What Rafa Preached To His Players During Terrible Nine Game – One Point Streak

It’s difficult for manager and players alike when the team keeps losing.

And you never seem to get any luck when you are in those streaks – things always seem to go against you – for some strange reason.

And after picking up 14 points in our first 9 games of the season we went through one of the most barren spells in our history.

We picked up one draw and eight defeats during the next 9 games played and very nearly matched John Carver’s record of 2015 when we lost eight games in a row.

What was strange was there were very few cries for Rafa Benitez to be fired and he kept telling us the players were learning in each game.

Rafa Benitez whispers to DeAndre Yedlin – keep trying – never give up

Rafa kept saying and that it was the little things that were letting the team down due to a lack of Premier League experience.

Rafa insisted the players kept fighting in every single game and he told the lads to keep being positive and push on.

Right-back DeAndre Yedlin has explained in the Chronicle today just how Rafa handled that mini-emergency:

“The fight we were showing on the pitch was what we showed in the season.”

“A lot of teams might have thrown in the towel when they hadn’t won after nine games, but not us.”

“Something could have changed and we could have lost our heads.” “But we stayed positive and pushed on.”

“It’s something that the manager preached.”

“We have reached our goal of getting past 40 points but we now have to push on.”

“We want to get higher in the table. There are still games left to do that and we are on a great run, so why not?”

“There’s no reason why we can’t push on and get an even higher placing.”

After that poor nine-game streak, we have since played 15 games and have 7 wins and a very good 26 points – and have won the last four games.

So everything Rafa was telling his players seems to have come true.

The players listen to everything Rafa tells them and are ready to carry the game plan down to the very fine details.

That’s what Rafa wants and why they are at Newcastle United.

Comments welcome.

37 comments so far

  • barkel

    Apr 19, 2018 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #1

    It’s a real shame we had that bad patch, we were quite unlucky in some of those, we could be sitting nicely in 8th chasing 6th if we had a bit more luck. Saying that though I’m quite happy we’re top 10 at the minute.

    We’re overstocked on goalies anyway. If Dubravka is kept, which looks extremely likely, I’d expect him to be No.1 with Darlow as back-up. Freddie will most likely go out on loan to hopefully a decent Championship club until at least January. That leave Elliot & Selz looking at third choice and I’d guess it’s whoever can find a club first out of those two will be allowed to leave.

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #2

    Out:….Mitrovic, Mbemba, Colback, Sels, Elliott, Saveit, Gamez, Haidara, Joselu……..We could raise around 30 million quid from that lot.

    Add 50 million quid

    In:..Dubravka, Kenedy, Dost, Burke, Gibbs and Tadic

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #3

    I’m not sure Darlow would be happy to play back-up at this point. He probably expected to be number one throughout this full campaign, maybe alternating with Elliott. I think he could be the one to leave with Elliott staying on in the Steve Harper role. Freddie needs game time, he’s a cracking prospect but won’t progress unless he gets experience. Would Sels be happy to play third fiddle with Freddie out on loan? I doubt it.

    Difficult choice ahead for Rafa, the only easy bit is Dubravka should be number one.

  • Steve Le Sleeve

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #4

    Dubravka has to stay as #1, it would be harsh if another senior keeper was signed. There was talk about Lafont from Toulouse who looks decent. Sell two of Sels, Elliot and Darlow and keep Woodman, although he’s going to start getting annoyed like Forster did.

    Whatever happens, as long as Rafa is happy, I’m happy.

  • lochinvar

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #5

    Have to think that Rafa is keen on players wth big game every game and winning mentalities.
    Dubravka, Ritchie, Lascalles, Kennedy and Ritchie being great examples now of what’s expected. In fact all of the squad seem to be in on this positive mentality.
    Just not sure where Darlow and Elliot fit on that scale . Are they in the same mode as say Krul in that famous match performance against Spurs.
    Dubrovka is number one and Woodman number three. Who is number two next season ?

  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #6

    Expatmag- Dost alone would cost £30m. Would love to see that giant playing for us but sadly can’t see it happening. The rest are possible.

    Would like to see us get Kenedy, Dubravka, Sessegnon (Fulham LB), Allan from Napoli, a CAM and Slimani.

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #7


    Leicester will want too much for Slimani. Dost for a few million more is doable on an 80 million quid budget.

    Sessegnon is fantasy mate. He will go to a champions league team.

    The likes of Burke and Gibbs from relegated WBA and Tadic from Southampton will add depth to the squad and premiership experience. I have liked Burke since I first saw him at Forest.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #8

    Expatmag- what is certain though is that Ashley HAS TO break our decade long transfer record this summer!! We won’t achieve anything and just stand still if we don’t.

  • Mattroge

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #9

    Good call Expat on Tadic, he’s a very talented player

    You’re right on Sessegnon also, he’s the brightest young prospect in the country, at the very most he might have one top flight season with Fulham (if they go up) but he’s destined for a CL team you feel

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #10


    With the sale of unwanted players currently on loan or out of contract, it frees up a few places in a squad that is already highly capable and competitive.

    Aa I see it, JP is right. Ashley, if he is still owner, will have to break the transfer record to get Dost and give Rafa a very generous budget to play with. 80 million quid should do it and we could have a highly experienced and committed squad with a great deal of youth on our hands.

    Dubravka, Darlow, Woodman

    Yedlin, Manquillo, Dummett, Gibbs

    Lascelles, Lejeune, Clark, Freebie

    Ritchie, Burke, Kenedy, Atsu

    Shelvey, Diame, Merino, Hayden

    Perez, Tadic

    Dost, Gayle, Joselu, Armstrong

    Thats a squad of 25 which I believe would do us justice and possibly get that european spot.

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #11


    Agreed regarding Sessegnon. Apparently big european teams are looking at him but I believe he is tailor made for Spurs

  • toonincheek

    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #12

    Perez’ goal last weekend is currently 2nd in the Goal of the Week.
    Salah’s goal is way ahead at the mo’ but follow the link to increase
    the votes for Perez goal.

  • Jib

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #13

    As per your instructions I voted for
    Ayoze – however I think big Andy’s
    goal for Wet Spam was the best

  • Mattroge

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #14


    Sessegnon would flourish at Spurs, of all the top clubs at the minute they’re the ones I most admire. Affection would be too strong a word but there’s a lot to like I’d say. They’re punching above their weight due to astute signings, good coaching & by a bit of fortune/circumstance having a top striker come through their youth system. Big pressure on them Saturday against Man United as no doubt more questions will be generated if they end another stellar league campaign trophy less.

    I think we can take some heart from the Spurs approach, I’m not saying by any stretch we will get into the CL places but with good coaching & good scouting I do think it’s possible for us to kick on next season.

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #15


    If you go back to that 9 game streak where we picked up 1 point out of 27, if we had the likes of Lascelles and Legeune fit, Dubravja and Kenedy signed, results against the likes of Bournemouth home, Everton home, Brighton, Swansea and Burnley all at home could have brought us another 12 points which would have put us in the european spots

  • toonincheek

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #16

    jib –

    I haven’t seen AC’s goal, but I would probably have voted
    for Perez anyway!

  • Jib

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #17

    Matt Sels last night Anderlecht vs Liége
    about 15 seconds in

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #18

    That Sels is a bit of a knacker. In the game against Liege – he waited until to ball was near him before he did anything (ball level to him) instead of attacking the ball at an angle – he would have got there way before the forward.
    Need to get shot of him pronto.

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #19

    Expat – hows things.
    Your point about Slimani being too expensive may well be right.
    On the same vein there’s an even chance Chelsea will not want to part with Kenedy or put a daft price on him.

  • lesh

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #20


    Following the recent trip down memory lane, you mentioned being brought up in Tyneside Terrace with your bath being housed under a bench top in the scullery – ’til you got a bathroom built on.

    Out of interest, where’d you spend your childhood?

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #21


    I am ok. Had a tough couple of months health wise and been i hospital a couple of times.

    Agreed about Slimani. I like him and thought he nade a huge difference when he came on but I think his fitness record and age is against him and Leicester will want 20 million at least for him. I dont see Rafa paying that but 30 milion quid for Dost is doable. There arent a lot of capable strikers around.

    I wonder how much Man Utd will want for Rashford…..lol

  • Jib

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #22

    Norf Sheels

  • Lindisfarne

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #23

    Slimani on loan again next season perhaps?

  • lesh

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #24


    I too have voted for Perez’s goal and it took his percentage up to 18 with Salah’s af 70%.

    Two things – Sarah’s goal was well taken but was it 70% that good? Never. Who’s voting for his goal? Could it be that Liverpool’s being puffed up as the media’s current glamour team, whereas others such as NUFC continue to be poo-pood, a one to be ignored?

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #25

    Lindi, yes possibly but any future loans I want an option to buy. The Kenedy situation has brought into sharp focus how frustrating it is to have helped to develop a player for another club, increasing his value, only to potentially wave goodbye to him at the end of the season.

    Expat, I have wondered aloud on here a couple of times where you’ve been. It’s good to see you back on and I hope any health issues are behind you now.

    Tuff / Jib – I’m also not sure why Sels went with his feet, surely he could have got more reach by diving with his hands outstretched and grabbed the ball. Poor play.

  • lesh

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #27


    Norf Sheels…

    What was the name of the pub/ club or whatever that was on or near the fishquay (but not the ones by the ferry landing), a favourite among matelots and which seemed to be exempted from the laws, closing times being err, discretionary – particularly of a Friday and Saturday nights? It wasn’t a stand-alone place but if I remember rightly it was located on what seemed to be a once imposing terrace of offices. I’m talking about the early sixties if that helps.

  • hellodjo

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #28

    Don’t rate Bas Dost whatsoever and would definitely rather us get Slimani than him, he doesn’t run and doesn’t suit our system whatsoever, Slimani proved against Arsenal that he can and I rate him more highly as a player for our team.

    I’d spend £18 mil on Slimani, secure Kenedy from Chelsea and Dubravka too, probs looking at £20 mil for both so that’s £38 mil to keep those 3 players.

    On top of that I’d expect us to sell quite a few players and see at least a further investment of £40-50 mil, with that I’d get Lemina from Southampton for £15 mil, who I think Rafa can shape into a much better player for us and then someone like Kieran Gibbs for £8-10 mil, gives very good competition in key positions that need strengthening.

    Not really identified other players so I wont say realistically specifically who, but someone who i’d be very happy to pay big money for is Zaha, you have to wonder if he would just sit on the bench at any of the top 6 clubs, perhaps except Arsenal? Anyhow he is that player who would elevate us above the rest of the bottom 14 clubs, curious what people think but personally think if we added a Zaha to our team we could get 60pts when you consider how solid our defence is

  • Jib

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #29

    The Jungle
    Managed by Alan “Ginger” Burns

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #30

    Expat – hope you are recovering – should be if you’re back on here.

    Had thought you were keeping a low profile following all that stuff on TV.
    Couple of weeks ago – every time I put the news on there were Australian blokes bubbling like big tarts – every bloody news channel over a couple of days.

    What was going on there????? Had something happened or do you have a national bubbling day.
    If you are short of Kleenex tissues I could send you over a supply via air mail.

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #31


    Thanks mate. Appreciate your concern. I have a bit of a battle ahead of me and I dont think I will be posting much in the next few months but I will still be cheering the lads on.

  • John Tudor

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #32

    Google it jib

  • expatmag

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #34


    All done to get sympathy from the public over here but we werent fooled. They blèw it big time and deserved everything they got.

  • lesh

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #35


    Thank you – the Jungle if was. A mix of locals, townies, sailors, ne’erdowells and of course, the pretty young (as they’d try to have folk believe) things that were keen to make friends!

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #36

    Expat – there was one of them – think the first one – his tears were not very convincing at all.

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #37

    lesh – which category of the Jungle clientele were you in. Let me guess ” Hello sailor”.


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