Newcastle got a lot of praise and rightly so for their performance last time out in beating Manchester United 1-0.
Not only did our players like their lives depended on it but we outfought the opposition.
Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame, worth together just over £16M in the middle of the park won the midfield battle against expensive opposition such as Frenchman Paul Pogba who cost £90M.
The key to Rafa Benitez teams is that they are good defensively, and they never give up – and the 11 players play as a team.
Journalists concentrated on why Manchester United lost rather than how Newcastle won – but that’s to be expected these days we suppose – everything in the Premier League is about the big six clubs.
Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez – before the game
53-year-old Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin got it right when he said this about the Red Devils to Newstalk:
“I felt sorry for Matic.” “He was basically on his own.”
“I looked around the Manchester United team…”
“Sanchez was quiet. Lukaku quiet. Lingard unusually so. Martial was in a huff.”
“They looked like a bunch of individuals.” “Manchester United didn’t look like a team.”
He could have followed that by saying Newcastle were a team – but he didn’t.
Coaching is what you can get out of the players available.
And based on that good definition Jose Mourinho was completely outclassed by his rival Rafa Benitez.
Rafa showed everybody he is still a world-class coach, and the way Newcastle played was a tribute to our players, the City of Newcastle and Rafa himself.
We have to play Liverpool and Tottenham away and Arsenal and Chelsea at home – and we now should be able to pick up some points in those games, if we play like we did last time out.
It was the best performance of a Newcastle team for a long time.
But now – first things first – we have to win against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Howay The Lads!!