Former Newcastle coach Dean Saunders has insisted that the club’s success this season has nothing to do with Mike Ashley and everything to do with Rafa Benitez, feeling the NUFC owner ‘has got away it’ this season.
The 53-year-old spent a few years on Tyneside back in 2004, acting as first-team coach during Graeme Souness’ spell at the club, and he’s recently had his say on Newcastle during a TV appearance as a pundit for BT Sport.
Here’s what he’s had to say about Ashley over the weekend, insisting that he’s got lucky once again this season, feeling our achievements are all down to having a ‘brilliant manager’ in charge in Benitez:
“He’s got away with it.
“He’s got a brilliant manager there and if they finish 10th or 11th, it will be down to Rafa Benitez.”
He then rejected Chris Sutton’s suggestion that Ashley may deserve some credit for our success this season, stating it’s all down to Rafa – believing our success has been down to Benitez’s tactical knowledge after so little financial backing:
“No. He’s trying to sell the club and he’s not given Rafa Benitez the money to finish in the top half.
“He’s not given him enough money to do it, so he’s resorted to his tactical knowledge where he sets his team up who are hard to beat and to counter attack – and it’s working.”
Spot on from Saunders. Given the lack of investment over the summer, god knows where we’d be without Benitez. Going down again I suspect.
Let’s just hope Ashley quits while he’s ahead and hands this project full of potential over the someone who can oversee it far more capably.