Adrian Durham compared Rafa Benitez’s situation at Newcastle United with Lee Bowyer’s scenario at Charlton Athletic and was barking up the wrong tree by doing so.
The talkSPORT broadcaster revealed he was disappointed that Benitez didn’t sign a new one-year contract and wait around to see if Mike Ashley sold the club as he pointed out that was what Bowyer was clearly doing at Charlton.
“I would liken it to the Lee Bowyer situation at Charlton as well,” said Durham on talkSPORT (16:12, Monday June 24th).
“Terrible owners of the football club, they need to get out, there’s a sale imminent, all these things are exactly the same as Newcastle.
“You had a manager at the end of the time at the football club who had done very well, was loved by the fans and what Lee Bowyer did was not walk away, he decided I get this situation about selling the club so they can’t put me on a long-term contract.
“So what I will do is I will sign for a year and go from there, I’m surprised Benitez hasn’t done that actually I’m disappointed he has hasn’t said I’ll give it one more year if the sale the club happens if he doesn’t I’m off.
“If he makes that absolutely clear when he signed, signs a one-year contract, who would have a problem?”
The Magpies confirmed on their official website on Monday that Benitez was set to depart the club when his contract expires on June 30th, whereas Charlton previously revealed on their website they had secured the services of Bowyer for another season.
While Durham is right to claim both Charlton and Newcastle could do with a new owner, he is missing one clear difference between the situations.
Benitez has already stuck around and waited for Ashley to sell to no avail, as he arrived at St James Park to become Newcastle manager in 2016; whereas Bowyer only became Charlton manager in March 2018.
The Newcastle manager can’t afford to keep waiting around hoping Ashley sells as he has done enough, and who knows when the takeover will happen?
After all, Ashley put the Magpies up for sale in October 2017 and was hoping to exit by Christmas, as reported by The Guardian, but here we are in June 2019 and he is still in charge.
So effectively Benitez has already taken his gamble on waiting around at the Magpies, and it’s unfair for Durham to be disappointed that he didn’t sign a new one-year deal like Bowyer, as the Charlton boss hasn’t stuck it out previously.