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Garth Crooks spells it out for Mike Ashley – Couldn’t be clearer

5 months ago
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Garth Crooks has regularly in the past shone the spotlight on Newcastle United.

A big fan of Rafa Benitez in particular, the BBC Sport pundit has previously even claimed the Spaniard could be capable of winning the Premier League with Newcastle, if given proper backing…

After this latest weekend of top tier football, Garth Crooks has once again highlighted the situation at St James Park.

In six days time, Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon are set to be involved in their last ever Newcastle United match, unless Mike Ashley changes his stance.

Newcastle’s most influential player this season (10 PL goals and 7 PL assists, for a team that has only scored 38 Premier League goals in total.

In picking Salomon Rondon for his PL team of the week, Garth Crooks says ‘The problem for the Magpies is that if Rafa goes, so does half of that team. That team is nothing without Rafa’s leadership and inspiration. The quicker owner Mike Ashley can conclude contract talks with Benitez, the better for all concerned.’

When Crooks talks about ‘quicker’, the bottom line is that the NUFC owner has in reality had all of this past year to convince Rafa Benitez there is any reason to stick it any further at Newcastle, yet Mike Ashley has done nothing.

Plus, it  is now six weeks since Benitez supplied the owner with details of what needs to be done if he is to agree an extension.

Whilst as for Salomon Rondon, it is nine weeks ago now since he revealed that he had met with the club and told them what would need to happen for him to stay on.

The clock ticks on and instead of reaching agreement with these two key figures, instead Ashley has the club once again drifting aimlessly towards likely disaster. Reality is that now only 10 days until the transfer window opens and eight weeks until the Newcastle squad return for pre-season.

Garth Crooks talking to BBC Sport after selecting Salomon Rondon in his Premier League team of the week:

“The chant said it all from the Newcastle fans – ‘Rafa Benitez, we want you to stay’.

“I bet Salomon Rondon does too.

“Since his arrival at St James’ Park, the Venezuela international has not looked back.

“He has led the Newcastle striking line with distinction.

“The problem for the Magpies is that if Rafa goes, so does half of that team.

“That team is nothing without Rafa’s leadership and inspiration.

“The quicker owner Mike Ashley can conclude contract talks with Benitez, the better for all concerned.

“Did you know? West Brom loanee Rondon has hit double figures for goals in a Premier League season for the first time.”

Garth Crooks Premier League team of the week:

Mark Travers (Bournemouth)

Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)

Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)

Kurt Zouma (Everton)

Ryan Fredericks (West Ham)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)

Solly March (Brighton)

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Salomon Rondon (Newcastle)

Marko Arnautovic (West Ham)

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