Rafa Benitez arrived at Newcastle United in March 2016.

After the initial disastrous decision to appoint Steve McClaren in the first place, Mike Ashley left it far too late before he eventually sacked him.

Rafa left with just 10 matches to save the situation.

It proved an impossible ask despite Newcastle ending the season with three wins and three draws in the final six games.

A lot of debate as to what he would now do but Rafa Benitez quickly committed to a new three year contract, despite starting is first full season at St James Park in the Championship.

The rest, as they say, is history.

However, at some point last year, the talk started as to whether a contract extension was going to be signed by the manager.

Very soon we had Rafa Benitez repeatedly asked the question and repeatedly giving the same answer.

The manager stating time after time that he would see what happened in this January 2019 transfer window before making any decision on a new contract.

As we reached the start of this transfer window, the signs weren’t exactly positive. Rafa Benitez saying no transfers were imminent and he hadn’t even been told if he had any money to spend as yet.

The Spaniard has followed this by refusing to answer any questions at the last few press conferences, on a potential club takeover and the transfer window.

We are now 10 days into this January transfer window and with three weeks to go, it looks as feels as if absolutely nothing of any substance if going to happen.

With not a single signing in January 2017 and no buys, only loan, in January 2018, Mike Ashley has form. Never mind the last (summer 2018) window when he (Ashley) insisted on a £20m+ profit on transfer deals rather than backing the manager in any way.

It is now just surely a case of when, not if, Rafa Benitez reaches breaking point this month.

Since promotion in April 2017, all the transfer windows have followed a similar pattern. The manager outlining his hopes ahead of the window opening, days and weeks going by without his first choice targets being landed, either no players or only bargain basement signings being allowed, the manager then letting us know his disgust/unhappiness at what had/hadn’t gone on, before then simply getting on with the job once nothing can be done.

We ave already had the manager’s hopes expressed ahead of this window only for his mood to already change in the final days before it opened, as he as failed to be assured of any backing whatsoever, now we have had 10 days of inaction whilst the window has been live, and now we just are waiting for that next stage to be moved onto. The point when Rafa Benitez lets rip.

For me, everything points to next weekend, the Cardiff match.

Newcastle could well already be in the relegation zone before that game and with Man City at home and Spurs away to follow it, even if Newcastle beat Cardiff at home, the Premier League table could look grim as we move into February.

I believe at either his pre or post-match press conference, Rafa Beneitez will choose to break his silence on this transfer window.

After all, what has he got to lose?

He might as well go all in and crank up the pressure on Mike Ashley to try and get some transfer backing with just less than two weeks of the window to go, rather than wait until the end of the month.

After the Cardiff game, the only Premier League match to be played before the January window shuts is against Manchester City….

Rafa Benitez kicking off after the Cardiff match about the complete lack of backing from Mike Ashley is hardly going to matter when it comes to that Man City match, or indeed the one at Wembley against Spurs that follows.

Rafa needed added quality brought in early who would be able to be involved in this Cardiff match but that hasn’t been the case, so Rafa Benitez has nothing to lose in trying to publicly shame Mike Ashley into doing at least something before January ends.

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  • Peaky

    FatTwat stays = Rafa goes….simple as that whether we stay up or not.

    • Alreet

      Hes Showing massive unwarranted respect for the FCB. Might as well out him in the new years honours list and go out with a bang!

  • Themoscow72

    Why did Rafa leave eight players out against Blackburn when the Chelsea game was a week away. Why did Rafa leave our best player out on Tuesday when he will not start on Saturday. When I started going to matches we played three matches in four days. We now have a replay thanks to Rafa and Chelsea is now a must win game after the two cup games this week after Raf’s decisions meaning yet more time off work for fans. Pure madness in the extreme and self inflicted.

    • Wezza

      We played Manure on wed and players were tired. If you expect us to win with no investments you need your head read!
      You say pure madness and self inflicted by Rafa but isn’t this your mate Mike who has pocketed all the money and not invested? You can’t have it both ways. Fraud.

      • drc74

        still waiting for the spxnkster to answer your question mate, its been about 4 months now, 😂

        • Wezza

          He hides away from questions just like the club!

          • Themoscow72

            Any question I will answer and with the truth. Wonder how many on here going on Tuesday. Know fans who never miss not going as they have no faith in Rafa’s team selections.

          • Wezza

            You didn’t answer my questions from the other day and you lied about your family – which I symphisise!

        • Themoscow72

          I answer any questions thanks.

      • Themoscow72

        Rafa brought the subs on to late and now we have a replay criminal indeed. Should have started with a stronger team.

        • Wezza

          It was quite clear the cup has no priority at all. We’ve seen this in past years. May have been an order again from your mate Mike. So blame him – but we know you won’t!

    • Alreet

      Get a clue.. read between the lines.

    • Kenny

      Remind me who our best player is.

      • Lord

        A loanee from West Brom, i.e., not ours?

      • JEz_Brizzle

        Can you remind me of who our last good premiership player was….

        My memory is mashed by Fatty’s demoralisation of the club!

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Do remind us what players were in the squad when we played in Europe regularly ?

      • Paul Patterson

        Shearer, Ameobi, Bellamy, Robert, Solano, Speed, Viana, Dyer, Jenas, Bernard, Hughes, Griffin, Woodgate, Dabizas, Given, Harper.

        • JEz_Brizzle

          Reminds me of one of the funniest things I’ve seen on the pitch – Robert smashing the ball (out of the ground attempt?) and it hitting Bernard full face…. and knocking him down and out like a Tom and Jerry Cartoon!

          (though not funny at all from a health risk perspective)

          • Paul Patterson

            Was that against Blackburn in a 2-1 win?

    • East Durham Mag

      Truly delusional as per usual.

      • Themoscow72

        Rafa should have started with four more first team players against Blackburn then taken three off .

    • Squintytoonarmy

      How many we taking away to Blackburn?

      • Themoscow72

        Not many even the hard core have had enough of Rafa ‘s team selections in the cup. Be the usual couple of hundred faces with round two thousand floaters but that will be it.

    • drc74

      why did your fxck buddy insist on a profit in the last transfer window, u fxckin’ moron

    • Tweed Mag

      Have you ever thought of writing fiction for a living?

      • Themoscow72

        So Rafa did not leave eight players out or leave Sean Longstaff out on Tuesday. Chased the game against Blackburn to late and played the game with one up front. Just fact for me no fiction never.

        • Tweed Mag

          Where did the £83m you said McClaren spent come from? Where is the £60m you said was going to be spent on players this window?
          More facts required Monk – are you chipping in to help Kenyon?

    • JEz_Brizzle

      Errr… did you forget we played Man ure 3 days earlier, and for that game several players went off injured and several came on returning from injury…. add that to Rafa’s way of dealing with Injuries (keep ’em safe)….
      As for playing 3 games in 4 days, those were the days hey, see the players down the boozer on the evening after and a kebab on the way home…. game has moved on a long way from then, fitness is vital.

      • Themoscow72

        He brought three subs on which changed the game but far to late. Ten minutes earlier and would have won. No excuse for a replay or playing one up front.

        • JEz_Brizzle

          Interesting – and who’s the miracle striker up front – Rondon I suppose, who supposedly Rafa is being careful with having just returned from injury – one of the subs is now in Barca and we are very short for the chelski game, and atsu had done a big shift against Manure, doing ok too, so can’t blame the changes there. As for Perez, in case you hadn’t noticed, he’s been woeful for a while – may be shoving him on the bench will do him some good.

          I would however agree that Rafa seems to leave changing things up a little late

  • Kenny

    The Rat is more likely to spit out his dummy if he sees Rafa being critical of him in the media.
    best say nothing until the window closes.

    • JEz_Brizzle

      Agreed. But Rafa is too smart to say anything significant…. he’ll indicate the lack of investment and frustration at no signings, but there after, he has to think about his next job offer – which he will want at the end of season… so professional persona regardless of the demoralising position he is in.

  • Carl Marks

    Don’t sign Rafa – Ashley is used to people dancing to his tune!
    He’s setting you up as a scapegoat to deflect the blame when no signings are made,
    “It’s Rafa’s fault – all he had to do was sign a contract”
    EVERYONE of us KNOW,that,
    a) He needs to make signings, regardless of whether you sign or not
    b) You’ve been promised this and that,over and over and over and over again,only for next to nothing to materialise
    c) Should the inevitable happen(due to lack of signings)and we are relegated,EVERYONE knows that the blame lies(with a lot of help from Charnley and Bishop)with Ashley.
    An impending THIRD relegation,under his ownership,speaks volumes!!!

  • Albert Stubbins

    Yes..

  • Mr_Kinnear

    I think he has said all he needs to, Ashley won’t take any notice. Rafa is not perfect but do any of his detractors think a different manager would have done a better job?

    • Carl Marks

      Ashley is the cancer –
      boycotting matches and official merchandise is the cure!!!!!

  • DZA

    Come on the Mag, where the articles about boycotting this month, it’s time to make a stand. February will be too late when the window shut.

    • Wezza

      A protest about the window is useless as he won’t spend anyway but we MUST protest and he get the FCB out.

      • Carl Marks

        I think we’ll need an exorcism to get rid of him!!

    • Carl Marks

      Well said!
      “When the going gets tough,
      the tough get going”
      “Talk is cheap”
      “Action speaks louder than words”
      “Nothing ventured –
      nothing gained”
      “You can’t make an omelette,
      without breaking eggs”

      etc

  • Billmag

    Rafa won’t say anything Jane, silence is golden as the song goes, he will continue with his refusal to talk about the transfer window, and let other media outlets speculate as to why Ashley let’s the club rot without lifting a fat finger to help the manager.

  • Paul Patterson

    He won’t, he’s too professional. It wouldn’t be worth a go. The owner has deaf ears..

    • Carl Marks

      he”s all three wise monkeys rolled into one

  • Colin Brumwell

    I still think he will keep us up (just) but will pack his bags and go, after that ???

    • Leazes.

      We have now got the 18th most valuable squad…. down one! Of course he’ll go …..he’s being taught a lesson by Ashley…..

      • Carl Marks

        I’ve never thought of our players as “valuable”

      • Billmag

        We are dropping as quick as SD shares.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Lesson 1. Do not mess with,or question, the Fat Man
        Lesson 2. See Lesson 1

    • Carl Marks

      I wish he’d pack me in his bags and take me away from this never ending nightmare!
      When it comes to “nightmares”,
      you always wake up –
      this is a different type of “nightmare”
      One you can’t see yourself waking up from,
      it seems to be endless!!

  • Scottie Chugger Dearden

    If Cashley is still here in the Summer, Rafa is gone and I wouldn’t blame him, how can you work with a boss who isn’t willing to back you? Rafa is too professional to say anything. I think there are three teams that will prop us up at the end of the season but I wouldn’t be surprised if we are reunited with the Mackems next season. #Ashley killer of hope! Sadly articles on here are getting depressing, think I might stay away from The Mag for a bit!

    • Carl Marks

      and he’ll have a gagging clause in his contact

    • Carl Marks

      replace “depressing” with “the uncomfortable truth”
      best wishes

      • Scottie Chugger Dearden

        You too, cheers for reading, With a heavy heart ‘Toon Toon!’

  • ShearersRightPeg

    So my post not approved because I dared to criticise Rafa? Pathetic.

    • Jin

      you’re not allowed on here mate..he’s beyond criticism in every level on this site. his worshipers on here (authors like Jackie etc and posters..bell ends of highest order like wezza and jezza) will crucify you instantly. you’ll be labelled a troll and blocked..see below for confirmation

      • Kenny

        You are a troll, now be a good [email protected] and go play on the Metro Lines
        you piece of 💩💩💩

        • Wezza

          Beat me to it!

          • Kenny

            He pops up from time to time with the same patter different name.
            just another scumbag

          • Wezza

            That he is! Sad troll just wants attention!

        • Jin

          Hahaha thanks for proving my point, dum3 [email protected]

      • Billmag

        You have joined the list so jog on.

      • Carverlier football

        Nobody (well, most people…) will crucify you for criticising Rafa, as long as they don’t think you’re just doing it to troll or have some sort of underhand agenda. So there are plenty on here who criticise Rafa but because they also recognise Ashley’s (very many) faults and indeed also give Rafa credit where it’s due people generally recognise their opinion as fair even if not everybody might agree. Personally I recognise there are things which could be levelled against Rafa but it’s pointless to do so because it deflects attention away from what Ashley is doing to the club.

      • Ram Kishore

        I have criticised Rafa.. I will again if I felt there is need to.
        For the match against Blackburn I did criticise Rafa on few issues and had a sensible argument or discussion with few.
        I also recognize the club’s failure in not bringing the signings by the first week of Jan. If they had signed let’s say Almiron. He season ended in early part December. If the club wanted to sign him for sure, they should have worked out all the details by DECEMBER 31 and by Jan 1 he should have started training with the squad, he could have even made his final few minute appearance.

        But you know what, the club is abysmally poor in negotiations.

      • KennyS

        Rafa has been criticised.. many times .. bye!!

      • Tweed Mag

        Don’t be daft.
        Rafa is so good, even when we lose he quite often keeps a clean sheet.
        Work that one out.

    • Leazes.

      No… you’ve just used a disagreeable word on an American platform Disqus somewhere eg, Greg Dyk* the colloqual for Richard or Arthur C*x…. etc

      go through it by clicking on your name and re post the edit using an odd star.

      • Kenny

        Correct

    • Billmag

      You can jog on also.

      • Leazes.

        is it a troll?

        • Billmag

          Yep

    • Ram Kishore

      Your post must have been not approved because u may have used words that failed to pass disqus rules.
      I made a post critcising Mag few days back, I had to post 3 times after editing the words. The word CR AP will not alone will not approve your post. Recheck your post for any words of that sort

  • GlasgowMag

    It has already went way by Rafas breaking point!! I think now Rafa has decided he will be going at the end of the season even if our workhouse owner bought a few players in January I think he’s had enough. The only way Rafa would change his mind if new owners suddenly appeared but the problem is our club is now to much of a cash for the SD one so even Paul Daniels (RIP) couldn’t sort this one out!!!

    • Carl Marks

      Unless our fans stop this rot,
      we’re going to need divine intervention
      I think Ashley is taking his childhood fantasy of being Captain of the Titanic to extremes

  • Weyhhadaway

    The only hole in that analysis is the concept that Ashley can be shamed. He has shown an utter contempt for his workers, customers, the law and Parliament. What makes you think this concept will work?

    In fact it will be turned around by the PR dept to look like a whining boss who has lost the plot.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Ashley has skin as thick as a rhino………..he’s shamefully shameless…..

  • Jonas

    Hope it is. If he stays, its the way things are now time and again.

    If the ‘if Rafa goes we go’ fans stick to their guns and it reinvigourates protests.

    Because all that matters is getting rid of the owner. Everything else: tactics, who the manager is, signings, sales are irrelevant – we will be s**t, things will be s**t and our footballing supporting lives will be miserable until we get rid of Ashley.

  • Stephen Paylor

    Almiron playing number 10 and Batshuyai (available for 22 million now) at number 9. Great pace on the counter. Then i woke up and had to get ready for work.

    • Paul Patterson

      That would have been possible/plausible under previous regimes . .

  • KennyS

    The idiot Ashley should still buy players even if Rafa is not signing a contract, however Rafa would sign if idiot Ashley put in the money. Rafa is calling his bluff and I trust Rafas opinion on this.

    Sometime or other this club is going to explode with rage, what’s the betting that idiot fat [email protected] Ashley is nowhere to be seen when it does.

  • mactoon

    He won’t publicly criticise the owner, the past managers haven’t either. I would imagine they have some sort of NDA clause in their contracts to prevent it. Rafa’s way is to refuse to talk about transfers. I recon he’s just about resigned himself to leaving at the end of the season and I don’t blame him. God help us next season.

    • Kneebotherm8

      I think there’ll be money available for transfers for the new manager/yes man,when Rafa leaves…….Ashley wants Rafa oot for his outspoken ways whatever the smoke and mirrors bull sht we’re all fed about a new contract being on the table …….he’s quite obviously constructively forcing him out the door and has been doing so for at least 3 transfer windows now.

  • Tweed Mag

    Rafa clearly takes pride in his job, wherever he has been. He understands the club and the fans and he shows respect to the ambition most have. He will make the odd mistake – who doesn’t.
    Ashley has not got a clue. He respects no one. He makes one mistake after another.
    Rafa has handled Ashley well since arriving and has not responded to the veiled threats, childish rumours and the continuous spin/PR/lies.
    The two men are poles apart in character and honesty; so if Rafa goes in May, let’s hope he gets another job with an owner who values his knowledge.
    We may have to wait a while, but eventually the oaf will get what he deserves.

    • NUFCLX

      I will agree with u on Ashley has not got a clue, but if you think he does not know what he is doing u would be wrong, He knows exactly what he is doing and unfortunately he is doing it very well.

      • Tweed Mag

        see above – Debenhams – he is doing it there too.

        • NUFCLX

          Precisely, that is what he is. Honestly never hated anyone in my life more than I hate him. Not because of what he does done to me personally, but what he has done to our City.

          • Tweed Mag

            And he could not care less

  • Roblee07

    I have said before that we need to move on from thinking about Rafa Benitez. Yes he is a very good manager who of course has his downsides but we have a major problem at our club in mike ashley. For me rafa staying under the current regime would prolong the agony of this inept, cruel lying tospot of an owner. We have to move on as a fan base and escalate all of our energy and attention to getting this barsteward out at all costs and getting our football club back.

    • magpiefifer

      Rafa will NOT stay under this current hideous regime!!!

      • Roblee07

        But what if rafa took the coin? If ashley give him £50m to spend and he signed a new 3 year contract do you really think things would change in the long term? Ashley clearly does not have the long term interests of NUFC at heart and WILL revert to type after easily duping fans again. I just think we should stop concentrating on rafa (for example if rafa goes we go), transfer budgets or whatever and realise ashley is bad for the club and get him out. Lets go for the jugular, unite against ashley until he is gone for good

        • Fiddler

          What , by chanting on the terraces ?

          • Malcolm Fisher

            Boycott,boycott,boycott all games,until he’s gone

  • Kneebotherm8

    In answer to the headline……..Rafa is already broken and is now treading water till the seasons end…..when,apart from the FCB,he’ll leave with everyone’s best wishes.

  • Tweed Mag

    Ashley is busy dismantling the board at Debenhams. Chief Exec and Chairman booted off. The oaf has used his shareholding to get rid.
    Bang goes the transfer fund (if there was one). He has already offered a £40m bail out.

  • Carl Marks

    I really have had enough of witnessing the never ending nightmare (better known as FCB destroying the club I’ve loved for FIFTY year)
    Consequently,will somebody please send me a message to let me know if FCB has sold up
    or
    Has died

    thank you and take care everyone!!

  • Amersham Mag

    The club and city has now turned so toxic that Rafa unfortunately has become part of it……..Any new owner is likely to sweep the cupboard and start again…

  • Fiddler

    The only way to hit Ashley is to boycott a live broadcast home game. An empty stadium for the world to see would get sky sports on the phone pretty quickly demanding to know what the hell’s going on .
    To those of you who can’t do without their Saturday fix , okay , leave it for your kids to sort out when they get older .

  • Malcolm Fisher

    To shame him? The man has no shame, no self respect or respect for others. Just an egotistical rich man who plays with other peoples lives.

  • Cockneytrev

    😩