One question will be on most fans’ minds after the win yesterday. What could Rafa do with this side if he is given more resources?
To be fair to this squad of players, there is Premier League quality there in the likes of Kenedy, Lascelles, Jonjo and Matt Ritchie, but there is no doubt the manager is squeezing every last drop out of the talent he has available.
Speaking to TalkSport (quotes via the Chronicle), Micky Quinn was asked about the Spaniard’s future at the club, and he said the ambition is to overhaul Arsenal in the top six:
“If he gets the backing he will stay at Newcastle United. He loves the club, he loves the fans. I know someone very close to him and he wants to see the job through.”
“He wants to take Newcastle to that next level above Arsenal, maybe next year, and into the top six. I am telling you that is the ambition Rafael Benitez has for Newcastle United but it is whether they can match his ambition.”
The crucial line there is whether the club can indeed match Benitez’s lofty aims. Under Ashley, it does seem highly unlikely. Hopefully, with the club’s Premier League status secure, it will prompt further interested buyers to step forward.
Many prospective new owners were likely hesitant to put a bid in with the club at risk of losing substantial revenue if relegation happened, but with that now no longer an issue, hopefully a few more offers will be received in the coming months.
Rafa has done a fantastic job with the limited resources available, but to kick on and make theat next step, we have to spend on strengthening this squad significantly. It could be a defining summer coming up for this club.
It’s clear the manager wants to stay, but he needs the tools to do his job properly. If he doesn’t get what he needs he could look elsewhere to match his ambitions.
The manager has dragged this club from crisis to stability in the space of just two years, and if we can give him the resources to compete, we really could be set for an exciting next few years at St James’.
It’s imperative that the money is found to build on this strong first season back in the top flight. Hopefully momentum towards a takeover will now begin to build, and we could look to the future with much more optimism than we have had in the last decade.