Rafa Benitez is very pragmatic, and he wants to win every single game that Newcastle play and his match plan always reflects that goal.
But in the last two games, Newcastle have been accused of being a bit boring and even defense-minded, and the games against Crystal Palace and Burnley were not particularly good games to watch.
Rafa seems to bristle at the thought that Newcastle are a boring defensive side, and he says what we are is organized and disciplined rather than boring.
Rafa knows the strengths and limitations of his Newcastle side and of course, he has to take that into account as he tries to rack up the wins as the season progresses.
Rafa Benitez – thinking about his match plan against Bournemouth
And if Newcastle are doing well in games, the next step from Geordie fans is always to say yes – that’s good – but we need to play more entertaining football.
It must be in the DNA.
Rafa was asked if he is a defense-minded coach and this is how he responded to that question:
“I don’t agree with that.”
“People used to say when I was at Liverpool ‘oh, he’s defensive’. No, we’re not defensive, we’re well-organized. That’s different.”
“We attack and we create. We had 12 attempts versus Burnley. But we also defend well. We have good balance and organization.”
“We don’t go away to think about a draw. We always want to win. But it depends on the players that you have.”
“Sometimes, with teams in Europe, you see the players coming from the bench costing more than those on the pitch.”
“That means they have different tools. We have a team who work together very well.”
“If you say ‘you have to be more attractive’, maybe we’d be conceding goals all the time.”
“We have balance. I don’t think we’re a boring team.’
‘I don’t pay too much attention to those who say we are.”
Good words there from the manager and a win today will raise the spirits of Newcastle fans everywhere over the International break.
We need that win today.
Howay The Lads!!