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Rafa – I Want To Take Newcastle To The Very Top

Rafa Benitez said when he signed on at Newcastle last May that he wanted to win trophies at Newcastle and just in case fans had thought Rafa had lost any of that huge ambition, he has said once again that he wants to take Newcastle to the top – “to the very top.”

But he has cautioned it’s got to be in steps – one step at a time – and we are progressing quite well as he tries to build a squad at Newcastle in the next season or two that can actually win some trophies – and let’s not rule out the Premier League as one of those potential trophies.

Rafa Benitez – wants to take Newcastle to the very top

If Leicester City can do it then so can Newcastle United.

And Rafa has said it is easier to become great (again) if you are at a big club like Newcastle because a lot of things necessary to be great are already there – such as a great stadium and terrific fans.

Rafa was asked by the local media today if he wanted to win trophies at Newcastle and this is how he answered that question, as reported in the Chronicle:

“It’s a tricky question because we are in the FA Cup and we have to get further.” “Obviously I want to win trophies.”  “I want to be promoted and I want to win as many games as we can.”

“It is a question of time. It’s not that I want to do it so I can do it now.”  “No, we need some time.” “The reason why I’m here is because you can think big.”  “It’s not that we’re thinking small.”

“Obviously for me it is important, because if you go to a small team which has little history and no expectation it is not the same.” “But if you go to a top side then you know it’s a big club.”

“But to go where we want to be, you must go one step at a time.”  “So I want to go from where we are to the very top.”  “Big clubs can have problems thinking about where they want to be too soon.”

“No, we must think about where we are now and then try to get back to our level – but one step at a time.”

“We don’t know where we are in terms of the steps. We have a massive stadium, with a huge number of fans.”  “So we are not on the first step, but we are not where we were.”

“We can get there just by doing the right things.”

Rafa will be trying to win the game at Birmingham City tomorrow but by his own admission he has to give some of the fringe players a game and he’s like to rest Dwight Gayle who he says has been playing too many games.

The number one target of course this season is to get promoted – so we simply must accomplish that this season.

Then we’ll be on track for whatever we can achieve next season back in the Premier League among the big boys.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

32 comments so far

  • Blofal

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #1

    I’m going to go out on a limb an say I think this will be the lineup..

    Yedlin – Hanley – Lascelles – Lazzar
    Gouffran – Colback – Anita – Ameobi

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #2

    I don’t see Rafa playing both mitro and gayle tomorrow in the third round so I think it’s a good chance to play longstaff from the u23. We don’t give youngsters a chance and I would like that to change.

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #3

    Lovely version of this famous old North East folk song for expats and new fans.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #4

    Yedlin – Hanley – Dummett – Lazzar
    ——– Colback – tiote

  • lesh

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #5

    Wise words from Rafa to those and those among us who want instant success. One step at a time and remember, even Sunlun wasn’t built in a day – half a day maybe!

    Rafa’s said it all in nicely coded language;

    “It’s a tricky question because we are in the FA Cup and we have to get further.”  Obviously I want to win trophies. I want to promote and I want to win as many games as we can.”

    So, is he saying that the the FA Cup’s as or more important than promotion? Nope; he’s saying that for the Cup, he’ll field what he thinks is a side that could do the job and at the same time, respond to fans’ wishes that he’ll try a formation that includes Mitro alongside Gayle at some stage tomorrow and because Perez is ‘injured’, rest him.

    He, Rafa, clearly takes note of fans’ thinking.

    It’ll be interesting to see whether and how Rafa sets up and deals with our seeming lack of willingness to reshape tactics as appropriate, during games.

    Let’s not expect an easy win tomorrow – hope for one of course – but treat this one as a small step among the ones we’ll need to take before we get to the top or near top of the ladder.

    Howay the lads, Rafa, the fans and even the Mackems, well, to a degree, anyway!

  • lesh

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #6

    Rolando, let’s wait and see whether Rafa’ll play Mitro alongside Gayle at some stage.

  • Oldgit1

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #7

    @ Bolfal sorry to burst your bubble but Ameobi is cup tied, so won’t be picked.

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:45 PM

    Comment #8

    Gouffran the withdrawn striker, Anita on the right, Ritchie or Lazzaar on the left?

  • bettyswallocks

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #9

    Matt 11…… From previous. How can you say Perez has had some cracking games this season. He’s not the worst player in the Championship but he plays a lot like him.

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:50 PM

    Comment #10

    Rafa Bingo

    Yedlin Hanley Clark Haidarra
    Anita Hayden Colback Lazaar

    Jail, back on point ya bum.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:51 PM

    Comment #11

    Even better and just as unlikely:


  • lesh

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #12

    Steak and Kidney

    That version of When the Boat Comes In is nice. Who’s singing and playing the guitar?

    The video footage is a stark reminder of tough times were and for some, are.

  • bettyswallocks

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:02 AM

    Comment #13

    Dance to yer daddy sing to yer mammy dance to yer daddy etc etc.

    Thou shalt hev a fishy when the bowat cums in.

    The Talisker Skye is kicking in now.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #14


    Try the Chelsea tactic!!!

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #15

    Bob Fox Lesh. Here he is performing it live, along with some interesting banter.


  • lesh

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #16

    Steak and Kidney

    Thanks for that.

    As Folk seems to be your wont, you may have listened to this or if not, appreciate


  • lesh

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:31 AM

    Comment #17


    You’re a bugger for your Talisker. Can we assume you’ve been nursing one bottle over the Christmas period? Nah, thought not.


  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #18

    Not especially my thing Lesh, but that song is obviously a very special one.

    Do also love this folk song though, and this band’s version.


    Will give that link you posted a listen this evening after dinner. Thanks.

  • lesh

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #19

    I also read into Rafa’s comments, a message to Ashley – don’t expect instant success!

  • lesh

    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:49 AM

    Comment #20

    Steak and Kidney Pie

    If folk’s not particularly your music, posting Bob Fox and Crooked Still seems to say otherwise.

    I may of course be wrong – after all, music says everything to everybody.

    Bettys, that’s the Tanqueray kickin’ in. Ouch! ?

  • bettyswallocks

    Jan 7, 2017 at 1:15 AM

    Comment #21

    Lesh……. Oh lads mi gannin yer shud hev seen wer Scottswood road along passin lasses an all lads. ….. That’s me done. Night Good all.

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 7, 2017 at 1:36 AM

    Comment #22

    Enjoy music in general lesh, without getting overly worked up about it. But early Bowie, Nina Simone and The Pixies definitely my thing.

  • Bradley

    Jan 7, 2017 at 3:01 AM

    Comment #23

    Depay £12m-£15m
    Schneiderlin £12m-£15m
    Wilson £10m-£20m
    Charlie Taylor £7m
    Delph – Loan
    Ayala £8m

    Top 3 would be unlikely but worth a go with Rafa the gafa

  • chicousa

    Jan 7, 2017 at 4:56 AM

    Comment #24

    Rafa bingo confirmed lineup

    Yedlin, Hanley, Clark, Lazar
    Ritchie, Colback, Anita, Atsu
    Mitro, Gayle

    (Is tomorrow the day to finally see Gayle playing up top with the big Serb?)


  • chicousa

    Jan 7, 2017 at 5:00 AM

    Comment #25

    Oops scratch that… Atso gone. Gouffran on Left instead!

  • chicousa

    Jan 7, 2017 at 5:01 AM

    Comment #26

    Try this again
    Rafa bingo confirmed lineup

    Yedlin, Hanley, Clark, Lazar
    Ritchie, Colback, Anita, Gouffran
    Mitro, Gayle

  • expatmag

    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:22 AM

    Comment #27


    How are you mate?

    I have the full collection on DVD of When the Boat comes in and watch it regularly.

    From what I eemember, the original version was sung by Alex Glasgow

  • hibbit

    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:38 AM

    Comment #28

    Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce wants to re-sign England midfield Fabian Delph, 27, from Manchester City. Bruce is also keen on Everton’s England midfielder Tom Cleverley, 27, Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury, 26, and Leicester midfielder Matty James, 25. (Telegraph)

  • hibbit

    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:40 AM

    Comment #29

    Aston Villa have been told they must pay at least £10m if they want to sign Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes, reports the ( Daily Mirror.)

  • Mag52

    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    Comment #30

    Can anyone throw a light on why we are getting so few injuries so far this season as compared to the previous recent seasons when we have ended as top of the injuries league repeatedly ?
    Is it maybe that Rafa is also a lucky manager (a good thing to have).

  • firebug666

    Jan 7, 2017 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #31


    Rafa had the facilities upgraded, he has a better coaching team, brought in new medical staff, and of cause the players now actually want to play.

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #32

    You mentioned Alex Glasgow which took me back to my junior school days as he was a teacher at my school for a short time and I remember him doing a school concert of local folk songs! Great days!


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