Rafa Benitez Sums Up Second Successive Defeat

Newcastle lost their second successive league game at home to Bournemouth yesterday when Steve Cook headed in the winner two minutes into added time.

That was our second home defeat this season in the league having lost 2-0 to Tottenham on the opening day of the season.

And it’s not what we were hoping for before the long and boring two-week International break.

It’s now going to be a long two weeks before we take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.

It’s also the second successive time that Bournemouth have won this fixture having won 3-1 in Steve McClaren’s final game in charge in March of last year.

Rafa Benitez – on the touchline yesterday

Rafa Benitez had a message for Newcastle fans after the big disappointment yesterday:

“We have to understand that in these sort of games we have to do better.”

“We have created chances in every game, you have to score.”

“We have to keep going, we are Newcastle United, a good team that has been promoted.”

“When you lose, it doesn’t matter if it is tough or not for you.”

“We lost, we didn’t do what we had to do on a lot of occasions and our mistakes, in the end we paid for that.”

So we are now looking over our shoulders at the league table and will be in 11th place over the break – 6 points above the relegation zone.

The main thing is not to overreact, but we see there are already articles out slamming some of our players.

That will not help anybody – including both the players and the club.

We need to stick together – just as Rafa Benitez keeps urging us to do – especially in difficult times.

That defeat yesterday was very painful to take.

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21 comments so far

  • catchy in norway

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #1

    If he wants rid of Mitro, why not play him and put him in the shop window ?

  • cyprus

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #2

    he’s played half an hour this season, is that his chance? He has NOT been given a run. Unless you mean three seasons ago! It just cannot be supported with facts.

  • hibbit

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #3

    there is a lot more to this with Mitro then were being told

  • lochinvar

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #4

    Six points off a top four place sounds tolerable.
    Six points off the bottom three is a less attractive proposition.
    We dropped three points yesterday and at least another three possibly five on the road in previous games which would have put us 12 points off the bottom which would seem to be a less stressful position. Now we have to win against harder teams which is a bigger ask bearing in mind our lack of effective strikers. Yesterday there was some evidence of some players becoming frustrated with their team members being unable to make incisive passes or passes into space to attack rather than to feet which slows the game or attack.
    It’s almost if they’re over coached and just need to get their heads up and be more instinctive when they can.

    And please can Elliot be allowed to distribute the ball more quickly – at some points yesterday Bournemouth only had two defenders on the half way line and we had Gayle and Joselu or others waiting to take advantage of that but nothing came in the interests of setting shape by which time the moment is lost.

    January – we need five new players to deliver the results we are missing. Keeper ( tall preferably) , striker , number 10, winger , attacking midfielder

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #5

    Lil my apologies for quoting your staement last night but rings true Why oh why not play MITROVICH and MBemba for that matter

    ‘Joselu – a goal every 327 Premier league minutes this season.
    Gayle – No goals in 209 Prem minutes this season.
    Perez – a goal every 821 Prem minutes this season.
    Mitro – 1 goal in only 30 minutes of Prem football this season.

    3 central attacking players preferred to Mitro have managed 1 more goal than him in an extra 1027 minutes football (if my maths is correct)’

    Coming out of the Gallowgate last night a lot yes a lot of fans were/are getting frustrated with RAFA’s tactics/substitutions – natives are starting to get restless

  • hibbit

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #6

    should have had money in the summer but more importantly he need money in January or we are in big trouble
    takeover or no takeover

  • Lindisfarne

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #7


  • cyprus

    Nov 5, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #8

    re your last paragraph, makes sense. It’s the same game however you watch it, really.

    I can hear the roar should Mitro had come on. With half hour to play. The opposition would’ve thought, what the hell is going on here? Who is this bandito? They would’ve crumbled, by the crowd alone 😉

    Good summation last night.

  • Lindisfarne

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #9


    The amount of opportunities Joselu has had now, I agree Mitrovic deserves a few games to establish himself as well. However he is not at the top of the pecking order because of wasting his passed chances, which include being as equally wasteful in front of goal. In comparison there is very little between the Serb and Spaniard, Gayle has been making the sub appearances and it is he who will be now the first choice based on being the high scoring striker at the club.

  • sing in the corner

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #10

    International break coming at a good or bad time depending on which way you look at it. I think we need it now, badly.
    The issue in focus is the Joselu – Mitro – Rafa Mexican stand off.
    But we should also be looking to why Shelvey and Ritchie, to name two who we depend on so much, aren’t producing the high level we need them to.
    The service is shocking, which shouldn’t be overlooked. We seem to have forgotten how to put a ball into the box.
    On Joselu, Rafa was right to stick with him ahead of Mitro. It comes down to opinion, but mine is that out of the two Joselu is STILL a better all round player than Mitro.
    But now, with each game Joselu is less confident than the last. The other parts of his game are suffering as that continues.
    I think Rafa is being backed into a place he doesn’t want to go, but he will simply have to.

  • Munster Mag

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #11

    It’s thus type of negative tactical approach and incredible stubborness which has annoyed me about rafa and I have communicated this from the first time I started seeing it in the relegation season. We played Sunderland at home and didn’t lay a glove on them until 6 mins to go – due to the same mindset. Look we all know rafa is a great manager and we are lucky to have him, but no manager should be immune from criticism or tactical appraisal by fans, especially if the problem is obvious. Rafa refuses to answer ré Mitro, yet he sticks with rank awful Joselu. Clearly his stupid stubborness and dull tactics cost us yesterday. That was Bournemouth, not Bayern. Let’s hope a tumble towards the bottom 3 doesn’t affect investors.

  • cyprus

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #12

    Don’t recall how many points you gave Elliot but I’ve given him MOM twice in a row. Unassuming fella but saves us a lot. OK, he held on the ball when he could’ve thrown it but I didn’t see anyone busting a gut. They were willing him to hold it, to give them a break.

    In my mind, keeper is not an urgency, at all. These people need to settle anyway, look at Sels. He’s fine, for a team with so many other urgent needs.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #13

    Time to bring in Mbemba, Mitro and maybe Woodman. Manquillo just doesn’t seem anywhere near as good as Mbemba who didn’t put a foot wrong. Joselu is better than Riviere, but that’s about as much of a compliment as I can give him. And Elliot while not bad, isn’t great. Maybe Woodman could be a real star. Murphy needs to go out on loan and Aarons take his place on the bench.

  • Slank

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #14


    There were times in the match when Elliott quickly got the ball was ready to throw the ball out but didn’t. I didn’t see whether there was anyone available to accept the ball or (as I suspect) whether the instructions from Rafa were to wait until the back line and midfield had returned to their positions.

  • Slank

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #15

    The next Mike Williamson,

    Mbemba and Mitro yes but definitely not Woodman as good as he is.

    Elliott saved us from conceding more than one goal yesterday and not for the first time this season and probably not the last. He is Mr Reliable.

  • magscar

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #16

    Presumably Rafa is concerned that Mitro won’t follow instructions and his gameplans revolve very much around all parts of team sticking to it. BUT in last 10 – 15minutes in yet another tight game would it have been reckless to have thrown him on? Is he not even a “last throw of the dice” because of whatever the issue Rafa has with him?

    I still think Rafa was concerned at nil nil that with Bournemouth on top in 2cnd half the wrong changes would mean all 3 points lost. Unfortunately that still happenned – had we scored a late winner or held on for a point the focus would have been different. Two 1-0 defeats in a week against teams we can compete with have sharpened the focus on our lack of goals. Whatever the problem is with Mitro the boil needs lancing during the international break.

    We don’t have the best or biggest of squads so really need to wring every last ounce out of ALL our players until changes can be made. Now that we usually don’t have to play twice a week like in Championship Rafa has not been making the regular starting changes he did. Is that an indication of lack of PL ability of some or that he prefers a settled side who work totally to instruction and fatigue isn’t a problem this season?

    I see another poster has picked up on my suggestion last night ( and during week) that we need to start some attacks quicker and not always look to re-shape first. We didn’t react effectively to Bournemouth’s change in 2cnd half and whether it was Lascelles going off or not we were too often on the back foot and letting 3-4 forwards run at us.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #17

    On Elliot’s distribution being slow yes he is slow but Yedlin, Manquilla and Lascalles never or very rarely look for a pass out – anyway would you have confidence in passing to them

  • Slank

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #18


    In an earlier posting there was a strand about Rafa taking risks which a few took out of context to mean changing his game plan. I don’t think the original poster meant that.

    I think the poster meant what you quite rightly suggested that would it really have been reckless to throw Mitrovich on in the last 10 minutes ? I think not. Whereas throwing on the very inexperienced Murphy certainly was very risky at the expense of the more experienced and rumbustious Mitrovich.

  • Slank

    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #19

    Charlie in the Gallowgate,

    I was thinking more about throwing out to our forwards, who were presumably further up the field, and not to our defenders who were close by.

    What I did notice however, which I can’t ever recall before, was Elliott kicking the ball out along the ground to our player near the half way line. Don’t know if it was by design or accident but was impressive as most players expect a high ball from a keeper at that distance.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 5, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #20

    Yes I noticed the bullet kick outs – a lot of keepers have started to use the side bullet kick

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Nov 5, 2017 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #21

    I see a lot of people talking about Mitrovic. Rafa has given him several chances but he does seem capable of following simple instructions.

    What we are missing is someone who can play between the lines, Perez is good enough but for some reason doesn’t do it…


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