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Rafa Benitez And Newcastle Make Headlines In Madrid

10:32 am, Thursday, September 15th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 57 Comments

Spanish newspaper Marca in Madrid have an article out today about Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United and how they are on the up in England’s second division.

Marca are reporting that Newcastle now have five straight wins in the Championship and that our investment in new players in the summer is starting to pay off.


Rafa Benitez – success at Newcastle

The headline is “Benitez taking Championship by storm” – and they point to the masterclass 6-0 defeat of QPR at Loftus Road on Tuesday night.

The article points out that the Championship is regarded as one of the most competitive leagues in the world, but that Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle are starting to do really well.

You have to remember  that in Madrid Rafa is  a native son – and just like in Seattle they report on how well DeAndre Yedlin is doing on Tyneside,  it’s much the same in Madrid with Rafa.

They point out that Aston Villa were also relegated with Newcastle in May, but they are struggling in the league at the moment.

Villa drew 1-1 at home to Brentford last night and they are in 17th place with 7 points from their first seven games.

Five league wins on the trot and four clean sheets and they think Rafa is currently doing just fine on Tyneside after those early defeats to Fulham and Huddersfield Town in our first two games.

You can bet the Marca paper will be checking throughout the season on how Rafa and Newcastle are doing.

Hopefully we will get lots of good news in Madrid this season – because we continue to do extremely well.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Newcastle News · Other News · Transfer News and Rumours

57 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    As long as they don’t want him back.

  • 2 Jib // Sep 15, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    I don’t want to get you too excited , but we have a Winter window to come yet with loadsamunny in the coffers.
    If we tear the League up this Autumn who knows who may come in ?
    The winner of the player of the season may not even be on NUFC’s books yet !

  • 3 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    I’ll be surprised if we buy in January if we’re running away with the league.

  • 4 Jib // Sep 15, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Rafa plans ahead.
    He will be buying PL class players to bed them in for season 2017/18.

  • 5 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    I hope so Jib,
    Not like you to want Mikey to spend money

  • 6 lochinvar // Sep 15, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Clearly we’re a long way off the Fat Lady singing and everyone smoking cigars as far as the end of the season goes. However talk of signings in the January window if we’re in a strong position by then is interesting. Does that put us in a position to sign some new players (I hesitate in saying big names as that’s the last thing our current team need to see as they are our big team players now and for the future ) or secure pre-season contacts if these players are bold enough to sign up ahead of the 2017 season.
    One step at a time methinks….lets do the business first

  • 7 hibbit // Sep 15, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    it’s a long till january if Rafa needs to freshen it up he will
    lets just wait and see nothing can be done either way till then
    it could also depend on who’s available

  • 8 Jib // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Balkan and Polish sports TV are showing Ipswich v Villa on Sat (they probably think Mile Jedinak is Croatian )
    If we keep playing like Tuesday night they should start showing us quite a bit.

  • 9 Markaccus // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Just a guess obviously, but i can’t see rafa buying much in Jan, unless we have a couple of underperforming players, or long term injuries. If niether of those two things happens, then i woulf be surprised if he does any more than replace Tiote, who seems to be leaving either now or January, when he can sign a pre contract to leave for free.

  • 10 Markaccus // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:05 AM


  • 11 Markaccus // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:05 AM


  • 12 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Alternatively they know that Ipswich’s keeper is Polish…..

  • 13 Jib // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Good point Lilo
    and a 37 year old Peetrov

  • 14 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Can’t see much business been done in January. Maybe a pre contract if there is a player of interest eligible. I’d expect us to go back in for Judge, and depending on how well Atsu does, maybe make it permanent.

  • 15 Jib // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    But we have a current Serbian full international

  • 16 lesh // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:12 AM


    From earlier thread. You’re so right about the factors that influence employee (player) motivation. The environment, the company’s (club’s) overall aims, strategy are among many hygiene factors that influence staff performance.


    You to are right in referring to the structural changes Rafa’s implemented. They all help improve morale and thus motivation.

    What Rafa’s done isn’t rocket science but he’s done it ever so well. A top class man.

  • 17 jayphoto // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Guessing that money from transfers as premier league fund ear marked on it. The club will need 4 or 5 big money signings if promoted to push on as the level is a massive difference.
    Think our squad is good, doesn’t need adding to right now, the difference is from past years is that everyone in the squad can contribute and is being kept involved.
    If you look at positions players can fill we’re almost spoilt for choice, Couple of wingers maybe be nice but not essential.
    We have competent players who have experience in the following positions
    GKS- Sels, Elliot, Darlow
    RB- Anita, Yedlin, Gamez
    CB – lascelles, Mbemba, Hanley, Clark, Hayden, Dummet
    LB- Lazar, Dummett, Clark, Haidara, Gamez
    RM- Ritchie, Yedlin,, Atsu, Anita
    CM – Shelvey, Hayden, Colback, Diame, Tiote, Anita
    LM- Ritchie, Gouffran, Atsu, Lazar, Perez
    AM – Perez, Diame
    CF- Gayle, Mitro, Murphy, Perez

    Think we’ve got a really versatile squad where everyone will notch 15-20 appearances and can play a number of tactical set ups

  • 18 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    I don’t think the Jan transfer window will be ignored but 4 months on from the closing of the summer window our targets might be upgraded.

    If we are doing very well, strengthening for an expected return to PL will be uppermost rather than simply reinforcing for the final Championship push. That will hopefully mean that some on our wish list who weren’t interested in facing a full season down might be tempted.

    Precontracts could be of interest and as Lilo says likes of Judge will no doubt be returned to as it seems all parties were interested in deal but injury was delaying matter.

    Rafa did some very effective early business at beginning of last window and has lamented the difficulties later on as PL monies began to dominate market. Similar effect in January as relegation threatened sides look to strengthen but you would hope if we are doing well and in competition for players we would again represent the better option (as with Ritchie, Diame).

    What I hope doesn’t happens (and doubt will) is that we don’t end up with panic buys or over-priced players just because money is there. If promotion chance are dipping( hopefully not) then totally different equation I suspect

    Keegan did make some good buys mid, early season e.g. Andy Cole, Robert Lee and Asprilla when side doing well so it is a good strategy if right players at right price are there.

  • 19 Jib // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    If there’s one thing Rafa learned from LPool rather than the other way round.
    It was the Shankly philosophy of buying when you’re winning.
    Terry Mac and Barney Rubble were bought from us when the reds were at the top of their game.

  • 20 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    On mentioning Asprilla there is a cautionary tale there as Press often blame hisFeb (?) arrival for our failure to seal Title challenge that season.

    I don’t subscribe entirely to that theory and felt then as now that KK tried putting out his best 11 which weren’t necessarily his best team. In particular shoehorning Beardsley into the side every week wasn’t always for the best.
    It does however demonstrate that buying good players when doing very well doesn’t automatically pay off.

    Subs were allowed back then of course but perhaps the game was still more 11 based rather than the now 14 from a squad being used in almost every game by every team.

  • 21 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:53 AM


    Quite right and didn’t play much in their first seasons either if memory serves. McDermott had been tapped up by Phil Thompson (then playing) reportedly and was bought for the future to replace someone I forget.

    Their transfer strategy (at the time of dominating English Football) was very effective buying early in most cases and selling on players who still had year or 2 at top left. Never threw on untried players or persevered too long with those clearly coming to end of their top level play. They usually had their pick of players as Leeds had waned and Man U were in their struggling phase.

  • 22 Ron Knee // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    To send a shiver down the spine:-

    “Ohio centre stage as Trump takes five-point lead in key state”

  • 23 jayphoto // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    think fergie did that to some extent too. Rarely see a player leave Old Trafford in his 25 years that hadn’t seriously been about to decline. Reckon their rooney situation now would have never happened under him.
    Think January is expensive, wouldn’t surprise me if judge came in, that sounded like it was a done deal but I’d expect the club to be working on contract expiry deals for the summer

  • 24 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Benitez will be looking at recruitments for life in the premier if and when we get promoted and I think will buy in the winter if its a good deal.
    Talking of the here and now, I can honestly say I have not seen the TOON so together in many a long year. Grounded, hard working and thank God without any prima donna’s or even worse the superstar Sissoko.

  • 25 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:06 PM


    I think Fergie had seen the sense and success of the Liverpool way when he arrived at Man U andwith a good budget and once he got them on the way back up sensibly adopted a similar strategy. The club even in the barren years after Busby still had a charisma ( deserved or not) and could still attract players but usually Leeds and then Liverpool had the first pick.

    When an upgrade was available or players had upset him they were out and some went on to have good careers elsewhere ( e.g. Strachan at Leeds).

    Rregrettably we never benefited and he usually saw us coming and conned us 🙁

    Fortunately it seems that Mackems are now the rest home for unwanted Reds 🙂

  • 26 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Have we got an understudy/competition for the rapidly developing Shelvey?

  • 27 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    We have an exceptionally talented manager/coach and I am sure he knows the way forward. Ashley please leave him alone to do his work!!!

  • 28 TyneMouth // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    A major concern regarding the January transfer window is not who we bring in, it’s who might leave!
    The PL clubs are awash with TV dosh, some will be desperate. The Cl clubs may need recruits. We could be vulnerable to big money offers.
    Should we survive the winter sales with the team core intact, then we will know how much control is really in Benitez’s hands, and the level of involvement/interference from the fat controller.
    If we are smiling in February then the Rafalution should be televised…

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    The way it’s being played out it doesn’t look like anyone is an understudy, is Shelvey even guaranteed a start on Saturday, Rafa bingo should be fun again.

  • 30 Jib // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Was Terry Mac bought to replace Ray Kennedy? (a mackem supporter from Seaton Sluice !)

  • 31 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:13 PM


    Think the togetherness of the manager,coaches players and fans underpins successful clubs. Any manager has to always be aware of the dangers of certain players /factions splitting dressing rooms but especially those rebuilding.

    Whatever Rafa said about Sissoko ( and Wijnaldum) in public (to keep up prices) in private and in conversation with his coaches and having studied our recent past I am sure he would have been hoping for them to go and for whole squad to buy into his rotation and all pull together.

  • 32 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    Same with Jaanmat, did he really want to go to Watford, maybe Rafa wanted shot of him.

  • 33 expatmag // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    JIB @ 2

    If we are tearing he league apart come January, It would probably be wiser to keep the money until the summer and promotion is achieved and adding the 30 million to the pot for next summer signings

  • 34 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM


    I am sure Benitez wanted a fully focused and committed Sissoko remaining at the club but he isn’t and didn’t.
    Totally agree with your comments in first paragraph mate.
    The TOON are on the move, big time.

  • 35 WWSBRD // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Judging by the murmurs coming out of the various Rafa reach out meetings he wanted shot of Gini and in the end just rang Klopp and hashed out the deal himself, happy deal all round

  • 36 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:20 PM


    Not sure on that ( good Geordie lad on hard times in later years) but thought he went there from Arsenal around same time as Terry ?

    Kennedy had played up front for Arsenal as I recall and was maybe bought as such but was moved back into midfield later for Liverpool and was very efffective there. Can’t recall whether they played together or not but they were around in mid 70’s

  • 37 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:24 PM


    Not sure we are going to need a lot of replacements in the summer as I feel the team we currently have plus maybe one or two in the winter/ or summer can continue to massively develop under Benitez and his coaches.
    We are in very capable hands at long last in my view.

  • 38 WWSBRD // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    Also by the sounds of it the transfer window plans were done as soon as Rafa signed on again, so I imagine provisional plans are being put in place right now for Jan (if not already set with Judge)

    No idea what we will be looking for though Id expect some players ready for PL football and we will see some departing who wont be good enough

  • 39 Shadow_Shearer // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    From what I’m seeing, IMHO I don’t think we need signings in January.

    Yedlin & Lazar look really good, but are still to play a full game. Clark & Hanley have prob played like 2 full games each, both have a goal. Gamez is another one who’s hardly played, & hayden can cover cb.
    These guys can cover back four twice over & the wings.
    We have four central midfielders, don’t need a fifth.
    Gouffy is doing well again & deserves to be in the team, then there Ritchie who is top man. Astu who can come on also.
    Upfront we have murphy who’s not kicked a ball for us.

    Only position I can think of needing another player is AM. With only perez & diame. But then again do we really need an AM?? Astu can cover there also.

    If I was benitez I wouldn’t buy in January, save for end of season when we go to premiership.

  • 40 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:28 PM


    I am sure he did but was astute enough to realise that with us relegated it was never going to be the case.

    He talked up a good price and held his nerve ( unlike the mess Rodgers made of an unwanted Andy Carroll when he took over at Liverpool).

    He would have got something out of Sissoko if he had been forced to keep him but I think we have the better scenario right now.

    I doubt we would be doinf as well with him still here.

  • 41 expatmag // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    Rafa has a great deal of work to do still between now and the summer assuming we gain promotion.

    He has a number of ayers curently in the squad to assess as whether premier league capable or not.

    He has quite a lot of players on loan. Mist will probably be moved on and any fees gained from the likes of Dejong Saviet Riviere Thauvin etc will cone in as a handy boost to the coffers.

    He will need to asess whether the youngsters out on loan in particular Armstrong and Sterry are to ve rerained in the squad or loaned out again.

  • 42 expatmag // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:33 PM


    I agree. We will not need a lot but we will need a bit more qyality and experience and they dont come cheap.

    Even kids like Atsu will probably cost in excess of 15 million quid these dats.

  • 43 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    I’m getting concerned at the amount of games I’m missing, pure bad luck on Saturday, can’t turn work down to watch football though. Going to have to start persuading mates to go to away games.

  • 44 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:36 PM


    I agree. Rafa is nothing if not pragmatic. Gamez had been brought in, he was already presumably considering Anita as a possibility at RB in Championship so with reasonable money on offer ….

    I do not think it is coincidence that those whom the fans were getting upset about ( bar Townsend who is different) have gone.

    Not saying he bows to fan pressure but that he has assessed what was plainly wrong at club and facing what was a very difficult time coming up and acted decisively.

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    Have you thought about predictive text, sorts all kinds of typos out. Has it’s downsidestill as well mindset.

  • 46 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:43 PM


    Agree with all your comments, Benitez may also attempt to improve the youth set up with some exciting young players.
    When I really think about the TOON now I can see a liverpool in the 70s model being developed.
    I am running ahead of myself in fantasyland with the last comment but here’s hoping and fingers crossed.

  • 47 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Aye, three players that have had themselves deliberately sent off are all gone.

  • 48 Mister Tuff // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Jib Jibberish – interesting to hear that Ray Kennedy was from Seaton Sluice.

    Cosmic forces must have uplifted 24 Milbourne Terrace from Seaton Deleval and transported it to Seaton Sluice – several miles away.

  • 49 Jail for Ashley // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    It has to be a matter of time before Beardsley is given the ambassadorial role and removed from the U23’s with all the coaches from top to bottom on the same page.

  • 50 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:47 PM


    I hope Atsu is in the 30 million bracket very soon and we have an agreement for 3 million.
    Anyone watch Atsu down in London the other night?

  • 51 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Jail for Ashley

    Wise words indeed mate.

  • 52 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:49 PM


    Even as a ticket holder i think you may struggle to get away tickets this year. you might get in home end ( although some recent posts suggest that may be difficult if registered with NUFC as you pesumably are)

    Cash turnstiles? Don’t seem to be as prominent these days.

    Interesting ( and of course dangerous) being in home end when Toon are away and have had some enjoyable and many depressing times at places as varied as Leeds and Middlesbrough ( in PL) Notts County, Barnsley, Grimsby and others I struggle to recall.

    Best one I recall was at Grimsby ( in seats) when we finalised promotion under KK and this season already has a similar feel to it more than the one under Hoots by contrast.

    Oh and Notts County League cup 1-7 victory in (93?) but didn’t celebrate at time!!

  • 53 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    on Atsu wasn’t deal loan to buy? if so fee usually agreed beforehand so hopefully so if he is a success for us.

  • 54 magscar // Sep 15, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    On way out on another wonderfully warm day. Thanks for chat, catch up later

  • 55 Novocastrian66 // Sep 15, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    If you haven’t already seen this youtube footage of Tuesday’s game, it’s worth a watch.

  • 56 ITUNDERASHELL // Sep 15, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Off out as well to buy some paint for the kitchen tiles. Onwards and upwards guys.

  • 57 WWSBRD // Sep 15, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    Ita pretty hard to judge Pedro though we don’t know how good he is because the club has ignored the youth set up since before Ashley took over

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