Rafa Benitez Offers A Positive Message Of Hope For The New Year

It’s been a year of two halves for Newcastle – with the first half of the year being excellent when we won the Championship and promotion back to the Premier League.

And things looked really positive for the club as owner Mike Ashley told Rafa Benitez he could have every last penny the club had to spend on new players last summer.

But that promise was not kept by Ashley as he had selling the club on his mind, which in his eyes needed good financial records rather than good players.

And after not spending a penny last January Mike Ashley limited the spending in the summer.

So much so that we didn’t get many of our number one transfer targets and Rafa said he had to sign the players he could sign – rather than those he wanted to sign.

Rafa Benitez – we want to do well in the second half of the season

And so it has been in the second part of the year – after starting well with 14 points from our first 9 games, we are now in an awful slump of just 5 points from the last 12 games.

We are 5th bottom of the league and just one point above the relegation zone.

But Rafa has a positive message for Newcastle fans after he was asked if he thought the club have progressed over the last 12 months.

This is how he repsoned to that question, as reported in the Chronicle:

“Yeah I think it has.”

“We all know each other a lot better now.” “That’s people within the football club and my staff, and people in the city and the fans.”

“We all know much better now and every decision in the future has to be easier.” “With decisions you know that mistakes made will now be right decisions.”

“It has been a fantastic year with winning the Championship and getting back to the Premier League.”

“We are looking to finish in a better position, but it has been pretty positive.”

“Thinking about the future we want to do well in the second half of the season I think we have a great chance to remain in the Premier League.”

“Then we have to make sure in the future we build something stronger.”  “We all know that our fans travel more miles than anyone.”

“But they were amazing last season in the Championship and again this year for some long trips in the Premier League.”

“I can hear and feel that the fans are behind the team at games.” “Against Manchester City when we were under pressure I could feel them behind us.”

“I understand that they want the team to play well offensively and score goals in every single game.” “But at the same time, they also know the reality.”

“And that is that we have to stay in the Premier League.” “The best way to help is to do what they have been doing and stay with the team.”

“I am really pleased with everything going on and hopefully with the fans behind us it can be a fantastic year.”

Rafa now needs to be backed by Mike Ashley in the January transfer window, so we have a decent chance of staying in the Premier League.

Right now, it’s looking just a little bit dodgy – but it’s nothing a couple of successive wins wouldn’t put right.

Howay The Lads!!

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298 comments so far

  • DubaiMicky

    Dec 31, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #1

    Bloody buses, none for hours then two at once. Anyway for those that haven’t seen it, Just heard from a mate who works with PCP that the deal is signed, I asked who is the money man, he said he couldn’t say, pushed him with a few names, he told me to fcuk off (in a nice way) and go get pissed. No announcement for a couple of weeks but it’s done.

    PS, Happy New Year, I’m off to see my mate the yid fan and get royally pissed before we watch the Burj Al Arab fireworks from his rooftop while swigging on some decent fizz in 16c. It’s a hard life.

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #2


    “Palace’s centre-forward today was Christian Benteke, who cost them £32m, around about the same as Newcastle’s front five that played against Man City on Wednesday …”

    Sums up Rafa’s difficulty!

  • RUNAWAY777

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #3

    Well times get on off for shower then out should be a goodnight catch yous in 2018 stay safe everyone

  • Tsunki

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #4

    Jarra Mick – “Difference today was palace were defending a point, we were defending a 1-0 deficit”

    ? ? ?

    If anyone ever wanted to display to the entire planet they didn’t see the man city game OR know what they are talking about , you accomplished it magnificently . Bravo, Sir.

  • Toonces

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #5

    A couple thoughts…

    We had one day less rest than Brighton. It may have contributed some to the sluggish, nervy performance. I don’t think it is a major factor, but if we had Jose as our manager he for sure would have mentioned it.

    Watching the match on tv, you could hear the crowd get on the players with their frustration. Those commenting who were at the ground also mentioned this. The players caved to the pressure of playing a must win match at home. West Ham away, didn’t have the must win pressure like yesterday did. Man City at home, their was no expectation to win – no pressure. Tomorrow will be like West Ham away. An opportunity for an away win, good travelling support and not the pressure cooking of the home crowd expectation.

    Watching Palace vs City today. We may not like to hear this but Palace, overall, have players than we do. We don’t have a player equivalent of Zaha who can make a difference by himself and could probably play for must all teams in the prem. Hate to agree with BladderAbuser , but he’s right, you need to get in the opposing 18 to win a penalty, and then you have to try to take on your man. And then you need enough star power for the ref to make the call in your favour. We are lacking.

    We only have 3 players perhaps who look like genuine PL level starting players. Lascelles, Merino and sometimes Shelvey. On occasion Atsu seems to join them as does Ritchie. We have two more but Rafa has frozen them out – Mitro and Mbemba. Rafa may be putting the team he likes best out on the pitch but without Mbemba or Mitro in the side (out of the whole squad that we have now) it is not the best 11.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #6

    Funny isn’t it, jib said after the city game that Benitez s approach would likely be closely scrutinised by other managers. Have to hand that one to him.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #7

    Mitro and Mbemba good grief still????

    Can anyone remember how they saved us from relegation?


    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Dubai mick
    Hope ya ryt…. we need some good news…enjoy the fireworks and several gallons of bubbly! Lol


    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #9

    U mentioned earlier that ya mate had told u how much money we may have to spend…how much was it mate…just curious?

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #10


    still backing that loser of a manager,

    people cannot say this manager spent this money on this player, then look at Mitro Mbemba Thauvan and say he didn’t have quality players.
    if rafa chooses not to play or keep his better players, then that’s his problem.

  • Bambams

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #11


    Cheers for that and enjoy the hangover tomorrow !

  • cleveleysbob

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #12

    Happy New Year to Ed his family, and ALL NUFC fans/supporters, wherever you are and let’s hope for great news ASAP, so we can all look forward to better times without MA involved!
    PS hang in there Hibbit, the blog needs people like you, all the best.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #13

    Hey! Shut the back door!

    The hibbit will get out!


  • Tsunki

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #14

    “I understand that they want the team to play well offensively and score goals in every single game.” “But at the same time, they also know the reality.”

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #15

    (And several others)
    Not just you pal, there have been many..

    The problem with comments like yours there is that you are generalising about a crowd of over 50000 individual supporters. It’s a big ground, there are bound to be pockets of frustration when you have lost the last 5 home matches on the bounce, when you have endured the last 10 years of mostly drudgery under an owner who has sucked much of the life and ambition out if the club.
    I was at both games this week. The crowd were with Rafa and the players through a very difficult watch against City. Against Brighton the crowd supported. When you are sat a few yards from the pitch you see the players, on and off the ball. There was a lack of application, and interest for some reason from several players I have already mentioned, from the first to last minute. That’s when some in the crowd react the way you describe.

    People are always having a go at the crowd. People often exaggerate to make their point when slating the SJP fans.
    They are (all 50000?) either ‘sitting like zombies…’ Or ‘Happy clappers..’ ‘ Day tripper, non loyal types..’ ‘… Moaning whiners who are creating a heavy shirt for the poor hard done by players…’ ‘Etc etc.
    If people aren’t happy with the crowd, why not get up off your asses and get to the ground, make a difference. Show them how it’s done. Get involved with supporters initiatives, the flags groups etc..
    Or you could just scour the net for illegal crappy streams and sit n watch on your computer.
    Fat lot of good that does anybody.

  • Toonces

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #16


    Didn’t say they saved us from relegation – and they were how old at the time – 20 and 21? They are better than what we have “now.” Rafa hasn’t played his best 11 out of what he has “now”. Mitro is a better player than Joselu. Mbemba is a better player than Manquillo. He is also better than Hayden.

  • DubaiMicky

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #17

    hibbit – you can come back!

  • yorkymag

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #18

    Hibitt and shirebrook
    I don’t post often but read everyday
    I don’t always agree with what you say but it is not about agreeing it’s about a point of view ,which we are all entitled to
    I don’t think either of you should feel any need to apologies or leave the blog
    As I said I disagree with lots you both say ,but respect it is from the perspective of a true black and white ,and is always respectful
    Happy new year to all and I look forward to balanced ,sensible and above all personal contribution in a respectful manner .lets leave the insults in 2017

  • lesh

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #19


    Between you and Runaway, basking in comfortable climes, you’ve got it made.

    Enjoy it

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #20

    I do hope everyone is correct in saying it’s signed

    I just don’t understand how none of this has leaked out to at least one person in the press ?? If it’s the worst kept secret in Dubai , all over London and 3 or 4 on this blog know , a few on twitter , a few in other blogs know ??

    You would think at least one person on sky , working in local press , London press , overseas would be able to put some more meat to the bones

    I’ve heard even Ray Thompson the kit man (true story) says it’s done and Rays been there for over 20 years

  • Toonces

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #21

    Sing – it isn’t a shot at the crowd. It is an observation. The “crowd” does pipe up and groan. You can hear it. And it isn’t just one or two. It is thousands. And it was often yesterday. So it isn’t over generalizing about all 50,000. And then you make comments about a supporter from overseas – and this is an expat blog or do you forget that? – who get to spend our hard earned money to make it one match per year if we are lucky. That trip costs as much by itself as your season ticket does, if not more. I pay for my tv package so that I can watch as many games as possible – i don’t watch a crappy stream. So don’t be self righteous and over defensive.

  • jazzyp

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #22

    Palace had less possession and shots on goal than Newcastle v Man City yet they praise Hodgson for tactical awareness and slate Benitez for ruining the PL and the beauty of the game. Has Rafa set the bar on how to play the big boys??

    There is such a gulf now in the PL it is like a three pronged league with the top 7 , Then the middle order, In which it leaves the bottom half fighting it out for survival and for us we are in the latter.
    The club needs regenerating from top to bottom and this will never happen until that fat waste of space sells up. And you can blame Rafa all you want but nothing would change if he left.
    The bottom line is we are screwed unless a takeover happens so our serial Pirate can keep banging on about all the Negatives that are currently NUFC because until Mashley leaves ya gonna have to suck up and carry on hearding your sheep

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #23

    They really didn’t look interested at all yesterday.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 31, 2017 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #24

    Didn’t realise the bus was still moving.

    I’ve just re-watched the Sky highlights of the game and there were two things that struck me from them.

    Firstly if we’d had an AC type up front, (Daryll Murphy, perhaps) we’d probably have won.

    Secondly we should have had at least one penalty, both were good shouts and definite penalties but of course we know that Refs. aren’t allowed to award us penalties, so why am I moaning about it.

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #25

    There you go again, making things up. At no point did I mention anything about expat / overseas fans. They are your words not mine.
    Nor did I say it was ‘just one or two’.. ( I presume you mean I was saying only one or two people were ‘piping up’ .. And ‘groaning’ but it’s hard to tell.

  • beefman13

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #26

    I will take it a game at a time in the new year and give my honest opinion on that particular game, i hope we pick up for all our sakes, i am not happy at the moment one bit but i will be only to happy if Benitez turns it around, but at the moment i have to say it as i see it.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #27

    Lesh i wish only 19 here today mate haha work from 7 till 1sh keep people happy we music then its my turn.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #28

    Someone criticised Hughes for fielding a reserve team. Munster said what’s wrong with that?
    So over the top criticism for Rafa going for a point or maybe nicking it but ok for Hughes to completely throw the towel in?
    Is that not double standards.

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #29

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #30

    Happy New Year to all my fellow Bloggers! Hope ee can actually go and win summit in 2018 !

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #31
  • RUNAWAY777

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #32

    Hibbit for f//k sake come back mate i no your probably a man of your word but dont give the few the satisfaction or they will try it with the rest of us .wish i had been home i would have meet you for a pint.

  • the white tino

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #33

    Braid abuser your the biggest troll on here mate, suggest you go sit on ya pretty little pink seat at the stadium of suite and play with ya hair watching how good your team performs against champo clubs

  • AmlakNUFC

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #34

    a bless 2018 to all NUFC fans

  • Munster Mag

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #35

    Jail, like I said I had no issue with Hughes or rafa putting out a weakened team v City. Problem is, it didn’t work for rafa because we were also shit against Brighton

  • hibbit

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #36

    Back in july when i first posted that the club was back on the market i didn’t think that passing on that piece of information would lead to so much grief and i now honestly wish i had kept my big mouth shut but i can’t change that now .
    i put a date on it way back when, on information received that the deal would be done by the window opening and as of now it’s not been announced so i will keep my word
    i did put it up on here in good faith i still believe and trust my source that the deal is done and the club now has a new owner .
    why no announcement i honestly don’t know but when the announcement does come i will review my decision

    happy new year to you all
    good luck toon army

  • jazzyp

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #37

    Chronicle: Newcastle have contacted a club in the top four to try and sign a striker on-loan but are still waiting to hear back. #NUFC

  • firebug666

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #38


    You don’t need to go anywhere marra, chill out enjoy the night and be back bright and early in the morning.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #39

    I’d go for these 5 players

    Casillas as we need a top keeper.
    Shaw we could do with his quality at left back or lwb.
    A rock solid defensive midfielder that lad from Italy linked recently sounded good.
    A quality number 10 there must be one in Spain or Germany we could loan.
    Andy Carroll…is make him first priority. That battling quality could keep us up. I know his injury record sucks but how often I’d he sat on West hams bench?

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 31, 2017 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #40

    Hibbit you should stay on until proved otherwise

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