Rafa’s Positive Message After Excellent Win At Wolfsburg – We Aren’t Far Away


Rafa Benitez was interviewed by the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder in Germany today after the excellent 3-1 win at Wolfsburg where the team played well, and it was a vast improvement on last Saturday when we lost 2-1 at Mainz.

Goals were scored by Aleksandar Mitrovic, Matt Ritchie, and Christian Atsu and the goal we gave away was a penalty.

But Newcastle should have had a stone cold penalty when Ayoze Perez was brought down in the penalty area in the second half, but it wasn’t given.

But Rafa wasn’t too bothered about that because he said it was only a friendly.

Now we play Hellas Verona on Sunday afternoon at St. James’ Park and that’s our last friendly before we take on Spurs the following Sunday to open our Premier League season. – and that game is also at home and certain to be a sellout.

Rafa Benitez at Wolfsburg this afternoon

After the game Benitez said this in the Chronicle:

“We’ve had more time on the pitch, and it was fine. We scored more goals and made some chances, and didn’t give them chances, so it was a little more positive.”

“We aren’t far away.” “The strikers need to score for confidence. Sometimes if they don’t play well, they still score which is important.”

“But even if Mitrovic scored or not, that’s only a contribution. He worked very hard. He knew would only be playing 45 minutes, so the idea is right.”

“He did well. The team was better from Mainz, and that was positive.” “We still have more time to improve.”

“It was good (Matt Ritchie’s goal), and he has this quality to score those type of goals.”

“These things can change a game obviously.” “For us now it’s about working as a team together and be sure everybody knows what they have to do.”

“Yeah, I didn’t see the penalty we conceded.” “The one we didn’t get was a penalty (Perez was blatantly taken down in the second half).”

“But it’s OK, it’s a friendly.”

Those are positive words from Rafa, and now we need another good performance on Sunday afternoon against Verona, and we should be all set for our first big test of the season – against Premier League runners-up Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, 13th September.

Comments welcome.



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50 comments so far

  • JP...from The Rock

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #2

    13th of August not September Ed. Can’t wait for the season to stsrt already but would loce us to aign a quality ST and CAM before then to really have a proper go at it this season and not just srape through to the end. With Rafa here we can be so much more and it would be a real shame if we come up short now. Hopefully the rumours of us going after are Madrid and Arsenal players ate true and that’s is the type of talent that would loft the mood and our aspirations completely. Come on Rafa get it done.

    3
  • Bobbybee

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #3

    Liverpool losing one nil at half time. Angel involved in the goal that brought out a great save from the keeper, but the follow up was nodded in.

    I honestly can’t see any way on this planet that Rafa will sacrifice Shelvey’s control of midfield by playing him further forward. Why would he? He’s so important playing deeper with that range of passing that we’d need to change the way we play completely – something that hasn’t been in evidence pre season. Merino is good, but can he replace Shelvey? Too early to tell obviously, but we know he can play ball winner as well, so if anything Hayden may lose out. Nice to have options!
    At least if we lose Shelvey at any time it won’t be the disaster it was last season.
    Still time to bring in a specialist No10 anyway.
    The pace we have down the wings now Shelvey’s early balls will be a huge part of our counterattack imo.

    3
  • Bobbybee

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #4

    Hope the second half of this game improves – always the optimist 🙂

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #5

    this games a bit flat!

    0
  • beermonkey

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #6

    so rafa gonna have a prob in the middle picking from the 3 of merino heyden and shelvey
    i think he might pick all 3 especially against some of the top teams

    still in his favoured 4231 but instead of shelvey in a no10 role sat a little deeper with pace on the wings
    with mitro and his hold up play could a good way to set up

    0
  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #7

    How interesting
    PSG buy Neymar hours ago
    Antoine Griezmann who has a buyout clause of €200 million doesn’t play for Atletico vs LPool tonight !

    0
  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #8

    In fact Torres comes on and Griezmann stays on the bench

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #9

    Beer
    Be nice to see them in a 4-3-3 with Murphy Atsu and Gayle up top

    0
  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #10

    Well that’s that theory shot down in flames

    Ha ha ha

    😀

    0
  • Our Toon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #11

    Jib

    Griezeman played last night, if anything they are resting him, just like Liverpool aren’t playing coutinho because he played yesterday

    0
  • beermonkey

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #12

    shire

    more chance of us going 3 at the back i think

    no ritchie in your 433 seems harsh lol

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #13

    Beer

    I thought of Ritchie after I’d pressed the submit button 🙁 and Aaron’s lol

    Playing 3 at the back would be nice but can’t see it.

    0
  • lochinvar

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #14

    Chatter now that we’re interested in Correra from Athletico who’s playing tonight against the Scousers as well as Perez

    That would be tasty

    2
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #15

    Nice try Jib 😆

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #16

    No chance of signing Correa tbh.

    0
  • clinath@ed

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #17

    Not under Rafa a Shire. I think we are in agreement Bobby, but I really fancy Merino to be something special. A specialist no.10 is paramount to getting the best out of our centre forward.

    0
  • beermonkey

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #18

    shire

    options options in the middle and wings we do have a few options

    we tried 3 at the back a few times last season and i think we will try it again at times
    whilst rafa will fall back to his 4231 he is a student of the game and will adapt as games unfold

    we all long for the marquee signing but i like the way the squad is shaping up

    0
  • magspuggy

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:17 PM

    Comment #19

    Haydens gonna do well this year imho

    Manquillo looked settled today even with little game time he may end up in the squad due to yedlins hammy.

    Leugenes looks to be willing to be wor rock at the back and hes big and up for a battle.

    Merino could be a diamond time will tell

    Murphy looks fast and keen.

    Atsu is quick as can be and happy to have a club to call home going to have a brilliant year.

    Whats not to like .

    Hwtl

    4
  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Andy Robertson at £8 million has to be the bargain of the Summer !

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #21

    Beer

    It’s about time we had options in Midfield. Who would you play at LWB if we were to play 3 at the back?

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:22 PM

    Comment #22

    It’s nice to see the blog a lot more upbeat today. Amazing what a win does for morale lol

    1
  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #23

    magspuggy
    The usual suspects will find summat to whine about

    1
  • bollance2

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #24

    Good evening all!

    It will be an interesting August. It is likely Rafa has more targets to bring in. The massive problem is that we have a massive squad and wage bill.

    We are in a weak position as buying clubs know we need to sell.

    What I suspect will happen is that we are forced into selling for example Mitro and get stuck with Riviere.

    0
  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:25 PM

    Comment #25

    I knew pr!ck Henderson would cock it up

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #26

    Jib

    Typical mackem lol

    0
  • beermonkey

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    Comment #27

    shire

    its not a job for dummett
    aarons has played there but again not for me i think i read manquillo can play on the left
    so with yedlin injured mbemba on the right and manquillo on the left

    going 3 at the back would cause us problems as it wont suit dummett really
    i wonder if ritchiie could play there he has a good all round game and works hard and is willing to defend when needed

    0
  • Toonces

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #28

    Jib @ 20 agree Robertson looks a good player. But with the way Liverpool play at the moment will he displace Milner to start at left full back/wing back?

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #29

    Liverpool lost on pens. How sad. 🙂 I think they still look vulnerable on set pieces under klippety. Dunno if it’s how he sets them up, but regardless who plays there they look very unsure. No doubt Rafa has noticed that too. He’ll already be plotting their downfall. 🙂

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #30

    Beer

    Dummett would have to form part of the back 3 in my eyes. See I couldn’t think of anyone in our current squad who could play the LWB role comfortably. Aaron’s has played there a few times but I’m not sure he’s gonna stay injury free long enough. I thought of Murphy aswell as Manquillo but then that leaves us short for RB.

    No matter what formation Rafa plays, we need to bring in another LB. but I think striker and No 10 are more of a priority.

    3
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:44 PM

    Comment #31

    Bobby,

    One thing your guaranteed against Klopps team is opportunities to score against them. Which was hugely evident last season.

    0
  • Our Toon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #32

    I think Sandro Ramirez signing for peanuts at Everton is the bargain of the season, time will tell but 5.7m for him is an absolute snip

    3
  • Bobbybee

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #33

    Can’t see Rafa changing from 4231 much myself. It’s what he’s comfortable with and so are the players now. At least this season he’s got options if someone isn’t playing too well. Not going to be easy but I can see us surviving comfortably and shocking one or two of the big boys along the way. Who knows, maybe that elusive cup run to Wembley might be a possibility if we’re looking safe? I think though safety has to take priority this season. Play the kids the first couple of rounds and see where we are later in the season whether we make a cup a priority or not.

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #34

    Paul Ince has lost his neck! His head just flows into his shoulders 😆

    0
  • BeeGuy

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #35

    Sure would have liked to see NUFC hold he ball a little more rather than playing rope-a-dope. The Mags more likely to do that with Mbemba in the squad. Clark just kicks it away.
    Shelvey will be the B-52 bomber with long, high passes, Hayden (or whoever) needs to be an A-10 Warthog and make the precision short, killer attacks.

    0
  • Our Toon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #36

    Shirebrook

    Granted it’s a friendly but same issues for Liverpool, sit deep and don’t give them space in behind. They struggle to break sides down with no plan B

    They’ll have clever players than those on show today but they won’t have much to come off the bench compared to the starting xi.

    0
  • beermonkey

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #37

    shire

    clarke is left footed and has played fullback as well i believe so he would take the the left side of a 3 liguane in the middle and laschelles or mbemba on the right would be my 3

    there really isnt a lwb in the squad
    but as we have a budget and we do have options to cover dummett i would rather a striker and no10 before we buy a replacment for dummett

    1
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #38

    Our Toon,

    Exactly. They got found out numerous times last season.

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 2, 2017 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #39

    Beer

    May see a back 3 in cup games but don’t think we’ll see it in the league. But I’m excited for the season ahead.

    I also think there’s more signings to come too!

    2
  • beermonkey

    Aug 2, 2017 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #40

    Shire

    I think 2 3 new faces before Sept

    Lots to look forward to over all I think even if we lose now we as fans will be pretty proud of the team we have a work ethic in the team
    We have come along way in a short time under rafa

    4

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