One Year On From This Disaster And Lots Has Changed

In Rafa’s first four games in charge he didn’t do well as Newcastle manager and lost three and drew only one – a 1-1 at home to Sunderland to end a six game losing streak against the Black Cats.

The final defeat of last season was in Rafa’s 4th game in charge – that terrible loss at Southampton when we were beaten 3-1 at St. Mary’s but our players were pathetic, especially in that first half.

That’s when a number of Newcastle fans gave up the ghost, but Rafa turned it around and we got 12 points from the final six games with three wins and three draws but it wasn’t enough and we were still relegated.

Jamaal Lascelles at Southampton last season – what’s going on?

It’s one year on now from that disastrous display – not the first time we have looked hopeless at Southampton in recent years.

We saw how Rafa handled that and he dropped a number of stars for the next game including Gini Wijnaldum, who never bothered to turn up for away games for Newcastle last season.

Daryl Janmaat didn’t want to play in the second half so much at St. Mary’s that he broke his hand against the dressing room wall.

That was while a young Jamaal Lascelles was lecturing the senior players about them not being good enough to wear the shirt of Newcastle United.

Most weren’t as it turns out.

A lot has changed in a short 12 months and one is now our players will work their socks off for the team and are getting that winning attitude – winning games even when we don’t play well.

We have won 25 games in the 39 Championship games played so far.

This is what Rafa has said today about his current players:

“I think one important thing for our fans is to remember is that this team has commitment.”  “These players are working so hard.”

“Sometimes they will get better or worse, but they will still give everything.”

“For Newcastle fans in the last year or so it is important to recognize that this is a group of players that give everything.”

“The fans are clever enough to realise they can make a difference.” “Even when the team is not doing well they have to be there to support.”

“There is a little bit of relief when you win games and everyone can enjoy.” “But now we just concentrate on the next one and things can hopefully be the same.”

“That means the people in the city will be happier.”

The people will be much happier as it turns out – those are good words from Rafa Benitez.

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Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • Jib

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #1

    Our defenders performed badly last season until Rafa arrived.

    We conceded in each of his first four games until he had a good look at the squad.

    In his last six games we never lost.

    With a goal difference of +39 , to say Lascelles performs badly in the Championship is frankly laughable.

  • TyneMouth

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #2




    ……….SHELVEY……………… COLBACK…



    VIVA BENITEZ!…………….. HWTL…..2-0…

  • toonincheek

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #3

    Jib –

    It doesn’t work to quote just one stat and dismiss a
    valid observation.

    Watching video highlights, it seems that Lascelles has
    been involved in far too many of the unfortunate and
    unpredictable ‘lapses’ that have led to us conceding

    I reckon he can’t be far from being “rested” but
    not until Clark is back.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #4

    My son just asked me the question …
    If Brighton and the TOON finish level on points and goals scored for and against. What happens????

    Is there a play off ?
    or a count back on results against each other?
    or do they share the Championship?

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #5

    Rafa Bingo


    Anita Lascelles Hanley Dummett

    Shelvey Hayden

    Ritchie Perez Gouffron


    Can’t see that he’ll make many changes, just hope HT starts on the bench.

    Burton might just enjoy playing on a bigger pitch so it is probably going to be another tough game’

    But I’m going for a 2-1 win to us.

  • hibbit

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #6

    it seems to be a bit of a hobby for some on here to knock all things newcastle
    have a look at the table its there in black and white how good a season we’ve had
    promotion was/should be or only aim
    it was never going to be as easy as many on here predicted its been a long hard slog but with each game we inch our way closer to the promised land
    let’s win promotion first and 3 points tonight will be a big step forward
    i am sure Rafa is well aware of the players who will step up and those who need to be moved on till the window opens again these are the players we have and the players Rafa will use

  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #7


    It would be a very boring blog if everyone just agreed with each other.

    No doubting Rafa will know exactly what he wants and who isn’t quite right for the Prem but its a valid conversation to have with fellow bloggers ,who we think is good enough or not so, who we should sign etc.

  • JamesToon

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #8


    I think it’s who scored more goals at home in that case?

  • hibbit

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #9


    i agree that’s what blogs are for and the points you make are valid
    but some on here go well over the top with criticism of our current players ok they my not be prem quality but the last time i looked we were still playing in the championship
    those very same player have got us into a very good position to achieve promotion
    the league table doesn’t lie

  • magspuggy

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #10

    I expect a scrappy unexciting slog tonight but our quality will shine through.

    2-0 with atsu to make the difference using uncontrollable pace.

    Hopefully udders’ will prove to be a spent force by the morning.

    Rafa bingo.

    11 black and white champions ?

  • BeeGuy

    Apr 5, 2017 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #11

    Burton has been parking the bus with a 3-5-2. What I’d like to see is bringing on M’Bemba who can add to the attack. Also, playing in a crowded box might be perfect for Mitro who is taller and rougher than Gayle (though I’d like Gayle over Perez or Diame).


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