What would you prefer – a takeover goes through but Rafa Benitez leaves, or a takeover fails to materialise but Rafa Benitez signs a new deal?
This is the question we put to our Facebook followers last week and, after our poll received 3,500 votes, the results are very interesting.
With 68% of the vote, over two thirds of fans involved in the poll opted for the first option as shown below – ‘A takeover, but no Rafa’.
I’m sure 99% of us are hoping and praying for a takeover AND news of a new contract for Rafa Benitez, but this poll opened up an interesting topic of debate.
In reality, the results here probably sum up how we all see the future if Mike Ashley’s still in it and, if we were to make a sportsbet, we wouldn’t expect Rafa to stick around much longer if the Sports Direct tycoon fails to sell up.
Our love for Rafa Benitez is as strong as I’ve seen for any Newcastle manager in recent history, but there’s clearly an acceptance here that his hands will always be tied if Ashley remains.
The NUFC owner may have surprised us with the £21 arrival of Miguel Almiron in January, but he’s never likely to show real ambition, adhere the demands of a world class manager and release the club from the chains he attached when he bought us 12 years ago.
Benitez is pushing for change, striving to awaken a sleeping giant and is determined to get us back competing with clubs towards the top 6, yet it feels like he’s fighting a battle he can’t win when his boss is ultimately only interested in ‘surviving’ after spending the bare minimum.
Rafa has done superbly with the money and resources he’s been handed. The likes of Dubrakva (£4m), Schar (£3m), Fernandez (£5m), Rondon (loan) and Lejeune (£8.7m) have proved to be superb low-budget signings, while he’s improved players like Perez, Dummett, Longstaff and Hayden significantly. He’s building something here, but serious investment and a real show of ambition is essential if we want to compete with those vying for Europe.
This is why a takeover seems essential. Ashley may have sanctioned a big-money move for Miguel Almiron, but that was after months of pestering and at at a stage where a new signing felt like a necessity to keep us up. It feels like he’ll only spend to stave off a potential disaster. It’s all reactive, not proactive.
A takeover could not only bring the potential for bigger spending and greater ambition, but a chance for the club to get its identity back and actually have some direction.
Rafa Benitez is doing his best to give us all of the above, but, in the work place, a team leader or manager can only implement so much change when the guy at the very top calls the shots.
This is the predicament I fear he’ll be forced to deal with for as long as Mike Ashley remains – and is no doubt the reason why so many voted for a takeover above all else.
Check out https://www.bestcasinositesonline.com/ – something Mike Ashley will doing before long if he loses Rafa and decides to play the roulette wheel with Newcastle United’s future.
(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)