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Rafa Benitez – A Man In A Hurry On Tyneside

Newcastle winger Andros Townsend would hardly have thought that his manager in March would be Rafa Benitez, who started the season as the Real Madrid manager and is simply a world-class manager.

Rafa has had considerable success in his 23 years as a football manager starting with coaching the Real Madrid B team back in 1993.

But that for Andros is the (very) crazy world of Newcastle United and Lee Charnley finally sacked Steve McClaren after protecting him for far too long.

We had just suffered three defeats in a row, following the good 1-0 home win against West Brom that was then followed by the 5-1 disgrace at Chelsea.


Andros Townsend in action at Leicester City

Steve McClaren was hired by Charnley after being sacked by second division Derby County – a far cry from being sacked by Real Madrid when you are second top of the Spanish League behind Barcelona.

Charnley after hiring McClaren hailed him as the perfect head coach for Newcastle United.

Yeah – right!

Andros Townsend thinks Rafa Benitez has a good chance of saving Newcastle this season and certainly Rafa has wasted no time in trying to improve the Newcastle team and getting his ideas over to them – he is man in a hurry on Tyneside.

This is what Andros has said in The Mirror today about Rafa being surprisingly brought in as the new Newcastle manager:

“Yes it was a surprise to the players as well. I think until you are here no one realizes what a big club Newcastle is. When you attract a manager who was at Real Madrid nine weeks ago, that just shows it.”

“I am excited to work with a manager who has coached the best, won everything in the game, managed huge games. I hope this is going to be a successful partnership.”

“He has won everything the game has to offer. If we can just survive this season then the future will be bright.”

“The next nine games are so important for the club, the team, the fans, the players.”

“We know what is expected of us and what we need to do. We have a manager here who has the know how, and we have to pick up points and climb the table.”

“I was disappointed. Initially when he got sacked I was injured too, and I felt like I’d let him down a bit.”

“We all got a text last Friday. We were all expecting it. I have been in the game long enough to see managers come and go.”

“We knew the drill, knew the new manager would come and get his points across to us in training sessions as soon as he could.”

“Every manager has their own ideas. You could see against Leicester on Monday night the way he wanted us and this week has been the same.”

“The preparation, you keep the same. It is when you step out of the tunnel and hear the crowd when you get the goose bumps.”

“It gives you a 10% boost. The crowd will play a massive part. Hopefully we can get the right result for them.”

There’s no doubt the Newcastle players have all been lifted by Rafa’s surprise arrival, but now the lads have to start to get the job done on the field.

That starts with going all out for the 3 points tomorrow against fellow strugglers Sunderland at home in the  white-hot derby.

If we can win that game the mood on Tyneside will be sky-high – and it’s been a  long time since that has happened – far too long.

If we do survive this season then hopefully Mike Ashley will have his own clear-out at Newcastle of those people on the non-playing side of things who have also massively under-performed at the club.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

19 comments so far


    Mar 19, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    Comment #1

    townsend to score

  • toonincheek

    Mar 19, 2016 at 6:58 AM

    Comment #2

    in the Bigg Market!

  • likelylad

    Mar 19, 2016 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #3

    Show it on the pitch Andro!

  • Whumpie

    Mar 19, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #4

    Townshend, Shelvey and Gini to score. Fat Sam to lose his rag and watch from the stands. Clattermole to be impounded under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
    Rafa for President.
    That is all.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 19, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #5

    Not just Andros but all our so-called ‘stars’ need to shine tomorrow. If they can’t do it tomorrow then frankly they never will. it’s a must-win, not a don’t – lose .

    I voted draw because I’ve been here before with a massive win bar against scumland.

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 19, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #6

    I admire anyone who can remain detached enough to talk any sense in the next few days..
    I think I’ll just go for HOWAY ME BONNY LADS!!

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #7

    I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game. I was listening to Total Sport a bit this week and there’s definitely an overconfidence with the Sunderland fans I think. Yet, they’re only a point ahead of us after we’ve just sacked a manager.

    More importantly, we have a proper manager now and I hope the progress shown after 3 days against Leicester will showing more maturity over nine days on Sunday.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #8

    We need men on the pitch tomorrow, players with experience that can control themselves and the match. Youngsters with potential should be used as substitutes to change the game. Although needs must at the back with a definitely improving Lascelles and hopefully Mbabu at LB.

    I am fed up with Colback and Anita but can possibly predict the pair playing the DM positions, as there is only the nonstarting Saivet as an alternative. Moving Shelvey forward would negate the question of de Jong, who has not yet played himself into a starting position. I look forward to that day thou.

    The three attacking midfielders will be between Wijnaldum, Townsend, Sissoko and Shelvey. Leaving the striking position to between potential and the unknown quantity of Doumbia, although he has shown he has decent positional sense and good technique.

    The team practically picks itself!!!

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #9

    I thought Gini made some timely defensive tackles on Monday and broke quite well from cm when Siem came on. Siem’s positional sense is usually very decent, and he does like to get into the box. I’d play that way instead of butting Anita in, who has been hit and miss.

    I’d definitely like to see MBabu start if Rafa has belief in him, although needs to keep cool and not dive. Not having Johnson playing will help us as well.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #10

    *Not dive in

  • Gforbes73

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #11

    Can’t wait for the game of the season and hopefully 3points much improved performance against Leicester especially when Townsend came on 3-0 for an optimistic me HTL

  • firebug666

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #12

    A lot of the Makems I have spoken to around here seem to think that the sleeping giant has woke up, and tomorrow will be a much better game with the result going either way.

    They are just as nervous about this match as we are, they fear the Benitez effect and think they will have to soak up a lot of pressure.

    However some feel that DeFoe (the wife napper) will nick it for them.

    My own opinion is we will stuff them tomorrow, and long may it continue……….The fight back starts now!

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #13

    Firebug, I have a feeling that we’ll get the result as well. It’s different this time with Rafa in place and make changes already.

    On paper we have better players, and if they cam play to their potential via help from Rafa, hopefully we can win the game.

    Plus, it’s our turn for a second match victory from a new manager. They’ve had too many!

  • firebug666

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #14

    Laurent Robert 32

    I wholeheartedly agree mate, and we have to remember that it is not just Rafa….. He is the gaffer, but he brought in some very good and experienced staff, who being foreign will be able to communicate their wishes to our foreign players easier, and who understand how to create a winning mentality.

    The training set-up is now different, and I would think that all of our players will benefit from that.

    Rafa is a tactician, he will know what he has and how to get the best from them, his staff will know where the potential lies in each player and how to bring that out, They result will be a team that can play as a team, show individual skill, and understand their role in the game…..Finally!

    This is why I think we will win and why I think it will be a decent win.

    Potential goal scorers:-


    and if they come on:-

    Siem de Jong

    I’ll go for a cheeky 3-0 Toon win.

  • Blofal

    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #15

    I think it’s going to be a lot like Leicester. Rafa will be telling us first and foremost to sit back and be solid defensively. And hopefully the crowd will give our players the confidence going forward to score a couple of goals.

    But the worst thing we can do is to concede first and/or concede early.

  • bladeuser

    Mar 19, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #16


  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 19, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #17


    But Benitez could go after a quick goal and knock the stuffing out of them.

  • Jib

    Mar 19, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #18

    Friday training
    Antonio Gomez in the background
    The red-headed lad is Liam Gibson a defender ( I thought he was at Gatehead on loan ! )

  • da777game

    Mar 19, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #19

    —————shelvey(deep play)—
    –townsend(inside forwards)perez–


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