Malcolm ‘Supermac’ Macdonald has warned Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley that he could face a players ‘revolt’ after manager Rafael Benitez’s departure was announced on Monday.
The decision to allow the popular Spaniard to leave St James’ Park has been met with dismay by the Magpies faithful, and ‘Supermac’ has given Ashley both barrels.
“Now Ashley has lost a good man-manager, a crafty tactician, a communicator, and a manager loved by the fans,” he wrote in his column for The Chronicle. “How many managers can say that?
“What we have now is a shambles and a possible player revolt when they report back for pre-season training on Thursday. Those who were considering their futures will almost certainly want out now that Rafa has gone. That will have hardened their stance.”
You do wonder what the Newcastle players’ response was to the club’s decision to let Benitez walk away. They will likely have been aware of the distance between Ashley and the manager but, like the rest of us, probably hoped that an unlikely agreement could be reached at the last minute between the two parties. Unfortunately that was not forthcoming, and here we find ourselves. However, Macdonald’s fears of a players revolt likely won’t come to fruition. Those who wanted to leave already, such as Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez, probably still do, while those who want to stay probably still have their heart set on remaining on Tyneside. In fact, there are several players who will feel they’ve been given a lifeline by Benitez’s departure. The likes of Jack Colback and Dwight Gayle will be thinking ‘wait a minute, maybe I’m not done here just yet’. So it’s probably unlikely that a players revolt will materialise.