We thought Rafa would play a 4-5-1 formation at Anfield but he didn’t and he played five at the back and four in midfield.
A defensive line-up nevertheless against one of the in-form teams in the Premier League.
Newcastle were on the defensive on Saturday.
But if we survive relegation, Rafa stays with us – and he’s allowed to improve the quality of the side significantly this summer – we will be attacking the Reds in future games at Anfield.
Note there are a lot of ifs in that statement for that to actually happen.
Rafa Benitez – at Anfield on Saturday
Rafa knows that in the next two home games against Southampton and Huddersfield Town at home – Newcastle will need to attack if we are to get the two wins we need to alleviate the serious threat of relegation.
Benitez said this in the Chronicle when asked if he would attack Southampton next Saturday:
“Yes.” “It’s obvious they are different teams, different scenarios.”
“So it’s not the same when you play away against one of the top teams in the Premier League than when you play at home against one of the teams in your position more or less.”
“This was just to make sure we had good control and then play counter-attack. We were not a real threat in the first half.”
“But we were controlling the game so they didn’t have clear chances, just at the end a corner situation – nothing else.”
“We were happy with that but we were still not very happy overall because we have to create more.”
“Obviously Southampton will be different. We play at home with our fans behind us. We have to attack and we have to create chances.”
“Obviously every game is important to us but these types of games against the teams close to us we have to do well in.”
“We have to go against Southampton, take three points and if not stay calm and carry on until the end.”
With some fans openly objecting to the defensive formation and play of Newcastle on Saturday, we expect Rafa to call on fans to be calm and keep backing the side.
He will say that in his press conference on Friday and his mantra has been – if we all stay behind the team Newcastle can (and will) avoid relegation.
We certainly hope so.
Another relegation would be yet another disaster under Mike Ashley’s pitiful ownership of the club for eleven long and painful years.