Rafa’s Initial Comments – On Refereeing – Gives Injury Update

Rafa Benitez has just given his press conference for another tough game tomorrow afternoon – this time at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday.

Rafa has made a few comments on the referees, but not much and he has only said they have to make quick decisions and it’s not easy for them and that we respect them.

But Rafa only wants to concentrate on the future and the six games that will determine what division we play in next season.

Rafa Benitez – just completed his press conference

Here are some of the initial comments Rafa has made about the game tomorrow as being reported in the local press and on Newcastle’s Twitter account:

“We have an important game to come and six games to play, so we can’t talk too much about the past.”

“Sheffield Wednesday are a good team. They know what you have to do to get points in this division.”

“To go to Sheffield Wednesday will be difficult. They were nearly promoted last season and they have the same squad.”

“They are a good team with experience in the Championship. It will be tough, it will be difficult for sure.”

“The last two weeks, Chancel has been training really well. I was pleased with him.”

“Yedlin has trained today, Rolando has trained, but we don’t want to risk them until they are fully fit.”

“We don’t want to take any risks with anybody – Clark is still out and Yedlin is still out.”

“We haven’t had luck with some decisions but it’s difficult to be a referee. We respect them. You have to make quick decisions.”

“Now it’s even more important for us to concentrate on an important game with Sheffield Wednesday, not what happened in past”

“The money is so important in the PL. But the idea is clear – focus on winning the mini league, not on that for now”

“The accounts, Premier League and what we have to do does not change what we have to do this weekend.”

A majority of Newcastle fans think we can win this game tomorrow.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Sheffield Wednesday?

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43 comments so far

  • JamesToon

    Apr 7, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #1

    Watching the burton full 90,

    thought diame was much more suited to playing deeper, gave us so much more in our build up play than colback does, atsu instead of gouffran gave us so much more width and options, he linked up well with dummett who i thought was quite good going forward. We dominated, burton pretty much parked the bus so was always going to be a narrow win. I reckon Hayden might come in for diame against wednesday

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 7, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #2

    I thought Sammy and Murphy played well – for the little time they were on.

  • catchy in norway

    Apr 7, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #3


    Gayle was the furthest into the box and it was right next to the ref.

    i wouldn’t be happy if any of my players did that.

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 7, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #4

    “DeAndre Yedlin, Ciaran Clark and Rolando Aarons are all still out with injury, although they have been back in training.

    “Both Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden are still doubtful, leaving NUFC light in midfield.”

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #5

    Watched the full 90.
    My impressions much the same as others.

    I liked Atsu – ability and speed to beat a man,
    saw some very neat balls forward into space.
    OK – so a few passes were misdirected.
    Same for everyone.

    Diame – very much involved – did some good things,
    messed up with others, but better as a box-to-box
    MF rather than a No. 10.

    Happy to see Mbemba get game time.
    Hanley didn’t deserve to be ‘dropped’.
    Neither does Mbemba on that performance.
    Have to rotate but when Clark is back . . . .

    Still not convinced by Lascelles, but hard to drop
    El Capitan.

  • barkel

    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #6

    I think we’ll be ok in midfield. Diame and Shelvey most likely to start, Anita can play there with Gamez/Sterry at fullback. Barlasar looked decent in the run out that he had in the cup. Or as some have suggested previously Mbemba in midfield. With Hanley at centre half. We seem to have decent options anyway

  • JamesToon

    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #7


    Although i think lascelles has been very hot and cold this season,i think he very much is a very good leader, albeit he has made quite a few more mistakes than we expected to see from him, but he really does have a passion and work rate for us, i think this season has been good for his development and will only give him more experience and make him a better player.

    Rafa bingo

    Anita Lascelles Hanley Dummett
    Shelvey Diame
    Ritchie Perez Atsu


    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #8

    Gayle is thinking if the keeper palms it out I want to be first to it. Encroachment happens on near enough every pen taken and rarely action taken, never having a free kick given in the opposite direction certainly I dont think u can levy much blame towards Gayle

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #9

    Re the penalty.
    Obvious Gayle wanted to be first there if the keeper palmed it out.
    As Catchy says Gayle was level with Ritchie even before he took the kick. So he has to be blamed as well for putting the spot kick in jeopardy.
    Say Ritchie scored – pen would have to be re-taken – Ritchie gets nervous on the second attempt and misses.
    Clearly Gayle at fault for not knowing the rules/not applying them correctly/within the limits.
    (Far too quick off the mark).

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #10

    i seem to remember SW were extremely physical at SJP and we had yet another joke ref in charge who let it all go.


    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #11

    How often does the ref take action though? I can barely remember seeing a pen without encroachment going on

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #12

    WWSBRD – Yes, quite – but encroachment can (and
    should) lead to a re-taken penalty.

    Thing is – if the defending team encroach and are
    first to get to a rebound – how many times does the
    ref blow and have the penalty re-taken?
    I can’t remember a time when that has happened.

    So – it’s about time refs enforced the rules rather than
    leaving such a grey area.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #13

    WWSBRD – I should have said encroachment by the
    DEFENDING team should lead to the penalty being
    re-taken – IF the penalty was missed.

    That just doesn’t happen.
    It’s down to refs
    AND the referrees associtaion.

    I’ll also point out that the ref has NOT apologised
    as far as I have seen.
    It was his Association that apologised, NOT the ref.


    Apr 7, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #14

    Exactly mate if refs enforced the rule consistently then there would be no encroachment anymore but they dont so if 9/10 its ignored how can we expect players not to ignore it

  • barkel

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #15

    That’s fine as long as its the correct rules!

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #16

    WW – there is encroachment in just about every penalty – but I think it has to come down to degrees of encroachment ( I accept encroachment is encroachment is encroachment and is against the rules – being strictly technical).
    Gayle was level with Ritchie before he even took the kick – far too far advanced.
    I think a foot or two into the area has become acceptable/refs turn a blind eye.

  • Toonces

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #17

    Gayle’s encroachment was so blatant that the ref had to call it – it wasn’t the typical encroachment we see happen every time.


    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #18

    Aye Gayle is pretty in the box (though still a few feet behind Ritchie) but had Ritchie not stuttered his run then he wouldnt of been so close when the ball is kicked…problem is refs dont enforce the rule consistently so its fairly meaningless


    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #19

    Last I read the rules dont mention blatant being a requirement

  • hibbit

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #20

    catchy in norway
    i get what your saying and totally agree

    was just pointing out that Burton had 6 in the box at the same time, which is also encroaching

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #21

    Tuff & toonces –

    Not saying I disagree with your comments on
    encroachment but it’s an area that is ‘absolute’
    and can be enforced according to the rules.

    As against – jostling/pushing before as a corner is
    taken (a corner being the obvious, but not the only
    situation) that is a matter of judgement.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #22

    Tuff –

    To say Gayle was level with Ritchie when he hit the
    penalty is exagerration.
    Close – but not quite.
    Don’t try to mislead.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #23

    Soz about the spelling of exag…..

  • Toonces

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #24


    Not saying anything about being a requirement but it was so obvious that the ref couldn’t turn the blind eye to it.

    But I think you get what is being said.

    Anyway, the ref stilled screwed up. Just some people saying that maybe Gayle could have been a bit more aware of the situation he was contributing to.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #25

    Sheffield Wednesday bullied us last time we played them every time we looked like attacking they fouled us!

    Would like to see Murphy get a game to rough their centre backs up with Gayle moving to Perez position!

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #26

    toonincheek – certainly not trying to mislead/exaggerate. My impression from watching an “angled” video of the incident -when suddenly Gayle appeared in shot.
    Now finding a video directly level (link below) Gayle is about a yard behind Shelvey.
    Next time I discuss proximity I’ll remember my slide rule and tape measure so as not to be accused of misleading.



    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #27

    I get what ur saying but it shouldnt matter if the rules broken then the rules broken shouldnt be a case of how much by, refs have set the precedent that players dont know if the rule will be enforced or not so I dont have much of an issue with Gayle doing what most players do

    Its the say with the tussling in the box issue that the PL finally tried to sort out this season, once the refs started enforcing the rule consistently the issue disappeared because players knew they would be punished

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #28

    Tuff –

    No question that Gayle was NEAR to the level of Ritchie

    So lets’s not get out knickers in a twist.

    Bottom line is – IMO – Gayle’s encroachment
    gave the ref an opportunity.

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #29

    toon – think we are arguing the same thing here – calm down from your hysteria about a couple of inches either way and accusation of misleading.
    Bit over the top in my opinion.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #30

    Yuff –

    No hysteria from me.

    If you are assessing encroachment based on the rules
    of the game, you have to do it on an exact basis.

    I’m not trying to find fault with anyone’s opinion,
    but when you state Gayle was level with Ritchie
    when he hit the pen – that’s clearly wrong.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 7, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #31

    Yuff = Tuff

    I’m off the bed now.
    I’m overseas – 6 hours ahead of you.
    So – you can have the last word !

  • lochinvar

    Apr 7, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #32

    Former England and Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren is being touted as a surprise candidate to replace Stuart Webber as Huddersfield Town’s head of football operations. (Huddersfield Examiner)

    Good luck with that then

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 7, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #33

    “DeAndre Yedlin is progressing well after a thigh injury and is now back in full training with the Newcastle United first team.

    “… he has now recovered and could be in contention for the last five games of the Championship campaign.”

  • cyprus

    Apr 7, 2017 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #34

    Rolando is back training for his biannual cameo? No, that’s cruel. Hope he’ll be ok.

    That pundit guessing a draw isn’t completely illogical as arguably they need the points more than us and they’ve beaten us away, so…

    But, we’re grinding the results so I hope we win. Three more wins…

  • cyprus

    Apr 7, 2017 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #35

    Sammy PL material. He’ll shine next year in the league he belongs 😉 same with mitrovic.

    Another matter: Player of the year… Well that’s not really up for discussion is it? Who’s won player of the week most times? Ed, do you have that?

  • cyprus

    Apr 7, 2017 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #36

    This guy apparently locking horns with Wenger has an interesting past. Never knew:


  • JamesToon

    Apr 7, 2017 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #37

    Whisper it…but newcastle could be promoted if they beat leeds next friday night…

    if newcastle beat both wednesday and leeds, then reading fail to win at norwich, then that just leaves huddersfield, who need more than 1 point against forest and preston, or else the most they could get is 90, the same as NUFC providing this happens. With the superior goal difference, newcastle are effectively promoted…

    What a night leeds could be with a sell out crowd in a historic fixture…

  • Our Toon

    Apr 7, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #38

    I believe we are now up, well done to rafa, the staff and the team.

    Summer window, players I’d like to see us get:

    Pickford (GK)
    Sakho (CB)
    Kone (CB)
    Maguire (CB)
    Shaw (LB)
    Wilshire (cm / no10)
    Siguardson (No10)
    Atsu (winger)

    I’m struggling to name any forwards but any suggestions welcome. I think the others will be making moves next window, would be good to get in quick for them as none of them are unrealistic targets

    We will need wingers as well, maybe McCarthy to replace colback.

  • firebug666

    Apr 7, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #39

    On this penalty fiasco:

    Gayle too far into the box….Doesn’t matter!
    3 of our players and 3 of their players rushing the box….Doesn’t matter!

    The simple fact is the ref got it horribly wrong, he did not know the rules, never mind the misapplied excuse.

    He should have explained to the players why the pen was to be re-taken and warned them about encroachment. He didn’t.

    He lied about his reason for the free kick claiming Gayle had fowled one of their players, hence a free kick, but no such fowl had taken place.

    And he has not to my knowledge offered an apology, that was done by his official lackeys back at headquarters, the statement being released within minutes of the final whistle.

    But it’s not just down to the ref getting it wrong, so did the linesman and fourth official, or at least they never corrected his mistake.

    As many have said encroachment takes place with almost every penalty, and for the most part it is ignored, this ref chose not to ignore it, picked out Gayle from those encroaching the box, and made the wrong decision. Just hope he never get the chance to ref any of our future games.

  • JamesToon

    Apr 7, 2017 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #40

    our toon

    lets not get complacent. but we are nearly there.

    I think we will go for someone like andre gray, callum wilson or josh king.

    I think sigurdsson will go to someone like everton or saints or west ham, i think we should go for cairney instead anyway.


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