Revealed – Rafa Benitez’ Amazing Preparation For The Swansea Game


We are finding out today from Isaac Hayden that Rafa Benitez called each player before the game at Swansea on Sunday to ensure they knew exactly what Rafa wanted from them in the match.

And then he remained in contact with the coaching staff all during the game and everything worked out well with a great 1-0 win.

Notice there was no nonsense of phones not working and the like, because knowing Rafa he would have wanted that all tested out before the game.

But now the lads must follow up the last two excellent performances with another one at home against a good Stoke City side tomorrow.

Rafa Benitez – called each player before Swansea game

And who knows, with some luck, we could have three league wins on the trot for the first time in the Premier League for nearly four years.

This is what Isaac has said as reported in the Chronicle today:

“The manager has been back on the training pitch doing his normal work really and preparing us for Stoke.”

“We just want to build on what we’ve done over the last couple of games. The Premier League’s a long season, it’s very intense and the games are of a very-high quality.”

“We have to just make sure that whichever Saturday or Sunday when we play, we’re bang on and 100% ready for the task at hand.”

“The manager always prepares us right, and I’m sure by Saturday we will be.”

“Last Sunday before the Swansea game the manager called a lot of the individuals – maybe the whole team, I’m not sure.”

“But he called us individually before the game to have a private one-on-one chat about the game.”

“He wanted to engage with us all and just explain to us what he wants from each player individually.”

“It just shows that he trusts a lot of the players; he puts a lot of faith in them and he knows even if he’s not there physically he can have a five-minute chat with you.”

“And when you go on the pitch he knows you’ll be doing exactly what he wants you to be doing.”

“Again I thought it was a really professional job all week. Even without the manager last week, the training was very, very professional.”

“Everyone was very focused, whether you thought you were going to play or whether you thought you weren’t.”

“Everybody was working hard and it was a good week.”

What Newcastle must do tomorrow is to keep up the good form and not have any letdowns.

The lads have played really well in the last two games after the disappointment at Huddersfield Town when we lost 1-0.

And most fans think we can win this game tomorrow.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Stoke City?

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96 comments so far

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #1

    There’s no easy games in the PL – despite what Hammers and Swansea fans thought before playing us. 🙂 Tomorrow will be another difficult game, but with the right personnel and tactics, definitely one we can win if we get it right. I’m quietly confident, but we’ll aware we could come a cropper if we go in with anything other than 100% commitment. Luckily, that’s not something we need to worry about.
    Yesterday I watched the final game of our previous season in the PL again, against Spurs when we won 5-1, scoring three goals with only ten men against the side who were second in the league. Not for the first time either! 🙂
    How on earth McClaren managed to get that side relegated beggars belief. That had to be one of Sissoko’s best games for us as well. We dominated the first half to the extent that we took our foot off the pedal in the second half a bit, but losing Mitro to another bit of stupidity galvanised them again. What a performance, that looks even better looking back.
    Being there that game I was like the rest – caught up in the emotion – but watching it again yesterday made me truly realise what a great performance it was.
    The difference between a world class manager and an average one. Chalk and cheese. 🙂

    8
  • martoon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #2

    Will there be a press conference today? If so will Rafa get asked about the transfer window or has that been forgotten about?

    1
  • gaz 44

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #3

    Two clean sheets in two games, for that reason I’d be keeping the defence the same, even though I don’t majorly rate manquillo at this level stability in defence is key.
    To be perfectly honest I would keep the exact starting 11, Gayle looked sharper when he came on so maybe being dropped and the threat of going back to the championship woke him up abit.
    Only one who didn’t impress out the first 11 was Perez for me but I’m a big fan still and there’s no one better, if Shelvey wasn’t likely to slack off or kick someone when the going was tough maybe I’d stick him there

    3
  • TyneMouth

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #4

    From earlier today;

    It’s amazing the change of mood on this blog, since the West Ham game, 19 days ago. A period of time which included the International break.

    The ‘disaster’ of the transfer window, is now seen as a surprising success! Merino, Lejeune and Joselu are collecting plaudits.

    Mbemba and Jesus are like ‘new signings.’

    We now have Two play-makers! Wonderful!

    We are almost spoilt for choice in defence, THREE class centre backs, Lascelles, Lejeune and Clark. (We could play all of them as a back three!)

    Rafa has an element of choice in selecting full backs, wingers, and defensive mid-fielders. This hasn’t been the case in recent years.

    Rafa will have a wish list for the January window, it will include an experienced and prolific striker, (as will the other 19 Premiership Managers.).

    He will continue his pursuit of an experienced Goalkeeper, that is a given!

    The search for a number 10 is perhaps a bit old fashioned, the shirt numbers are no longer relevant, and probably haven’t been since the 1970’s, to be honest.

    One team’s 442 is another team’s 4231 or 3241. The game today is amazingly fluid depending how the game develops. The game, last night, at the Emirates, is a good example. Arsenal started with a back three, and reverted to a back four in the second half. Cologne had to commit more players forward, and depleted their mid-field. Cologne, also lost an important attacking player in the first half.

    If you have two play-makers, you have the element surprise! Last season when Shelvey was our only play-maker, opposition teams could rehearse defensive strategies.

    We have also two very good defensive mid-fielders, Mbemba and Hayden. Both of whom can play in the back four, (or perhaps three!)

    A four player mid-field, two defensive, two attacking, in front of a back three, choose two wingers, and a striker, we have 3241, the new Black, (and White,) perhaps…

    8
  • gaz 44

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #5

    Notice the faith is back .. 2 wins and the vast majority thinking a win against a very tough stoke team… that’s what I like to see

    7
  • Pootle2118

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #6

    Morning chaps, how are we all doing? Just done a bit of a quick catch up of previous posts as I haven’t been able to get on for various reasons. So…..
    On the starting 11 v Stoke, I can see Gamez missing out with Manquillo switching to LB and Yedlin slotting back in at RB. A bit harsh on Gamez after a decent shift v Swansea but I think pace over experience is the way to overcome Shaquiri. I can also see Atsu coming in for Murphy as well as I think the only reason Atsu didn’t start against Swansea was because of the game & travel time he had with the internationals.
    Shelvey and Merino in the same midfield I think could work quite well. The way I would set it would be Shelvey and Hayden as deep lying midfielders with Merino as #10 but sitting slightly further back than the traditional #10 slot. Something like a mini triangle on the centre circle, that way Jonjo is still able to look for his Hollywood 60 yd pass while Merino can sit and pick the clever short passes on the deck. It would be easy enough for them to switch positions throughout the match as well, just to vary the attacks. This could also address the point made by one of you (apologies for not remembering who)
    when they said that the way we are playing atm kind of bypasses the #10 spot.
    However, all that being said, I’m in the group of us who think Shelvey won’t be slotted straight back in unless there is an injury/illness occurs

    3
  • gaz 44

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #7

    Martoon – I personally hope the transfer windows now forgotten about
    Yes it was a poor one in terms of what the fans had hoped for 100mill on new players but we’ve ended up with what looks great signings. For me the camp will be happy after two wins and it’s pointless unsettling that.. I’m sure after 3/4 losses in a row or a couple more injuries the window will be brought back up, but nows not the time

    3
  • gaz 44

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #8

    I’d forgotten Murphy started so yeah I’d have atsu back.. only change I’d make

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #9

    Gaz, the faith can only come back to those who lost it in the first place mate. Which, to be fair, does include quite a number on here! 🙂 I reckon as long as we’ve got Rafa in charge, the confidence should remain high in my humble opinion. He believes in the players, his staff and the fans – who will run through brick walks for him.
    He sets a fine example to all of us. Like us, he’s not a big fan of the owner, but he puts that aside for the love he feels for the club and fans alike. He’s not allowing one man to spoil that for him. Completely the opposite in fact. He’s doing what he’s doing despite the owner being a dick.

    8
  • north east lincs toon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #10

    how long is mbemba out for anyone know?

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #11

    In an ideal world I would only make changes to a winning side if it definitely improves the chances of winning. After all, this isn’t a Sunday morning league where you have to try to keep those who turn up happy. This is a professional league of the highest order and you should, imo, pick the strongest possible side.
    I understand not everybody feels that way and football is all about opinions after all, but for me you should always go for the best side possible, even if that means changing a winning side.
    I know Shelvey acted like an idiot, but he’s served his punishment and should come into the reckoning. Imo Yedders is better than Manquillo in every department and I wouldn’t hesitate to make that change.
    Lejeune is another one. Can we afford to leave that sort of quality on the bench, after the way he totally negated the threat from Kane?
    Murphy is struggling with the move to a much bigger club right now and isn’t yet performing to his obvious ability. He will come good I reckon, but right now I’d give Atsu the nod.
    Luckily Rafa isn’t one to worry about emotional issues! Winning is all that matters to him and as such, whatever he decides will be what he thinks is best for the club on the day. Can’t wait for three o’clock tomorrow. Howay the lads!!!

    3
  • ShirebrookToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #12

    Looking forward to the game tomorrow. Same performance as the previous 2 games and we could come away with a result.

    3
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #13

    Lincs, not exactly sure, but I did see somewhere that it’s nowhere as near as bad as first thought. Seems he only twinged his hamstring, not pulled it like initially thought. If not this week, he might be back in contention next week.
    Like I say, not exactly sure and maybe somebody else will correct me if I’m wrong there, but from what I gather, he should be back sooner rather than later.

    0
  • hibbit

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #14

    20 years ago on the 17th of september
    WE beat Barcelona 3-2 in the Champions League game in front of a a packed St James
    happy days

    8
  • Ron Knee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #15

    hibbit

    Even with Rafa, we’re not quite ready for that today!

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #16

    Shirebrook, is it just the two of you travelling up for games mate? If so, might be worth advertising you have places in the car available. There’s a ‘getting there’ page somewhere where you can do that. I know I did it when I was travelling up from down your end and I filled the car. Certainly helps keep the cost down.
    I wish I could remember where I advertised it, but it was a few years ago and I am getting old. 🙂 The lads I ended up taking are at uni up here now, so no longer need a lift, but there was another lad who worked at Morrisons I think and he came up when he could. (One of those supermarkets anyway, where he worked shifts).
    We’ve got a lot of fans in the midlands, I do know that much. There’s still a coach travels up for every home game as well, if ever you can’t get here by car. Just a thought mate, nowt else. 🙂

    2
  • gaz 44

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #17

    Bobby who would you bring lejaune in for
    The two centre backs have been absolute rocks every game I’ve seen them this season
    Only way I can see it happening is if clarks moved to left back

    0
  • north east lincs toon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #18

    Cheers bobby

    0
  • Pootle2118

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #19

    Hibbit

    Remember it well. Was an unbelievable nite and quite possibly the best I’ve seen any Newcastle team play ever (the first 45 mins that is). As for the 2nd half, I’m not sure if it was tiredness, cockiness or worry but we certainly dropped a level but, after Tino had “leapt like a salmon” and Gillespie had the game of his life, roasting the best right back in the world (according to some) it ended up being one of the greatest games I have ever had the pleasure of watching

    2
  • ShirebrookToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #20

    Bobby
    Cheers mate I’ll look into it. Just me travelling up this time. jazzy can’t get because of work. Only cost 25 quid in diesel anyway.

    0
  • lochinvar

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #21

    “20 Years on (since Barcelona) ” sounds like a good title for a Dylan song, so long ago

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #22

    Gaz, not my call mate, I don’t paid five million quid a season! 🙂 Difficult innit? To be honest it would depend on the weeks training mate. You’re right of course, both have been immense and it would be a tough call either way.
    My point really was about not being sentimental in situations like this and that should Rafa choose to make that call then he’s doing it purely for footballing reasons, not emotional ones.
    It truly is a real bonus having to make such difficult choices though and not one we’ve had much of recently.
    Like I say, both have been brilliant in the last two games, but Lejeune really did have Kane in his pocket until Kane took the law into his own hands – unlawfully at that!
    Not a choice I’d like to have to make, but one that definitely can’t be overlooked either. No doubt Rafa has had a good look at all three of them this week and I trust him to make the right call. Whatever he decides it will be for our benefit, I do know that much.

    1
  • martoon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #23

    gaz 44 @7 – I wasn’t trying to ‘re-open wounds’ – I’m reasonably happy with the incoming players although I thought ideally we needed a decent No. 10. My point was will the journalists question Rafa about the window?

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #24

    Shirebrook, bet you could get on that coach on Saturday mate, if you like a few pints before the game. If you emailed the club they could put you in touch with the organiser of the Midlands Mags who run the coach. I’ll text my mate and see if I can get you the name and number myself, if not for this time it may be worth keeping for future reference. See what I can do.

    0
  • Spoof

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #25

    Why are so many wanting Atsu to replace Murphy, Murphy like a lot of young players moving to a new club needs a run of games, Atsu has had his run of games and to be frank has been very disappointing, if Murphy is to miss out then I hope its to Arrons who is a far superior player than Atsu IMHO.

    1
  • ShirebrookToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #26

    Bobby
    Thanks for that mate. Much appreciated 🙂

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #27

    Looking like the ticket touts had a field day at the Emirates last night. Appears they let a lot in without searches as well, which allowed flares into the ground and God only knows what else. Could have turned into a disaster and UEFA need to address that situation for future reference.
    Any Arsenal fans who sold their tickets last night need to be looked into.

    2
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #28

    Shirebrook, unfortunately he hasn’t got that number anymore since he moved himself, but the club will have it I’m pretty sure of that. I think they must be affiliated because they’ve been travelling up for decades. Definitely worth your while for future reference.
    Ha ha, my mates phone has thrown a wobbler. He’s sent me the message that he no longer has that number at least two dozen times now. And still it keeps arriving. 🙂

    0
  • martoon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #29

    Spoof @25 – I can’t agree – Atsu had a good pre-season and has carried that form into the season. The only reason he didn’t start last week was because he had a long journey home. I’m pretty sure he’ll start tomorrow.

    4
  • DanToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #30

    ShirebrookToon, did you go and see Shearer at Field Mill last night? Judging from the stories him, Howey and Bes came told Gillespie was defiantly the life and soul of the party haha!

    0
  • lochinvar

    Sep 15, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #31

    The Arsenal farce last night was negligence by one of the richest clubs around. It was close to being another Hillsborough. Looks like they had a failed security plan, not enough stewards and away fans being let into home fans areas. Presumably the Koln fans who were admitted had tickets so the prawn eaters of old London Town must have made good bucks selling them onto the Koln fans. Rather affirming the thinking that many fans of London clubs are not true fans but rather affluent tourists who come and go as their mood let’s them.
    Then this morning there seems to be a terrorist related incident on the London tube – the consequences of that happening last night beggars belief. Looks like Koln should be banned from the competition and UEFA have no option but to throw the book at Arsenal and maybe ban them from the competition as well, plus massive fines to reflect their incompetence. Do they not understand corporate negligence ? Shambles

    2
  • Spoof

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #32

    martoon

    He may well have been left out due to the international break and he may well get his place back but that doesn’t alter the fact that his input is minimal, his end product is generally very poor, compare that to Arrons who has a good delivery and a decent strike rate then for me it is a no brainer, if not Arrons then give Murphy a run of games, Atsu for me is like Lennon and Wright-Phillips, all the pace in the world but very little at the end of it, you can add Sterling to that list as well.

    You need an end product, sorry but IMHO you don’t get that from Atsu, all you get is hard luck son, right idea, keep trying and you will get there in the end.

    Very rarely does a winger with a poor final ball manage to change that glaring weakness, James Milner being a rare exception to that rule, his final ball was dreadful until he came back his loan spell at Villa and he was like a new player, shame Mikey sold him on the cheap.

    0
  • gaz 44

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #33

    I think we should all take a moment out of our day and remember the mackems
    It’s good to have a laugh

    4
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #34

    Gaz, 🙂 🙂 🙂

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #35
  • ShirebrookToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #36

    DanToon
    No I didn’t mate. Was going to but spent all pennies on a season ticket 😎

    1
  • ShirebrookToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #37

    Let’s all laugh at Sunderland!

    😆

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #38

    Spoof/Martoon, goes to show you just how funny a game football is. 🙂 We all watch the same game and see totally different things. I’ve got to go with Atsu, but I did pick him for my player of the season so I’m slightly biased there. 🙂
    It’s like Shelvey the other night for the U23 team. I thought he looked really up for it and played well, whereas others slated him and said he looked disinterested. And Perez getting pelters at Swansea, when imo Hayden was the one who had the bad game. Must be why we love the game so much.

    4
  • DanToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #39

    Fair enough. To be honest thought it was a bit scripted and they spent most of the evening trying to sell people fake replica shirts that he’d signed for £250 a pop.Sounds like you do a similar journey to me every other week then, i’m just down the road in Pleasley.

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #40

    DanToon
    You going the game tomorrow?

    0

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