According to former NUFC midfielder Jermaine Jenas, we would ‘100% go down’ if it wasn’t for Rafa Benitez, stating that it’ll be a ‘miracle’ if we remain in the Premier League even with him in charge this season.
The BBC and BT pundit has made a habit of voicing his slightly strong opinions since he swapped playing for punditry and whilst he speaks sense in some of this, it seems quite extreme to suggest it’d be a ‘miracle’ if we stayed up.
Here’s what he had to say during his outspoken appearance on BBC Radio 5Live over the weekend:
“I don’t think there has ever been a time in the Premier League era where teams are looking forward to going to St James’Park more than they are now,”
“You have got to be realistic and this Newcastle side are not a top team. It is really not.
“If they remain in the Premier League this year it is a miracle as far as I am concerned.
“When I look at them individually and if Benitez wasn’t there, they would 100 per cent go down.”
As we say, some of this is bang on. Teams probably are looking forward to coming to St James’ Park far more than in previous years given our struggling home form, but to say it’d be a formality that we’d go down without Rafa Benitez and a miracle that we’d stay up even with him is pretty over the top.
By Newcastle United standards our squad s considerably weaker than we’ve ever seen in previous Premier League eras, but there’s been teams with less talent then ours stay up over the years. As the likes of Burnley have shown over recent years, team spirit and organisation can go a long way towards staying in the league, and we’ve shown enough of that to suggest survival is more than possible for us this season.
Do I think we’d go down if Benitez wasn’t here? Yes. But to say it’s a ‘miracle’ we may even stay up with him is a bit much for my liking.
Yes we lack quality, yes we need new signings and yes we need to sort out our home form, but Jermaine’s comments are quite extreme and a little uncalled for really.