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BT pundit raves about Mike Ashley, makes Newcastle relegation claim

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BT Sport pundit Tim Sherwood has said that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley deserves credit for appointing manager Rafael Benitez.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa boss also criticised the club’s away form, but claims that Benitez is the key to keeping the Magpies away from relegation from the Premier League.

“At home sometimes the onus is on them, the fans think ‘well you’ve bored us to death away from home, we’ve been travelling in our numbers, now try and entertain us and try and score goals’,” he said on BT Sport.

“He stifles games Rafael Benitez, and he knows how to do it, he knows how to get results. Without Rafa Benitez they get relegated with that squad of players – with Rafa they stay up. And I think Mike Ashley has to take some credit for appointing him.”


It’s a bit bizarre to credit Ashley for one of the most no brainer managerial hires in history. When a manager the calibre of Benitez becomes available, as the Spaniard did after leaving Real Madrid, you’re obviously going to hire him when you’re down the wrong end of the table. Still, Ashley convinced Benitez to join and so he does deserve credit for that in some small way. Sherwood is right about Benitez, though. Without the former Liverpool chief it’s doubtful that this squad of Newcastle players does anywhere near as well as they do under the Magpies chief. There is precious little talent on Tyneside, that’s just a fact, and so you have to put the small success they do have down to the manager. Without Benitez they would be doomed, it’s as simple as that. As Sherwood says they are very negative on the road and so they do probably feel a bit of pressure to go for things more at home, but the bus will likely be parked once again against Chelsea on Saturday.

For more news relating to Chelsea, visit our sister site Chelsea Live.
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