Another Rafa Benitez press conference and the manager once again looking like most of us feel in early January.

However, the Newcastle United boss isn’t experiencing a temporary feeling/sensation of disappointment, as we all do when real life hits after the festive period.

Instead he is now approaching three years employed at the circus that we call Newcastle United under Mike Ashley.

Rafa Benitez watching his team lose to Manchester United is neither the biggest surprise or problem he has to get over, not by a long way.

The manager expressed his disappointment at the result of course, his team having battled away and maybe deserving a point over much of the game, only to gift the three points via Dubravka’s mistake and then lame defending on a Man Utd counter-attack.

However, it was the double barrel question which everybody was waiting for and sure enough it arrived.

Just as he did in his previous press conference though, Rafa Benitez delivered the same response: ‘I don’t talk about the transfer window and I don’t talk about the takeover.’

These are the big hope and expectation questions for Newcastle fans.

We all hope for Mike Ashley selling up and signings of the quality needed….but surely none of us expect any of that this month, if ever, in the foreseeable future.

What Rafa says doesn’t improve your mood and certainly his body language most definitely doesn’t suggest that here is somebody who is desperately trying to hide imminent breaking positive news.

Instead, he looks like somebody who knows that yet again he has to search the bargain bins and loan market if he wants to add any players. As for a takeover…

At which other Premier League club when your team is deep in relegation trouble and a month before the mid-season transfer window opens, would you have the owner going on TV to say a sale of the club is imminent and then…nothing.

Heading off on holiday and nobody from the club feeling the need to help the manager in any way, letting a situation happen whereby Rafa Benitez has to go from press conference and as well as everything else he has to deal with, has to answer questions about takeover and whether he has any money for players.

Remember, it is all down to Mike Ashley, he was the one who dropped the takeover bombshell and then has left others to deal with the fallout, as always.

It is almost as though he on purpose wanted to cause more mischief for Rafa Benitez and the supporters…

Rafa Benitez:

“I don’t talk about the transfer window and I don’t talk about the takeover.

“I talk with Lee Charnley almost every day, but I will not talk about that…

“We made a mistake for the first goal and then conceded on the counter-attack, which happens when you play good players.

“They punish you.

“We had chances in the first half, you lose 2-0 but we deserved more, and if you analyse how we concede it’s not clear chances. It’s mistakes.

“The final third is the key and that’s where you pay big money for offensive players who can make the difference.

“We started quite well, there were two or three situations where we were quite close, and we also had some chances in the second half. 

“To win the game? I don’t know, but to be there and be close and get a draw, I think so.

“If you analyse how we concede, they didn’t create many clear chances. At the end, when we were more open and exposed, they were more dangerous, but for 80 minutes it was really close.

“You have to give credit to our players because for 85 minutes they were in the game.

“In these kind of games, one mistake and these players can make the difference.

“When we made a mistake, they punished us with the quality they have.

“When we were reacting, the second goal was a counter-attack that we could have defended better.

“I think for 85 minutes, we deserved something more.”

Diame injury:

“It is in the hip and the groin.

“He has had this problem before and we hope it will not be serious.

“He couldn’t continue in this game but normally he is fine in a couple of days.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2

Goals: Lukaku 64, Rashford 80

Possession was Man Utd 65% Newcastle 35%

Total shots were  Man Utd 16 Newcastle 14

Shots on target were Man Utd 7 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Man Utd 2 Newcastle United 1

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 81), Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Diame (Shelvey 53), Perez (Kenedy 69), Atsu, Rondon

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Joselu, Manquillo, Lejeune

Crowd: 52,217 (3,000 Man Utd)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle United 0 Man Utd 2 – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer talks about Rafa Benitez’ ‘Unbelievable Budget’ now we are in January transfer window – Read HERE)

(An impressive Jake Burns rant at Mike Ashley in aftermath of Man Utd defeat – Read HERE)



  • Paul Patterson

    He doesn’t talk about it because he knows.

    Jan 1st:
    Rafa: Lee, any idea what my budget is yet?
    Charnley: Sorry Rafa, ring me in three days.

    Jan 4th:
    Rafa: Hey Lee, any update on my budget, I need to start looking at players?
    Charnley: Er, I’m Skyping Mike after the Blackburn game. Call me on Monday.

    Jan 7th:
    Rafa: Hi Lee, what did Mike say last week?
    Charnley: He said that America is great and the weather is canny. Call me next Monday.

    Jan 14th:
    Rafa: Lee, this is urgent. We’re halfway through the window and I don’t know my budget. I need to look at getting a couple of deals done.
    Charnley: Sorry, I’m watching Looney Tunes on a dvd Mike got me for Xmas. Call me a week Friday and I’ll have you’re answer.

    Jan 25th:
    Rafa: Right Lee, I’ve identified two players, I just need to know the budget.
    Charnley: Er, Mike said ‘No money’ I’m afraid.

    Repeat every January transfer window . .

    • East Durham Mag

      Sobering thought that Pogba cost more than our starting 11 combined last night.

    • Wezza

      All true. I could imagine though that Charnley just hides from Rafa as well.

    • Mxpx

      Surely penfold will be watching danger mouse not looney toons. Otherwise spot on

  • East Durham Mag

    Whatthefuckisatransferbudget? Anyone?

  • Wezza

    Rafa knew last week his budget was ZERO. You could tell by the comments he made.

    • Kenny

      I imagine May can`t come soon enough for the guy.

      • Wezza

        When it does all hope is gone and we will have another yes man and drift down and down.

    • Jon

      well, unless he sells, in which case he might get 20% of that sale fee.
      While everybody else strengthens

  • Mr_Kinnear

    I am guessing he is assuming it Will be the same old horse plop. Probably getting his agent to look around for a serious club for next season.

  • Kenny

    There is no budget and looking at the players touted it`s just as well because they are all a load of krap.
    Carr`s second in command has taken over his mantle as a slave to the Fat Rat.

  • Vodkamagpie

    No point buying attacking players, shelvey 20mil, kenedy 20mil, muto 10mil, Murphy 10mil, didn’t start the game. Rafa is a defensive type manager, similar to Mourinho, and we all know what happened at man utd, its been happening to is for 3 years now, time for a change I feel

    • Big Hairy Man

      Time for a change of owner.

    • Squintytoonarmy

      Time to change your name – you been on the bottle again

    • Kneebotherm8

      I think we need Alan Pardew back or McLaren,this set of players are totally under achieving…….the sooner the better and we’ll be able to put Chelsea,Citeh and Spuds to the sword in the coming games and put these ridiculous relegation fears to bed……..

    • Billmag

      Change your name to simple Simon, definitely no point in buying Joselu, no point in getting Rondon on loan is there, because under the fat lad there is just no point, no matter who the manager is.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      you can’t count Kenedy we don’t own his contract. pi$$ off.

  • Alan

    I would not blame Rafa if he just got up and went. I don’t want him to leave, but lets face it the roly poly man aint going to give Rafa any money so it will be another, half season now, wondeing if we go up or down.

    • Wezza

      In a few years we will look on this and think Wow we had Rafa one of the best managers in the world and now we have…

      • Jonas

        What a waste.
        Under any other owner – this manager, this support.
        Yet with this owner were heading for a third relegation out of seven attempts.
        It has to be sabotage.

        • Wezza

          Yes sabotage, malevolence all by design. People still think it is incompetence. The FCB knows exactly what he is doing.

  • GlasgowMag

    I actually think Apathy has now set in with
    Rafa. It must be difficult when you have the ability/enthusiasm to change something but your employers undermine you at every hurdle that you cannot do anything to change it!! As I have said in a previous post once the Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal games are out the way Rafa will have enough experience to scrape enough points from the lesser teams to achieve our workhouse owners goal of premiership or should I say TV money survival!! Just also to confirm our workhouse owner has no intention of selling our club or spending any significant value on players this January or any other time in the near future and Rafa certainly knows this also!! So season ticket holders hold your glass up to Rafa on your match day outings that you will not change come hell or high water because he will be gone come May, but you don’t need to worry at least you will still have cuddly Mike who still love’s you all!!!

  • Mike

    Thanks Rafa switch the light off on your way out. Just pleased that “Im a Geordie” Bruce has got a job….that leaves???

    • Wezza

      Mark Hughes. Imagine that?

      • Danimal

        Schteeve.

    • Squintytoonarmy

      David O’leary or Alan Curbishley!!

      • Geordiegiants

        That’s more like it, washed up old has beens.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Hopefully he doesn’t fck it up before the end of the season and become available…….then again it’s him,Pardew or fat Sham as our next manager…… doesn’t bear thinking about….

      • GlasgowMag

        It wouldn’t surprise me if one of his SD employees or relative’s is announced as Rafas replacement’s!!!

    • JohnnyH

      Mark Hughes

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      hopefully Sam Dyche will have parted ways with Burnley by then

  • mactoon

    Has anyone else noticed that Rafa has NEVER been given a transfer budget?
    I don’t know why he constantly goes on about this mythical ‘transfer budget’ when it clearly doesn’t exist.

    Each name given to Charnley is considered individually on a deal by deal basis and the ones that take precedence are the ones that are more financially beneficial to the club which seem to be the majority of deals that actually ‘get over the line’ starting with players being sold for outright profit, followed by players, out on loan to lower the wage bill then those available for a fee but coming on loan.

    This leaves the final category which appear to be players bought following a very limited criteria, ie young with a potential sell on value and nothing over £10 million. If none of the names follow this criterion they aint coming in!

    I don’t think there is a holistic view on transfers at all. No wonder I don’t hold out any optimism for the next month.

    • Wezza

      Actually that is a very good point. The budget doesn’t exist!
      I hold no optimism at all because I know there will be no Jan spend and so does Rafa.
      He will keep us up and leave in May – despite some more promises from FCB.

  • JohnnyH

    Rafa has been humiliated by Ashley. For three years we’ve had a WORLD CLASS manager, prepared to give us his best efforts to take the club forward……..

    Three wasted years for Rafa and for the supporters who have been lied to throughout. Not just my opinion …….FACT

    The hardest thing to come to terms with is that Ashley won’t be spending in this window, Rafa will leave in May and the same 50.000 will turn up again next season whatever.

    It wouldn’t happen anywhere else in the world. We are the laughing stock of football.

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Not laughing stock.. it is more pity

  • Jonas

    “At which other Premier League club…”
    There is no other club in this country at any level and for all I know in the entire world that isn’t trying its best or at the absolute minimum just trying,
    Yet we’ve had one for 12year that doesn’t, hasn’t any never will even try.

    • Wezza

      Spot on. I constantly also say at which other club uses PR to fool the media and fans. Despicable!

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      Blackpool are the only other example of a club as cynically run as Newcastle. Their owner is a convicted rapist and his family was found in court to have illegitimately stripped the club of around 27 million. Minus the sexual abuse, fatty could knock that out in a few months.

      • Carl Marks

        * see my post re the anonymous,faceless people who give the green light to any scumbag,once they’ve highlighted the amount of zeroes at the end of their bank account!!
        Since the (alleged) Fit and Proper Owners Test was introduced,the sheer volume of despots that have been allowed to contaminate clubs has been breathtaking!!

        What an irony!!

  • We’ll support you evermore

    Defoe to rangers, what a signing for them! I was wondering if we would put a cheeky loan bid in for him.

  • Carl Marks

    :Rafa won’t talk about transfers or takeover” because(drumroll)
    NO takeover happening and
    NO transfers happening too,
    equals,
    “NOTHING to talk about”!!!

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    We really do need another relegation this season. Long term we need rid of Ashley more than we need the Prem for another season of struggling.
    If we are relegated the value of the club will fall enough to allow a buyer to move in, without faffing about relegation clauses.
    Ashley will not have the TV money, and the club profile on worldwide media will fall. Hopefully he’ll lose interest.
    Rafa will not sign another contract with Ashley anyway, and who can blame him.
    However, a shift in ownership and he might be persuaded to stay with an owner who will back him.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      Rafa will keep us up. And it will be bittersweet because it will mean more seasons under the fat rat.

      • mactoon

        Everyone needs to ask themselves one question. When this all plays out, rafa has gone and Ashley still owns the club.. do you want to be part of it?

    • mactoon

      I mean no disrespect to you mate but If we get relegated this is what will happen:

      Ashley will NOT sell the club at a loss if we are relegated!, he simply would not do that.

      He will do everything in his power to get back to the premiership at the first attempt because that is where the TV money and SD advertising on a global basis is, his only reasons to remain Newcastle United’s owner.

      1. He will trim the wage bill and sell players who will bring in profit such as Lascelles, Dubravka, Darlow, Elliot, Fernandez, Schar, Shelvey and none of the forwards (what does that last bit say to you?)
      2. Given that he will have lost Rafa, he will bring in a manager who knows the Championship and will not cause any trouble. Bruce, Pardew, Allardyce etc come to mind.
      3. He will spend minimum outlay so that his manager can build a squad good enough to get us back into the Premiership. (the only time he actually listens to a manager who says we need a particular type of player)
      4. The parachute payments will help offset the loss of TV money lost as a result of not being in the Premiership. He will accept that in order to get back to the Premiership honey pot.

      He has had this club up for sale every year since a year after he bought it and the takeover rumours start at the beginning of every transfer window yet always fizzles out at the end of the window once we have been so distracted by our hope that the sale will go through that we don’t realise that yet again, he hasn’t spent any of the club’s money to improve the squad.

      If you don’t agree with any of that, where have you been the last twice we have been relegated under Ashley, or in fact the last 10 years?

      • MadMag83

        Ashley won’t sell while Newcastle are in the Championship. He knows they aren’t worth as much if they’re not in the Premier League. He will gamble on getting promotion a third time. If we’re relegated this season, Rafa will be off, the Ashley PR team will kick in to blame it all on Benitez​, and 52k Muppets will take the bait and buy season tickets and replica shirts.

        • graham18

          so whats the answer?

          • MadMag83

            Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much fans can do. It’s a choice between a boycott or accepting a joke of a club. Most fans however are content with burying their heads in the sand and praying for a miracle.

          • graham18

            I’d go for boycott and keep upsetting his sports direct fiasco

      • Angelswithdirtyfaces

        True, it is a despairing scenario, but then you’re being exceptionally optimistic to think we can just bounce back into the Prem at will, for a third (and then fourth) consecutive time, especially if If he sells the best of our back line and playmaker as you envisage.
        Gambling on another yo-yo is a high risk strategy, if thinks he could get £200m as the club’s core value as a quick exit. Even gamblers do eventually cut their losses – and in business these losses are tax deductible.

        As he has blagged the fans for the entire time we have been in the Prem, and he lost interest years ago, at some time he may well need to cash in – particularly as with full or part ownership of two major high street store chains, he will need investment for the new businesses, reducing the Toon to an even shorter shoe string, as he already claimed she doesn’t have enough to invest properly. He has already extracted as much value as possible from the land around the ground, so there is limited scope for any more student flats or whatever he’s planning to build.

        He has played the fans for suckers every year and has had no intention of selling for most of the time. But the prospect of a second and then third season in the Championship may well concentrate his mind.

        And this isn’t just going to be a repeat loop indefinitely either, it really isn’t.

        • mactoon

          I get what you’re saying but it’s not me that thinks we will bounce back up to the premiership at the first time of asking if we get relagated, it’s ashley!

          He will take the gamble because once we are back in the prem he thinks he can get the full asking price once more
          To him it’s a gamble worth taking

  • LA toon

    Although I am a expat Newcastle fan from Forest Hall now living in the USA, I have decided that I cannot keep watching the Toon every week. If this is the product on display by way of the FCB then I will wait until he has departed. I visit the UK every year and ensure I can get to a game. This will no longer be the case. Possibly I will be dead before he leaves however I cannot take any more. Happy New Year everyone!!

    • JohnnyH

      Know how you feel
      Happy New Year LA