Jamie Carragher launches attack on 'zero ambition' Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley over his treatment of Rafa Benitez

Jamie Carragher has launched an attack on Newcastle owner Mike Ashley
Jamie Carragher has launched an attack on Newcastle owner Mike Ashley

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has blasted Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's treatment of manager Rafa Benitez.

The 40-year-old spoke at length is his Daily Telegraph column and defended his former manager whilst believing everything at St James's Park 'smacks zero ambition' under Ashley.

Carragher, who believes Benitez is the best man to keep the Magpies in the Premier League, would love to hear what Ashley's plans are for Newcastle, calling Benitez's departure 'inevitable' because the Sports Direct Tycoon only cares about survival.

The Sky Sports News pundit also suggested Ashley's decision not to back Benitez in the transfer window is unjustifiable and states the Spaniard can do nothing more at Newcastle under the current regime.

Newcastle used to be a club fighting for the top players, now they cant compete with Burnley, admits Carragher.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez calls on FA to 'deal' with Wilfried Zaha over referee comment

"For a coach of Rafa Benítez’s pedigree to be treading water with no prospect of doing anything beyond retaining Premier League status is incomprehensible," said Carragher.

"There is nothing more he can do at St James’ Park. Not without regime change, and that is not happening.

"It would be fascinating to hear from Ashley what exactly his plan is for Newcastle. Not just this season, but beyond. Does he have one? Is there anyone sitting in his boardroom working out where the clubs needs and wants to go and how they intend to get there?

"Other than the continued employment of Benítez, everything at St James’ Park smacks of zero ambition. Is there anyone at Newcastle drawing a list of managerial successors to Benítez when his contract expires in June?

"Mike Ashley can’t afford to sack Benítez. Why would he anyway since he is the best man to keep them up and it would only rile disillusioned fans even further?

"What kind of manager can Newcastle expect to lure once Benítez has gone? No-one of his calibre will go near the job given they know how little money has been spent on the team."

Benitez generated over £20million profit in player sales alone in the summer transfer market with Yoshinori Muto's £9.5million transfer the highest fee paid for a player.

READ MORE: Roy Hodgson has 'sympathy' for Rafa Benitez - but backs him to turn things around at Newcastle

Carragher added: "Ashley can argue Benítez is one of the highest paid managers in the Premier League so he has spent more than he is credited, but the transfer fees over the last four years and beyond paint a different picture.

"The club came out of the last transfer window with £23.2 million profit at a time when they had to spending a minimum of £40 million net to improve the team – and that is a conservative estimate in the current era of spending.

"Ashley has baulked at players salaries from the most moderately paid players by Premier League standards.

"Newcastle is a club that used to dream of fighting with the top clubs for players, now they can’t even compete with promoted teams like Wolves and Fulham for the same targets. At the moment they are losing out to clubs like Burnley who are more willing to meet contract expectations."

Carragher's full column can be found here