During his latest column for the Sun, Alan Shearer has admitted that he expects Rafa Benitez to leave in the summer, but does believe that we will stay up this season.
Shearer feels that our ‘top class’ manager in Rafa Benitez combined with the ‘fight and commitment’ we showed on Sunday will see us to safety, however he is not feeling very hopeful beyond that, feeling it will be a ‘huge chance missed’ if and when the Spaniard leaves over the summer.
Shearer knows as well as anyone that Ashley is killing our club and seems resigned to losing Rafa if he NUFC owner doesn’t sell up over the summer.
To beghin with, here’s what he said about our survival hopes during his column in the Sun today:
“We are staying up. Just! It will be tight and may even come down to goal difference but I firmly believe we will do it.”
“I saw the draw at Palace and there is no lack of fight and commitment among the players.”
“But more crucially, we have a top class manager in Rafa Benitez.”
“Someone whose love of the Newcastle fans has kept him at the club through a tough time.”
Shearer then discussed Rafa’s position at the club and Ashley’s ‘lack of understanding’, feeling Benitez WILL leave over the summer even if he keeps us up:
“He will not desert the ship and let it sink but nobody could blame him given the lack of support he has had from the helm.”
“Newcastle should be bigger and better than this but under Ashley, we never will be.”
“The 52,400 that attend St James’ every week is not down to him either but a deep-seated loyalty which he will never understand.”
“Unfortunately Benitez recognizes it too and we will probably lose him at the end of the season.”
“Another huge chance has been missed.”
As much as staying up would be brilliant, what a blow it would be to lose Benitez and be left with Ashley at the helm.
We can only hope that a takeover happens between now and the summer, however it feels like the odds are stacked against us as far as Benitez’s future is concerned.
Survival AND the arrival of new owners seems essential over the next few months if we are to keep him. Do you think both can happen?