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.