Club legend Alan Shearer has responded to questions surrounding Rafa Benitez long-term future at NUFC, admitting that he is hoping that the club is taken over and able to spend in the transfer market as a result – believing this will be key to easing Rafa’s frustrations and keeping him on Tyneside in the long-term.
Speculation over Rafa’s future disappeared following the aftermath of a sub-standard summer for the club, with the Spaniard being able to focus on what he does best – getting results on the pitch.
There’s been some ups and downs, but it’s been a solid start, and with discussions over a potential takeover taking place in the background at St James’ Park, Shearer has had his say on how this could influence Benitez’s future at the club.
Here’s what the former NUFC number 9 said when asked how long he thinks Benitez will stay at Newcastle:
“For a while I hope,”
“I’m sure he is wanting and hoping for some activity in regards a takeover because even he has said himself he was frustrated at the beginning of the season because he wasn’t given what he was promised. So I’m sure he is hoping there will be a takeover and he will be given funds to strengthen the squad.”
Shearer then touched on the importance of Benitez to Newcastle, believing that we WILL stay up this season, but admitting that a lot of our success will come down to Rafa’s expertise as a manager – feeling he ‘hasn’t got a great football team’ to take NUFC where he wants them to be at the minute:
“Newcastle have to keep hold of Rafa – he is a huge plus point for Newcastle with his experience and know-how and he understands what team he has at this time. He hasn’t got a great football team to take Newcastle anywhere near the top six and I know people were getting carried away when they were sixth or seventh but it was always going to be a hard long season and he will make the difference.
“If Newcastle are to stay up this season and I’m sure they will then a lot of that will come from Rafa because of who he is and what he is – because he is a very good manager.”
Alan isn’t wrong. Our work rate and togetherness is credit to the players as much as it is Rafa, however our organisation, shape and vast defensive improvement is the product of having a world-class manager at our disposal.
With that in mind, you realise just how much potential we’d have if new owners throwing big money at a top class operator like Benitez – giving Rafa a chance to see out his vision for the club. Something Ashley is clearly unable and unwilling to satisfy.
Hopefully our wish does come true and a takeover goes through. The key to breaking the chains Ashley has tied to our club and perhaps the biggest factor that could keep our biggest asset here in the long run – Rafa Benitez.