Rafa – Forget Excuses – Everybody Has To Give Their Very Best

Rafa Benitez has never been one to look for excuses, and since he’s been at Newcastle, he does an excellent job after every game of analyzing what happened.

He points out the good and the bad for Newcastle and how events changed the game – either for us or against us.

He’s an extremely successful manager and leader and doesn’t look for excuses.

Rafa will now buckle down with his players and try to use his new squad of 24 to get the 16 points we need from the remaining 13 games to secure safety.

Rafa Benitez – good shot of him in training

We may need a few points more than 40, depending on how some of the other teams perform.

But we must start winning games – that’s the key.

This is what Rafa has said as reported in the Chronicle today:

“I think it’s important for the players and at the same time for the players, staff, and fans.”

“Everybody here needs to know this is the team now until the end of the season, and that’s it.” “Especially for the players, though.”

“When some of them aren’t playing too much and have offers from other clubs it is a time when they aren’t focused.”

“Now everybody knows.”

“The first thing we did when the transfer window closed was have a meeting and we said: ‘Listen – this is the squad and you have to compete.’”

“We can’t make excuses now or be thinking about other people coming in.” “Forget that.”

“Everybody has to concentrate and give their very best.”

Good words there from the manager.

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Howay THe Lads!!

84 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #1

    No doubt there were a few relieved players there at that meeting knowing Charnley had shipped out more than he brought in 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #2

    I do hope that Joselu goes down to impact sub now. Ha ha impact sub I just realised what I said oh dear. Poor lad.

  • jane

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #3

    Joselu penalty stats


    scored 2 in 2013 and 2014

    missed 4 including the last 3 now

    why is he taking penalties?

    he doesn’t seem like a hit the ball hard type of player.

  • beermonkey

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #4


    He is more the ball bounces off him type

  • jimmysmith

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #5

    The first time ball he played to Kenedy for his part in the one two that led to the pen was of the highest quality.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #6

    Hope we get to see the training pics from today and they Slim with ball in and amongst the rest. I can’t handle Joselu starting tomorrow. It will break me.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #7

    You could say Joselu cost us 2 points against Burnley. But you could say he was ably assisted in that by Atsu failing to tap in from the Kenedy post rebound,although that was hardly mentioned in comparison with page after page of repetitive abuse dished out to our struggling striker. Over the top and sad to see. We are a team, with lots of faults but lots of endeavour. Get behind Rafa and the team! They need dragging over the line now, any which way, not a culture of repetitive abuse of our own players.

    I’m pleased Joselu came up with a goal out of nothing against Swansea to get a draw in a game we were looking like losing…

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #8

    His ball for Murphy’s goal against city was pretty decent. 😐

  • jane

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #9

    i’m not negative about Joselu as a whole just don’t think he is right person to take pens.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #10

    He is what he is and he is what we’ve got. It’s not like he gets showered with goalscoring opportunities and the weight of the disbelieving Geordie crowd must be heavy on the lads confidence.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #11

    Rafa has a point for the fans though it would be good if the matchday screamers and whiners could quite now that Mitrovic, Colback and the immense Saivet are gone perhaps there’ll be some more constructive and philosophical appraisal of the lads efforts.

    I’m sure rafas terrible tactics and choices will still get the same flak though 😉

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #12

    Can’t disagree there. But there will be plenty who would have hammered the centre forward for shying away from taking it had someone else took it and missed!

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #13

    Fat chance of that. Mitro will be the next Hatem.
    That guy will still be dredged up for years to come.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #14

    Fair commen on Atsu, it was a horrible effort. The issue with Joselu is that is entire game is off, and it was a complete lack of responsibility for him to step up and take that penalty, he did it for himself and not for the team. He should have stepped aside and let someone else take, regardless of the pecking order.

    But it’s done, let’s hope at the very last Slimani’s presence will kick Joselu into action. Strikers have to be confident regardless of form and he isn’t, his body language screams that he knows he’s not good enough. Hopefully the thought of Slimani on the bench migh spur a reaction.

  • jane

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #15

    “constructive and philosophical appraisal of the lads efforts”

    lets hope the fans evaluate the their efforts in a detailed and analytical way now.

  • jimmysmith

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #16

    He’s been no less confident than Gayle in front of goal as far as I can tell, but a much better footballer and a significant cog in the way Rafa sets us up to play. He isn’t an epl calbre central striker, but he might be an epl calibre secondary striker, and he’s certainly a good pro. I’d be interested in seeing him play behind or alongside Slimani.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #17

    I was behind the goal, trust me Joselu was devastated, smacking himself in the head when the cameras went elsewhere. I don’t agree he was selfish taking it. He did what a striker with desire and balls should do every time…take responsibility. Now that said it was a very poor a pen. He is shot to bits confidence-wise. The second chance that was an inch wide showed that as well as the fella is out of like into the bargain. Hopefully Slim is fit enough to play, Jose Luis badly needs taken out of the firing line, not least of our own fans.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #18

    *out of luck that should read

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #19

    It’s a different agencies and as we have learned the players read social media and can track their own downfall in the fans estimation with depressing detail.

    Remember Diego Forlan? SAF persevered with him because he knew it was a confidence not ability thing, and he worked hard for the team. I’d say Benitez sees a different aspect to Joselu, one that helps the team more than his own game. Having said that his last game has to have been his worst yet 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #20

    Age not agencies pfffft

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #21

    Well I know you won’t be one of them Jane you pontificating dullard. No offence.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #22

    Notice that when Jane finds someone she doesn’t like she spends most of “her” time carving their sentences up into little picky snippets to have a go. Solicitors secretary I think.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #23


    Totally get what you are saying but you say you don’t think it was selfish he just took responsibility as strikers should, in my book that is inherently a selfish act, he felt it was up to him to take responsibility when he should have looked at it objectively and let the winner of it take it.

    I agree that taken out of the firing line a bit and allowed to rebuild his focus and his confidence as a secondary striker, he could become a good outlet off the bench. He can score goals and he can get into good positions just needs to start letting his natural reactions take over and stop thinking too hard.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #24

    Confidence across the forward line is shot for definite. One on ones not coming off more often than not, simple final balls hitting first man or straight into keepers mouth. Basic passing ending up being intercepted, inability to deal with pressing. Add some distinctly dodgy reffing, and a whole load of poor luck…. We just need one solid emphatic win and I think things would look up immensely.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #25

    GPLF – a striker who needs a goal and a boost of confidence and the support of the crowd should step up like a bloke and take the pen. If he hadn’t took it and especially if it was still missed, it would have been worse for him imho.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #26

    Very good article in the DT today by Carragher re. the problems at NUFC, worth a read.


    Sorry for late reply, just surfaced after a late night.

    Also sorry you don’t get my strange sense of humour but the comment I made in ascii/binary was a football comment that translated into “Shelvey isn’t lazy”

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #27

    I only watched the highlights of the Bolton/Bristol game but Sammy looks to be ten times the player that Joselu and Gayle are.

    Just hope we haven’t made the same type of mistake that Fergy made with Pogba.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #28

    A couple of weeks ago I compared Joselu as a number 9 to Stephane Guivarc’h, who was a 1998 World Cup winner for France, and Kim Vilfort and Flemming Povlsen who were the strikers for Denmark when they won Euro 92.

    In all three cases, their job, rather than scoring goals, was to challenge for long balls, retain possession if they won it, and lay it off for the creative attacking midfielders behind them – Zinadine Zidane and Youri Djorkaeff for France and Henrik Larsen and Brian Laudrup for Denmark. And I suggested that Joselu may be expected by Rafa to do a similar job for us.

    Of course, this does beg the question ‘Why did he take the penalty’. And the answer may be ‘Who should have taken it then?’ Ritchie could have been hastily brought on but that would have been ridiculous. Kennedy is playing well but you couldn’t ask a young lad on his debut to take a penalty. Atsu wasn’t playing well. Clark? Dumbest? Merino?

    I think Joselu was as good a choice as anyone. It would have done his confidence a lot of good had he scored. It’s just a shame that the keeper went the right way (and his shot was like a back pass). Good for him for taking the responsibility.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #29

    Nice one, Ian.

  • jane

    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #30

    sorry for mocking you Tsunki 🙂

  • posada

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #31

    You would expect your main forward to step up and take a Penna. Supermac, Shearer and before my time Milburn. They are strikers for a reason. They have the ability to put the ball in the net.
    The worst thing you can do is act the part of being a confident striker. I think that is what Joselu was doing.The kick was dreadful and most of us in the crowd were thinking it would happen before it did.
    To his credit he kept going.
    His big chance for 2-0 he seemed to take an age to set himself as if he was conscious of his every move. If he has time to think about it he normally makes a hash of it.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #32
  • Singinginthecorner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #33

    Afternoon all

    Everyone is having problems scoring at Newcastle not just josh kennedy’s shot hit the post and then atsu missed a sitter from the follow up. This is the hardest league in the world to score in hopefully now with a £20 miiion or so striker in the team we will have a bit more success in front of goal. Heads up lads and lasses Howay the lads.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #34

    Jane – no you aren’t. There is a queue, btw 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #35

    I bet there’s an interesting stat on how many times we’ve hit the woodwork although there’s probably an equally interesting one regarding how often our woodwork has been rattled 🙂

  • kimbo

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #36

    Joselu is sh*t. There is no way he should be in our team or anywhere near it. If you try and make excuses for him then don’t waste your time, the reason we are in the position we are in is the lack of goals from our strikers. Hopefully this will change with Slimani.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #37

    Have all the stats
    We are 8 th hitting the woodwork 8 times
    8th with shots
    Premierleague.com stats male interesting reading

  • Singinginthecorner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #38

    Hit Woodwork
    Filter by Season
    This table ranks teams based on the currently selected stat type
    Rank Club Stat
    1. Manchester City 17
    2. Liverpool 14
    3. Southampton 13
    4. Arsenal 12
    5. Manchester United 11
    6. Tottenham Hotspur 11
    7. West Ham United 10
    8. Newcastle United 8
    9. AFC Bournemouth 7
    10. Burnley 7
    11. Swansea City 7
    12. Brighton and Hove Albion 6
    13. Chelsea 6
    14. West Bromwich Albion 6
    15. Crystal Palace 5
    16. Leicester City 5
    17. Watford 5
    18. Everton 4
    19. Huddersfield Town 4
    20. Stoke City 4

  • RUNAWAY777

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #39

    Thousands of West Ham fans plan to march in protest against the board before their home game against Burnley in March why cant we do this ffs

  • Singinginthecorner

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #40

    Westham have the same prob as us they have owners who are in it just for the money…..


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