Rafa Concerned About His Players Choking At The Death


We expected a rather easy win at Ipswich Town today after we played so well on Friday night to outplay Leeds United, yet we still only got a single point when we conceded a late goal right at the death.

And over the last several games Newcastle have looked far too nervous without the assurance that winning matches can give you – that’s because we have only won two of our last eight league games – a shocking run of results and only 9 points.

Rafa Benitez has admitted that his team is not mentally tough enough and we have been going on about all the pressure there will be on Brighton and Huddersfield, but Brighton have won their last five games and walking away with the Championship and were officially promoted today.



That’s what most of the Newcastle fans thought we would do late in the season, but it hasn’t turned out that way at all – we are struggling and hanging on.

It has to be said that Ipswich were probably inspired by it being Sir Bobby Robson Day today – and they put in what was considered their best display of the season.

But for Newcastle that sounds too much like an excuse – and we are sick of excuses over the last several years.

Getting the results means you don’t need to have or look for any excuses.

This is what Rafa told Sky Sports after the disastrous result at Portman Road:

“I am concerned about the change in my team’s performance from Leeds on Friday to the performance today.”

“We know we have to win our games and now we have to change and improve.”

“We knew it was going to be this kind of game but we were not ready – it seems we were not mentally ready.”

“We made mistakes and we got paid for it.” “We have to all take responsibility, we win together and we lose together.”

“I won’t blame my players in press conferences. They know what I told them at half-time and at the end, we know something was wrong and now we have to analyse and change quickly.”

And after the last two seasons at Newcastle, where the management from the top was simply pitiful and incompetent and caused our fans to suffer greatly – we are even having to suffer now through what we thought would be a great season for us.

It hasn’t turned out that way – at least at the end – even with Rafa at the helm.

Better things must lie ahead.

Comments welcome.



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139 comments so far

  • Sheikh MagToon

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #1

    Strange team today. Get Sammy back in next week as he knows what it means to us Geordies to be in the Premier League. Just as well Huddersfield are choking as well.

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  • manxpie

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #2

    in code for 2 rollickings and it only worked for about 15mins after halftime still don’t understand mitro not starting shelvey has to adjust his game every time there are changes too

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  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #3

    James
    No I’d let lascelles keep the captaincy. He’s only developing and I don’t let a few bad games change my view on him and how he’s done this year. I will say though that just because he is captain, he shouldn’t be guaranteed a start.

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  • Tsunki

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #4

    It’s a bedwetters open day on here.

    Lascelles partnered with Clark gave us the stingiest defence but that understanding had a spanner chucked in when Clark got crocked, now he’s ‘championship quality at best ‘ status lol , a bit like when coloccini was entirely responsible for every goal that went in against us despite the fact we hardly had the same back four for three weeks running.

    We will win the last three games, there i said it. Maybe then the pathetic whimpering will stop and we can all get down to the reality of Mike Ashley and the Bean Shufflers still in charge and short – changing this club with their percentage policies and lunatic brinkmanship. It’s coming again, just as sure as the sun rises in the morning.

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #5

    But Rafa
    That is cos it was a different team
    It’s not rocket science

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #6

    I am more worried about Rafa chocking

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  • jane

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #7

    Tsunki does that mean that some of the bloggers that have been quiet or absent this season will be coming back? 🙂

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  • manxpie

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #8

    mitro will be doing his nut reading that lol

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  • jane

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #9

    i mean 🙁

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  • WWSBRD

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #10

    Congratulations to Brighton worthy champions imo if it’s not us then am glad it’s them. We need to deal with the pressure better it’s been an issue for a long time and Rafa can’t fix it with a magic wand

    Ole th issues today but dust ourselves off and move on we are still firmly in control of the outcome. A weeks preparation hopefully with Gayle, welcoming Clark back in to partner Lascelles or Mbemba, Yedlin and Hayden another weeks fitness in them with a roaring crowd and a Huddersfield slip next Monday and it’s done we are there champagne can flow, pressures off and the sky’s the limit

    Keep the faith boys and girls

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #11

    Tsunki
    Compare and contrast
    Jansen Leeds ,lascelles Newcastle
    There is simple no comparison Jansen is a proper defender with a massive future
    Should we go up we need proper defenders ,not as in the past average that’s why we have have two relegations .
    But whilst I am critical,of rafa in the last few months if we go up I am very confident he will address this issue

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  • carl

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #12

    Tsunki
    We only need to win our two home games against Preston and Barnsley to be assured of promotion. Irrespective of what Huddersfield do.

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  • Tsunki

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #13

    Yorky newsflash we haven’t got janssen.

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  • martoon

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #14

    I don’t like to comment straight after a game because passions are running high. People criticising Rafa for changing 5 players but with 2 games in 3 days it seemed quite sensible and most before the game thought he had picked a decent team. Plus we don’t know if players are carrying knocks, fitness levels etc. Saying that I’m gutted with the way we played – we definitely bottled it and I don’t think the team selection was the problem – the problem is in their heads and that’s where Rafa should earn his corn.
    Derby have done us a massive favour tonight and as Ed says we can still win promotion next week.

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  • Tsunki

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #15

    Jane – not sure. I was unreliably informed all the great posters of notable quality and legendary worth were intimidated into blog silence, and now lurk like eerie phantoms in the ethereal mists of the global limbonet.

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  • carl

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #16

    Jane
    I hope so as we could do with an infusion of passion and football nous.
    It’s been a bit like selling Janmaat and having to play Anita all season and kid yourself that he’s a full back. Janmaat is hacking it in the Pl and was in one of the PL teams of the week recently.

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  • WWSBRD

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #17

    yorky
    Rafa choking? The man’s won the CL with an average Liverpool team I doubt the Championship is going to beat him

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #18

    Tsunki
    No are you sure I missed that!!
    I don’t think the issue is now we have what we have ,it’s more about not settling for average i.e. Lascelles if we go up .
    It’s simply a debate about moving forward imo that means new centre backs to play with Clarke ,should we go up

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  • Tsunki

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #19

    Carl yes but according to some we are now descending like a depth charge into the crushing fathoms of the Championship.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #20

    Another crap performance and we can safely say Rafa has been Pardewd.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #21

    Wonder if Boro win tonight, pressure on arsenal to put in a good performance.

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  • Tsunki

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #22

    Yorky lascelles was a bright spot in a rather desperate relegation run in. He has talent but is vulnerable to being lumped in as the cause of our woes when the team performance puts pressure on us. Playing in a regular back line he was part of just about the best defence in this league. You have to take into account the effects of switching personnel around him. He will improve, if the rest of our personnel do.

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  • manxpie

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #23

    martoon but hayden started again after being out for so long surely colback would be a better choice if it was changed for that reason
    i think we need experience more than ever right now so goof should definitely start next game and hopefully anita too

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  • Tsunki

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #24

    Welshie if Boro lose I think Rafa will have lost the plot….. Oh….Wait….

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  • SA Toon

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #25

    WWSBRD I love your optimism following such a rubbish performance. But for Derby pulling one back we would be in some trouble right now. The lads just have to pull themselves together and get the job done. A victory at SJP on Saturday and things suddenly start looking rosy, but if we drop points again, things are going to get really tricky. Well done to Brighton though – worthy champions!!

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  • WWSBRD

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #26

    SA
    But for awful refs in this league we’d be already crowned champions already. Huddersfield and Reading are both closer to dropping out of the play offs than over taking us and neither will win all tgeir remaining fixtures

    Was poor today but we’ve been the best team in the league all season don’t see that changing in the next 3 games

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  • toon22

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #27

    If we win on Saturday we are almost dead certs to get promotion.
    Howay the lads,should be a good game

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  • WWSBRD

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #28

    Can’t tell I was talking while typing that can u?

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  • posada

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #29

    We don’t play on Saturday. It’s next Monday night, after all other teams have played.

    Who should be Captain.
    Well you need to be a regular starter.
    So, that’s Lascelles, Clark, Dummet, Ritchie, Shelvey, or Gayle.
    Clark, potentially.
    Dummet, No.
    Ritchie. Could be but stuck out on wing getting angry most games.
    Shelvey, moody, looks unhappy most of the time and has done some daft things this season. Definate no.
    Gayle. Not a Captain character wise and plays wrong position.
    That leaves Lascelles. A lad 22 who is struggling with his own form at times. Last season he showed character when he clearly had a go at senoir pros and asked why no one gives a Flip. That does not mean he is a Captain.
    Lack of character on the pitch is starting to show.

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  • Krul To Be Kind

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #30

    ‘we made mistakes and got paid for it’… I really really hope not Rafa!!!

    I’m not particularly worried about another mini blip at this stage, I don’t believe in fate so I don’t think I’m tempting it by stating that we WILL go up so don’t sweat the small stuff guys… We have already done the donkey work and I for one don’t mind if we limp over the finish line as long as we get over it in second!

    HWTL’s

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  • martoon

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #31

    I love the way people become experts with 20 – 20 hindsight:-

    toon kk // Apr 17, 2017 at 2:29 PM
    Good line up, I’m not a Diame fan, he tires very quickly, but happy with the rest.
    I will go with 1-2 to us or maybe 0-1, we’re not a team with plenty of goals in it but I think we’ll nick it.

    toon kk // Apr 17, 2017 at 3:48 PM
    If it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it Rafa

    toon kk // Apr 17, 2017 at 7:21 PM
    Poor result, but I’m not surprised tbh.
    The only consolation Huddersfield drawing.

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  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #32

    When we signed Diame a lot of fans were saying he’s better than Sissoko, quicker, stronger. Once again it goes to show how much we rely on our rose tinted spectacles.

    Sissoko would go missing a lot but had the power and pace to hurt teams at any moment. Diame has 2 modes hide or play extra shit he has been such a disappointing signing.

    Clark not playing shows how bad Lacelles is any time he is put under pressure he fcuks it he has cost us so many goals this year from his errors. I expected him to be really good in the championship, there was obviously a reason he couldn’t get in the Forest team. Captain my ass.

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  • catchy in norway

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #33

    WWW

    COME OFF IT MAN, i dont care what he has won, its what he is doing now that matters, Wenger has won many cups and titles, still wouldnt want him as our coach.

    he messed up big time today, Richie had a poor game, but that is his first, Rafa has made strange decisions for a good few weeks now.

    no matter what he has won, he still has it all to prove imo

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  • Munster Mag

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #34

    So…when does it become a manager issue and when does it become a player issue? If we had an average manager in charge, with no hot history we would be killing him now. But because its Rafa , all is fine. I’ll tell you what boys, we need to thank our lucky stars for that deflected Rams goal because we are useless, and have been for ages. And wtf is Rafa on about the difference in performance??? he dropped ( sorry, rotated) 3 good performers from Leeds, and brought in dross like Diame? Why ???????????????
    It wouldn’t surprise me if he has lost the players who must be heartily sick of his ridiculous rotation ( which has not resulted in more energetic players at the end of season or earlier) and his awful control first hoof football. We may be second top but we are far from safe. We hang on the results of Huddersfield, a team constructed at a FRACTION of ours, with a manager who also has never managed in England, and then we think Rafa is great? What ??? we blame officials, dodgy goals, luck for other teams over a 50 game season because we ( or many ) refuse to critically analyse the evidence in front of our eyes. Rafa better buy incredibly well if we go up ( and its still a solid if) because we are a bottom 7 side . As someone said in the Chronicle, Rafa will be a bit embarrassed about limping up in second. I know plenty of fans from that division. They reckoned we had the best players, best fans , best budget EVER in that league, and a top class manager. And we still hang on Huddersfield! Stupid illogical team choice Rafa, just plain stupid. Looks like the Leeds game was an aberration in a sea of dross post Christmas. Sort it out , and attack a bit will you?

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  • Moonraker15

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #35

    This league is driving me mad! Poor quality, poor refs, inconsistency. We need to get promoted, rebuild the squad wit quality and consolidate; if we don’t go up I’m not watching this crap on tv next season !

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  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #36

    Munster Mag

    You are going to get a lot of bites for that post mate

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  • Munster Mag

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #37

    WW, is Gayle back? We are lost without him

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  • WWSBRD

    Apr 17, 2017 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #38

    catchy
    Rafa has it all to prove but ull defend McClaren without a thought…aye crack on fella am sure Rafa doesn’t lose sleep over it. Yes earned his respect already

    And wouldn’t want Wenger haha course u wouldn’t

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  • lochinvar

    Apr 17, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #39

    Will Aarons be back this season ?
    Might just have the energy to spark the team to achieve more

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 17, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #40

    Munster
    That is the biggest load of rubbish I have ever read
    Ok a couple of mistakes but you seem to be getting carried away
    Calm down
    The futures bright

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