After Some Mediocre Results – Rafa Points The Way Forward


We never thought we would lose the first two games of the season but after that it looked like fairly easy going for Newcastle with eight successive league wins.

But things have not gone well since we lost to Blackburn Rovers at home on November 26th – to break that winning streak.

We have now lost  three of our last six league games and seen Brighton & HOve Albion take over the top position, but Rafa was still very positive at his press conference this afternoon.

Rafa Benitez – still thinks we will be number one

He has basically pointed the way forward for Newcastle and is convinced we still  have enough quality in the side to do very well in the second half of the season.

This is some of what Rafa said in his press conference for the game at home to Nottingham Forest tomorrow night:

“We need to understand how to approach these games. If you can’t win, you shouldn’t give them any hope to score.”

“It’s a boost for Brighton but also pressure for them.”  “Every team against them will see an opportunity to do something important.”

“We have enough quality on the pitch to win without Jonjo.”  “We will miss him but other players must show what they can do”

“Newcastle will be well organised and we need to be better and move the ball quicker.”  “It’s not about revenge but putting things right”

“I’m really pleased with the away form.”  “We know it teams are compact here and we need to learn how to draw or win.”

“If we were doing as well at home as away we’d be 10 points clear.”

It would be a lot more comfortable if we were 10 points clear ar the top.

We have to beat Nottingham Forest tomorrow night – that’s basically the bottom line right now.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Nottingham Forest?

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20 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #1

    From Nufc.com
    Betting: Coral’s latest enhanced exclusive bet for new sign-ups is 40/1 on a Newcastle victory over Forest.

    (Max stake £1, £5 min deposit. If Rafa’s side don’t collect all three points then there’s a £5 consolation bet.)
    Free £40 quid if you can be bothered to sign up.

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  • AncientC

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #2

    Ed is laying it on a bit thick: with the headline, photo, and caption.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #3

    Not a big rugby follower, is there a particular significance of the Falcons – Wasps match tomorrow? I’ve never seen a Falcons game on TV here, but tomorrow night it seems to be on. Is it live or a replay?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #4

    AncientC,
    Some people are describing this bad run of results a loss of form but after winning nine in a row it’s hard to keep that up.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #5

    Lilongwe,
    Don’t follow them at all, not since the days of Rob Andrew.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #6

    Brighton aren’t playing that well either they are getting quite lucky with decisions recently quite a lot of red cards going their way!

    Would Rafa to take the handbrake off totally and dish out a spanking to Forrest they deserve it for the antics last time round and we need to send a message out to the rest of the league

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  • AncientC

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #7

    Jail, I was not aiming a barb at the form of the side… more the cheesy picture and caption.

    Truth be told, the side (right now) are well above my expectations – those being, the club coming up via the playoffs.

    I was expecting our promotion campaign to mirror West Ham’s under Allardyce.

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  • lochinvar

    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #8

    Haven’t laughed so much for ages:

    Former West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Southampton and QPR manager Harry Redknapp is interested in taking over at Swansea following the sacking of Bob Bradley. (Talksport)
    Harry Redknapp plans to take Chelsea captain John Terry, 36, with him to the Liberty Stadium to help in the club’s fight against relegation. (Daily Telegraph)

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #9

    Jail,
    I used to go occasionally when I lived in Newcastle, but don’t care enough to follow once it is out of sight. I was just checking the tv schedule to see if we were on, and I saw Newcastle, started getting excited and then read vs Wasps…..

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  • Mag52

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #10

    Jail.

    I don’t know how you sort out who has scored any points for a correct team forecast, but how about if you asked anyone who reckoned they had called it correct to claim the correct forecast, so all you would need to do is check the claims.

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  • JDdubai

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #11

    Stop being so defensive at home then Rafa.

    We know eevry team eill come here and sit everyone behind the ball and give us the possession, so ehat do we do?

    Gouffranand Dummett on the left. Zero attacking threat, Goufrran ks a defensive choice at LW, dummett a LB than has nothing in attack. So why play them together at home in the championship? It limits us hugely, meaning we can only attack down ghe tight.

    Anita is a more defensive choice than Yedlin at RB.

    Colback and zhayden together at home is unnecessary.

    Last match we had anita, dummett, colback, hayden and gouffran in the same team. That is way too defensive for ahome match, meaning we only had 3 attacking players in the 11, at home, and Ritchie’s main talne tis crossing but we were witout our best target man.. If we attacked properly then we would be hitting 4s and 5s.

    Also the 4231 only seemss to work for us when Shelvey is there. Without him it doesnt work as we arent creative enough to pass our way through with the players listed above.

    Pick the best formation that suits the available players. 442 with Mitro and Gayle up front, Atsu and Ritchie on the wings and drop Diame into CM so we dont have 2 DMs there. Why have Rithchie on the wing as he is best at crossing and only Gayle in the box? Mitro and Gayle right now should be our plan while Shelvey is out.

    Im still firmly on team Rafa obvs, just dont see why he is being so defensive. Its the championship. If Pardew was doing it he would get a lot more stick than Rafa is getting at the moment.

    Clearly Mitro is on his way out, Perez getting brought on ahead of him last match was a joke really when chasing a game and needing a target for any crosses into the box.

    Come on Rafa, must be more attacking.

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  • JDdubai

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #12

    Spell check needed i know, damn ipad..

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  • AncientC

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #13

    Yedlin played in the prior 2 league loses, if I am not mistaken, which would explain Benitez opting for Anita in recent games.

    As for bringing Perez on against Shef Wed, perhaps the manager didn’t want to play into their hands by getting physical; therefore opted for a more slippery player – at first.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #14

    JD,
    You mention stop being so defensive, the first paragraph points to the defensive issue….

    “If you can’t win, you shouldn’t give them any hope to score.”

    Why on earth would we think we couldn’t win at home in this league – or even most of the time in the Prem.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #15

    Rafa has always been defensive. It’s worked for him, so why change. But the only times he has managed a team that would be classed as (one of) the biggest in their league he has struggled. We will get promoted in spite of his inflexibility, and it will benefit us next season when his style better suits how we are viewed.

    Given our squad, our wage bill, we should be cruising and far more comfortable. It doesn’t really matter, as what Rafa i building and developing will be well suited for next year.

    Whilst I’d love us to be more in control, I think that the dividends of working on a more defensive playing style will be felt once promoted.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #16

    AncientC,
    I know you weren’t but some people have gone way overboard because we’re not ten points clear and Ed loves to stir it up, his click baits get all over newsnow etc. “Newcastle ready to sign this midfielder” offering The Goof a new contract 🙄

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #17

    Lilongwe,
    Never been but years ago when they we part of John Halls project to make NUFC the most successeful institute in the world I checked their results every week, never had any interest in the game though except the odd WC or five/six nations game

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #18

    Mag52,
    I asked Ed to post his team selection thread, then asked others to wait until he had posted that to post theirs, it makes it so much easier to get the winners, not everyone claims the five points. As it stands you are in joint fourteenth, chancel and dem are joint third and firebug666 is second, I am runaway leader on 115 points.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #19

    Jail,
    Yeah, similar. Although I still followed after the Hall’s project as I was at school with the son of the guy who bought the club, and the son (Matt Thompson) went on to have a reasonable career with them. Nepotism? Probably, there were better players at my school…..

    I got dragged back into being interested through the South Africans, Zim and Zam guys who were into it that I played cricket with.

    Never seen the Falcons on TV here though. Not sure why we have to watch that, rather than football…..

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  • ascot7

    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #20

    Hi,
    Managers should note this importance over the drinking period. And whatever the footballers get up to, this time of year. Every manager including Bennett, has to have a plan, to read the riot act in these drinking times. Do you believe that drinking, and fornicating talked the edge from a footballer ? Why is it so, that footballers, do not give emveything, at this time of the year ???? Do they realise that a good nights sleep before the game can work wonders for the Manager. Only one or two time in a week ???? And only 24 hours before a game ????? After all the To on pay there wages.

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