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Rafa Watch: Hear From the Man Himself

Rafa makes it clear that the ball is squarely in Newcastle's court. All eyes are on Ashley and Charnley.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As the dust settles after Newcastle's 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham, all eyes are squarely on the Newcastle hierarchy and Rafael Benitez.

Will the man responsible for winning over the hearts and minds of Newcastle fans everywhere commit to helping the club secure promotion from the Championship next season?  Or will Charnely and Co. fail to get their biggest ever signing "over the line?"

While the club has remained silent in the aftermath of today's victory, Rafa has been making the rounds with the press and he certainly seems conflicted.

Speaking with the Chronicle, Rafa was asked if he had spoken to Mike Ashley:

"I haven’t seen him. My agenda is to talk to Lee Charnley, but if he is around then it is much better.

"If not, we will have time it is not a problem. I don’t know what he (Ashley) will do, but I have an appointment with Lee Charnley so I will talk to him.

"If they want both to talk with me it will be fine, no problem."

Here is Rafa talking to the Preferred Media Partners™ in the post-game press conference:

In the post-game tunnel, Benitez was interviewed by the Premier League crew and his initial pause may have given fans reason to doubt the prospect of him staying at the club.

EPL:  "You can't leave after that kind of result, can you?"

Rafa:  [long pause] "We can enjoy it.  We can enjoy it.  It was a very good game. We enjoyed the game until the end.  Obviously that much has been fantastic.  I said before that I was really pleased and I have to say thank you because the fans have been amazing.  I told the players thank you very much because they have been working so hard these past ten games.  It was a pity that we couldn't say up."

Speaking with the BBC, Rafa appeared much more upbeat about the possibility of staying on Tyneside next season.

Should Newcastle fail to secure Benitez to a long term deal, all of the positivity generatedRafa makes it clear that the ball is squarely in Newcastle's court.  All eyes are on Ashley and Charnley. by today's performance will vanish in an instant.  In a season when so much has gone wrong, Newcastle fans must hope that the very last thing goes right.