Rafa Benitez Back On The Training Ground Today – Video

Here’s a small but significant piece of video put out on the Newcastle United Twitter account as Rafa starts the training session with his players this morning.

Rafa returned to Newcastle last Monday having fully recovered from his hernia surgery after the manager, and his excellent coaching staff had engineered the great 1-0 win at Swansea on Sunday.

That was the first time at Newcastle that he had missed a press conference before the game and then couldn’t make the game in person – but we still won and away from home too.

We now have two wins in a row and if we can beat Stoke City at home on Saturday afternoon that will be the first time since November of 2013 that we have managed to win 3 Premier League games on the trot.

Rafa Benitez in training

Howay The Lads!!.

Just wish we could hear what Rafa is telling his players.

17 comments so far

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #1

    Five reasons why Newcastle United can secure third win in a row and continue their upward turn Newcastle United’s Merino in action against Swansea City.

    Newcastle United started their season with three defeats, but since then things have gone full circle. The Magpies head into Saturday’s clash with Stoke City looking to make in a trio of Premier League victories on the bounce. There was plenty to be positive about in last weekend’s win at Swansea City. And here we take a look at FIVE reasons why United can make it three out of three at St James’s Park.

    Mikel Merino
    How on earth did Newcastle manage to land this star in the making for next to nothing in today’s market? The much-hyped Renato Sanches had no idea what had hit him on Sunday. It would be no shock to find the Portuguese still rattling around among the loose change in Merino’s pocket. On a more serious note, the Spain Under-21 international has absolutely everything in his locker. Not only does he win it, is good in the air, reads the game but also he has the ability to glide past a man, never gives it away, is intelligent, aware of his surroundings but most importantly always looking for a forward pass. He will cause a lot of very good teams a lot of problems this season, no doubt catching an admiring glance or two along the way.

    Defensive solidity
    Jamaal Lascelles stole the headlines at the weekend but he could not have done it without partner-in-crime Ciaran Clark. The Republic of Ireland international and the skipper seem to be building up quite a partnership at the heart of defence. Having played together for almost a year they look a unit. While they are not the best in the division, understanding and familiarity can make up for a multitude of sins, just ask title winning pair Robert Huth and Wes Morgan.

    Form of Joselu
    When Stoke City allowed United to sign Joselu for a relative bargain sum of £5million earlier this summer there was little fanfare on Tyneside. ‘Why are we signing him?’ many asked. And given his goals record at Stoke, and hardly brilliant tally during a loan spell back in Spain, who could blame people for wondering why Benitez chose to take a gamble on the former Real Madrid forward. The telling thing was that many fans from the Potteries were dismayed at Mark Hughes letting him go, especially after a goal-laden pre-season at the Bet365 Stadium. And just a few games in no-one is questioning Rafa’s call now. Joselu has been outstanding, a revelation in fact. His link-up with Ayoze Perez at the Liberty Stadium was a joy to watch at times. He will take on his old side with a point to prove. He was inches away from adding to his tally at Swansea, I wouldn’t bet against him doing just that at SJP this weekend.

    Quality stand-ins
    One thing that maybe went under the radar in the joy of the Swans win was the performance of United’s two full-backs. Javier Manquillo looks like a changed man from the defender who looked totally out of sorts sitting on Sunderland’s bench last season. And on the other side it was a Premier League debut to remember for Jesus Gamez. The right-back filled in on the left, with Chancel Mbemba injured. And despite a difficult opening 20 minutes, when he was troubled somewhat by Kyle Naughton, he settled into the game, even proving to be a brilliant outlet on the break for United in the second half. He’ll need to be at his very best to DeAndre Yedlin out of the side. But maybe, just maybe, a player who was regarded as one of Benitez’s flops of last season, can finally find some value in the Magpies squad.

    Squad strength
    At the Liberty, for the first time in a long time, United really seemed to have options on the bench. As well as having England Under-21 keeper Freddie Woodman waiting in the wings, recently returned Yedlin, Florian Lejeune and Jonjo Shelvey were all there, complemented by last season’s top-scorer Dwight Gayle as well as African duo Christian Atsu and Mohamed Diame. And all that without the services Aleksandar Mitrovic, Paul Dummett, Mbemba and left out Rolando Aarons. Benitez proved with his business last season that he is big on making sure he has a considerable squad. He knows a season can throw up many challenges and the last thing he wants is to be left short in any department, hence the insistence on hanging on to all three United keepers, despite the frustrations of youngster Woodman. He did not get anywhere near the amount of deals done this summer that he would have hoped for, but one look at the United bench from the weekend shows he has options at his disposal. Shelvey, Lejeune, Atsu and Yedlin are all seen as part of the Magpies first-choice XI.


  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #2

    A realistic appraisal of the current side I thought, although the last two are more or less the same.

  • toontaff2

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa appears to be explaining how big his surgery scar is, along with the size of his swelling!!! 😮

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #4

    Evening lads!

    There really are no news are there…only the lynchmob out to get Perez!

    …I am sure both he and the team appreciate your support

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #5

    There is an undoubted quality in the side that has been installed by Rafa and players are competing to appear in the first team. They are confident as individuals and in the team, which really helps generate good performances and I hope there is no lingering hangover from the summer transfer window.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #6

    I think Rafa opened his team talk with his rendition of a family favourite from The Jungle Book – “Trussed in Me” followed by a cautionary tale on the perils of a nut allergy.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #7

    Lindisfarne…it’s a big test this weekend but a game we can win…the fixture list is really in our favour this first part of the season I think…

    …we might not feel the poor window as much as I feared!

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #8

    Evening, jesper

    It looks cold there!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #9

    Ron…here or where? 🙂

  • toontaff2

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #10

    Seems we have quite a few blog managers of the Lord Percy ilk!
    Why not shift our best players around and change formation, to make sure we stop this nasty winning streak??!!

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #11

    The training ground!

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #12

    Just seen MOTD2, Stoke put in a good performance and had a game plan to bridge the divide in quality, plus ManU may have had half an eye on the Champions League. They were able to move the ball around with accuracy, did not just sit back and defend for their lives, hoping for a quick counter-attack. I do not think they will play the same at SJP, they may believe that we will not break them down and rely on picking up the ball from our mistakes.

    Plus they had Diuof playing wide on the right, trying to exploit the space in behind the LB in one on ones. I would hope Gamez would see it coming.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #13

    PS: It’s also reported that Ashley made a verbal offer to Lascelles of an additional £20m bonus payment to the squad for winning the FA Cup – not bad for bloke who recently claimed to have no cash, only wallpaper….
    I wonder if he was pi$$ed up and will we see this end up in court if we win it??

  • Tsunki

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #14

    Yes I’m not a big fan of this tinkering with formations players and tactics with little more in view than providing a bit more entertainment tbh.

    Games like Swansea show that Rafa is tailoring the approach to the capabilities of the team and results show that he understands how to achieve that, so I’m happy this far with continuing as-is unless a position can be tangibly strengthened.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #15

    Jail as a betting man i think Ashley is confident of the odds on that happening don’t you?

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #16


    I can not claim the information was unearthed by myself, but the prize for winning the FA Cup is £20M which would leave the club with the gate money / TV revenue.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #17

    Shelvey was stupid against Spurs and undoubtedly cost us the game, but moving him further forward totally negates his strongest point, which is those long killer passes.
    I don’t think we should forget his input to getting us promoted, which showed up massively when he wasn’t there. We missed him badly.
    He deserved his three match ban, but I’d like to see him back in the side ASAP myself, although not at the expense of Merino.
    That’s the challenge for Rafa – how to accommodate both.
    For all the stick Perez got, Hayden was the one who had a bit of a shocker, losing the ball in dangerous positions.
    Nice problem for Rafa to have like! 🙂 Hard to change a winning side, which also sees Lejeune sitting it out after having England’s striker in his pocket.
    I also prefer Yedders at right back. More than anything because of the way he works so well with Ritchie. They seem to have a chemistry not yet shown by Manquillo.
    Despite Atsu not shining when he came on, I still prefer his pace and skill to Murphy, who seems to be taking time to adjust to his move.
    All in all, pound for pound, our business has been canny. Other clubs may have spent a lot more, but on players having far less impact than ours have shown.
    What to do on Saturday? Leave it to Rafa I reckon. He’s not done a bad job so far.


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