Video – Rafa’s Very Impressive Interview After 4-1 Defeat

Rafa Benitez was calm, cool and collected after the 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford yesterday.

The manager pointed out the many positives of the players and he said many times he was proud of his team.

Very impressive words from Rafa Benitez after a big defeat, although the 4-1 scoreline was a little unjust to Newcastle we thought.

But then we are completely biased.

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Comments welcome.

79 comments so far

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #1


    Not disappointed with the result as it was predicted. Our track record there is very poor and I doubt will get any better as ManU have the money and prestige to buy the very best and it showed. Class overcame effort in the end.

    The positives:

    Gayle looked sharper than he has done all season. The technique he showed in scoring was of the highest order.

    Murphy, having given the impression of a rabbit caught in the headlights in previous games, showed why Rafa bought him. He just needs more games to build his confidence.

    Aarons will have welcomed the opportunity. He didn’t disappoint.

    Yedlin was very good and showed a blistering turn of speed for the goal. Needs more of that in they future.

    Shelvey played well with some good passing.

    Rafa got the setup right but in the end class prevailed over effort and tactics.


    Elliott seemed hesitant on a number of occasions. An injury or missing the influence of Lascelles ? Time for Darlow ?

    Manquillo is not better than Mbemba. Spanish favouritism? Mbemba is wasted on the bench. I’m sure he could easily play in midfield instead of Hayden.

    Ritchie and Hayden don’t seem to have kicked on from last season. Lots of effort and commitment from both but that cutting edge so often seen last season is missing.

    Joselu also hasn’t kicked on since his early promise. Spanish favouritism again ?

    Mitrovich didn’t look interested which is disappointing given how poor Joselu has been.

    Missing but not Forgotten:

    Lascelles was missed. Lejeune and Clark tried their best but ManU had too much firepower.

    Merino was missed too. His all round play is far better than Hayden. The midfield looks more dynamic when he and Shelvey play together. For away games I would sacrifice our No 10 (Perez or Joselu) for either Hayden or Mbemba.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #2

    looking at comments from yesterday and today there are quite a few comments slating Murphy and Hayden. Think it’s harsh as this is their first season in premier league and are still adjusting. Murphy I was actually pleased with, was a threat and offered an outlet. When he lost the ball, he tried to win it back, sometimes successfully. Think he grew in confidence as the game went on which is great. He did make wrong choices in final third but he is still young, and that’s what wingers do, even experienced ones make wrong choices at times. Ritchie struggled yesterday I thought.

    Hayden to be fair to him, he was up against pogba and matic so it’s safe to say that he isn’t going to be up against this type of quality every week. He has had good and bad games so far which is understandable, young and adjusting to the league. Will get better.

    I’m kind of glad we can see the difference lascelles makes to our defence. He was unfairly criticised a lot last year and I defended him a lot. Some comments alluding that he won’t be good enough in the premier league despite him doing well in the run in to relegation, (him and mbemba as it happens). Big player for us.

    All in all, there were positives to take. I said before the game Man Utd will show their quality eventually as we were not full strength and don’t have the quality depth to compete with the likes of them. Luck wasn’t with us unfortunately as we could have been 2 up, yet poor defending made us go into the break trailing. Even then could have equalised before half time. Did well I thought, second half, not so much.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #4

    The performance yesterday in the first 30 mins was the best I’ve seen us play in a long time. We continue to play like this we will be fine!

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #5

    Won’t have that problem anymore Hibbit will we? 😉

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #6


    Anymore info?

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #7

    Saw Rafa interviewon BT before the match and was interesting how he said transfers and budget wouldn’t change in January.

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #8

    One of the writers over at TheMag gave Ritchie a poor score out of 10, a 5 I believe. The reason being was that Ritchie didn’t cover Yedlin enough. Odd, I thought Ritchie was played out of position on the left. He did have an anonymous game by his standards, but he was playing against Rashford, and Rashford was kept quiet, so another solid performance.

  • hibbit

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #9

    just wish it was done even though i know its happening
    so looking forward to a NUFC with out Ashley and his cronies

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #10


    Keeping us in the Premier League also keeps the asking price up. The only person to affect that is Rafa and therefore Ashley will know that and probably will act accordingly. If Ashley wants to sell and wants the highest price possible he therefore needs to keep Rafa onside.

    However, even if Rafa is given a war chest his options in a January will be restrictive as there is generally not too many quality players available in the market during January.

  • hibbit

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #11

    or there overpriced
    but theirs no doubt in my mind Rafa needs reinforcements if we are to stay up

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #12

    That is an interesting article Ed put up about PCP doing a deep dive into the accounts, wanting to look at the numbers going back 27 years. If seems suggestive that PCP and Ashley are in dispute over some valuations, which sounds about right. Ashley’s team are obviously going to overplay how much the shirt deals and stadium advertising are worth to new owners, as new owners could maximise those revenues, but how do you put a valuation on them when Ashley has been milking the whole process. The books are almost certainly jigged which gives Ashley a serious problem explaining the way he was running things, I hope they are making him squirm through the whole process—but ultimately, the most important thing is getting it done.

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #13


    You are right that the danger in a January transfer window is that agents will bump up the asking price for quite ordinary players because they know Rafa appears anxious to strengthen his squad and has the money to spend.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #14

    Would be great if new owners lifted the lid on how we’ve been run.

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #15


    Perhaps they are going that far back because they have heard of previous owners filling their and their friends pockets with money generated by the club much of which came from pockets of fans through the turnstiles ?

  • Jib

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #16

    “The books are almost certainly jigged which gives Ashley
    a serious problem explaining the way he was running things”

    No evidence for that at all

    If they are going back to 1990 – That’s nearly 2 decades before
    Ashley came near the place.

    I do wish you’d think before blabbering on.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #17

    I would imagine going back that far is to ensure there is no hidden unpaid debt. They are clearly making sure they don’t get stitched up which is good to see.
    I’d like to think they will buy the club at a reasonable price that enables them to invest and bring long term success.

  • Jib

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #18

    Going back to 1990 predates Sir John Hall’s takeover.
    They obviously want to check that his acquisition
    in 1992 was kosher and above board

  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #19

    No evidence of dogy books is in the public domaine ————–yet!

    If the HMRC allegations are correct – it naturally follows that the books will have been “doctored” in order to “hide” the dodgy transactions. Absolutely no way they will not have been.

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #20


    That’s what Ashley found out, too late because he didn’t bother with Due Diligence, when he bought the club.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 19, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #21

    Is that the same owners that built our iconic stadium while breaking world transfer fees?

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #22

    Mister Tuff

    As HMRC are investigating many Premier League clubs it’s possibly (as in the Glasgow Rangers case) that common business practice by football clubs falls foul of what HRMC thinks are within their interpretation of the law.

    If there is any doctoring of the books then the Auditors aren’t going to be too pleased.

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #23


    Yes and before them.

  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #24

    slank – from what we know so far (not a lot) I get the feeling that the general “allegations” suggested against PL clubs in general is tax avoidance – whereas in our case it appears to be tax evasion.
    By following the money – HMRC should be able to uncover what has been happening – if anything.
    But like all of these things we are just going to have to wait to see what, if anything is revealed.
    If there has been shenanigans indeed the club auditors will not be happy as they’ll have been tricked as well.
    Company’s auditors generally/in the first instance are not looking for fraud – and if things balance up -the accounts are signed off. Posted about this lots of times and given examples of how even the largest accounting companies get things wrong/get hoodwinked.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #25

    Amateur accounts at it again with the old abacus.

    There’s nothing wrong with books from what I’m hearing and due diligence has been done and an offer was submitted on Wednesday. They were going to release to press on Friday of bid being made then but it’s moved to next Wednesday for release.

    Also FA acknowledged club was up for sale on Thursday (they only confirm this when a bids in place apparently). They don’t go off any press or third party rumours either.

    Make of that what you will.

    Can’t give you any figures because the solar strip on my Casio calculator is playing up!!

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #26

    Mister Tuff,

    All very murky.

    Presumably if it’s tax evasion it’s not along the lines of cash in hand to the local builder instead of getting a VAT invoice from him. Whatever next !

    The only ones to benefit will be lawyers yet again.

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2017 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #27


    It’s not so much a question about what’s wrong with the books (which I personally doubt) but why (if true) go back 27 years.

    And if anything is found that is suspicious what, if anything, can be done about it especially in relationship to a takeover ?

  • Jib

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #28

    I’ve tried to explain it’s not an accounting issue
    It’s an ownership issue.
    They are making sure that no shareholder that
    John Hall missed doesn’t pop out of the woodwork.
    All the stock transfers from 1992 and 2007
    will have to have all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted.

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #29

    ShirebrookToon, yes, I am sure you are fully informed about the valuation prospective buyers have agreed on with Ashley, for the valuation of advertising space at St. James’ Park. I mean, why wouldn’t they completely agree. An almost unquantifiable valuation between two different parties trying to get a better deal… should be a breeze.

    There was no abacus counting, merely pointing out an obvious obstacle in regards to a sale going through.

    So tell us Shirebrook, what exactly have you heard about the books? Strange, I thought there would have been a good reason for non-disclosures being agreed, who would have though people on the blog already know about the books. You may be overdoing it a little there…

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #30

    Here comes Jib with his finacial expertise. Tell me, Jib, when is that £100 million you account for in surplus, going to be available to spend. According to your figures, Benitez was going to have £100 million to spend in the previous window. Although to be fair, you did forget about costs, easy enough mistake to make.

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #31

    Jib, you think I am not aware Ashley hasn’t been at the club since 1990? I was alluding to older numbers needing to be checked to give an idea of what the revenues Ashley has taken away from the club would be worth, working in inflation etc.

    “I do wish you’d think before blabbering on.” Quite.

  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #32

    Aha – apparently the books have been checked and all is well. Would anticipate a press release from HMRC to this effect shortly then.

    My initial thoughts about this, based on what was initially reported by HMRC was that if there had been any skulduggery it would probably be in the low tens of millions and not really of sufficient value to stop any sale.

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #33

    Never worry, Jib. Ashley may be gone quite soon, it will be refreshing for you not to feel obliged to defend an unethical shylock.

  • Jib

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #34

    Strangely part of Rafa’s annoyance and the reason he paid
    £12 million for young Murphy in July was , he thought he was
    going to get the thick end of £100 million to spend.

    There’s me and Rafa know nowt about the clubs finances.

    Actually it has become clear that Benitez was convinced
    that the surplus was better spent making the club a better
    take over prospect.
    The surplus was there , as anyone with half a head for figures
    (that excludes Ancient) could work out.

  • posada

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #35

    Is the bin in yet.
    TCP or JCB.

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #36

    Jib, you are overreaching now. I highly doubt Benitez thought he would have £100 million to spend in the summer. If Benitez was going to be handed that much money, he would have been told he was getting it… Charnley would have wanted to brag about it. Not the old “he can spend what the club generates.”

  • hibbit

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #37

    i told this story is a load of bollocks

    both parties complete due diligence last week they have both completed a forensic examination of Ashsley’s 10 year reign plus the previous takeover from Hall/Shepard

    this is the piece Ed based his article on click bait maybe ?????

    it is believed that PCP requested copies of accounts that date back 27 years and the group are looking through those finances after requesting information last week before it was dispatched to the capital for further review.

  • hibbit

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #38

    * i’m told this story is a load of bollocks *

  • AncientC

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #39

    Jib, what surplus? There isn’t any surplus. It is all spent. The surplus was spent by McClaren in his two transfer windows at the club. Ashley even said himself, they have emptied the bank account, there is nothing left.

  • posada

    Nov 19, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #40

    Does that mean the bins actually in.


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