Benitez Explains What Football Management Is All About

In the Chronicle’s excellent exclusive question and answer interactions with Rafa Benitez, the manager has addressed some criticism from some Newcastle fans that he can be too cautious in games.

That probably comes from the way Kevin Keegan had Newcastle playing in the 1990s, when the only thing the team really thought about was scoring the next goal.

Rafa’s team is a lot more solid in defense and we have the distinct advantage that Rafa is one of the very best tacticians in world football and he quickly knows what’s happening in a game.

Rafa Benitez – with that great confident smile

Look at how many times we have struggled in the first half this season (not sure of the number – but it’s too many times) only to change things at half time and win the game fairly easily.

Rafa was asked if it’s true what some fans think – that he can be too cautious in some games.

This is how Rafa answered that question:

“We are top of the table and we score more goals than any other team in the division and don’t concede many – our goal difference is 38 at the moment.”

“You just have to look at our statistics and compare them to the other teams in this division.”

It would be a mistake to think that we are always able to run at teams and get the victory because of the quality in our squad.”

“There are many other teams in this division with great strength and quality.”

“Some people could look at our game plan away at Huddersfield and say it was too cautious, and that we should be pressing from the first minute to get the win.”

“But our approach to sit back and let them come at us was the best tactic for that particular game.”

“Football management means considering every opponent and every game in isolation and deciding what is the best way to win each game.”

The first half in that game at the Terriers when Newcastle contained Huddersfield and were 2-0 up at half time  was a marvel to watch – at least for Newcastle fans.


While Huddersfield had loads of possession in the game they had very few real chances and of course we ended up winning the game 3-1 – maybe our most important win of the season.

If there’s one thing that’s certain at Newcastle it’s that Rafa knows what he’s doing.

Long may it continue.

Comment welcome.

6 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Mar 25, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #1

    So Carr’s French flop, Thauvin has won his 5th player of the month award for this season. Very strange.

  • magspuggy

    Mar 25, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #2

    Morning all.

    Ancient. That flop will go onto win things, watch him play its a damm shame it didn’t work here strightaway and we didn’t protect the lad till he settled in.

    He sure has talent and flys at the level he plays at atm

  • AncientC

    Mar 25, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #3

    magspuggy: Hopefully the fee for Thauvin’s buy-out isn’t set it stone. Thauvin is certainly now worth a lot more than the rumoured £11 million.

  • toon kk

    Mar 25, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #4

    It will always depend on what league a player plays in to show their full potential. The premier league wad and is to physical for Thauvin.

    On topic, Rafa tried the same tactics against Fulham as Huddersfield and it didn’t work.


    Mar 25, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #5

    Thought buy out clauses were meaningless anyway

  • magspuggy

    Mar 25, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #6

    Aye mate. He will be worth more now just a shame it didn’t work out.

    Personally I think we rushed him into the squad and once the naysayers got on his back he just wanted to go back.

    Carr found and we bought a great player it just failed.


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