The former England cricketer shared it was a strange situation surrounding Benitez and wondered if the Spanish manager possibly was questioning whether he needed the hassle of managing the Magpies anymore.
Gough acknowledged that Newcastle had passionate fans but claimed that Benitez may enjoy having an easier life and riding into the sunset in a few years rather than have to constantly work so hard to get the Magpies into the Premier League’s top-12, especially as he was unlikely to have a decent transfer budget.
“It’s a strange one, Benitez may be thinking do I need this hassle anymore?” said Gough on talkSPORT (16:08, Friday, June 21st).
“Yes passionate fans, but as a football club it’s all over the shop at the moment, we don’t know if we’re coming or go, I’m not going to get the money and I’m always going to be pushing for a place and trying my hardest to sneak us into those top-12 positions, so instead go and have the easy life for three years to take me into my 60s, retire and happily ever after.”
Benitez’s current contract is set to expire on June 30th (Source: The Sun) and with only nine days left on it to run, Gough’s remarks will have many Newcastle United fans worried.
The pundit clearly believes that Benitez will be thinking about having an easier life, who can blame him, and that means leaving the Magpies.
Benitez has worked wonders at the Magpies as he guided them to a 13th in the Premier League in the 2018/19 campaign and to 10th in the 2017/18 season, despite the club not spending overly much on new signings.
In fact last August, Sky Sports highlighted how the Magpies were bucking the trend when it came to spending money on transfers as they ended the summer window with a positive net spend.
The broadcaster stated that Benitez, without taking in the January window, had spent £124m as Newcastle manager, recouping £164m giving him a £40m profit in his time in charge, so it’s incredible that he was able to keep pace with the other teams in the Premier League.
Would another manager be able to do that? There’s no guarantee that’s for sure.
Also with Benitez being popular amongst the players such as Jamaal Lascelles, who previously told the Chronicle he’d do everything he could to keep the manager at St James Park, isn’t there a chance they’d consider their futures if the manager left?
So with that in mind, many Newcastle United fans will surely hope Gough is barking up the wrong tree to suggest Benitez may have his eye on achieving a more peaceful life away from the club.