We have seen there some Newcastle fans who are criticizing Rafa Benitez and his recent performance as Newcastle manager over the last month or so.
You have every right to criticize Rafa on this blog, but we also hope you will do it in a respectful way – and that you still support Rafa and the players – it’s the only thing we have going for us at the moment.
The manager was rightly disappointed after an inept display yesterday against a well organized Brighton side.
But we have to be thankful that earlier today Crystal Palace drew 0-0 at home to Manchester City and broke their 18 league game winning streak.
And for the second time this season they missed a penalty in stoppage time when they were drawing the game and dropped 2 points each time.
They could and probably should have won the game, but the penalty was saved.
Rafa Benitez – worried about anxiety of his players
The sides around us in the table are starting to put up some good performances and tomorrow we are at Stoke City who seem to be there for the taking if only we can play near our best form.
Rafa is starting to worry about anxiety affecting his young team:
“The anxiety sometimes.” “I have said many times that this is a young team that has to learn.”
“When something is wrong, we are suffering a little bit, so we need to take the positives today.”
“Everyone was expecting that this kind of game, you have to win, but we could see a team well organized.”
“They have players with experience and they have been together for a while the majority of them, so they know what they are doing.”
“At the same time, they know that keeping the ball and managing the tempo of the game, we could be more anxious and we could make more mistakes.”
“There are not many positives, but the main thing for me is that the reaction of the team in the second half, pushing, a clean sheet and still the team fighting for every single ball until the end.
“In the end, I think the reaction of the team in the second half – we were pushing, we were trying, the keeper was busy, but still it was not enough against a team that, I will say again, was well organized.
“We need to improve out decisions in the final third a little bit, the decisions on the ball, to be sure that we have more chances against any team.”
“It’s always difficult when the other team is well organized and you cannot find the gaps, you cannot find the spaces.
“As soon as you make a couple of mistakes, you have more anxiety.”
It’s the bane of relegation – players getting anxious and therefore unable to play at their best – and making too many individual mistakes.