Rafa Explains Why It’s Simply The Toughest In The World


Rafa Benitez has said the English Championship is the toughest football league in the world because of the schedule of games – 46 games with 24 teams in the league – and the standard of competition is high and it seems that every team can give any other team in the league a good game.

They say that about the Premier League too, but we have proved this season that teams like Burton, Rotherham, Blackburn, Bristol City and others have played so well against us and made it very difficult.

In fact after the very tough game at Norwich on Tuesday night ended in a 2-2 draw, the Canaries then lost at Burton Albion 2-1.

Rafa Benitez at Norwich City

So we are starting to believe Rafa is right – it’s not the best in the world – but it’s the toughest and when you get to the end of the season you have been through some obstacle course with all the emotional highs and lows.

I’m already exhausted.

🙂

This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle:

“Some people think if you spend money you have to be up there, but football isn’t one plus one equals two.” “Normally what you have is a lot of teams up there.”

“You can also see in the Premier League now – a lot of teams have spent money but you only have one or two teams up there.” “The others can’t do it.”

“For me Aston Villa are proof of how difficult the Championship is.”

“You see teams going down from the Premier League and they can’t get up the year after.” “That means the competition is very difficult.”

“If you analyse carefully why, you will see that it’s easier for a team that challenged in the top six in the Championship than it is for a team coming down.”

“Why? Because normally if you go down it’s because something is wrong and you have to change things.”

“You can change half of the squad and bring in new players who settle down.” “It’s different if you have already been there.”

“Look at Brighton for example, they have spent money in the last two or three years.”

“They are up there and they just need to add two or three players each year and they’ll be stronger in the division.”

“When you go down you have to change half the squad, you need to settle down and you need time for new staff and new people.”

“I can understand why it’s so difficult for them to do what everybody expects them to do.” “From our position we have also spent money and are doing well.”

“It is difficult to stay up there and be consistent to stay at the top of the table.” “It will be a tough game for us.”

“They have a good team and have very good players, it will be a tough competition for all of that.”

Rafa Benitez is very smart and there’s a good overview of why the Championship really is tough for teams – including Newcastle – it’s been no joy ride this season and we’ve had our disappointments and enough defeats already.

But we can still make our goal of promotion and right now – that’s the only thing that matters.

Next up – we have to somehow beat Aston Villa tomorrow night – come hell or high water – or anything else for that matter. 🙂

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44 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #1

    Was Bobbybee a plastic fan while serving in the army and unable to attend games for six months at a time. Is Lilongwe Geordie who lives in Lilongwe a plastic fan as he does not attend games regularly or is Jibberish who spends a lot of time travelling back and forward to Spain and as a lecturer in modern European history and a host of parties to the stars has the means to attend but watches free streams instead a plastic fan.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #2

    No doubt we’ll have carl or Ian on soon to back up Jib’s theiry that I’m a plastic fan, they won’t discount his theory that only real fans walk to the ground on match days though. Very long walk from Sacriston mind.

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  • Belfast

    Feb 19, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #3

    To be fair to Souness Boumsong did look like the dogs bollocks in the SPL. Having watched him a good bit I thought it would have been a good signing at the time. My scouting career was over after that.

    I was a lot more annoyed with him falling out with Bellamy and getting rid of Aaron Hughes for peanuts to be honest.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #4

    The good old “plastic fans” discussion?

    Beautiful stuff.

    As always, serving no real purpose other than to attempt to discredit certain peoples opinions (rather than the opinions themselves) and cause arguments, whilst actually having nothing to do with anything.

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  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #5

    I would appear to have touched a nerve
    😀

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #6

    Jail I think Blackley could turn up soon to place you in his “armchair fan” set, a bit like plonking a lego man into his little Plastic house.

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #7

    Ibiza – it’s a faltering step away from being called a mackem as I understand these things go.

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #8

    Jib – leave out the word “touched” and I think you’ve got it 🙂

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  • mindshaft

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #9

    Oh beautiful , plastic pan debate … this constant back biting is a bit pathetic to the rest of us, give it a rest you muppets

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #10

    Glass houses and all that ha ha I think I once uttered words of support for Obertan during his heyday. I also thought after his first faltering appearances that Riviere had some strength and positional sense. Little did I know we didn’t get the brain with the obertan deal, and that even the most comprehensive collection of banjos wouldn’t allow Emmanuel to pose a threat to the largest barn door.

    That’s why we are here, I suppose 🙂

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #11

    Jail don’t be mean. He could tell you things about the Einsatzgruppen that would make your hair stand on end. But not Riviere, sadly. Bit too modern that bit of European history.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #12

    mindshaft,
    Have you tried frying an egg in a plastic pan. Messy

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  • Belfast

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #13

    And let’s not forget you tipping Cisse to come good again when it looked like both his feet were back to front.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #14

    My favourite was Pardew selling Andy Caroll while we were still in the Championship.

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  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #15

    Belfast
    😀

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  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #16

    Seeing those Lincoln supporters yesterday is what being a fan of football is able about. Celebrating like they’d actually won the cup. What a contrast to those Arsenal ‘supporters’ feeling upset that they’ve only won the league three times (one of them with an unbeaten season record) and the FA Cup six times under Arsene.

    I understand wanting to win things and being ambitious, along with the sense of Wenger being stale and losing the dressing room, but some of the things they’re saying about him are disgraceful and totally ungrateful. Looking forward to them changing manager and only finishing sixth or seventh to give them a sense of perspective!

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #17

    Jail
    Jeffery is only calling u plastic because u bit to it, ignore him and he will be back to googling within the hour

    On football anyone seen the rumour of what the mackem higher ups are wanting to do?(move the training ground to London) They don’t deserve that club or it’s fans

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #18

    WW…,
    Is replying the same as biting, carl/Ian etc once accused me of being one of the fans responsible for SBR’s sacking when I thought it one of the most disgraceful acts of our history,I responded to it, was that biting?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #19

    Chancel,
    Unless the new boss comes in and starts doing the business they are on to a lose lose situation, with the modt expensive tickets in the PL can you blame them for wabting more than just CL qualification though.

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #20

    Oh yeah the Cisse thing. I thought that was behind me. I think he ran out of kneecaps poor lad.

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #21

    Cheesy grin and shoulder shrug here. 🙂

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #22

    Isaiah 33:22
    The blog is our judge.

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  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #23

    Jail – don’t get me wrong, I totally understand them wanting to push on and they feel that they’ve stagnated under Wenger. A fresh manager could reinvigorate the club and the supporters and take them to the next level. He could also take them backwards, but it’s a chance they have to take. My problem with those ‘passionate’ Gooners is the pure venom they have towards Wenger. Why can’t they say thanks for some amazing memories and a nice looking trophy cabinet, and now it’s time to move on? Hurling insults at Arsene after what he’s achieved there is pretty shocking.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #24

    They are in danger of becoming only the second defending English champions to be relegated, after Manchester City went down in 1938.
    Well done to the blogger who pointed that out some time ago.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #25

    Jail
    Probably mate they just say it to wind u up

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #26

    Chancel,
    Totally agree with you, that’s why I said the other day if he doesn’t walk things will get very undignified. Listening to some of the more reasonable fans being interviewed it seems like they want him to go with his head held high after years of service, if he refuses to go it won’t be nice. He’s one of the very few managers I’d accept if Rafa chucked it 😀

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #27

    WW…,
    Isaiha 33:22 😀

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #28

    @24
    Copied and pasted from BBC

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #29

    Still haven’t checked the bingo results, anyone fancy helping me out here 🙁

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #30

    Jermaine Jenas is such a tw@t. Sick of seeing his Tefal head on the BBC now, talking like he knows it all

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  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 19, 2017 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #31

    Jail – agreed, he should leave with some dignity. And to be fair, how many years has he got left as a manager? He’s saying if he’s not at Arsenal next season then he’ll do one more season elsewhere, but why bother? Unless he plans to start an overhaul at a potential sleeping giant somewhere with the intention of handing it over to a younger man. The bloke deserves a break, especially at his age. It’s not like he needs the money, but his passion for the game is making him want to continue.

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  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #32

    Ha@Shirebrook! Still haven’t forgiven him for the ‘goldfish bowl’ comment eh? I think he’s come out and said he regrets saying that now.

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #33

    Chancel

    He’s still a pr!ck. Engage brain before speaking telly head!

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #34

    He needs to take his tongue out of Berbatovs arse too. Cringe

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #35

    Silly socks is on for Spurs now. Headless fcuking chicken mode. Best 30 mil Newcastle have made

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  • sing in the corner

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #36

    Shire
    You seem in a feisty mood today mate!? 🙂
    Sissoko has come on looking almost motivated today…almost.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #37

    sitc,
    Did you see his little back heel that sent Erikson away, oozed class 😀

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #38

    sitc,
    Have you seen the you tube footage of him warming up for France

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #39

    Wow, his first shot on target of the season.

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #40

    Sing

    Just one of them days mate. Hate Spurs. Hope we get promoted so we can take 6 points off the fcukers again!! 🙂

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