Rafa Benitez Bemoans Big Opportunity Lost

Newcastle were poor in the first half as once again the team couldn’t seem to get going in a game that was simply vital for our survival.

And as usual we improved in the second half and should have won this game with Jack Colback and Aleksandar Mitrovic both missing glorious chances to win the game – when both put the ball over the cross-bar when it looked so much easier to score.

But if you cannot beat a Villa said who are already relegated and had lost their last 11 games since beating another like relegation side 2-0 at home – Norwich City – we really cannot complain too much.

rafa benitez villa

Rafa Benitez – on the sidelines today

We are simply not good enough.

This is what Rafa Benitez said on the BBC after the very disappointing draw that makes it difficult now for Newcastle to avoid the drop:

“We are disappointed. Sunderland won, so all we can do now is wait for the score of that game and now try to win our game.”

“We were a little bit anxious in the first half. We were not comfortable in possession. You have to take your chances and we didn’t do that.

“We had to change things in the second half. We did that, but it was not enough. The players are disappointed.

“It was an opportunity to stay ahead of Sunderland and we couldn’t do it.”

It now makes it unlikely that Newcastle can avoid relegation with Sunderland needing just 2 points from their last two games to ensure safety and then Norwich and Newcastle will go down with Aston Villa.

And we will pass Middlesbrough coming the other way – as they gained promotion today.

So Newcastle are very likely to be the only north-east club not in the Premier League next season.

Those that have run this club into the ground need to apologize to the fans for their total incompetence.

They had ample warning from last season when we were nearly relegated on the last day of the season.

Hiring the woeful John Carver followed by the woeful Steve McClaren only days after he was deemed not good enough for Derby County were two huge mistakes made by the incompetent Lee Charnley.

And then keeping Steve in the job hoping against hope he could turn things around was yet another mistake  by Charnley.

Where Newcastle go from here – assuming we are relegated – we have no idea.

There’s simply no leadership at the top of the club and hasn’t been for some time now.

Shame on them.

16 comments so far

  • GeordieTwo

    May 7, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #1

    I thought Wijnaldum was extremely poor once again. And Cisse was absolutely hopeless. Shocking really. The defense held fast and have been steadily improving under Rafa. We missed some decent chances that would have given us the points. Colback, Mitro and I think Wijnaldum even had one. Rafa did all he could. Failure to sack McLaren early enough was the biggest mistake of all.

  • wolfshead@toon

    May 7, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #2


    look at the players pardew had to pick from his 2nd best defender was mike williamson ffs are you saying mclaren and benitez had a worse squad

  • stuart no9

    May 7, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #3

    stuart no9 // May 7, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    colback, cisse, gini, soko and to be fair , if we are going to start from scratch , mitro- need to be on their way . we need to get back to basics , up and coming kids WITH TALENT and get raffa to gel them into a team FIT for the prem , Too many ”so called ” big players not good enough fot the championship never mind the prem

  • Small World

    May 7, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #4

    25 Lilongwe Geordie // May 7, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    – Best comment on here for along time!

    Re: earlier remarks about Mitrovic. Although Rafa has used him sparingly, he has actually turned him around and he’s been quite celarly coached to face the goal, as opposed to him backing in and chesting the ball down.

    SBR did soemthing similar with Shearer when he came to the club,with brilliant results. Unfortunately Mitro isn’t in his class

  • manxpie

    May 7, 2016 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #5

    Jail it was all the sacked championship managers fault wasn’t it?

  • manxpie

    May 7, 2016 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #6

    Lilo well i just find it funny that now we have a top manager the players are finally getting the brunt of it when I’ve been saying ir for years that’s all

    let’s face it there’s a huge number of reasons why we are where we are and ultimately it’s Ashley Wat a kernt!
    And to see Leicester now is unbelievable and heartbreaking at the same time

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 7, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Cheers. I don’t think it is the coaching, more the approach play and style. A large part of that is down to the arrival of Townsend, who I freely admit has surprised me in how well he has done. He has also shown how lacking both Gini and Sissoko were when playing out wide.

    As much as we are, none of it is ever black and white. Pardew was probably at fault for somethings, likewise Ashley can be blamed for others. So can the players. I guess the target of Ashley and Pardew is easier than targeting a whole side who under perform when they aren’t i their shop window.

    Yup, Pardew had Willo. He also had a far better midfield and attacking set up for the majority of his time. Plus players who were younger than they are now.

    I’m not exonerating Pardew from anything. I was very against him, I also felt that once he was staying after the season in 16th, he should be allowed to bring in players who suit his style. Neither happened and he continued to fudge things, the players continued to appear disinterested unless it was in their interests and Ashley continued with the modus operandi.

    Lots of fault there.

  • GeordieTwo

    May 7, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #8

    As far as players are concerned Sissoko and Wijnaldum will be first out the door. Somebody will come in quickly for Townsend. Who knows with Mitrovic. He hasn’t really been all that good. Perez might stay. Shelvey can’t even make the starting 11 so he will probably stay. Some of the more expensive dead heads will have to be cleared out quickly. A sad mess that has been in the making for years now thanks to Ashley. This hurts.

  • midweek weekend

    May 7, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #9

    the reason for this failure of a season is simply mcclaren, after 12 games we where in the bottom 3 yet the board did nothing, we simply stuck too long rafa was available back in febuary, sunderland will likely relegate us Wednesday everton are just poor and wont get a result at the stadium of light, this next window will define us for the next 10 years, will rafa stay? if he goes who will we get ? what players are jumping ship
    ? etc i just hope ashley fires charnley and sells up this time last season he said we would make our own luck and mount the horse to cart, mike mate weve just been relegated ! a sad sad day

  • Lanzatoon42

    May 7, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #10

    The least ashley and co can do now is makesure Rafa stays with us or we will end up like Leeds etc or worse

  • magscar

    May 7, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Some decent chances missed but that’s been the case for awhile.

    A draw with the Mackems losing might have prolonged hope but even 2 draws for Mackems are now enough.

    Still possible if they only get one draw from their remaining games but we would need to beat Spurs and on that display I honestly struggle to see us doing it 🙁

    Ashley needs to start work on getting Benitez to stay from now not leave it a week.

    If we are already down by Spurs game and no positive news the crowd’s reaction in game might surprise Benitez. Will they chant for him or against Ashley?

  • Bobbybee

    May 7, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #12

    Choice of keepers. Then Mbabu Lascelles Mbemba and Dummett. Colback and shelvey. Townsend, if he stays or Roberts, Armstrong Aarons. Mitrovic. Add to that some decent experienced players to replace the stars who’ll bale out – and good riddance to them – and it ain’t all bad. They’re under contract, apart from townsend and if we can field a team anything like that, we can bounce back. It’s not the kids who’ve let us down, it’s the so called stars.

  • wynsleap

    May 7, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #13

    The ONLY way this club is going to move forwards, even if we go down (which is almost certain), is for Rafa to stay, be given FULL control of everything and sack Charnley, Carr, Moncur, Beardsley and the under-performing coaches in the junior and Under-21 teams.
    Players like Wijnaldum, Mitrovich, Sissoko, Colback, Tiote, De Jong, Gouffran, Taylor, Collocini and Janmaat – all who are either not good enough or who don’t have the stomach for a fight, must be sold to bring in some decent money.
    The club is rotten to the core and must start from scratch with people in charge who actually know how to run a football.
    If we keep the present set up, Rafa goes and we bring in another managerial turnip we may as well just sell the whole shebang and turn St. James Park into allotments.
    Maybe it’s not too late for Ashley to prove he isn’t the thickest person running a professional football club in this country.
    Saying sorry to the fans would be a nice way to start then fire a few guns in the right direction.

  • Moonraker15

    May 7, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #14

    The worry is, if Rafa leaves and they delay in appointing someone, who’s gonna decide which players we want to keep, as they know f all about football. Interesting times; one thing for sure, the fans are fed up supporting a joke of a once great club!

  • Moonraker15

    May 7, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #15

    Great post, it’s the only way forward but is he still interested?

  • neverwin

    May 8, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #16

    Have a lot of time for Rafa but why oh why keep playing Windjammer especially away.Also Cisse.

    Think better outcome against Villa if Mitro and Shelvey started.

    Sick of watching better 2nd half-how about playing 90 minutes full out.


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