Benitez Bemoans Missed Chances – 2 Dropped Points

A late header from Tshibola after 89 minutes gave Aston Villa a 1-1 draw against visitors Newcastle today, after Tommy Elphick’s first-half own goal had put the Magpies ahead in a first half that Newcastle completely dominated.

Bu we missed our chances in the first half and didn’t defend well enough in the second half, so the result was a disappointing 1-1 draw and two precious points dropped.


Rafa Benitez – disappointed with draw

And that’s now 5 points we have lost to Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion in the last two league games since they have won both games.


The main culprits in the first half were Dwight Gayle and Mohamed Diame who wasted far too many of the chances they got and the game should have over by half-time.

But it wasn’t.

This is what Rafa said after the game, which is  a second successive disappointment for Newcastle fass following our shock 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves a week ago:

“We were so dominant in the first half we could’ve finished the game and now we’re talking about another thing.”

“That’s football, you have to take your chances and we didn’t do it. “We made some mistakes defending in the second half and we have to give credit to them but, for me, the positives were the first half.”

“And the negatives were the mistakes in the second half and that we allowed them to stay in the game.”

“We had a lot of chances, so many clear chances we could finish the game, but in the second half we have to defend a little better.”

“It’s key for me to be consistent and we have to keep calm and work hard.”

“You could see a great team in the first half creating a lot of chances but the final score means we didn’t take our chances, not that the team wasn’t good enough in the first half.”

After nine league games played we thought we’d have more than the 16 points we have on the board – in 2009 we had 22 points after 9 games played and were top of the league.

It could be a lot more difficult this time around.

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57 comments so far

  • lochinvar

    Sep 24, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #1

    Haven’t caught up on the details of the game yet and only saw the late news of the result.
    That’s 5 points dropped in two games so clearly need to have a good win against Norwich . Worth giving Murphy a start with Ritchie and Yedlin ?


    Sep 24, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #2

    I Blame Both Diame And Gayle For Missng 4 Easy Chances, If One Of Those 4 Misses Would Have Gone In No Pressure On Our Defenders

  • stuart no9

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #3

    every one on tyneside knew we needed a CF in the summer, we proved that today , everyone on tyneside knows that sells is not first choice , that was proved today as well . if benitez keeps playing him we wont win this league. After Diame missed that sitter today villa started playing . THey knew we wernt going to score again after that and that gave them the incentive to create a couple of chances knowing that sells is a dodgy keeper . how right were they??

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #4

    We are reasonably placed, but we don’t look like a title winning team yet. Rafa needs to sort out the GK, LB, AM and CF. We have the players, but not as yet the right blend consistently. Any 11 would probably finish top 6, and much of this is also down to Mitro’s sending off and consequent stuttering star to the season. Gayle up top on his own is not looking as if it can be remotely adequate. Diame not a true number ten. Dummett solid when you need more, and Sels now a real concern too. Rafa must bring in a big striker with either Perez behind or in tandem with Gayle. Lazaar needs to be given his chance at LB, or Clark given a run of games there, I think. The keeper is an issue, because Darlow has not been seen as quite good enough, and so why would Rafa think any differently now.

  • Bambams

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #5

    Diame needs a goal. Still not sure he deserves a place but if we play Gayle we need a target man. Looks like Rafa doesn’t rate Mitro or he would play him.
    It’s horses for courses.

    Dummet can defend but can’t pass. I like the lad but it’s a position we can improve on…Just look at Yedlin.

    Sels is a decent keeper and reminds me of Pav when we first signed him. Just give him time to settle.

    We need to beat Norwich. It’s as simple as that.

    One point today is not that bad…Unless you are Villa
    They needed to win.

  • stuart no9

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #6

    jimmy – totally agree. we looked a million miles off title contenders in the 2nd half , but its not just today . We cant afford performances at home to be as pathetic as the wolves game when you have a tough game away the next week , we have to take something from our home games every single week to allow for disasters like today . 5 really bad points dropped in a week .. Must do better

  • Munster Mag

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Comment #7

    As usual if I question the manager Jail has a heart attack. A positive approach would have won this game but we can’t seem to unleash our talents. Sorry but we need to attack teams more, end of. We didn’t buy the right type of big mobile striker in the summer as I said weeks ago

  • yorkymag

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Please stop changing the team
    Find a formula and stick to it

  • NoahJ

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #9

    how can he demand consistency, when his team selections are completely inconsistent?

    I don’t blame gayle for the missed one on one- it was entirely created by him, so it’s less culpable.

    Diame’s was poor- I agree, he needs a goal to get his confidence.

    Sels- I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough of his flappy, indecisive performances. his record looks good because he’s had an excellent defence in front of him. every time I see a corner or cross I cringe- I pray Rafa is planning on putting Eliot back in when he’s fit; I don’t know what darlow has to do to get a chance- he’s been excellent in the cup matches this season

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #10

    Pav commanded his six yard box and was vocal
    Self hasn’t a clue take the goal – 1 minute of normal time he should of came collected the ball to take the sting out of the game.
    what did he do – stood on his line came out went backwards sideways then back onto the line then got beat with a downward header at the back post. Give me bloody strength .

    don’t know if you were there Tuesday night – Darlow gave a display on how to command your six yard box – caught every ball that came in – then held up play or through out to one of his players

  • yorkymag

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #11

    I agree just back from Vila and I think Rafa got it wrong today with his changes they were too late and we handed the momentum to Villa
    Of course we should have scored a second and third but havin not got the extra goals we handed midfield to them on a plate by changing things far too late

  • sing in the corner

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #12

    Totally agree Charlie.
    The difference on Tuesday night was like night and day. You can see the outfield players don’t have the required confidence in him, nobody knows what he’s going to do. Darlow made the 6 yard box his own, Sels continues to dither and always ends up in no mans land.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #13

    So annoyed with the result tonight if we had finished properly it would have been a similar scoreline to the QPR game !!

  • JamesToon

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #14


    Agree mate, just annoyed at how many deluded people on here and twitter saying about how Rafa was to blame for this draw…b0llocks, he can’t be blamed for poor finishing, yes he may have got us to sit back a little too much, but we defended well, apart from when players like Tiote over doing it and giving the ball away cheaply

  • JamesToon

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #15


    Prior to wolves, we had a 6 game winning run, whilst rotating the team, was that not consistency??

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #16

    James, I agree.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #17

    He’s got a problem up top, because for a variety of reasons none out of Mitro, Murphy, Gayle, Diame or Perez have done enough so far to claim the spot regularly. Time can sort this out to a large degree as Mitro and Murphy get up to speed. Elsewhere we do have regulars or an effective rotation of players. Lazaar also has needed a little time to stake his claim at LB. Rafa is correct when he says the side can get better, although in truth it will have to.

  • JamesToon

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #18


    Thing is, what I hate about this fanbase is that people seem to overreact to something not that bad. A point away to villa really isn’t a bad result, by the way the game panned out, we should have killed the game off and paid for that by only coming away with a point. This result has papered over the cracks for villa and their fans who are ecstatic about a draw, because they were nowhere near our level in the first 60 mins, we completely bossed them, and if we had scored our chances and still had the same last half an hour and won 3 or 4-1, fans would be on here saying what a tactical genius Rafa is, but because we didn’t take these chances, people are pinning all the blame on him???

    People need to get a grip and realise this league isn’t how it was when we were last year, it is stronger and more competitive. We are only gonna learn from these mistakes and become stronger.

  • JamesToon

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #19

    During the 6 game winning run people were saying how great the rotation policy was and saying how it gives everyone a chance and improves competition for places, now we DRAW (not lose) one game and start saying that that is what is making us not win??? so irritating don’t know why I bother with this blog sometimes.

    We’re not invincible we’re not gonna walk the league. But what we do have is a world class manager with arguably the best squad In the league and a group of lads who are committed to the cause

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:43 PM

    Comment #20


    Yeah in the first half it was one of the best performances from the Toon in a long time Villa could not breathe the workrate and some of our passing moves were lovely especially Yedlin and Richie

    Yedlin going off injured and moving Hayden turned the game I would maybe have brought on Hanley as a 3rd centre back to deal with the crosses

    If we could play like the first half against Norwich I think we will beat them maybe even comfortably if we can finish the chances !

  • JamesToon

    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #21


    I agree mate.

    Dunno if you saw, I thought Sels was poor today but some of the abuse he’s got from fans on Twitter is absolutely vile and disgusting, he’s actually deleted his Twitter account now.

    So called “fans”

  • Belfast

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #22

    The goalkeeper is probably the only player we signed in the summer that he had to argue to sign. We didn’t need a goalkeeper. So that was his big call in the summer window.

    I think he’ll persist with him for this reason. (Sadly) lol


    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:04 AM

    Comment #23

    sels didnt give me much confidence earlier this season,but i put that down to new club,new team mates,new everything really…so it will take time to settle,i acctually thought in recent games he was starting to turn a corner,flapped at a few today but needs time….this may get me some stick but i’m starting to lose faith in mitro,thought when he came on he looked as knackered as the players who had been on the pitch since the beginning….he may not touch the ball when he comes on as sub but he could chase and close down defenders a lot quicker then he did when he came on… was down to missed chances and not being ruthless enough….but a point away from home is better then nowt away.

  • manxpie

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #24

    james he wasn’t poor so if thats true its a total disgrace!!
    please tell me how he was poor?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:10 AM

    Comment #25


    Thats shocking if he has had to delete his Twitter account its not going to help him long term FFS! We did need a keeper bought in the summer as Darlow would still have been the only one available because Krul and Elliot are still injured!

    Although I think the time is right to rotate and take Sels out the firing line for a little while

    On Mitrovic I don’t think we are ever going to get the best out of him at the Toon under Rafa the boy looks unfit and could get sent off at anytime not sure Rafa can trust him which is a shame because we need a player who can score from headers and hold the ball up

  • manxpie

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:11 AM

    Comment #26

    he “flapped” at 1 after having 3 players on him ffs wat do people expect?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #27

    Also thought Clark and Lascalles were excellent today wouldn’t mind seeing them get a few games together

    Clark seems to be getting the mistakes out of his game ironed out he took no risks on the ball today and his reading of the game was top quality

  • Munster Mag

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #28

    Noah, good point. Rafa can’t demand consistency when he can’t help but tinker. I’m sorry Rafa but it is possible to play the same team two games in a row and win both. We are playing within ourselves and need to be more ambitious and attack minded to reap the benefits. Today exposed a cautious philosophy that cost us 3 points. Rafa, attack teams more, u have the ammunition. Use it.

  • kimbo

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #29

    Another crap performance , sort it out Rafa , you are looking a bit nieve with you selections and tactics. Gayle and Diame isnot working , Ritchie was poor. It is easy to beat Newcastle, play big strikers and Sels will flap about. Totally sick after that game.

  • manxpie

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    Comment #30

    munster you thought we lost the game so how can you pass judgement if you didn’t see the game?

  • Belfast

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #31

    Hehe Manxpie

    1st half flap – nearly conceded a goal
    2nd half flap – Villa offside goal
    2nd half flap – Villa equaliser – caught in no mans land and reacted slower than Neville Southall at a legends game after 10 pints.

    You need HD I think 🙂


    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #32

    sels does’nt deserve shit to the degree he’s apparently got on twitter,he did have a couple of nervy moments today,as did the whole side,but he wasn’t terrible,as i stated,i believe he’s looked better recently and will take time,overall thought first half was good with the exception of finishing,second half we sat back and give them the chance to build some momentum.

  • Belfast

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:31 AM

    Comment #33

    You definitely need to upgrade that fish tank tv like 🙂

  • manxpie

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #34

    belfast i think it’s you who needs it all defenders errors
    no flaps at all infact the one he did get fingers too sent it back out to the wing so a good save under pressure
    how is being on his line in no mans land?
    and if he can’t catch it he can’t catch it ffs hardly flapping
    i think you might need to see the replay it was a lucky finish where a defender should be clearing it!

  • manxpie

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:36 AM

    Comment #35

    belfast my tv is fine thanks it even has a football button!!

  • Belfast

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #36

    We didn’t need a goalkeeper keeper Lee. Tim Krul left on loan he could have been kept.
    Woodman and Darlow would have done us until Krul came back and if an unlikely disaster struck Harper could have easily been persuaded to register and play second fiddle for a few games if we where that desperate.

    We had five keepers on our books a few weeks ago.

  • Belfast

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #37

    He could have caught it or punched Manxpie and he definitely wasn’t on his line. We’ll have to agree to disagree 🙂

    Although Diame should have killed the game and that goal wouldn’t have mattered to be fair.

  • manxpie

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:53 AM

    Comment #38

    it was at least 3ft over him belfast as i said if he was 10ft he could have caught it!
    and he should expect a defender to deal with it once its out of his area but at the end of the day it was a good ball!

  • Belfast

    Sep 25, 2016 at 12:56 AM

    Comment #39

    Did you watch that fight earlier ? That bloke Crolla was fighting was a machine lol

  • manxpie

    Sep 25, 2016 at 1:02 AM

    Comment #40

    nah only caught the last couple of rounds he looked proper gutted tho
    isn’t he the guy who actually did the breeze block challenge? 🙂


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