When Rafa first came to Newcastle 18 months ago, we got just one point from our first four games under Rafa – a home draw against Sunderland, and we lost at Leicester City, Norwich City, and Southampton.
But after that in our last six games of that season, we got three wins and three draws – a good 12 points in 6 games.
We haven’t had a good start to the season although the performances have shown the team is very well organized.
But we still managed to lose against Tottenham and Huddersfield and were unable to score and conceded three goals.
We are hoping once Rafa gets his final squad together we will improve and start getting some wins and pull away from the bottom of the table – that’s our hope in any case.
Rafa Benitez – the team and the players will improve
And Rafa seems pretty sure he will be able to improve the team he has as he had this to say to the Chronicle:
“September 1 will be different.” “We will then work with these players, in the mean time if we can get some points against West Ham everybody will be happier and it will be easier for me.”
“If not we will carry on because this team will improve.” “They are very good professionals, they work hard and they will improve.”
“If you are stronger as a team, and approach each game strongly – you will have more chances to win.”
“I would still say we are looking to bring players in and move players out.” “I think the September 1 will be totally different and hopefully go to this day with three points on the board.”
“I could use the example of Daryl Murphy – he was a fantastic player for us.” “We needed to sign players like Daryl with experience to help us get promoted and get up at the first attempt last year.”
“After promotion was done everybody knew these players would have to go.” “It’s not that you are changing your squad just for the sake of it.”
“We actually knew that some of these players were doing a great job in the Championship but after they had to go.”
“Other than that we have players from the past who have big contracts.” “Still they are around the club, that is a situation that we have and we have to deal with it.”
“It’s normal (the negative comments being made about Rafa).” “When you lose games people can talk about you.”
“But we are doing exactly the same as before the Tottenham game, trying to win.” “Tottenham was difficult but they were second in the Premier League last season.”
“You could see we were well organised and the understanding was good then we lost a player and we had two injuries.”
“We were playing with 10 players, to lose that game could be normal in any circumstances, it’s nothing to do with negativity.”
One big challenge for Newcastle in the next week is to get players like Tim Krul, Achraf Lazaar, Massadio Haidara, Grant Hanley, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet and Emmanuel Riviere off the wage list, so they need to be sold or sent out on loan.
And Siem de Jong seems to be the latest who is available and like his brother Luuk his time at Newcastle just didn’t work out – for whatever reason.
The news is that Ajax may be willing to take him back to Holland.
So there’s a lot of work to do before the transfer window closes a week tomorrow both in moving players out and bringing new players in..
If we cannot get any good new players it this week, it could be a difficult season for us, and we’ll just have to rely on the experience and know how of Rafa Benitez to pick up the points.