With less than one week remaining until the transfer window slams shut for the summer and thus, the Premier League beginning, Rafa Benitez has been left with the task of saving a Championship side from relegation back to the Championship.
Benitez is used to competing and winning trophies wherever he has managed, even when on a limited budget, like he was at Valencia. The manager went on to say in his press conference ‘Normally when we have time and support – we deliver’. This is what he wants from the Newcastle board, for them to trust him like they trusted Steve McClaren with a huge transfer budget.
Benitez revealed after Newcastle’s 1-0 home to defeat to Augsburg that ‘I am not happy we are looking to just survive every year.’ Which shows how far apart the owner and the manager are, in terms of what they want to achieve with the club. Benitez believes Newcastle can win trophies, whereas Mike Ashley believes just surviving in the Premier League is good enough.
It is easy to see that Benitez loves the club, fans and city, however this love isn’t close to how much Ashley frustrates him. This is why Rafa having to go a loan swap deal with a Championship club as we refuse to pay a £16 million release clause. Instead, Benitez has had to lose his number one striker from last season in Dwight Gayle in exchange for Salomon Rondon, who was relegated with bottom of the table West Bromwich Albion. This has forced the Spaniard to start Joselu in four out the five pre-season friendlies, even though Benitez was edging the striker out the club last season when he stopped giving him as many minutes.
However, Benitez has been left with one recognised striker that scored four goals last season, a week before the season begins. This is the reason Benitez was adamant at the end of last season and during the summer that he wanted his business all done way before the season started. The Spaniard wanted the majority of his targets signed before pre-season started, never mind finished.
Once again, Benitez has been told promises by Ashley and Charnley, but ultimately has been let down in another transfer window; which seems like an occurring theme at Newcastle United under their greatest manager ever (arguably).
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