Rafa – We Want To Give The Fans Something More

Rafa Benitez and his players know the shock defeat on Monday night was not the best Christmas present to give to the Newcastle fans – who again turned out in force at a sold-out St. James’ Park.

And our home form is now a concern for the Newcastle manager, who talked about that a lot yesterday during his interviews leading up to the game at home tonight against Nottingham Forest.

Rafa Benitez on the sidelines

Certainly the players would like to put things right and get back on the winning track tonight, since there seems little room for error in the Championship with a number of sides on decent winning runs at the moment.

What’s happening at home is if we don’t score early on to relieve the tension, then anxiety builds up in the crowd and that’s not helpful to the team and the anxiety is transmitted to the players.

It’s almost like creating a problem that isn’t there – since we are doing really well near the top of the table.

Rafa talked about it yesterday and admits the team wants to give more to the fans:

“I’d like to have the same form at home as we do away, because you want to give your fans something more.”

“Obviously, it’s different between playing at home and away. Away, the other team have to attack you, you have more space, at home you have to take more responsibility and we have to manage things better.

“If you don’t score early in games you have more anxiety and we have to cope with that. You can’t create a problem when the team is doing well.”

“You have a problem if you’re struggling to avoid relegation, but if you’re at the top you have to have confidence in what you’re doing.”

Those are good words from Rafa on the current situation at home.

Most fans think we can win the game tonight  – that would be really good and would definitely lift the mood of the fans.

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Comments welcome.

4 comments so far

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #1

    My sentiments entirely
    If we persist with one up front the better teams will nullify/bully Gayle out of the game and with our pedantic play it is easy to get 11 men behind the ball.

    We have got to take more chances and move the ball quicker instead of sideways.

    The Gallowgate on Monday night were doing there fingers at Clark, Lascalles and Dummett passing sideways, backwards the only defender that carried the ball was Anita. Time and time again Clark and Lascalles have aches of space in front of them to carry the ball forward but alas no pass it twenty/thirty yards sideways.

    Me – I would like to see us play 2 up front at home.

    My team for tonight:

    Yedlin and Mbemba the two full backs who both can carry the ball and attack down the flanks and get crosses in

    Midfield: Diame, Ritchie, Goufran and Anita

    strikers: Mitrovich and Gayle

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #2

    A midfield three of McCarthy and Hayden behind Shelvey makes sense, but relies on wingers that contribute to scoring. Something they are doing less of more recently, more than one of Ritchie, Gouffran and Atsu need to be getting a goal in each game.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #3


    I agree, although Anita did overlap at least once on Monday. It was memorable for its rarity of attacking chances.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #4

    I suspect the reason why less goals are being created by our wingers is because of the lack of supply. The front three can not create the space, time and opportunity to score from the half way line. The #10 needs to be the fulcrum of passes, like a Silva, but none of the players so far used in that position seem capable. Perhaps as an alternative, all three wingers should play with Ritchie in the centre.

    Gouf – Ritch – Atsu
    Anita – Hayden
    Dumm – Clarke – Lasc – Mbemba

    Flat back four with no overlapping and all the creativity (?) in front of them. Mbemba needs match practice before a CD replacement is necessary.


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