Newcastle United round-up: Club sale update; Strong U23 squad; Gerrard on Benitez
Newcastle United are on the market as Mike Ashley looks to sell the club. There were reports over the weekend that the owner had reduced his asking price to £380 million, but the Shields Gazette understands that he is yet to discuss a price with any interested party. It is clear that he is willing to sell the club, but that is a long way from becoming a reality.
Supporters are desperate to see the club get a new owner as Mike Ashley has regularly held the club back and has openly admitted that he no longer wants to invest his own money into Newcastle. The club needs to wipe its own nose and that had caused friction with Rafa Benitez. This is certainly a story to follow over the coming months.
There will be a PL2 game being shown live on NUFC TV tonight as the Magpies host Wolves in the competition. They will name a strong second string, with the likes of Dwight Gayle, Rolando Aarons, Henri Saivet and Jack Colback all included in the squad. They have shown a desire to use the competition to maintain the fitness and form of fringe players, as Jonjo Shelvey featured earlier this season.
This will be a good opportunity for all those mentioned to maintain their fitness and prove why they should be playing a role in the first team. Gayle is the biggest name and he will be disappointed by his start to the season, as he has lost his place to Joselu. He is likely to get another chance at some point and a good performance tonight could help him get back into the first-team.
Rafa Benitez is well respected in football and Steven Gerrard has revealed the secrets behind his management style during an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live:
“I think it’s just he’s very different in terms of style to say a Brendan Rodgers or Gerard Houllier who focused loads on the man management and get really close to the players and talk to them a lot away from the game.
“Rafa doesn’t really get involved in that sort of stuff. He’s just a different style of manager and different style of man management. He used to try stuff like provocation with me. He’d maybe have a little bit of a pop at me or be a little critical at the right times where he knew he’d get a reaction from me going into big games.”
This is an interesting insight into the coaching mind of Benitez. He clearly understands how to get the best out of his players and used this method with Gerrard. It is important to be flexible and change the approach based on the individual. The success that the Newcastle boss has had throughout his career suggests that he does do that.