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Opinion

Rafa Benitez quotes ringing true on this 2020 summer Newcastle United transfer window

1 month ago
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When he was forced to walk away from Newcastle United 14 months ago, Rafa Benitez gave us many insights into what had gone on at the football club.

Obviously, the recruitment (or not) of player was one of the key topics.

In light this 2020 summer transfer window, worth revisiting what he said.

Rafa Benitez talking in early July 2019 after not extending his stay:

“If I start talking about every problem we had, then it will be wasting energy.

“It is not a time to criticise, but a time to analyse.

“People talk about power, money and control, but it wasn’t about that.

“It was about doing things right.

“At Newcastle, we didn’t have the money the top sides had, so the first or second choice targets were really important because the third or fourth ones would be worse and worse and then you lose something.

“You work so hard to prepare for your signings and then you have to move quickly to get them.

“Sometimes we weren’t doing that.”

It is now 15 days into the transfer window, less than five weeks until the season kicks off, so how do those Rafa Benitez comments reflect on Newcastle United’s business.

Over the course of the last couple of months we have had journalists happy to push the Mike Ashley agenda, claiming that even if no takeover happened, plans were in place on transfers, detailed meetings with the recruitment team, Mike Ashley transfer summit with Steve Bruce, the owner prepared to support his Head Coach etc etc.

We have heard it all before, so many times, so many summers.

You even had Steve Bruce before this 2020 summer transfer window opened, claiming that he had some signings lined up and hoped to get them in early.

Well when it comes to ‘move quickly to get them’ and getting them integrated into the team/squad, does anybody honestly see that happening???

The squad are back at the training ground next Monday and do you believe Mike Ashley will have allowed even one credible new player to have been bought by then?

Rafa Benitez said that to succeed in the transfer market against the odds, it was all about ‘doing things right’…’first or second choice targets were really important because the third or fourth ones would be worse and worse and then you lose something.’

Mike Ashley repeatedly messed Rafa around and refused to let the Spaniard move quickly for his first or even second choices, if refusing to compete on transfer fees and / or wages, how could NUFC expect to land the players desperately needed this summer?

Who is doing the choosing? Some kind of toxic mix of Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley, Steve Bruce and a recruitment team who thought Joelinton was a £40m+ goalscoring centre-forward, which Rafa Benitez refused to agree with and accept, the final act of defiance / common sense before Mike Ashley forced him out.

You welcome all new signings and HOPE they are going to be successful BUT when the signings are made in such a chaotic way, with no sensible plan or intention of preparing properly for the season, no wonder you dread what is to come.

I hate to think what nonsense Steve Bruce will come out with next week, when the NUFC squad are back in training with no additions of the quality desperately needed for the start of the 2020/21 season.

Steve Bruce ended last season on a shocking run of only four wins in the final twenty PL matches, relegation form as only two clubs registered less points from Christmas 2019 onwards.

Still not sure how Bruce got away with it last season but the former Black Cat surely used up most of his nine lives in picking up points in so many matches, when all the stats pointed to a defeat.

The clock is ticking ever faster and louder for those of us who care what happens to Newcastle United in the coming season.

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