Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Richard Keys is at it again – Winding up Newcastle United fans and embarrassing attack on Rafa Benitez

11 months ago

Richard Keys is back…

Our old friend handing our Premier League awards and his latest wind-up to Newcastle fans.

Based on the season so far, Richard Keys hands the bronze award to Frank Lampard who has Chelsea third, silver to Chris Wilder who has Sheffield United fifth after promotion, with Steve Bruce adorned with gold as he has Newcastle United in 13th.

Chris Wilder has a promoted unfancied side fifth after only moderate spending (£42m) to try and compete.

Whilst Steve Bruce took over a team that finished last season with the fifth best form in the Premier League over the final 16 games and eighth best form over the final 28 PL matches under Rafa Benitez.

Around £65m was spent this summer and £80m has been spent on the front trio in 2019.

You would almost think Richard Keys had an agenda and these ‘awards’ were simply a very thinly disguised new attempt to irritate Newcastle fans and Rafa Benitez.

Keys claims that Steve Bruce is ‘working miracles’ after Rafa Benitez supposedly did ‘his best to create havoc for his successor’, with Richard Keys stating Rafa waited ‘until pre-season had started’ before leaving.

This is of course factually incorrect as pre-season didn’t start until July and Rafa Benitez left when his contract ended on 30 June 2019, plus Mike Ashley announced a week before the contract ended that Rafa wouldn’t be continuing as manager and had decided long before that he had no intention of trying to get him to stay. Why Ashley waited so long to arrange a replacement only he knows.

As well as his usual nonsense that Rafa Benitez only left Newcastle for more money, Richard Keys also uses the Miguel Almiron to try and attack the former manager.

Almiron was the first player Rafa had been allowed to spend more than £10m on since promotion and he transformed the way Newcastle were playing, allowing NUFC to get more on the offensive and was key in that late season form of fifth best over the final 16 games. Once again Keys can’t get his facts right, saying Almiron has one goal in 21 Paraguay appearances, it is actually two in 25, including two goals in his last three games!

We all know he (Almiron) needs to get goals and assists but it is comical to use the Paraguayan to try and have a go at Rafa (and annoy Newcastle fans) saying £20m has been wasted on somebody he signed who has no goals or assists for Newcastle in 22 appearances, whilst not at the same time mentioning that £60m has been spent by Bruce/Ashley on two players (Joelinton and Saint-Maximin) who have one goal and one assist between them in a combined 20 NUFC appearances.

Not that I am having a go at them, just a case that all three need to show more end product. Especially of course Joelinton, who after all is the centre-forward and has the biggest expectation on him to score goals.

Richard Keys declares: ‘What exactly was Benitez thinking when he paid that money to Atlanta United?’, again I’m not having a go at the Brazilian but on what we have seen so far, by Keys’ reckoning you would surely have to be asking the same question on his £40m purchase.

Keys states that Steve Bruce is ‘the man even Geordies wanted to fail’, where is his proof of that? Picking and choosing comments off Twitter isn’t ‘proof’ of anything.

Newcastle fans were gutted that they lost a top manager with a proven track record who wanted to stay and turn NUFC around as a long-term project, only for  Mike Ashley to instead show no interest in keeping him and instead revert back to a head coach model where somebody with a really poor PL record is plucked from the lower divisions on the understanding they have no say on important decisions.

Newcastle fans don’t want Steve Bruce to fail, they want their club to be ran in such a way to give it a chance of long-term success, which is what they believed Rafa Benitez offered.

Richard Keys writing on his own personal blog:

‘It’s gold for Steve Bruce – the man even Geordies wanted to fail. What a job he’s doing – proving that not only Benitez can manage that club.

Is it true? Does Bruce really have Newcastle seven points better off than at this time last season? Yes it is. And that despite a really tough start – a far more difficult start than Benitez had. The former coach says it’s not fair to compare different seasons – but he would wouldn’t he?

In the Sunday Mirror at the weekend Andy Dunn was suggesting it won’t be long before Benitez is back in the PL – at Arsenal, West Ham or Southampton.

Surely not Andy? Benitez left for a ‘long term project’ in China and because Mike Ashley didn’t ‘share his ambition’. What a joke. He left for a fat salary and having done his best to create havoc for his successor.

Why didn’t he leave at the end of last season? He knew he was going in May. Why wait until pre-season training had started, therefore restricting the time Bruce had to get to know his team – to plan and work the transfer market?

If I were a West Ham fan I’d be shuddering at the prospect of Benitez turning up in east London. If you thought it was bad under Big Sam you ain’t seen nothing yet guys. And how do you think Benitez would get on with Karren Brady? Yep. Me too.

Anyway, against a near impossible back ground, Bruce has been quietly working miracles. I’m disappointed that he didn’t take the League Cup more seriously, but otherwise it’s been terrific.

Do you know, he might even get an assist or perhaps even a goal out of £21m Miguel Almiron before the season ends. What exactly was Benitez thinking when he paid that money to Atlanta United? I can’t think of one – can you? This verdict from ‘’ on Almiron. Crossing – weak. Passing – weak. Finishing – weak.

Almiron failed to score in 54 of his 68 MLS games. Five of his 22 goals were pens. It’s 1 in 21 for his national team. He’s quick, but, other than that, what exactly does he do? Bruce will be a genius if he gets something out of him, but I really do wish both well. No-one likes to see a player struggling.’


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2020 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks