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Howay The Lads!!

Rafa – Championship One Of Strongest Leagues In The World

2:43 pm, Friday, September 23rd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 81 Comments

Rafa Benitez has quickly learned the Championship is one of the toughest leagues in the world with 46 games to play and teams quite regularly playing two games a week.

By October 1st we will have played 13 games in total, including EFL Cup games, since the league started on August 5th – that’s all in 57 days.

The football may not be as skillful as in the Premier League, but compared to a lot of other leagues in the world it’s very competitive and extremely tough getting through a season.


This is the message Rafa has sent out today before a match with Aston Villa, which is itself a huge club

They won the European Cup back in 1982 when they took Bayern Munich apart 1-0 in the final in Rotterdam with a goal from Peter Withe after 67 minutes.


Here’s some of what Rafa has said today in the build-up to the game tomorrow at Villa Park:

“There are lots of good players, managers and big clubs in the Championship.”

“It’s one of the strongest leagues in the world – fifth or sixth in terms of money and people.”

“It’s really important and the big clubs mean it’s getting bigger.”  “This is a big game and shows how important the Championship is around the world.”

“For us it’s important to win every game.” “We know about the rivalry and we will make sure we will put all the effort in.”

If you analyse what Villa have it’s a big club with big players. People expected them to be near the top.”

“They’re still a massive club.”

Newcastle have three games to play before the next International break, which starts a week tomorrow after we play at Rotherham United.

Aston Villa tomorrow and Norwich City at home are the other two games.

It would be great if we can win all three games.

Howay The Lads!!

Tags: Championship · Coaching · EFL · Newcastle News · Press · Press Conference

81 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    Aye a lot of us were hoping they would get relegated, just goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for, that one bit us in the *rse

  • 2 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Should we hope they get promoted straight up, have we got a Karmic connection, that means we go up with them as well?

  • 3 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    Bobby you appear to be thinking along the same lines as me team wise, I’d intended to include Murphy, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa isn’t thinking the same way.

  • 4 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    No body getting on the train now standing on the blog platform!!

  • 5 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    How many can I get in before someone else posts.

  • 6 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    I want three wins from those games but would be happy with a win and two draws.

  • 7 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    Ner ner dee ner ner! 🙂

  • 8 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    Bill, good chance to see what Preston are made of tonight, with their game against local rivals sunderland – sorry! WIGAN. Wigan and sunlun are an easy mistake to make, with both clubs just surviving with late runs over and over again. 🙂

  • 9 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Right, gonna go now and watch Yorkshire’s run chase in the cricket. Could be very entertaining. Later.

  • 10 Hail Wor Ashley // Sep 23, 2016 at 3:17 PM


    Rafa bingo shot.

    Personally would go for MItrovic and Gayle together. Mitro can drop a bit deeper.

  • 11 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Yorkshire Struggling!!

  • 12 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:31 PM


    Comment 8

    Perhaps they should twin, both of them on the lower end of the most desirable places to live in the UK.

  • 13 welshgeordie9 // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Just like to say I won’t be on for a while, my old man is on hospital, the c word has started so it looks like he’s going to be in for a while.

  • 14 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    Sorry to hear that Welshie. Not quite as bad as it once was though matey, so keep ya chin up kid.

  • 15 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:53 PM

    Got the tv and tablet now, so best of both worlds. Exciting finish on the cards with the cricket. As long as Bresnan is there they have a chance…

  • 16 welshgeordie9 // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:54 PM


    Thanks mate.

  • 17 Rotonda heights // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:57 PM


    with the best will in the world and despite better performances of late, colback is no scott sellars. that little guy was absolutely sublime.

  • 18 Rotonda heights // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    is bresnan still in?

  • 19 Legolas // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:58 PM

    Sorry to hear that Welsh. Good luck mate, hope he is better soon.

  • 20 Munster Mag // Sep 23, 2016 at 4:58 PM

    Bobby and Co, hope all well. Havent been on much….rafa has a big call re who to play as striker now…tomorrow will tell much.

  • 21 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:01 PM

    What an exciting run chase. Bollix! Bresnan gone. Unlucky, but the wicket’s offering nothing to the batsmen at all. Going to be difficult from here on in though.

  • 22 clinath@ed // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Best wishes Welshie

  • 23 Legolas // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:03 PM

    Confirmed Rafa bingo line up:


    Yedlin Lascelles Hanley Dummett

    Ritchie Colback Shelvey Gouffran



  • 24 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Munster, yo! Right now I think Murphy offers more than Mitro if I’m honest. That said, sneaky feeling he’ll stick with Gayle though to start. Depending on how it goes, he might make a change after an hour.

  • 25 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:07 PM

    Yorkshire left with no choice but to go for it. A draw’s no good for either team so it’ll be shit of bust. Exciting viewing though.

  • 26 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Oh well, looking glum for Yorkshire now with Gayle going. Down to the tailend.

  • 27 GeordieTwo // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Give your dad lots of positive support welshie. It will make all the difference to him. Best wishes to you and yours.

  • 28 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:10 PM


    Best wishes mate, keep your chin up and stay positive, I am going through the same thing with my younger brother at the moment, and his positively is keeping me bloody going.

    On the football front, I think Gayle will start too, and though it may be a tough game, if we start well I think we will win, going for a sneaky 1-0 to the TOON!

  • 29 GeordieTwo // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:11 PM

    Good wishes to you too firebug mate. Many cancers can be beaten now. Stay positive.

  • 30 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:14 PM


    aye that’s what Iv’e told him, but he accepted the situation and what has to follow, is cheerful and enjoying himself as much as he can so all’s good.

    Thanks though mate I’ll pass on your good wishes.

  • 31 GeordieTwo // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    Seems like Gayle has to prove himself over and over again. Many strikers don’t appear to be doing much – except scoring that is. He may fall into that group. Let’s see where he is in another 10 games if he gets decent playing time that is.

  • 32 Legolas // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    Best wishes Firebug. I know to well what this horrible disease can do to people.

  • 33 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:19 PM


    Cheers marra, I will pass on the best wishes from you as that always lifts people.

  • 34 lesh // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:23 PM


    I’m in Turkey for a few days and one of the reasons I came to where I am was to see two Turkish friends – one of them has had treatment for the big C and here condition’s abated. Her hubby also has it and is undergoing Immune treatment as part of a trial and his is under control and he’s responding to treatment. So, with strength and support, life’s there to be lived.

    Have faith in the medics but positivity is the key word.

  • 35 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:24 PM

    This is my shout for tomorrow, it’s a re-post from earlier in the week.

    firebug666 // Sep 22, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Ok Jail 5 points this time ??

    Confirmed Rafa Bingo Lineup


    Yedlin, Lascelles. Clark, Dummet

    Shelvey, Hayden

    Richie, Diame, Gouffran


  • 36 Legolas // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:25 PM


    No bother at all bud.

  • 37 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    Aye, best wishes firebug. Had a call off the doctor Monday morning myself and have to go for the camera up and camera down check. Just hope the clean it properly first! Appears all the blood tests I’ve been having have shown that I’m anaemic and have been for a while. Not surprised like, the amount of blood they’ve been taking. Not worth worrying about until the results come back though. She seems to think I’m losing blood internally somewhere, hence the scare and tests. Not too worried because I think I know where the blood loss is occurring.

  • 38 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:28 PM


    Couldn’t agree more mate. My wife has just got back from Istanbul last week after visiting her mum who is also undergoing treatment, the woman is 83 years old, and is still out and about having meals with friends in between hospital visits etc, what a woman, an inspiration for us all.

    I love to visit Turkey, it a fascinating place.

    Hope you find time to have fun mate.

  • 39 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    Yorkshire about done. Middlesex champions.

  • 40 GeordieTwo // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    All the best to you as well Bobby mate. You’ll get through it with flying colours.

  • 41 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    Well, that finished rather rapidly! 🙂

  • 42 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    G2, my gut reaction to the call wasn’t what you might expect, which is why I’m not too worried. Here ya, give you all a laugh as to why I think I know where the blood loss is: haemorrhoids – piles of em. Been the bane of my life. 🙂 To me, that’s the most likely reason for my anaemia. No need to laugh too loud like!

  • 43 Jail for Ashley // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:36 PM

    As soon as Ed has done is line up thread which he done earlier then you can post your bingo line up, it will then make it easier to find,

  • 44 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:36 PM


    I hope all goes well for you marra, if I was having blood loss I think I might have to replace it with a bit of alcohol :D.

    But on a serious not, Stay positive mate, I don’t know much about being anaemic to be honest mate or what they do to treat the problem, though I know what it is, I offer you best wishes though marra as I know from this blog you have been through an awful lot over this past year. But you seem to be a positive guy, I have the strength to pull through.

    Keep your chin up marra, we are all with you in spirit.

  • 45 Jib // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:40 PM

    Roland Jones knocking on the England door
    You cannot begrudge Msex that victory

  • 46 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:40 PM

    Cheers firebug, for not laughing at my piles! 🙂 Aye, not been the best twelve months of my life but the back is slowly improving so I’ll always remain positive. Anyway, only tests and like I say, I suspect I know the reason for my amaenia.

  • 47 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Jib, no mate, they certainly cleaned up the tail rapidly and got what they deserved from a very generous declaration. Fair play to them.

  • 48 Jib // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Under previous coaching regimes it seemed to be 5 steps forward and 6 or 7 steps back (at best )
    Under Rafa it’s 7 steps forward and 1 step back !
    I’ll take that all day

  • 49 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    Getting excited for the game already. A draw wouldn’t be a bad result and a win would send out a real message. Can’t wait for tomorrow night now. Gonna watch Preston tonight to see what they’re all about. Our advantage is having two really good teams and the ability to chop and change without weakening the team too much. Definitely got the strongest squad in the league – stronger than some PL clubs.

  • 50 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    Flaming Sissoko ‘glad to be free of Newcastle’. Is he having a laugh? Not as glad as we are to be shot of him. What a tosser.

  • 51 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 5:58 PM


    Yeah I’m looking forward to the game too, I guess I’m quietly confident we are gonna come back with the points like.

    Villa have not been at their best, and their best wasn’t that good, so I think we will just have that bit more.

    Away from home we have been very good this season so I expect the same type of performance again tomorrow.


  • 52 lesh // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:01 PM


    You seem to be having a time of it me owld son. What with your back and now you’re set to have your photo taken!

    I had the camera up some years back and I must say, I thought if this is what it’s like being that way inclined…… well, least said the better!

    Keep a haad bonny lad cos yill soon be mekkin that much good blood, there’ll be enough to myek black puddins.

  • 53 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    Cheers lesh, wasn’t looking forward to that bit like! Nor the camera down to be honest. Probably puke my ring. 🙂 So I take it they don’t put you under first? There’s one hope gone! Still, whatever will ge will be. As much as I know I won’t enjoy it, if it’s got to be done, cest la vie. Is it really that uncomfortable? Daft question really! 🙂

  • 54 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:13 PM


    Never had a camera down but did have one up, they don’t put you under for that one, but all you get is a little discomfort in the tummy as the camera makes its way around the intestine.

    Nowt to worry about marra.

  • 55 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    Anyway, got things to do for a bit before the Preston game starts. Probably catch ye’ll later if you’re on.

    Bit harsh on Burnley, Andre Grey getting a four match ban for something that happened before he was even there. I agree he needed to be punished, but a ban is hurting the team more than him.

  • 56 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    Cheers firebug mate, makes me feel better. The unknown ain’t nice is it. Discomfort I can live with. To be honest, not sure how they’ll get the camera down, because I gip if I gargle. Gip even more if they go up first and don’t clean it properly! Lmao!

  • 57 tonynufc // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:26 PM

    Evening lads. Little question about the seats at St James. Now I’ve I’ve.been in many seats in my lifetime but never in BAM u u. Does anyone have idea of where it is. Because I can’t find it on seating plan anywhere. All I know is that it the Milburn stand. Cheers

  • 58 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    Welsh and Bobby, best wishes to both of you.

    Cancer is a horrible illness I doubt if there’s a family in the country who hasn’t lost a relative or friend,

    But as someone else said many of them can now be, if not beaten, but certainly alleviated. Just hope your dad falls in the better category Welshie.

  • 59 Tsunki // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    This is obviously the place to come if your thinking of looking up old friends 🙂

    Reminds me of that phoenix nights episode where “The Saint” goes to the clinic for the camera up, lies on his side, doc poses with the scope ready and he says “oh look at that – it’s filthy! Nurse- give it a wipe”….Sainty looks concerned until the nurse gets a cloth and wipes the monitor… 😀 all to the radio playing “You saw the Whole of The Moon” in the background ha ha

  • 60 Tsunki // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:40 PM

    Just a bit of levity on an otherwise onerous procedure you understand…..

  • 61 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    I remember having a camera down donkeys years ago because of a suspect stomach ulcer,

    They put me under but I remember waking up during the procedure and I was burping my head off, this set me off laughing. They must have upped the anesthetic as the next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital bed.

    Wasn’t painful or uncomfortable and I was able to go straight home afterwards.

  • 62 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:46 PM

    The game is on Sky tomorrow at 5.15.

  • 63 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    Firebug, sorry I missed you out but best wishes to your brother as well.

  • 64 Belfast // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    I had the camera under when I was checking my piles.

  • 65 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:55 PM

    Bobby, my grey cells are getting a bit jaded now but didn’t we have a similar situation to the Grey one with Joey?

  • 66 Belfast // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    You understand Tsunki ?? 🙂

  • 67 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2016 at 6:59 PM


    Cheers marra, I shall pass on the messages tomorrow, little things like that lift people, though he is happy enough, certainly not the moping type lmao.

  • 68 Jail for Ashley // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    Get your Rafa bingo line ups in, it’s not too late.
    Despite what the sneering Jib is saying I am looking out for winners and points tally’s, not sure why Belfast tried to throw a spanner in the works last night.

  • 69 Belfast // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    My jokes are always followed by an interval.

  • 70 Belfast // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    Boycott bingo !

  • 71 ShirebrookToon // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    Is this boycott bingo any better than Rafa bingo like?

  • 72 Belfast // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    Entering a retro team since my entry doesn’t count Jail.

    Given; Barton, Watson, Albert, Beresford; Gillespie, Lee, Batty, Barnes, Tomasson Asprilla.

  • 73 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Rafa bingo confirmed

    Yedlin Hanley Lascelles Clarke
    Colback Shelvey
    Ritchie Diame Gouffron

  • 74 sing in the corner // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    It’s pretty sad, but typical of Villa, that they haven’t release any more tickets after the Toon’s allocation of 2800 tickets sold out early.
    Sections of their ground have been closed off apparently due to poor attendances. They don’t want to be outsung by the magnificent travelling toon army.
    But they might be anyway!
    Howay the lads and fans together!!

  • 75 WWSBRD // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    Tbf why would they want their home ground to feel like an away one?

  • 76 Jail for Ashley // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Much better, you can’t win or lose with boycott bingo.

  • 77 sing in the corner // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Hopefully it will anyway! They might not get much of a crowd with it being on sky, and they started indifferently.

  • 78 WWSBRD // Sep 23, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    I dare say itll be mainly northern voices heard Villa aint got the fans it used by by all accounts

    Id say poorly rather than indifferently mate 1 win this season

  • 79 Ron Knee // Sep 23, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Preston North End – The name takes me back to the old BBC teleprinter. Nostalgia, eh!

  • 80 Jail for Ashley // Sep 23, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    It’s strange to see our fans giving Villa who are sitting in 18th with half the points we do the benefit of the doubt by saying they’ll come good yet we’ll struggle despite being third with the best GD in the division.

  • 81 lesh // Sep 23, 2016 at 9:28 PM


    They sprayed the back of my throat to anaesthestise it before the camera went in. It won’t stop you gagging – that’s the natural reaction, but if you’re lucky, they’ll let you see the screen and thus your insides. Interesting to see.

    There’s nowt to be fret of.

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