Rafa Issues Another Important Message To Fans For The Important Run-In

When Rafa Benitez arrived almost two years ago he called for the fans and the players not to panic.

His mantra was let’s stay calm and get the work done.

And that hasn’t changed two years later when we are again locked in a battle for survival but we are better off then we were with Steve McClaren in charge – 4 points better off after 27 games played.

And the team is also playing better and with guts and courage galore as we saw last Sunday during our great 1-0 home win against the Red Devils.

Rafa Benitez – directing the training

Rafa has talked to the Chronicle today and the boss had this to say:

“It’s important for our fans to do what they have been doing.” “They know that if we don’t stick together we won’t succeed.”

“In my experience you can’t panic.” “You have to stay calm and keep going.” “Remember, somebody else will panic and make more mistakes than us.”

“So we have to be sure to stay calm and keep working.”

“It has been difficult in the last few weeks because people were expecting us to make signings or play fantastic football and get big results.”

“You aren’t going to win games scoring five or six goals.” “That’s not going to be the case.” “We have what we have, and I know these players are giving us everything.”

“If we stay calm, we’ll have more chances to stay up and then build something stronger for the future.”

“You win a couple of games and you go to the middle of the table.”

“If the team continues to work and you get a couple of wins by working as hard as possible you end up with more quality and you end up being more clinical.”

“Then you end up making the difference.”

We are 4 points better off and have a much better goal difference compared to two years ago.


And here is where we are in the league table.

11Crystal Palace38-1044
13West Ham38-2042

We need only 12 more points to get to the safety of 40 points and likely survival.

Four wins.

Comments welcome.

138 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 16, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #1

    Taxi for Pardew!! (Again)
    It seems these warm weather training breaks are a bad idea after all. 🙂

  • Jib

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #2

    Alan Pardew is taking his squad to Spain as the heat builds on
    West Bromwich Albion in their bid to avoid relegation.

    Pardew has agreed to fly his players out for a warm-weather
    training camp, in a move designed to build team spirit for the
    final 11 Premier League games of the season.

    Albion are using Espanyol’s training facilities and will jet out
    to Barcelona on Tuesday morning, barely 12 hours after
    their game against Chelsea on Stamford Bridge.

  • lochinvar

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa keeps our players at home, good decision

    So will the WBA players be suspended addong to their demise ?

    West Brom are investigating after four senior players were involved in an “incident” on their training trip to Spain this week.

    The club say the players will be “subject to the full rigours of our internal disciplinary procedures”.

  • thatmatt

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #4

    If we’re comparing where we are now to where we were under McClaren, then we should also take into consideration the difference in quality of our starting XI. Although some of the players that left when we went down weren’t always up for it, I wonder how much Rafa could have got out of the likes of Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Townsend etc Judging by their last performance with him, quite a lot.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #5

    thatmatt – Sissoko was a lost cause, had been deceived re the reasons he was joining from the first time we contacted him, didn’t want to be here, not sure Rafa could have got much out of him. Wijnaldum was always a bit of a mystery, a beautiful player at times, anonymous at others, I feel sure Rafa could have brought some consistency to him. Townsend is the one that got away – could have been a great for this club, Rafa understood how to use him and how he could fulfill his potential. There’s no coincidence that the only time he’s been near the England squad was under Rafa’s guiding hand and no greater irony that in leaving NUFC in order to advance his England dreams, he’s actually left behind his best chance of fulfilling them.

  • jane

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #6

    “If we stay calm, we’ll have more chances to stay up and then build something stronger for the future.”

    another indication Rafa intends to stay around and build.

  • jane

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #7

    if Ashley doesn’t sell he will make funds available for Rafa to build. staying up is vital.

  • Toonces

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #8

    Speaking of WBA, doesn’t Jay Rodriguez have to face his racism charge today?

  • Toonces

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #9

    Guess if you’re not Shelvey that you get some special treatment…

    SunSport can reveal the FA has extended the 28-year-old England striker’s time-frame because he was involved in West Brom’s Monday night live TV game against Chelsea.

    They also took into consideration the fact Rodriguez was then whisked away to Barcelona with his West Brom team-mates for a training camp after the match.

    Rodriguez now has until Friday, March 9 at 6pm to either fight to clear his name or accept the charge that he had: “used abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.”

  • Toonces

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #10

    Anyway, the longer they drag it out the better chance that Rodriguez could be suspended during our match in April.

  • duncandisorderly

    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #11

    Hope so Jane. I suspect Ashley will make just enough funds available to keep the engine from stalling, and no more

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 16, 2018 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #12

    I wonder if there Is ever any consideration to the possibility of false or wrongful accusation of racial abuse in these cases.
    Probably not as it wouldn’t be politically correct.
    Watching the Bong ‘incident’ Rodriguez was gesturing about him having smelly breath. Now I’m not a qualified lip reader (if there is such a thing) but on tv close ups there didn’t seem to be many words exchanged between them from what I could see, nothing obvious. Could be wrong.
    But there has to be some perspective. If you are accused of a racial slur, that shoyte sticks.

  • jane

    Feb 16, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #13

    i think Ashley will decide how much money to make available depending on how much money is in the coffers but not all of it so he doesn’t have to dig into his pockets if possible.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 16, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #14

    ..as Jonjo would probably vouch for: hopefully Rodriguez didn’t call him a smelly African.

  • Our Toon

    Feb 16, 2018 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #15


    If it did happen it could have been at any point, cameras won’t catch every word or incident close up for you to analyse.

    Shelvey got done as he’s an idiot and a loose cannon at times, if Rodriguez gets done then it’ll be after a full investigation

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 16, 2018 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #16

    And if he doesn’t get done, his name has been tarnished.

  • Toonces

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #17

    Sing fully agree – interesting thing about the Bong case is that he immediately went to the referee. not saying that this makes it official, but I believe that Bong thinks he heard something offensive.

  • jane

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #18

    West Brom investigate after allegation four players stole taxi in Spain


  • Toonces

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #19

    If Rodriguez gets cleared of the charge, I think he will be ok. I’m not in the UK so don’t know what kind of media coverage it is getting, but Rodriguez doesn’t have that high a profile. Yes, he has been an England player in the past, but Shelvey has a higher profile than him (for many poor reasons), and others like Terry and Suarez were stars. So if Rodriguez is cleared I think that he’ll recover and it won’t hang over him like it would more notorious players.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #20

    Blimey, can you imagine the state of things if Cyrille Regis or Lawrie Cunningham or Viv Anderson complained to the Ref every time someone said something racist? We’d never have had any play. Not condoning racist behaviour, times have moved on and standards are different and rightly so, but players used to sort things out for themselves. If someone overstepped the mark, the Captain would have a word or their midfield enforcer would kick the guy 10 feet up in the air. I’ve always hated a grass, if Bong went right to the ref then he was looking to get Rodriguez sent off, which is bad sportsmanship in my book.

  • Our Toon

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #21


    How will his name be tarnished if he doesn’t get done? Shelvey name hasn’t been tarnished and he did get done for it. It seems as though you have an agenda against players coming forward with this type of claim. All will be revealed when the investigation is complete.

    Toonces – the media coverage it’s getting is very little, I’ve barely seen or heard about it mentioned other than the day he was charged!!

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #22

    RobLeenio – not correct about Townsend – he had about 10 England caps before he came to SJP.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #23

    Tuff, fair point, but I think (without looking them up) that those appearances had been a while before he joined us and sitting on the Spurs bench he wasn’t getting any more. My point was that he got close to the England team under Rafa and hasn’t been close since leaving us.

  • Our Toon

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #24


    What were cyrille Regis thoughts on things after he retired? He went through alot to get to where he did and no one should ever have to go through that again. If you kick a player these days you are off automatically so your logic makes no sense at all.

    It’s a game so if a player is subjected to apparent then everyone should carry on as normal after the player has discussed it with his captain. I can’t even begin to understand your logic with what you’ve stated. Bring racist to a fellow professional is more than just over stepping the mark!!

    Your comment is truly shocking to say the least.

  • Jib

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #25

    Four West Brom players were interviewed by police after
    stealing a taxi from outside a fast-food restaurant in
    Barcelona on Thursday
    Baggies boss Alan Pardew said the players involved had broken a
    curfew, adding it was “unacceptable” and he “felt a bit let down”.
    “It wasn’t what we wanted,” he said. “We’ve gone there to try to
    get ourselves ready and up for the run-in and this is obviously not ideal.”
    West Brom, who are bottom of the Premier League,
    have won just one of their past 25 league matches.

    The money they are on ffs

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #26

    Our toon

    That’s quite a claim from you, to say ‘..it seems (I) have an agenda against players coming forward with this type of claim..’
    How does that seem so?
    My point was more looking at what the impact is of having an accusation of making a racist remark against you, if there is subsequently no evidence found for that. Image is important in the public eye..
    No agenda against anyone there as far as I can see.

  • Our Toon

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #27


    Has John Terry been tarnished or Suarez or Shelvey? They’ve all come through after being charged with reputations well intact.

    John Terry was probably more tarnished by what happened with Wayne bridge than he was by the Ferdinand issue.

  • Our Toon

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #28

    Every player is innocent until proven guilty and that’s the way it should be!! It’s the media that choose to hype or not hype a situation unfortunately there’s casualties on both sides with this!!

  • Pitmatic

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #29

    The FA charge against Rodriquez was ridiculous, and says much about the victim culture that’s been encouraged amongst ethnic minorities these days. Bong was in his face yelling something; Rodriquez responded with a “smelly breath” gesture that was at worst childish. Bong somehow interpreted this as racially charged, and legged it to the referee. Rodriguez was clearly incredulous, both in the immediate aftermath and then in an online posting afterwards.

    Funnily enough, if he was guilty of anything it was being “colour blind”. He had a guy shouting in his face, but didn’t stop to think, “woah, he’s black, I’d better tread carefully here…” He just treated him like he’d treat anyone else. Isn’t that what we should be aspiring to?

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #30

    Perhaps it was good intentions, they thought they were doing the right thing getting a taxi for Pardew. Makes sense.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #31

    With no game this weekend, there’s still football worth a watch on TV on Monday evening, Sky Sports football.
    Blackburn play Bury in Division One, big local derby for them, but gives us the chance to see young Arma get a game.
    Three goals in his last two games under Mowbray means chances are he’ll start Monday night.
    Mowbray had him at Coventry and knows his game, so it’s no surprise the goals are coming again. A striker needs the right supply lines and Mowbray knows how to set his team up to get the best out of the kid – don’t stick him on the wing is a good start! 🙂
    The alternative is a cup game with no Geordie interest, so I know which game I’m watching.

  • Jib

    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #32

    I never realised you rated Arma !

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #33

    Terry, Shelvey and now Roderiguez – I would say that yes, all their reputations have definitely been tarnished.
    In Roderiguez’s case, my best guess is that there will probably be less in the way of evidence against, than in the other two cases.
    I wonder if Bong wishes he had said to him straight away- ‘what did you just say?’

  • Our Toon

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #34


    How have there reputations been tarnished?

  • Our Toon

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #35


    Racism works both ways and it’s not just ethnic minorities who are subjected to racism, the fact that you see this as a ethnic minority fuelled agenda it’s quite sad.

    Rodriguez isn’t guilty of anything yet, has that specific event been highlighted as the moment when the apparent racist slur took place? Or do we have a few who are jumping to conclusions.

    You don’t need to look at colour when in that type of situation, you just need to engage your brain and behave like a normal person would. Not think he’s black I should tread carefully as you’ve stated. Rodriguez is innocent at present!!

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #36

    Jib, lol. Does it show like? 🙂 Have you seen his three goals mate? Pure instinct and clinical finishing. Would be good goals in any division.
    Was worried being stuck out on the wing because Bolton needed a winger might have dulled those instincts a bit, but clearly not.
    All about taking chances and all three have been snapped up.
    Problem with loans is that unless an agreement is reached, it’s only natural that clubs prefer to play their own players, keeping long term ears happier above a six month visitor. Ironically Bolton have now sold their striker to Cardiff on the last day of the window and wanted him back. Unlucky eh?

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #37

    Long termers, nowt to do with his lugs. 🙂

  • Rebecca

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #38

    Jail for Ashley
    Your reference to me being someone else is just a lame excuse for your disgusting behaviour.

    I came onto the blog having read of your rudeness and lack of respect towards a polite mature Newcastle fan. I simply wanted to chastise you and ask that you change the narrative.
    I don’t know what imaginary world you inhabit but you’re there on your own. Just my opinion, but reading your recent submissions I see that you still appear to be a thoroughly ill mannered unpleasant individual. You appear to constantlay display frequent mood swings, a short temper, impulsiveness with ill thought out views that don’t seem to be in consideration of outcomes.
    Additionally you display a lack of attention to detail, an overall lack of focus, fixation and a hyper focus on an issue or circumstance.
    I suggest you take medical advice if you haven’t already done so.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #39

    Our Toon, what are the Spanish police like on grand theft auto and drink driving mate?
    Just curious, because I suspect if you or I had nicked a taxi whilst pissed up we might spend some considerable time reflecting upon it!! Embarrassing behaviour to say the least.

  • Jib

    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #40

    Knowing a few Catalan taxi drivers
    This fella will think Xmas has arrived early
    Those players will get hit with so many
    financial penalties their heads will be spinning.
    The taxista will probably be able to retire early
    ha ha ha


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