Rafa Benitez – Defeat Is Difficult To Explain


Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez found the 1-0 defeat at Blackburn this afternoon – our fourth defeat in the last eight league games – very difficult to explain with Newcastle dominating the game for long periods.

Blackburn scored with their only shot on target after 74 minutes,  but Newcastle had 66% possession but missed a number of chances, especially in the first half.

Rafa Benitez – can’t explain defeat

With Brighton winning again – this time 2-1 at Fulham – means they go top of the league 2 points above Newcastle with a game in hand and now Reading are just 6 points behind Newcastle with a game in hand.

This is what Rafa said after the game this afternoon:

“I don’t know the stats from the first half, but in terms of chances and possession and corners everything was in our favor.”

“It’s difficult to explain. What we have to do is keep doing the same things in the second half as in the first.”

“We started the second half with two goals disallowed.” “We had the same idea and same control. Then we lost control of the game for five minutes and we conceded the goal.

“In the end when they have more problems and more bodies in the box it’s not easy to find the space.”

“As you say it’s difficult to explain. How did we not even draw this game, never mind lose it. It’s incredible.”

Here’s the current standings – with Newcastle having dropped 6 points in the last three league games with Jonjo Shelvey out suspended.

That’s not good.

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

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133 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #1

    Anyone care to argue for us not needing to strengthen the squad this window? Squad “good enough” ? Colback “does the hard yards” and the “dirty work” …? Pfft. Ritchie starting to look a level down from when he signed. Left hand side of the pitch with Dummett and Gouffran for the rest of the season? Dear oh dear. They hadn’t even a yellow card to show on the stat board at ht. Pathetic.

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #2

    Spot on Charlie of the Gallowgate.But hope he just doesn’t look at other Championship options. Perhaps we should look at taking the likes of Ings or Crouch on loan but would also like Ince to give us variety of attacking options. Is Ings injured though as he never features for L’pool?
    Priority must be creative midfielder as far too reliant on Shelvey & indeed Gayle (for goals)

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  • yorkymag

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #3

    All the talk in the pub prior today was that mitro is gone and that the lad I think judge from Brentford is deal done ,only pub chat but makes sense with Murphy on the bench

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #4

    Yes Tsunki Will reiterate : bog standard Championship players at best. Would Bournemouth,Palace Arsenal & Hull have sold to us IF they had been Prem quality.? The answer is unlikely.

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #5

    Repost
    WWSBRD
    January 2, 2017
    West
    Tbf I agree we could of sacrificed a midfielder for another striker much earlier today but am not bothered about it being Mitro, tbh I’d sooner see what Murphy has to offer

    Though equally I thought Atsu and Lazaar should of been on as Goofy and Dummett offered next to nothing and we didn’t need there defensive nature while Blackburn offered nothing

    As for the CM issue I imagine that’s why we have 3 offers in for a CMs currently

    And pretty sure zings is again out for the season

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #6

    Yorkymag I heard to Swansea for almost our money back. That’s why I’m suggesting proven track record in Prem like Ings or Crouch rather than yet another Championship player. Are we progressive or not? Or are we looking to stabilise our Championship prospects?

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #7

    Ings I mean

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  • sing in the corner

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #8

    Worry not…breaking news… Ivan Toney is coming back to the Toon from his loan spell too!

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  • mad-serb

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #9

    WWSBRD

    Ings out for 8 months again so no go

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #10

    WWSBRD Agree Atsu & Lazaaar could have started. But If Mitro goes
    we need another recognised striker. Murphy must be given more than 5/10 mins but he is unproven. My suggestion of Anita as playmaker is that he is probably the best of a bad bunch in that role we have avilable. Trouble is our record of getting good players across the line in January is not great

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  • yorkymag

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #11

    I would push hard for Callum Wilson
    But would rather have 2 midfielders ,if judge is one either. Cleverley or Delph
    There is also something stirring at hull and I would be happy to see this nasty little s.. in black and white

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #12

    RAFA maybe we have become a one-trick pony….

    Play one up front relying on Gayle…

    …just looked up the leading scorers in the Championship and it makes worrying reading when we rely on playing one up front and if anything happens to him – Gayle

    Next best Goufran with 4 in joint 42nd position

    Most other teams have two players and sometimes three players above Goufran

    Dwight Gayle Newcastle Utd 19
    Glenn Murray Brighton & Hove 15
    Scott Hogan Brentford 13
    Tammy Abraham Bristol City 12
    Chris Wood Leeds Utd 11
    Sam Winnall Barnsley 11
    Jonathan Kodjia Aston Villa 9
    Daniel Graham Blackburn 9
    Sam Gallagher Blackburn 9
    Danny Ward Rotherham 9
    Garath McCleary Reading 8
    Thomas Ince Derby County 8
    Anthony Knockaert Brighton & Hove 8
    Jackson Irvine Burton Albion 8
    Elias Kachunga Huddersfield 8
    Lukas Jutkiewicz Birmingham City 7
    Chris Martin Fulham 7
    David Edwards Wolverhampton 7
    Clayton Donaldson Birmingham City 6
    Henri Lansbury Nottm Forest 6
    Fernando Martin Forestieri Sheffield Wed 6
    Steven Fletcher Sheffield Wed 6
    Helder Costa Wolverhampton 6
    Marley Watkins Barnsley 6
    Sam Baldock Brighton & Hove 6
    Nahki Wells Huddersfield 6
    Jacob Murphy Norwich City 6
    Cameron Jerome Norwich City 6
    Apostolos Vellios Nottm Forest 6
    Britt Assombalonga Nottm Forest 6
    Graham Dorrans Norwich City 5
    Peter Whittingham Cardiff City 5
    Yann Kermorgant Reading 5
    Gary Hooper Sheffield Wed 5
    Anthony Pilkington Cardiff City 5
    Stefan Johansen Fulham 5
    Tom Cairney Fulham 5
    Grant Ward Ipswich Town 5]
    Jordan Hugill Preston 5]
    Callum Robinson Preston 5
    Idrissa Sylla QP Rangers 5
    Will Grigg Wigan Athletic 5
    Lee Tomlin Bristol City 4
    Brett Pitman Ipswich Town 4
    Jamie Ward Burton Albion 4
    Lloyd Dyer Burton Albion 4
    Rickie Lambert Cardiff City 4
    Sone Aluko Fulham 4
    Yoan Gouffran Newcastle Utd 4

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #13

    Thanks lads didn’t know about Ings but thought there must be a problem as he has never figured for L’Pool. Just think we need someone of some pedrigree who perhaps is only in a bit role in the Prem at present. Let’s face it Cashley is unlikely to splash megabucks even for Rafa

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  • Toonfan8

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #14

    West Lancs Geordie
    no, that is the time to go, Rafa is still very good manager for us and I think, he will promote us, what I wanted to point out, that he is no god and not every his decision is good one, as we can see, every other manager in that teams did better than him…so he is no longer world class manager as he was in his time in Valencia and Liverpool, but he is still very good, especially for us…

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #15

    mad
    Aye thought I’d seen that, came back for a match or two then his other leg exploded I think

    West
    I don’t know about started but certainly could of come on earlier when we were in full control. Am not sure Murphy is unproven either tbf he’s been a good striker at this level for awhile

    If we do indeed get shot if Mitro then I’d want another to come in but if he stays I don’t see the dire need tbh

    And I hate Anita as a CM haha

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  • lochinvar

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #16

    Are we missing Cathro ?
    Seriously – a tracksuit coach alongside the players to motivate them.

    Rafa may be the strategist but he’s sitting on the bench in a suit ( nothing wrong with that ) but we need to start being more…well aggressive and energetic

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #17

    You know the other sh.t mentioned? Another Arsenal Reject Lansby. & I don’t mean Angela. Yes the cheat from Forrest. Hope we don’t have to resort to him.

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #18

    If we want a striker I am fully behind the Callum Wilson rumour, he’d be exactly what we want imo

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  • lochinvar

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #19

    Charlie@12

    on Gouffran – just seems to be playing with less freedom than earlier in the season when he mostly scored.

    Just worry than the team is over coached and are over thinking too many moves – some more flair and risk up front would produce more goals from different players

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  • mad-serb

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #20

    As for what went wrong Rafa easy. They played 10 man behind the ball and defended and we did not have anyone that could pass and the ball to create chances.

    They cut the space of so gayle cannot get free. Which normally means the space is on the outside so you need you fullback in the wide areas to cross the ball into the box. Which Anita and Drummett is masters off. The problem you had then was that you did not have anyone that can win a ball in the penalty area.

    This is when you require a big centre forward on 60 minutes, yet you decided to do that at 86 minutes.

    Not that complicated

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #21

    WWSBRD Don’t get me wrong I don’t think Anita is the long term answer but we are severely lacking a playmaker & whilst I don’t completely agree with Charlie I think as things stand we are a TWO horse trap (Gayle & Shelvey) & with no back up “horses” to take us to the next watering hole

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #22

    Rafa you say the defeat is hard to explain, well how about you explain your Pardew style tactics and your timing on bringing on players at the wrong times.

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  • lochinvar

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #23

    Charlie Mulgrew is left footed – did no-one do their homework either off or on the pitch as to how to defend a free kick taken by him – our wall looked woeful even casual against his strike and we paid the price.

    A left footed hit around the wall was always going to be likely but we loaded the wall to the right ?

    Lascalles may be Captain but he needs to start showing more leadership and start shouting the odds a bit more – we don’t need more Coloitis creeping in

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #24

    Wasn’t Anita awful at right back last season.

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  • RUNAWAY777

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #25

    Well well if rafa does not know what went wrong then where f..ked I know the answer not knowing when to change thing’s around at the right time not with 5 mins to play and for f..k play two up front at home give fans something they want to see if it works.

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  • jimiley

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #26

    The team has been sussed and other teams are not afraid of our alleged Premiership team. They are nothing of the sort. We are trying to buy average players to take us to the promised land. Just Ed from Villa and some striker from Brentford. They will not keep us in the Premiership never mind make us a success. They are journeymen who will stay at the Toon after failing because nobody will match their wages. Still no ambition. Even our so he squad of a top 6 team and was sold at Liverpool and Swansea. Was not in the Swansea team. We need to realize we need to look beyond players like Just Ed who went down with Villa if we are to go up and more importantly stay up. The club has NO ambition. Nothing has changed except we have a decent manager. Lucky twat Ashley.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #27

    We need height all over the pitch, if we are getting out muscled in the championship then we are going to struggle next season if we get promoted.

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #28

    If you analyse the goal (from a free kick) .The wall was sh 1 T e . Diame was pulling people about and then a gaps left. At least Rafa had tightened up our defending up till a few weeks ago. His failing is he doesn’t know what to do when we go behind. Subs should be given at least 30 mins unless you are running down the clock.

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  • AncientC

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #29

    Two thirds of the possession, 25 shots on goal. I don’t remember Pardew’s tactics being anything remotely like that.

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #30

    West
    I think of u move Anita back to CM ud ruin the confidence he’s gained from playing in the position he should play on…but again I think he is useless in the centre so I’d always think that

    Hopefully we will get Delph or Cleverly in soon and the issue won’t be as much of a problem

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #31

    I hope we don’t end up in the play offs at the end of the season.

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  • kimbo

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #32

    Well Rafa is in shock and the stats say we dominated the game. The stat that counts is goals and the other stat is we are losing games and Rafa cannot change from planA. Play 442 for the next game and see what happens. I am.getting frustrated by Rafa stubborness not to change things early. Looks like championship next season as teams have sussed us out. Stop Gayle and Shelvey and we are stuffed.

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #33

    AncientC
    If u don’t feed him he’ll go away mate

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  • yorkymag

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #34

    Loch
    Not sure
    Our poor form dip in firm is directly linked to the missing man
    If Rafa is to blame it is not signing a back up
    But just maybe the suspension has come at the right time

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  • West Lancs Geordie

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #35

    Agree all those who have sussed us out. Shelf Wed , Notts Forrest Away & Rovers. Rough us up a bit, wind us up , soak up the pressure then hit us. Rafa must get much more streetwise as these players are no where near the quality he has managed in the past.

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  • jimiley

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #36

    Our team is too small. Perez, Gayle, Anita Gayle are barely five feet tall.Four midgets is three too many. Easily muscled out of the game. The other grinders who have been brought in to compensate for them have no creative ability. Average team but it is terrible that a crap team like Blackburn can do the double. We will come straight back down. Hughton team to get promoted was much better. Sadly.

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  • toon kk

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #37

    We need Shelvey back, in the meantime expect more defeats . I hope Gayle doesn’t pick up a injury or we’ll end up mid table.

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #38

    Lochinvar
    You could be on to something that the players are playing with no less freedom.
    You mention Goufran

    Ritchie is the one that sticks out – started like a house on fire – went passed players got crosses in ran at their defence – but now joined the sideways backwards slow slow brigade – It is as if they are shit scared to try anything loose the ball as they’ll get bollocked.

    Got to change tactics one up front as other teams have got us sussed get a hold of Gayle and Shelvey then we don’t have another plan – outlet

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  • Toonfan8

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #39

    we need to bring cm Loftus Cheek and Cleverley will be enough, then we should bring LB from Leeds Ch.Taylor and try Snodgrass/Sigurdsson, and SC Berahino/Wilson

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  • calvinho

    Jan 2, 2017 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #40

    Colback has been dreadful for a while. He couldn’t get in Sunderland’s midfield and was their left back. He’s never been good enough for centre midfield. Even at this level, his only use is coming on in the last 10-15mins to close a game out. Hayden has potential, but that’s it at present. I was hoping the Championship would toughen Perez up and he’s develop areas of his game, but he looks like he’s developed as much as he can. We need a few signings this window. I’d love us try to get Sigurdsson from Swansea. he’d be perfect in the no.10.

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