“George when Benitez went, I did immediately go and stick £20 on Newcastle going down,” admitted Rushden on talkSPORT (Wednesday, July 33rd, 17:22)
Gough quickly responded to say that was a “‘horrible” thing to do and Matterface claimed he didn’t mean it in a “nasty way” but the retired cricketer was having none of it.
“Of course you did, that’s a terrible thing to do,” said Gough.
Gough seemed generally offended that Rushden had bet on the Magpies to go down following Benitez’s exit, but he probably isn’t the only one envisioning a disappointing 2019/20 campaign for the club. After all Benitez looks like not being the only exit to occur this summer. Sky Sports previously reported that Leicester City had a £30million deal in place with the Magpies regarding the services of attacker Ayoze Perez, and even claimed he was currently undergoing a medical. Perez was the Magpies’ top scorer last season with 13 goals, averaging a goal every 229 minutes, and impressively saw 60% of his 48 shots hit the target (Source: BBC). However, it’s not just the 25-year-old’s contribution to the Magpies’ attacking threat that will be missed, his willingness to help the club’s defence will also be noticeably missed. Perez made 60 tackles, 10 blocks, 42 interceptions and made 28 clearances, as per the Premier League, and those stats are unusually high for a player who is considered an attacker. So with that in mind, if Newcastle lose Perez and don’t replace him with a quality player; it does suggest they’ll be closer to the relegation zone then they were last season.