Rafa Benitez Disappointed With Poor Display

We should probably think twice about any loose talk about having a stroll to the Championship this season.

That’s after our 6th defeat in the league tonight – 1-0 against Sheffield Wednesday, who are in 6th position and now only 9 points behind Newcastle.

That was also our fourth defeat at home in the league this season and our fourth defeat in the last seven games in all competitions, so those stats don’t look too good all of a sudden and we are losing too many games.

Mo Diame in action tonight in another shock defeat

Rafa Benitez was disappointed with the display after the game:

“We didn’t handle the pressure well.” “You always have to be disappointed when you lose, especially in a game like this when you’re at the top against a good side.”

“We had about three good chances before they scored their goal and we just didn’t take our chances.”

“Even after we conceded we gave them the chance to keep counter-attacking. “This is something we have to improve on because we’ve had this problem in a couple of games.”

“It’s been highlighted by a good team, but it’s something we need to improve on.”

This is what a delighted Owls boss Carvalhal said after the game:

“We played absolutely fantastic. “We kept the ball well and were a threat to Newcastle’s goal all the time.”

“We created clear chances to score, my players were fantastic and deserve the three points.” “I said before the game we are Sheffield Wednesday, we have a brand and we always fight for the three points.”

“Newcastle’s best player was their goalkeeper. He made three or four fantastic saves. “It was an important win.”

“We deserved the win, playing against the strongest team in the competition. “We prepared very well for the game, we have a way to play, we have big principles and are not an easy team to play against.”

“We go step by step, game by game and let’s see what position we will achieve in May.”

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Our team is still not strong enough mentally at home to lose so many games already this term.

It’s looking like having 52,000 crowds at St. James’ Park is even a disadvantage to the side?

32 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #1

    jimiley, I actually wonder if we may have stayed up last season had Shelvey played more. I know he wasn’t as fit as he is now, but his game isn’t completely reliant on bursting past players, he can make the ball do the work.


    Apparently we got Shelvey for a bargain too:

    “Newcastle’s £12m purchase of Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was the best-value signing of the January transfer window, according to a study.

    Analysis from the CIES Football Observatory says the 23-year-old England international is worth £23.5m.”

  • Average_Contents

    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #2

    December 26, 2016
    Oh and I agree (to whoever mentioned it) that colback shoud of been off for mitro long before he was.

    It kind of summed our decisions up though when Diame came off for perez.

    Mitro all day long.

    December 26, 2016
    I must admit, the most infuriating part of the game for me was when it was clear within the first 10 minutes that how we were set up and intending to play wasn’t going to work yet no changes were evident to counter that until mitro came on with 10 minutes left.

    He changed the game as gayle was getting bullied and Diame was invisible.

    Perez? What’s he actually do apart from run down blind alleys then hold onto the ball too long instead of laying it off quickly.

    Hayden and colback had poor games but I expect Colback to be shit tbh as it’s the norm but was disappointed with Hayden, usually solid but was sloppy in possession today.

    The defence looked shaky no outball for the defenders to play. Hoof most of the time or sideways passing so Dummett was in his element.

    Darlow Motm for me. Could of easily of been 3,4,5 without him.

    We made Wednesday look good because we were so poor.

    Let’s hope we sort it out for the forest game because surely we aren’t a one man team.

    Shelvey. Massive miss imo.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #3

    Load of F**ckin bull
    Best team won
    our fought us out muscled us
    Broke at pace and with at least 3 or four getting forward

    If not for Darlow we would of been humiliated

    Clueless from the start on the back foot from the first minute and we had kick off – sideways backwards took us 3-4 minutes from our kick off to get in their half – set the pattern for the game

    RAFA for f**k sake change this one up front at home
    RAFA for F**k sake change playing Gayle up front alone and HOOFING the ball high.




    merit marks
    Darlow 10 for keeping us in the game with a string of first class saves
    Dummet 5 to slow on the ball scared shitless when they attacked
    Lascalles 5 can defend but hasn’t a clue what to do with the ball takes to many touches pass sideways and backwards
    Clark 5 gain OK defending but as above – missed two headers which he should of done better
    Anita 8 had a good game defended well and attacked well but had no or little help
    Colback 5 slow and ponderous
    Hayden 3 crap got caught in possession time and time again and when he had the ball did not know what to do with it
    Goufran 6 Did OK but not up to his recent performances
    Ritchie 5 lot of huff and puff with no end product.
    Diame 5 – nothing absolute nothing from him today
    Gayle 7 felt sorry for him got kick all day long ran his butt off but had little or no help

    Perez 1 absolute hopeless – lost the plot
    Mitrovic 7 gave it a go, at least showed some muscle and movement up front
    Atsu 6 give it a go but takes the wrong option too many times.

    Referee 4 poor but the term have got to get use to the standard in this league
    RAFA 5 – fans in Gallowgate getting a tad restless at the same old one up front – needed to make substitutions earlier than the 62 minute

    What I have seen lately we are going to struggle to win automatic promotion if we put in many more performances of late.

  • Blofal

    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #4

    What this tells me is that we are going to buy some players in January.

    We are weak in the midfield. We have Colback, Hayden, Anita and Tiote who can all play the defensive midfielder role but the only “playmaker” we have is Shelvey.

    In my opinion without Shelvey we need to go 4-4-2 and rely on our wingers and fullbacks getting the ball into Mitro/Perez or Mitro/Gayle. I don’t think we will have much luck playing the ball on the ground through the centre without Shelvey’s ability to control the game.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #5

    Poor game tonight. Shelvey was a big miss. The void of control he left was too big. Colback and Hayden aren’t the answer there together.

  • Greebol1892

    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #6

    Is there anyone else other than me that saw this coming from a mile off? If I was a betting man this was always a stonewall defeat:
    1. We are always crap at xmas
    2. Opposition on the up & we have a good home record against them – so they were due this one
    3. Our best all-round player out
    4. Playing 2 ball-winners and 1 up front AT HOME…

    Still cruising tho….

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    Comment #7

    The problem we have is that Rafa likes to play a possession based game where we will control it from start to finish which is fine if you have the players to play that way!

    It also means we keep the ball so the opposition cant get at our defence but because of the players we have in the team tonight it brings extra pressure on us because Wednesday knew we would not bother them

    We have the players to play a direct attacking game with plenty of pace and power but I think Rafa does not like this approach because it makes us more open to the counter….

  • manxpie

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #8

    Where is the shelvey has found his level crap come from?
    Jesus he takes the piss at this level we should be absolutely building our team around him for the prem (hopefully) next season

    we haven’t got a player like him who constantly looks for space and at the same time already knows where the forward ball is going plus he is only gonna get better

    perez on the other hand looks like he is in a right huff wtf is he doing on the bench let alone getting on before mitro he isn’t even trying when he gets on more worried about his hair and his cold neck and hands!
    A number 10 is first priority if Rafael won’t play both mitro and gayle as diame isn’t comfortable there and perez can’t give a fusk

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:04 AM

    Comment #9

    We’ve just discovered that our UEFA elite manager isn’t a robot who only deals in algorithms but is actually human. He discovered what most of us thought that Hayden and Colback wouldn’t work, how many would have put him in the team though if they thought that he was fit. We lacked creativity without Shelvey and the team didn’t seem as confident, I’m sure as always it will be put right in time for Friday.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #10

    We are all too easy to defend against because our game is so slow and ponderous with little or no movement up front –
    We also have to many small players who are out muscled most games
    Could be the same Friday as Forest will take no prisoners and the refs in this league give you little or no protection.
    Like to see us go with two up front and play with a lot more tempo and getting the ball wider quicker.
    not the side-ways backwards shit we have to endure most weeks./
    Like to see the stats for pass-backs to the keepers – bet we are near the top

  • manxpie

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #11

    Haha just seen the gomes penalty i think he is one of the last of the crazy breed of keepers!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #12

    There has to ne no one mo th long bargaining, we need a player to fill in for Shelvey and possibly replace him if he’s injured or suspended again. I thought Diame or Anita could but evidently not, unless Rafa changes it up on Friday.


    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #13

    From the point of view that we need to have at least 50% of a premier league squad now…..we are in a spot of bother.
    No way you can buy 11+ players in the summer to compete..and on displays over the last month or so we only have 3 or 4 players good enough.
    Dummet and Coldback are not even good enough at this level…absolute garbage.
    What is wrong with Richie? Has he been told not to attack players…looks a shadow of the player that arrived.
    Hayden thinks and moves too slow.
    Atsu showed in the short time on the pitch the difference between a Premier league player and what we have.
    How can you expect to win the league losing this many home games?
    We’ve looked poor for a while now…transfer window cannot come quick enough because this lot aren’t good enough to bring the title home

  • manxpie

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #14

    Jail diame should be able to and he certainly can’t hide being further back I’d put goof in the number 10 role if we have to play that formation instead of perez

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #15

    I thought the crowd were brilliant for the first twenty minutes, everyone tanked up and in good voice, if Gayles shot that hit the woodwork had of gone in it might have been a totally different game, it didn’t, it wasn’t and we’ll just have to start again Friday.

  • colwell

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #16

    Take Shelvey out of our team and we are shite. We have the best squad in the league and without 1 player become useless.

    We still after how ever many years lack a number 10 creative midfielder who can make things happen. Its quite obvious where Rafa needs to improve in Jan.

    We will no doubt go up still maybe not as champs but automatically. Most of this team will never make it in the prem needs to be built around Shelvey really.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #17

    at our corners their corner making routine totally outfoxed us by putting a man on the half way line and another half way back – took three of of our players out of the attack by marking them

  • Belfast

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #18

    Forest will come and try and do the exact same thing. I think they’ve lost ever game from they beat us though. They’re a bad lot.

    I think if we were to go 4-4-2 against these teams at home we would absolutely steamroller most of them to be honest. Forest would be the perfect game to try it out.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:17 AM

    Comment #19

    Every game apart from the Forrest game where we have been beaten this season the performance of us and the opposition has been the same! Teams have been a little physical and we have been too defensive until its too late coupled with the crowd getting anxious and we inevitably get beat easily

    Rafa is a top class manager but it shouldn’t mean he should be above criticism when it goes wrong and in every game we have been beaten the pattern is the same and its happened now in a few games! He waited far too long to make changes

  • manxpie

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:18 AM

    Comment #20

    So colback isn’t good enough at this llevel after being out injured in his first game back
    he was brilliant in the games before! The only good bit of play tonight was with colback and dummett!

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    Comment #21


    Agreed the ONLY good bit of play in the whole game from Dummett and Colback was that lovely move and cross! The rest of the time both of them were shite

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:26 AM

    Comment #22

    Just seen Burnleys winning goal on Match of the Day big man flicks it on for Gray to apply the finish they totally smashed the championship playing direct attacking football in a 442 we have the players to do this as well but seem very reluctant to do so !

  • manxpie

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:31 AM

    Comment #23

    Bunga but that isn’t supposed to be there game where as ritchie (who hasn’t impressed for a while) diame perez goof it is,
    Sorry but it is laughable that dummett and Collback are deemed not good enough
    Lacelles has got of lightly to nite too he had a shocker is he not good enough?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #24


    Its not really laughable we know the limitations of Dummett, Gouffran etc they are great for away games and if we were playing someone like Chelsea or City but we were playing at home against Sheffield Wednesday! They marked Richie and Diame out of the game so Rafa should have realised that maybe we had too many defensive minded players on the pitch! We looked much better once Atsu and Mitrovic were on but by then it was too late!

    I do agree when you say its not a few of the lads game to be creative but when we have 4 or 5 of them on the pitch at the same time it makes it impossible to break teams down so surely they have to step up or be replaced?

    Also Lascalles has not been the same since the Chelsea rumours needs to get back to basics !

  • ilovetoon8788

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #25

    Hayden is an average championship player at best.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #26

    Another thing which was annoying tonight was the lack of pressing quite a few of our goals in recent games have came from us hounding teams into mistakes only really Gayle and Richie were doing it everyone else was either too far back or strolling about

  • manxpie

    Dec 27, 2016 at 12:55 AM

    Comment #27

    Bunga no disagreement there its just i hate it when i see them being deemed not good enough when they have been extremely important for us to be where we are

    to nite we needed a better game plan and it wasn’t seen so I hope lessons have been learned
    I.e having mitro and gayle on the pitch at home as well as wingers who cross the ball

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 27, 2016 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #28


    Yeah I think they certainly are decent battlers but we do need more than that to win games at home by the looks of things!

    Not sure why Rafa seems reluctant to try Gayle and Mitrovic together he might be forced into it once Diame is gone to AFCON

  • manxpie

    Dec 27, 2016 at 1:22 AM

    Comment #29

    I hope so as we need a different plan the amazing thing i have noticed this season is when mitro isn’t playing we seem to have amazing crosses into the box as soon as he plays it stops!
    But tonight his headed lay of out wide to atsu was brilliant and totally turned a hopeful ball into an attack surely Rafa can see that as a great option

  • cyprus

    Dec 27, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    Comment #30

    Outmuscled, they were faster on the ball, easily negated us, no penetration, very few chances, only Atsu could dribble past players, Rafa can get it wrong, Perez WTF, etc.

    Positives. We still look good at first. First or second doesn’t matter and third is a solid 6 + points away. Darlow, wow, he good. Lascelles good but can’t pass. Clark is better. Atsu quite good, we got cash spend some this window.

    I haven’t watched my team enough this season to be sure of what’s going on, but we need like 13 wins. Which won’t be easy. There will be more setbacks, on this evidence.

  • cyprus

    Dec 27, 2016 at 6:21 AM

    Comment #31

    Don’t agree with people singling out Dummet and colback. They were actually maybe OK in a whole team shambles. They were all quite poor, including Rafa, excluding the goalie.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 27, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Comment #32

    There will be a lot more set backs this season if we keep dishing up the Shite we did last night.
    Same old same old every home game slow sideways passing then then the lumped cross or lumped forward and no strong muscular forward to challenge.
    We are to slow, ponderous and teams are now getting savvy on how to play us – got no guile except Shelvey on how to open their defence up – so they sit back and hit us on the counter attack with pace – score the goal then sit back as we huff and puff to break them down.

    Hell if we go up Ashley is going to have to dig deep as we will come straight back down with that squad.

    Maybe Friday is the time to refresh the team by making a few changes


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