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Rafa Talks Tactics For Rotherham Game

9:35 am, Saturday, October 1st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 61 Comments

Rafa Benitez is well aware of the potential for a disaster at the New York Stadium this afternoon in Rotherham and has tried to prepare his players accordingly.

He has reminded them of what happened after we demolished QPR 6-0 away a short 17 days ago when pundits were saying there was Newcastle United and then the rest in the Championship – as though we were so superior.

And then we played really poorly against Wolves in the next game at St. James Park and lost 2-0 and came crashing back to earth.


Rafa Benitez – smiling during training

We hope our lads are back down to earth from Wednesday’s heroics against Norwich City before they kick off this afternoon, otherwise we could be in trouble.

Rotherham are one of the weakest teams in the league this season with just 6 points and one win from the ten league games, so what tactics to use is a good question.

Do we just go all out attack from the very first whistle and hope to get a couple of goals and then control the game after that?

Or do we invite Rotherham to attack us and then hit them on the counter-attack after they leave openings.

Rafa has decided which of these two basic alternative approaches to use, but he’s giving nothing away when he talks tactics for this afternoon’s game:

“It’s quite difficult,” “They have a good team offensively.”  “The two strikers are good players.”

“If we press high, maybe they can play counter-attack. “If we wait and play counter-attack, people will say ‘if you are stronger, why do you wait?’.”

“It’s not easy to decide what to do. It depends on your players. You have to make sure your decisions are right.”

We would tend to go all out attack at the start hoping to get a quick breakthrough and then take if from there.

What would you do?

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Tags: Championship · Coaching · Newcastle News · Other News · Tactics

61 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jib // Oct 1, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    I know what Dennis Twice would advise.

  • 2 welshgeordie9 // Oct 1, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Regarding atsu why isn’t he playing at the moment, he came to us to get matches under his belt, so why isn’t he playing, can’t say he’s been pardewed so what would he be under Benitez.

  • 3 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    where do start him???

  • 4 Lilongwe Geordie // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Maybe he just isn’t performing as well as others in training. Maybe he just isn’t all that good. He flopped on his previous loans to Everton and Bournemouth, where he barely got a kick. Having seen him play quite a bit for Ghana, I said when he signed he didn’t seem the hard working type of player Benitez likes, and his ability is shown very much in flashes and mainly against the poorer sides that Ghana have played.

  • 5 Jib // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:10 AM

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Personally I don’t think Gamez was bought to be a regular starter, I think he was brought in as a very experienced head amongst a very young team who can not only provide cover but competition for places as well. How often have we had the LB as the back up CB, what happens when the back up gets injured, you start playing FB’s as CB’s and then come the 4,5 and 6 goal thrashings. Gamez is the piece that allows for Mbemba, Dummet and Clark as RB’ or LB’s to get injured without having to put square pegs in round holes in our defence.

  • 7 Lilongwe Geordie // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    A good team offensively? Only 7 teams have scored less than them….. They’ve conceded the most goals, and their keeper has made more saves than any other keeper in the division. Fair enough don’t go all gung-ho, but an offensive set up and mindset has to be the way to go here.

    Let Hayden sit and allow full backs to push on. Hayden can drop in to form a central defensive 3 if we do get caught on the break, and help delay the attack whilst others recover their positions.

  • 8 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    With the squad we’ve got now you could have a situation with Mbemba, Clarke and Lascelles out and still play a decent defence, if our three CB’s were injured in the past that would have left us with no RB’s or LB’s and a disaster about to unfold.

  • 9 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    No shit Rafa. Have at em! We have the talent.

  • 10 lesh // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Surely Rafa will have assessed the inherent risks attached to sitting back?

    And whilst there’re risks associated with attacking Rotherham from the start, he must see that it’s easier to defend a lead than recover from a deficit – Norwich last Wednesday excepted of course.

    I’m confident that fans’d much prefer the Keegan’s cavalier approach – score more than the opposition. Or maybe not??

  • 11 lesh // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Is Gamez another Marcellino in the making?

  • 12 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Newcastle are gonna go to Rotherham and play it cagey? No no no. No Rafa, no.

  • 13 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    If Yedlin is fit

    Keep Goalkeeper Darlow and back 4
    Yedlin (Mbemba), Lascalles, Clark, Dummett
    most likely: Diame, Shelvey, Hayden, Goufran, Ritchie
    Gayle up-front

  • 14 Jib // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:36 AM


    This is the team that battered QPR away.

    Just 17 days ago !

    By gum the games do arrive with machine-gun rapidity !

  • 15 expatmag // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    Here in Oz, game is on live at midnight in BEIN SPORTS 2

    SBS showing Swansea v Liverpool at 9.30. The missus has canished me to the mancave…

  • 16 AmericanMagpie // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    Hope it doesn’t happen but would Rafa stay another year if we don’t get promoted?

  • 17 expatmag // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:37 AM


  • 18 BandB // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    I like canished.
    A mix of canned and banished….and vanished. Sounds wholly justified.
    Anyone think Anita could play in midfield today?

  • 19 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    I take it you’re not playing Rafa bingo?

  • 20 Ron Knee // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:50 AM


    Why would Rafa leave if we didn’t get promoted? Surely he’d want to stay and do the job right the next time around?

  • 21 Jib // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Rafa will want to make a statement to the rest of the league before the international break.
    To do that – like the QPR game – he will try to get as many with PL experience on the pitch as possible , which probably means little Vurn at right back .

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Doesn’t he have a three year deal, unless they sack him and bring in Warnock I can’t see why he won’t be here next season if we don’t get promoted, I also don’t think we have a group of players who will scream to get away should the unthinkable happen. We might have to rely on our kindly and generous benefactor Mikey Ashley to lend us a few quid to realise his ambition of a hugely successful football club though 😮

  • 23 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Oct 1, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    No – never win!

  • 24 Ron Knee // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:01 AM


    Exactly. I can’t see him walking out if we didn’t get promoted.

  • 25 hibbit // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    why wont Rafa take us up this this season so far so good after today we could be top !!

  • 26 LGFUAD21 // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Right lads.

    I’ve managed to score a last minute ticket so I’m heading off to the game. Rude not too as its only a 10 minute train journey.


  • 27 Ron Knee // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:07 AM


    I’m a pessimist!

  • 28 Spoof // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Rafa bingo confirmation


    Yedlin Lascellas Clark Dummett

    Ritchie Colback Shelvey Gouffran

    Gayle Mitro.

  • 29 Bobbybee // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    So, some of you would rather Rafa gave away his tactics so that Rotherham could prepare a defence for it? Think again. Give him credit eh? This is Rafa being Rafa. Giving away nothing.

  • 30 Bobbybee // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Rafa’s going nowhere and we’re going up. 🙂 That’s the plan and it’s right on track. Enjoy the journey.

  • 31 jasper // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Rafa bingo
    Sels. (Should be Darlow)

  • 32 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    I do agree, the possibilities with Rafa are boundless. But first let’s hammer Rotherham.

  • 33 Mister Tuff // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Woah – what’s going on here. Stubbsies spies on the blog wanting to give information about our tactics.
    Disgraceful – not in the best sporting traditions, get these fifth columnists named and shamed and banned from the blog.

  • 34 Kabul Fish // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Rafa bingo….
    Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett
    Richie, Shelvey,Hayden, Gouffran
    Gayle, Mitro

    Got a friend who lives in Rotherham who will not go as it means sitting in the home section ha ha ha. Quality.
    We r gonna meet up for the fixture at St James’ when I am back and I can not wait.
    I hope today is another away statement from us b4 the break! HWTL

  • 35 Ron Knee // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Apparently, the match is on here:-

  • 36 The overrated Frenchman // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    If Sels plays, I hope he puts on the wig, the red nose and the big shoes. I think a goalkeeper should look like a goalkeeper, and a clown should look like a clown. But then I’m old-fashioned I suppose.

  • 37 Bobbybee // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Don’t recall saying anything about the blog – Rafa didn’t correspond with ed you know mr? He’s said these things to the press, not the blog. Rafa won’t reveal his tactics to the press. Did anybody else struggle with that? I suspect not.

  • 38 Jib // Oct 1, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    The overrated Frenchman // Sep 21, 2016 at 10:41 AM
    Am I allowed to say Fat Spanish Waiter on here? We used to say it, didn’t we?

    Just in case folk had forgotten what a dickhead you are!

  • 39 The overrated Frenchman // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    I’m sure they remember Jib. I’ll chime in every now and again to remind them anyway. The blog needs an antidote to the regime apologists like you, don’t you think?

  • 40 Bobbybee // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Right now, this moment in time, there’s nothing wrong with the regime – it’s doing EXACTLY what we wanted. Forget the past, we had enough about that as it happened when most of it was fully deserved. That’s gone now, until it rears its ugly head again, at which time no doubt the blog will be full of it – if it happens. There are no apologists on here because there’s no need for them. The regime is allowing Rafa to do his job and it’s working. Long may it continue imo. 🙂

  • 41 Jib // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    The blog needs everything but mackems feigning to be NUFC fans.
    What is it with Wearysides fascination with our club ?

  • 42 expatmag // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:15 PM


    You stsying up for the game mate?

    Great day of Sport….doggies were exceptional and fully deserved their win. Nice to keep the trophy in Victoria.

    Well the missus is sitting down to a box set of Foyles War so I am off to the mancave with a nice bottle of merlot.

    Should see me through the Swansea Liverpol game as well as our own.

    Howay the lads

  • 43 expatmag // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:18 PM


    I went on their SMB forum yesterday and was amazed ro see that they had a 26 page thread on the Newcastle Norwich game.

    I have to say they are nothing more than a bunch of irrational short sighted imbeciles.

  • 44 Bobbybee // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Expat, Foyles War or NUFC? Tough decision eh? 🙂

  • 45 Jib // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Did you see that young Burnley fan’s excellent vid of the Norwich game ?

  • 46 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Yay Doggies!!!! Sharks tomorrow, and then fugg, even WE can win something surely.

  • 47 Bobbybee // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    A very cunning plan to get you out the way mate! She could teach Rafa a thing or two about tactics by the sound of it. 🙂

  • 48 Bobbybee // Oct 1, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Right, football on the box so my addiction needs to be fed. Even if it is swansea v liverpool, it’s a nice starter before the main course. Be nice and enjoy the games. Howay the lads!!!

  • 49 Rotonda heights // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    over rated

    2 wrongs don’t make a right.

  • 50 Munster Mag // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Please no handbrake Rafa. Let’s go for this lot.

  • 51 chicousa // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    Jails Rafa Bingo confirmed lineup:

    Anita Mmemba Hanley Lazaar
    Tiote Diame
    Gouffy Ayoze Ritchie

    Might as well roll the dice! 🙂


  • 52 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    Are you saying that by slating our EFA elite manager that you are having a go at the regime apologists, what about those that are over the moon we have Rafa in charge and fought long and hard to try and do something about the way the club was run. I think there’s something wrong with you!

  • 53 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Chicousa, six minutes late but I’ll let it go this time, I hope you haven’t been on the phone to one of the players, I will trust your honesty.

  • 54 Kabul Fish // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Swans game live on tv in office, arguments with idiots on the phone and Facebook from friends back home having a jolly old time…….it must be Saturday lol

    Expat – mancave and merlot sounds delightful!Enjoy 🙂

  • 55 Chancel be a fine thing // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    confirmed rafa bingo lineup:
    yedlin lascelles clark dummet
    shelvey hatden
    Ritchie gayle gouffran

    I know it’s a few minutes late, I’m hoping Jail’s in a good mood.

  • 56 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    What type of expat Ozzie are you, you can make a bottle of wine last two football games you big wuss!

  • 57 NUFCPaul // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    People who accuse others of being Mackems, call people dickheads and then mention Norwich and Burnley in the same post aren’t real football supporters. No surprise there though.

  • 58 Jail for Ashley // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Going to finish my papework, have a shower and find a computer somewhere out of sight, can somebody put the spreaker link on later please.

  • 59 toontaff2 // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Rafa’s Rotherham Bingo Line-up:

    Anita Lascelles Clark Dummett
    Hanley Shelvy
    Ritchie Gayle Gouff

    Subs: Sels, Hazaar, Mbemba, Colback, Atsu, Perez, Diame

  • 60 chicousa // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Sorry mate, I’m dragging a bit slow this morning (western US)….rough night! 🙂

  • 61 lesh // Oct 1, 2016 at 1:40 PM


    If you’re going to the match, make sure you stay till the death otherwise your Blog life’ll not be worth living. 😐

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