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

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Calm, Confident Benitez Placates Fans – More Signings Soon

11:00 pm, Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 33 Comments

We watched the Rafa Benitez press conference today and Rafa was unconcerned about the poor start to the season.

He admitted results-wise it’s been very bad with two defeats in our first two games, but Rafa said we could also have won both games if we had taken our chances and defended better.

rafa benitez

Rafa Benitez – remains calm and confident 
Certainly Rafa doesn’t panic – and he was a calming influence in front of the press this afternoon and he seems upbeat and pleased with the many good players he believes he has in the squad.

Fans are concerned however, because of the lead-up to the season when we are supposed to do really well.

That comes after two of the worst seasons we have ever had in the Premier League and of course we were finally relegated in May.

So starting with two defeats this season was a complete shock and it’s going to be tough and probably a lot more difficult than seven years ago.

In the 2009-2010 season we were promoted straight back to the Premier League with a  massive 102 points, 30 wins and only four defeats.

This is what Rafa said today:

“I still have confidence because I am sure we will be where we want to be at the end of the season.”

“We will be stronger at the end of the transfer window because we will have brought in more players and some will have left so we will be more focused as a squad.”

“My best team at the end of the month will be very different.”

“It is not a case that everything we were doing is wrong because we have lost two games. A lot of things we have done right but there are other things to fix and improve.”

“If someone wants Moussa, they have to pay and if we are happy with the price, we will consider it.”

But if we are not happy, then he can stay here and I will be pleased to keep him.”

Rafa Benitez is  a professional and we believe he will be able to turn things around rather quickly.

That’s the hope in any case.


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Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Other News · Poll · Press · Press Conference

33 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jimmysmith // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    “if we had taken our chances and defended better.”, yep, I’m feeling it Rafa, too true, too true. I could’ve been rich, if only I’d had more smarts and been less work shy.

  • 2 Sazzer // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    “Sampdoria will offer around €8M while Anderlecht want €9M for Praet. Personal terms already agreed.”

    Unbelievable if we have watched Mitrovic and Mbemba for years without being all over this deal.

    Yes, we are in Championship but I would pick us, Rafa and higher wages over Sampdoria if I were him.

  • 3 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    “My best team at the end of the month will be very different.”

    This is all I needed to hear. Alot of changes going on at the moment.

    No panicking from me as yet, no where near.

  • 4 jimmysmith // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:18 PM

    Oooh Rafa, you old honeydripper you. That’s some soothing set quotes you’ve strung together. I’m back on the bus. Let’s go!

  • 5 geordie157 // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    “You need players able to beat people.
    “We go to [Matt] Ritchie in the market, why? Because he could beat players.
    “We have to find [more]. We need more players – and players that can be more precise.”

    Really hope Rafa gets these wingers/creative players he wants. If we had another Ritchie type on the left the side would look more balanced.

    Also interesting to see Riviere in training, could him Tiote or Gouffran be given a chance to impress?

    I would like to see us try 442 for a game, Ritchie right, Aarons left, pacey combo of Gayle and Armstrong up top.

  • 6 Lanzatoon42 // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Iam not voting because everytime i do it goes f##king wrong, just win tomorrow is all i ask

  • 7 Lanzatoon42 // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    Some sarcastic ar##es on here, Rafa will sort us oot after years of sh#te with set up, pardew etc etc etc IT WILL TAKE TIME!!!! Give your head a shake

  • 8 Sazzer // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:53 PM

    Anyway, it’s been while since I watched Praet so perhaps something have happened with him because I would have thought that many clubs would be interested in getting him at this price in the current market.

    Also, maybe we can’t afford taking a gamble on foreign lightweight player given our current squad size.

    Siem De Jong on loan to Anderlecht and Dennis Praet coming here would makes sense as long as we also go for the more proven championship players that we need to replace Sissoko and Wijnaldum.

  • 9 jimmysmith // Aug 17, 2016 at 12:11 AM

    “Proven Championship players,” sounds a bit unnerving to be honest.

    I think we need to bring in players that will allow us to be at least as good as the group that came down. They don’t have to be of quite the same standard, that might be unrealistic, but they most certainly need to be in the right positions, particularly if you are replacing players of the calibre of Widjnaldum, Townsend, Sissoko, Collocini, Cisse and potentially Tiote, Krul and De Jong.

    We may never have had the depth and balance to be successful under Ashley, but we’ve certainly had some good footballers, and we are losing a big whack of them and that’s a precarious thing.

  • 10 Laurent Robert 32 // Aug 17, 2016 at 12:34 AM

    Jimmy, unfortunately, that generally comes with the territory of dropping down a division. The average quality of the squad decreases.

  • 11 ToonMauritius // Aug 17, 2016 at 1:58 AM

    Good morning Friends
    I think we should go for Victor Moses and Marko Marin from Chelsea, they are both surplus to requirement there.

  • 12 ToonMauritius // Aug 17, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    Lol only me on board. Wake up Tooooons

  • 13 Kabul Fish // Aug 17, 2016 at 5:30 AM

    Good Morning ToonMauritius 🙂
    Those players from Chelsea would be class but the chance of getting them would be slim I guess.

    Going for Champ players as Prem players don’t really want to drop a league I suppose. Be different if were we tearing this league apart

  • 14 Kabul Fish // Aug 17, 2016 at 5:34 AM

    Telford Utd won last night and as everyone knows we always sometimes win at the same time. We are deffo, 110%, a maybe cert to possibly win tonight 🙂

    well I’m going for a Toon win tonight HWTL

  • 15 ToonMauritius // Aug 17, 2016 at 5:44 AM

    Kabul Fish but I think RB can convince them to come to NUFC

  • 16 one fine day // Aug 17, 2016 at 5:53 AM

    Appologies for late response
    Sorry I didn’t pic up on the sarcasm 🙂 unlike Jfa.
    Sometimes hard to pic it amongst some of the crazed negativity on here .
    Seems if we are judging everything on two games then hull are in the champions league and arsenal will be relegated .who would have thought.
    Don’t have a problem with anyone questioning Rafa on his tactics that’s alway open for debate at any club .
    But those going along and booing OUR players ? Then wondering why they freeze ?Boils my piss.
    Prob the same blow ins who pushed to get SBR the sack .
    Anyway going for a scrappy 1 nil tonight .
    Fancy Richie to notch too.

  • 17 expatmag // Aug 17, 2016 at 6:20 AM


    We always sometimes……..

    A bit of a contradiction of terms there mate……lol

  • 18 jimmysmith // Aug 17, 2016 at 6:23 AM

    TOF, yes granted, but I get the feeling previous clubs didn’t spend 50 million quid in achieving it. But sure you can only assess things fairly if you recognise the individual and changing context of each situation. Newcastle are no ordinary club though, and Rafa no ordinary manager, so all in all at least a comparable squad I’m sure was the aim.

  • 19 jimmysmith // Aug 17, 2016 at 6:24 AM

    Sorry, Laurent.

  • 20 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 17, 2016 at 6:57 AM

    I didn’t know which way to vote. How good are Reading? I really don’t fancy us for a win if they put in a shift like Fulham and Huddersfield did, but we are probably due to jag one. That’s an interesting statement from Rafa: “My best team at the end of the month will be very different”: Good to hear, as a lot of us don’t rate the current one.

  • 21 Ian Toon // Aug 17, 2016 at 6:59 AM

    Laurent- What an unnecessary daft comment. Jimmy has been trail blazing saying from before the window opened that we should break the mould and suggesting various options as to how it might be achievable. He/ we still have a few cards to play.
    He doesn’t need you to tell him what usually happens! The laboured point is that you don’t improve your team by selling your best players.
    Particularly a club with aspiration that should they be successful going forward will be buying into an inflationary market.

  • 22 Jib // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:03 AM

    Dutchman Jan Olde Riekerink who manages Turkish club Galatasaray really fancies Cheick Tiote.
    €3 million transfer fee €2.5million p.a.

  • 23 Lindisfarne // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    Relegation, three Championship defeats and we are not an attractive prospect to the best quality players, especially perhaps those in PL teams looking to get matches. We don’t have any creativity up front, lack service from midfield and the opposition are always likely to score – not a good concoction.

    Sell Sissoko for north of £25M and get the next Mahrez in (whoever that is) someone who can actually get hold of the ball and take it forward.

  • 24 hibbitt // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:11 AM


    three Championship defeats ????

  • 25 expatmag // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:14 AM


    Geez mate, you really know little of the real world of modern day football, do you?

  • 26 Jib // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:17 AM

    The NUFC website makes a splash about Massadio Haidara being back in full training.
    It will be interesting to see what the Rafaeffect has been , I always thought he had potential.

  • 27 jimmysmith // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:19 AM

    Me too. Can be the left back we need, particularly in this league, dependant almost entirely on fitness, of course.

  • 28 Jib // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    25 expatmag // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:14 AM
    Geez mate, you really know little of the real world of modern day football, do you?

    Says someone who lives North of the black stump

  • 29 Mag52 // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    Rafa’s honeymoon with NUFC is still clearly going well.
    If McClaren had come out with anything like ‘if we had defended better and taken our chances, we’d have won’, he’d have been slaughtered.

  • 30 Tsunki // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Aye , Ian, its laboured all right because it’s irrelevant. In our situation we have little to say on our best players getting sold. Even without get-out clauses.

  • 31 jimmysmith // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:46 AM

    Not quite. They all have been under contract apart from Townsend, Taylor and Obertan, and so we did not have to sell, we have not needed to, and further we have been prepared to re invest every penny. We don’t at all HAVE to end up with an inferior squad, that is not some unwritten rule of modern football, and it will be a failure of sorts if we do.

  • 32 Jib // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    You need to make your mind up my dear.
    You either sneer at them for their lack of input into a game or cry because they are our best players and we sell them.

  • 33 Ian Toon // Aug 17, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    expat- I had you down as the type just prepared to accept the inevitable. A go with the flow type- I’m all for an easy life.
    A we’ve always done it this way-? why rock the boat type! Even as a small child didn’t you dream the impossible dream? . What happened ! There is far more content of interest which is far more readable. It can be exercised in the real world of course.

    There’s nothing wrong with some blue sky / out of the box thinking on a football blog. I’ve never voted for MOM or outcome of a game.

    Your approach mirrors so many others. That means we have a repetitive boring blog.
    Jimmy is a maverick ( ably named after the Jinky legend) blogger he’s got a vision that’s way beyond your wildest dreams. Because you stay in your comfort zone and don’t stretch the what ifs!

    It’s all about opinions. It doesn’t make me right and you wrong.
    Enjoy your day.

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