Rafa – Relegation Was Not Good For Newcastle


After tomorrow’s game at home to Sheffield Wednesday we are half way through the season and today, after 22 games played, we have 49 points.

So even if we lose tomorrow and keep up the same pace through the second half of the season we will finish with 98 points – almost certain promotion.

Rafa Benitez has been interviewed in the Mail and whereas some fans may think going down in May was a good thing, Rafa doesn’t agree with that and says we could have regrouped  in the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez – relegation was not good

This is what Rafa has said in the Mail:

“Some people say that relegation was a good thing.”

“But we could have regrouped in the Premier League — we could have changed things while we are winning.”

“But the positive thing now is everyone is together.”

“I think we have plenty of room for improvement.” “We are far away from 10 but not below five.”

When pressed for a number between 5 and 10 he agreed with a 7.

So there’s lots of room for improvement as far as Rafa is concerned and that’s good to hear.

The big thing Rafa is guarding against this season is complacency and over-confidence, which could very quickly derail our  promotion challenge.

So headlines saying if we win our next two games tomorrow and on Friday night against Nottingham Forest then nobody can catch us – are both untrue and misleading.

We remember a headline in a local paper asking whether Newcastle would lose another game this season.

That was in the week before we lost three games in a row in eight days – after winning nine games in a row – so we have to be very careful with over-confidence and getting carried away.

It’s the one thing we have to guard against and if our players and fans continue to go into every single game knowing it will be a challenge to win the game, then we can get promoted and probably easily too.

The only thing that can stop us now is complacency and over-confidence.

Here is how the table looks before the holiday fixtures.

PosTeamGamesGDPoints
1Newcastle464594
2Brighton463493
3Reading46485
4Sheffield Wednesday461581
5Huddersfield46-281
6Fulham462880

We are 10 points above 3rd placed Reading in an automatic promotion spot if you take into account our far superior goal difference.

That’s a points total we should be hoping to continually increase as the season progresses.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Sheffield Wednesday?

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12 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 25, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #1

    I’ll spare the repost forgive my typing
    .

    0
  • Bri

    Dec 25, 2016 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #2

    George Michael rip

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  • lesh

    Dec 25, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa’s comments are, I’d guess, designed as a reminder to the squad that they should keep their feet on the ground; we’re not up yet!

    Jail,

    For a no nowt you seem confident of a new CB coming in. I’d guess you have more than a gut feel ?

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 25, 2016 at 11:50 PM

    Comment #4

    52 responses

    Lilongwe Geordie
    December 25, 2016
    Lesh,
    But if we are already oversubscribed, do we extend so that they are available for cup games, or are they better than they were last time round? And likely to have a greater impact then players who play those roles as their natural position? I guess the big question is, what are the aims next year if promoted? Bottom half, then yeah, decent squad members. Higher, which I think we all have our eyes set on, then they aren’t worth losing 2 squad spots on.

    Jimmy,
    How many of those players – Tiote apart – are likely to be approached and have their wages matched by the buying club this summer?

    Who would sign Haidara given his injuries and lack of game time. Lazarr and Hanley will probably struggle to see their wages matched elsewhere following this season (so far).

    Murphy and Gamez won’t get better offers at this stage. The practicalities of getting rid of players has to be looked at, as well as squad quality and expiring contracts.

    Jail,
    8million for Mbemba would be well over the odds based on his performances since joining us. Hanley is a commanding Centre half, but I think all including Rafa have been surprised how well Clark settled in, and I think he took Hanleys spot. As you say though, Hanley is likely to accept a back up role in a reasonable Prem side challenging for cups. Like a new Willo, just hopefully we upgrade and have sufficient depth to use him as back up….

    Reply

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  • Tsunki

    Dec 25, 2016 at 11:51 PM

    Comment #5

    Lilongwe if that’s the Ardbeg 1996 Chieftains Selection Ardbeg you’ve opened I hope you sip it slowly. £300 bottle’s of whisky shouldn’t be mixed with lemonade 😀

    I’m still holding off opening my Dark Cove and 2015 Supernova. I hope it was worth it!

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  • Tsunki

    Dec 25, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #6

    However, Lilongwe, on gouffran and anita I don’t agree. A bit harsh on both players who admittedly may find themselves in back seat roles in the PL. However, they have actually functíned well there. There’s a lot of others I’d ditch in this squad before them.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 26, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #7

    Lesh,
    That’s the one. Even more generous than I thought. £300? Really? I thought his guy hated me dating his daughter!

    I was just about to say it is probably to nice to be quaffing whilst chatting on the blog, so was going to call it a night….. No offense to the conversation on here!

    Well into Boxing Day now, and I’m meant to be taking the lady and her nephews and nieces canoeing at half 8…. Probably should be vaguely compus mentus for that….

    Good night all. Enjoy the match, sadly no TV at all where I’m spending the festive period, so will miss it.

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  • jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Dec 26, 2016 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #8

    That’s the crux of my argument Lil. You won’t necessarily be able to move on all the players you’d ideally want to. You need to prepare for the very real possibility that you won’t.

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  • lesh

    Dec 26, 2016 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #9

    Tsunki

    Your taste in malts is admirable.

    And Lil, if you look in again soon, enjoy your Ardbeg and savour the moments.

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  • jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Dec 26, 2016 at 1:14 AM

    Comment #10

    Lil, if your girlfriend’s dad is gifting you 300 quid bottles of single malt, I’d be less concerned about him hating you, and more concerned about him perhaps wanting you to take her off his hands. Hahaha!

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  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 26, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    Comment #11

    30% of available points dropped would indicate 7/10 is a valid assessment of where we are. There are definite areas for improvement and particular players that need to pick up their games. However, before the season started I was worried we would not be in an automatic promotion spot, so we have been a success and I have not been as proud to be a NUFC supporter in some years. Lets hope this success transfers into the PL and we can be easily a top half team, this time next year. Although I feel positive something will happen that could potentially scupper this ideal. Fingers crossed that nothing does, 2017 is a massive success and that our performance continues to be 7/10.

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  • Mag52

    Dec 26, 2016 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #12

    The main reason I’d hold on to Anita and Gouffran is that they have both shown themselves to be good squad players.
    We could find better replacements for both players, and will probably need to if we get promotion, but you’re never sure with a new player if he is going to fit in to the rotation policy, especially if he has international ambitions, whereas neither Anita nor Gouffran are prima donnas, and if required to play back up roles they would do it without complaint. In any case, I’m not sure that we have yet seen the best from either player. I’d certainly rate Anita over Janmaat now.

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