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Rafa Benitez Gets More Fabulous Praise In Spain

8:31 pm, Friday, September 16th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 49 Comments

Rafa had got more excellent publicity in his native Spain today, this time in publication AS after he was given a great write-up in Marca earlier in the week.

That followed Tuesday night’s fantastic 6-0 win at QPR, which was our biggest away win in the league since back in 1962 when we hammered Walsall by the same score-line.


Rafa Benitez – getting some success at Newcastle

AS reports the Spanish coach has changed the dynamics of the team after the first two defeats and Newcastle are now second in the standings in the Championship.

AS then lists 10 reasons why they think Rafa has Newcastle winning their last five games in the Championship:

  1. Mind-Set – Getting the players mentally ready for every single game – it will be a tough game and we must respect our opponents
  2. Defensive Strength – Rafa has already strengthened the defense considerably and we are currently on a five game run of clean sheets and have gone 495 minutes without conceding a goal
  3. Youth In Captaincy – Rafa appointed 22 year-old Jamaal Lascelles as the captain after he showed considerable leadership skills last season when more experienced players didn’t – most of whom have now left the club
  4. Rotating the Squad – as Rafa did at Liverpool he rotates the squad to keep the players fresh and when they do play they do their utmost to keep their place in the side
  5. Jonjo Shelvey – Rafa has for this man playing near his best form over the last few  games and when he is on form and motivated we know Jonjo is some player
  6. Reduction of  Injuries – Rafa replaced the 3G technology indoor pitch with the latest 4G technology pitch that has helped to reduce the injuries.
    Rafa also reconfigured the inside of the training ground with lighter colors and installed comfortable sofas and the like – so there was more space and amenities for our players to fully relax between training sessions
  7. Productive Set Pieces – before the game at  QPR 8 of our goals in the first 10 came from set pieces.
    Rafa does set piece drills in every training session and this is really paying off for the team
  8. Road wins – last season we won only two away games at Bournemouth where we were really lucky and Spurs when we scored the winner in stoppage time.
    This season we have already won our last three away games in the league with that improved mentality Rafa  continually stresses with the players
  9. Fans behind the team – the Geordie fans are right behind Newcastle and simply adore Rafa – and to prove it they keep singing Rafa’s name during the games – all the time!
  10. Summer signings – we made some really good signings this summer such as Matt Ritchie and Rafa finally cleared out the deadwood at the club – and there was a lot of it

Rafa seems one of Spain’s favorite sons, but that is hardly surprising given his great record in football management.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News

49 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Sep 16, 2016 at 8:49 PM

    Rafa es Díos!!

  • 2 Graeme // Sep 16, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    In Rafa we trust!!

  • 3 Ron Knee // Sep 16, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Chelski getting hammered here!

  • 4 Jib // Sep 16, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    Summer signing Matt Ritchie has been awarded Newcastle United’s Player of the Month for August

  • 5 hibbit // Sep 16, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    Rafa’s the Gaffa no doubt about that !!!!

  • 6 Ron Knee // Sep 16, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    Chelski fight back!

  • 7 Lanzatoon42 // Sep 16, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    Your rite rafa is God

  • 8 Shadow_Shearer // Sep 16, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    Rafa is the perfect man for the job. I wouldn’t even take mourinho over rafa if I had the choice. Mourinho would only stick around a couple of years & f off. Rafa is happy with a long stay.

  • 9 GeordieTwo // Sep 16, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    I have seen the light. And he is Rafa.

  • 10 GeordieTwo // Sep 16, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Pep is pretty good too.

  • 11 Shadow_Shearer // Sep 16, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Screw pep, mourinho, conte, klopp, wenger, pochettino, alledyce, & alan pardew!!!!

    There’s only one rafa benitez!!!

  • 12 Shadow_Shearer // Sep 16, 2016 at 10:54 PM

    I forgot to say screw carver & mcclaren aswel.

  • 13 SPRINGY // Sep 16, 2016 at 11:00 PM

    confirmed rafa bingo line-up

  • 14 Spotlight Kid // Sep 16, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Confirmed Rafa bingo line-up

    Anita — Lascelles – Clark — Dummett;
    ——-Shelvey ———— Hayden
    Ritchie ——— Perez ——–Gouffran;

  • 15 beermonkey // Sep 16, 2016 at 11:20 PM

    any1 know if the match will be shown anywhere ??

  • 16 SPRINGY // Sep 16, 2016 at 11:22 PM

    beer monkey
    try checking’s site for overseas viewing if it is theres a chance it will be on some channel,if not just be the at the stadium and nine bar.

  • 17 SPRINGY // Sep 16, 2016 at 11:23 PM

    looks like theres no overseas coverage, so probably wont be on.

  • 18 beermonkey // Sep 16, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    why is it when I am at work were on tv and I cant see it and when I am off were not on

  • 19 Tsunki // Sep 16, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    it’s because they are trying to tell you something.

  • 20 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 17, 2016 at 1:09 AM

    Only coming on to make a comment because I often do at this time. Don’t even know what I’m going to say as I’ve had a great night with a bunch of friends.

    But I’ve had a Wakering Wench which just happens to be a fantastic real ale from a local micro-brewery and not a loose women plus several other pints of ale.

    Anyway getting back to football I see that spotlight kid has followed my lead and gone for the obvious line up. I would love Rafa to prove us wrong and chose the totally different second choice line up and still thrash Wolves with Murphy getting a hat trick.

    So good night to the night shift as I drift into an alcohol induced torpid state and dream of Rafa leading us up the Tyne to the gates of EPL glory. Toon 10 Wolves 0

  • 21 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 17, 2016 at 1:12 AM

    Damn just realised he picked Clark and not Mbemba, just goes to show, don’t try to be clever if you have had a few.

    Bed time, definitely.

  • 22 TyneMouth // Sep 17, 2016 at 1:55 AM

    The home game today against Wolves will be the third game, in a series of seven, between two international breaks.
    In a 22 day period, Newcastle will have to play 7 games; 6 Championship (2 home, 4 away) and one EFL cup match, (H).
    Obviously two games have already been successfully played. But it would assumed that a proficient manager/coach would have put in place a strategy to prioritize the ‘must win’ games.
    The home game against Norwich, (wed 28) must be the highest rating ‘must win’ game. The cup game against Wolves, next Tuesday could be Rafa’s next biggest priority, simply for him to honour his promise to respect Newcastle’s commitment to the Cup campaigns.
    Both these games could/should require selecting a very strong team. This will inevitably have a knock-on effect on the selection of players for the games before and after the ‘must-win’ matches.
    The coincidence of back to back games against Wolves, (cup & league) complicates this theory, but Rafa may consider the importance of winning the cup tie as a gesture towards further distancing his methodology from the previous regime.
    Plus, he won’t like to be beaten by another Championship team, especially at SJP.
    Just a thought…

  • 23 Magtoonpie // Sep 17, 2016 at 2:06 AM

    I think the mentality is and should be that they are all must win games.

  • 24 The overrated Frenchman // Sep 17, 2016 at 2:34 AM

    TyneMouth – “the previous regime”? I assume you don’t mean the Fat Fred era. Ashley, Charnley and Carr are the mainstays of the current “regime”, and as such were responsible for the methodology as you say that had us relegated as well as humiliated in the cups. We shouldn’t forget that. Rafa’s arrival has hopefully changed the mindset of the incumbent regime perhaps.

  • 25 jimmysmith // Sep 17, 2016 at 3:11 AM

    Rafa Bingo tip. Benitez will earmark the “tougher” fixtures, and he will have a sense of his best 11 and plan, as well as he can, to have those players fit and fresh to start for as many matches possible without causing them too much duress and for those tougher matches in particular. His favoured 11 will become more apparent over the next half dozen games.

  • 26 one fine day // Sep 17, 2016 at 3:16 AM

    anita mbemba lascelles dummett
    hayden shelvey
    ritchie perez gouffran


  • 27 Lindisfarne // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:02 AM

    I have an inkling that Ritchie will be rested for the Cup match, which may provide Atsu with his first start. To compensate for the potential greater loss of possession Colback may start in midfield with Hayden. Although Atsu could also start as #10 with not much else changing, the term ‘bingo’ is well founded.

  • 28 Ron Knee // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    So Sunderland go to QPR next Wednesday. I wonder how they will get on!

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    I had a dream last night that Rafa said he’ll be playing a 4-4-2 this afternoon, sets up my Mitro Gayle pairing quite nicely.

  • 30 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    Some mackem on Total Sport last night Ron Knee, dismissed our result against a second rate QPR and Ando said I wonder how many goals you’ll get down there. Such a shame we’ll not get to play them next year. Third round of the cup would be great.

  • 31 hibbit // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:33 AM

    i quite like the sound of Pick N Mix
    just about sums the team selection for me

  • 32 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    Have you had a good at Rafa bingo hibbitt?

  • 33 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:51 AM


  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    Rafa bingo will get easier when the AFCON and injuries start kicking in.

  • 35 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    Who do we lose to AFCON, Mbemba, Atsu and Lazaar. Is that it?

  • 36 Lindisfarne // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:56 AM


    Did you have a good nights sleep or were you over excited?

  • 37 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:00 AM

    I had to be up at five so pretty shit sleep to be honest. Gutted watching SJP disappear from view this morning 🙁

  • 38 Lindisfarne // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:08 AM

    I think Mitro will get the opportunity to improve his match fitness, with Murphy playing in the Cup. Perhaps Gayle playing today and Perez on Tuesday.

    My Bingo cards will be:

    Gayle – Diamme – Atsu
    Colback – Hayden
    Dummett – Clark – Hanley – Anita

    Gouffran – Perez – Ritchie
    Shelvey – Diamme/Hayden
    Lazaar – Lascelles – Mbemba – Yedlin

  • 39 firebug666 // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    Last game I predicted a 2-0 win for the Toon, and the proudly scored 6 without reply. Today then I will 3-0 to the Toon, regardless of the team he puts out they will all want to show their metal.

    This could be a bad afternoon for Wolves.


  • 40 firebug666 // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:14 AM


    Are our lads playing rush goalie? 😀

  • 41 Lindisfarne // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:14 AM


    Clock watching with your eyes shut. Happy travels, no worries on the home front (fingers crossed). I may continue to snooze just to rub it in.

  • 42 Lindisfarne // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:16 AM


  • 43 Jib // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    It’s nice to see Toon players on loan do well.

    Siem de Jong has had 2 full games for PSV’s second string , has looked sharp (and scored a goal ) , and is deemed ready to join his brother in the first team.

    With a bit of luck he could return to form and next Summer NUFC may get the player they thought they had signed in July 2014.

  • 44 Lindisfarne // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:19 AM


    I have forgotten to put the goal keeper in but I normally put him at the bottom so the left sided positions are on the left of the page as you read it and conversely on the opposite side.

    I call it the KK format, start with the forwards.

  • 45 firebug666 // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:21 AM


    PMSL @ KK Format!

    I think it will be all Sels except the cup games when Darlow will get a run out.

  • 46 Jail for Ashley // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:23 AM

    Just seen a toon fan at Newark North gate going the opposite way to me, if his train comes soon he’ll be in the toon at half ten, that’s a canny sup before three o clock.

  • 47 Lindisfarne // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    De Jong could well be a potential money saver when/if we are promoted. But as he did not seem suitable to the PL it is more likely a mini-cash cow.

  • 48 SUTTY1978 // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:25 AM

    I was watching SSN when we played QPR, they show the championship goals as they go in. One thing that was apparent was how shockingly bad the goalkeepers are. About 50-75% of the goals scored you would expect to have been saved if they were in the premier league. It’s the biggest difference in quality between the two divisions that I’ve noticed.
    It’s probably why strikers can have a great goal return at this level and then can’t replicate when they step up.
    With a shoot on sight policy you can probably score a couple a game without breaking sweat.

  • 49 SUTTY1978 // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    I see Henderson is being lauded for his wonder strike last night. In my opinion it was a slightly poorer imitation of Shelvey’s effort on Tuesday.

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