Rafa Benitez’ Warning To Championship


Rafa Benitez is happy with Newcastle’s performances over the last five games in all competitions – all wins.

But the perfectionist in Rafa can see many areas in which the team can (and will) improve over the upcoming games – and he will no doubt be working on those in training.

And Newcastle will be in for some training this morning, as the lads prepare for the game at QPR on Tuesday night, which will be another challenge for his new team in front of a sold-out Loftus Road crowd.

rafa-benitez-arriving-at-ordue-oark

Rafa Benitez arriving at the iPro Stadium yesterday

Rafa is intent on improving a number of aspects of Newcastle’s game, but he did admit he’s really pleased with the team performance.

That’s good.

🙂

This is some of what Rafa said after the game last night:

“We had more control in the first half and scored a goal, which made it easier in that we knew what we had to do.”

“And in the second half, they were pushing and pushing, so it has been a tough game against a good team,”

“The main thing for me has been to see the team working as a team from the strikers to the keeper, and also the players coming from the bench, so that is a positive thing for the future.”

“But I still think there is plenty of room for improvement. My feeling is the team is doing well but still we have things we can improve on.”

“The commitment is there, they listen to us, so that is why we have to be positive and confident for the future, because the team knows what we are trying to do and work very hard.”

“We can improve in a lot of areas, in defense, in the middle, and in attack and the way we play the counter-attacks.”

“But, after that, I am really pleased with the team and the way they work but they know, we know, we can play better.”

One area we have improved in a lot is defense – and we look solid at the back now, after leaking so many goals in the Premier League over the last few seasons.

Rafa also has a number of players he signed late in the summer transfer window who have yet to make their debuts for Newcastle – and they include striker Daryl Murphy, left-back Achraf Lazaar and right winger Christian Atsu.

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Comments welcome.


92 comments so far

  • WWSBRD

    Sep 11, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #1

    gorgon
    Ur meaning is we will have to spend big when we are promoted…revaluation right there

    I think ur main reason is to find something to complain about because we are winning now

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 11, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #2

    Aye gorgonzola you’ll be able to post a lol frenzy as we get mauled from these technically gifted and expensively assembled sides. You’ll be literally wetting yourself laughing every time we lose five nil.

    0
  • DubaiMicky

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #3

    Well we’ve certainly improved the defence. I could probably have improved our defence after the last few years

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #4

    DM,
    More defenders were bought this summer than the last eight years combined.

    0
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #5

    Team selection will be interesting on Tuesday. Quick turnaround, anticipate many changes, though I think he’ll be reluctant to change the defence.

    0
  • magpie6699

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #6

    Great result, especially the clean sheet. The main positives for me are the commitment shown, the organisation and the fact that, as Ed pointed out earlier, we have competition / back-up across the park which will be essential with the heavy schedule and potential for injuries.
    I don’t doubt that we will have some losses and dips in performance but it is nice to see a team that can win without necessarily hitting the heights – sign of a good team? And it’s great to have a manager who talks such good sense and to be able to watch the TV and read the blogs and papers and not have to hide away to avoid another depressing report.

    0
  • expatmag

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #7

    We eony have to worry about these expensively assembled teams in the PL in a few years as they will be playing in the world super league in china america uran or antarctica.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #8

    Tuesday evening the same time as us at QPR
    there will be playing

    PSV v Atletico Madrid
    Bayern Munich v Rostov
    Man City v Mgladbach
    Kiev v Napoli
    Barcelona v Celtic
    PSG v Arsenal
    and more
    Not much chance of a stream methinks.

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  • expatmag

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #9

    Wont

    0
  • hibbit

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #10

    not sold on gayle or perez leading the line both just a bit lightweight for me

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  • expatmag

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #11

    HIBBITT

    The goals seem to be more evenly dispersed around the team rather than relying on out and out goalscorers.

    It was i teresting to hear that 7 of our 10 league goals to date came from set pieces

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  • WWSBRD

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #12

    I have a feeling Mbemba and Ritchie will be rested with Hanley and Atsu/Perez coming in against QPR

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  • Ian Toon

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #13

    Achraf Lazaar- his family of around 6 people were standing not far behind us in the crowd. I say that because he looks a younger version of someone I took to be his Dad. Hope they get to see him play soon.

    Diame- was listed in programme as a key one to watch but he was probably one of our poorest players.

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  • sing in the corner

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #14

    Ian, baller, Manx and a few others…
    I just think we get sucked in to thinking everyone in the team has to do every aspect of the game every game, or they get slated for it.
    Horses for courses, regular rotation. It will suit some players wether they like or realise it,or not.
    For example, the widely over-hammered Colback / Dummett. Years ago there was a place for the likes of McCreery, Kenny Wharton, more recently David Batty. Loved them in a different way from Ginola, etc!
    I think there still is a need for this type of player, and one or two of these can improve under Rafa.
    Nowt wrong with having big engined whole hearters in the side.
    And if they are northeast lads, don’t care how this is perceived, but So Much the Better.

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  • Vask

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #15

    Jib from a fee threads back re: Americans in toon.

    Did not Guiseppe Rossi not score for us? He may have had only duel citizenship.

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  • Vask

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #16

    Nevermind he didn’t score

    0
  • Vask

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #17

    Ah my double negative meant I was correct the first time.

    0
  • hibbit

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #18

    expatmag

    not meaning there goal scoring more there holding and the threat they provide both get bullied far to easy for me think we need a more in ya face player leading the line
    it you play one up front he needs to be able to cope with these big CH not seating on there backsides for a lot of the game

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #19

    Vask,
    Well done for spotting that but he never managed goal.

    0
  • Slank

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #20

    Hail Wor Ashley @ 5

    I think there will be very few changes for Tuesday.

    Perhaps Darlow for Sels.

    Can’t see the back four changing. As a unit they operate very effectively as the recent results have shown. Perhaps a second half substitution, depending on the result, for any of the four except the captain.

    Perhaps Hayden for Diame. Rafa seems to like Hayden. Although Diame had our best (only ?) scoring opportunities in open play against Derby.

    Perhaps a forced change with Gouffran taking a rest and making way for one of the new boys.

    Perhaps Mitrovich or Murphy replacing Gayle.

    0
  • Ian Toon

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #21

    I would start with Murphy who I think didn’t travel – Ritchie looked a little jaded surprised he wasn’t pulled – maybe after internationals.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #22

    Good point Vask
    He only played 11 games for us (8 as sub ) his only goal in 2006 against Portsmouth in the 3rd round of the League cup at SJP.
    Although born in New Jersey I think by th time he played for us he had changed his nationality back to Italian.
    Good effort though

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  • colwell

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #23

    Its not too hard defending against a team that has scored 1 in 7 games. We do look better at the back but why is it we never go at teams,we have so much more quality in our team yet seem happy to sit back? Sels still looks dodgy as fcuk mind Elliot is by far our best GK.

    Fait play to Gouffy proving this is his level exactly what we need this season.

    0
  • nut meg

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #24

    Vask
    Ron Wergele was the first,born in S.A. he was naturalized as a US citizen in 1991. He scored his first goal in the PL in 1992 while playing for Blackburn Rovers.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #25

    Jail
    The problem with using Google is they only register League goals.
    Ha ha ha
    😀

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #26

    Born in New Jersey. (I think.) Ha ha what a load of guff.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #27

    nut meg
    We are talking about for the toon – knuckleheid

    0
  • nut meg

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #28

    Roy Wegerle even

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #29

    Yes Jib,
    What a complete footy no nowt I am, should have said league goal.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #30

    Jail
    Just cos you know Mr Tuff off blog – htere is no need to be as dim as him
    Although born in New Jersey – (pause for breath) – I think by the time he played for us he had changed his nationality back to Italian.

    0
  • nut meg

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #31

    Jib
    Back to your old self eh jeff.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #32

    passes nutmeg a Kleenex ©
    It’s only been said that it’s for the Toon about 20 times – jeepers

    0
  • Ian Toon

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #33

    Jib- They are a pair of agent provocateurs just ignore the same boring posting from them . I’ve just ignored his dad for weeks and life is so much more enjoyable just being positive- I sense the blog as a whole just wants to enjoy the mood which comes from a return to winning football matches. Why be as miserable as them.
    Just my opinion.

    0
  • Ian Toon

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #34

    Who’s Jeff?

    0
  • Slank

    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #35

    Ian @ 21

    I thought Gayle looked a little jaded.

    Perhaps Rafa will surprise us and drop Ritchie and Gayle for Mitrovich and Murphy.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #36

    Ian
    As bettyswallocks said a while back
    having a battle of wits against those two is so unfair and it goes against the grain to fight unarmed men.

    0
  • Jib

    Sep 11, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #37

    Rafa can be ruthless
    I can see Armstrong being recalled in January if Gayle / Mitro are not delivering.
    Did you notice Armstrong was wearing his NUFC squad number (32) yesterday ?

    0
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 11, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #38

    Lads
    I can see quite a few changes with his squad rotation

    Can’t see him replacing Sels
    I can see him keeping the back four
    but I can see the midfield changes maybe bringing in Hayden for Colback or Shelvey,
    resting Goufran after his hip injury which could take a few days to clear up
    And maybe play two up-front Perez/Gayle and Mitrovic

    Who knows

    I think the Cup Game against Wolves could see a shadow team with all the new signings

    0
  • Ian Toon

    Sep 11, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #39

    Slank- Gayle 4 goals in 6 appearances – was below usual standard . Maybe – it’s really hard trying to get inside Rafa’s mindset – Ritchie didn’t seem to have as much running in his game as I had seen.. Just as well Rafa knows what he’s doing.

    Watching us play the covering, backing up, running off the ball anyone would think this was a totally new team- LOL He’s injected a disciplined approach where everyone fits into a team concept, which looks to nullify the opposition before looking to win the game.

    Not going Gung Ho as someone suggested we should against so called weaker sides. Complacency remains a risk. Just because we convincingly beat Derby doesn’t mean we’re going to roll over QPR.

    0
  • Ian Toon

    Sep 11, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #40

    Jib — Ha ha. I do sense an awakening on the blog. A desire to get enjoyment, a release from every day happenings. Certainly the toon following and support at Derby was as good as for many seasons.

    0

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