Rafa Benitez Lays Down The Law To His Players

Rafa Benitez was as surprised as the rest of us, the way Newcastle played on Friday night at Fulham when we managed to lose our first game 1-0 in what is an absolutely crucial season for the Newcastle United Football club.

We just have to get promoted back to the Premier League, come hell or high water, next May.

Benitez has gone on about how we must fully respect the opposition and that it will not be easy in what is a tough and tiring 46 game season where we play two games a week a lot of the time.

rafa benitez

A disappointed Rafa Benitez after the game on Friday night

But some pundits and players of other Championship clubs were saying after the game – we just turned up at Craven Cottage and expected to win.

They say we cannot just turn up in this league and expect to win games without a big fight – and of course they are right.

After the game on Friday night, Rafa gave a number of interviews and these are the main points he made – and most of his comments were for the players’ consumption:

“We have to keep working, we need something a little bit more and especially in terms of working we have to realise we will be working more – we have to.”

“Some of the players knew what it would be like, they have played at this level. We need to manage the situation better.”

“When you are bringing players in, and players are leaving, it is always difficult but we have to manage the situation better.”

‘The first penalty appeal was clear, we have talked about that – it was clear. But it was not given and we had to carry on. I will not make an excuse.”

“You could see when we were losing 1-0 we had anxiety, we had to manage the ball much better and play with the ideas we wanted to do.”

“We didn’t concentrate like we have to, especially when you are losing you need to be calm and do things much better.”

“The only positive is that it is the beginning of the season and we have to make sure we are ready for the next game. We need to improve a lot of things.”

“Everybody has realised it can`t be like this for the rest of the season.”

We cannot be over-confident for any game and we cannot take any opposition lightly.

In fact the way to promotion is to beat the bottom half of the table teams both home and away – that will help the promotion drive enormously.

And we just have to be able to win games away from home – it was another defeat on the road on Friday night and we have to start winning games away from St. James’ Park.

Hopefully, there will now be a reset after Friday night and though it’s difficult to see it now – it could even be a good thing that we lost that first game.

The bubble of invincibility that had built up was well and truly burst open.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Aug 8, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #1


    Yeah it isnt ideal. We still need to bring in a more well rounded starting LB, and one more winger. As the squad stands, i’d go with what a posted earlier, where I have dropped anita.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Aug 8, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #2

    Look at the difference here.

    The unholy trinity of McCardew would all have been “moan gripe penalty whine whinge scapegoat complain mither squad”

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 8, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #3

    I was watching Scott Hogan on Saturday. He’s a big strong unit but mobile with it. I thought he had a decent game although he didn’t get much service.

  • Belfats

    Aug 8, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #4

    Top of the morning to you

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 8, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #5

    I think Anita’s size and weight is less of an issue in the Championship, where his superior technique and football nous will buy him an extra yard, plus Rafa rates him, so he’s one who will be around to benefit when we get a settled team.

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #6

    We will be much better on a bigger pitch.

    Anita lascalles mbemba jesus
    Tiote Diame
    Janmaat sissoko ritchie

    Great team but doubt tiote and sissoko will feature so perez and hayden until de jong and mitro can be called upon again

    Considering we need a winger…why not give SAMMY a go and a pass to unlock a defence, maybe VUCKIC can step up. How long is de jong out for?

  • nut meg

    Aug 8, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #7

    A few threads back you mentioned that you didn’t think Hull would sell anymore of their player,I thought exactly that myself until I read over the week-end that West Ham (?) were told by Hull it would cost them 10m to sigh Andrew Robertson..room for thought.

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #8

    15Ian Toon // Aug 8, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    YCMIU- I am still trying to work out what Colback’s role was ! He played very deeply which with Anita and Hayden was overly defensive. Almost making my earlier point of a hangover with away games.

    We need more pace and creativity. If we have to sell Sissoko then let’s put a bid in for Cabaye who’s range of passing would free up Gayle from his Fulham anonymity; just as it did for Cisse. I am still hoping that Shelvey can fulfill that role .

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #9

    Excuse my first sentence of last post. ..smaller pitch a terrible excuse for losing a game

  • msk21dec

    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #10

    West ham close to signing left back masuako from olympiakos for 1m. If hes the left bk im thinkin who played well against juve in ch lge couple years ago hes a class player. We should go on for him

  • msk21dec

    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #11

    Against fulham we lost because of benitez. He changes unnecessary things from last season. We had a good spell with darlow, anita, mbemba, lasc, dummet. So why not keep that back 5 why be clever and change it. I dont rate janmaat he needs to go. Why put lasc on right centre instead of left centre to accomodate hanley. Leave players in their preferred position. Also ayoze was poor should have been replaced by Armstrong at half time. And aarons should be left and ritchie right. Why cant benitez not see that. Dont need 2 holding mid. We need a holding mid and a playmaker in middle thats it. Over to benitez…

  • Spacepyramids

    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #12

    Considering the extremely high expectations on the media, and many fans, this defeat may be good for us when we look back and it into perspective. We probably needed a good kick up the a***, and the team can now get on with applying itself. It will be a hard grind against some very promising clubs with big ambitions. Can’t wait to see Mitrovic back and Diame in the team. Any news on Tiote?

  • ZIPPIE57

    Aug 8, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #13

    Referee should be banned this weekend


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