According to beIN Sports via The Mag, Andy Gray has defended Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, as he doesn’t pick the team.
The former Scotland striker has said that manager Rafa Benítez is to blame, as ultimately he is the one that picks the team week in week out that are under performing.
On one hand, Gray has got a point. As much as Benítez would like to complain about his squad and the lack of backing that he gets from Ashley, there are other teams in the Premier League that are doing better than them from a comparable position. The other managers do not tend to fall back on those excuses.
However, while it is true that the Spaniard picks the team, Gray is ignoring the root of this problem, which ultimately is the fairly uninspired signings that the club are making. It is very hard for a manager to achieve anything if he is not given the financial backing from his owner. Benítez can only pick the players that he has at his disposal, and, because of Ashley, they are perhaps not the standard that he would like.
The worrying thing for Newcastle fans is that this may become the thoughts of other pundits and fans. Gray has been a long-time defender of Ashley, so you have to take his comments with a pinch of salt, however, Newcastle’s terrible run- where they haven’t won a game this season- can only go on for so long before people start to turn on Benítez to blame.