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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Rafa’s High Hopes This Season – More Than Just The League

1:05 pm, Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 14 Comments

Obviously the number one priority for Newcastle this season is to get promoted back to the Premier League and if we cannot do that it’s going to be a sobering failure indeed.

That’s especially true after the way the club has been run over the last four years – very poorly to say the very least.

We’ve been close to a complete shambles – certainly last season that’s what the club was.


Rafa Benitez – wants to do well in the cups

But we do expect Rafa to be able to get us back up, if only because we expect the team to get better as they come to grips with the Championship and Rafa gets more and more time to coach the players.

But we also think that Rafa’s goals for the season are bigger then just promotion – and that’s another reason he ensured the squad is a big one – and it seems a good one too.

Rafa wants to have two good cup runs and who knows – maybe he can even get to the final of  one of the local cups – we’re sure he’d just love to do that.

Benitez has even hinted at that when he was interviewed in the Chronicle today about the EFL Cup tie tonight against Wolves:

“We have to do everything to go through.” “You know that it’s an opportunity to have some success.”

“The priority is the next game as always – especially in the league.” “But at the same time my idea is to try to win in every game.”

“If you have to change players because you want to be sure to keep everybody on their toes, then be it.”

“However, I am convinced that the team we will play is capable of winning.”

“You never know in football but I know it has to be a strong team.”

There’s a high percentage of fans – four in five – who think we can beat Wolves tonight and reach the last 16 of the League Cup.

That would be good – really good.

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Tags: Coaching · EFL · EFL Cup · Newcastle News · Poll

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 toontaff2 // Sep 20, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    RAFA’s EFL bingo line up:
    Yedlin Hanley Clark Hazaar wof woof!!!
    Colback Shelvey
    Atsu Gayle Gouffy

  • 2 MadisonToon // Sep 20, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Confirmed Rafa bingo lineup

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . Darlow
    . Yedlin . Lascelles . Hanley . Clark
    . . . . . . . . .Colback . Shelvey
    . . . Atsu. . . . . . Diame. . . . . . Gouffran
    . . . . . . . . . . . . .Murphy


    Hopefully Mitrovic and Lazaar come on at 60′

  • 3 Legolas // Sep 20, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Confirmed Rafa bingo:

    Yedlin Hanley Lascelles Clark
    Atsu Shelvey Colback Gouffran
    Mitro Murphy

    I haven’t been on for a while as it put’s me in a bad mood when we lose but I wanted to ask you a question, Charlie in the gallowgate. You mentioned Shelvey wasn’t great on Saturday in your ratings but on the radio Mick Lowes and John Anderson said that it looked like our main threat was from Shelvey. I know they all didn’t play to the standard expected but just thought I would ask you as you can never get a true reflection on the game listening on the radio.

  • 4 Bobbybee // Sep 20, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    As I posted last night, this is what you get with Rafa. He’s always done it his way – rotation – and surely everybody clamouring for him to stay knew this? They should if they follow the game. Then again, 129 have voted for the draw in a game that will finish tonight even if it goes to penalties after extra time. There are no draws in this competition and Rafa will always use his rotation system – these are football facts of life.
    Clint has it right when he says the rotation system will come into its own later in the year, when other teams are tired or injured. We can either do it the way some of you want – a system that’s failed repeatedly – or we can do it Rafa’s way; a successful way. Look at what he’s won and then tell me you know better. The players themselves are getting used to the system, so give it time. Some of you talk about Rafa like he’s a clueless novice ffs. I guarantee he knows the game tonight can’t finish in a draw.

  • 5 TyneMouth // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM


    Confirmation, Rafa Bingo. Cup team sheet;

    Yelin. Mbemba. Lascelles. Clark.
    Heyden. Shelvey.
    Ritchie. Perez. Gouffran.

    Onwards and upwards!


  • 6 Bobbybee // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    Maddison, I was there on Saturday mate and nobody came out of it covered in glory. It was the worst performance this season by a distance. It doesn’t matter who’s opinion you get, it will always be just that – an opinion. Different people see the game differently, but I think we can all agree the performance was pants. Terrible in fact. These things happen though and often happen folowing a superb performance. have a piece on it – results following a hammering. Worth a read.

  • 7 TyneMouth // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    Rotation and injuries.

    Tonight we will play our tenth game this season, that will be a fifth of the minimum number of games scheduled for 2016-17.

    Ten games, one on-field injury, (Aarons).

    It would be interesting to compare the ratio of injuries to matches played over the last few seasons, pre-Rafa Rotation…

  • 8 Bobbybee // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Tynemouth, spot on marra. Over the last few years we’ve had, by far and away, the worst injury record in the league. It’s cost us points – lots of them. It’s not by accident that we’ve only got minimal injuries thus far. The modern game is all about having a strong squad and every one needs to be able to step up when required. Not many of our squad have yet to play and those are likely to get a chance tonight. If we played the team he wants for Villa tonight and it goes into extra time, those whining now would be saying ‘he should have known this and rotated the squad.’ Some people just live to be miserable 🙂 I trust him to do it his way and succeed. We’ve been down the ‘eleven purples’ road and it was disastrous. If this was his first job in management they might have a point, but it ain’t. He’s a serial winner and he’s bringing that winning mentality to Newcastle. Long may it continue.

  • 9 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    I posted this about a million threads ago so I’m re-posting purely so that I can remember my Rafa bingo team.

    Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 18, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    I’m happy to post my team for Tuesday now. Due to Jib’s intel I’ll make a minor change, I assume that’s OK

    Jail Rafa bingo

    Yedlin Hanley Lascelles Clark
    Colback Shelvey
    Richey Gouffron Atsu

  • 10 clinath@ed // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    cheers Bobby, didnt think anyone read my rubbish

  • 11 Budge123 // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    You could read all sort of things into injuries per game compared to last year – we are in a less intense league for example. Perhaps injuries are lower in Championship in general.

    What is a fact was we dropped 3 points we shouldn’t have.

    Momentum , confidence all gone.

    Rotation is great when it works pants when it doesn’t

    Easy to say after the event but I feel we are defending rotation just because it’s Rafa doing it. If he continues to rotate and we continue to drop points we shouldn’t. It and he have to questioned

  • 12 Bobbybee // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Never heard you talk rubbish yet clint. You’re bang on about how the rotation system will show itself later in the season, when other clubs with smaller squads struggle with injuries and tiredness. Ours will be still fit and all capable of stepping up when and where required. This is nothing new for Rafa, he’s done this throughout his managerial career and had huge success with it. I bet you didn’t put a draw for tonight either! 🙂

  • 13 MAUTITOON // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    sorry to say but,i find no way this newcastle team as it is to gain automatic promotion this year,its not gonna happen,even not with benitez in charge,expect nottingham to blow seven against us without any surprise.some were saying wolves were brave to even temppt a 433 away from home and it paid them 3 points,

  • 14 MAUTITOON // Sep 20, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    we already have 3 loses and believe me,more are on the way,sorry but promotion,nah,not this season

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