Rafa Has Real Belief – Looking For Win At Liverpool

Rafa Benitez goes into every single game he manages trying to win and it’s been no different at Newcastle and the six games he has managed we were in with a chance of winning five of those games over the last 20 minutes.

The only exception was the terrible performance at Southampton – but that was also our last away game and we have also lost 14 of 17 on the road this season – a disgraceful record.


rafa benitez in training

Rafa Benitez – training with the players at Benton

Rafa was asked if he thinks he can get 3 points today and this is what he said in the Chronicle:

“Yes, you always have to have belief you can approach any game and get three points.”

“Obviously, if you were asking me this question two weeks ago, and with the record of the team and after Southampton, maybe I would have said it would be very difficult.”

“I was talking about changing the system and the tactics after the away form.” “But after the last two games at home we have seen the passion of the players and the commitment.”

“I now think we can follow that path again and hopefully start winning away games.”

“City had the Champions League, Liverpool have the Europa League.”

“You know if you are in a semi-final you are close to a final that if you win, you are in the Champions League next year, so it’s massive for them.”

“It’s massive for the players and the club.” “Hopefully, they relax in the Premier League and then win the Europa League!”

Newcastle fans are reasonably confident with 65% thinking we can get something out of this game.

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Comments welcome.

edward harrison 23

Note: It’s exactly nine years today since I started this blog on 23rd August 2007 – mainly for those fans away from Newcastle around the world. It’s a one man blog so go easy on me in my retirement.


33 comments so far

  • Thump

    Apr 23, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #1

    Happy birthday, nufcblog. It’s been an… interesting 9 years, to say the least.

    Didn’t know it was August, though!

  • beermonkey

    Apr 23, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #2

    its august ???

    did we stay up or go down??

  • expatmag

    Apr 23, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #3

    On the last thread, I like Rafa too but how much of a hero will he be when he pisses off, leaving us in the lurch, after we get relegated.

    Writing is on the wall

    Relegation….Rafa out…Warburton in

  • Jib

    Apr 23, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #4

    True Warburton and Ashley are mates ( it’s suspected Mike got him the Rangers gig ) but the EPL is a whole other level and I think MA realises this.

  • beermonkey

    Apr 23, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #5


    i spose it how u look at it
    i just thought this a a 10 game deal we stay up great he stays
    if we go down he goes fair enough

    either way i am glad he came in and gave it ago


    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #6

    ed -congratulations on the birthday anniversary . as someone almost as old as you and having treatment at the same stage as you for the same illness really appreciate all you do for us long suffering supporters , keep up the good work.


    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #7

    have to wonder a bit if colo’s contract extension for next season is based on how many games he plays this season and that could be partly why he has’nt featured much…could just be that that he’s shite and we actually have a gaffer now who’s willing to be a gaffer and drop him instead of being his mate and playing him to the detriment of the club…..as long as the effort is there today we have a chance to get something, if its not…worry.

  • Munster Mag

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #8

    Warburton in the championship would be ok though.

  • Jib

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #9
  • Jib

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Thinking behind Shelvey could be he knows a few Lpool players ?

  • Jib

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #11

    Another factor
    Martin Atkinson and Tiote have had run-ins with each other before !

  • Jib

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #12

    The garden is mowed 😀

  • kkma

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #13

    Ed, thanks for your blog which provides updated info and team news for the fans worldwide. I am from Hong Kong.

    Wishing you good health and the blog will be carried on.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #14


    Pretty much the same as his brother Shola!!

    He has another year on his contract maybe Rafa can turn him into a decent player …….


    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #15

    I doubt it, would Colo sign a contract like that after his best mate was sacked off under similar circumstances? Nar he’s just not into the fight as per usual

  • AncientC

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #16

    Sissoko will be off in the summer, so there will be a chance for Ameobi to stake his claim… that said, I don’t fancy his chances.

    He has to be the most unorthodox left winger I have ever seen.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #17

    If Skrtl plays, Mitro surely has to start? It’s almost a penalty head start, the way refs are suddenly clamping down on judo throws in the box! Skrtl only knows one way to defend a corner and thats by rugby tackling the striker. Could even in a red card and that would be priceless for us.

  • Lindisfarne

    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #18

    Rafa Benitez:

    “ I wouldn’t say I was cold with players, it depends which ones you’re talking about. You have 25, you can’t pick them all. They have to realise I have to decide who plays, who doesn’t. Because of that you have players who are closer to you, maybe others who are not so close. But it’s important I don’t tell lies. If I can’t say anything, I’ll say nothing.”

    “I think there’s a new team spirit now. Before the last two games maybe some players were 50/50 about whether they could stay up but now they are 100% committed that we can do it.”

    Great to hear.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #19

    Even result in*

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #20


    Thats what I wonder though is he actually a winger ? Or is that where managers like Carver and Pardew play him? Hes got all the attributes to be a beast of a front man

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #21

    Happy 9th Ani-bloggiversary, Ed.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #22

    Cant see more than a point today, if that. Liverpool are in good form.

  • AncientC

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #23

    Wijnaldum had a great game against Liverpool last time out, he should be back in the team today I would expect.

    Same team as Man City, with Perez out, Wijnaldum in – my guess.

  • AncientC

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #24

    LCBP – I would agree, I am not sure what Ameobi’s best position is, but surely it cannot be a winger.

  • hibbitt

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #25

    I know I am in the minority but i would take a point now

    good luck toon army

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #26

    Ancient, if not Gini, definitely SDJ. I think Perez has gone off the boil lately and we need all eleven to be at their best. Shame, because I like Perez.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #27

    Looking at Sunderland and Norwichs fixtures we really need to win today and against Palace and Villa that will leave us on 38 points which should be enough

    Ideally we would have 41 points if we beat Spurs as well

  • AncientC

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #28

    Bobbybee – I was reading the stats and Perez lost the ball 6 times in possession against Man City, you wouldn’t really expect that from a Spanish player, but to be fair he hasn’t started for a while, so he will improve.

  • lesh

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #29


    I fancy a close 1-2 win – three massive points.

    Was taking to a scouser, a big bindipper fan, with connections to Everton’s coaching set up and he’s expecting us to face a side that’s set up with Europe in mind. Like all good bindipper fans would, he said he wouldn’t mind if we won – because we’re the Toon. He’s one of those that’s experienced the warmth between our and their fans and hopes we survive and that Rafa stays to kick us on – even in the Championship. One of the old school, good craic.


    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #30

    Not sure I see the argument for Gini starting if we need all 11 at their best, he’s been a disappointment most of the season

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #31

    @Ancient C

    I notice when Perez has possession of the ball teams close him down really quickly and he is not sharp enough to release it to a free player always tries to take another touch or beat a man could be a confidence issue or just needs to be coached a bit more

    It could also be because he is played on the left wing and always wants to cut inside makes him easier to mark

    He does put in some shift though his work rate has been excellent recently if he had the pace of Townsend or Aarons he would be unstoppable mind you

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #32

    WWSBRD, yes mate, agree, but i was just building on what ancient said really. Perez seems to be struggling lately and i was just putting options out there. Myself I’d go with SDJ or even give Aarons a start, now he’s getting a look in again. He does offer creativity which in turn takes a bit of pressure off Townsend. Still, Rafa knows best as he sees them day in day out and finally we have a gaffer we can genuinely trust in his judgement.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Apr 23, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #33

    Expat, leaving us in the lurch is rather harsh. He’s a world class manager who has taken us on when out stock is low and in a perilous position. His decision to come here has been a more than endearing one to begin with.

    If we don’t manage to stay up and he wants to go elsewhere, I’ll be gutted, but I certainly won’t hold anything against him. If he does stay, regardless of being in the league or not, you can’t help but love the guy more.


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