Rafa Explains How He Will Reduce Injuries At Newcastle

Rafa has been asked a number of questions after the transfer window finally closed on Wednesday evening at 11:00 pm – and he has given some thoughtful answers to those varied questions.

One of the problems we have had in the Premier League is the many injuries we pick up every season.

Because of that it’s never been possible to field our strongest side and that has affected our league position over the last few years.


Rafa Benitez at St. James’ Park

Here’s a question where he is asked about Newcastle’s injuries, which have been terrible for over a decade and we always finished top of the Premier League – at least in terms of the number of injuries we picked up each season.

Here’s the question with Rafa response.

Even in the first few games there have been injury problems like with Aarons, does this prove you’re right that strength in depth is vital?

“Absolutely we have to have strength in depth.”

“We have two games a week, every few days there is a game and we know from experience and also from research that if players are playing as many games as this they will pick up injuries.”

“The research proves that it is inevitable.” “So, we have to do a few things.”

“We have to rotate the squad. I have done this before at other clubs I have been at and it helps a lot to reduce the number of injuries.”

“That’s because you can rest players and make sure they properly recover between games.”

“Also you have to have depth to the squad in every position to make a rotation system possible but also to give us cover when injuries do happen.

“Finally we have to have the proper medical and rehabilitation processes in place to get players back from injury safely – always – but as quickly as we can.

“That’s why we made some changes to our medical team and our facilities this summer and I’m really pleased with the job they are already doing, it is all important.”

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

99 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 2, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Previous thread.

  • Whumpie

    Sep 2, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #2

    I think he’s missed the main point there: it is not bad luck that the injuries happen; there is something wrong in the setup, processes, culture – something. The solution isn’t more players, although rotation will help – it’s in finding the causes and removing them.

  • MadisonToon

    Sep 2, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #3


    Here’s a hypothetical question for the future:

    If we get promoted do we spend the Premier League prize money that we will get at the end of the season in the summer window when we promote to guarantee that we stay up?

    It will be difficult to compete with other clubs who have just gotten their windfall for finishing the season in the Premier League when all we have in our coffers is the measly cash from promoting from the Championship. Ashley has been clear that NUFC can spend the money they make but no more and I wonder if that will change if we go up – it might be a good move but it’s also a bit of a gamble.

    Does anyone know how much 1st and 2nd get in the championship compared to 15-17th in the Premier League? Last year 15-17th got ~70m over the course of the season including league placement and TV fees and the 55m for being in the division. I have a feeling that’s lots more than the Championship winners get, but I don’t really have a good number for it and a quick Google didn’t turn it up.

  • hibbit

    Sep 2, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #4

    still a number transfer windows open hopefully Cheick Tiote can find a club
    the russian window is open for 4 more days plus others around the world
    somebody must want him

  • Tsunki

    Sep 2, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #5

    If he ends up without a contract Hibbit then Tiote won’t need any window.

  • Jib

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #6

    This June just gone NUFC got £73 million for their 18th place in the PL.

    The Championship Parachute payment is £87 million over 3 years spread thus:-

    In season one, 2016-17, NUFC would get £40 million

    In season two, 2017-18, NUFC would get £33 million

    In season three, 2018-19, NUFC would get £14 million.

    Of corse everyone hopes we will only receive the 1st payment and be back feeding at the top table season 2017/18.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #7

    Thanks for all the replies earlier lads, sorry I couldnt reply a bit sooner but will try now.

    Spoof we could use future money coming in, in the future to fund players in January but we won’t.

    I actually prefer it that way though many don’t. We only spend what we have in our pocket not what we earn next week should we say.

    I was wrong about Carrol, or so it seems, too many people have said the same thing for it to be a coincidence so I stand corrected.

    The principle is the same though. We often take player sales as installments.

    IMO it had built up a canny nest egg which is why Mcclaren spent so much last season. But he spent almost all of it. Though not all. I figure at least £23m was left because that is what we bid for Berahino.

    Benitez has got his money back and then some but I figure we are around £20m down for waht we have to spend in the next window.

    Its impossible to say exactly how much because we don’t know how many players we sold are being paid via installments for the length of their contract.

    We will get the money ofc and it puts us in a healthier position for the next few years but today as we speak I reckon we have spent almost everything that we had in our pocket.

    The team though now looks a canny one. Players will be sold out of it next season when we go up and we will probably make a profit on most of them because the relegated clubs will have even more money.

    Personally I think we are healthy both on and off the pitch for the next few years at least. We will buy top players when we go up, quite a few spanish ones I would wager.

    Their fees will be offset by the ludicrous money we receive for vour championship players.

    On top of transfers the club also generates money ofc but wages etc take a big hit out of it. Otherwise the likes of Sunderland wouldnt have to sell to buy.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #8

    Maddison we dont spend on the never never. We never spend on what we will get but only on what we have got.

    Its better in that way IMO

  • MadisonToon

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #9

    jib –

    Thanks for the parachute payment info – very helpful in thinking about what we’ll be able to spend in the coming windows.

    I wonder what, if any, prize money there was for the Championship to go along with the parachute payment, although that on it’s own will go a long ways. It won’t be near as much as the bottom Prem teams get but it will help the continuing rebuild significantly.

  • cyprus

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #10

    Poor Tiote. Didn’t something similar happen with that Chinese team? I guess don’t pack your bags before all is set it you’re in for a disappointment.

    Reminds me of that player who drove to a club he wanted to sign, only to be not allowed to get in. Hoilet?

    I suppose if we are true to form we must now hate Tiote for wanting out. I just don’t have the heart to do that.

  • cyprus

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #11


  • bettyswallocks

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #12

    Jib…… Hopefully it won’t be applicable , but how much would we receive in season 4. 2019-20?

  • MadisonToon

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #13


    I know that’s what we’ve done in the past, but I wonder if the threat of yo-yo’ing is enough to have MA use the anticipated funds early.

    It doesn’t do much good to get a bunch of money at the end of the season as you are being relegated. Certainly nobody hopes that if we go up we will come straight back down, but with the squad we have (and one or two probably departing at the end of the season) we aren’t a firm midtable Prem team which is what we would need to be to not fear about a return to the Championship.

    Still, I wonder what Ashley’s thoughts will be and what Rafa will push for.

  • 2_goal_tino

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #14

    @ Whumpie – Rafa did talk about that…
    “we have to have the proper medical and rehabilitation processes in place to get players back from injury safely – always – but as quickly as we can. That’s why we made some changes to our medical team and our facilities this summer and I’m really pleased with the job they are already doing, it is all important.”

    Our injury problems have primarily been that the same players keep getting injured because they never fully rehabilitate from their previous injuries, which just makes them more susceptible to another one. When you have not much squad depth and are fighting relegation, the club hasn’t had the luxury of being able to ensure players fully rehabilitate.

    Rafa is saying injuries will be less common because of more rotation but also the injuries we do have will be properly and fully treated before they return to the first team – both through the improved facilities and the greater squad depth meaning they aren’t rushed back.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #15


    with respect, i don’t think rafa misses much

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #16


    odemwhinge (wrong spelling)

  • Jib

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #17

    For this season the Cship TV money is pitiful about £3million per club –
    but as from next season Scudamore has promised it will go up to between 40 to 60 percent of what the PL clubs will get (depending on screenings)
    So to answer your question Madison – the fourth season should see a lot more of the Sky and BT money filtering it’s way down.

  • expatmag

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #18

    On the Tiote front, a bit too coincidental that he has allegedly failed to agree terms with teams ftom UAE, China, Turkey and Greece in yhe last 2 windows.

    I think it us more to him being a greedy git and over pricing himself out of favourable contracts.

    Must be all those wives he has to pay for

  • SuperShearer

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #19

    What Rafa is too nice to say here is “Oh yeah, and we’ve shipped out a lot of our sicknotes like Taylor, Colo, Krul, Obertan, etc etc,” – players who used to spend at least 50% of the season on the treatment table. Aarons is going to be so lonely this season in there with any luck.

  • Jib

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #20

    Betty’s question

  • Jib

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #21

    The obvious place for Tioté to go would be MLS.
    However his police record precludes him from that lucrative solution.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #22

    Mclaren didn’t spend any money last summer, those players were coming in under any of the McCardews. He supposedly had input towards Townsend and Shelvey.

  • MadisonToon

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #23


    That makes a lot of sense otherwise the difference in purchasing power will make it almost impossible for promoted clubs to make moves for PL-ready players.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #24

    Maddison I get where you are coming from but it would be a mistake in my eyes.

    For starters we should get top dollar for the players we want to sell next season who helped us go up.

    there will be three very rich clubs coming down looking to buy good championship players and will be willing to pay for it.

    Then you throw Villa and wolves into the mix (I dont see either going up this year) and you have 5 teams all wanting promotion with cash to burn and who do they look at? They look at the clubs that justv went up or were close to it.

    Benitez I feeli will then hit the spanish market and buy players who he knows can become top stars in the premiership.

    I dont see us buying many British players next year. We will after all still have a spine of British players at the club so buying continental internationals wont be a problem.

    That means they will be cheaper.

    So in essence we get top dollar for good dependable championship players who would struggle in the premiership and buy cheap international continental players that Benitez knows.

    It wont be enough to challenge for Europe (though you never know ofc) but will be enough to keep us up.

    Then we get the TV money and it moves forward.

    Promotion, consolodation, then attack the league by storm.

    Thats the way my friends and I see it anyhow, we ofc have discussed it at length.

    Completely hypothetical but makes sense to us.

    Benitez often bought Spanish players at Liverpool and often paid very very little for them.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #25

    Jail, yeah, you are right ofc but the point is just as valid. I should have said Carr and Charnley though

  • stuart no9

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #26

    an article in the papers today saying- no one at spurs knew or wanted soko at the club . Right at the death , Levy put the offer in without poch knowing. he had never been targeted even. Levy thinks kes good though. The same at chelsea regarding Luiz. Conte had 2 targets he was looking at untill Luiz’s mate Rom offered him an escape route from PSG. Its a very interesting season this one , hope things go tits up for them ., also man city not accepting Agueros 3 game ban coz they say ” the ref saw the incident, he must have seen it coz he was only 10 yds away” hahaha what a load of tosh , even if he was only 1 yrd away , hes still only got 2 eyes but might have been looking somewhere else. they are going to appeal – i think they have no chance . any thoughts lads ??

  • cyprus

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #27

    That’s the player, thanks.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #28

    Jib I think Tiote has stayed so he can negotiate as a bosman in january.

    I could be wrong like but it makes sense. He stays with us one season drawing premiership wages and gets a bumper pay deal off a new club in january for next summer.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #29

    Stuart many reports say Poch told Levy he needed him and to move in no matter what it cost.

    It makes sense in a way because all spurs really lack is the Sissoko type athlete who will do powerful runs all day:

    Problem is, Sissoko is only that type when it suits him.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #30

    I don’t concern myself with speculating on Keith Bishop’s machinations. It’s easier to discern the hand at work of old man Carr.

  • expatmag

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #31


    Might be best if we negotiate the cancellation of his contract now. Give him a couple of millon to sod off and he can nrgotiate his new club immediatrly……probably in Russia this time

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #32

    Expat do you not think he could do a job? Or do you think the rumours about him being a bad apple at the club are true?

  • clinath@ed

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #33

    Madison/Jib….I’ve asked a few times what monies were received for coming 18th last season, and where that cash would be invested?
    So with the £30M+ PLUS the £70M+ in the bank, the club’s finances are looking very rosy.

  • lesh

    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #34

    Rafa’s quite a guy. He’s had a hectic close season and transfer window and he’s still giving interviews – despite the international break.

    I’d have thought that Charnley ‘ll be off for a couple of weeks but moreso that either he, Ashley or Mrs Rafa would have told him to get away from football for a couple of weeks rest.

    What a character.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Sep 2, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #35

    Interesting points. But why would the Standard focus on this transfer and not any other of all the many? If anyone should know this is commonplace, it’s Harry.

    As for interest on the instalments, no doubt it’s commonplace. In this case it would mean £30m headline is actually worth £30m. However, there’s no rule to say that interest must always be part of the contract. Ashley might have foregone the interest, making the value of the transfer to be considerably less than £30m. Nevertheless, no loss of face because the club can claim they wouldn’t budge on £30m and that was the “headline” figure that was agreed.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #36

    Clinath most of that £73m (thats what we got for finishing 18th) will go on wages. Not all ofc but a big big chunk of it.

    If you look at the rest of the premiership very very few teams spent £70m plus on top of what they received.

    Some toon supporters (Im not including you ion this) think we are completely different though and we get ton spend all of ours on players.

    It makes no sense to me but you cant convince some people.

  • MadisonToon

    Sep 2, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #37


    I think it sounds like they are if we pretend that those finances go only into the transfer kitty, but there’s no way that’s true. How do we pay for the improvements at Benton? How do we pay for player salaries each week? Since the club is going to get that money guaranteed, I have a feeling that they use it for recurring costs primarily and one-off costs when there is excess and it is needed. There’s no way that 70m is just waiting i the bank to be spent.


    Makes a lot of sense. I like the plan and we’ll see how it goes. Lots of homegrown players purchased this season so Rafa won’t need to worry about overpaying for local talent next year and can let a few leave while replacing with cheaper players from the continent of the same or better calibre. HWTL

  • MadisonToon

    Sep 2, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #38


    Spot on.

  • funlovingexpress

    Sep 2, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #39

    Lesh I think Mrs Rafa knows him well enough. He wouldnt rest. He just doesnt. Hes like us, he breathes footy.

    He even watched a match on his honeymoon by all accounts.

    I bet he had a hand in the honeymoon destination too just so he could get to watch who he wanted.

    Hes just that kind of guy. So so passionate about the gamer we love.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 2, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #40

    If only the kindly Mr Ashley would write off that 130M we owe him things really would be looking healthy.


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