Newcastle United are running out of time. Owner Mike Ashley should finally do what is right for the club and extend Rafael Benitez’s contract.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager’s contract is due to end in the close season. Benitez has made it very clear to the Newcastle board what is required for him to stay beyond the current season. Any other club would give Benitez everything he wanted, however, in Mike Ashley, Newcastle United have one of the most clueless owners in world football, which makes everything that more difficult.
It is no secret that Ashley does not invest in the club. He is more than happy to see it scrape a living in the Premier League. Benitez however, sees the massive potential of the club, and with some investment Benitez can take Newcastle a long way.
Benitez came in at a time when the club was on its knees, and the fan base was fractured, mainly due to Ashley’s non-existent running of their beloved club. When the Spaniard came in, he immediately united the fans and brought hope to Tyneside. Hope, it’s a small word but it goes a long way. Under previous managers Newcastle fans had been used to seeing their team at the wrong end of the table, Benitez changed all that. Had Newcastle sacked Steve McClaren sooner, Newcastle would not have been relegated for a second time in the Ashley era.
Benitez understands Newcastle United and what the club means to the fans. It is not like most clubs; football is everything in Newcastle. When Newcastle are in good form, the city is bouncing, from children to grandparents you’ll hear everyone talk about the club as you walk around the city.
People from the outside have ridiculous opinions on the club and its fans. Most stating that Newcastle fans think they are entitled. That is simply not the case, Newcastle fans want to see a team that gives their all on the pitch, they want to see the team challenge the top half of the Premier League. With more investment Benitez can give the Newcastle fans what they deserve.
If Newcastle were to lose Benitez in the summer it would be a huge step back for the club. Mike Ashley as a businessman should surely see what he has to do. Benitez has a strong connection with the fans, when everyone is pulling in the same direction, St James’ Park is a special place to be.
Newcastle simply cannot go back to having “Yes men” in charge, Benitez is the first manager to really challenge Ashley. The likes of McClaren and Pardew were just happy to be at such a top club. Under Mike Ashley, Newcastle have had managers who just did not understand the club, this has led to its rapid decline under the current owner.
To let Benitez walk away from the football club would be Ashley’s worst decision since taking over the club. The fans already have a toxic relationship with the owner. If Ashley could get Benitez to stay and back him in the transfer market, the fans would not have any ammunition to throw at him.
Unfortunately, Ashley just doesn’t get it and is unlikely to ever change his ways. No other manager could do a better job than Benitez with this set of players. Over to you Mr Ashley....