Date: 4th July 2019 at 9:15am
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Max Rushden told Darren Gough about some of the remarks Benitez had made about his time at Newcastle United since leaving the club, and he didn’t respond in the best fashion.

The talkSPORT host shared that Benitez had continued talking about his Magpies’ reign, and read quotes from an interview the Spanish manager did with the Times.

“Rafa Benitez has continued talking about his time at Newcastle after his move to China that is, I quote, ‘when I came to Newcastle they gave me plans for the new training ground, I was talking to the architect about changing things after three years they painted the walls,'” said Rushden (talkSPORT, 18:38, Wednesday, July 3rd). 

“I mean he’s happy now right, he can let it go now right?”

Gough clearly didn’t want to let the remarks on Newcastle by Benitez go as he proceeded to take a subtle dig at him over the manager deciding to become manager of Chinese side Dalian Yifang so quickly (Source: BBC).

“He can say what he wants now can’t he? It’s easy for him to say that now he has signed a new deal in China, didn’t take him long to think about it, he didn’t go give me another couple of weeks to think about it, let me see what happens at Newcastle, the takeover, and I might go back there because they have loads of money,” responded Gough.

“No, he signed the contract straight away, see ya! I’m off to China.”

OPINION

Gough clearly has an issue with Benitez leaving Newcastle and sorting out his future quickly, but he’s completely wrong to do so. The pundit throws shade by first saying it’s easy for Benitez to say damning remarks about the goings-on behind-the-scenes at Newcastle now he has left, which is obvious, and then seems to be aggrieved that he didn’t wait to see if a takeover occurred. Was Benitez meant to wait forever? Was the Spanish manager meant to sign a new deal and commit himself to a club just because something might happen? If a takeover didn’t occur and Benitez had signed a new deal, Gough would have been one of the first to moan about him if he had stuck around at the Magpies. At the end of the day, Benitez did well during his time at the Magpies and shouldn’t be judged for leaving. The manager racked up 1.48 points per game at Newcastle and was in charge of over 146 games for them, so there should be no ill-feeling towards him (Source: Transfermarkt).