benitez response…’No, I cannot guarantee anything. We will wait until Thursday and see what happens.’
It is difficult to see how anything that could conceivably happen by 11pm on Thursday could be seen as enough to convince the manager that anything of significance had changed at the club.
With the club deep in relegation trouble at the end of December and a growing number of injuries, as well as players away on international duty throughout January, once signings didn’t arrive in the opening 7-10 days of the window, both Rafa Benitez and the fans knew the score.
If pre-January plans hadn’t been put in place to guarantee at least two or three credible new signings, who would then be in place and settled to be available for the key relegation clash with Cardiff on 19 January, then all hope had gone.
At least one significant buy such as Miguel Almiron to try and add creativity and goals, plus another one or two – especially a left-back that Rafa has wanted for four windows, that was the bare minimum surely.
Whatever happens now, if anything, we are surely in the kind of territory where any signing(s) would be simply token loan players brought in to make it look as though Mike Ashley had tried. A hopeless Doumbia and/or an already injured Slimani the kind of thing Rafa Benitez would be landed with.
Despite all of this nonsense, I doubt very much that anything will make the Spaniard walk away now.
He has his professional pride to see the job through, no matter what obstacles are put in his way and/or the lack of backing.
More than that though, a bit like a broken marriage where one partner’s behaviour has made it impossible for it to continue, Rafa Benitez will do what is best for the kids (fans/players) and see things through to the end of the season before the final separation.
In this situation though, surely zero chance Rafa will then see the kids/fans ever again, unless Mike Ashley changes behaviour and becomes serious about trying to sell the club at a market price, rather than pretending he is trying to sell Newcastle United, as has been the case for these past 11 years.
Rafa Benitez asked if he could guarantee that he wouldn’t walk out if he wasn’t properly backed in the transfer market by Thursday night:
“No, I cannot guarantee anything.
“We will wait until Thursday and see what happens.
“Hopefully we can get three points against Manchester City and then everybody will be happy.
“I came here and I decided to stay [when Newcastle were] in the Championship because I can see the potential of the club.
“I will try to do my best until the last minute.
“I had a conversation with Mike (Ashley), Justin (Barnes), (Keith) Bishop and Lee (Charnley) the other day. We were talking about everything and now we will see where we are.
“I didn’t expect it (the meeting) but always, he’s the owner, he can do what he wants.
“I’m a professional and I’m fine. I know what I’m trying to do. They know my ideas. That’s it.
“I have some principles and I will try to do things properly.
“Believe me, I can see where you are with your questions and I can see what is going around the fans, but still I have a cold mind, we have to stick together. We have to work hard together and it is the only way, and the best way, if we want to stay in the Premier League.
“What I have to give back to the fans is this: I am a professional, I will work hard and I will try to do my best.”
Rafa Benitez asked if he had a message for supporters thinking about stopping going to games and/or cancelling their season tickets:
“That is not my business.
“My business is to prepare the team against Manchester City and be sure they can compete until the end of the season.”
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