How Benitez Is Wasting No Time In Sorting Out Newcastle

Rafa Benitez’ first priority since taking the job at Newcastle last Friday is to get our players organized, instill in them more confidence and have them playing well as a team as quickly as possible.

Given only three days with the players before Monday night’s game at Leicester the team looked good – and we were a little unlucky not to pick up a point with a fine second half display.

It’s accepted that Newcastle have been poorly managed at the higher levels for some time now – and when Rafa came in on Friday he asked the staff at the club while he was at Benton – how come the Manchester City game had not been rearranged?

A very good question.

rafa benitez nufcTV

Rafa Benitez – sorting out Newcastle – very quickly

Especially since it was going to be a really important game for us in the run-in, as we try to avoid another humiliating relegation.

Yesterday the club announced this on their web-site:

Newcastle United’s Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City will take place on Tuesday, 19th April, kicking off at 7.45pm.

The Magpies had been due to take on the reigning champions at St. James’ Park on Sunday, 28th February, but the game was postponed after City reached – and subsequently won – the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool, which took place at Wembley on the same day.

Now Manuel Pellegrini will bring his team to Tyneside in April after the new date was confirmed, with the game set to be screened live on Sky Sports.

Ticket details for this fixture will be announced in due course.

Why it hadn’t been rearranged before Rafa arrived we don’t know, because we have known since Manchester City beat Hull City 4-1 on December 1st in the quarter-finals that our game on February 28th would need to be rearranged.

Yes – Manchester City are still in the Champions League and they reached the quarter-finals by beating Dynamo Kiev 3-1 on aggregate with a 0-0 home draw last night, but there’s no excuse for not having it rearranged by March 11th, when Rafa arrived at the club.

Benitez had Newcastle rearrange that game within four days of his arrival.

That’s a small but good example of how Rafa will get this club sorted out very quickly, if we can avoid a relegation in May and he therefore stays with us.

He doesn’t dither around – he gets things done- he’s decisive.

Comments welcome.

97 comments so far

  • Sliema

    Mar 16, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #1

    Erm? Really? Rafa has an influence over the scheduling of our premier league matches? Sorry Ed but I don’t think so?

  • Sliema

    Mar 16, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #2

    Jib from previous

    He must have played with some awful left backs in his time then. Odd to see so many Liverpool there actually, he didn’t play for them that long did he?

    Oh and the other cm was Sigurdson, who is a quality player imo.

  • toonincheek

    Mar 16, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #3

    Sliema –

    Ed didn’t suggest that Rafa re-organiosed the match himself, just that he saw that a new date hadn’t been sorted so he had a word with whoever was responsible to tell them to get their finger out.

  • Jib

    Mar 16, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #4

    Twice as many games for Swansea as Liverpool but he was on Merseyside from 18 to 21 the most impressionable stage (and usually the best) of ones life.

  • cyprus

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #5

    St. James must be a volcano next game. Biggish game.

  • Toon_Tom

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #6

    Man City reigning champions??

  • Mag52

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #7

    A rearranged game v Man.City in the week of their euro cup quarter final would be handy.
    Get working on it Lee.

  • G

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #8

    Amazing what you can achieve with a man who knows football involved.

  • lesh

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #9


    I don’t think Ed’s said that Rafa rearranged the Citeh game.

    He was begging the question why did it need Rafa to point the need to rearrange it and more to the point, why Charnley hadn’t done it!

    Another example of Charnley’s failure to ensure a professionally run Club.

  • stuart no9

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #10

    I must admit , ive noticed Rafa does things when every one else is thinking about it .a sign of things to come I hope . Carry on , don’t wait for an answer , just do it ,., I love him already

  • lesh

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #11


    My last post should have been addressed to Silema, not you with whom I agree about the rearranged Citeh game.

  • stuart no9

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #12

    Rafa was clearly looking at the best time to play city to our

  • lesh

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #13

    Stuart no 9

    Rafa’s coming across as a breath of fresh air. He reminds me of Greg Dyke while at the BBC – ‘Just cut out the crap!’ ….. just do it!!!

  • stuart no9

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #14

    Rafa was clearly looking at the best time to play city to our advantage . He knows the importance that game could hold . Pity no one else at the club does

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #15

    As the Premier league decide the fixture schedule, with Sky and BT able to make alterations I doubt Rafa had any influence at all on this and it is far more likely that they were awaiting the outcome of the European tie before announcing it.

    Nothing to do with Rafa or Charnley.

  • stuart no9

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #16

    Leah .. “A breath of fresh air “. It feels like I’ve been crawling along the murky depths of the Tyne for 9 years only to be brought back to life in some tulip field in Amsterdam . Everything just seems more fresh and full of life . I’m not getting too carried away though

  • Jib

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #17

    A big bucket of African water thrown over everyone.
    Ha ha ha

  • sparky55

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #18

    He’ll only be a “breath of fresh air” in my book when he wins some games otherwise he’ll be gone with the wind come the end of May

  • Goldmbemba

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #19

    Interesting seeing how Defoe and Borini are having a pop at us, trying to stir the pot before the derby.

    Not sure i’d be doing that in their position.

    Its a must win game for BOTH sides. Saying the pressure is more on us is splitting hairs. Its not like their fixtures are dramatically better than ours in the run in. In fact i’d say ours are just about better on paper.

  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #20

    I was reading earlier about what a couple of you boys were posting about that lass who was murdered in Cyprus a few years back. Then I spotted this post :-

    “oonincheek // Mar 16, 2016 at 12:04 PM
    G –
    That’s what they deserved but they were released
    in 2006 after serving 12 years.
    Probably even got new identitites when they got back to the UK.”

    After reading that last sentence I was wondering if Ian Toon was an accomplice – not saying he was just a possibility though.

  • AncientC

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #21

    If Ian Toon went walkies with a couple of blokes and a girl, I think the likelihood is that the female of the group would end up mounting Ian – as a sign of her dominance and position within the group.

  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #22

    Ancient – My God – what a horrible thought.

  • AncientC

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #23

    Cisse and Colo listed as back for the 20th of March. As much criticism as Colo gets, I would like to see him back for the Sunderland game. It will be interesting to see if Lascelles can push Colo or Mbemba out of the side, when all 3 are fit… he couldn’t befar away.

  • Wayayman

    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #24

    Ancient, you want to see if Lascelles can push Mbmema out of the team when fit? Are you serious? Mbemba is probably the best CD we’ve had since Woodgate, and he’s only 21!

  • AncientC

    Mar 16, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #25

    Wayayman, nope, I was thinking more along the lines of Lascelles pushing Coloccini out of the side.

  • toon22

    Mar 16, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #26

    Imho its Cisse we need back quickly as he seems the only player we have who can get goals.
    Wouldnt be suprised if Raffa plays him ,if fit,with Perez up front and drops Mitro.
    There CBs wouldnt mind the physical game Mitro has but would hate the pace.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 16, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #27

    If Cisse is fit it would be crazy not to start playing him. Whatever you think of him he’s the only recognisable striker we have.

  • toon kk

    Mar 16, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #28

    The best we can hope for in our remaining games is goalless draws, there’s no goals in our squad. I would like to see Doumbia get a chance, we might be missing out on something.

  • Tinman

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #30

    My god there are some idiots out there….. Rafa can do many things and Charnley can not, but neither of them have any control over the Premier Leagues schedule. Wow. No wonder nobody ever actually reads the articles


    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #31

    Howay now we can’t blame McClaren for not organising the City match haha deary me

    toon kk
    Ur a optimistic one aren’t u, personally I will be hoping for 9 wins but hey ho u stick to the nil nil draws

  • G

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #32

    Cisse has to play if fit, but we need somebody with him in a 4 4 2 imo. I would be tempted to go with Perez, but Mitros strengh and hold up play would be handy too.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #33

    Apparently, in his budget speech today, Rafa has solved world hunger.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #34

    Id take 4 wins & 2 draws. 16 pts hopefully enough. 3 losses likely to be Citeh, spurts and liverpool.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #35

    For me thats the minimum requirement,dont think we will survive with less, because it means dropping points to the teams around us.

  • GeordieTwo

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #36

    Benitez will have looked things over carefully during the Leicester match. Who played well and who didn’t. Our defense was fairly decent. Our attack was poor and uncoordinated. It’s got to be a worry for him. I’m not sure why Doumbia is even with us. Is he fit? It’s a risk bringing Cisse in at this point, at least to start. I think we have to get the tactics right. I liked Colback at LB and Shelvey played a decent if uninspired game. A big worry is Sissoko. Don’t know what to expect there. Mitro can hold the ball up but we need more than that from him. I’m predicting a close one, but 2-1 to us. Perez and Wijnaldum to score.

  • GeordieTwo

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #37

    We need more from the midfield. I’m hoping it will come with Rafa. Sissoko has to be more consistent over the last 9 matches. The same with Wijnaldum. I’m not sure there are a lot of goals in Mitrovic. It doesn’t seem like it. He was a huge gamble to spend so much on. Very difficult to choose some of the starting 11.

  • GeordieTwo

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #38

    Four wins. Mackems, Norwich, Palace, and Villa. Those are an absolute must. A couple of draws or a surprise fifth win would be brilliant.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #39


    Mackems norwich and villa deffo. Id take a win v either palace or swans (both would be ideal).

  • GeordieTwo

    Mar 16, 2016 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #40

    Spot on YCMIU mate. I forgot about Swansea. Definitely beatable this season. That first win against the mackems is crucial for Rafa. Everything will build from there, including player confidence.


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