Former Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan has questioned Rafa Benitez’s latest comments regarding the club’s lack of spending power over the summer, suggesting the Spaniard has ‘played on it a lot’ and may be using this to ‘kid’ NUFC fans to stop them from getting on his back.
The gaffer didn’t hold back in his pre-match press conference earlier this week, stating that we ‘could not compete’ with the likes of Brighton, Huddersfield and Burnley over the summer, stating that ‘we are where we are because we did what we did’ – suggesting pretty clearly that Mike Ashley’s lack of summer spending is the biggest factor behind our early season struggles.
Kevin Nolan doesn’t seem to be buying this however, stating here that the Spaniard is ‘playing on it a lot’ and that he’s actually spent more than rivals probably have recently.
Here’s what the current Notts County and former NUFC skipper has had to say on it:
“Rafa played on it a lot in the early months of the season,”
“It seemed it was more about Rafa Benitez than the team at the time.
“When they got over that they got a few results and got a bit of a mentality and a winning run going. Now it’s turned because they have lost four on the spin.
“And I think he always tries to bring out a few bits to remind people ‘We’re not supposed to be here’.
“Listen, he’s spent a lot of money on that squad last year and this year.
“He’s probably spent a lot more money than his rivals have so for me, with the way they are up there – with the expectancy of the crowd and the town and what goes up there with it – he might be trying to kid them a bit and make sure they don’t get on his back too early.”
An interesting assessment from Nolan. A good bloke and great servant of NUFC whose known for saying it how he sees it.
Whilst I feel it’s unfair to say Benitez has ‘played on it’, it is fair to say that it’s been something brought up several times by Rafa. In fairness, it’s not unreasonable for this to be used as a scapegoat, with Ashley doing anything but back him like he promised to following promotion.
Let us know your thoughts. Do you agree with Nolan, or do you stand by Rafa’s comments?
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