Benitez – Festive Period Crucial – We’re Watching Players Everywhere

Rafa was a little late to his press conference this afternoon but he has given it and he says this festive period of games coming up for Newcastle will be crucial.

We have six games to play through January 1st including games against Arsenal and Manchester City

Lascelles and Atsu are fit but Rafa has said he has not decided which team to start tomorrow night against an improving Everton side.

Paul Dummett is getting stronger but Rafa hints he will have to wait before Paul is fully fit to play in the first team again.

And on the transfer front, Rafa and his scouts are working hard – and it seems if we are to survive this season in the Premier League – which is the sole goal – we need bring some good players in during the January transfer window.

That will be imperative.

Rafa Benitez – at his press conference

Here’s some of what Rafa had to say today:

“The festive period is always crucial. But it will be crucial in January, in April. Every game is important. We have to go and try to get three points in the next game.”

“Hopefully we will win and things will be easier. We don’t need to think about a run of games, losing or winning. We concentrate on the next one and see after that.”

“Some games we are the youngest team in the @premierleague. We have to learn quickly. This team is working very hard. Little things we have to improve and we will be stronger.”

“We know our job. Everyone has an opinion. It’s not rocket science – we need players in some positions. If we can, fine, if not, we will have to work harder.”

“A lot of teams around of us have spent a lot of money and are still around us. We need to stay calm, work harder and we will start winning games.”

“Everton are a good team with good players. They know they need to win more games away. Maybe they will be more open, but you never know. We have to control things that are in our hands.”

“I don’t play against other managers. It’s about the team you have. Sam Allardyce is a good manager with experience but hopefully, we can beat Everton.”

“Jamaal Lascelles was nearly there last Saturday. Having players with character and personality when things aren’t going wrong is good. I haven’t picked the team yet.”

“Paul Dummett is getting better but still we have to wait. If everybody is available, hopefully, we can be as solid as we were earlier in the season.”

“We are working hard with scouts, watching players everywhere.”

What we need to see is as Rafa says – the defense being strong again – it’s hard to win over the last five games when we have let in an average of 3 goals a game!

So the first thing is for Newcastle to be a lot better defensively and then maybe Dwight Gayle and Joselu up front can continue to work well together as they did last Saturday with both scoring a goal.

Our fans, however, are not too confident of a win tomorrow night.

A win would be absolutely terrific!

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Everton?

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Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #1

    433 against Everton:


  • Jib

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #2

    Rafa and Conté have agreed a loan deal for
    Michy Batshuayi in January

  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #3


    “@shitstains, you are fully aware that your behavior on here is far worse than me calling out your nasty britches for what they are. Too often have I seen you single out and attempt to belittle users in such a sly and calculated way that for the most part is only obvious to you and the user in which you attempt to more or less bully. Only took one comment toward myself for me to say enough is enough. I’ll stop when you apologize for your horrible manner which is way to frequent in here.”

    Reilly reckons you are bobbybee i think. Ha ha that might make sense. I’ve not addressed you in some time except to appeal to a frankly dim possibility that you could moderate your language for the sake of the wider audience. Be assured your peurile name calling has no effect whatsoever so over to you. There’s no apology on the way so do as you will in your own moronic way as you see fit. I doubt you will ever say anything of value as you make even the thickest plank look like Enrico Fermi. You might have to Google that. :D. If you can get Google in Richmond of course.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #4

    Anyhooooo i don’t think I have been sly at all. 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #5

    If we can stay out of the statistical doomscape that is the crimbo relegation zone, all will be well.

    Contrary to what some nuggets are saying here, I think our last two games have been an improvement in the forward areas, just the defensive woes ganging up on us at the moment, but that’s how it is when the rub goes against you.

    If we can prevail against Everton I think the sense of relief and self-assurance will stradythr ship no end, and we could see a string of favourable point gains as we trudge through the January sales.

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #6


    you make it sound like a bad thing to like Trump. NOw if you where to believe everything in the paper then i would tend to agree with you, but if you dig a little deeper, you would see that he is doing exactly what he set out to do on the campaign, and i think that is a marvellous thing, he is doing what the people put him in power to do
    Obama will go down as one of the worst presidents ever, sure he got great approval rating but the man failed nearly everyone of his campaign promises, was at war for his full 8 years, borrowed more money than every president put together, ordered an obscene amount of drone strikes that killed countless civilians, deported a crazy over 3 million, TRump is getting flack for this Muslim ban, yep it was Obamas ban first. Obama was great for the rich elites, bailing banks and all those weapons, but what did he do for the normal people, Obama care is crippling families, taxes where high, and he also threatened the UK with the back of the line. then you get onto Bush before him, The man should be in jail along with tony Blair. 911 was commited by Saudis, so i know what lets invade Iraq for it and kill 1 million innocent people.

    If you acually fact check the things the Trump has achieved in his first year, its more than Obama did in ( years, and thats not me just saying it, one of the ones i like is, he just signed and executive order to say anyone working for the government cannot then go and work for any lobbying group for 5 years, that amazing and will drain the swamp.
    so many fake stories are out there that in the last 2 weeks 4 top people at the ABC,msnbc, WASH/post NY times have quite or been suspended, unemployment is down by huge numbers, dow jones up at record levels, 1,5 trillion in tax reductions have just been passed through.

    there is a guy called Peter Strzok, just been fired from this Russia investergation, well it turns out it looks like he set the whole thing up to get Hillary Elected, he/FBI/Hillarys team paid 10 miilion to have a fake report put together. thats fact.
    whats strange about his is every day i hear on hear how bad Ashley is because he doesnt keep to a promise. well Trump has done what Clinton Bush Obama all campaigned on, they all said they would recognise Jerusalem as the capital, he kept to his word, surley that counts for something..

    and on Pulils, we will get relegated with the way things are going,

  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Stradythr – old Scandaniwegian for “steady” as used in

    “Sven – stradythr the oars, you old salty Swedish sea-dog!”

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #8

    Hibbit it’s not preaching, if someone is going to attack me because i like someone, surely i have a right to defend myself?

    or is it because it’s me again,

    i get confused these days

  • kimbo

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #9

    Well Rafa I hope there is a massive improvement on your recent signings.
    Lindisfarne your team selection would not have been beat on Saturday so let us hope Rafa plays your team selection but with Elliot in Goal.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #10

    When Donald Trumps next gig as Manager of NUFC begins I think we will all join catchy in celebrations as his statue is put on the pedestal to replace the closet extremist SBR who as we will also find out was responsible for sanctioning the addition of vast amounts of asbestos and DDT in Farley’s Rusks and pocketing the bitcoin proceeds of North Korean NHS swindlers.

  • willowdalerez

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #11

    If Lascelles can come back into the squad and Lejeune plays with the form he had in the first few weeks then provided Gayle can knock one (two why not three… okay carried away a little therte
    we should be able to win against Everton.

    I am serious. They leak goals at the back (29 conceded on the season) and don’t let their improvement the last 3 games fool you. One was against a woeful Westham, another against Huddersfield which has 5 fewer goals than us on the season (11 total) and the Blues got the exact same result (1-1 draw) that we got to Liverpool back in October.

    Teams like Huddersfield Town and BHA are not on any more solid ground than we were when were mid-table and Everton has yet to prove they can sustain their recovery. My last prediction went woefully wrong (thought Watford were there for the picking) but honestly think this will be a tight match.

    Time to face it. We are stuck with Ashley as there is no news on the takeover front and its 12 Dec and that means there will be no change before January. Time to live with the fact that we must support the squad we’ve got. and it’s a squad that can beat the Blues (besides my mate is an Everton fan from Merseyside and humiliating Everton and returned has been Rooney in St. James would be very nice early Christmas present)

    Stop the griping. Rafa’s going to stick with Joselu (we’ll probably sell Mitro – wasted talent there but I’m not calling the shots or squad selection) whether Shelvey’s given a run is a question for punters and we can win regardless.

    It is a game we can take and they are still very shaky!!!


  • hibbit

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #12

    preaching again catchy

  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #13

    Quote of the year contender –

    “you make it sound like a bad thing to like Trump”

    Oh my sides please stop….

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #14

    Please read Lee Ryder tweet

    It’s happening !

    Rafa asked about takeover

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #15

    On takeover and Everton

    “Hopefully we get a win v Everton and then after some news and everyone will be happy”

  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #16

    Catchys’ Conspiracy Corner!

    No 23.

    Winnie the Pooh was a code mule for Serbian spies during World War Two.

  • hibbit

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #17

    Frank you got a link ………please

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #18

    7th tweet down

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #19
  • Tsunki

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #20

    Lee Ryder
    Rafa on waiting for takeover news and spending money for January: “Hopefully after the Everton game we will have a win and some news and people will be happy

  • c-dog

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #21

    @shitstains, there ya are there now. Happy Tuesday buddy. Hoping your britches are fairly clean. Thoughts and prayers with them of course.

    On your improved offense points. I agree. But with that has came some shambolic defensive displays. Our strongest performances have been hanging on in games and trying to nick them. Are we now compensating for the Josiére weakness by throwing too much into attack and neglecting our defensive duties. We need balance. Rafa is a defensive master so that, I feel, should be our primary focus.

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #22

    Mark Douglas
    Mark Douglas
    Replying to @swrain79
    Yes he does. When the press conference is over, our guys will be able to offer some context on that quote.

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #23

    Mark Douglas when asked if the local press can ask questions after the conference

  • Moonraker15

    Dec 12, 2017 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #25

    Why don’t you moderate the morons on the blog who repeatedly slag each other off like 5 year old kids.
    They make the blog very boring for those of us who just want to express and exchange opinions and hopefully learn something from each other!


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