oey Barton claims Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez should stop “moaning about investment” and “get on with coaching”.
The Magpies boss has made his frustrations with Newcastle’s summer transfer business clear in recent weeks, and did not even attempt to hide his emotions following United’s second-successive defeat on Sunday.
After the 1-0 loss at Huddersfield Town, Benitez made it clear that he feels the momentum gained from promotion was lost “a long time ago” – despite a at-the-time positive end-of-season meeting with owner Mike Ashley – while privately he still wants further reinforcements before the August 31 transfer deadline.
Though ex-Magpie Barton accepts that United need to make additions to their squad, he also claims that Benitez – who is believed to be on a £5million-a-year contract – should start earning his money by improving the players he already has at his disposal through coaching.
“They do need some investment. When you come up, you do need investment, but there is also a case that Benitez needs to get on with it,” Barton, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, told TalkSport about Newcastle.
“You’ve got what you’ve got. OK, you maybe need to keep it private in terms of [asking] can we get bodies in, but he’s getting paid an awful lot of money, so coach what you’ve got in front of you.
“It doesn’t help when the manager is out there moaning, saying he’s not happy with the situation. That definitely festers out on the pitch.
“If you’re a player and you hear the manager moaning about investment, it doesn’t inspire confidence because he’s saying they’re not good enough.
“Without [Jonjo] Shelvey in the side, and I know it was a stupid sending off last week, they lack that creative spark to keep them up.
“If they get someone in alongside Shelvey to look after him and give him a bit of licence to create… [then maybe].
“Is Mitrovic the answer? I don’t think so. They’re crying out for a goalkeeper. You’d like to see the spine strengthened.
They definitely need a striker who’s going to get you 15 or 20 goals. Charlie Austin, maybe? They’ve been linked with him before.
“Benitez has historically set up his teams to be defensively very structured, he doesn’t play the most-attacking brand of football.
“Matt Ritchie will create stuff because he’s a competent performer, but they need a bit more quality in those positions because you’re going to have to score goals to stay in this league; you can’t draw everyone to death.”