Gough stated that he wouldn’t be surprised if Ashley gave Bruce an £80million transfer budget, in order to be able to say “there you go” Benitez.
“Do you know what I think? I think he will be out to prove a point as he has got money, right?” said Gough on talkSPORT (16:57, Wednesday July 24th).
“Rafa, okay, has decided to go to China for £12million and he has got Steve Bruce in, might have underwhelmed the supporters after Rafa but I’m going to give him the money and prove, just to do it out of spite and say there you go Rafa, I’ve just given Steve £80million to spend this year.
“Would it surprise you? (Durham said no), It would surprise me Ade, it really wouldn’t.”
Really? If Ashley ended up spending big on transfers just to stick it to Benitez after he exited, then it would be the most childish move in football. Ashley just like every Newcastle fan has to move on from Benitez and focus on the club going forward as the Spanish manager himself has moved on. While Benitez worked wonders at St James Park and will likely remain in supporters’ hearts after guiding the club to two comfortable finishes in the Premier League, he’s part of the Magpies’ history now. Also while Gough suggested that Ashley would spend to send a message, surely spending too much could see more questions asked of him. For example, if the businessman was always willing to spend on transfers this summer then how did he manage to let Benitez go? After all while Ashley may be happy with his appointment of Bruce, changing a Champions League manager for one that hasn’t guided a side to a prestigious trophy, surely isn’t a decision you make out of choice.