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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Rafa Benitez Issues Warning For Newcastle

8:58 am, Saturday, May 28th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 7 Comments

Rafa Benitez is doing everything he can to learn about the upcoming 46-game Championship season and he knows full well that it’s going to be tough and there will be many difficult away games in the division.

So one thing he has to ensure is that when we play away from home next season, all our players turn up.

If Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko – as two examples are still with us – then they also will have to turn up at the more difficult smaller grounds like Pirelli Stadium at Burton Albion, which has a capacity of only 6,912 with 2,034 of those being seated.

rafa Benitez and fans

Rafa Benitez backed by the Toon Army

Clubs like Burton Albion are the salt of the earth of the English game and it’s great to see smaller clubs like Burton Albion doing so well.

And last season, Bournemouth, as another example, showed they were good enough to stay in the Premier League with their small ground at the Vitality Stadium (Dean Court), which has a capacity of only 11,464.

pirelli stadium

The Pirelli Stadium at Burton Albion

Bournemouth will be getting around £120M next May from the Premier League and Newcastle will not.

Newcastle fans are really upbeat about next season, but we cannot get too carried away and it is going to be a long and tough season next term.

Rafa was asked what kind of potential does Newcastle United  have and this is how he responded to that question last week:

“I could say it is massive, but we have to remember that we are in the Championship and I am not stupid,” 

“We have to start thinking about what we want to do in the Championship to make sure that we can be in the Premier League.”

“I could say, ‘We are this’ or ‘We are that’, but that will not change anything.” “We are where we are, and we want to be sure that next year we will be where we belong.”

“But it has to be through hard work, being professionals and making the right decisions as much as we can.”

It will be massive event for a club like Burton Albion and their fans when we visit them next season and a certain world-class manager Rafa Benitez, who has won the Champions League and many other trophies in his career – is on the sidelines.

It will be a tough game for Newcastle and if our players think anything different – we could be in trouble.

That’s the truth and is an indication of how tough the Championship can be for us next season – we have to respect every single team that we play.

And then try to beat them.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Premier League

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Slank // May 28, 2016 at 9:01 AM


    ‘…reference to Coaching, Luuk de Jong scored for the Netherlands. Just showing up the quality of coaching nufc have been suffering….’

    I would substitute ‘suffering’ with ‘lacking’.

    Your comments are the reason I’m not, like some others’ keen to get rid of Sissoko and Wijnaldum. We could easily sell them. The reason being is that they are very good and other clubs / managers know this.

    I remember the hullabaloo from many fans wanting the club to dump Luuk de Jong and get his brother Siem de Jong. One has since thrived and the other hasn’t for different reasons perhaps but both have had the same experience at NUFC.

    They say that players don’t lose their skills just their confidence. I would also add that they are very often poorly coached.

  • 2 cyprus // May 28, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Funny game this football. So many fans were against us signing our one international, calling him a headless chicken, preferring Obertan and much worse. On the other hand, shelvey was praised so much that there was no way his Highness would sign for us losers.

    How fortunes have changed. Shelvey may, or may not find his level in the championship…

  • 3 Jail for Ashley // May 28, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    Hopefully they’ll have just prevented any future games being played at their shitty little stadium.

  • 4 Jib // May 28, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Again with Florian Thauvin – rather than look to recoup the €17 million , perhaps Rafa should be looking at Marseilles squad .
    One of the factors in persuading someone from French football to the Championship is the example of Riyad Mahrez who signed for Leicester in the Championship then within 18 months won :-

    Algerian Footballer of the Year: 2015
    Premier League PFA Team of the Year: 2015–16
    PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2015–16
    PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2015–16

  • 5 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 28, 2016 at 9:59 AM


    Yes I remember Townsend being described as “an English Obertan”. I am still unsure how people formed such a negative opinion of him. He picked up where he left off for england in his cameo last night. We have to keep him.

  • 6 WLtoon // May 28, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    Every team in this lge will want to put one over us as favourites. It will be a huge scalp for clubs like Burton, so we need to be on our metal for every game and not be complacent.
    having said that, if we keep the majority of the squad we should go up with games to spare. its a hard slog in this lge, but the quality is poor tbh, so promotion will be taken for granted by most fans, and that could be a big mistake.

  • 7 BeeGuy // May 28, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    As long as NUFC have a squad that can move ther ball on the ground constantly, they have a good chance of promotion. If they fall into the Route 1 game, then it is naybody’s guess if they can go back up.

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