Manager Gives Hints On How He Picks The Team


Rafa picks a different side for almost every single game Newcastle play and it’s becasue of his famous rotation system that he used at Liverpool when he was so successful there.

One of the things fans don’t know and which Rafa holds as a high priority in selcting players for a game is how they have been performing in training and what their mental attitude has been before the game.

rafa-benitez-players-training

Rafa Benitez during a training session

Rafa has also talked before about the mental attitude of players and as we have found out Rafa demands they put in 100% at every single training session – nothing less.

In fact some of our players have said the training sessions can be more intense than the actual games.

That’s good training for when the matches get intense as happened at Rotherham last time out, when the Millers pressured Newcastle in the first 20 minutes and then in the final 10 minutes or so of that game.

This is what Rafa has said today about selecting the team:

“People will see ‘MattRitchie isn’t playing!’ But I knew Christian Atsu was playing well – then he does well and I look like a genius!”

“But if he doesn’t, it’s ‘Oh no’.”

“But people need to be reassured that we have a lot of information, we see them in training.”

“For example, DeAndre Yedlin had problems in his ankles after tackles in the last two games.”

“We have Vurnon Anita, who is playing well and training well so why not play him and give Yedlin a rest?”

It was a surprise when DeAndre didn’t play against Rotherham, after filling in so well for Vurnon Anita when he was out suspended for three games.

What we have now are two first class right-backs that Rafa can choose between and of course Vurnon came in and did a good job at the New York Stadium and he also seems to be helping Yedlin develop his game.

Vurnon is a real team player – wonder if he will get a contract extension when his five year contract runs out next June?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



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90 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 11, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #1

    Argh, I was hoping Yedlin would get the nod this weekend, love watching him tear it up down the flank.
    Big hint that Anita will play there Raphael!

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  • barkel

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #2

    Yedlin has an international game at 1am (GMT) Wednesday morning in Washington, considering rest and jet lag it might be a bit much to have him play 90mins on Saturday. I know he’s a professional but it makes more sense to have Anita start there this weekend

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #3

    Anita has been a changed man since Rafa came in and played him at RB- his best position by far. Great competition with Yedlin for that spot. If Anita continues in this form he deserves a contract extension.

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  • Uncertain Toon

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #4

    Experiencing some serious deja vu with some of these threads!
    Is Ed going round the buoy with some of these ditties?

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #5

    JP
    He will get an extension but he shouldn’t imo good enough now for us but moving forward we should be looking at better

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  • Uncertain Toon

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #6

    I see Rooney is on bench tonight.
    I really like that Eric Dier who I think they said would start instead. Shame the club couldn’t have got him, wouldn’t pay the asking price.
    What is he worth now 30 million?
    That Deli Alli is another one, opportunities missed by the old regime!

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  • hibbit

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Uncertain Toon
    Deli Alli didnt want to come north only wanted london

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #8

    hibbit
    Pay him enough and he’d of moved anywhere

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  • Uncertain Toon

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #9

    hibbit – Wasn’t aware of that, cheers pal.
    Should have got Rob elliott to have a word with him!

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  • barkel

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #10

    Who’s to say Alli would have developed as well as he has done if he came to us, I know that’s an argument that works both ways but we haven’t exactly been very successful developing younger players

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  • hibbit

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #11

    WWSBRD

    spurs did that + LONDON

    whos says Rafa’s not looking at better
    we still need squad player /cover and Anita seems happy to do that well worth a contract

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #12

    hibbit
    Spurs did that because we were haggling

    On Anita why give him a contract to be 3rd choice RB? He cant cover else where imo, on top of that he will need to be registered when we are in the PL taking a spot which we will be struggling with as is

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  • hibbit

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #13

    WWSBRD

    he wanted to stay in the south spurs were always going to win that race

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #14

    hibbit
    Clearly what uve heard isnt what Ive heard mate

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  • sing in the corner

    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #15

    Barkel@2
    Aye good point.
    Definitely Anita for the Brentford game then. Not upset…Big Vurn will take no prisoners, I’m sure 🙂

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  • hibbit

    Oct 11, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #16

    WWSBRD

    as you say just what i heard
    no problem

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #17

    hibbit
    Oh aye no issue mate haha Ive heard the Alli only wanted London stuff before but Ive also heard from the club end which disagrees

    On the Anita contract thing do u really think he warrants a registration point for a 3rd choice RB (possibly 4th with Sterry coming along), 4th choice LB and never choice CM I just dont see the point

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #18

    And Gamez who I forgot about who if he ever gets fit is primarily a RB isnt he?

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  • hibbit

    Oct 11, 2016 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #19

    WWSBRD

    at the moment i do thats not to say i wont change my mind if Rafa brings in a bit of quality in
    i happen to think this season he’s been our best RB
    Gamez wont be here next season
    Sterry still needs time although i think he is a very good player who could develop into a great player with Rafa and his coaches

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #20

    hibbit
    U mustnt of seen Yedlin play then I take it?Also why wont Gamez be here next season?
    On Sterry hes nearly 21 come next season hes going to need to be around the first team imo or he’ll just fade away and move on hes got Yedlin ahead of him and Gamez when hes fit (I dont see him leaving, also dont think he should), if u add Anita on to that then Sterry’s not going to have a future here imo

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 11, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #21

    Good evening all, haven’t even been at the bus stop today, too busy.

    I was going to pick Anita for the Rotherham game as I think he’s a Rafa favourite, bur being in the Suffolk outback it would have taken all day with the slow telephone connections.

    As for his versatility I don’t see why he couldn’t play midfield I think he’d step up under Rafa same as he has at RB.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 11, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #22

    If Yedlin is having injury problems why is he even playing for the USA Wednesday, a bit irresponsible of Klinnsman!

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Oct 11, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #23

    Oh great England on tv now!!

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #24

    Essex
    He can’t play CM because he’s crap there and we have Shelvey, Hayden, Colback, Diame and Tiote ahead of him it’s also where imo we will be looking to buy in the next few windows

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #25

    Evening bill. Are you watching the game tonight? I’ll watch any game myself, although watching this lot is getting harder. 🙂 Didn’t know Yedders was carrying a knock myself mate, but if Klinsmann knew he shouldn’t have selected him.

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #26

    I see Rafa’s getting the idea of some of our fans! 🙂 His reference to how people react ie not selecting Ritchie is funnily accurate. 🙂 What he is also right about is that he sees the players during the week and he knows who’s been playing well in training. As long as we keep winning Rafa, you keep to your tried and trusted ways.

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #27

    What a bloody shambles at the back.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #28

    I wonder if Slovenia win tonight.

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #29

    Now now welshie, I was backing your boys the other night. 🙂 How’s your dad mate? On the mend I hope? Oh dear, Scotland losing again. 🙂 Hope N Ireland don’t get humiliated tonight – not off to the brightest start. 🙁

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  • JAMSHA

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #30

    Cant Wait For Our Next Game

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #31

    Only four days to go jamsha and it’s back to proper football. Just hoping that everybody who’s been away comes back in one piece mate, fingers crossed.

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  • Offkey

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #32

    Gary Neville was on talksportrhe other day talking about how Roy and the rest of them didn’t care if players were out of form/fitness as they still picked them as they had “invested in them” early on. He was telling the guy that wrote Rafa s book

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #33

    Offkey, that’s why England have struggled over the years imo. Certain players are deemed ‘undropable’ – as Rooney has been until tonight. Too many favourites guaranteed their place on past glories. Not convinced Southgare is the answer either, he’s another who’s come through the system of failure – the old boys brigade. I’d wait for Wenger myself, given the choice.

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #34

    Southgate, you fool! 🙂

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #35

    Bobby Yes I’ve been watching the game, apart from Diers near calamitous back pass England have been pretty much on top, just not quite getting their final passes in.

    The only reason I said Yedlin was injured was that Rafa had mentioned something about problems with his ankles, so if he is carrying something then he shouldn’t be involved in full on games.

    WWSBRD, he was also supposed to be crap at RB, don’t suppose there’s many that think that now. I wouldn’t consign Anita to the scrap heap yet.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #36

    Oh and personally, I’d pick Anita ahead of Tiote and Diame on present form in any position.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #37

    Back to the England Game, I’ve got it on live pause at the moment, what a great little idea.

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  • Bobbybee

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #38

    Mmm, was a poor backpass like. Not sure either team is on top, not too many chances to compare. Ooh, lovely move from Slovenia. Then a great save to boot. Wow, another great save. Scary moments.

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #39

    Well not the greatest of starts from England in this 2nd half. Top drawer save from Hart though

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #40

    Essex
    Not for my memory mate Anita’s best position has always been said to be RB he’s just pretty much refused to play there

    I’d keep him this season but then let him leave

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