One of the many problems Newcastle have had over the last decade is the number of injuries we pick up every season – and that only weakens the team we can put out every week in the games.
Nothing that we have seen has been done to get to grips with what is a definite problem at Newcastle – and there have to be some solid reasons why Newcastle always top the Injury League table every season.
We’ve been like a broken record bringing that problem up …..
Rafa talks to his players at the Benton Training grounds
Rafa was aware of that and when he first came he put down to injures and not having a recognized left back available the major reasons why we made a bad start to his reign – and we picked up just one point in the first four games.
Most Newcastle fans after our implosion at Southampton thought it was just the players that were simply not good enough.
At that point we has only 25 points from 32 league games.
But this is Rafa Benitez – world-class manager – and in the final six games not only did Rafa have the team playing well, but we picked up a good 12 points in those games – 32% of our points for the season in those final six games.
Newcastle ended the season with an emphatic and simply brilliant 5-1 win over a strong Spurs side in front of a packed St. James’ Park.
Even that would-be Champions League player – Moussa Sissoko – had his best game of the season for us.
In his Q&A last week Rafa detailed the improvements he is having made at the Benton Training grounds and they include various things, but having upgraded 4G pitches installed is one of them and that should help with reducing the injuries.
This is what Rafa said on the improvements being made:
“We have already started on a lot of improvements to the training ground.
“The purpose with everything we are doing there is to improve the environment that the players train in and the equipment and the facilities that they use so they are able to perform to their optimum level.”
“We had to consider not to disturb the preparation of the team and at the same time to improve the facilities.”
“So, we are renovating the inside structure of the building, creating new spaces for working and for relaxing.”
“We will have double sessions on some days, so it is important that the players have spaces to relax and refresh and also to build the team spirit together.”
“We have already improved the gym, bringing in new and better equipment which will be a big improvement.”
“We will also be resurfacing the artificial pitch inside the indoor facility.”
“It will be a 4G surface which is much better for the players to train on, there is less impact on the body and less problems with injuries.”
“If our supporters play in their five-a-side teams perhaps, then they will know themselves the difference between a poor quality artificial pitch and a 4G pitch.”
“The indoor hall is a very good facility and we need to make sure that it has a top quality surface so that we can make use of it for training throughout the year, but especially when the weather is bad outside in the winter.”
“That’s really important.”
“We are also putting a 4G pitch in at the Academy.
“Another important change we are making is to bring in an administrator to work with the players and their families.”
“This will be someone who speaks English, French, Spanish, to help players settle at the club and in the city and be sure that they are able to focus 100 per cent on the football.”
Those are all good changes being made by Rafa and they are immediate too – and will be in place when the players return for pre-season training on June 28th – two weeks on Tuesday.
It should be a message to the players that Newcastle United will be improving quickly as a football club in many different areas – that’s a very good message to send out.
And we will check to see how our injuries are next season – we are hoping they will be a lot less than in previous years and that should help Rafa put out his strongest side.
That will all help with the performance of the team on the pitch and that has to be good.