Former Newcastle winger Keith Gillespie has hit the nail on the head in a message to Mike Ashley on Twitter – saying it’s a ‘shame’ that we now ‘celebrate’ staying up, showing the sad reality of life under an owner with ‘no ambition.’
Here’s what Gillespie’s had to say after Cardiff’s defeat on Sunday secured our Premier League status for another season:
He couldn’t be more right – and this is exactly why Rafa Benitez will only stay this summer if certain demands are met regarding the club’s ambition and ability to compete towards the top half of the table.
Rafa stayed when we went down, he’s got us promoted and he’s kept us up, but his vision for the club stretches far beyond simply ‘surviving’ every season.
A man who’s the Champions League, La Liga and lifted trophies in several of Europe’s top leagues does not want to face a fight to stay up every season.
He’s got the best out of average players, he’s signed some hidden gems and he’s created a squad that now has, in areas, the potential to push on, but he won’t break that top 10 and push for 7th place and beyond without real backing.
Let’s hope some compromise can be found over the coming weeks regarding his contract and that someone with real ambition takes this club off Ashley’s hands to give Rafa a real chance of competing.
As worrying as it is to say, I don’t see Rafa signing any long-term deal or achieving any of his main aspirations here until Ashley is gone.