Rafa Comments On No Christmas Party For Struggling Newcastle Players

We are struggling in the Premier League to hold our own and have one point to show from the last eight league games.

But we are playing Arsenal and Manchester City as two of our next three games so things could start to get even worse for Newcastle.

Such is the short-sightedness of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who for the second transfer window running in the summer refused to back Rafa Benitez with sufficient transfer funds.

Rafa has every right to feel slighted by Mike Ashley for not keeping his word last summer, but like an excellent professional he is, the Spanish manager is simply trying to do the best he can with the players he has available,

But there have been some signs in the last two months our players may not be good enough for the Premier League.

And news that the lads have decided to cancel their Christmas party in the midst of what could be a disastrous season.

Rafa Benitez – with captain Jamaal Lascelles

Hopefully, this the final season in the terrible reign of Mike Ashley – he’s almost destroyed the club by his foolish actions over ten years.

This could also be my last season on the blog depending completely on my health, and I was hoping for some (little) success – but it’s not going to happen.

We are hoping that Rafa and the lads – with the help of some new players in January – can turn things around.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles and some senior players discussed the situation with Mr. Benitez and decided not to have a Christmas Party this year.

Here’s what Rafa has said about that Christmas party as reported in the Northern Echo:

“Normally, we (Rafa and coaching team) do not do have a party, and the players have also decided to cancel their Christmas party.”

“They have taken responsibility and they think it’s important to have the right focus,” “They have canceled.”

“They want to give a very clear message that they care, and they want to do things right. On the pitch, you can win or not, but they realize they have to be focused on doing things right.”

“There was no pressure from me. I was asking four or five players about it, and they were very clear: ‘Oh no, we cannot’, and that was it. They talked between themselves and decided.”

“I think it’s the right thing. Obviously, if you are asking me, this group of players are working so hard so I could not have said to them, ‘You do not deserve to do this or that’.”

“They are giving everything, but they have decided this, and I think that’s very positive.”

We cannot (and will not) blame the players – they are doing the very best they can.

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Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • toontaff2

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #2

    They’ll have company – plenty on here sound like they’ve cancelled Christmas! :mrgreen:

  • Jib

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #3

    Taff you should be watching BT Sport1
    Any Welshman should enjoy watching
    England losing the Ashes yet again

  • toontaff2

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #5

    Wales don’t do cricket – Anyway, it’s the England and Wales Cricket Board!

  • Jib

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #6

    Fair point Taff

  • giimps

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #7

    ED, let’s hope you live to see the club competing again at the right end of the table and even in Europe…..capped off with a trophy or two…..even though there is some bickering, every one of the blog users are behind you.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #8

    Are there lights under his bridge ❓

  • toontaff2

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #9

    Quiet here, maybe more happening on the Arseblog? 😆

  • Jib

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #10

    This is the Swedish version
    of the light-bulb joke
    (Scandinavians seem a right barrel of laughs)

    Q: How Many Danes does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Lots because Danish people are weak and arthritic because
    their socialist medical system is only second in the world in patient care.


  • jimmysmith

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #11

    When cloning becomes a reality, the Australian cricket team could consist of 5 Steve Smiths, 4 Glenn McGraths, one Rodney Marsh and one Shane Warne. England need to get a wriggle on over the next decade, because when that happens they’ll never win another Test against the Aussies, never mind the Ashes. Steve Smith currently on 204 not out, with Mitch Marsh down the other end on 150.

  • AncientC

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #12


    I thought I would leave this here for Robert Kilroy-Silk, better known as toontaff2. ^_^

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #13

    500 for 4

  • posada

    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #14

    Munster, Manxpie and Mr Tuff.

    I see you had a right go at the Fake News Brigade.
    Well done. I’m proud of you.
    You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  • posada

    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #15

    It’s the wild over re-action up and down that I don’t like.
    A mania.

    Bam Bam and Secret Sausage.
    Fair play to them they heard something and stood it up to be read.
    It’s not altered constantly.

    Dubai Mickey – I find his knowledge of the middle east to be quite informative.

    Some of the other stuff though is as I say a mania.
    I have a suspicion that a certain MA could be putting some of it out there with motives of his own.

  • giimps

    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #16

    My team for today
    I would go with
    Yedlin,Clark , Lascelles, Dummet
    Hayden, Merino
    Atsu,Ritchie, Murphy


    Darlow,lejeune,gamez,Perez,Joselu ,Aaron’s and Mbemba

    I have a feeling we will be defending a lot and trying to hit them on the break as per early on in the season, having 4 tricky forward players who can hit the ball well will give them something to think about……both Hayden and Merino can bring the ball out and find a pass as long as the other drops in to cover the defence when we’re attacking we could get a point or even nick it.
    I just hope there’s no stupid mistakes and Lady Luck is with us for a change….it’s about time she smiled at us

  • Singinginthecorner

    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #17

    Just a thought as far as we know they are still talking he wants to sell she wants to buy this is the closest Ashley has come to selling our club so no news is good news just hang tight. On the other hand could be all done and dusted would you really tell the club’s your trying to buy players off that you have millions in the bank even a rich man/woman likes a bargain that’s why there rich

  • posada

    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #18

    Aye, That’s it in one word.

  • fog on the tyne

    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #19

    Morning lads, i’ve been a fan of this blog since the very early day and read it daily. I think Ed does a great job considering his health issues and should indeed be acknowledged on the great job he does.

    I gave up my season tickets this season due to work commitments and my boy losing interest (my brother in law, a dark sider, took him when i wasnt home), and tbh dont miss it, considering the standard of football Rafa has us putting on display. However i still back them to the hilt, and love and backing for the club will never waver.

    I have rarely commented on here and its been probably 3 years since my jast posting.

    Regarding the takeover i believe that a deal is in place ( i’m not an ITK) and in my opinion is that this whole talks and negotiations being portrayed by the media is one big circus and show being orchestrated by Ashley in a last ditch attempt to save face and credibility from the gallowgate faithful. Does any one else feel the same, that its being orchestrated to make us believe its some sort of present from Ashley???

    I’m certain the deal is imminent as Shire and his croonies have been assuring us of recently and hope its not left too late into tranfer market.

    I’m hoping for a good performance today, although i’m dreading it as someone is due a hiding off arsenal and our record down there is horrendous.

    All the best boys

  • Ian Toon

    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #20

    Jimmy – It’s bad enough listening to it on TMS without your interventions on here. The Aussies are flat track/ hard pitch bullies. We have an excellent record “ower here”.

    Loyalty to a football fan can override all other considerations. Even Jim Illey who I believe was a midfielder in the 1960’s but is now writing on here and managing to just fall short of abusing all and sundry. Maybe he didn’t get a testimonial which used to be all the rage I’m told. The vast majority of Newcastle fans have always fallen short of protesting in any meaningful way it’s just not in our DNA. Even the Ashley protests were as weak as dishwater because watching the toon is a way of life for the many – not the few.

    My last shirt purchase had Cabaye on the back. I’ve always favoured the silky skilled midfielder types with a great range of passing – just recall how many goals he made for Cisse. Well, playing Arsenal today reminds me of their bid for him and his obvious desire to join them. The bid was too low and instead they spent £40 million on Ozil. Forgetting the relative cost on reflection he would have been my choice as well. Anyway Cabaye didn’t play for a few matches but on his return as a sub a section of the SJP crowd booed him. This made no sense because Cabaye was always capable of a chance creating pass; though I did consign my shirt to the draw.

    I have never booed any of our players but the sentiment is understandable. Refusing to play as well as being disloyal is also unprofessional. Not playing him again would have made no sense because he was highly effective. One of his last games for us at West Ham and the goals I recall as if it was yesterday.

    Diame, is not the same type of player with the passing skills of Yohan but booing any player does not help their or the team’s performance. With a limited squad and a crowded schedule we often don’t have many alternative options. I wil be at the Emirates today and the only booing I will be doing in support of the toon army will be directed at the all year round pantomime villain Mike Ashley. I go in hope but not expectation after all that’s what a fan does. As a kid when I personally thought we hadn’t a hope in hell of getting anything my dad used to always say I think we’ll get a point.


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