Rafa Puts FA Cup In Perspective – Thinks Big Picture

In his interviews yesterday Rafa is showing how cool and collected he remains when things are not going particularly well for Newcastle, after we have lost two of our last three league games and lost five game of the last nine in all competitions.

He has put things in perspective and keeps looking at the big picture and certainly his perspective will help the players to just concentrate on the next game and try to win it.

Rafa Benitez – thinking big picture

Rafa is showing why he has been so successful in the past in football because in any season there are ups and downs and we are in a down at the moment and hopefully can get out of it quickly.

He has talked about the FA Cup game tomorrow at Birmingham to the local reporters:

“I want to be sure we can try and win but I will not kill my players because we have to try and go one round up.” 

“We could have been playing against Manchester United in a two-legged semi-final in the EFL Cup.”

“Can you do it with your squad? Because they can play 10 different players and still be stronger than you.”

“How will you approach this FA Cup round in the Premier League with a very good squad?”  “It’s different if you’re in the Championship and you have to get promoted.”

“It’s totally different.”

“I have a squad that I want to use and I want to protect them, too, because I know what it means when you’re not playing regularly and then have to play.”

“I will put out a team that can compete and do well.”  “My idea is to do well in every competition.”

“Aleksandar Mitrovic has to play because Dwight Gayle is playing too many games and Mitrovic has to play.”

“I’m not expecting him to run more than Gayle and score five goals, I’m expecting him to give everything.”

“For me, it’s about thinking about the big picture.”

“We need to be as strong as we can as a team and a squad and you need players who are not playing to give everything.”

We really need to somehow get the win this afternoon just to get ourselves back on the winning track before we have a tough game at Brentford a week on Monday.

That will be the 5th game Jonjo Shelvey will have missed due to his suspension and he’ll be back for the game at home to Rotherham on January 21st.

That’s good news.

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Comments welcome.

84 comments so far

  • BandB

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #1

    Does “big picture” equate to “chuck the cup” then?
    Because that’s what these words in the mouth of McClaren and Pardew would have been read as.
    Is he “oozing” confidence. I don’t think his actual words support that at all.
    He is oozing reassurance, as you would expect him to be at the moment.
    Reassurance costs nothing.
    Not least of the upgrades the club got with Rafa is a man of sublime PR skills.

  • Jib

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #2


    Rafa’s phrase was

    “we have to try and go one round up”.

    It was actually Ed that used the term big picture.

    That sounds pretty positive to me

    So your sneering comment

    ( “big picture” equate to “chuck the cup” then?
    Because that’s what these words in the mouth of McClaren and Pardew would have been read as)

    Is once again a total non sequitur

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #3

    IMO we do not need a replacement for Shelvey but a player of equal creative quality. Someone that will improve the first team playing with Shelvey and then when one of them is unable to play we won’t look so cr#p.

  • mindshaft

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #4

    We, at least on paper have the best squad in the championship, of course we should rotate players , cup is icing on cake because if we don’t get promoted Gayle, Shelvey, Ritchie etc will be off, probably along with Rafa. Ashley will keep the cash as the Prem relegation money wil be gone and it will be needed to balance the books. we’ll be stuck in this league for ages

  • giimps

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #5

    Rafa bingo
    Yedlin, clark,laselles,dummet
    Tiote anita
    Ritchie gouff lazaar

    Chance to try something new but dont think it will be gayle and mitro together.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #6

    I thought the article about getting to the top was quite funny, after all we are only one place off!

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #7

    Sorry, just reread my confused statement about Shelvey. I should of said rather than a direct replacement, perhaps a #10 of equal quality that can carry the team forward in absence of the bald one.

  • posada

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #8

    Re signings. Made the point the other day that its sometimes about who you can get out not who you can get in.
    Toite is on 65K a week remember and contributes zero.

    Most of the squad postions are covered by two players.

    Key areas for me are left wing and centre midfield.
    Gouf had a purple patch but will never be good enough.

    Sign Brady.

    Centre mid is difficult. At the moment we have Shelvey. He’s got himself fitter and puts some work in but I think his engine and style mean his midfield partner has to do some of his leg work. If we sign a so called creative midfielder would we play two together like that. I think we’d get done on work rate.

    Think of Leicester last year. Drinkwater and Kante. Who was artist who was the tradesman. Neither they both grafted. That for me was the essence of midfield play.

  • BandB

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #9


    Happy New Year old boy.
    Keeping busy?

  • Jib

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #10

    Leicester , last year rotated the least of the top six .
    They had no Europe of course and exited both domestic cups early .
    Ranieri had a small squad and was lucky with injuries and suspensions but still remarkable.

  • posada

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #11

    Agreed on that. I’m not a big fan of mass rotation as you know. I would hate to play, do well and not play the next week. I think it can demotivate players.
    Having cover and options is a different thing mind.

    Leicester also played with defensive fullbacks like Simpson. But of course that was compensated for by having an great wide made infront of him.
    It was 4/4/2 as well.
    Think our problems come from the balance of the team.
    It’s not quite right and we are vulnerable at times.

  • BandB

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #12


    Exactly the argument deployed by fans to justify supporting the “no cups” policy designed to keep us in the top league.
    Remind me how that went again?
    It’s amazing how quickly folks take to parroting the same reassuring old junk they are being fed.

  • posada

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #13

    There can be no excuses for not wanting to progress in the FA Cup.
    It’s not like the other cup where you play midweek hence 3 games in 7 days. For the 1st few rounds there are weekends set aside for the games.
    We have players like Hanley and Murphy who need games.
    I used yo think Collo and Co used to love it. Exit early and you had 2 or 3 two week breaks during the cold weather.

  • JamesToon

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #14

    Think I’d take this Ben Osborn lad, especially for just £4m

    Looking at his whoscored, looks promising
    1 goal and 5 assists this season, 2.4 key passes per game which is higher than Shelvey!

    Clearly an attacking minded midfielder and still only 22, and judging by forest fans reaction to the SSN link they wouldn’t be happy if they sold him

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #15

    It’s not really the same though is it. We have a deeper group, and the side selected will not be a substantially weaker one. We are rotating the squad to keep the side fresh in order to maximise our chances of an immediate return, which is paramount, not to protect a lower mid table EPL position. Plus our gaffer this time round is the immensely well credentialed and respected Rafael Benitez, not Alan Pardew.

  • WheresSholaNow

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #16

    I think Brady and a new #10 is what’s needed, move Diame back because he just looks lethargic as a number 10 after every run he makes

  • Jib

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #17

    Benitez’ Livrepool beat Pardew’s West Ham to lift the 2006 FA cup

  • hibbit

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #18

    a goal scoring in ya faces number 10 would make a huge difference
    to me its our biggest problem on the pitch !!

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #19

    From the above quote I do not think there will be a change in system, with Mitro making way for Gayle and despite the difference in their style of play. I hope Rafa has been working on a way to get the best out of Mitro playing as a lone front man, other than just having Perez in just behind him. The only other opportunities for change is out wide with the full backs, but a well organised defense should see off the majority of crosses so there will be a need for patience.

    My other concern is if Hayden is rested the midfield will be vunerable due to a lack of cohesion and fully up to match speed.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #20

    # not being fully up to match speed.

  • BandB

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #21

    Do we have a deeper group Jimmy?
    I see Sammy Amoebi’s back.
    Well who saw that coming…………? 🙂

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #22

    Dunno if there a Jail Rafa bingo for today but here is my offering anyway.

    Yedlin Lascelles Clarke Dummett

    Anita Hayden

    Ritchie Gouffron Murphy


    I’d be amazed if I was correct and I’ll be just as amazed if anyone else gets it correct.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #23

    Oh and 3-1 to us.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #24

    Biggest problem on the pitch is the same it’s been since Cabaye left, a lack of depth
    With Shelvey out were once again hindered by the increasingly more ineffectual Jack Colback, a defensive minded player who can’t tackle and a midfielder who can’t pass

    We have a fantastic young talent in Hayden, full of energy and running great in the tackle, more than comfortable with the ball at his feet and a great range of passing

    Shelvey has most certainly been our most effective creative spark but Diame’s done alright, but in Shelvey’a absence he never had the running to fill the void

    We’re screaming out for the same thing we have been for seasons, a link
    Rafa tried to get in McCarthy from Everton and is seemingly keen on taking him or cleverly on loan both of which would bridge that link far more comfortably than Colback

    Also width, Atsu has come on leaps and bounds however, imho, Ritchie has stalled…massively…over the last 3-4 weeks
    We need competition

    If we could get in say Cleverly/Delph/McCarthy styled player, that Judge lad and a winger we’d storm the second half of the season imo

    Also it’s a bold move but I’d drop Lascelles today, he’s either knackered or needs a kick up the ars3 been poor for the last couple of games, who’d of thought Clark would be our stand out defender!!!

  • Jib

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #25

    Training yesterday morning

    Rob Elliot is playing at Little Benton today for the kids against Brighton.

  • JamesToon

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #26

    Could defo see us signing Cleverley, Osborn and Brady this month

  • Legolas

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #27

    Rafa Bingo selection


    Yedlin Lascelles Clark Lazzar

    Ritchie Hayden Colback Gouffran

    Gayle Mitrovich

  • Jib

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #28

    Don’t be surprised if it’s 4-4-2 today and also don’t be surprised if Ivan Toney gets on sometime (he’s back from Shrewsbury)

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #29

    This squads got plenty of depth. I don’t know if it has the quality to win promotion and the FA cup, but it certainly has the depth and balance to win the league. We’ve missed Shelvey, and maybe Rafa should have played Mitro instead of Gayle up top in his absence. But that isn’t a depth issue. It’s a decision that hasn’t paid off at this stage, with two games of his suspension left, and one of a variety of options available to him.


    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #30

    rafa bingo line up

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #31

    Overloaded with defensive midfielders and only 2 real wings

    Depth and balance…

    Not sure how playing Mitrovic instead of Gayle would of nullified a negative midfield mind

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #32

    He’s back and already been linked with several permanent transfers to league 1

  • Budge123

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #33

    Rafa Bingo Bango
    Yedlin Hanley Clark Dummett
    Hayden Colback
    Ritchie Gouff
    Mitro Murphy

    3-1 to the Toon

    Think the old Blackburn S and S front two but this is more M and M s

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #34

    Several teams want him on loan in league 1 too, can’t see why we’d play Toney

  • beefman13

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #35

    Rafa, you could put anyone of 3 or 4 teams out, there a much of a muchness, bit of a “cupout”!!! if you ask me, we should already been half a dozen points clear in this crap league, there is only Shelvey that makes a difference for me, maybe Gayle but am happy for Mitro to play no problem, it’s been Rafa’s Gala bingo all season, he’s chopped and changed, I’ve been quite disappointed lately, and I am glad he will make changes for the cup, hopefully no ginger nut as well, I expect us to win today, Rafa, the FA CUP means a hell of a lot to this club, even now after its lost its magic to a degree but i personally love this cup.you sounded like Pardew Mclaren and the rest as someone mentioned, we can get promotion easily out of this crap hole, let’s have a go at the cuo eh,.

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #36

    RAFA BINGO. Team ‘up for’ Cup;



    ……………..HAYDEN….. COLBACK.




  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #37

    …………because Mitrovic or Murphy would provide more obvious targets for the likes of Ritchie, Anita, Colback, Hayden and Gouffran to find. Gayle relies heavily on Shelvey to pick him out if he’s leading the line. Gayle or Perez or Diame behind Mitro or Murphy and you don’t have to rely on Shelvey’s passing so much, and it’s still formidable.

  • Belfast

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #38

    Thanks for the graphics Tynemouth.



    ……………..HAYDEN….. ANITA.



  • Belfast

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #39

    A bit lop sided but sure 🙂

  • hibbit

    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #40

    has jail turned up yet ???


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