Huge Management Challenge For Rafa – Needs Everybody To Stick Together


Like many fans, we wonder what happened to the side that looked so solid in the first 9 games of the season when we picked up 14 points and had a goal difference of +2.

After the last 7 games we have just one more point and a goal difference of -9 so it’s been a little catastrophic.

But surely if we can get Jamaal Lascelles back and keep the confidence of our players we can return to way we were playing at the beginning of the season.

But this is a young team, and Rafa knows the lads lack experience and maybe that’s the kind of player he will want to bring into the squad in January – if he gets money to spend at that time.

If he doesn’t Rafa will need to sell players so he can get new players coming in.

Rafa Benitez – must save Newcastle

But whatever happens, the fans and players all have to stick together and try to help Newcastle survive this season – it will not be easy.

This is what Rafa said after the game when asked why he didn’t settle for the 2-2 draw – as reported in the Chronicle today:

“No, I thought at this time, we were in control.”

“I thought it could be maybe easier for us to score than for them because we were well-organised and the team knew exactly what we had to do.”

“But then another mistake, another counter-attack and an own goal, so more difficult to take. It’s not easy.”

“I feel really disappointed because it was a game that we started well, high tempo, intensity, scoring the goal, on top of them all the time.”

“And we conceded an easy goal and after that, they were much in control.”

“But the reaction of the team in the second half – we were well-organized, we were fine, compact, and just a long ball, a second ball and another goal conceded.”

“Again, a very good reaction from the team and when we had the draw and we were fine, another mistake, another counter-attack, another goal conceded.”

“It’s a lack of experience.”

“I’m disappointed because all the effort that the players put on the pitch at the end means nothing in terms of points.”

“That’s what’s happening in the last games, so we have to manage in a better way.”

“When we are doing well, we continue giving the ball away and making easy mistakes.”

There are some positives in Newcastle’s play with Dwight Gayle making one and scoring one yesterday.

It looks like he’s coming into some good form now and Joselu scored his third goal of the season too.

What the players and fans have to guard against is that we completely implode – once teams get in the bottom three, it’s sometimes difficult to get out of there.

Somehow our players have to grit their teeth and somehow get a win and then take it from there.

The players and the fans have to rely on Rafa’s experience and skill as a manager, and if he can save us this season he will have earned his money.

But it’s not going to be easy by any means.

In difficult times like this, it’s tough to keep the faith but that’s what we all need to do.

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Comments welcome.


36 comments so far

  • hibbit

    Dec 10, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #1

    a lot of selective memory on which manager bought which players
    i particularly like the list attributed to Pardue no mention of Mr Carr

    4
  • Zekalea

    Dec 10, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #2

    Tsunki, thanks i do try 🙂

    0
  • jimiley

    Dec 10, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa bought 30 million in the summer. He should hve had more made available but what he bought was rubbish. Mainly Spanish rubbish but Murphy at 12 million was 3 times too much. Even Rafa fans have to admit he has bought rubbish on a limited budget.
    And then there is the team selection.
    But its all Mikes fault right?

    7
  • Ketsbaia9

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #4

    I honestly think Rafa needs to go. Getting rid of players like Abeid and Krul and playing people like Isaac Hayden and Rob Elliot. No wonder we’re struggling. Tim Krul was our best keeper. Abeid is Dijon’s key player at the moment:

    https://www.francebleu.fr/sports/football/au-coeur-des-rouges-mehdi-abeid-le-retour-1510903173

    3
  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #5

    Everyone needs to realise that Benitez will make mistakes as does every human , however he is the best manager we have had for years.

    With correct backing snd some better quality players he will take us into the top 8 guaranteed..

    He has had to make signings that are no where near his 1st choices.

    MANAGERS NET SPENDING

    Mclaren 74.5 MILLION
    Keegan 44.2 Million
    Robson 31.4 Million
    Souness 30.4 Million
    Allardyce 9.9 Million
    Dalglish 9.7 Million
    Roeder 9.6 Milion
    Gullit 7.8 Million
    Pardew 2.6 Million
    Carver -8.1 M ( yes minus)
    Kinnear -£10 Million
    Hughton -£13 Million
    Benítez – £18.2 Million

    6
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #6

    toon fan 8

    i think you completely missed the point. yes they are rafa’s players, the ones he bought to get us out of the championship, not the ones he thought we would still be largely using in the PL.

    4
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #7

    ketsbaia

    ah yes the mighty dijon and as for krul doesn’t get a game at brighton.
    thank god some fans aren’t in charge.

    11
  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #8

    Also we have no right being in the top half of the league , we aren’t competing with them financially.

    We wouldn’t have been relegated twice with half a decent owner and wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

    8
  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #9

    Rotonda/ couldn’t agree more

    2
  • Ketsbaia9

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #10

    Steve Mcclaren signed these players:

    Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin, Chancel Mbemba, Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Henri Saivet

    I think they’re not bad signings to be honest. His poor management cost him his job. We shouldn’t have got relegated with that squad. Our squad now is a lot worse.

    3
  • Our Toon

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #11

    I predicted 15th for this season, rafa was supposed to be the game changer though.

    Whichever side Ritchie has played on recently that’s where we’ve been exposed yet he still gets into the side. Favourites picked over trying something new!!

    3
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #12

    Brilliant Ketsy, just brilliant.

    Tim Krul has played how many times now for Brighton?

    Mehdi plays for Dijon, but I wouldn’t say he was mustard ha ha no mate i think we can discount your theories.

    7
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #13

    Rotonda stole my thunder 🙂

    1
  • Jib

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #14

    Tsunki
    I’m with you all the way on your support
    for Sen Benitez but these are worrying times
    Think on this:-
    If in August as Ronald Koeman completed his
    signing of Gylfi Sigurddsson for £45m taking
    Everton’s summer spend to £143m I had suggested
    that in 10 weeks the Dutchman would be replaced by
    fat Sam Allardyce – the blog would have howled me down.

    Worrying times in the PL

    1
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #15

    jimiley

    i think when charnley couldn’t negotiate loans for loftus cheek and abraham etc, rafa was pretty much left scraping the barrel just to pad out a squad. 19M net doesn’t get you a whole lot these days when you consider walker, a full back went for 50M. most weeks we’re playing teams where just 1/2 players cost more than our entire starting 11. yet people still think they can obviously do better.

    booboo

    point was why not just call him a fool, why a Spanish fool and insult an entire nation!

    3
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #16

    Jimiley – rafas purchases were development he said do, he had the rug pulled on the spending and Ashley’s remit scuppered his targets. He was never intending to stick Murphy, Manquillo and Murphy straight into the team, what part is difficult to understand?

    4
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #17

    That’s two Murphy’s oops.

    0
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #18

    Darlow….Elliot even…

    0
  • Our Toon

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #19

    Tsunki

    He said manquillo would be a squad player, much like Anita was. I’d personally have kept Anita, 4m wasted!! A world class coach can and should be able to get more out of this lot, no one us asking for us to pull up trees but 1 point in 21.

    The same old excuses rolled out about rafa not backed, yet udders and Brighton who we belittled for signing championship players seem to be fairing better. Any ideas as to why?

    3
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #20

    ourtoon

    you obviously missed the ongoing spat rafa had with ritchie on the sideline for not protecting yedlin 3 times in the first 15 mins and later when subbing him. maybe it’s human to trustsome players over others if they are generally more consistent and follow instruction.

    last few matches we’ve had 3 different formations and several personnel changes. Rafa bingo anyone…!

    2
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #21

    our toon

    who belittled udders and brighton? total fiction

    2
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #22

    Jib that’s fine but if Benitez had spent a fortune on top talent and we were in this position now i would be the axe sharpener on this blog no two ways about it.

    But the stark truth is, despite what former McCardew loving narcissists here say, that Benitez got shafted by the lying owner who has been crafting his exit from this business for a long time now, consolidating his returns and maximising his take of revenue, letting the eternal patsy, the manager take the heat. It’s telling that those calling for him to be sacked are so myopic I’m their view. Some people need to wake up and smell the coffee, Ashley started this slide last summer, he knew this could go this way but he did it yet again.

    6
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #23

    Ketsbaia

    You seem to be completely contradicting yourself saying this below. Look at your last line ffs !!!!!!!!!

    – – – – – – – –

    Steve Mcclaren signed these players:

    Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin, Chancel Mbemba, Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Henri Saivet

    I think they’re not bad signings to be honest. His poor management cost him his job. We shouldn’t have got relegated with that squad. Our squad now is a lot worse.

    0
  • AncientC

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #24

    I predicted 10th with 53 points, reason being for that is I figured Benitez would set a target for the season of 50 points, targeting 40 points is sailing too close to the wind, and considering that Benitez hit his targets for the last season, I credited him with being able to get 3 points more than his target—a points haul target I was guessing at.

    Nufc-83 must be of the belief that this slump of 1 point in 7 games is set to carry on or mildly improve… anybody that does not agree is probably “stupid!” or “talking rubbish” as he usually so tactfully puts it.

    With a squad that has the 15th value in the PL, and a manager expected to squeeze extra points out of the squad, I do not see how being confident in a 10th or below position is a mind-blowing prediction to make. Especially when the points difference between 10th and 17th can be so slim in points margins.

    If Nufc-83 wants to take on the role of the blog’s Russell Grant, he is welcome to it.

    3
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #25

    Our Toon, didn’t you assert yesterday I said we’d do well this year and we had a good squad? Wrong.

    Who belittled Brighton and Huddersfield?

    Manxpie said we had a better squad than them, when I said prove it he got all shirty and demanded i disprove it.

    Just because you say Rafa not being backed is an old excuse doesn’t mean it’s not true. It’s plainly obvious to all but the deluded who think some magic manager will turn sub-par players into unstoppable football machines.

    And the reason some players got shipped out was because they were supposedly necessary makeweights for the money to buy in better players. Another deception pulled on all of us my friend.

    5
  • toon kk

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #26

    Take Diame out yesterday our bench had arguably our best player’s sat warming it up.
    Great start yesterday but history repeated itself good goal from Gayle then we looked at nervous bag of sh.te. Atsu who SHOULD have started, he helped change the game, although we needed our second goal before our confidence returned.

    Rafa needs to use his squad more effectively instead of his favourites, there’s definitely a lack of quality along with height in our squad but our confidence has dropped to a relegation battle rate.

    6
  • Our Toon

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #27

    Rotonda

    Ritchie didn’t follow instructions against Watford, then next game was moved to LB in a more defensive role and then got picked to play on the right again yesterday. I didn’t miss the spat between rafa and Ritchie but he’s clearly not following the managers instructions but gets picked. Any ideas as to why?

    4
  • AncientC

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #28

    What is it with the excessive use of Pulis’ name being thrown around. Are we forgetting that Laurent Blanc, Tuchel, Koeman, Luis Enrique and a whole host of other attractive names are out of work right now, and would work for £5 million a year very happily. It really is disingenuous to throw around and threaten people with unattractive manager surnames, as if those are the only names available.

    8
  • lochinvar

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #29

    Looking at the League table it looks like that the top 8 from Leicester who are on 23 points upwards are the teams who can have a successful season and it probably just remains for them to fight it out for League and European qualification positions.
    Below that from Watford on 22 points down to Palace at the bottom on 9 points it’s going to be a long hard slog with lots of dog eat dog games – we’ve had a few of those ready and don’t have any points as a buffer from what’s yet to come.
    Rafa needs to make some real changes to our game plans and use of substitutes now and not before the cavalry arrive in January

    5
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #30

    And for goodness sake if you want to keep your arguments barely credible whatever you do don’t mention keeping players who got us relegated! 🙂 Think about it before posting!

    1
  • Our Toon

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #31

    I’d could go through old posts but what’s the point, plenty belittled them 2 clubs for signing the likes of Ince being a one example

    1
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #32

    Toon kk do you read your own stuff back?

    I’d love to know how Atsu starting would have stopped us conceding three. And surely our scoring two goals should vindicate Benitez choice of players up front? Even Stain-Dog didn’t trot out his hopelessly tiresome “Josiere” crack so please illustrate why Atsu starting would have kept a clean sheet.

    Complaining for the sake of it and trying to justify your selection picks with tenuous jabs like that hardly wash.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #33

    Our Toon On the contrary i seem to remember most saying they had been conservative but shrewd. Especially in comparison to our own poor performance in the transfer market.

    1
  • Ketsbaia9

    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #34

    Tim Krul will be starting soon after their keepers horror show yesterday.

    0
  • Ketsbaia9

    Dec 10, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #35

    Atsu was our best player when he came on.

    1
  • nufc 11

    Dec 11, 2017 at 4:26 AM

    Comment #36

    Yussuf Poulsen from Leipzig Danish Diego Costa and his international team mate Thomas Delaney box to box midfielder too.
    I really like Cyrus Christie from Boro very solid RB that could step straight in for Yedlin.

    Loan deals would be best for January with WC approaching maybe nufc could sign

    Theo Walcott
    Danny Ings
    Michael Carrick
    Jack Wilshere
    Ben Woodburn
    Kenedy
    Luke Shaw

    0

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