Writing in a blog about his first week working with his new club Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League, Rafa Benitez has taken a swipe at the Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.
Benitez left Newcastle at the end of his contract on June 30th, saying that the club didn’t have the ambition he had. He then took a big money job in the Chinese Super League a few days later.
The Spaniard has said how he has already had multiple meetings with the Dalian Yifang hierarchy, contrasting that with the meetings he had on Tyneside.
“Since the moment of our arrival we have really been touched by the kindness and respect that we have been shown,” wrote Benitez.
“Our hosts have treated us with great consideration and are always keen to make us happy.
“As we all know from experience, in football, just as in everyday life, when people show you respect and affection and do everything they can to make things easier for you, life is much happier, even when you face difficult moments.
“I must say that I have had more meetings with the chairman, the president and the general manager this week, than I had in three years at Newcastle.
“They haven’t just been work meetings, rather signs of respect in which we have been able to appreciate the differences and similarities in our cultures.”
There was a well documented strain on the relationship between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez and this now looks more apparent than ever. The Newcastle owner is looking to sell the club and the lack of investment was always a concern for Benitez, who worked on a show string budget.
Now he is out of the club, it seems that Benitez is happy to talk about the problems at Newcastle and the lack of continuity between manager and owner looks obvious judging by his comments.
There was a big gamble on Steve Bruce becoming the next Newcastle manager yesterday (Tuesday) and he is now as short as 2/5 to take up the roll. 11/10 is still available with one firm though.
Other names still at the top of the next Newcastle manager odds betting are Jose Mourinho at 10/1 with William Hill, Mikel Arteta at 16/1 with Paddy Power and a new name on the list is Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder, also at 16/1.