Rafa Benitez tells Mike Ashley after Southampton – Newcastle aren’t competing on transfers and wages
For both Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle fans, this was a bitter sweet victory.
Manager and supporters enjoying the 3-1 victory over Southampton that rubber stamps Premier League safety.
However, the countdown continues to what feels like an almost inevitable departure.
It is almost a month now since Rafa Benitez, at Mike Ashley’s request, gave the NUFC owner a list of conditions before he would agree to signing a new contract.
The former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager still not having had a response from Mike Ashley.
Rafa Benitez painting a bleak picture, having once again go public to tell Mike Ashley, Newcastle fans and neutrals what we sadly, already know: ‘We are in the same position as we were before (with new contract situation). When I came here, I could see the potential of the club to be challenging, certainly for seventh to 10th in the table, but looking higher. But when you analyse the transfer fees and wage bills of other teams, we’re not competing. I am the manager until 30 June. We can see the potential. When you see the teams between seventh and 15th, we have to compete with them.’
Every extra point and every extra victory that Rafa Benitez gets with this committed but limited squad, reinforces just what a remarkable job the Newcastle manager is doing.
Only one person appears to be incapable of seeing the common sense of giving Rafa Benitez the keys to the castle.
Rafa Benitez after seeing his side beat Southampton 3-1:
“The main thing was to win.
“I’m really proud of this group of players for working so hard.
“Ayoze has to be consistent but he is capable of doing this kind of thing (scoring a hat-trick to win the game) and has the quality.
“Today, we will enjoy it.
“In an ideal world I want to compete for something. That’s the main thing.
“We are in the same position as we were before (with new contract situation)
“When I came here, I could see the potential of the club to be challenging, certainly for seventh to 10th in the table, but looking higher.
“But when you analyse the transfer fees and wage bills of other teams, we’re not competing.
“I am the manager until 30 June.
“We can see the potential.
“When you see the teams between seventh and 15th, we have to compete with them.
“The wage bill is key. Teams in the 7th to 10th bracket are spending £100m (on players) and £100,000 a week (wages).
“If you want to sign players you have to do it now.
“We will keep preparing the team and see.
“Mathematically, we will have to wait and see what happens.
“But I think we will be safe.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 Southampton 1
Perez 27, 31, 86
Possession was Southampton 57% Newcastle 43%
Total shots were Southampton 15 Newcastle 14
Shots on target were Southampton 3 Newcastle 6
Corners were Southampton 11 Newcastle 4
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Schar (Fernandez 69), Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden (Diame 78), Ki, Almiron (Atsu 64), Perez, Rondon
Darlow, Shelvey, Muto, Yedlin
Crowd: 52,191 (1,700 Southampton)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to beating Southampton HERE)
(Alan Shearer reacts to Newcastle 3 Southampton 1 HERE)
(Date and time finally confirmed for Newcastle v Liverpool on Saturday night – Details HERE)
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