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Benitez Is Aware Of The Anxiety Of Newcastle Fans

8:39 am, Friday, March 25th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 27 Comments

Rafa Benitez has naturally been bumping into Geordie fans since he arrived two weeks ago to take over Newcastle United, who are in a dire situation in second bottom place in the Premier League and odds-on favorites with the bookies to be relegated this season, along with Aston Villa and Sunderland – three massive clubs who could go down in May.

And since the 55 year-old has arrived the hopes of the Newcastle fans for something a lot better at the club has put even more pressure on the manager to do all he can to save us from the ignominy of another relegation.

young Newcastel fans at open day

Young Newcastle fans – the future of the club  – save us Rafa – please!

Rafa talked some about this yesterday – and is well aware of the anxiety of the Newcastle fans:

“That gives me more responsibility because I can see, I hear them when they stop and take pictures; they believe that they have the opportunity that we will do well.”

“I am quite professional and I want to do everything quite well now, I am determined to do it after my start in this city.”

“I can see how important it is to stay up. We can improve things because it can be massive for the city, massive for the club, and massive for us.”

The anxiety of the fans is compounded, because if we don´t stay up it looks like we will also lose Rafa, who is easily the best manager we have had since Sir Bobby Robson was fired for only finishing 5th back in 2004.

It will be double blow – we are relegated and go back to the anonymity of the Championship and in addition we lose one of the best managers in the world.

That would not be good.

🙁 🙁 🙁

Save us Rafa – please.

Comments welcome.

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

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jimmysmith // Mar 25, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    Must be a long time reader of the blog then.

  • 2 Lindisfarne // Mar 25, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    Jib in Spain for the International break!?!

  • 3 Jail for Ashley // Mar 25, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    I can’t believe the audacity/hypocrisy, I’m not sure of the correct word. For years now people have had a pop at me for my negativity while we have endured a succession of second rate lower league managers, record PL defeats, losing streaks and disgraceful goal difference, our worst points tally ever and the mackems disasters. We have not seen us reach the fifth round of a cup and have had our famous stadium renamed. Those same people that championed Ashley for not buying ageing stars looking for a last payday are now crying our players aren’t up for it, we’re going down. If ever there was a time to get behind the team and the manager ut is now, I’ll be at the Swansea game singing my heart out. Save your negativity for the fat barsteward IF we go down.

  • 4 Tsunki // Mar 25, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    Sorry Jail I’m not getting it. Hypocrisy AND audacity on this blog? Surely you have misconstrued something? I think we better ask Ian and Jeff they’ll soon straighten things out.


  • 5 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Brilliant to hear Rafa talk sense and not just with waffle. Key strategies how to improve, mould and develop a team! The way it should be. What I always believe, tell them they CAN do good things, tell them to believe in their own ability against anyone we play. We have some very good and capable players. Not to the level of dismay of a number on here. They can play at a much better standard, their stock is just low at the moment.

    They’ve lacked organisation, focus, drive, understanding, belief, unity, confidence, and functioning. Rafa is already instilling those into the players through his vast successful experience. He’s building it through all the facets available at the club, changing things. Brilliant.

    No more acceptance of ‘wuz tired’ and every excuse under the sun of reasons why they look poor. Banish it! Have them focused and instilled with belief.

    Love having a manager like him here. Breath of fresh air compared to the other two lower league nuggets. The mind boggles at the the suggestions for Pearson before as well.

    Come on, Rafa!

  • 6 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Jail, right on. Good words!

  • 7 Mag52 // Mar 25, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    No matter what we may feel about the possibility of avoiding the drop, and the odds do seem to be shortening as the matches go by, Jail is bang on when he says that 100% support for the team is critical over these remaining 8 games.
    If Rafa does decide to move on next season should we be relegated, I say if because football is always producing surprises, then that’s the time to target Mike Ashley with a sustained campaign aimed at him and SD, home and away, until he decides he’s had enough.
    Recent interviews given by our esteemed owner would suggest that it might not take too long to get him to b@gger off.

  • 8 Tsunki // Mar 25, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Rafas quality is the appointment we should have made ages ago instead of cruising along with McLaren to the end of the pier. Even the top managers in the game aren’t as expensive as a lot of players. Just shows these guys in charge of the economics haven’t a clue how to correlate value with sporting success

  • 9 Mag52 // Mar 25, 2016 at 10:01 AM


    I have no problem with declaring my support for Pearson as the man who might have rescued us from the perilous situation we found ourselves with ten games to play.
    He is not in Rafa’s league in terms of experience or ability obviously, but whereas Rafa would make the perfect long term manager, it might prove too much for him to get what’s needed out of the players he has over just a few games in a relegation scrap. Pearson’s no nonsense approach might have proved more successful.
    We’ll never know of course.

  • 10 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    On Sissoko, I believe he is a very good player if used correctly. I said ages ago, he is a ball carrier who transports the ball up the field, he should not be relied upon to provide assists and creativity. He should carry the ball with power to relieve pressure on the team and move the unit into forward areas, he can do that. From there, he should release the ball to the creative players who then provide the quality balls to the striker. We have relied on him to not only carry, but create. That is not going to workout consistently.

    His good performance as a left back/defender shouldn’t come as a surprise as he was initially bought as a a player would would lie deeper and bomb up field. Again, that’s when he should be releasing the ball to the flair players like when Ben Arfa was here.

  • 11 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Mag52, Pearson had them struggling near the bottom most of the season though didn’t he? I think that was the case, then they had a miraculous run. Yet a foreign manager comes in, Ranieri, and has done wonders.

    If Pearson had the job here and did reasonably OK, the cycle would continue. He would get the job and we’d have another lower league manager who would most likely come unstuck quickly next year.

    Rafa is the way to go in my opinion, and should have been after Hughton went, rather than years of misery. The right calibre of manager who has a proven track record of success and development.

  • 12 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Mar 25, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    The problem with Sissoko is he thinks he quality and should be a creative player was searching for interviews he done a while ago when he says his best position is no 10 I blame Pardew for this because it was him who saw him as a no 10!! Hes a ball carrier nothing more!

  • 13 Jib // Mar 25, 2016 at 10:43 AM

  • 14 martoon // Mar 25, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Who’s bright idea was it to have an international break over Easter? Two matches over Easter was great and could well make or break your season. Instead we’ve got a meaningless friendly with Germany 🙁

  • 15 Mag52 // Mar 25, 2016 at 10:54 AM


    ‘Rafa is the way to go’ and of course I doubt if there are many NUFC supporters, if any, who don’t love the idea that we have someone as good as Rafa in charge here.
    If though, despite his best efforts, we go down. What then ?

  • 16 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Mag52, that then is what we have to face. For me, we were already down with McClaren, this is the hope and belief opportunity with Rafa. If he doesn’t make it, then we are back to what we were already in. We can only gain from it.

    Whether he stays or goes is irrelevant at the moment. He is here now and the development must occur. Think about next season after these last games.

    If he does manage to guide us to safety, hopefully the big changes will occur (to an extent they’ve already started). If not, we are as we were anyway. It can only be a plus.

  • 17 Mag52 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:02 AM


    ………and the way you pour scorn on ‘lower league’ managers doesn’t, in all honesty, make a lot of sense.
    There have been exceedingly few managers who have started their managerial career in their country’s premier division, either British or foreign managers.
    It’s precisely in the lower divisions that managers learn how to manage.

  • 18 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Mag 52, not when they have a history of being sacked and failing at those lower league clubs. There is a big difference.

    More scorn poured.

  • 19 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Development, fine, that’s good. Not with multiple failings and the same persistent problems occurring with various clubs. That is something different entirely.

  • 20 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    The international break is fairly irrelevant for us as we don’t have many players who are in their national teams.

    The only benefit for us is it gives Rafa time to sort out the team and cut the injury list, although some of our lot seem to be able to get injured just standing in a draft.

  • 21 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:15 AM


    “For me, my best position is in the middle. After the manager decides if I play centre midfield or right or left, I work hard at it,”

    “For me my favourite position is in the centre because it allows me to run the line and move forward quickly. That’s my best position.”

    He even knows his strengths, just like I mentioned. Picking a pass, weighting a ball, delivery from wide areas should NOT be relied upon, that is the job of other players.

    Once he gets forward, that’s when he gives it to the flair and technical players. He can continue an overlap, yes, and a neat tuck back but not be required to create and make the bulk of intelligent decisions. In my opinion of course 🙂

  • 22 Munster Mag // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Mag52 i agree. Rafa is a better long term manager but if we gi down ( looking likely) then pearson wud be a great guy to get us up. Villa will be brill with him.

  • 23 Munster Mag // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    As i keep saying rafa has got it wrong playing sissoko of left midfield. He doesnt contribute off his left foot. Awful player, a nightmare for managers

  • 24 Mag52 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:18 AM


    Hey, Rafa hasn’t had success in every managerial job he’s had, including a failed relegation fight with Extremadura.
    I’m sure, if he’s the guy he appears to be, he would say that he learnt as much from his failures as from his successes.

  • 25 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Meanwhile, for a lot of Sissoko’s time here, managers have had him playing as a winger and expecting creativity, crosses, and accurate passes. It is wrong, that is nowhere near playing him to his strengths and can lead to failure.

    For anywhere close to that he could be the right side of a midfield 3. With that, you have him tucked in more and more importantly, have the flair players to receive the ball in more advanced positions than him to continue the next phase of the attack, thus not relying on him to deliver a final ball.

  • 26 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Mag52, he doesn’t need success at every single club, that would be unrealistic. His relegation fight was very early on in his career and his developed well beyond that through analysing, developing, and improving. I love his analytical mind. An upward trend also has temporary downward spikes.

    I’m over the moon we have him here.

  • 27 Ian Toon // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Last season we had a final day escape. Yet we went for Macca as coach, at best an improvement on what had gone before; 28 PL games later and in the bottom three he’s sacked.

    Macca had substantial transfer backing by Ashley but like Pardew before him was hamstrung by Carr selecting those players coming in. Under Ashley’s edict, Carr’s transfer blueprint has focused on the resale value of players bought . Quite often at the expense of the player needs expressed by the manager/ coach. We’ve needed CB’s, FB and ST for seasons . Instead we have constantly post window ended up with an unbalanced squad.

    For seasons we’ve had a surplus of third rate midfielders and an unbalanced squad lacking any real depth. Or should the players take some of the blame having failed to perform under 3 – managers/ coach? In any event there has been little if any signs of progress and building a squad. Just contrast what Pochettino has achieved at Spurs in less than half the time and financial outlay.

    Benítez came in with ten games to play and effectively having to win a four team league at the bottom. Jail’s, constant complaint has been that the club would be happy to finish one place above relegation and he’s not being wise after the event in so many of the implications of the years of Ashley ownership . This season though PL survival would be viewed as a major achievement given the mess we were in pre Benitez.

    Benitez is the most exciting appointment since SBR and his presence has brought a warm glow to the region. As well as the general air of excitement there is the realisation that he wouldn’t have taken the job without securing a change to the transfer policy and a guarantee of a continuation of Ashley financial backing. The root and branch review of NUFC is long overdue but the priority is winning games and performing away from SJP.

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