Benitez Lays Down The Law With Players – Things Must Change

It’s not surprising it has come to this – and Rafa Benitez will demand a lot more commitment, passion and character from his players and especially his senior players – who were nowhere to be seen on Saturday at St. Mary’s.

We were wondering how the very experienced manager would respond to players simply unwilling or (probably) unable to carry out the match plan, when they simply collapsed within four minutes of the start of the game at St. Mary’s on Saturday and conceded a comical first goal.


Rafa Benitez – commitment, passion and character currently unacceptable

This is what Rafa has said following the disgrace at Southampton:

“”I still have the belief that we can win games and if we start winning it can be different.” 

“We don’t need to be the best team in the Premier League, but we have to be the best team in the bottom four.”

“We are not doing that at the moment, so I think that we need to start winning against Swansea and change a lot of things – change the commitment, the passion, the character and the way that we play.”

“The fans will be crucial for us, because we need them pushing the players, supporting the players.” “And at the end of the season we will have time to analyse what is going on.”

“But now is the time to stick together and do our best because it’s the only way.”

“You have to keep on pushing because the players, some of them, they are young players and they need help in terms of making the right decisions.”

“So you have to give them this help in training, and maybe the senior players, the players with more experience, they can help.”

“But it’s something that we have to change quickly.”

The press has rightly been extremely negative on our players after Saturday’s shameful display, but at least we are usually a lot better at home and we still have four home games left.

So there is still a chance – a small one – but a chance nevertheless.

The players should take that chance.

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • Sir Braveheart

    Apr 10, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #1

    No chance at all Ed. Just isn’t going to happen. We’re relegated again, second time under Ashley. I have embraced the inevitable and as I said earlier I am excited about the possibilities our relegation brings.

    Out of curiosity what ever happened to the Ashley Out campaign? Or NUST or anything like them? All those protests last year, surely this is also the time you’d expect there to be talks of protests and boycotts etc. Haso everyone else accepted our fate too?

  • Magpie Season

    Apr 10, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    Comment #2

    I watched the Sunderland game last night.

    Even though they lost, you could tell they actually cared for club, & were fighting for their manager. They worked together very well, Cattermole, Kaboul all talkers on the pitch on; something we don’t have since Nolan & Barton. They chase down balls that were about go out of play, they sprinted to close down the keeper & got stuck into challenges.

    Our team, not one player gives a shite. You talk about Townsend, where was he last week vs Norwich?
    Mitrovic was amazing va Norwich & a class player? Where was he today?

    The difference between players who play for the Bayern Munichs & the Barcas & Madrids is not just talent but motivation & hard work. Their desire to become the best they can be, self-motivate themselves & push themselves in training & in matches is why they earn top dollar. Their work ethic will never be questioned.

    I don’t know what has happened. Widjnaldum was voted Dutch player of the year. Something has happened. Something has happened. Players don’t give a shit because they are on higher wages, the ones that have come in, & have not earned these higher wages except Wijnadldum.

    If Sunderland go down, at least they did with a fight. After all they have players like Defoe that breaks down in tears after scoring the winning goal in the derby.

  • Magpie Season

    Apr 10, 2016 at 11:29 PM

    Comment #3

    Sir Braveheart,

    Think mate Rafa said for all the fans to get 100% behind the team & leave any of their criticisms until the end.

  • davis_toons

    Apr 11, 2016 at 3:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Relegation is “good” for Ashley and some fans but is not good for the club. Got to hang on and fight with Ashley or not.

  • Spacepyramids

    Apr 11, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    Comment #5

    Magpie Season
    I watched the game and was struck by the same contrasts you point out.
    They might not be a particularly good team but compared with us they have a spirit and determination that may yet prove enough to take them free from relegation. It’s difficult to argue that we deserve anything but.

    On Widjnaldum; I think he the type of player who can perform with steel and composure around him – a team that can carry him if you like. Sure, he will have his moments, but in general he’s too lightweight.

  • Sav

    Apr 11, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #6

    Sad part is, we could possibly have done with a bully like Pearson or Pulis to survive. Where we need Rafa is at the end of the season (even if it is in the championship) to eradicate and rebuild what is rotten from top to bottom at NUFC. Gutless Nellies.


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