Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has said that there would be no blame on manager Rafael Benitez if he was to walk away from the club in the summer with Mike Ashley still at the helm.
The Spanish boss has helped guide the Magpies to the brink of Premier League safety in their first season back, with a huge resurgence in form continuing with Sunday’s 2-1 home win over Arsenal, their fourth consecutive defeat.
With just two defeats since the turn of 2018, fans and pundits have lauded over the former Liverpool boss, highlighting how impressive his achievements have been despite an evident lack of backing from owner Ashley, with six new signings in the summer and three loanees brought in during January.
Responding to the Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman, who questioned whether Benitez could walk away if the Sports Direct supremo remains, Shearer delivered the verdict no fans wanted to hear about their firm favourite, stating on his personal Twitter account: “I agree. No one could blame him if he did! He does love the club and the area and also realises the potential. It’s a shame others don’t!”
@alanshearer I wouldn’t blame him if he walked this summer. Done unbelievable job but won’t be backed by Ashley as he looks to improve squad. So how does he do it again?
— Ian Ladyman (@Ian_Ladyman_DM) April 15, 2018
I agree. No one could blame him if he did! He does love the club and the area and also realises the potential. It’s a shame others don’t! https://t.co/VWNEdNKSlu
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) April 15, 2018
Football Insider verdict
Shearer speaks the brutal truth and there will be fingers and toes crossed on Tyneside that Benitez remains after summer, whether Ashley is there or not. The British businessman is seeking a sale and so that will give some hope to the Toon Army, but after the farce surrounding a takeover in the winter, those hopes seem slim. Will Ashley back Benitez in the summer? If he wants the club to stay in the Premier League he will, something which the Spaniard has done on a shoestring budget, but there will now be the expectation of actual ambition and progress. If that is not shown by those at the top, then Benitez may well cut his losses – disappointing both him and the Newcastle faithful.
In other Newcastle United news, a five word statement from Rafael Benitez has made it clear what the club need to do next.