Rafa Benitez has talked in the past about the short blanket but he hasn’t actually used that example after the very poor performance of the team yesterday in the 3-0 hammering by Watford,
This is how Rafa described the short blanket after the Liverpool game:
“The reality is that because they are so offensive, they have sometimes problems in defense”
“I have talked in the past about the short blanket – if you cover your head, your feet are cold; if you cover your feet, your head is cold.”
“Sometimes when you attack too much, you are exposed in defense and to find the balance is the key to have chances to win titles.”
It seems that’s what has happened to Newcastle in our last two games.
We have a lot of problems scoring goals – we’ve scored 11 goals in 13 games so Rafa switched to a 4-4-2 for the game at Old Trafford and kept that system yesterday with Joselu and Dwight Gayle up front.
Rafa Benitez – we need to be more compact
The result is that we scored one goal in the two games but conceded 7 goals – we had only conceded 10 goals in our first 11 games!
This is how Rafa talked about yesterday’s game in the Chronicle and he insisted it wasn’t just about the shape of the team:
“It’s not just a question of the shape of the team or the formation, it’s just a question of understanding that we are a team that has to work very, very hard if we want to get results.”
“That’s what we have to do.” “We were playing 4-5-1 before with one striker and still we were complaining about, ‘We need to play with two strikers’.”
“Now we are playing with two strikers and losing games, we are saying, ‘Mmmm’.”
“We have to realize that we are a team that has to work hard from now until the end of the season.”
“They are working hard, but in the second half when we conceded, we were a little bit disorganized.”
“We have to go back to the principles that we had when we were compact, we were working as a unit.”
“It doesn’t matter if you play with two strikers or one striker if you are compact enough to defend and attack.”
We should probably go back to a 4-2-3-1 formation (or 4-5-1) on Tuesday night at the Hawthorns and try to be a lot better in defense.
A win is what we need in that game with West Brom struggling and below us in the league table and having just sacked their manager Tony Pulis.
But it will be another tough game for sure because they got a very good draw at Tottenham 1-1 yesterday and played well.
And it’s a good question if Rafa has ever lost five games in a row in his management career – certainly not 5 Premier league games in a row.
Since he started managing Valencia in 2001 this Newcastle side could be the worst one he has managed.
But hopefully, the team will improve a lot over this season and quickly too.
That’s what we want to see.