We have seen some pundits and former players explain that one thing Newcastle have to do to control games more is to have more possession and we haven’t had an awful lot of possession in the games we have played so far this season.
For instance we had very little possession in the game at Bristol City after we took the lead in that game, but we still managed the 1-0 win.
Rafa has been explaining how teams – and Newcastle in particular – can win games in many different ways.
Rafa Benitez on the training pitch
He has also talked about some of the discussions he had during the Elite Coaches conference in Nyon on transfer deadline day, when the coaches looked at the possession stats during games and what it had to do with the result.
This is some of what Rafa has said before our game at Derby County today, which is the late game and kicks off at 5:30 pm this afternoon:
“It was interesting because in Nyon with the Elite Coaches Forum we were talking about possession.”
“In the Champions League, teams with more possession are winning around just 30% of the games now.”
“So the stats – you can analyse the stats how you want – but I’m not someone who says: ‘Oh we need possession to play well.’”
“Sometimes you can play well with the ball, sometimes you can play well counter-attacking, and sometimes you can play well without the ball and defending well.”
“Possession is not the main issue for me.”
That seems to be a message to his players that however a game is going we can still win it.
That’s what good teams do – whatever the situation in a game – they find a way of winning it – somehow.
And Rafa is simply saying there are many different ways to win games.
To have more possession than the other side doesn’t seem to mean too much these days and as they say – it depends what you do once you have the ball that really matters.
What do you think?