Former Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard says Newcastle would be bottom of the Premier League without Rafael Benitez.
“They’d be bottom without him,” Gerrard said on BT Sport on Saturday, following the Magpies’ 2-0 defeat at Anfield. “I don’t think he’ll be that disappointed because he would have known it was a big ask to come here and win. It was not a fixture he’d have said he’d have to get something from.”
Newcastle face home tests against fellow strugglers Southampton and Huddersfield next.
“They are a Championship team with a Premier League manager,” Gerrard said.
Gerrard worked with Benitez for six years at Liverpool, winning both the FA Cup and the Champions League in that time.
Benitez’s men set up deep as expected at Anfield but couldn’t contain Liverpool’s attacking trio, as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane found the net in what turned out to be a comfortable evening for the hosts.
Mo Diame did threaten shortly before the interval, but the visitors created little after the break and reverted almost immediately to damage limitation mode after the second goal.
“It’s the gulf between your Manchester Citys, your Liverpools and Newcastle,” Gerrard continued. “Years ago, you played Newcastle here – the 4-3 games and all the battles (my team) had – and it was a lot closer than that.”
Newcastle fans have been reacting to Gerrard’s comments, and for the most part are finding it hard to disagree with him. Some of the best Twitter reactions can be found below…
not wrong is he
— Duncan Mason (@Duncan_Mason) March 3, 2018
I think you’ll find Stevie G is very much on our side, his point is that MA should be investing. That’s my view on it.
— Stephen (@dustyrerds) March 4, 2018
He’s absolutely right. He forgot to mention that he’s turning at least some of them into Premier League players though. #NUFC
— Paul Durham (@6diddy6) March 3, 2018
Hard to disagree with Gerrard. Quite shocking how he didn’t even need to think about his answer! #NUFC
— Michael Dyer (@MikeDyer48) March 4, 2018
As much as I dislike Gerrard,he’s right.The blame lies at Ashley’s door.I would not be surprised if Rafa walks at the end of the season..regardless of where we end up.
— Mick Barrett (@Mickjanxxx) March 3, 2018
The players should take Gerrard’s comments and prove him wrong. But he’s correct.
— Led Man (@TJLTML) March 3, 2018
And he is absolutely spot on. Loanees aside, Lascelles, Dummett and Shelvey (occasionally) are our only PL level players. The rest are championship standard but punching above their weights because of Rafa #nufc
— Philip Jones (@philswjones7) March 3, 2018