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Rafa Knows Newcastle Must Improve – Side Issues Must Be Solved Too

With the transfer window not going very well for him and after seeing the Newcastle side taken apart by SC Braga on Wednesday night in Portugal Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez was not a happy man after the game and vented some of his frustrations to the media.

Some were to do with the lack of money being invested in new players coming through the door.

But we also learned after the game that Newcastle are once again at odds with the players with their bonus plans for the coming season.

Last summer the captain Jamaal Lascelles stepped in and talked with Mike Ashley and got that settled.

Rafa Benitez with Jamaal Lascelles

That needs to be done again and quickly, so these are not long-lasting problems.

Apparently, that’s the reason the players refused to speak to the media after the Braga defeat – let’s sort this one out very quickly.

And things have to calm down at Newcastle with our season starting a week tomorrow at home to Tottenham; in the first eight games of the season we have to face five top six clubs – so it will not be an easy start by any means.

We face FC Augsburg tomorrow afternoon in our final pre-season friendly and Rafa is clear the team must improve.

This is what he has said as reported in the Northern Echo today:

“Yes, obviously we know it is important for us to improve, especially in front of your fans you want to do well on Saturday,.

“But the main thing is that we are doing a lot of things wrong, that is the reason why we lose these kind of games.”

“The Premier League is quite a bit stronger than friendlies and we have 10 days to improve everything.”

A win against Augsburg would help lift the mood of Newcastle fans – but a good display is basically what we want to see – with the crowd fully behind Rafa and the players – as usual.

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • lochinvar

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #1

    Do I detect that you’re just a tad irked by matters ?
    If Allardyce comes anywhere near NUFC in the future that’s our two season tickets returned to sender.

  • lochinvar

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #2

    Richard Keys and Sam Allardyce should get married.
    Dick and Dyce the new comedy hall act.

  • Lovem or Hatem

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #3

    ? @AaronBates91
    21m21 minutes ago

    Not okay for sisu to it but perfectly alright for Ashley to neglect #NUFC for 10 years ?

    Richard Keys
    Verified account @richardajkeys
    No reason why owners of football clubs shouldn’t make a profit – but not when you’ve been in charge for 10 years and delivered total failure. This is hard to fathom. PUSB. http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/sisu-accounts-coventry-city-seppala-14973316#ICID=ios_CoventryTelegraphNews

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #4

    Anyone else’s season ticket arrive today? Mine have. Just curious, what Issue Number is on yours? Mine says Issue No1 on both. Not moved seat or anything. How very odd.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #5

    Think mine is coming by Royal Snail. Might be here next week

  • swemag

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #6

    We need signings, specially a ferking striker.

    But seeing the game against Braga and thinking this is a disaster is wrong. Calm down.

    We were 0-0 at half time and quite even. We created chances, could have taken the lead on a different day, Ayoze missing an open goal.

    Half time Lascelles goes out and after this we lack leadership. Take that plus that Shelvey and Kenedy were not in the team, for me the three best players and what saved us last season. Most of the goals happening when our youth players are on the pitch.

  • swemag

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #7

    Second time I am asking this – Where is Kenedy?

    Is he spending preseason with Chelsea?

    Haven’t played a minute and he sure as hell was not playing the world cup.

  • Diddly

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Issue 6 on mine bobbybee

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #9

    Swemag, I never judge pre season friendlies mate, just enjoy them regardless. You are right, the problems began with the changes being made. Plus they’re two weeks ahead in pre season – which is basically 50% of it!
    Should get a better idea tomorrow as it’s time to play the team together.

  • norfolknhope

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #10

    See its been a while I have posted. Always read, but looking into not going to games eff that, always behind the team and manager, they like us have been let down by the Jabba bas, they too want investment and improvement as they don’t want another scrap at the bottom. Some may be happier as they will have more game time but they will show through, so go to games be vocal show the manager and team we will always support them if they care and give it all, show that Ashley we are bigger United than at war disjointed and show all the leage we are still here to be accounted for, and why we are the best fans home and away, that what we have to put up with will only make us stronger and once out the other side, God we will savour every second, every little morsal, hit the club not by numbers but don’t buy new strips, buy old, buy pre Ashley, when we had hero’s to shout for a team to be envied and admired. Use Ebay, use charity and buy old stripes and still support the team, hit him in the pocket, wear your old favourites, go local also, don’t eat or drink at ground go to your local business and give them your hard earned money, they will appreciate that and you for that matter. Just go to the game watch and leave. Don’t buy programs or anything. Just pay your ticket and support the lads, and shout from the first second til last. Be United and show your true colours.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #11

    I got an e mail saying mine is on it’s way. He’s not getting paid for it.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Diddly, cheers. No idea why mine have gone back to issue one. Still, as long as I’ve got my points intact it doesn’t matter, just thought maybe everyone’s had started again.

  • swemag

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #13

    Where is Kenedy?

    I take with all these responses that nobody knows.

  • ashleysmate

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #14

    Yorkymag previous post at 17.
    How the hell is Rafa at fault….would you walk away from 6mill when you hadn’t done anything wrong? I doubt it and neither should Rafa.
    Don’t forget all the lies MA has produced in these 11yrs.
    He is a fat twat, and you are an idiot

  • ashleysmate

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #15

    York@1 not17….im that flamin mad

  • Rob1971

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #16

    So Yorkymag is Rafa at fault for not having the money to improve the squad? is he at fault for Charnley constantly screwing getting players in? then having to rely on on getting 3rd or 4th choice players in on the transfer list? So its his fault purely because he would not sign a contract to work the way Ashley wants, so who would be your next choice in manager to work under Ashley if Rafa has to go?

  • Charge

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #17

    Paternity leave, Swemag.

  • posada

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #18

    My ticket has just arrived.
    says issue 1 whatever that means.

    Irony. It’s in a card folder with WE ARE UNITED written on the front.

    What’s Mike Ashley united to.

  • posada

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #19

    Some thoughts on what we should and should not do.

    1) Keep supporting the team and Rafa for as long as he is here. Staying away will do no good. Continuing to go will do no harm.

    2) Keep waving the flags and supporting with dignity.

    3) Do not sing nasty songs about the owner. It makes us look bad and does not upset him one bit.

    4) No to an empty stadium that fills up on 20 minutes etc. Anything match day is wrong for me. The whole country already knows what we feel about MA.

    5) Demonstrating outside SD shops. No, his shops are a lawful activity. Organising it country wide would be a logistical night mare and would probably fail.

  • DubaiMicky

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #22

    This £70m + for HoF is hogwash, MASH made over £500m profit last year.

  • Pottsclock

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #23

    I’m in charge of booking all holidays for the family. Caribbean, Spain, cruises, city breaks during the year…the full wack.

    Because the budget only stretches to £500, we off on a canal break. My wife’s in charge of the budget but I’m told I can sell my motorbike to give us more money. I need my motorbike for work.

  • posada

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #24

    Ashley has a bad reputation that can get no worse.
    MPs described his HQ as a Victorian Workhouse.
    Investors in SD have no say in the running of the company. Investment people like Royal London and Legal and General.
    He has broken a bond based on loyalty and trust that every club owner should have with the city and community involved.

    Yet, Sports Direct are still doing great business. Turnover still 100s of millions. Profits affected by Debenhams but otherwise sound.

    What’s wrong with the British Public. Well we have had 40 years of Neo Liberal Government. Both Labour and Conservative. They don’t give a stuff about the public other than election time. Corporate Governance and the bottom line drive everything. That’s why we have the Ashley’s of this world.

    Use e mail, Social media to ask for support right round the country. Contact at least 5 folks you know from outside the region. It needs to go country wide. Ask them to contact 5 more.

    Ask for their support against this fella.
    Boycott his stores for the whole of September.
    Surely, folks have enough togetherness left in them for that.
    He needs to know he’s not untouchable.

  • Canuck Mag

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #25


    Just curious. Were you happy with the likes of pardew making not a peep when after an unlikely 5th place finish, said nothing critical about only getting Vurnon anita in as a recruit from a position of great momentum? The managers should be advocates of the club, not just drones of ‘the boss’. They should strive to balance the expectations of the fans with the will of the owner. Unfortunately when the owner is a megalomaniac with little interest in local or cultural ties, and a seemingly sociopathic worldview, the manager needs to be persistent.

    I admire the fact he doesn’t just ‘get on with it’. Yes he is remunerated well, but it’s no less than he would get at any other club. He is speaking up for our shared aspirations and I for one applaud him for it.

  • Oldgit1

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #26

    @ swemag I believe Kenedy dog is having puppies so he has requested time off.

  • posada

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #27

    Pardew. He kept trotting out the party line until the bitter end.
    God knows what Ashley had written into his contract.
    Must have had him by the cajones and a few other things as well.

  • Reilly

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #28

    Ashley PR machine in full flow today.

  • Canuck Mag

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #29

    Posada. In order for someone to have you by the canines, you need to actually have a pair. Pardew was solely motivated by money, mainly his 8 year lucrative contract. He made no waves, but his product was absolute crap. I know which approach I prefer

  • toon kk

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #30

    I can’t believe how much power fans are allowing MA to have. Stand up to the fat b@st@rd ffs. Oh that’s it your being faithful, getting behind the team. In that case don’t complain and enjoy your budget football.

  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #31

    Pottsclock – if you don’t mind me saying you are being very spiteful towards your family in not providing them with a faraway holiday.
    Why can’t you flog your motor bike and get a bicycle or skateboard to get to work. And please no whinging and whining that you have arthritis in the legs or other feeble excuses it won’t wash!

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #32

    Nicky and Sutty are WUMs. That’s my conclusion.

    Nicky believes Ashley would be handing fistfuls of cash to Rafa is only Rafa signed a new long term contract. He writes that but provides no reason for why anybody should believe it other than that he wrote it.

    Sutty echoes that and adds that Rafa is the problem because he isn’t being a good professional and should just shut up and do his job or quit. He writes that without mentioning that Ashley can fire Rafa at anytime if he is unhappy with his employee.

    Both ignore the fact we know nothing about the contract negotiations so there’s no reason to give any credence to their assertion Ashley would hand over cash for transfers if a contract was signed. In fact, for all we know this the reason Rafa won’t sign, Ashley may be unwilling to put in writing any agreed budget for transfers and training facilities.

    Both also conveniently ignore that Ashley’s penny pinching this transfer window is in perfect keeping with all his past transfer windows under Rafa and other managers with the exception of a brief splurge (if you can call it that because it was only a splurge by Ashley standards under Macca).

    Both also conveniently ignore Ashley’s treatment of KK, Hoots, even Pards. In fact, Pards is the person Sutty would have Rafa emulate, no public statements of any kind asking for more investment by the owner just do what you can but to be fair it was clear he wanted more cash and it was fans forced him out, just what Ashley (and apparently Sutty) likes a yes man who takes the fall for Ashley’s decisions.

    Being WUMs all I ask is for someone to let me know. Do they post on here regular or do tey only pop-up to defend Ashley? Trying to figure out if they are Sunlun supporters, Ashley apologists are just head-in-sand true Toon supporter types?

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #33

    Add to that list of WUMs Yorky

  • geordietom

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #34


    a tad is understatement m8 …

    never liked fat sam from his bolton days … besides the point he’s a multi millionaire and he cant shut his gob when he chews his chewing gum … i’d hate to sit across from him in a restaraunt watching the fat git eating his food would make me puke … i’am 64 now m8 thought i had seen it all at wor club … so yeah i’am ticked off with it all

  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #35

    Social media platforms might make a difference in any conflict with Mr Tubbs.
    Folk are learning that the use (or more accurately misuse) of these platforms can nearly instantly get a message out to the world whether it is true or false without dishonest press lackeys twisting it around.
    It can stimulate public debate.

  • lochinvar

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #36

    Earlier posts about Everton and their fans confirm what we already know.
    They’ve got a huge chip on their shoulder because they’ve got a League One Ground.
    We dumped Fat Sam on them and please note he’s non returnable.
    We’re a one City club and the only game in town.
    They’re playing second fiddle to a bunch of scallys.
    On a par with the Mackems, no class.

  • willowdalerez

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #37

    Lesh if you are still here I can explain Ashley’s “business model”.

    Ashley is a known gambler. He doesn’t mind risking relegation, we know this based on past experience, 2 relegations and last year’s January transfer window another fine example. To Ashley, NUFC is a fun year to year gamble.

    However, Ashley is a businessman too, he is willing to risk relegation and lose the tv money because the tv money is not guaranteed, it’s not money in his pocket now. Only after we stay up. So year on year he risks relegation by under investing in the club because if we stay up he gets the tv money and if we go down he can see if we come back up at first try and if not he can always sell-up.

    From his point of view, if invests in the club he’s risking real cash that is lost if we don’t stay up whereas if he lays out just enough to remain competitive with bottom half sides it’s an interesting bet that with a nice upside (tv money and advertising for SD) for a small wager and if we go down it’s a small bet lost with a chance he can come back up and be back at the table or pack it in sell and call it a day.

    There are very few businesses where you can do this. Wager a little to win a lot and if you lose walk away essentially even.

    isn’t about to splash overly much cash on his g

  • Moonraker15

    Aug 3, 2018 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #38

    I thought Kenedy was on paternal leave having become a dad!

  • widowmagandapoke

    Aug 3, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #39

    Posada at 24.
    Are you joking! Boycott his stores for September? Boycott his stores forever. What sort of mentality causes anyone to enter any one of his shops ever!!!!!!!!! Behave.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Aug 3, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #40

    Swemag #7
    Kenedy was given permission not to travel due to his wife having a baby but he has been training at SJP.


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