Positive Rafa Benitez Explains His Winning Philosophy

Most Newcastle fans were hoping after Rafa Benitez had three games in charge of the team we would have picked up at least 4 points against Leicester City, Sunderland and Norwich and although in each of those games in the second half we had chances to get more points – we didn’t.

And that´s been a huge problem with the Newcastle team this season that when we have played well – which has not been too often – we still don´t pick up the points.

We were one of the few sides who were not able to beat Aston Villa at our home ground as one example – and we have given up too many points when we have been ahead in games at home.

rafa benitez newcastle with scarf

Rafa Benitez is very positive – but the results are not there – yet

Recently that has not been the case and in our last six games, which have given us just a single point,  we have never been ahead in any of those games.


Rafa says he is still the realist and it´s not surprising that a vast majority of the pundits think Newcastle are already dead and buried and will be a Championship side next season.

They delight in smashing the side for being relegated when we have so many players who look good players.

If they are not good they are at least expensive after we paid £82M for eight new players this season – and it doesn´t seem to have made much difference at all.

One of them is already back in France because he couldn´t take the pressure.

This is what Rafa has said about pundits thinking we are already dead and buried:

“Everybody will say, ‘Oh, Newcastle will be relegated’, but that is normal when you see the table.”  “But at the same time, I can see the players changing in training.”

“My concern would be if I saw the players giving up, and I don’t see that. I can see a lot of players working so hard in training, so I still believe we can change the situation.”

“My job is still to have confidence – and I have confidence. Seven games, 21 points – it’s enough to do well. I am competitive, more than optimistic, but I am also realistic and I can see the problem. But still I can see the solutions.”

“So we have to keep working and we have to approach the game like at Norwich, not like, ‘Oh, it’s a problem’. No, it’s a challenge and we have to try and win this game and be ready.”

“If we cannot, then we move on to the next one because we still have games to play, points to win and we have to try.”

“I had confidence that we could be better in terms of points,” “In terms of performance of the team, I think Leicester was a good game that could have been a draw.”

“Sunderland, the reaction of the team was very positive. With Mitrovic on the pitch, they were under real pressure in the last five minutes. And Norwich, I think the reaction was positive again.”

If a win doesn´t come very soon we could be relegated even before the last game of the season,  because there will not be enough games left.

That would be the ultimate disaster scenario for this season and as far as we are concerned it would be the ultimate disaster scenario for Newcastle United.

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Comments welcome.

90 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #1

    Ashley Out! Rafa IN!

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #2

    It’s one of life’s ironies that we get a quality manager as we sink into the Championship while surviving (just) under Pardew and Carver.

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #3

    does anyone happen to have the number of jib’s finishing school

  • beermonkey

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #4


    is that the one run by the BNP

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #5


  • beermonkey

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #6

    dunno y have a feeling we will win today
    woke up very positive

  • Novocastrian66

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #7

    3-0 to Southampton today.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #8

    I’ll be remaining positive until their second 🙁

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #9

    It can be done. Keep the faith!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #10

    Ron Knee,
    Isn’t it just!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #11

    Just bought an android box. TV or pub? That is the question.

  • beermonkey

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #12


    pub if there showing the game


    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #13

    morning all
    wish i had the option to watch it in the all my locals have been shopped so cant show the games anymore!lol


    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #14

    in the pub#

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #15

    Ok Rafa, time to stop with all the blabbering and put a team out to win:


    Wasn’t in favour of Sissoko at LB, but nobody else has shown any form there, however it’s a huge risk from the off. Different when chasing a game, it’s stretched and players are tiring, compared to having to be positionally sound, organised and always switched on from the start.

    2 that go missing away from home both on the left – nowhere to hide.

    SDJ must start. Rafa bangs on about getting players closer to Mitrovic, well that’s exactly what SDJ does, links up with, gets beyond and creates space for the ST – that’s what he’s all about. Plus he seems to have an intangible positive affect on the rest of the lousy lot.

  • Magpie Season

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #16

    “If we cannot, then we move on to the next one because we still have games to play, points to win and we have to try.”

    Sorry but we don’t have that many games left. That is not taking into account how Norwich will fare in their remaining games. We need a win today. Not a draw.
    If we lose, or draw, you cannót say next week ‘we still have 6 games left’ & the week after ‘we still have 5 games left’ & so on…

    I know lot of people thought we were relegated at Stoke, or the derby game. But I think today, if we fail to win & even if Norwich lose. We’ll go down.

  • cyprus

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #17

    Rafa explains his winning philosophy lol.

    Now, just play some football. Show that you, the players, care, give it a go. Attack, move when off the ball, hunt them down a bit. How come others have the stamina to do it to us?

    I know we are a championship side, and we’ll be mathematically regulated soon (Rafa you god you, you can’t keep pushing it to the next game every time man – I paid you good money to do… nothing… look at your results… I could have the same no problem) but show me some football.

  • Magpie Season

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #18

    C’mon Pards do it for your old club.

  • cyprus

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #19

    Magpie, just read that. Ditto.

  • cyprus

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #20

    regulated= relegated

  • Magpie Season

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #21


    That’s the thing though. Rafa is not an attack minded manager. Which is why he was never truly accepted amongst Madrid fans (along with his CV).

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #22

    If de Jong doesn’t start today, Benitez needs to give us all a detailed and plausible reason why. His team selection for the Norwich game was rubbish, as was borne out by the performance. Time for him to show he isn’t just a well-paid Spanish version of Pardew and McClaren, because his results so far are alarmingly similar.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #23

    Magpie Season

    What comes out of Rafa’s gob is just a continuation of Schteve’s schtick. It’s annoying and this emphasis on composure and we still have time is mentally the completely wrong attitude.

    Positives so far are:

    Work ethic – he’s obviously doing his best after previous managers seem to have realised they have control over how many days they have off and will still be paid the same, taking full advantage of that, to the detriment of the team.

    Mitrovic – playing with the fire of early season, less the stupidity and strops.

    Early subs – will switch it up and be pro-active when he can see things aren’t working.


    Rigidity in starting formation.

    Zonal marking which is a big change.

    Endless repetitive waffle.

    Saylor over Lascelles.

  • cyprus

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #24

    Magpie very true that. Even Chelsea fans did not like him. Not sure about Napoli et al.

    Anyway, have nothing against the guy. Still, fact: he has had zero impact on results.

  • Jib

    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #25

    Magpie season @21

    Benitez not attack minded !!!!

    At Madrid Rafa won 17 out of 25 games for a 68% wp

    The reason they didn’t accept him at the Bernabeu was he was a Madrileño who went to work in Catalunya for Valencia and won La Liga titles at the expense of Real.

    Spanish football fans have long memories.


    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #26

    Rafa could be argued as the best manager we have ever had and some are already questioning him?

    Hes just come into one of the worst run clubs in the country which has been left to slowly die for years and expected to make a complete turn around in a month?


    Apr 9, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #27

    Hail Wor Ashley
    Am curious are u still in full support of Ashley as ur name implies?

  • Blofal

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #28

    I think Rafa has had an impact on the results.

    We nearly got a point from Leicester. We came back against Norwich and Sunderland. And Mitrovic has scored 3 goals. The improvement is there and I can’t see us getting beaten 5-0 with Rafa in charge.

    If we had bought him in during January we would be safe by now.

  • jimiley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #29

    Rafa is no magician and people are expecting miracles. The club will go down because he cannot work miracles. But he is still the best manager we have ever had. The ultimate irony of this crappy club is we get a good manager when it is too late. He will be off in May and we will be relegated with two or three games to play. The club is rotten to the core.

  • toon kk

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #30

    We might just surprise a few people today and pull off a win (might).
    Hope so.

  • Magpie Season

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #31

    toon kk,

    Considering were $8.50 to win it would be a big suprise.

    Even a double chance is $2.40 on us.

  • toon kk

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #32

    Rafa should have been here earlier along with some quality defender’s and a proven striker and we would have definitely been safe. Terrible miss management by an inept board incapable of seeing there own mistakes.

  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #33

    Toonkk…… What happened to you? Did you have an optimism injection.

  • NezzaNUFC

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #34

    Once the lineup shows a 4231 we’ve lost already!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #35

    He can’t answer that as there isn’t an answer, just a stupid moniker as was his previous catchy’s pet lip.

  • NezzaNUFC

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #36


    Rafa is not an attacking manager believe it or not.

    His philosophy is mostly if you don’t concede goals you can’t lose!

    He’s an defensive counter attacking manager and not a straight up attacking manager and to even have Madrid in the mix shows how daft your argument expanded!


    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #37

    So it is just purely to wind u up? U should be happy ur so important to him/her

  • ToonAndy

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #38

    Wouldn’t the best result in the Norwich vs Palace game be a draw? Providing we get 3 points of course

  • Jib

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #39


    Scroll back
    ‘Twas not I that mentioned Madrid first but Magpie Season @21 , I merely responded by saying he was wrong about why the Real fans gave him a hard time.

  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 9, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #40

    Rafael Senip……… Are you sure your first name is Rafael and not Ynit?


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