Rafa Reflects On Third Loss In A Row – We Missed Our Chances – But Team Will Improve

After three losses in a row, this situation will be a bit of a challenge for the Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, and he will have to remain upbeat.

A win at home to West Ham on Saturday is just what we need to lift the depressed mood with Newcastle supporters after the defeat to Nottingham Forest last night at home where some poor defending cost us the game.

But Rafa says we missed a lot of chances last night and actually should have won the game – but we didn’t, and maybe that’s because we haven’t got the strikers in the side who can convert the chances we keep creating?

That was certainly true last season when we didn’t win games after missing lots of good chances.

Rafa Benitez last night

Rafa tried to remain upbeat as he talked to journalists after the game at his press conference and this is what he said in the Chronicle after the disappointing defeat:

“Everybody was expecting that we have to beat Nottingham Forest, but at the same time they’re doing well in the league and they have confidence.”

“The game though was more or less as we were expecting.” “They could pass the ball, they could move the ball, but we had the chances.”

“I don’t remember too many saves from Darlow and I remember a lot of chances that we didn’t take.”

“Because you play two days ago and you have to play two days after, at this stage of the season, the players have to be ready for playing in the cup against a Championship team.”

“If you can’t, then it means that something is wrong.”

“I thought we could do it and watching the team, watching the number of chances that we had, I think we deserved to go through.”

“We knew that going into the Premier League, a new division, a new competition, another level, you can win games or you can lose games.”

“In this case, we lost this one. It was a game that we were expecting to win – we didn’t do it and we have to be ready for the next one.”

“I have said that this team will improve and I am convinced that we will do it.

“It proved that we have to improve in some areas.”

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Comments welcome.

148 comments so far

  • toontaff2

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #1

    Remain upbeat – Rafa looks like a big gas bill arrived, followed by a big electric bill, then got an unexpected knock from the taxman.

  • toontaff2

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #3

    At this stage, freeing up squad numbers and wages is surely more important than transfer fees.
    All the deadwood was loaned out, last season, clearly with no clauses about making deals longer term. Very poor planning, as usual. Saivet, Krul, De Jong, Riviere – surely we should have had some clause, based on appearances.
    The organisation at SJP is so p poor – the open day had not even been thought about on 8th Aug, according to a very expensive phone call {mobile premium rate – box office – beware!}, then took place on the 17th. I am sure most employees would be on a disciplinary for demonstrating anything like the ineptness they perform with.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #4

    G…the length of the contract might effect the signing on fee and the agent fee, but it also affect the total cost we as a club has to pay and it makes deicult to ship the player out again…

    …the last point is important if Hanley was only brought in to help us gain promotion!

    It’s very important to get the transfers right even Rafa has pointed this out!

  • toontaff2

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #5

    Mind, I am still waiting for a response to their promotional e-mail offer to appear in my own comic sketch, in a Toon match scenario.
    Was that my long awaited free offer?
    Maybe we could rustle up a few ideas for comic strips, containing some of the idolised bosses at SJP?

  • toontaff2

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #6

    Free offer = promotional pressie.
    Your Why aye man suffered serious injury, whilst we were getting our minions to sew on his commemorative 125 year badge and is currently receiving treatment at the academy.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #7

    You didn’t miss much last night, had a feel of a not very friendly.

  • expatmag

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #8


    From the last thread:

    We will not be getting Jovetic. He will have better options than us and not in England.

    I doubt we will move Mitro on either. We will lose some players but not enough and we may bring in someone on lian but that will be it.

    As for fans getting nervous, you cant really blame them after performances so far and admissions by Rafa that we are not good enough whike Ashley holds on to his wealth

  • toontaff2

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #9

    Please no, not the finance sketch, again!
    Cue Jeremy Corbyn.
    Diane, https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jWQFF6sfMIw/maxresdefault.jpg

  • EllaGuru

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #10

    At the risk of offending those who idolise Rafa:

    I really do not see much difference between what we have had in the past and what we have now with Rafa.

    Poor players on long, lucrative contracts (Hanley, Lazaar as examples, who Rafa himself signed).
    An inability to get players across the line, with the continuous message to the fans of “we are working on it” or something that that effect.
    A porous back line as shown last night.
    A stubborness or unwillingness to try something different, when clearly the way we are set-up is not working.

    If Rafa in cahoots with Cashley and Penfold? He is getting a decent wedge out of the club…

    Cue the Rafolics to self immolate…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #11

    If Rafa doesn’t get the players he desperately needs does he stay and take the blame for a relegation or do Mashers for constructive dismissal?

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #12

    Jail…wouldn’t that depend on what was actually agreed back in May?

  • Slank

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #13

    Well, last nights result was thoroughly predictable.

    If you put 11 individuals together probably for the first time (and hopefully the last) some of whom have been told by their manager that they are no good and can bugger off whilst others have had very little match practice then this is what we get.

    This game was an opportunity for the first team to gain much needed confidence, with a resounding win, ahead of West Ham and to give the fans something to cheer about.

    Benitez is to blame.

    His recent demeanor, comments and now pathetic actions looks suspiciously like what managers do to engineer a divorce from their club.

  • posada

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #14

    Many think only Rafa stands between us and meltdown.
    Well lets have the meltdown.
    It’s gonna come sooner or later.
    Then we might get change.
    Real change as opposed to false hope.

  • Slank

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #15

    Jail @ 11

    ‘..constructive dismissal?..’

    Think my last paragraph answered that.

  • Jib

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #16

    At the risk of offending EllaGuru

    If you cannot see the difference Rafael Benitez has made to NUFC in so many ways – perhaps footy and probably sport in general isn’t your thing .

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #17

    I don’t think anybody would want Rafa to leave…this situation is what it is and it won’t change if someone else comes in to manage us!

    …we will just be worse off! That said Rafa needs to get on with it and be more flexible…

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #18

    …well maybe some

  • EllaGuru

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #19


    The main difference with Rafa is that he has many a naive fan deluded into thinking that we are going to be challenging for Champions League places in a couple of years.

    We were equally as “hard to beat” under Chris Hughton, and due to the fact that he was Chris Hughton, and not Rafa Benitez, nobody expected us to pull up any trees

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #20

    Be lunacy if we sell Mitrovich because the brief glimpse of Jusrol last night looked weak as dishwater.

    As for RAFA dissapointed in his team selection – blody embarrassment – line-up one up front.

    Same old same old – one trick pony tactics – play one up front whoever the opposition – Spuds, Forest West Ham this Saturday. Bristol QPR and the rest last season.

    Yes we got promoted as champions yet the only game I really enjoyed was the last ten minutes against Norwich at home when we went for it and the Barnsley home game last season oh and the first half of the Villa away game.

    Yes Ashley has got tao take a lot of the blame but RAFA has got to take his fair share to as it is him who picks the team and sets it up- 4-4-1 bloody 1 ARGHHHHHHHH

    Sadly last night we were taught a lesson first half on how to play football from Forest no hoofball. Keeper got the ball full backs came short and wide , centre half came to edge of box – drew our players to mark them – which we could not do playing Mitro up front who was knackered chasing around. The full backs would get the ball and pass up field w to their central midfiield player who would lay it of – simples –

    Did we have a tactic style of play – I could not see one

    Since we have got rid of Goufran Colback not picked we have got NO BITE in midfield.

    And when we went 3-2 down in extra time we huffed and puffed without a clue on how to blow the house down.

    Hopefully we get at least THREE class strong powerful players in as we are going to find it tough to stay up. Maybe starting with Forest’s no 17 Ben Brereton who in midfield was class first half – no one could get near him class everywhere strong powerful used the ball well.

    So far of our signings the only one who I would say is strong enough to stand up to the rigours of the Premiership has been Lejeune who sadly got injured.

    Anyway rant over – here’s hoping

  • toontaff2

    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #21

    JIB, from previous.
    It’s usually at least 10% of the total posts on here, daily, often more!
    Means I get through the posts 10% more quickly, at least!

  • Slank

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #22


    ‘..I don’t think anybody would want Rafa to leave…’

    Agree totally but yesterday’s shockingly poor team selection and recent body language and comments, picked up by fans and pundits alike, is not what we have come to expect from a manager of his experience and stature.

    Unless, this is the behaviour of an experienced manager in the same way Mourinho allegedly engineered his departure from Chelsea !

  • hibbit

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #23

    i honestly think Rafa’s looking for away out every thing was wrong last night the first half was diabolical and players looked as if they couldn’t be arsed
    Rafa looks like he’s had enough and wants out none of his usual antics on the sideline his whole body-language looked like a beaten man hardly bothered to come out of the dugout not looking good

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #24

    So, what did I learn from last night then? For one thing, despite the meltdown, a number of those on display aren’t even in the squad, so are unlikely to feature this season. And just as well.
    Hanley is an overweight excuse for a footballer and clearly nowhere near fit. He’s going nowhere, simply because he’s decided Rafa has made his career by giving him a five year contract on £40k a week and if he never plays again, he’s made for life anyway.
    Not that anybody else will want him on that performance. We couldn’t give him away anyway because of what he’s earning. Out of a lot of average performers last night, he stood out as shocking. Can’t run, can’t jump, can’t tackle. But then, why bother eh? Four more years at £40k a week for sitting on his arse. Nice money if you can get it.
    Sterry struggled. Not ready on that performance, although to be fair, I have seen him play a lot better.
    Still, let’s not get bogged down in the bad from last night.
    Aaron’s was excellent though. Lovely touches and powerful runs and a cracking goal. Limped off though, hope it isn’t serious.
    Mitro had a good game, but really deserved at least two or three penalties. Which says it all about the ref. Clueless once again.
    Diame put himself around, decent game. Barlaser improving steadily.
    The overall problem was the team selection. If the purpose was to try and sell some of that lot, then why put them all on the pitch at once? Too many duff players at once made for a very disjointed performance that did the advertising no good at all.
    Not bothering reading back through, but I’m sure jail was furious that a manager dare to sacrifice another cup run by making ten changes. How dare he eh? 🙂
    If Rafa was trying to make a point he failed. Ashley doesn’t care. He never has though so why people are surprised now is beyond me.
    So again, Rafa needs to talk to the knacker, not make these gestures that are wasted on him. Does Ashley care we’re out the cup? Has he ever? Window shuts soon, it’s now or never. Maybe those slow on the uptake will see my point now?

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #25

    Slank…I don’t disagree with you and I am the first to blame the manager when I think he’s not doing his job well!

    …Ashley can and should be blamed for many things…but come Sunday it’s on Rafa!

  • Jib

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #26

    Saturday even

  • Slank

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #27


    I can accept a 4-2-3-1 formation if it is an effective style of play and consistently wins games.

    But it certainly isn’t at the moment.

    People always criticized Sam Allardyce for his long ball style of play but it was very effective especially as he didn’t have a lot of money to play with. I bet Blackburn and Sunderland wouldn’t say no to him now.

    Are we right to expect more from Benitez ?

  • carl

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #28

    I understood what you were saying One of Rafa’s biggest “needs not wants” is to manage fans expectations. Having assembled a massively( in relative terms) expensive Championship squad he was naive in thinking players not fit for purpose could simply be sold and those who were bought.
    Even in business redundancy means a payment. Reading the constant reference to Hanley it was obvious because of the lengthy drawn out deal that he had a costly contract. Rafa was short sighted and should have been proactive once promotion was won.
    I’ve read a poster saying Rafa doesn’t get involved well he does in saying who he wants and doesn’t want. He has global contacts which Charnley doesn’t.
    It’s not all Ashley’s fault and maybe Benitez needs to focus on picking up some points and not taking on a Mister Tuff personae of blaming everyone else.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #29

    Ella Guru

    Some somewhat unproductive comments from you there I feel.

    In AP’s time we had an atrocious manager with some top players in their pirme: Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye etc.

    Now we have a world class manager with a squad where I doubt any one of our players would get in a top 10 team.

    Rafa bought seasoned championship players to get us out of the championship on the full expectation that once returned to the premiership, there would be upgrades coming in and that mediocre players would leave. Amazingly surprise, surprise, Ashley, with clearly no lessons learned from previous flirtations with and actual relegations, has seemingly once more reneged on this.

    The current situation is extremely toxic and I think something has to give, but sadly for us the fans, not in a good way.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #30


    No one was criticising when rafa got hanley as promotion insurance were they

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #31

    From RAFA – yes a lot, lot more – he has managed top clubs in this country and in Europe – won many titles and cups. Or can he not manage a team/sign players where his funds are limited.

    He should be able to change formations/tactics see what the oppostion are doing/set up and iether change ours or adapt ours to beat them

    Not up on the past – why did he get the sack from Real Madrid and Napoli – was it for the same style of football

  • EllaGuru

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #32


    I accept that the comment on Rafa being in cahoots with the management of the club is quite harsh on Rafa.

    I have great respect for Rafa, in terms of him getting us out of the Championship and back to the Premier League. I just feel he is not as untouchable as some on here would have us believe. Poor investment in players(Hanley on a long contract), and poor team selection mean that he has to take some of the slack.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #33


    it was effective if you wanted to just about avoid relegation every year. hardly progressive though


    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #34

    Disappointed by the result last night and the fact we were embarrassingly booted early from yet another cup competition…..again…at home…but when a team of transfer listed players and unfit/no game sharpness, fringe first teamers it looked like it was always going to be a tough night,can only hope that the fringe players got sone sharpness and made some sort of impression that gives the manager something to think about….hate goin out of these cup comps early,can expect the same with f.a cup in january no doubt….hope its worth it on saturday.

  • Slank

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #35

    Charlie @ 31

    My thoughts too.

  • LetuscloneShearer

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #36

    SELL DIAME, THROW HIM OUT!! Useless player!

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #37


    at the minute we could change a few players around, alter a formation or 3, change tactics etc, but at the end of the day this is a shockingly weak squad and as it stands just not fit for the premier league. we were poor before with sissoko, wijnaldum, townsend etc, now we don’t even have anyone near their quality.

    Rafa is not untouchable, but obviously Rafa’s understanding of the transfer situation was vastly different to the fat man’s, eg ” he knows what he said”. Basically Rafa has been sold a pup by a serial liar.

  • Slank

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #38


    Yes, that is true but it was argued, with justification, that any other manager apart from the equally much maligned Pulis would have got the clubs relegated.

  • Jib

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #39

    Sunlun and Leeds have both enquired about Hanley is the last 24 hours.
    He’s only 25 and if he wants to continue playing for his country he will have to go somewhere where he gets game time.
    Contrary to what some believe Hanley is on £30,000 pw (John O’Shea is on £47,000 pw)

  • outside the box

    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #40

    from what i saw last night …it was a useful game for rafa to try squad players out in a game that didn,t matter …the draw away to chelski only added to that …we havent the squad for a cup run…
    darlow hanley lazar are not up to grade
    sterry barlaser are coming on but not ready barlaser better in defensive mid saivet better forward..
    mitro isnt a natural finisher
    gamez aarons murphy mbemba diame..good squad players…
    aarons and murphy exciting to watch arrons right foot goal good to see …
    a useful exercise …cannot afford run in a cup we have no chance of winning at this stage


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