Rafa Talks About Targets Newcastle Couldn’t Get In

Rafa Benitez was pleased once the transfer window closed because he then had his squad in place for the season (he will probably add to it in January) and he could get to work on things like set plays and get the players organized and telling them what he wanted from them.

Rafa gave a number of interviews yesterday as part of the build up to our game tonight at Derby County at the iPro (Pride Park) Stadium.

bas dost

Bas Dost – seems like one we couldn’t get in

Rafa was asked if he was relived that the transfer window had finally ended:

“Not relief. “But I think it was most important for us to know this was our squad, so we could start working on everything – set-pieces, tactics.”

“Whatever you want to do, you know you’re squad and everybody can listen and understand.”

“Before, when you have three, four or five players who do not know if they will be here or they will leave, it was hard to organize tactics and set-pieces.”

“When you say ‘I will prepare a corner’, and you have three players that are thinking ‘I will leave’, so they don’t put any interest in.”

“Now we know where we are. We will work the same way, but I think it will be more productive.”

“The business has been great. “Could be better? Yes. Could be worse? For sure. But I think we did a good job all together.”

“We have the players we want. “In terms of the positions and characteristic of the players, it could be better, because we could have two here instead of one and another one who maybe can play in this role.”

“I was really pleased, because these players know what we want.” “We were looking for a striker to compete against the strikers.”

“It had to be a big lad who could be a target man and who would be good in the air. We have that in Murphy.”

“We wanted a winger with pace. We have that in Atsu. We got what we were looking for. “I’m happy with the players we have, for sure.”

“We had other targets that we couldn’t get in because they wanted to stay in La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga or the Premier League.”

When Rafa mentions the Bundesliga, maybe that was in reference to Newcastle trying to sign Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost?

Bas ended up signing for Sporting Lisbon on 28th August and he is one who probably turned Newcastle down – so in came Daryl Murphy from Ipswich.

So we also seem to have had targets in La Liga and Serie A – wonder who they were?

Newcastle made a huge profit of about £31M in the summer transfer window, so we still have plenty of cash to add to the squad in January and we think Rafa will do that.

Maybe Alan Judge from Brentford will be one of the players coming in during January?

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Sep 10, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #1

    Come on Ed, don’t stick Das Boot in 🙂

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 10, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #2

    I love his little digs at some of our want away players without mentioning names.

  • Jib

    Sep 10, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #3

    You just love little digs – you girlie

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 10, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #4

    It wouldn’t have been that Insigne link which came up would it?

    Looking forward to the game today. Hope we continue the good form.

  • croftus5678

    Sep 10, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #5

    judge would be great esp if the fee is a low as we think as he can easily adapt to prem life if we get promoted.
    can the current squad we have cope and cope well in the prem ?
    imo if benny was in charge throughout we would have been top 10 last season in the prem with the team back them and i’ll stick my neck out here and say we have an even better starting 11 and a hell of a lot better squad wise than last season.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 10, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #6

    Get back on the White Lightening you snide 😀

  • AncientC

    Sep 10, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #7

    I see Will Hughes is a doubt for today… I hope he pulls through and makes it for the game – a very overrated player I would enjoy watch being given the run around by Shelvey & co.


    Some stats from Derby’s last championship home game against Villa. Derby’s lineup does not look like much to dread, and I doubt Pearson has had enough time to drill them as a functioning working unit yet.

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #8

    I think we will get a good result today as long as Colback doesn’t start

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #9

    Ermm, omg. S***! 🙁

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #10

    Good morning people it’s nice to be back after my internet problems.

    So what can we expect from today’s game, will it be all out attack and go for the 3 points or a more pragmatic approach where we keep it tight expecting a potential promotion rival to come at us so we can hopefully soak it up and nick the 3 points on the break, I expect it to be the later and I hope it works, as long as we don’t lose then I will be happy, against promotion hopeful teams like Derby, Sheff Wed, Norwich, Brighton etc in mho it is vital that you don’t lose, don’t allow them to make ground or push further ahead, we need to draw at least and if we win then that is an added bonus, that’s why the Brighton win was so good.

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #11


    How many times have we looked at our opponents lineup and said we have nothing to fear, to then get turned over !!!

    If Hughes is declared fit to play and he then turns out to be the the match winner for them, then I will hold you personally responsible for our loss, you should never tempt fate bonny lad, and you have done just that lol

  • toontaff2

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Need to put the day pass on for the Now TV box, get the beer in and hopefully a great evening watching us beat Derby!
    It will be interesting to see who starts as we now have 25 fit players, plenty of options and should have a very strong bench. HWTL!

  • giimps

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #13

    Can there be such a thing as a must not lose game this early in the season?
    I agree spoof, don’t lose it ,keep it tight first half, especially round the end of the half when our concentration has lapsed in the past, then second half bang the pace on get in behind them and get a goal early…..a win would be nice but a draw wouldn’t be a bad result

  • Jib

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #14


    This is the team that started against Brighton last time out.
    Apart from Gayle coming in for young Ayoze
    I cannot see Rafa changing too much – but remain prepared to be surprised.
    Diame should just about have his fitness back to 100% and playing Derby in the East Midlands is not the place to start untested players.

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #15


    must not lose game, at this stage of the season it sounds daft but I think this is one of then and to be it makes sense, look how close this league was last season and that was due to so many teams beating each other, well if we can win our fair share against the better teams but not lose any as so many did last season then that could be the difference.

  • Jib

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #16

    Anyone got VLC player ?

  • hibbit

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #17


    once a wum always a wum
    that right rob

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #18


    I posted an almost carbon copy of your team selection earlier in the week, but I did add that trying to second guess Rafa is probably more difficult than mission impossible, so the chances are we will have 3/4 of them wrong.

    Whats good about it though is that our opponents have no idea either and he has stipulated that he will pick a side to beat the opposition rather than allow them to formulate a tactic which will beat our normal lineup, if they have no idea what our line up will be and how will we approach the game then it must make it tactically harder for them.

  • Jib

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #19

    What I should have said is :-
    If anyone has VLC player
    Open it up
    Press Ctrl and N together
    The Open Media page will appear at the network page.
    Copy and paste this URL

    into the space provided
    Press play

    and Bingo you will get the Russian footy channel “MATCH” which shows loads of PL games

  • LGFUAD21

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #20

    Going back to the previous article on rafa on possession.

    I think the general thinking in football is shifting away from possession. We saw it with leicester last season and massively at the euros.

    Im very curious to see what pep does at city.

  • LGFUAD21

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #21

    Off to the game today btw. First game since WBA at SJP last season.

    Its interesting after games being on here and seeing the different opinions from those that streamed versus those that saw it live (naturally you will see different things from those perspectives)

    For once i can be on the other side of that fence.

    Tough fixture though and i do rate pearson as a manager. No predictions from me, im not jinxing it.

  • c-dog

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #22

    Anita Clarke Hanley Jesus
    Hayden Colback
    Atsu Ayoze Gouffran


  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #23


    Are you a Derby fan by any chance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LGFUAD21

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #24

    I will post a team though.
    Anita lascelles mbemba dummet
    Haydn shelvey
    Ritchie gayle gouffy

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #25

    None of us know who will start today yet under Mcardew it was a 100% cert we’d all know the line up. And to think the mark I version banned people from the training ground so they couldn’t see him shout to boot to Willo on the back post.

  • one fine day

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #26

    From last night
    Apologies for late response.
    Just checking back and saw your post in amongst the tantrums and melt downs
    I think any team would miss slater.
    Storm will be there at the pointy end I think
    Despite today’s result I still have a feeling Canberra may come through and surprise a lot of people have been pretty solid all year and I still rate Ricky Stuart from his days at the roosters.

  • Belfast

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #27

    Toontaff would it not be cheaper for you to subscribe to sky sports ? How much is a day pass ?

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #28


    I was saying earlier that predicting the team with Rafa and his rotations is virtually impossible, he doesn’t seem to pick to form, he picks a team for the opponents and I dare bet that none of us are aware of our opponents strengths and weaknesses as much as Rafa is so we have no chance of getting it right, mind one day he might shock us all by picking an unchanged side, now that would baffle.

  • hibbit

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #29

    without doubt Gayle for Perez should be the only change but with Rafa anything is possible

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #30

    baffle us.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #31

    I think Yedling will start

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #32

    I’m assuming you mean for Anita, not sure about that as Rafa does like his defence to be the first priority and as much as I dislike Anita I have to give credit where it’s due and he is good within a quartet which is what is needed in a defender, if Anita is to be rotated I would expect it to be for Gamez as he is probably more familiar to what Rafa expects from his defenders, but as we know, we know nowt, nowt at all and I certainly wouldn’t place money on a team selection.

    Tell you what mind, anyone wanting to raise money for a charity could charge a pound a guess for what his team would be for a match, with winning predictors to share a percentage of the pot, you could be assured that there wouldn’t be many correct predictions, Martoon done his predictions game, tell you what, Martoons game is dead easy compared to just guessing one of Rafa’s team selections lol

  • c-dog

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #33

    Ha! I think we’ve two team capable of winning the league.

  • Yo-yo

    Sep 10, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #34


    Still using “girl” or “girlie” as a term of abuse ?

    You should have your own column in Viz

  • outside the box

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #35

    my guess would be
    yedlin mbemba lascelles dummett
    shelvey hayden
    ritchie diame gouffran
    which gives option of switching to 3 at back …bringing mitro on for gouffy if needed to play alongside gayle

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #36

    Can’t see Rafa dropping Anita. Done an exemplary job at RB.

    LB has been the issue if anywhere, from a team balance and fluidity perspective. Think Lazaar has a decent chance of starting, but my overriding feeling is Rafa will be risk averse and simply bring in Gayle for Perez.

    Will be some disappointed players not in the 18.

  • lesh

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #37


    If you and others find forecasting line ups given the options available from the squad, then equally it must be tricky for opposing teams’ managers who find out who’s playing when the team’s given to the match officials.

    Certainly an improvement on previous years when line ups were pretty will a given, subject to injuries.

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #38

    Ince is their best ball carrier and attacking threat, I’m sure Dummett will start to try and nullify him. They have got Anya as well for the other wing so I think Anita will keep his place to stop him (and rightfully so). Can’t see any change to the back four

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #39


    read @18 and you will see that I totally agree with you.

    I can’t remember trying to predict a line up and getting it so wrong so often, but it is great to be in that position and I do believe that we will go up and we will hopefully have the same problem again this time next year.

  • Spoof

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #40


    I’m not sure that Lazaar has been bought in as a LB, if you can remember many of us thought that Hayden had been bought as a CB, we now know differently, but over the last two seasons which has been Lazaars best two seasons he has been played as a LW more times than as a LB, and bearing in mind that Gamez has featured equally as LB and RB then perhaps it is Anita/Yedlin for RB and Gamez/Dummett for LB with Lazaar being brought in to be a winger as we still don’t have two many of them, I could be totally wrong but it does seem a possibility.


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