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Benitez Addresses The Leadership Issue At Newcastle

8:58 am, Monday, March 28th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 55 Comments

As we mentioned last night Siem de Jong could become a very important player for Newcastle under Rafa Benitez during the final eight games of the season, as the Newcastle manager looks to use the Dutchman’s experience and skills in the Newcastle team.

It turns out that Siem is still part of the senior leadership group that has apparently been asked to take on added responsibilities since Rafa has arrived at the club.

It includes players like Jack Colback, Daryl Janmaat, Moussa Sissoko and captain Fabricio Coloccini.

rafa benitez training 987

Rafa Benitez – not many leaders among footballers these days

For a few years now the Newcastle squad has been accused of lacking enough leaders – and Rafa Benitez has talked about this potential problem today in football in general and not just at Newcastle:

“Believe me, it’s the same at the majority of teams now,” “You have good professionals, but you don’t have too many leaders.”

“For me, the leaders have to be an example on the pitch, outside the pitch, and they have to have the respect of the other players and staff.”

“I think that now, with social networks and things, they think about themselves and don’t normally think about the team.”

“We are trying to keep everyone together, and to realise how important it is to stick together now.”

That’s an interesting point the manager raises about social media and players thinking only about themselves.

But things like Twitter seem only to encourage people to talk about themselves all the time  – that’s the way things seem to have gone over the last few years.

Tweet – I am now in a restaurant about to have a fillet steak.

Who cares?

But there again I’m an old-timer these days so what do I know?


Maybe if Rafa stays on he can bring in a player who is not only top class but has leadership skills and can become the captain at Newcastle.

But there again he may already have his captain in waiting in Jonjo Shelvey.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Captain · Coaching · Jonjo Shelvey · Leadership · Management · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League · Press · Siem de Jong

55 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    Shelvey seem to be the only choice for captain atm.

  • 2 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    I’ve just had a look at Norwich’s last 8 games and they’ve scored 4 goals in that period. 2 of those came in the same game against West Ham.

  • 3 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    …and they have only 10 goals in 12 games in 2016. 4 goals coming in the same game against Liverpool, with again, 2 more in the same game against West Ham.

    This leaves only 4 goals scored in the remaining 10 fixtures of 2016.

  • 4 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:13 AM

    They’ve conceded 22 goals in 12 games in 2016. 5 of those coming against Liverpool.

    They’ve conceded 11 in their last 8 games.

    Food for thought.

  • 5 firebug666 // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:22 AM


    I am confident we will beat Norwich and stay up mate. Rafa has had some time to make an impact on this sorry excuse of a squad, so hopefully they will know what they have to do, what each other has to do, and how to play football as a team. That would be a start, and a massive step in the right direction.

  • 6 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Firebug, yes, I hope so.

    Judging by their results I think 0-1, 1-1, 0-2, or 1-2 could be likely.

    Under McClaren it would have been different, but Rafa’s involvement should improve our chances.

  • 7 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Palace have West Ham next, followed by Norwich and Everton at home.

    If they get to that point by still being poor then they are really in trouble because they have Arsenal and Man Utd next, followed by us at St. James’.

    The Norwich game for them is tricky. Don’t want either picking up points. A drab 0-0 may suffice.

  • 8 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Sami Hyppia had lost the Liverpool captaincy to Steven Gerrard just prior to Rafa arriving at Anfield and Benitez never tampered with that.

    However from recent comments made by both their relationship was quite distant , as was Rafa’s with Marek Hamsik at Napoli.
    It was a bit better with Totti at Roma and Sergio Ramos was a total back-stabber at Madrid.

    I don’t think Rafa sees the captains role as crucial as some make out.

    If he has learned any lessons about appointing a captain I would say it would be use someone who hasn’t been at the club long.

    So I fear it’s adios Colo.

  • 9 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    For Totti at Roma – read Javier Zannetti at Inter

  • 10 cyprus // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    I’m not sure anyone should have huge powers these days Ed, like I said before. The world, organisations, teams are far more complicated and more professional. If one person tries to do it all, he will be skimping somewhere. Be sure. This guy needs to get the players playing, figuring out their strengths, looking at the opposition, playing something called tactics.. which we haven’t been doing for a while.

    Which brings me to good old AP. You said he moved heaven and earth to get us to fifth. I think we did that despite him, not because of him: moments of brilliance by HBA, Cisse, Ba. We were playing as poorly, if you recall.

    If you must give him credit for 5th, fair enough. But then he must get ‘credit’ for the amazingly bad football, near relegations and regular thumpings as well 😉

  • 11 cyprus // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    I fear we’ll be comprehensively beaten by Norwich, I fear (I know I said that!)

    I hope I’m completely wrong and Rafa is indeed the Messiah.

  • 12 G // Mar 28, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Cyprus, I dont think hes the messiah either, however, I do believe he is one of the best men for the job. We cant sign or register players, so we need a motivator, and tactician, we have one, who is a much better option than I would have expected the club to bring in. We have a fighting chance of survival under Rafa. I would have rated us as no chance under Macca, JFK, or any of the other Pardewish managers out there.

  • 13 hibbitt // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:02 AM


    keep the faith lad with rafa if we go down we go down fighting……. at lest we now have a chance my 3 teams to go down…. villa….norwich….palace……it will be close but i think we can do it

  • 14 cyprus // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    I’ll keep the faith. Momentary lapse 🙂

  • 15 G // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Why does this story have a picture of Sly Stallone wearing toon training rig?

  • 16 Average_Contents // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Perhaps we could try and rotate the captains….

  • 17 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    With McClaren we were as good as down in the end, so if that’s the case then Rafa coming in can only be positive. He is the hope where there was originally none.

    If we don’t manage it, tough, but with Rafa coming in and already making all kinds of changes, we have as good of a chance as we could ever have wished for to turn it around.

    Plus, there is an added incentive in that if we do stay up, you’d think the future would be very bright under Rafa (depending on the owner/board).

  • 18 jimmysmith // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Downer alert! It’s pretty pathetic though that we now turn to Rafa to save us, rather than to take us to the next level. I remember Llambias complaining that Keegan wanted to “spend like Mourinho”, to explain the end of that dalliance. You have hope, and then you have realisation. It strikes me as quite a long bow that Rafa will keep us up and also then be happy working long term under Ashley, and bring us success. I think Rafa would expect the sort of budget the owner might quickly baulk at, if he does achieve the unlikely and get us out of this, and it may well then end quickly and possibly with some ill feeling.

  • 19 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Long Bows won us most of medieval Frnce

  • 20 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    G – The Expendables?

  • 21 G // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    @20, thats the kiddy

  • 22 beermonkey // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:27 AM


    rafa seemed to have done his homework on us and how the clubwas run i am sure in that he knows what he has to spend in the up coming windows

    much was made of of mclaren and the 150mill 3 windows well he only managed to spend 80 mill so he could have 70mill in the summer plus sales

  • 23 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    ..things have been a bit Rocky lately ok I’ll stop.

    Speaking of stopping, I see jeff is blustering through in his indomitable style after being exposed glaringly as a fake. Can’t even remember the persona he builds up. Classic. A saying from my wife’s side of the family – “to be a good liar, you have to have a very good memory” . Worth pondering on jeff, for your next i.d.

  • 24 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Beer, however in the meantime the bank has apparently emptied. I think they didn’t factor in the council tax bill this year.

  • 25 beermonkey // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:35 AM


    rafa demanded chocolate hobnobs at meetings and thats where the cash went

  • 26 hibbitt // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:36 AM


    why worry about that now lets see if Rafa can keep us up if he can and then walks away because this set of tossers won’t keep there word and back him the shit will hit the fan for Ashley and his cronies…………………Bangkok must have changed a lot since i was last there if you have time to worry what Ashley will do in 3 months time !!!!

  • 27 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Tsunki .
    Speaking of stopping, I see jeff is blustering through in his indomitable style after being exposed glaringly as a fake.

    I’m not Jeff

    Grow up

  • 28 beermonkey // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:58 AM


    next you will say you dont use google

  • 29 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Why do all the decent blogs get infested by people like Tsunki Mr Tuff MacToon who now and then talk about matters related to the blog but 90% of the time feel the need to gang up and pick on a poster for their own gratification.
    The site provide them with wonderful anonimity to work through their angst (angsts ?)

  • 30 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    We are on the internet – google is a resource we all use – why am I such a bad guy for using it ?

  • 31 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    It’s common knowledge you ran out of road with your inflammatory comments as Jeff from Benwell, but you couldn’t change your “unique” style as easily (and originally) as your name, could you. And as you have been outed as a lying gob**** so forcefully, how can anyone believe your protestations of innocence? Methinks the jib protests too much?

    Go on Jeff, try another persona – keep us all guessing.

  • 32 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Jeff uses Google for evil instead of good. it’s his swinging mace.

  • 33 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Wow. Just…Wow! Jeff @29 a big chunk of hypocrisy about the protection afforded by anonymity! And YOU speak of bullying posters and singling them out? You have the neck all right! Let’s face it, there’s no bullying here. it’s only the typed word, sticks and stones etc. It only becomes unbearable for the recipient when the truth fits like a glove you weasel.

  • 34 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    I mean, when you set your stall out to be the blog know-all and mine of information, whilst battering other posters into fear of participation with your snide nitpicking and fault finding, what did you think.would happen? You’d be received warmly? Apart from your say racist innuendo and contempt for disability, you compound it with lying because your whole persona is an invention. You’re a terrible fraud, Jeff.

  • 35 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:10 AM


    I’m quite happy with this persona thanks.

    If you’re bored why not go and burn a few books or daub a few shops with slogans.

  • 36 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Jeff if I were you I’d go away and use your legendary searching powers to sieve through the blogs and find fault with everyone who has called you out. Jeff…jeff….are you there, jeff… oh. I see you already are. 🙂

  • 37 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Jeff – are you associating me with Nazism? Why? Do you know me? Do you know anything about me at all?

  • 38 reilly // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    so now your calling somone a nazi/jew hater.
    your a total low life.
    what ever stick you get is justified.

  • 39 beermonkey // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:15 AM


    whats with the why me

    u spend most or ur time picking on posters for grammer and spelling u have no idea where they come from or education
    yet u choose to pick on and mock

  • 40 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Jeff thinks he’s the denizen of Free Speech and I represent the fascist onslaught on liberty. 😐

    You are the pinnacle of Utility, Jeff. Personally, I’ve always thought you come across as a tool.

  • 41 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:16 AM


    Seek help man

    When I inform the blog of a little known snippet of football info you jump out of the woodwork within minutes trying to belittle me .

    Jealousy and envy oozes from your every pore.

  • 42 reilly // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:17 AM


  • 43 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    Jeff. Example, please.

  • 44 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    ..maybe if that’s ALL you did, jeff.

  • 45 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Watch out for rope burn there jeff.

  • 46 Jib // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    How many posters you going to call on to support you ?
    Stamping your feet in rage and biting your knuckles.
    This bullying has to have a deeper motive to it .

  • 47 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    it’s not bullying jeff. I’m not asking for support. Just wondering how long you have the gall to hold out in this guise. This is all of your own making, accept it, apologise for being a turd, and reform. That’s a mature route. I bet you’ll need a SatNav for it though.

  • 48 WWSBRD // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Oh Jeffery the dark days continue eh?

  • 49 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    The deep motive you speak of for my attention, Jeff, is the months and months of unrelenting goading of posters old and new and the single most effective contribution to breaking down the quality and enjoyment of this blog by many who no longer appear here. I was going to leave a long time ago but I don’t think it’s fair that someone like you should successfully wage your war of attrition unchallenged. Thankfully, good sense prevails and other posters see right through your awful agenda quite capably of their own accord, without any assistance from me.

  • 50 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    The lights are being turned off in Jibton Manor, one by one. Sadly the economic climate has taken a downturn. Perhaps it’s time to sell up, Jeff? Simplify things, move on. Start a new life? 🙂

  • 51 beermonkey // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    its gonna be a long 5 days till the norwich game

  • 52 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Lighten the mood, Jeff. How about so.ething from your era? A bit of Salt ‘n Pepa?

    Let’s talk about Jeff, maybe?
    He talks about you and me,
    Lets talk about Google searching,
    Let’s talk about Jeff!

    Sing with me now….

  • 53 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Beer dead right I’m running out of material fast. And what I did have was crap. 🙂

  • 54 Tsunki // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    So any significant injury returnees? In defence?

  • 55 WWSBRD // Mar 28, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Haha what a song

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