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Rafa Talks About The Great Opportunity At Newcastle

It’s not surprising that Rafa Benitez has been working around the clock this summer to get things ready for what will be a crucial season for Newcastle next season in the Championship, when job one is to get one of those two automatic promotion places.

We’ll take promotion via the knockout stage between the next four teams in the league for the third promotion place, but the nerves are already so badly frayed after what happened last season, that automatic promotion would be much better.


rafa benitex newcastle manager

Rafa Benitez – a great opportunity at Newcastle

The 56 year-old Spaniard signed a new three-year contract at Newcastle on May 25th after surprisingly deciding to stay on at Newcastle, even though we were relegated.

Rafa has been getting the internal configuration of rooms at the Benton Training ground changed over the summer with the help of facilities manager Eddie Rutherford.

Contractors have been at work reconfiguring the offices and changing rooms  to improve conditions for both the players and the staff.

And it’s all to Rafa’s specifications.

The former Liverpool manager is also holding various meetings with the medical department, scouting staff and the Academy coaches, with Rafa now in total control of all footballing matters at the club.

That was one big condition he had to continue on at Newcastle and both Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley should be given credit for giving Rafa everything he asked for and ripping up their previous failed blueprint.

This is what Benitez has said about the Newcastle opportunity:

“It’s an opportunity to change things and we will try to make the right decisions and will go in the right direction.”

“I think everybody realized something had to change and it’s a great opportunity to do it now.”

“We are working very hard. Since the first day I signed the new contract we have started improving and analyzing the training ground to see what we can do.”

“And I have a meeting in the Academy, and with the medical department and for the squad with the scouting department.”

“We have already been working in different areas and I think we’re changing little things in each department and trying to bring the best for the players.”

“We need to improve the team experience because that is also crucial for the Championship.”

“It is not easy to bring in players.” “What we can do is try to improve the way that we coach, the way that we give them the instructions and understanding of the game.”

“We have already had this meeting and obviously it will depend on the players and it will depend on the coaches, but we will try to share our ideas and hopefully it will be good for the young lads.”

Rafa wants to see an improvement in the coaching at all levels of the club in the coming season – and it’s certainly going to be a very interesting pre-season.

Our results at all levels of the club last season were both terrible and completely unacceptable.

The Benton Training grounds will now look a lot different – at least on the inside – since the players left for their summer break after the 5-1 win against Spurs in our final Premier League game for (at least) 15 months.

When Rafa gets the squad together in 10 days time we expect him to tell the players what he expects from them in the coming season.

We expect he will lay out his overall high level plans for the next three years for the team and that some of the players, who may want to leave the club in the summer,  will be kept on board to help with the promotion push.

Promotion is just phase one (or is it phase zero?) of Rafa’s ambitious plans for Newcastle.

There’s a lot going on at Newcastle United at the moment in lots of different areas – and it’s all very exciting that we at last could have a very good team – starting next season in the Championship.

We cannot wait.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #1

    Scouting department Out! Should be an interesting coffee break that one.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #2

    No more potatoes planted on the training pitches during off season. No more artificial surfaces ordered from the Discount Carpet Warehouse.

  • JamesToon

    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #3

    Very excited for the up and coming season. Personally think that the new assistant Mikel Antia will also be working with the academy (as he did in Qatar) possibly along with Ian Cathro, with Antonio Goméz focusing more on the first team with Rafa.

    Personally I think we need 5-6 new first team signings. Centre half, left back, defensive and centre mid and a striker, possibly a winger depending on who leaves.

    People who definitely need moving are Janmaat, Colo, Gouffran, Riviere, Cisse. Then Sissoko and Gini may possibly leave as well (would prefer to keep Gini if we can) and Tiote also has question marks.

    Reece Oxford on loan would be a shrewd signing imo, he could replace Tiote and become like Dier (centre back developed into defensive mid) and could slot alongside Shelvey. Possibly keep Thauvin and see how he does in the first few months as i think if he improved his work ethic he could be a decent number 10 as that will make him more unpredictable. Lewis Dunk and Charlie Taylor, and then I’d go all out for Dwight Gayle before any other clubs do, as we need a Defoe type goalscorer. Then for experience and leadership and cover in the midfield I’d get Mikel Arteta could do a job and bring some intelligence

    Possible XI for 6th August?
    Anita – Mbemba – Lascelles – Taylor
    Oxford – Shelvey
    Townsend – Perez – Aarons

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #4

    I guess this is all good news. I can’t help thinking though, imagine if we had spent the money on something like this instead of wasting it on Cabella, Riviere, Thauvin and Saivet. £35 million or something? We’d have the best facilities in the world I imagine. Just read a piece by Ollie Bernard in the Chronic critical of our scouting and signings from the French leagues. All true of course, and once again pointing the finger at the deplorable activities of Charnley and Carr.


    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #5

    Why does our only RB definitely need to go?

  • clinath@ed

    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #6

    I think a lot of clubs will be looking to duplicate Dier’s holding position. He’s been a big success for Spurs and dropped into the England roll seamlessly..
    Had a mad thought that perhaps Lascelles could develop into it….?

  • Jib

    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #7

    Rafa is playing hardball with Roma and told them they’ve got no chance of Wijnaldum at €15 million !
    Thaey are now sniffing around Youri Tielemans of Anderlcht.



    Jun 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #8

    morning all
    does’nt mbemba already play that position for his country?…im sure i read he prefers to play that position more then cb….i maybe wrong though.

  • JamesToon

    Jun 18, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #9


    Janmaat clearly doesn’t want to be here. Can’t defend and Anita shown he’s more solid, we’ve also got Sterry and Mbabu

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 18, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #10

    Okay rumours up in Scotland today is that Danny Ings is to be made available for loan for the season and Celtic are trying to get him !!

    Newcastle should be all over this if he is available !!

    Was looking at the list of free transfers would anyone take any of :


    1 or 2 experienced heads to go with some exciting new youngsters could make a difference

  • expatmag

    Jun 18, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #11


    Osman possibly….the rest….no

  • jimmysmith

    Jun 18, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #12

    “It is not easy to bring in players.”

    I suppose he means of the required quality, and he’s also said he’s by and large satisfied with the group he has.

    I think he’ll most likely be looking at top quality young players like Reece Oxford and holding on to what we have and then looking to do some real business this time next year assuming we go back up. I think that was signalled when they offered Taylor the years extension.

    I can’t see a few Championship journey men, or mid thirties epl stalwarts really holding any great attraction to him at all, when he’ll surely be thinking one season down and then rebuilding from a greater position of strength.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 18, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #13


    Yeah not fussed for any of them really but was looking at who was available so I guess if we are getting experience in we will need to pay a fee for them !


    Jun 18, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #14

    toure and flamini maybe

  • expatmag

    Jun 18, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #15


    Pointless getting 5oure because he would be away at ACON as well as Mbemva


    Jun 18, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #16

    aye forgot about that…good shout mate.


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