Benitez Pinpoints What Went Wrong On Saturday – And How To Improve

Rafa Benitez was not happy with the performance of his Newcastle team over the last two games which have both ended up as 1-0 defeats after we had won four games in a row.

Newcastle were very poor in the 1-0 home defeat bt West Brom, and there were just too many mistakes made.

But Rafa will now have a full week to prepare for our game at Watford on Saturday and it’s important we don’t make it three defeats in a row with the Hornets only 3 points behind us.

Matt Phillips – scored the only goal of the game on Saturday

This is what Rafa said to the local reporters after the game on Saturday:

“We were working so hard to be safe that when you achieve that, it’s more difficult,”

“But you could see the team was running so it’s not a lack of effort. It’s more that it was wrong decisions all the time, from the first minute to the last one.”

“In terms of effort we were trying, we played with two strikers and Kenedy. We were trying to score.”

“But we didn’t do well because we made too many mistakes. When you have a team that is defending well and is well organized.”

“You have to be precise in your passes and then the right decisions. Everything we were doing was wrong.”

“For sure, they know that they’re not playing at the level that we used to play.”

“It’s obvious that the team was making a great effort to be where we are, and now it’s two or three things that we didn’t do right and you pay for that.”

It’s a reminder that we have done a great job, but still, we need to improve if we want to be stable in the Premier League.”

“We have plenty of room for improvement.”

It’s likely Rafa will make one or more changes to the starting line-up at Watford to give other players a chance to shine.

We are currently in 10th place and it would be great if we can finish in the top ten this season.

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Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • jimmygscot

    Apr 30, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #1

    Be extremely lucky to finish 10th on last 2 performances.
    So much for Rafa’s motivational skills.

  • Jib

    Apr 30, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #2

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing
    Playing WBA 4 – 4 – 1 – 1
    a system they play all the time
    was probably a mistake.

  • hibbit

    Apr 30, 2018 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #3

    i get your point about the price. and that its not an apology for Ashley – and that your looking at it from purely a business point of view !

    so if its such a good deal and it looks like one the way you lay it out,
    Why do you think there no buyers ????????????

  • Tsunki

    Apr 30, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #4

    Bit of reality checking required for all the crying on the inside types: –

    Everton – relatively expensive team previously in frefall cobbled to shut up shop in typical allardyce style always going to be a tough nut to crack at home, so hardly an indicator we are yo-yo-ing on the down again

    WBA – typical team that shouldn’t really be where they are being marshalled with a fresh and much less incompetent manager to make a last gasp attempt to stay up. Couple that with the inevitable air of desperation and going for stifle/break tactics away from home, again a one-goal sneak hardly cause for panic.

    It’s disappointing to be handed defeats by slim margins against teams that are set up to cobble and kick everything but better sides than us have fallen foul of such tactics.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Apr 30, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #5

    Hibbit #3
    Maybe there are no buyers out there at the moment, but that doesn’t mean to say we are over priced. I would say we are a far better buy at £400 Mill now than we were before Christmas at £300 Mill+. Within about 3 months Rafa has laid the foundation to push on with wise investment, we could be slugging it out for Champ’s league next season. If there are any potential buyers, then we are the best bang for the buck by a country mile at £400 Mill job lot.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Apr 30, 2018 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #6


    If Rafa didn’t have motivational skills, we would now be preparing for Championship football next season.

  • hibbit

    Apr 30, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #7

    i’m not saying were overpriced.
    was looking to see if there were other reasons for the lack of interest .ie, are they waiting to see if rafa commits to a new contract ??
    i just don’t know but its got to make us think if it’s such a good deal where are the buyers ?????

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 30, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #8

    Did some lemon really say Rafa had no motivational skills. You have to worry about some people inhabiting a parallel universe.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 30, 2018 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #9

    Just popped into a parallel universe and Rafa is managing Sunderland Town in the Vanarama League North, he was appointed just after they’d won the Champions league.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #10


    Mentioned a Celtic striker but I think we should go after a different one, Leigh Griffiths, he’s a Slimani/Joselu type but can and does score goals at all levels. Remember the one he scored for Scoland against England.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #11


    The reason for googling your name was cos it’s a bit unusual and I was wondering if there was a band or some other reference in it. Just a bit of idle curiosity no harm intended.

  • jayphoto

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #12

    Misleading match up last saturday! West Brom under different management with that squad are a midtable side. Just goes to show how bad a job Pardew did. If they go down i’d happily see us take Rodriguez, Rondon etc.. Krychowiak was one of the hottest properties in France just 2 years back…
    Hate seeing us lose… but if we’d blitzed West Brom, Everton and say Watford or Chelsea, the chances of Rafa getting anything come the summer are probably less… A reality check run of 3 or 4 defeats to end the season on in the long run might be better for the club

  • jayphoto

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #13

    Guessing from the onloan players, the only one we’ll be seeing next season is Dubravka..
    Got a feeling we’ll be out priced for Kenedy and Slimani at near 30 has done nowhere near enough to warrant the 20m+ leicester want.
    What I will say about Slimani, is that the signing has been quite important.. Since january Gayle has upped his effort, ran his backside off, could slightly be because of increased competition. Also slimani coming in kept the fans at bay, even though he was injured, it was always 1 week by week, if they’d have dropped mitro and bought no1 in in january, injured or not the fans would have been demanding blood. Slimanis signing, despite actually bringing nothing individually did buy time to get results right on the pitch and keep fans onside

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #14

    Fugslang is a Danish citrus based multi purpose household cleaner, favoured by Scandanavian men who prefer doing chores while the football is on.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #15

    Slimani probably did enough just by being here and creating competition.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #16

    I’d agree with that, even though he was injured there would have been a real feeling of gloom had he not arrived. I was at the game against Arsenal and what a difference he made, I was really looking forward to seeing him against Everton but it’s obviously not meant to be. Like I said yesterday, even if he’d been a relative success I couldn’t see Mashers forking out 20M+ for a near 30 year old striker.

  • Jib

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #17

    Fuglsang in Danish
    is like
    Vogelsang in German
    surely you know the Bird Catcher’s Song (Der Vogelsanger)
    from Mozart’s the Magic Flute

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #18

    There’s probably a bit of truth in that last sentence of yours @12. What a sad way to run a football club.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #19

    No Jiblets, wrong again.

  • Lindisfarne

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #20

    Rafa needs to pinpoint better players.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #21

    He knew that from the very start, He said so with his own words in that talk in he gave. He and all of us thought he’d be getting better players last July. Masters had a different idea.

  • jayphoto

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #22

    Will be interesting to see who comes and goes in the summer.. Got a feeling We’re going to see both Gayle and Mitro go (be shocked if the 3 relegated clubs don’t look at them) Think we’ll see Darlow and Mbemba go too, then obviously jesus and haidara are done, Saivet will be sold if anyone takes him, as will Lazaar. Be very interesting to see what comes of Merino too…
    Can see Sels staying.. on a big wage (currently the biggest wage in belgian league) and can’t see anyone matching it, plus he has said a few times he wants to make it work here. Armstrong is at that age where he either needs to be part of this squad or be sold. The fact they didn’t keep him in january when we had literally nothing upfront suggests hes not that highly rated by Rafa.
    Lot of room made by players off the wage bill and by the odd transfer fee to do something next season, but that earlier deadline and the worldcup could see us left woefully short

  • Lindisfarne

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #23

    A simplistic suggestion born from being irked at such a poor performance. Rafa can not be held fully responsible for the actual transfers that have been made, as I am sure ‘value’ is still an over-riding factor of proven talent to the purse holder. The suggestion that a few tactical loses will potentially stimulate higher spending is fanciful, it just depends on how much Rafa is prepared to survive with “every penny the club makes” and seeing his good work being wasted on the incompetent commercial activity of the club.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #24

    Or if you google it (sorry to step on your toes Jib)

    Fuglsang may refer to: Fuglsang Manor, a 19th-century manor house and former artist retreat on the island of Lolland, Denmark; Fuglsang Art Museum, an art museum set in rural surroundings on the island of Lolland, Denmark; Fuglsang (brewery), a brewery in Haderslev, Denmark;

    Jakob Fuglsang (born 1985), DanisJakob Diemer Fuglsang (born 22 March 1985) is a Danish professional racing cyclist for UCI WorldTeam Astana. Before turning professional for Team Saxo Bank, he was a mountain biker racing for Team Cannondale–Vredestein, winning the Under-23 World Cup. He got his contract with Team Saxo Bank during the 2008 …h …

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #25

    It’s good to see Steven Gerard considering management with Rangers. The path from player to management used to be well trodden but seems to have become more obscure in recent years. Joey Barton taking over Fleetwood is hardly the same level.

    Mind, I’m not sure how he and the locals will understand one another.

  • martoon

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #26

    hibbit @3 – Sorry for the delay in reply – the buggers here made me do some work!
    I really don’t know the reason why – I would have thought we were quite an attractive club to buy with the fan-base, 1 club city and of course the manager. Maybe negotiating with Ashley put’s off prospective buyers?

  • Jib

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #27

    Gerrard isn’t the first Liverpool
    European cup winning midfield
    dynamo to take over at Ibrox

  • Little h

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #28

    Its crazy how people have gone back to slating rafa etc. Not so much on here but i read an article on the mag and people were so negative about rafa and the club and some even saying bad things about dummet how hes been sh*** all season

    We have lost 2 games man were all but mathematically safe we may well lose all three games remaining but even in that all the teams in the bottom 3 would have to win all remaining games

    Any way my point is isnt it strange how you hear nothing from anybody negative until we lose then they come back online start slating rafa and the players

    Were supposed to be fans of the same team how any body can target rafa with the blame is beyond me i will happily say the Bournemouth game was the only time i feel rafa made a bad call (shut up shop to early with poor subs) but i could never say rafa out or any thing like that do certain fans seriously believe we should be attacking like liverpool or city in our first season back any way rant over just had to get it out my system

    Watford will be the game i feel we will come good again 1-0 toon then the last 2 any bodys guess

    Wba have found some form, everton was always gonna be a goal either way lets kick on and look forward to the world cup

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #29

    Wouldn’t it be funny, if he turns out to be successful, if Barton ended up managing us at some ponit in the distant future.

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #30

    EGB, I’d be happy with that, but he would need to prove himself first. Mind, I know there are a few on here who can’t stand the guy.

    I think he’s conquered his demons, calmed himself down and is looking to get over his bad-boy past. I’m up for giving him an opportunity to do so. After all, he’s played under some fantastic coaches (and Joe Kinnear)

  • Jib

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #31

    Mike Ashley’s departure from his former
    pile ’em high – flog ’em cheap philosophy
    by acquiring upmarket brands like
    Firetrap- Flannels – 4 Marketing – Agent Provocateur
    probably means he has changed his view/attitude towards
    PL cub ownership as well

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #32


    I’d put a lot of blame of some of the poor results down to really bad reffing, there’s been a lot of games where we’ve been that better team but got nowt from them.

    I know it’s a bit of a bugbear of mine but it’s not just bias cos it’s my team, I think a lot of other struggling teams have been similarly effected in a way the bigger teams aren’t.

    I wouldn’t lay them blame solely on Rafa although some of the substitutions he makes at times are a little confusing.

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #33

    Alexander Golovin has been linked to us bu his agent. Probably just him making his client look popular, buthe was really good against Arsenal recently. If there’s some truth in it, that would be a nice way to start the Summer.

  • Jib

    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #34

    Oleg Artemov was talking about his client
    replacing Ozil at Arsenal last June
    it came to nowt


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