TalkSPORT ‘pundit’ gets it horribly wrong in shameless Rafa Benitez rant – Another Ashley crony?

Michael Gray has got himself stuck into one of the most ill-informed and shameless rant you are ever likely to hear live on talkSPORT – making some clueless claims about Rafa Benitez in an argument full of lies.

I don’t actually know where to start with this one, so it’s probably best you read his ridiculous comments first, with us picking it all apart below.

Here’s what the ex-Mackem has had to say when speaking on talkSPORT this week:

“Well if i’m brutally honest whatever I will say about Newcastle I will get criticised anyway but I’m bored..bored of hearing all these things that are coming out about Newcastle whether it’s on the field or off the field, I’m sure the Newcastle supporters are exactly the same,”

“They probably get to a transfer window and go ‘alright let’s rub our hands together we’re gonna see some new faces and get ourselves mid-table, owner is gonna leave, gonna get a new chairman’ and Rafa will be saying it’ll be a miracle if we stay in the Premier League.

“And this just adds to the list, he’s after a couple of players that we both probably agree that they’re not going to get, and he has stuck with the players who should be good enough to stay in the Premier League.

“Rafa’s contract ends at the end of the season and I’m sure I’m right about that, he will not been backed in any transfer window if this chairman is still involved in any capacity, so Benitez gets his pay-off at end of the season and it’s a thank you very much, packed his bags and he’s off.

“Why would he stick around? He has done what he has had to do at that club, got relegated, got back up, spent a huge amount of money on getting them back up, gets them in the Premier League, finish 10th last season, why they can’t finish 10th again? It’s the same squad of players and they brought Rondon in, Newcastle when I’ve seen them on their day are a decent team, I’m not saying they’re fantastic because they’re not, they are a million miles away from that.

“But it’s excuse after excuse and I for one am getting sick of hearing what Benitez has to say and the chairman doesn’t come out anyway with anything, he doesn’t need to.”

He claims Rafa will get a big pay out when he leaves. Not he won’t? He was due to pay Ashley £6m IF he broke his contract but even that has expired. This is example number one of him failing to know the facts.

He claims Rafa will STILL be saying it’d be a ‘miracle’ to stay up if he got a new owner and new players. This is subjective, but I think we all know Benitez would be anything but this if he finally got his wish and was able to take the club forward. He didn’t swap the Bernabeu for Burton away a few years ago to ‘moan’ once he got the club exactly where he wanted us to be.

He asks ‘why can’t we finish 10th again as our squad is better than last season’s’. Ok, it’s improved in areas, with us having a much better suited striker in Rondon, Dubravka for the entire season and an impressive quarter of centre-backs, but this comment is generally so moronic it’s untrue. Our lack of spending over the summer saw us lose so much momentum as a club – emphasised by the fact practically all of our rivals (including newly promoted teams) showed far more ambition than us in the summer.

He claims Rafa spent a ‘huge amount of money’ getting us back up from Championship. Firstly this isn’t true as we made a big profit that summer given Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Janmaat & Townsend were all sold, but the worst part of this is the idea Ashley should be praised for simply attempting to make up for a mess he created!

And finally, he claims Rafa’s making excuses and he’s sick of it – claiming Ashley shouldn’t have to come out and defend his lack of spending. Rafa has every right to complain – after all, he’s been lied repeatedly.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

7 thoughts on “TalkSPORT ‘pundit’ gets it horribly wrong in shameless Rafa Benitez rant – Another Ashley crony?

  1. There is some merit in what he says. Rafa’s record this season, public comments and the football on offer would probably have seen him sacked at many clubs – Fulham, Southampton and Huddersfield being examples, not that their past and present managers would be my choice of replacements for Benitez. I honestly don’t know who would take the job and be better, however, the football on offer couldn’t be any worse!


  2. Gray is an idiot who never amounted to anything in the world of football. Why should anyone sane take notice of what he says?
    Go and get a proper job Mackem.


  3. People are saying any manager would of being gone by now. How can people blame Rafa he’s got the same squad more or les that he two seasons ago. It the ugliest fat ****y from down south will not give him money. And the players are not helping you should be slagging them off not the manager.


  4. Same squad indeed that finished 10th with some additions BUT the point is everyone else strengthened to the tune of several million more. He’s pretty clueless is Gray, there might be a staying up bonus but it’s not a pay off. He’s probably just upset the Mackems have drawn their last three and look destined to stay in League 1


  5. Not much wrong with what he said. Obviously the ‘huge amount of money spent’ is wrong.
    The rest of it? Well, it’s not worth getting your knickers in a twist about.


  6. As a fan of the Lads since 1974 I have to say I agree with what GRay has to say.

    As for a pay off – you don’t think that in addition to his 5 or 6 million a year Rafa is on a huge bonus if he can keep us up? Of course he is – same as the players but his will be significantly more.

    As for our players – we should have the quality to stay up, and performances like the second half of last season will deliver that. We’re only 5 points off 13th and 9 off 11th – not that those positions are actually acceptable, though certainly do-able.

    Gray is not far off the mark at all, and Rafa is a smart cookie. If he can keep us up on the money Ashley has made available there will be a line a mile long of teams willing to keep him on for the same kind of stupid money he’s on here.

    Why spend 100 million on players with another 50 million on their wages over 3 years when you can get the same results by hiring Rafa for 20 million?

    Unless you can get into Europe,where you finish in the league these days doesn’t matter, as long as you stay up. Finishing 17th and spending pennies is much better than busting the bank for 9th.


  7. Dave:
    Not much wrong with what he said. Obviously the ‘huge amount of money spent’ is wrong.
    The rest of it? Well, it’s not worth getting your knickers in a twist about.

    Gray claims Rafa will still be saying it’d be a ‘miracle’ to stay up if he got a new owner and new players…that’s ridiculous, come on..

    So many of his comments are ill-informed and petty too. Another Ashley apologist who speaks as if Rafa has no reason to complain..


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