A Look Behind The Scenes At How Rafa Handles Players

We have to admit we have been surprised at just how good Rafa is as a manager, since he seems to have all the bases covered (so to speak) and he is simply transforming the club day by day and week by week.

If we are promoted this season then things will be looking up big time for Newcastle supporters as Rafa accelerates the progress at Newcastle by significantly enhancing the quality of the squad.

DeAndre Yedlin in action for Newcastle

Rafa is a lot more personable and charismatic than we thought and he’s very good at his press conferences – confident but he also talks football and actually answers the questions posed by the local reporters.

After the games, whether we win, lose or (very rarely) draw, he always analyzes the game and what we did and didn’t do and never looks for excuses.

23 year-old American DeAndre Yedlin was keen to move to Newcastle from Tottenham Hotspur and jumped at the chance to join Rafa’s revolution on Tyneside.

DeAndre has talked exclusively to FourFourTwo USA about Rafa Benitez, Newcastle and the local weather (oh!) and on just how personable Rafa is with his players,

This is what DeAndre has said:

“When I first got to Newcastle, Benitez worked with me one-on-one, which is something I’d never really had before with any manager.”

“He’s achieved so much but is the most personable manager I have worked under. I’m learning all the time.”

“One of the big similarities of the Championship and MLS is the physicality of the two leagues,”

“The Championship is a bit better. It’s overall a bit more technical, and the Premier League is a couple of steps ahead.”

“The biggest difference is the atmosphere at English games. They’re second-to-none. Newcastle fans are especially amazing. There were 6,000 at on away game on a Tuesday night, which is unbelievable.”

“The weather, unfortunately, is one of many things that reminds me of home.”

“It’s smaller than London and really friendly, just like Seattle, which is my favourite place, so Newcastle feels like home.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time in London, because it’s a fantastic place. But living-wise. I’m more comfortable in this kind of environment.”

Seattle, Washington is well known for its rainfall with an average of 38 inches a year  it’s much less in Newcastle – just less than 26 inches a year.

DeAndre could well start the game tonight against Nottingham Forest and we really need that win.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Nottingham Forest?

View Results
Loading ... Loading ...

Comments welcome.

72 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #1

    “We have to admit we have been surprised at just how good Rafa is as a manager”
    You wouldn’t think it reading through a lot of the comments on here since our last defeat.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #2


    I prefer constructive criticism. For example, where has the rotation gone?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #3

    You enjoyed the football under Pardew the season we finished fifth, you clearly didn’t see a lot of the games then, there were some great results and a few good displays but it was largely dross with a few humpings along tge way.


    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #4

    Cracking manager we’ve got and it’s nice to hear Yedlin feels at home am hoping he sees more minutes soon

    On transfers I’d be very happy with Delph and over the moon with Wilson but feet firmly on the ground we are still championship (by name at least) for a few more months. RLC I’d like to sign but am no great fan of loans and I doubt Chelsea would part with him fully maybe Rafas conversations with his Chelsea contacts say differently though

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #5

    Seems to have seized up a bit since tge Blackburn debacle when he overestimated his squad and made too many changes.

  • BandB

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Forest should be three points.
    The only score we need to settle with them is the final one.
    Forget about revenge. Just win.
    Don’t get mad. Get even.


  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #7


    Again, this is not out right damnation of Rafa. But there is a lot of difference between changing half the side and changing on or two positions every four matches. Just to keep the players from settling too much and the greater squad more match sharp. The flip side, obviously, is why would anyone replace Gayle and chance unsettling a winning team. But I prefer the idea we can have a winning squad.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #8


    Tru dat

  • jazzyp

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #9

    Newcastle given permission to talk to Lansbury along with Watford for his signature come January….Interesting !!

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #10

    Over Xmas a Derby fan tells me that fans suspect Paul Clement was fired because he was having an inappropriate relationship with a superiors spouse. Is this just a fall back option for Fans, or in the absence of any other information are we to believe that adultery is as common as in everyday life. Personally it would make me wonder why every waking moment of the Manager is not spent thinking about the football team.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #11


    I did reply but you chose to ignore me again

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Rotonda heights // Dec 29, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    because as explained i don’t think you can call him unreservedly solely defensive.

  • posada

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #12

    There is at this time a lot of talk about who we should sign.
    The problem is who should leave.
    We can’t go on collecting players who contribute little.
    Can Benitez ask for more players.
    He’s signed 6 or 7 that he rarely uses.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #13

    My apologies for miss-spelling ‘posada’.

  • hibbit

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #14

    link Please
    not beyond the realms of possibility
    accordings to my mates grandson who plays for forest under 18 Darlow Lascelles and Lansbury were the 3 amigos at forest
    just the type of player we need end to end never say die hart on his sleeve kind of player
    would you sign him /????

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #15

    Who are the six or seven he signed that he rarely uses?

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #16


    Of course there is one enforced rotation required at this moment in time. With perhaps not a ready made alternative to fill the Jonjo shaped hole.

    I do like the idea that Rafa is developing the defensive capability of the the squad in readiness for the Premier League, but after half a season the result looks a bit poor.

    U23 PL2 league shows that Burnley are a non-league outfit and although we are second in Div.2 we are 10 points behind Swansea. Home game against Brighton(7th) and then away at the Swans (16th). It does perhaps indicate that the team has improved with better personal, but I still have my suspicions about Beardsley.

  • reilly

    Dec 30, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #17

    there could be something in that jazzyp.
    there was talk of a player being shown around the training ground yesterday.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #18

    Unless he gets rid of that top not and scores a 15 minute hatrick I can’t see him winning the fans over.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #19

    Rafa has to do something about that midfield to increase its mobility. I will be amazed to see him stick with a Colback/Hanley pairing even on the road, it invites constant pressure and leaves us tragically disconnected from the forward line. I agree that Gayle on his own will be tumbling vainly all over the place again if he sticks with his last selection. I’m sure that Rafa will mix things up but we can’t rely on Ritchie being the sole outlet for forward product, it’s way too predictable. Dummett and Gouffran on the left never worked for the last few years and it never will. We need some pace, we need to press them constantly when we lose the ball and we need to be creating more space.

  • hibbit

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #20

    would make a great number 10 for us
    will be very surprised if it happens but not impossible with Rafa

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #21

    Aye Lansbury doesn’t suit the Aquaman look it just makes him more punchable.

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #22

    What Tsunki said, well except for the Colback and Hanley bit. Now THAT is an immobile midfield! 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #23

    So the TV boffins in their wisdom look at a promising tie between us and Forest and what do they do? Naaah. Let’s not bother screening it. So we’ll be following it in braille again. Pathetic.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #24

    Sitc – eh? You agree that Rafa should stick with Colback & Hanley???

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #25

    HAYDEN!!! Dammit! 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #26

    Yeah that Giant Hanley midfielder player bloke what a shambles…

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #27

    No no, Hanley could well be the next bloke ushered out in his strait jacket and ordered to be Shelvey! Rafa has to confound the bingo insurgency somehow!

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #28

    Jail – we took on the finger pointing Colback pretty easily. And what about Joey “Jailbird” Barton? Not immediately palatable. But we get used to it. 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #29

    I think it’s about time we tried out Abeid. Where has he been lately? The reserves?


  • hibbit

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #30

    Watford in the hunt for Henri Lansbury
    by Kevin Affleck on December 30, 2016 NEWSTRANSFERSWATFORD FC

    Watford are going head to head with Newcastle United in the scramble to sign Henri Lansbury in a cut-price deal from Nottingham Forest, we can reveal.

    Lansbury has been given permission by Forest to talk to the Hornets and the Magpies, and it is our understanding Watford have already held discussions with the 26-year-old midfielder. Gino Pozzo, Scott Duxbury and technical director Filippo Giraldi will hope to have persuaded the former Arsenal man that an immediate return to the Premier League is more attractive than another six months in the Championship, albeit playing in front of 50,000 fans and working under Rafa Benitez. Derby County and Birmingham City are also chasing his signature but we understand Lansbury’s options have been whittled down to two

    Lansbury is not necessarily the heavyweight midfielder Watford are crying out for in the wake of injuries to Valon Behrami and Roberto Pereyra and the African Cup of Nations-bound Adlene Guedioura and Nordin Amrabat, but, crucially, he will be able to come in and hit the ground running and not require a period of acclimatisation. Significantly, his arrival would not prompt a reshuffle of the revised Premier League squad as he would count as a home-grown player. Watford were three players shy of naming a 25-man Premier League in September as they could only muster five home-grown players. You can name an unlimited number of home-grown players in a squad but only a maximum of 17 foreign players

    The transfer figure for Lansbury is likely to be well below his true market value as the England youth international’s contract runs out this summer, making him even more appealing to the power brokers at Vicarage Road. Watford will have, no doubt, played on Lansbury perhaps wanting to return south in their contract talks. The Enfield-born schemer went to school in Potters Bar, used to share a flat with former Gunners teammate Kieran Gibbs and probably still has friends over the fence at Arsenal. Crucially, Lansbury also knows the Hertfordshire club well, having played 38 times for the Hornets in the 2009/10 season.

    We gather the Hornets have also been offered Brighton’s Dale Stephens but they consider Lansbury better value for money.

  • one fine day

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #31

    Rafa biiiiiiingo eyes down …..

    Yedlin Lascelles Clark Dummett
    Hayden Anita
    Ritchie Diame Atsu

    Wish I was picking a 433 (mitro gayle doing the Keegan toshack pure romance thing)to be honest to smash the cheats but i am a chef Rafa is an elite manager so best to go with him . 🙂

  • geordieboy83

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #32

    Morning all

    Keep hearing about what hughton done for us with a worse squad etc and it got me thinking was his squad really that much worse

    Simpson. Collo. Taylor. Enrique
    Barton. Guthrie. Nolan. Lovenkrands
    Carrol. Ameobi

    For a championship 11 that’s pretty damn good and there’s a fair few of them at the time that I would happily swap for some of our current players

    If you ask me Nolan over diame, Barton over colback, collo was a class above any cb we have at that time, Enrique would walk in, and Carroll was unplayable, lovemkrands was a very good layer for us.

    Just my opinion obviously, but I don’t think hughton had it bad tbh. Even now with Brighton he has what is in principal a seasoned championship outfit so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re up the top with us

  • Tsunki

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #33

    Geordieboy – Exactly the point I was making last night. Benitez has more squeezing to do with this squad to get the juice out than hughton did with his. Carroll and Ameobi were giants in this league although poor shola got his wings clipped a bit. We’ve got nothing like Barton. Enrique vs Dummett? Pffft.

  • mad-serb

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #34

    Henri Lansbury

    Well there is turn up for the books. Wouldn’t have come up with that one in a million years, although he has been one of the most consistent midfielders in the Championship over the last few years, and some premier league clubs and hopefuls have sniffed around only to be out priced by Forrest.

    The problem is after that game, I lost some respect for him as a footballer but I guess scoring a hat trick on debut could change my mind. Probably also a better option at cut price than Judge seeing that he is not ready for first team football at the moment.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #35

    With the added advantage of hving been together for awhile.

  • Jib

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #36
  • Moonraker15

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #37

    Hughton’s squad was definitely stronger mainly cos most big players stayed probably cos of their huge wages that didn’t drop when relegated. From that point of view Rafa’s job is much harder as he’s lost 3 main players!

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #38

    Good point! And that season Colo was sound, benefited hugely from Nolan bossing the middle.

    It’s hard to see Rafa tearing up his formation now and going with 2 up top. I think your formation is what will most likely happen, but Hayden will be lucky to get the nod ahead of Colback given his (Hayden’s) showing the other night. Unless Colback can’t do two games in a few days after his recent lay off.

  • Jib

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #39

    Signing Forest’s captain would be a much greater slap in the chops for Nottingham fans than merely winning a football match.

    However twitterland seems to full of Lansbury signing for McClaren’s Derby County.

  • geordieboy83

    Dec 30, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #40

    Cheers for the responses lads, I’m not trying to Deminish the achievements hughton had with us however I certainly dont think he had it bad in any way, with what he had at his disposal. Suppose the only way to put it for me is that with our squad and the Brighton squad, as they stand, although certain posters believe hughton is doing better, if wager that if both squads came up and didn’t change personnel I know which squad and manager would do better in the big league.

    As jail mentioned, Brighton have continuity and familiarity with what’s expected from this league whereas we are still adapting but still looking dominant.


You must log in to post a comment.