After another frustrating transfer window, Rafa Benitez has admitted that ‘there’s a time when you have to say something’, stating that an ‘internal debate’ needs to take place between him and Mike Ashley – but not until the end of the season.
Rafa shows clear signs of discontent in his latest interview here, however he insists that there’s ‘plenty of time’ to discuss these issues, with him preferring to focus on matters on the pitch whilst we’re embroiled in such a scrap for survival.
The way the last month unfolded is difficult to ignore, mind. He wanted deals done by January 20th, yet we found ourselves doing 2/3’s of our business on deadline day – meaning the incoming Slimani and Dubravka were not in place to play against Burnley and Palace as Rafa will have no doubt intended.
Here’s what he had to say when asked about his feelings and future following the closure of the January transfer window:
“There’s a time when you have to say something.”
“That’s another debate for the future, an internal debate. We have plenty of time to talk about those things,”
“We’re a little bit better than a few days ago,”
“I don’t want to start a war, I need to be sure the players are concentrated on getting the points to stay up.
“I won’t start a polemic. It’s not a question of ’I’m happy, I’m not happy.’ Is it ideal? I won’t say if it’s ideal or not.”
Interesting that Rafa states ‘we’re a little bit better than a few days ago’. A reminder that despite striking two deals on deadline day, he still isn’t too enamoured by how we’ve done our business.
On a positive note, Benitez has insisted once again that we’ll be in a much strong place next season if we stay up )with the TV money being full installed by that point likely to be a big factor), also highlighting the importance of fans’ support and a good atmosphere to rally the team to safety:
“If we stay in the Premier League, we’ll be 100% stronger next season,”
“We have to be sure our players feel the fans’ support. If we want to stay in the Premier League, we have to make sure the atmosphere is good.”
It’s going to be a massive few months folks. Securing Premier League safety is one battle, but win that and the war is still not over. Benitez’s future is perhaps the biggest thing in doubt right now, and that’s a real worry.