Newcastle looked like a real team on Saturday at Derby and that’s something you coudn’t accuse Newcastle of last season under head coach Steve McClaren, when we were a complete and utter mess too many times in our games.
Think 6-1 at Manchester City and 5-1 at Chelsea, when we looked the worst team in the Premier League and by a long way too in those two road games.
They were embarrassing for Newcastle fans.
Rafa Benitez – happy in training
It’s always good to read the reports of the game from the other side – and the word on Newcastle on Saturday from the Derby press was that our team was well organized, compact and efficient – and we won the game fairly easily.
After the game on Saturday Rafa was asked how come the team is now defending so well; this is what the manager said:
“It’s not just the keepers, the defenders – but the midfielders, the strikers. Everybody knows their role and they try to do that.”
“Even in the last 15 minutes when Derby were pushing and throwing a lot of balls into the box, Ayoze Perez came in, Jonjo Shelvey was going to press, DeAndre Yedlin was doing well.”
“So we knew what we had to do and everybody is trying very hard in defence and in attack.”
“The interesting thing was that after the international break it could be dangerous, because maybe players lose the focus, but we did well.”
“The team was very concentrated and all the players were helping each other, talking and were concentrated.”
“So I’m really pleased because still we have plenty of room for improvement, but you can see that players are concentrating.”
“They are helping each other and they are ready for the next challenge. That is what you expect from a winning team.”
“If we improve a little bit in some decisions then we will have more chances,”
“Especially when we are away and the other team is high, this is the time we need to be a little bit better and kill the game.”
Newcastle looks so well organized these days and the players know exactly what they have to do in all the different situations.
That’s basically good coaching and we have one of the best at Newcastle in Rafa Benitez and it’s starting to show through.
We love it and it’s been a long time since we’ve felt so proud of the team.