Rafa Demonstrates Brilliant Man-Management Skills – Again

Newcastle’s young 23 year-old captain Jamaal Lascelles has been a little off form in the run-in to the league and he has come in for some criticism in some portions of Newcastle’s massive fan base.

But he’s still been good enough as a player to be one of the three Newcastle players who have made the PFA Championship Team of the Season – the other two being Jonjo Shelvey and 22 goal Dwight Gayle.

Rafa Benitez and Jamaal Lascelles

It’s been interesting how Rafa Benitez has handled his young captain all season.

And while Jamaal makes mistakes (he’s young – who doesn’t) he is so keen to improve his game and listens so intently to what his manager says – this lad will be a much better player next season and then the season after that.

Here’s an interview today as reported in the Shields Gazette – and you get an idea why his players love their manager and will run through a brick wall for him:

“Some games as a defender when you concede everyone can notice mistakes,”

“As a striker, you miss a chance, no one remembers for too long. I don’t remember one mistake.”

“As a team we can lose and we can win. I will not be pointing at players all of the time.”

“I have to talk with them and we analyse things, then we go to the pitch and we train. So they realise when they have made mistakes, and if they do they are improving.”

“But this team, they do learn. They will make mistakes like me and it can go down to experience. “

“They will learn. The main thing is they try to improve.”

“If you see the average age of this team we are a young team. You see where we are – it shows we have done a lot of good things.”

“Some mistakes we have made in the last games are experience.”

“You can miss players who are doing well and then you lose them. “We have missed Clark, because players need time to settle and adjust.”

“Another thing with Clark is that he is left-footed. Play Grant Hanley or Chancel Mbemba there, they are right footed.”

“Other managers will analyse that and they try to make sure you suffer.”

How would you like to player for a manager with an attitude like that?

Rafa simply wants to make you into a better player?

That’s one reason we think Rafa and Newcastle United will be a huge attraction in the summer for some very good players.

That’s one reason we hope Rafa and Newcastle United will be a huge attraction in the summer for some very good players.


We play Preston tonight at St. James’ Park and a win will see us promoted.

Request to our players – please get the job done tonight.

Howay The Lads!!

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Comments welcome.

19 comments so far

  • toontaff2

    Apr 24, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #1
  • toontaff2

    Apr 24, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #2
  • toontaff2

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #3

    Lazaar, as with Jesus, Sels, even Murphy, Hanley – were they just bought so we had cover for all positions?
    We often had so many injuries with no cover.
    Those expecting Lazaar to step up to PL must have seen something I haven’t!!
    He was pulling out of tackles, very poor distribution, whenever I saw him!

  • toontaff2

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #4

    Meanwhile Mo Diame has been told to play further forward – his first touch is so heavy, some may actually fly in the net.

  • Nufc-83

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #5

    Toontaff every player had a shocker vs ipswich apart from maybe Hayden and Murphy so not sure why you are focusing on Atsu and Yedlin. Atsu actually set up our goal and Yedlin has been oustanding this season with that being his first poor game that I can remember.

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #6

    Lascelles epitomises what’s going on at the club at the moment. Rafa chose him to lead the team because he was the only leader last year when that burdon should never have been his to bare.

    Players like Colo, Sissoko, Tiote and a few others clearly didn’t want to be there and it showed. Lascelles may not be the best CB at the moment, but he’s learning his trade. I can’t think of very many CB’s under the age of 25 who are the finished article. Yes, I do think that he should be dropped when he’s not in form as I don’t think that he is our best player in that position. Mbemba is a more gifted CB and I prefer him…But Rafa chooses players who carries through on his plan.

    The same goes with Mitro. I love the guy and he loves our club. For me that’s a great start. Again, yes the boy lacks a lot in the way of discipline, but he’s been looking like he’s been working hard at that when he’s played for us recently.

    I’m not for a second saying that Mitro should be playing ahead of Gayle when he’s not on form, nor am I saying that Lascelles is our number one CB. But I am saying, show these guys a little love because they were the only ones who showed us respect when all of our so called established players were looking elsewhere.

    Here’s to bringing in a classy CB and striker next season from whom our youngsters can learn.

  • martoon

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #7

    Nufc-83 @5 – I agree and to be fair to Yedlin it was his first game back after injury. That’s why on the last blog I was questioning whether Anita is nailed on to start especially being at home where we expect to attack – Yedlin might get another chance.

  • toontaff2

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #8

    I watched the game – Yedlin and Atsu were awful!
    People love to slate Dummett, but surely Yedlin’s first job is to defend, but he was caught out of position all game. Maybe we need a right back upgrade, more than a left-back?
    Atsu was like a little boy lost. Very disappointing, considering he is apparently playing for a permanent deal.

  • hibbit

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #9

    today is not the day for any bickering who ever rafa puts out has to do the job
    we all have to stand together and hopefully enjoy the day for what it is a massive step forward for our club

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #10

    I’ve said this in a previous thread but I think that Lazaar would suit the Premier League more. The Championship is too robust for him. Lazaar is exactly the kind of fullback who could potentially shine in an attacking side. As I said before, I don’t know of many fullbacks in the game these days who are actually good defenders. That breed of fullback is either dying out, or they are being “naturally selected” out of the game in favour of the fying wingbacks.

    It’s the same reason that technically better players like Perez looked better in the Premier League that the Championship where it takes a certain kind of hard-nosed grafter to make it.

  • magspuggy

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #11

    Big game tonight
    Time to put this show to bed and start the ball rolling for our rebuild.

    Rafas first signing should be Thomsons of prudhoe
    Get the line removed from penfolds office.

    3-1 mitro, jonjo and magic hat.

  • Jib

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #12

    Ben Afri
    Well said – hear hear

  • toontaff2

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #13

    Lascalles is getting so much stick lately, but made the EFL team of the season. I actually think Clark, Lascalles and Dummett have been the key to our defence being the best in the league for most of the season. Seems strange that some expect defenders to be the main attacking threat, when they are unable to do their day job and actually defend. Mbemba, Yedlin and Lazaar fit into that category, for me.

  • toontaff2

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #14

    Well, gone for 5-1, again!!!
    Could tonight finally be the night?

  • martoon

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #15

    hibbit @9 – We are not bickering just debating 🙂

  • Sav

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #16

    Has Mbemba had a chance to play alongside Clark yet? He seems to be partnered m,ostly with Lascelles and gets the elbow when there’s a rick.

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #17

    Thanks mate

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #18

    I don’t recall Mbemba being selected alongside Clarke. As I remember, and I stand corrected, Mbemba started the season alongside Hanley. They were both subsequently dropped after our opening two games. But you bring up a very interesting point. I’m curious to see if Clarke’s maturity would compliment or hone Mbemba’s buccaneering style…or perhaps calm him.

  • Ben Afri

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #19

    Didn’t Yedlin come on as a right mid during that game? I think I remember Anita playing at right back but not being taken off when Yedlin came on. So everytime I saw him, he was further up on the halfway line. I could be wrong but I think that was the move.


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