Rafa Benitez “I have never said I would leave and I’m not saying just because we’ve signed 2 players I would sign (another contract)”
It has been some week for Rafa Benitez.
A terrible showing against Watford last Saturday, when Newcastle never looked likely to reach the FA Cup fifth round for the first time under Mike Ashley.
Only for three days later his tea, manage to go a goal down after 24 seconds against reigning champions Manchester City, yet be able to come back and win 2-1.
Bringing to an end 22 Premier League matches without a win since September 2005 against Manchester City, when a certain Michael Owen scored the winner.
Thursday of course then bringing the two signings, with Miguel Almiron taking all the headlines as he broke the Michael Owen transfer fee from August 2005, which was still the club record 14 years on.
Meeting the media on Friday afternoon, sure enough Rafa Benitez was asked about a willingness to sign a new contract extension on the back of Almiron’s arrival.
Whilst the local media have claimed this one signing could sway the manager, after everything that had gone before, it would surely be amazing if he’d be running to sign a new contract based on Mike Ashley allowing him to pay one credible transfer fee.
Rafa Benitez declaring ‘I have never said I would leave and I’m not saying just because we’ve signed 2 players I would sign (another contract).’
This one will run and run until the end of the season and potentially beyond.
If he really wants Benitez to stay, Mike Ashley has an awful lot more he has to do to convince this quality manager.
“I have never said I would leave and I’m not saying just because we’ve signed 2 players I would sign (another contract).
“I’m happier now than I was one week ago.
“Why? Because we beat Man City and signed two players.
“We are better equipped now.
“I have to be happier than I was before.
“(On contract) We have a massive game tomorrow, there’s plenty of time to sit down & talk about future.
“They (new signings) come here with a real desire to do well.
“Almirón can play in different positions – as a No. 10, as a winger – and he is an offensive player with pace.
“Barreca is another good option. For a while, we have been looking for a player on this (left) side.
“After Watford, everyone was very negative.
“After beating Man City, we have won two games at home in a row in the Premier League.
“Everyone has more confidence now and we have to make sure we keep doing the same.”
“Diame has been training but he is not ready for the game.
“Dummett, Ki, Elliot and Shelvey are very close – hopefully they will be available against Wolves.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]