Rafa Benitez responds after Andy Gray defends Mike Ashley at Newcastle

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No matter who you support, you’ve got to feel sorry for Newcastle fans.

Transfer window after transfer window, owner Mike Ashley fails to provide the manager will sufficient funds and leaves them in danger of relegation from the Premier League.

This summer has been no different.

The Toon lost the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Mikel Merino and Chancel Mbemba this summer and the most notable signing they made was the arrival of Yoshinori Muto for £9.5 million.

Many fans have had enough - including club legend Alan Shearer who summed up the club’s problems on Match of the Day, saying: “Rafa [Benitez] has not had the ammunition to take the club forward.”

But not everyone thinks Ashley is doing a bad job.

Former Sky Sports commentator Andy Gray - now working for Bein Sports - backed Ashley recently and suggested manager Rafa Benitez has manipulated the fans.

"If you look at the investment he’s made in Newcastle, I don’t get the stick he gets, I really don’t,” Gray said.

“Yet they (the fans) still think they are entitled to whatever Mike Ashley has got, whatever his millions are. 

“I think Mike Ashley has done a really good job with them, they finished 10th last year. I heard last year that Mike Ashley was ridiculous (as) he didn’t give Rafa enough money. They were this, they were that. They finished 10th. Rafa spent more money and brought more players in and they might finish ninth this year. I dunno what they want. 

"Rafa has done really well there, he’s won the fans over, they love him.

"He’s very good at that. He did that at Liverpool. Rafa, as a manager, he’s very single minded – he manges for himself. Never forget that. I think Rafa has played the fans really well. He’s got them on his side – they love him, they don’t want him to go.”

Benitez has been accused of 'playing the fans' by Gray


And now Benitez has responded.

The Newcastle boss was asked about Gray’s pro-Ashley comments and he replied: “These comments that they do, they are having an argument with some fans.

“Who knows what’s going on better than our fans? Not too many people. Maybe these people don’t have all the information, but it doesn’t matter.

Benitez is loved by Newcastle fans

“I cannot waste time with that, because there are too many things to think about – my team and trying to improve the players we have.”

Sounds like Benitez is very firmly on the side of the fans - not Andy Gray.

Alan Shearer
Rafael Benitez
Premier League
Newcastle United

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