With the season drawing to a close, another season of Premier League football confirmed, we can thank the work of Rafael Benitez.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager is still yet to agree a new contract with Newcastle United. The reason being the club do not have the same ambitions as Benitez. The Spaniard can see the potential of Newcastle, he wants to be challenging for the top six or seven, where the club should be. However, under Mike Ashley’s ownership the club has gone from a top four club to a club that is constantly looking over its shoulder in the bottom half of the Premier League. Two relegations and some close calls under the ownership of Ashley, proves how little ambition there is at the club.
Benitez’s contract is due to expire on June 30th, with discussions not even reaching an advanced stage, fans are beginning to fear the worst. Benitez has a list of things he would like the club to commit to, if he is to sign a new contract. Improving the training ground and academy is one of the main priorities for Benitez. Those improvements do not come cheap, though this is a necessity for the club in order to move forward.
Leicester City confirmed plans to improve their facilities with a reported cost to be around £100M. Benitez understands that the club wants to be self-sufficient, however there must be plans in place to make sure the club does not continue to just stand still and stagnate. Benitez needs to be backed in every transfer window, he is not demanding hundreds of millions each window, but enough to be able to improve each season.
The problem with Newcastle’s lack of ambition is it is that lack of ambition that will leave Benitez with no other choice but to walk away in the summer. Should Benitez walk away from the club, the fans wouldn’t blame him. Benitez gave Newcastle fans a feeling they did not feel for a long time, hope. Hope of a better future.
With safety now assured, the club should be doing all they can to tie Benitez down to a long term contract. Unfortunately for the fans, their club is run by a bunch of clowns. Not only could Newcastle lose Benitez this summer but a whole host of players would follow. The likes of Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie and Perez could all be sold, in addition to not signing Rondon on a permanent basis. Newcastle would be left with a thread bare squad.
Should Benitez leave this summer, there is no other manager that could do a better job with the resources at their disposal. Benitez has worked miracles since arriving at the club. A tactical genius that has seen Newcastle bounce straight back to the Premier League, finish in the top ten on the their return to the big time, and securing safety for another season during this campaign.
Allowing Benitez to leave would be the worst decision the club has made in years. Losing Benitez would see the club decline rapidly. With a so called “Good businessman” in charge of the club, the fans should be relaxed about the future. Unfortunately this “Good businessman” is Mike Ashley. A man who doesn’t care about the club in any way shape or form. He has no desire or ambition to move the club forward or to try and build bridges with the fans after a series of catastrophic mistakes on his part. As long as Ashley remains at the football club, it will continue to fall behind on and off the pitch.
With transfer costs at an all time high, the cost of keeping Benitez is increasing all the time. The signing of Miguel Almiron was a start, nothing else but a step in the right direction. The club cannot afford to sit back and relax just because they finally broke the club transfer record after 14 long years. The club must build on the signing and forget about only signing players who are valued under the £10M mark. Some of those players can turn out to be bargains and perform very well for the club, Fabian Schar has been a prime example of that this season, costing only £3.5M. However, football is like anything, you get what you pay for.
A top player that will make an impact right away is going to cost more than £20M. It is about time Newcastle realised that. When clubs such as Watford, Wolves and Bournemouth can spend huge amounts on transfers, there is no reason why Newcastle United cannot do the same.
It remains to be seen whether Benitez will stay at the club, as things stand he is set to leave. In order to change that the club have to act fast. With the hierarchy in place, it is unlikely a decision will be made any time soon, unfortunately for Newcastle fans, this looks set go down to the wire. Newcastle now face the distinct possibility of going into pre-season without a manager in place.