This Benitez Personality Trait Can Yet Save Newcastle

Newcastle showed excellent organization last night and overall we looked a good team and in those final 25 minutes we even looked a very good team as we raised our game and put Leicester under some pressure.

Benitez tried everything to win this game and made three attacking changes in the second half as he went for goals – he brought on Townsend, de Jong and Doumbia to try to get the goal that would have given us at least a draw.

Newcastle went out to win the game last night and in those first 25 minutes before we gave up a soft goal to go behind – we looked the better side.


Rafa Benitez on the touchline last night

After the goal Leicester looked much better until half time, but then as the second half wore on, Newcastle came more and more into the game and trying to score in every which way we could.

But when you compare this performance last night with our last away game at Stoke, this was so much better and we were trying to win the game and has a game plan to do just that.

At the Britannia Stadium we played negatively and defensively from the very first whistle, after having 18 days of preparation – some of it in the southern sun of Spain – and went only for the draw?

Shame on McClaren for that.

Rafa´s obsession with winning could yet see us put a string of wins together that could see us survive this season.

And Rafa was only thinking of the positives after the game – and there were lots of them:

“I would like to think about the positives. The team was going for the game and the team reacted well in the second half, we were pushing. That is, for me, the positive thing.

“There are things we need to analyse and do better. We had good team spirit, everything was there we just need to correct the little things.

“I thought we could have got a result. I was convinced we could do it. The tempo Leicester have it’s hard for any team. I will take the positives from this game.”

“You could see the passion in a lot of players.” “Every game will be important for us. We know it is a derby and how important that will be for everybody.”

“We had two good chances and Leicester played the game they liked to play. It was difficult. But this team had chances with Moussa Sissoko and we could get a goal against a good team.”

“To be fair they are playing with a very high tempo. I am happy with the players and those from the bench. They tried everything.”

It was also obvious in the interviews after the game that Rafa was disappointed not to have taken something out of this game, but three training sessions didn´t give him too much time to prepare either.

He seems to know exactly what´s needed with the players – and he has almost a week to prepare the team for the derby game at home to Sunderland on Sunday.

And then we have a full two weeks to prepare for the game at Norwich City and both the next two games are critical to our survival.

Rafa´s obsession with winning is a huge change from Steve McClaren´s more cautious and less brave approach and could yet see us pick up enough points to be safe this season.

That´s what we have to hope for.

Keep the faith.

Howay The Lads – we can do it.

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17 comments so far

  • WestOzMag

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #1

    Deserved a draw not really. Void of ideas going forward. Never looked like scoring. We need a David silva

  • beermonkey

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #2

    mad serb

    the commentators said he was playing better
    i just thought he was poor again
    maybe he stood out more as being poor as the others were better

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #3

    We were cautious but organised and improved our attacking when the subs came on. For me, it was a good 3 day improvement. More development to come in the coming days and weeks.

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #4

    It’s sad but true the local lads let us down again. Colback gave away a stupid cheap free kick and saylor’s poor clearing header combined for the goal.

    Other than that, we loooked much better organised than I can remember for a long time, although Sissoko was his frustrating worst, knocking Mitro out the way when the serb was well placed to score and then through on goal Sissoko neither shot or set anyone up when his wayward pass fell behind every one.

    Certainly hopeful signs but oh for someone who knows where the net is.

  • beermonkey

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #5


    goes to show we should have gotten rid of mclaren a month ago
    if rafa can organise a team better in 3 days

  • LGFUAD21

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #6

    I definitely feel some people need to follow Rafa’s lead and stay calm.

    We’ve been woeful all season. Last night we limited their chances to one on target. We had the better chances arguably but didn’t take them.

    We defended pretty solidly and looked like a team for the first time since Norwich.

    Benitez is spot on when he identifies the movement which was off. There was a lot of misunderstanding but the key was that we’re organised which we weren’t under Mcclaren.

    I think Benitez may have a battle with the fans as Newcastle fans always want to attack. Benitez is a tactician. Very much from the italian mold (despite being spanish) he will manage games and fans won’t like that here. But I say it’s for the best.

    Carragher got it spot on last night when analysing our goals conceded when he said it was typical newcastle going back to Keegan.

    Just as the board need to change their approach. So too does the team and fans.

    I imagine that some work will be done on our attacks this week given how disjointed we were in the final third.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #7

    Team for mackems


    Back 4
    We can




    Anita was weak, sissoko was awful. Having pez, gini and townsend will make up for sdj lack of pace. We have to go for it.

  • LGFUAD21

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #8

    And I think Mahrez completely bought that free kick.

    I thought Colback was one of the best on the pitch and he had one of the toughest jobs not in his natural position.

  • Wandering Geordie

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #9

    S Taylor was playing like Elizabeth Taylor in a tight dress.He really does believe in his own hype.The classroom clown in the camp. Rafa in a few days has given the lads a great boost and was apparent last night despite the defeat.


    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #10

    our next two games can easily change our season for good or for bad

  • Harley

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #11

    Taylor played as he usually does last night. Looks the part but always likely to make a mistake and he did it again.

    Colback didn’t have a good game but is completely exempt from blame as he’s not a left back. Why the hell we didn’t get one in January I’ll never know.

    Everything the team did was right until they got in a scoring position. It’s as if they don’t believe they can score and just go to pieces.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #12

    You Couldn’t, I think that would be my team as well.

  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #13

    Absolutely spot on
    I’ve just watched the replay twice
    Colback had a great game
    Mahrez just threw himself on the deck and the officials (who were shyte by the way) bought it.
    Mahrez tricked 3/4 free kicks out of the officials last night.
    I think a lot of posters on here cannot see what’s in front of them and rely on commentators to form their opinions for them.

  • richyg01

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #14

    Okay, so we lost, probably to be expected against the team top of the league, but I will take that.

    Atleast the lads turned up and put a shift in, even the Leicester goal was unfortunate, we could easily have pinched a point in the second half.

    A much improved performance all round, all we need to do now is put the ball in the net!

    Surely with the best part of a weeks training with Rafa the Gafa, we can only get better, plus, he has actually seen us play now and knows where to focus his attentions.

  • WestOzMag

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #15

    Watched the replay twice “FREAK”

  • DicBDownCambodia

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #16

    LGFUAD21 @ 6, I’m with you.

    A lot of people seem to be with the impression of ‘we can’t score, we’re going down.’

    Which is correct, but what a huge huge improvement last night was. We actually looked a team, played for each other, and looked a threat when attacking. Just lacking that finishing touch, which in my opinion, could be helped by giving Doumbia more than 5 minutes.

    I think Raffa showed his quality last night by making the right substitutions at the right time, barring Doumbia, would have brought him on earlier.

    I think 6 points from the next two games. A full weeks training, a fired up team to end a dreadful derby run at home in front of 52,000 fans and then that confidence will roll on into the next weeks training and then into Norwich and I think we will push them over. Raffa won’t let that confidence disintegrate during the week.

    Sissoko needs to be dropped, he was dreadful last night in my opinion. Had no umph about him, although he did look better on the left.

    My team for the derby, providing they are fit.

    janmat mbemba lascelles mbabu
    perez shelvey townsend
    doumbia mitro

    Just my two cents. I think the Mrs is getting sick of me talking about it to her 😀

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #17

    I think the next few lineups will be more telling of how we will develop under Rafa. It was clear from the outset we were going to try and be disciplined and well drilled. Given the opposition and the lack of preparation time for Rafa that is certainly fair enough. Against Sunderland and Norwich I expect to see us offer a greater threat and greater creativity going forwards, as well as being disciplined and well drilled.

    I think it is time for Sissoko to take a spot on the bench. Bring Townsend in, and play him on the left. Sissoko could be a good impact sub against tiring legs late on, but the majority of the time he flatters to deceive.

    Carragher was making the lazy assumption many pundits make when commenting on the Keegan years defending. In Keegans 3 years in the Prem with us, NUFC were never lower than 5th for least number of goals conceded.


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