This Is A Really Big Week Coming Up For Newcastle

Eight days ago – which is a week in Beatles’ time – we were all on a huge high and were expecting Newcastle to create a new club record of 10 wins in a row when we played 3rd bottom Blackburn at home.

90% of our fans in our pre-match poll thought we would win the game.

But Rafa played a team that had six changes made from the team that had beaten Leeds 2-0 at Elland Road and it all backfired.

We didn’t play well and we shockingly lost 1-0 and since the game Rafa has as much as admitted he got it wrong.


Rafa Benitez – tough training week coming up?

Such is the integrity of our manager.

On Wednesday night we tried to make it through to the semi-finals of the League Cup and Newcastle had the chances  to do that in the 90 minutes at the KCOM stadium and also in extra time when Hull were down to 10 men.

But we lost 3-1 on penalties.

And then on Friday night when we wanted to put everything right it took a completely bizarre performance from a referee that saw us concede two penalties in the first half and have Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett get straight red cards.

Karl Darlow showed why he is our number one goalkeeper with at least three brilliant saves in those first 45 minutes including saving both penalties.

What a player this lad is turning out to be for us this season.

We lost the game 2-1 but again we played very well and our players showed tremendous guts, passion and fighting spirit given the adversities they faced during the game, with some of those self-inflicted.

The players were applauded off at the end of the game by the faithful fans for what was a monumental effort under very difficult conditions – they fought to the very end but lost to a late goal.

This week is also going to be  a big week for Rafa to get the lads back on track and we expect him to have some tough training sessions to get the lads battle ready for Birmingham City on Saturday.

Expect Newcastle to appeal Paul Dummett’s red card tomorrow but not Jonjo Shelvey’s dismissal.

Last week was the worst week of the season for us with three defeats in six days but we still top the league after yesterday’s results.

If we can get back on track with our five remaining games this year we can be in excellent shape when the January transfer window opens up in the new year.

So the message is – yes it was a bad week – but in two of the games we were good, even very good and we just had no luck at all.

Newcastle are still well on track to be promoted this season so we need to push on and make sure we can get a good win on Saturday afternoon against Birmingham City and maybe that can be the start of another win streak.

We’ve had two good streaks so far this season – a six game winning streak that was broken at home against Wolves and a nine game winning streak that was broken at home against Blackburn,

We need another one to start on Saturday afternoon – maybe that will become a 10 game winning streak?

The message is we are still on track and Newcastle are doing well in the league after some calamities last week.

We need to regroup for these final five games of the season.

Comment welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Veltman

    Dec 4, 2016 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #1

    Still haven’t saw Rafa’s newly assembled Newcastle united playing except results so far but a bit worrying time,with Shelvey suspended for minimum 5 games,some players will leave for Afcon and heavy back to back games coming up in space of short days.So Expect Rafa to make atleast 2 quality signings in january-creative midfielder and a striker, to make sure we get promoted.We wouldn’t have passed the likes of Liverpool in the league cup anyway,so have not fussed much about the league cup exit.The priority should be promotion.Recommend Sebastian Haller for striker and Luis Holtby for creative midfielder.Getting the club promoted is the minimum requirement from Rafa.
    Anything less will be taken as a failure.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 4, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #2

    Only 5 games left this season, ED!
    You must mean panto season – with Steve Martin the panto villain and Angela Lansbury, with her beaded crop, as the panto dame?
    1 home game before xmas!

  • Spoof

    Dec 4, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #3


    As soon as the season started I said that Shelvey is vital as he is the only player in the squad where we don’t have a like for like replacement, go through the entire team with possibly left winger as an exception then we have at least two specialist in every position, but what do we do without Shelvey as we don’t have a like for like replacement, so I agree that we do need another creative midfielder bought in January but what do we do now, for me we have two options, keep Perez as support for Gayle and have Diame playing deeper, or perhaps play a more direct style and go 4-4-2 and have Gayle feeding off Mitro, if Rafa is ever going to play both Mitro and Gayle from the start then it has got to be now, if Rafa doesn’t do it now then I doubt that he ever will.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 4, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #4

    Reading 3rd on 34. Leeds up to 4th on 32.
    Birmingam and Sheff Wed on 31. Our next 2 at home..

  • toontaff2

    Dec 4, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #5

    Diame is supposed to be a box to box midfielder -time to play him there! Maybe Jack and Hayden will surprise us!
    As some have pointed out, we do seem to be passing it around at the back too much, waiting for Shelvey to spray the ball wide or for Gayle to chase – maybe we will speed it up and be more direct?

  • NoahJ

    Dec 4, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #6

    while the last three results have been alarming, the performances on the whole have been good, so I’m not worried. did anyone seriously think we’d sail through this league without a few set backs?

    the thing i find with shelvey is he’s a big player when he’s playing, but he makes the team very one dimensional (it’s great when it works, but it otherwise makes the team very narrow). Maybe without that “spray a hollywood pass out from the middle” mentality, we can start to utilise our creative wide men a bit more- ritchie, yedlin, etc. …. my point is, shelvey is not like-for-like replaceable, but we have the talent to change the way we play for the better

  • Spoof

    Dec 4, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #7


    If Rafa does go 4-4-2 with Mitro and Gayle assuming that he sticks with two wingers from Ritchie/Gouff and Atsu then that leaves two for the centre positions with two from Hayden, Colback and Diame being the most likely choices, thinking back to the very start of the season where Shelvey didn’t start we were so void of idea’s going forward you could have mistaken us for a Steve McClaren side so with that in mind I would fully expect Diame to partner either Hayden or Colback, the fella who could be totally overlooked for me is Perez, I can’t see where he would fit in a 4-4-2 formation, if Perez was to play it would have to be for Gayle and I cannot see Rafa leaving Gayle out of the side.

  • giimps

    Dec 4, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #8

    Rafa may even go 4-14-1 with gayle being supported by 2 wingers (ritchie and atsu) with diame and gouffy through the middle and either hayden or colback as the sweeper/dm .


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