Positive Talks Lift Mood as Benitez is on the verge of staying

The growing optimism that Benitez will remain at Newcastle is a shining glimmer of hope to United fans. More than that, it is a beacon, penetrating through the relegation fog which would have lay thick on the Tyne for months.

Meteorological metaphor aside, the importance of Rafa staying in charge has been made abundantly clear by the Newcastle fans; and Ashley, seems to have taken note.

I must admit that a few weeks ago, I just could not see Benitez remaining in charge should we fall below the relegation watershed. But all the talk following Newcastle’s incredible demolition of Spurs on Sunday is encouraging positive.

Players who I’d assumed would be fleeing the Magpies’ nest quicker than Mark Viduka are even coming out claiming they are open to staying in a bid to get Newcastle back up. Others have been a little more cryptic, expectedly so, in fairness. With relegation confirmed only a week ago, you would normally see players deflect questions of transfer to their agents, neither admitting they want a move away or committing their futures to the club until fully assessing their options. Yet all the noises coming out of St James’ Park seem to be that of togetherness.

That was certainly reflected in the performance on Sunday. This is a squad of players who should never have been relegated. For all the talk of poor recruitment, and yes much of it has been poor. Newcastle were still left with a squad good enough to go the last six Premier league games unbeaten under the guidance of someone who actually knows what they are doing.

As enjoyable as it was to watch Newcastle dismantle Spurs, it was also infuriatingly frustrating. Where has that been all season? Where has Sissoko been? Mitrovic, until his moment of utter madness, was brilliant. The whole side, even when down to ten, in fact, especially when down to ten, were together, organised and hungry. Breaking forwards relentlessly with pace and desire. Where has it been?

Yet strangely enough relegation doesn’t, at the moment, seem like the end. With the prospect of Benitez, and some of the more appealing players still with Newcastle and a humbled Mike Ashley restructuring the model, it could be the beginning. The beginning of something great. With a bit of perspective we should be looking at where Newcastle could be in three years, not where we will be next season. Hopefully next week will bring us the news we all crave and we can look forward to a summer preparing for a promotion drive, with Rafa at the forefront.

A quick personal note from me, SRF, now that the season has finished. Thank you to all you readers and bloggers who have taken the time to read my articles, comment on and discuss them. I have really enjoyed writing for this site since February and hope you have enjoyed reading them.

Remember, we are the fans. We have fans all over the UK, indeed, all over the world. Players, managers, directors and owners will come and go. The club will remain. We are Newcastle, we are United. HTL

327 thoughts on “Positive Talks Lift Mood as Benitez is on the verge of staying

  1. Perez too. And Mbemba. Maybe Haidara too.

    That’s a lot of promising youngsters in the team already. Combine that with some experienced players and a year under a good manager could make us a force in the PL.


  2. Did Hughton set a record with us last time we were down there?.

    Rafas aim should be to beat that IMO.


  3. I’m seriously blown away by the hypocrisy of these so called pundits.

    When asked if they have any sympathy for LVG – both Carragher & Redknapp say no. The football wasn’t great under van Gaal and he’ll get a decent pay out.

    The football under Mc was ******* woeful and we we were in a relegation battle when we got rid of him (we hadn’t just missed out on CL and won an FA Cup by the way).
    Yet our treatment of Mc was so unprofessional and trashy according to the same ‘football know it alls’. Set of ******s!!.


  4. Sharpy: Hughton did set a record in The Championship of over 100 points (I think it was 101). Then Leicester beat that record with 102. I wonder what happened with them in PL?


  5. TDS: you are putting forward the usual argument that loans will hold back our players, but:

    1. strategic loans in the right areas would help immensely and may save transfer fees – striker, left back etc

    2. what young players do we have? The cupboard is bare, that is why Rafa wants to revamp the whole club. The academy and U21s performances mirrored that of the 1st team. I think the U21s finished 2nd bottom of the second division. The good young players we have are now first team or close and a bit of competition wont hurt. Also, some of the promising young players like Haidara and MBabu have been injured a lot.

    3. When we get rid of the sicknotes and the players that want to leave we will have a very thin squad. I expect AT LEAST 10 departures.

    4. for some players I bet we could get a loan with a buyout clause. Chelsea have about 80 players on their books and the attrition rate is massive so I don’t see why they wouldn’t allow that. Maybe they could have a buy-back like Real Madrid with Marata?

    5. Even Championship players are not cheap. The buyout for a 29 year old Ross McCormak is 12 million.


  6. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: Hughton did set a record in The Championship of over 100 points (I think it was 101). Then Leicester beat that record with 102. I wonder what happened with them in PL?

    Eric – 103 it is then mate 😉


  7. I think Rafa will be given the option to keep any player he wants, but I doubt he will keep any player who WANT to leave. The squad could look very different without:

    Sicknotes (4)

    Good, Marveaux, Obertan, Taylor

    Likely to leave (7)

    Krul, Tiote, Cisse, Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Janmaat, Thauvin

    Might leave (3)

    De Jong, Townsend, Colo

    So, TDS, I think there will be room for a few loans even if only 10 of the above leave and we have nobody coming through except Armstrong and Aarons (maybe Toney) and therefore have no depth. Our youth system is producing nothing so borrowing from others is a good idea. Chelsea have tried to buy up all of the young talent in Belgium so that might be a place to start.


  8. I think Rafa is digging his heels in about having the money available from sales because so many are likely to leave. He will have a talented but extremely small squad. That is why we need to keep the likes of Shelvey and Townsend and even Saivet. All of them might not leave, but I bet Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Cisse, Janmaat and the sicknotes do. There is even talk of keeping Tiote but I can’t see that happening, he has wanted way for the best part of 2 years.


  9. People/TDS always overestimate the quality of the youth players. How many have actually made it at NUFC recently? Dummett.

    Others are promising – Armstrong, MBabu, Aarons – but they have played fewer than 10 games apiece (and 2 don’t even have contracts). Sterry made his debut in the last game of the season so who knows about him. You can’t really count Lascelles, Mitro and MBemba as our “youngsters”. Look at their transfer fees.

    So, who would loans be holding back? We can piggyback on the fact that other teams have stacked their U21s but need to win now so will be buying up all of the experienced talent from the rest of Europe.


  10. I would like to see at least 3 loans in the areas of most need – striker, left back, centre half. This would be in addition to 3 experienced players in those positions. The loans could be competition or become first choice. It is not often that all transfers succeed – just look at Carr’s success rate.


  11. The loan discussion is part of the bigger picture – that we are not producing our own players, that we have to get rid of sicknotes and that quite a few of our players will not want to play in The Championship, even under Rafa. That is even before we get into the finances of it all.


  12. I know I have monopolised the discussion but I know everybody is waiting for the big decision/announcement. I may as well say what he faces because I think there are some who are naive about that. We will not be able to keep most of the high profile players and we have virtually nobody coming through. There are 46 games in the Championship FFS, are you going to rely on Aarons, Armstrong and MBabu to play in more than half of them? What happens if Mitro or MBemba get injured? TDS thinks we can get by with a 16 man squad with half of them under 23 🙂


  13. If past is prologue, only one of Aarons, Armstrong and MBabu will make it so talk of holding them back may be a bit naive. How many “next big things” have there been at NUFC, actually none recently apart from maybe Armstrong, because our academy, U21s and scouting of emerging talent at a reasonable price has been abysmal.

    As I said earlier, Aarons and MBabu don’t even have contracts and both have very bad injury records. There is no way they can be relied upon for more than half the games in a Championship season. That said, I think Aarons has enough talent to give him a 3 year contract and take the risk.


  14. Our last big thing to emerge prior to Armstrong, Aaron’s and Mbabu was Adam Campbell. He ended up at league 2s notes county where he scored 4 goals in 29 this past season.

    That said, I agree we need to give a good amount of footy to our young emerging players this season. Perfect opportunity to develop them.

    We need to bring in 2 CBs, a winger , a striker and maybe a cm – so about 10 out with 5 in and we give the youngsters a good crack at it.


  15. I don’t think it’s a time to blood either ours or anyone else’s young prospects.

    I’m happy for the likes of Armstrong & Toney to play back up to the likes of Mitrovic & Perez. I’m happy for Sterry & Mbabu to play back up to more experienced established full backs.
    But as decent as Aarons looks, he’s still very injury prone and I’d rather have someone like Matt Phillips in there ahead of him. He’s far more experienced at proved last season he’s more than capable of scoring and creating goals at this level.

    Last season showed its worth looking at squad players – with the likes of Darlow, Elliott, Lascelles and Anita (at RB) showing their worth.

    But next season is about getting promoted immediately – we can’t loose sight of that for me. That is the only measure of success next season – not how many young uns we can bring through.


  16. Today would be a good day to confirm Rafas appointment.

    SSN desperately trying to make a story now LVG has left Man U, so now would be a perfect opportunity for Charnley to give them a proper story …. Gan on Lee!!!.


  17. Problem with us is that we have no track record of blooding kids in at all. Thats because we have very few of them who are actually good enough and that is probably due to the under investment and restrictive policy we have with the academy. Hopefully that will change.

    Although I don’t think the Championship is the place to be bleeding young players in as we need experienced players supplemented by the odd youngster who is actually good enough.


  18. Stuart, man. That is what I was saying as well. We have had Krul and Taylor and Dummett as our poster children for the Academy/U21s.


    Aarons and Armstrong need to change that.


  19. Sorry about my diatribes again. But nobody else seemed bothered as they waited for the announcement.

    And I didn’t rant about Blackie this time.


  20. STUART pictures of him in Lisbon have been released also pictures of him on the plane taken by member of.the public on flight to Lisbon and taxi picking him up


  21. Heard reports that sporting are interested, but even if some truth in it, when a player is under contract, does the window not open until June or July 1st?

    Also think if he goes abroad, he will put himself out of reckoning for international games. I know being in championship doesn’t help either, but if for only 1 season, he is back for World Cup 2nd bit of qualifying. Also, know we need money, but if we do have to loose likes of Townsend and Gini, should we not loan for a fee to a top division team, then hopefully we still get back up in 1 season and have them back again?


  22. Ice, That’s disappointing if true, didn’t his Dad and him make comments about him staying?
    If he goes we are buggered as he was our best outlet imo.


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