Is Rafa Benitez Still Confident Of Promotion?


This season is not turning out to be as easy in the promotion race as some of us had hoped for in the summer and would you believe that Brighton won again last night even though they were reduced to 10 men after 65 minutes.

They still somehow managed to beat a good Sheffield Wednesday side 2-1 at the Amex Stadium to go back above Newcastle at the top of the league table.

Rafa Benitez – still confident Newcastle can go up

Rafa Benitez is still trying to do a couple of deals this month for a central midfielder and a winger, but there are problems with Newcastle needing to do loan deals and other clubs unwilling to let their good players leave this month.

But Rafa is still confident that he can engineer an instant return to the big money and world-wide exposure of the Premier League.

We’ve found out again this season that when you are in England’s second division you are very much second class citizens in English football.

🙁

This is what Rafa has said about transfers and promotion as reported on the Inside Futbol web-site:

“Every day we talk about transfers in the club.”

“The plan is to sign the best players possible.” “We will sign who we need.”

“Yes, I believe that we have the potential to succeed with an instant return.”

“Obviously to be promoted is the objective.” “That’s the most important thing, but also we can build something.”

“In order to return to the Premier League we have to be patient and deal with every match separately.”

We play Rotherham United at St. James’ Park today and we cannot afford any more slip-ups with teams we should be beating – especially at home.

Here’s the status of things at the top of the Championship right now and a win today will take us back to the top of the league.

If you take into account goal difference we are currently 8 points clear in an automatic promotion place.

It would be good if we can increase that today.

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

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104 comments so far

  • Clematis

    Jan 21, 2017 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #1

    Ooh, I make a comment then a new thread is posted….argh!

    From last post Palace are due to pay a 3mill instalment for Townsend. We’re trying to set that payment as a loan fee and pay 10mill in the summer.

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  • mattyNUFC

    Jan 21, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #2

    repost

    is no one else worried by Andros’ track record?? With Andros we have a whole history in a year showcasing his shirking…

    – first it was the falling out at tottenham. fair bit of heresay here, but the consensus seems to be neither party was willing to extend an olive branch
    result: Andros runs away

    – newcastle. adored by fans. praised to no end
    result: Andros runs away

    – palace. atrocious dip in form (which should be worrying enough imo)
    result: Andros’ running away again?

    this guy is a quitter. i firmly believe that is not a trait you easily change. and in all honesty, he’s a remnant of our relegation. he left, so be it. I just feel we could do exponentially better, especially after having seen him play a fair few times this season.

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  • lesh

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #3

    What the hell is Ashley playing at? He’s back, concerned about the bottom line and risking promotion for the sake of not spending?

    Or, is Ashley setting Rafa up to fail and give him an excuse to terminate his contract without massive compensation?

    Just a thought…..

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Since I started using this blog there have not been many other posters as critical of Mike Ashley as me and that’s not going to change for a good while yet if at all. I don’t believe he had a “Damascus” moment or has learned his lesson or from his mistakes either. But why are some posters determined that he is going to screw Rafa over to such an extent it seems like they are willing him to do so, we are well on course for.promotion, the players seem happy, the manager is cool, calm and collected, we have sell out games against league one standard oppositiin, why can’t people enjoy that.

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  • lesh

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #5

    Jail

    You make a good point. But I wonder whether Ashley’s ambitions for Newcastle United match those held by you, thousands of fans and Rafa?

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  • Budge123

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #6

    I imagine his ambition for us is to sell us for a huge amount to some Chinese consortium – to do that we need to be up and solvent. Both of which we look like being.

    Matty on Townsend – if we had stayed up would he have run off or gone on to be a legend? Cos the way he played in those few games was better than anything at SJP for a few years. Perhaps he just needs the right manager and right crowd to get behind him?

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  • posada

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #7

    Matty at 2. Well said and all very valid points.
    I would take him on loan.
    Only risk would be his wages.
    When it comes to 12-13 Million.
    I thought we did well to get our money back.

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  • Jib

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #8

    It wouldn’t bother me at all if we got no one this window.

    We have enough for this league for sure.

    As long as we stay nip and tuck with Brighton we will both go up – whether we get the 2nd tier cup is a matterless to me.

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  • posada

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #9

    Budge
    His record mate is one of brilliant form over short periods.

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  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Rafa bingo…

    Darlow
    Yedlin_Lascelles_Clark_Lazaar
    Shelvey_Colback
    Ritchie_Perez_Gouffran
    Murphy

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  • Jib

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #11

    Don’t forget Boro just pipped Brighton on GD last season – then Hughton blew the play-offs – I don’t want any of that crap

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  • Ron Knee

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #12

    How many instalments have Palace already paid?

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  • Jib

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #13

    If anything happens to Knockaert Brighton will be worse effected than we were by the loss of Shelvey.

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  • toonincheek

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #14

    Clematis @1
    Are you sure about that?
    So Palace have not yet paid anything?

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  • posada

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #15

    Jib
    I agree.
    We are short of a quality left winger.
    The squad is not particularly well balanced, but we should have enough.
    I get stick for saying it, but this squad cost about 90 Million.
    Most of the teams in this league have lacked resources for years.
    Look no further than Huddersfield.

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  • Nufc-83

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #16

    Matty what is worse than a quitter is players who are gutless. Last year I watched players like Gini, sissokho, shelvey etc all hide and make themselves unavailable for a pass or quickly move it on 5yds sideways or backwards. What I seen from Townsend was a player who made space and wanted the ball. He didn’t move the ball onto someone else he got his head up and made things happen. If he lost the ball he would just go again. That for me shows he has guts and that is one of the best attributes a player can have.

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  • Nufc-83

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #17

    Has anyone got a work around for blocking cookies as I can’t see new posts until I clear all my data on phone. If I block cookies I can’t log in 🙁

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #18

    Palace paid up front otherwise they couldn’t of met the release fee

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  • jane

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #19

    “This season is not turning out to be as easy in the promotion race as some of us had hoped for in the summer”

    “If you take into account goal difference we are currently 8 points clear in an automatic promotion place.”

    football fans hey

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  • WWSBRD

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #20

    matty
    1 Townsend was playing reserve football with no indication he’d return to first team action. He moved for the sake of his career that’s not running away
    2 he needed to play PL football in order to have a chance at being a international footballer. He moved for the sake of his career that’s not running away
    3 if he’s not rated at Palace and Sam wants rid he should sit on the bench rather than move? Howay

    By ur definition every player who moves clubs is a quitter mate

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  • Bobbybee

    Jan 21, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #21

    Lesh, glimpsed your post. Not getting into this but just so you know. I’m left wing mate. The alt right is a name invented by the Dems for anybody who questioned their dodgy dealings. You must stop listening to propaganda from the box in the corner. My interest is in corruption on both sides. It’s fascinating and often funny. I just don’t believe the msm until I’ve checked it out.
    Expat mag, I wasn’t comparing the two incidents bozo, just pointing out the irony. I don’t do vague swipes either. If the hat fits etc. In this ever shrinking world, news is news, regardless of content. People here have every right to comment on anything in the world, as do you. You do get irony I presume? If people in politics have their way, free speech will be gone soon, but last I checked, it was still legal. Prat. There, that’s not vague is it? 🙂

    Not looking great with Andros signing. Personally I’d sign him if he wants to come. We could even attach a promotion clause, but this time the price must be more than we paid or he stays. Leave it to him then.
    Tbh I think we’ve got enough to go up anyway. Cover for Shelvey would be safer and I’m sure Rafa’s looking for that. As I’ve said all along, if the right players can’t be got, keep the powder dry. Don’t waste it on more squad players. When the lads get back from Africa we’ll be fine. Sometimes people just like to see a signing or two and don’t care who it is. Been there, done that. Our Rafa knows best. Trust him to do what’s right.

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  • lesh

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #22

    Jib

    You’re surely not hoping that Knockaert’s forced to miss a few games are you? Nah, that’d be thoroughly bad sportsmanship. But then again…….

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  • one fine day

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #23

    Let’s get ready to Rafa rummmmmmbllllleeeeh !
    Darlow
    Yedlin_Lascelles_Clark_Lazaaruu
    Shelvey_Colback
    Ritchie_Gouffran Sammy
    Murphy

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  • Bobbybee

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #24

    Need to send out a message today. Brighton did so last night. This is their cup final. Not even sure they take this many to Sheffield, which joins onto Rotherham seamlessly. We need to get on top and show no mercy. Show the rest we mean business. The league is still in our hands to win, but we need to keep winning games. Starting today. Get the gd so high we can’t be caught. Good as a point. Rotherham haven’t won away this season and I see no reason for that to change, but they showed at home they can raise their game for big occasions and this is their biggest. We need to crush them mercilessly. I’m going for 5-0 because I believe Rafa will have got into their heads today. Be nice if Murphy can get his hattrick today.

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  • Bobbybee

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #25

    OFD. Don’t want to spoil things matey, but that’s the team I’ve picked and I never win. I’ve gone for two out and out wingers coz of Murphy – hence Sammy. I normally get nine or ten, just to give you fair warning. 🙂

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  • Jib

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #26

    I said the other day but most missed it.

    Boro have made Stewart Downing available for loan.
    I think he would be happy to sit on the bench and be cover for Jonjo for 6 months.

    No need for upheaval – straight up the A19 and thru TT2 and on to Benton.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #27

    If my team comes in today it’s going to be a nightmare scoring the points as nearly everyone has it, I’ll sacrifice a win today even though it’ll spoil my 100% record.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #28

    Smoggies hate us!

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  • lesh

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #29

    Bobby

    It’s not the forum to discuss it but your perception of the alt-right seems to differ from generally received wisdom.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right

    Enough though, the damage’s done in this country, the US and no doubt the right’ll gain momentum in Europe over time. It has all the trappings of the rise of an Austrian megalomanic of some years ago.

    Anyway….. Enough of such claptrap and let’s all hope for a massive win for us today.

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  • reilly

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #30

    rafa bingo.

    Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles Dummett , Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Gouffran
    Perez, Murphy

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  • AncientC

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #31

    The Guardian have Downing going to Palace if Townsend comes back. With the Guardian having a high rumour accuracy – that one may have legs.

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  • Bobbybee

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #32

    Lesh, please, leave it out. Anybody can alter wiki to suit themselves. The alt right was invented by the Dems. It’s an attempt to sensor news, whilst everybody sits on their backsides and lets it happen. Laws already passed in America and getting close here. You won’t here that on the box either. I really don’t have any interest in what anybody who gets their news from msm has to say mate. I research the news from all sorts of sources. I don’t want to get into it on here again. Believe what you want, just don’t ask me to when I spend so much time on it. Back to football eh?

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  • Jib

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #33

    I think Downing’s versatility would be more what we need (but it’s not crucial) until seasons end

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  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #34

    I don’t often read or give Mark Douglas much credit, but this is about right:

    “Benitez remains in control of transfers – within reason – and that is right. Not every deal he has done has worked so far – think Jesus Gamez, Achraf Lazaar and Grant Hanley’s lack of game time – but this is a long season.

    A squad has been built to cope with the attrition of a full Championship campaign and the looming three-game run that might define their season in February is proof that they will need all hands on deck. Hanley’s cameo at Brentford – and then mature performance in the Cup – illustrates that there is still time for the forgotten men of the summer to have an impact on a season which still has plenty of mileage in it.”

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  • Bobbybee

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #35

    Don’t fancy Downing myself. Never really rated him at his best and he’s well passed that. Just buying to waste money and wages. We did this under McClaren and that’s what is probably concerning Ashley. If a player can’t improve us, don’t buy him. We’re pretty covered everywhere except for Shelvey. Andros would improve us, so fair enough. Would Downing? Really? Not for me.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #36

    Bobby…Don’t suppose you could point me in the right direction for a good website or blog for such research?

    Alternative news is an interest of mine.

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  • Ron Knee

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #37

    Lindisfarne

    In the same article Douglas speculates on the extent of Ashley’s interference in January transfers, offering a number of ‘scenarios’. He seems to be as much in the dark as the rest of us!

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  • gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola)

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #38

    0 signings and potential a player who told us to get *****.

    Downright embarrassing. Truly. Ashley has obviously learned nothing.
    Rafa looks like he has way less of a pull than many have anticipated!…

    Looks like a bleak window yet again.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #39

    I, like many other fans I presume, was happy enough with the squad in the summer for the job at hand. Sure there are areas that should be improved upon, but I don’t see our competition as being improved either (at this stage, anyway).

    I don’t think this was ever going to be the big window of change, but if possible, sensible additions would be made. That is still possible, but also, it shouldn’t be a disaster if no one arrives this window.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 21, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #40

    Ibiza

    The Nexus web site is worth a look, you do have to make your own mind up about the veracity of some of it but overall there a lot of truth in what they report.

    Jail
    Rafa Bingo

    Darlow
    Yedlin Lascelles Clark Dummett
    Shelvey Colback
    Ritchie Perez Gouffron
    Murphy

    This is most peoples choice today and for me the most obvious one. Still I’m sure he’s going to surprise. 🙂

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