The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Banner created by Reilly - one of our readers
Howay The Lads!!

How Benitez Has Changed Things At Newcastle

7:45 am, Thursday, March 17th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 11 Comments

Jamaal Lascelles has been interviewed and he has revealed some things that Rafa Benitez has changed in the training at Newcastle as he quickly tries to fix two problems with the team – we let too many goals in and we don’t score enough of them.

Apart from that we suppose we are in good shape.


Rafa has said it’s fairly easy to fix the defensive problems, but (much) harder to fix the scoring problems Newcastle have had all season, especially away from home.


Jamaal Lascelles in action on Monday night

This is some of what the 22 year-old had to say on the Newcastle web-site:

“He’s done a bit more tactical shape in training which the boys have taken on excellently.”

“I think the game on Sunday against Sunderland – we have to win that. We literally have to win. I think we’ve not beaten them in seven games, but we’ve just got to go into that confident and we can take positives out of the game on Monday.”

“We’ve had chances, and in previous weeks we haven’t been able to create them. Other than the goal, defensively we were pretty solid, but we’ve just got to stay positive and keep fighting.”

It’s easier to fix the defensive problems, because it is a lot to do with organization, shape and discipline and it seems that’s what Benitez worked on first before the Leicester City game.

And the defense was much better ion Monday although it was one of the few bits of sloppy defending that led to their only goal after 25 minutes and yet another defeat.

After we also missed two or three good chances against the Foxes Rafa said after the game he would work on the understanding between the forwards in and around the penalty box this week.

We’re sure he’s doing that this week – along with some shooting practice and some work on set plays like corners in order to get the team scoring some goals.

Rafa is also worried about all the injuries Newcastle keep picking up every season and he;s also taken that into account – but just what exactly he’s doing about that we don’t know .

But he seems unwilling to bring Coloccini and Cisse back into the team unless they can prove to him they are 100% fit this week in training.

Maybe in the past this season players were played when they were not fully fit, which from reports seems to have been the case with Chancel Mbemba when he was played at Everton.

We have paid big time for that, because he injured his ankle again at Goodison Park and he’s been out six weeks with that so far.

After the Sunderland game on Sunday we have a 13 day break before the game at Norwich – another relegation 6 pointer.

Rafa and his coaches will have lots of time to prepare for that game and some of our players could be back for that game – hopefully including Chancel Mbemba.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Sunderland?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Poll · Prayer · Premier League

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G // Mar 17, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    I have a feeling Sundays game will be a scrappy afair, but we will finish with 3 points.

  • 2 firebug666 // Mar 17, 2016 at 7:54 AM


    I agree mate, They beat us in the past simply because we let them, we had no commitment no passion and no defence.

    This time Benitez will have them tightened up and playing to a game plan with a bit more purpose.

    My only concern is getting the goals, we may have to rely on Wijnaldum to put the ball in the onion bag, but would love to see Mitrovic or Perez bag one.

  • 3 Average_Contents // Mar 17, 2016 at 7:54 AM


    I’d take that right now.

    Twitchy bum time. Feeling the nerves already.

    I’m currently on a COSS course and out of all the courses run around the country mine happens to have a mackem on it. There’s only 4 of us on it too lol.

    What are the fcuking chances of that.

    He’s ok though, reckons they’ll be lucky to escape with a point and said he’d take that right now (Tuesday)

    Hwtf Hwtl

  • 4 sing in the corner // Mar 17, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    Only way to settle the nerves is to go for it from the start. Put their aged back line under pressure and not worry about the intricacies of Big Sham’s tactical genius (bodies behind the ball, lunch it over the top for Defoe or the big gob Italian to run in behind 🙂 )
    Get stuck in. Score first and shut them up. We don’t want a cagey, sit in the game start.

  • 5 firebug666 // Mar 17, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    The Makems will be all out for this game, and we will have to match them all over the pitch as a minimum requirement, but better them as the game goes on.

    My confidence is not in this team, it is in Benitez to get the best out of this useless shower, I don’t think they get the significance of the derby, but I think they will have got the significance of our league position and realise they must win to avoid relegation.

  • 6 G // Mar 17, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    We need to win desparately, I am working the next couple of weeks with loads of Mackems, sharing an office with one of their season ticket holders, and reporting to a guy who supports them. Been getting loads of chew on the build up, but have a feeling we can take the points and reflected glory this weekend. If I can put them two muppets in their place over the 7 in a row chant, I will be a happy bunny indeed.

  • 7 Thump // Mar 17, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    Borini’s comments will make it all the sweeter if we manage to turn them over.

    This 6 game run is the best thing to happen to Sunderland since the gyro.

  • 8 G // Mar 17, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Agreed thump, its up there with cheesy chips and sunny delight.

  • 9 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 17, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    If we do manage to be positive and start creating more quality chances, then we also increase the likelihood of free kicks around their box, penalties and corners going in our favour and that can only be a good thing for us to help.

    Doumbia’s pace if he comes on in the second half may cause their defenders some problems, especially as they wouldn’t really know what to expect with him. He manages to bundle his way through with his dribbling a fair bit as well.

  • 10 Oleg G // Mar 17, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    I am a realist and not an optimist.
    But Rafa asked and in Rafa we trust (we don’t have any other choice, do we?), so I voted WIN!

    And we should believe, believing, thinking positive, is known to work, as it brings motivation and mental resilience.

  • 11 ArtyH // Mar 17, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    First off, still cannot believe we now have a decent manager! It should have been weeks earlier but we cannot change that. We saw signs of improvement on Monday night and lost by a special goal, the team put up a good show. The atmosphere on Sunday will help our lads and shut the SMB’s up, its about time we stuffed them good and proper and did our goal difference the world of good. I hope Colo is fit, not that I think he is a good player, its just he would allow Shelvey to play higher up the pitch to deliver the vital pass’s we expect of him. I can see us getting a penalty some time in the game as the SMB’s get frustrated or even them getting a red card, just hope Taylor and Colback can keep themselves in check. A real 6 pointer and a demoraliser for the unwashed is on the cards. I think it will be a 1-0 win for us in a scrappy affair but its not about football this weekend unfortunately, its about the 3 points.

previous post: Star Player – Benitez Is A Fantastic Opportunity For Newcastle

next post: Benitez Has Shown Real Courage And A Belief In Newcastle