A Confident Rafa And His Influential Words Of Encouragement To His Young Players

Newcastle fans wanted a win in our last game at home to second-bottom Bournemouth to get the points on the board.

And that’s because by the end of this year we will have played some of the top teams like Manchester United (a), Chelsea (a) Arsenal (a), and Manchester City (h).

Rafa seems very confident about his team, but he wants that confidence transferred to his players, so they go into every game thinking (knowing) they are good enough to win it.

Even though we have lost our last two games, Newcastle have made a good start to the Premier League with 14 points from our first 11 games and a goal difference of zero having scored 10 goals and conceded 10 goals.

Rafa has the team playing well and very organized, but we are still making too many mistakes.

Rafa Benitez – confident about his players

That’s probably because our players are young and still learning about the unforgiving Premier League.

This is what a confident Rafa Benitez has said in the Chronicle today about his young team:

“Every year is different. People compare the stats year on year and it’s fine.”

“Maybe you see a tendency about how difficult the league is or how many points you need.”

“But in this case the Premier League is getting stronger and stronger so maybe we have done even better to get those points?”

“Listen: I know we have to play against all the top sides before the end of this part of the season. That is why I have said before ‘In January, we will know where we are’.”

“I’m sure we will be stronger in terms of the understanding between players and how we will do things in the second half of the league.”

“But you can be really good against the top sides and still lose.”

“The main thing is to get the points and to realize that when you make mistakes – like we did the other day – we have to find solutions.”

“Me? I have the confidence that we will do it but the players have to too.”

“I said to the players the other day ‘Listen, if we are at the bottom of the table we still have to stay calm and keep working hard because we have shown already we can beat anyone.’”

“We are a young team, learning and the way that we work I am confident that we will do even better.”

Here’s where we are in the league, and by the end of this year if we are still in 11th place we will be very happy – thank you very much indeed!

11Crystal Palace38-1044
13West Ham38-2042

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

54 comments so far

  • ronaldo aarons

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #1

    Did I ask for a comparison between mitro and Alan Shearer lol, one of the greatest strikers to have played the game. Think I only suggested you look at how many reds he has for us and for Serbia. This talk about him playing means we will regularly be down to 10 man is without any basis. He’s been sent off twice for us, maybe three times if I have forgotten.

    Since you have provided them I will say the goal stats you have provided are seriously flawed. Shearer is a player who had a career and has hit his prime. Mitro is still 22/23, no where near his prime yet so yes of course his career goal stats are poor. That’s only logical. Are you really trying to make a point from this? If you want a more real comparison, compare their stats when they were both 22/23.

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #2

    I am going on what I have seen of Mitro at the Toon – often looks lazy/not bothered and do not get why he always looks at the opposition player before challenging for the ball.

    Name a player we can compare Mitro to – A player in his style, whatever that is.
    Not Lukaku/Shearer – maybe Glenn Murray?

    I spoke to someone who went to games with a PL ref assessor – the assessor told him refs have targets – players they are aware of their reputation for violent play/fouling/cheating/diving/dissent etc- already expecting certain players to offend before the match – I reckon Mitro is and probably always will be on that list!

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #3

    Mitro is 23, DOB 16/9/23.

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #4

    16/9/94 even! Does look aboot 94 though – some paper round!
    Think 23 was the year Oldgit was born, no offence, intended 😉

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #5

    Mitro only has 11 goals in 33 appearances for Serbia – not as many as I thought.

  • Jib

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #6

    Ronaldo Aarons
    I’m not trying to make any point
    Just looking for a reason

    In the words of Joe Fridayin Dragnet
    “Just the facts ma’am – just the facts”

    I don’t really have that much of an opinion
    but the unavoidable FACT is,

    Rafa doesn’t select Mitro

    – just trying to show why that
    might be.

    The other day I theorised it may
    be problems with the arrival of his
    second child

  • Veltman

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #7

    Well I felt much better off the blog and enjoying it.Caught up with certain posts and after couple of observations,I don’t have further problems with Jesper.You can come in and enjoy as you feel.
    Also the likes of Ron are missing,which I enjoy his nufc related inputs and links.

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #8

    Veltman, Jesper will be pleased! 👿

  • c-dog

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #9

    Mitro or Gayle. Just no more Joselu.

  • Jib

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #10

    If you want to compare Shearer at the same age
    He arrived at Blackburn at 22 with 1 yellow card
    to his name !

  • ronaldo aarons

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #11

    Depends how you see lazy or not bothered, if you expect him to press and run around a lot then some consider that to be lazy. I’ve tried to be balanced previously and have said on here a few times that he is not a natural goal scorer and it’s not something that he will learn however his finishing can still improve. He doesn’t have the instincts to know where the ball drop to whereas gayle has good instincts and can sniff out a goal. He does focus more on the defender at times but he will learn. However, he offers the team so much in terms on allowing us to play higher up the pitch. He occupies defenders on bad games and allows others to play off while making space for others to play. Perez for example plays better with him in the team. Goals are often spread out the team when he plays hence his assists record is decent. He may not be the goal scorer we need but he can ensure others can chip in.

    I’ve said this stuff many times before but there seems to be more ‘haters’ on here. Dummett was similar, I used to defend him a lot but there seems to be more supporters of his on here now. I try to take a balanced view on players, rarely criticise unless deserved for example if they go hiding on the pitch. This is why for all of the games Perez has had which he hasn’t done really well, I have not criticised him unlike others as he has continued to work, try and not go into hiding.

    Mitro does have a reputation but I think it’s been given unfairly. He came off the bench straight away in first season and recklessly got 2 yellows. McLaren for all his wisdom decided rather than try and brush it off as enthusiasm etc, he will tell everyone that mitro has the devil in him and this is what’s he like. Since then his card has been marked. The Reds he did receive for us weren’t malicious or him losing his head.

  • Veltman

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #12

    Taff2 – I hope he does.:)

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #13

    We will remember them!

    Lest we forget!

    I will be thinking of the guys I served with that sadly lost their lives and everyone else for that matter.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #14

    1 in 3 at international level is quite respectable actually.

    I never asked for any comparison between Shearer and mitrovic lol. You mentioned earlier that if mitro plays then we will likely be playing with 10 men. I only asked you to look at how many red cards he has with us and for Serbia to show you that you don’t have a basis for that opinion. Unfortunately others think this too.

    If you did happen to compare the records of Shearer and mitrovic from the same age then you’ll see it’s very similar and I think mitro might be better since he played at a lower level in other countries. Not asking for a comparison though, never did in the first place.

    Didn’t know he had a second child but I don’t think that’s why Rafa doesn’t play him. Since he arrived, Rafa hasn’t shown anything that suggests he rates him as a player. As a manager he is entitled to that however since he is still here then it is a waste to not use him as he can be useful at times. Even last season, he only had 11 starts in the championship so wouldn’t say he had a great opportunity.

  • Veltman

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #15

    And DubaiMicky..

  • ronaldo aarons

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #16

    Anyway, I’m off now. Enjoy your day people.

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #17

    Shire, I don’t think any bloggers were lost in yesterday’s skirmishes 😆

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #18

    Ronaldo, his international record is fine – Just thought he had scored more – he always scores v Wales!

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #19

    Does Jimmysmith has two different personalities, one that comes out at night, then the other one that comes out during the day (Japan time) and disagrees with his other personality.

    Jimmy has gone from saying Mitrovic is the best forward at the club to saying he shouldn’t be playing and now isn’t at all the best forward at the club. His views on Mike Ashley, are, well, wavering in consistency to say the least, also.

  • magscar

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #20

    Posted on last thread – didn’t realise it had moved on!

    I think in the longer term it is clear Mitro has no future here. However it is currently about can Rafa utilise him now especially from the bench.

    Leaving his tendency to draw ref’s and pundit’s attention to one side it his mixed ability to defend from the front and a lack of constant mobility off the ball throughout the game that Rafa perhaps finds wanting the way he wants/has to set up at present. In a different set up he may well prosper but Rafa is unlikley to change his favoured strategy to accomodate one player nor should he. Mitro has to learn to adapt even if it is from the bench.

    Roll on January which must surely bring better options.

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #21

    Oh well, at least Jib is consistent, apparently Mitrovic fans are all chavs. Jib should write a book on ‘How to Make Friends.’

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #22

    ‘I’m sorry but anyone who disagrees with Supermacs nail-on-the-head assessment of our Mad Serb should stick to subbuteo.’

    How very polite, Tsunki. Remember that one folks, if you do not rue the day the club signed a 20 year old Mitrovic who was badly handled by McClaren, try another sport—or even better, a board game.

  • magscar

    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #23

    I think something Shearer was undoubtedly better at was roughing up the opposition and gaining fouls WITHOUT drawing yellows or reds. Taking Toontaff’s point Uriah Rennie seemed to have his game marked sending him off for leading with an elbow if I recall years ago but was later rescinded. He managed to get away with a lot though (fortunately) – different days even then though

    Shearer could teach more than one of our current strikers how to do that effectively and stop losing ball so much and gain some welcome free kicks. Up against other PL (and Championship last season) sides we often looked like boys against men.in

  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #24

    No thanks to Arnautovic – another one of those non/poor scoring forwards – same category as Soldado,Jansenn, Gestede etc. and I’m afraid Joselu.
    Clearly we need a goalscorer – even if we are sold – and there is extra transfer money – might be difficult to attract someone who fits the bill mid season.
    I suspect a very poor points return in December.

  • jimmysmith

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #25

    I think Mitro’s the best attacking option we have in terms of individual performance and contributing to how we attack as a unit. I have recently come to think the reason he has become so marginalised is because he can’t as effectively lead the press, and defending from the front is a big part of how Rafa sets us up to play.

    My views on Ashley are quite consistent. I think his major failing has been in not hiring the right quality to run the club, but that only spending what the club has in the bank is a quite reasonable approach, although when you are as rich as Ashley he could afford to speculate a little more, and if he had, and if he’d had decent people running the club, we’d have both balanced the books and never been relegated once, much less twice..

  • jimmysmith

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #26

    ……and quite probably won something.

  • Jib

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #27

    Oh well, at least Jib is consistent, apparently Mitrovic fans are all chavs

    You argue like your hero

    Neverhadajobinhislife Corbyn

    I called him the Chavs champ

    nothing about ALL his fans

    two of my sons rate him
    they aren’t chavs

  • Mindshaft

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #28

    No chance of Arnautovic coming here , same as Ben Arfa, flair players who don’t work for the team and are inconsistent – basically the complete opposite of a Benitez player.

    What’s with all the windups on this blog and how come people take offence – you didn’t mind when I sh_agged you mum or was it your sister – oh, it’s the same thing

    Easy tiger, am joking

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #29

    Jib, now, now, no bringing politics onto the blog. Your earlier comment about Mitrovic appeared derogatory to what you would likely term his followers, perhaps you didn’t maliciously intend it that way.

    I honestly do not understand it, the club bought Mitrovic because of his potential as a young international striker, and now, right now that he is starting to show that form, no…. it’s too late for Mitrovic. How could Mitrovic ever be forgiven for his barbarism towards Lanzini. Strangely enough, Jib agrees Mitro’s challenge on Lanzini wasn’t intended. It all seems counterproductive to me.

  • Jib

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #30

    I love these circular discussions
    It doesn’t matter whether I thought his elbow
    on the Italian Oscar nominee was intended or not.


    Señor Benitez does and for some reason will not pick

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #31

    Mindshaft, 😆

  • toontaff2

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #32

    JIB, you know who loves the circular discussions, probably even more 😉

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #33

    I enjoy Jimmysmiths posts a lot but I have said to him on numerous occasions that his posts are sometimes to quote Jib who quoted Churchill “his posts are a mystery wrapped in an enigma”

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #34

    Jail, yes, I guess Jimmy changes his mind a lot.

    Jimmy “but that only spending what the club has in the bank is a quite reasonable approach.”

    Ashley didn’t allow the club to spend what it had in the bank for 5 years, then splurged the lot soon as he knew player inflation was coming. And in the hope of making a profit on young players—got the club relegated. Not what I would call a reasonable approach, but hopefully it is lesson learned, should he be staying on.

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 12, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #35


    Jib is right though. Mitro has appeal for your more base types. Brawn over brains with him. No clever runs. Shearer had the aggression but intelligence as well and was cute with his decision making. Mitro is very one dimensional but I would use him for the last 20 mins if nothing else is working, which makes me think the total exclusion is due to something more.

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #36

    Rotonda, I don’t believe there will ever be a better time than now to make a final decision on Mitrovic. He is hitting the kind of form he was bought for, and the front line currently misfiring adds to that opportunity. I would say now is the time to deliver his final test. There could be another forward through the door in January leaving Mitrovic out in the cold, it would be a shame not to test him now. Seems like it is now or never for him. It wouldn’t be nice to see Mitrovic join serie A or similar, then start smashing them in like he does at international level, not when he is in that kind of form now and didn’t get his chance.

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 12, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #37


    wasn’t corbyn cosing up to and consorting with the ira?
    Pretty sure he was showing ira officials round the houses of parliament 3 days after the Brighton bombing.
    Not so much messiah as evil ——-?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 12, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #38

    Now now Rotonda, it will only sp[ark a political debate,
    He has to be given a start, surely Joselu needs to be put out of his misery.

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #39

    Another 3 or 4 games should see Mitrovic move up the pecking order. He is going to have to wait a little longer with Gayle having a good game against Bournemouth. It would be interesting to see him play against Chelsea, John Terry will not forget playing against him lol.

  • AncientC

    Nov 12, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #40

    Rotonda, dialogue is the path to peace. I live in the province, so I have seen it first hand. Yep, I will try to stay away from political discussion. Giving the blog a rest on the Sabbath.


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