To say it hasn’t been the best season so far for the Magpies is a fair assessment; however they are currently sitting in 15th on the table and hoping to avoid the risk of relegation. It is one name that crops up during relegation speculation so Benitez naturally hopes to avoid this – although there is plenty of speculation that he won’t be hanging around after the season end, but even if he does leave, it would be better on the back of a win, not a league drop.
At freetips.com there is speculation that the new signings might just save the day, but of course, it could be too little too late.
Jetting in from the USA will be Miguel Almiron, who leaves Atlanta United to join Newcastle; unfortunately, he couldn’t play in the last match as his work paperwork wasn’t through, but he is a record signing trumping the figures paid for Michael Owen. Manager Benitez seemed quite coy about the money, with the 20 million figure being pushed to the instead deflecting questions and instead focusing on the value he brings to the team, he was quoted as saying: “I don’t talk about the money, but I talk about the characteristics of the players. We were looking for these kind of players, and we are happy with that.”
Second into the fold after the transfer window is Antonio Barreca, a left back defender from AS Monaco as an on-loan player with the option to buy after the 6-month loan expires in June 2019. Being a European player and not having the visa type restrictions plaguing Barreca he was put straight to work in the last game coming on as a late substitute. The gameplay seems to be to give Matt Ritchie support so he can blossom and take on a more significant role in the games. As you might expect with one off the pitch for the whole match and one only coming on in the later stages there was no remarkable transformation for Newcastle who lost the game against Tottenham 1-0. Their next match sees them take on Wolves and Rafa will undoubtedly be hoping that Barreca can play by then. Speaking after the Tottenham match, he was keen to avoid blaming his players for the defeat, writing it off as one of those things that can happen and to be fair it wasn’t a crushing defeat. He is only too aware that they are far from being out of danger at this point and has confirmed his opinion “For sure, the target is still survival – get three points in next game, and we are closer to staying up,’’. After Wolves, there are still 12 games on the cards, some against big named clubs where the feeling is they will probably come off worst, but some against other mid to bottom end table clubs and it will be here that Benitez will hope to gain ground and keep his team well way from the bottom three.