One of the things Rafa Benitez is very good at on the touch-line is reading exactly what is going on in a game – and because of that he is usually spot on when he makes substations.
He doesn’t get much credit for that but it’s one reason we have won so many games this season.
That was evident at Norwich on Tuesday night as Rafa made changes when we were 2-1 down and Newcastle were going after the equalizer and then after that in the final 10 minutes or so when it was 2-2 we were going after the winner.
Rafa Benitez in the dugout on Tuesday night
Rafa wants to win every single game and he shows that in the way he makes his substitutions and he has that winning mentality instilled in his players.
A win is what we need in every single game.
Even I get that now.
Rafa has explained his substitutions and why he made them at Norwich as reported in the Chronicle:
“The substitutions weren’t easy.”
“With Jack Colback it was because I wanted to have a more offensive mentality and more legs, more creativity.”
“But he was doing well too.” With Ritchie it was because Atsu can go past players.”
“It wasn’t because they were doing bad, it was because we needed to change something.”
One of the things we are getting from Rafa’s team this season is all out commitment and the game ain’t over till it’s over – as former Yankees catcher YOgi Berra would say.
If we are not winning, the team goes all out to win the game, but of course there’s always the other side of things when we are only one goal up, which happens in too many games – and there’s always a possibility that the opposition can get a late equalizer.
In the main though we haven’t given up too many points late in games as the 21 wins in 31 league games would indicate.
More wins – probably 10 in the last 15 games will see us promoted this season.