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Rafa – We Must Focus On Football – I Am Quite Excited And Happy

It was a surprisingly (very) upbeat Rafa Benitez in his press conference today, and he said many times he was happy with the team.

And while he said the transfer window could have been better – he added –  but it’s always like that.

While he says we didn’t spend much money this summer, we still got seven good players, and they will add significant competition in the team compared to what we had last season.

As far as the squad tomorrow is concerned, he is leaving new signing Federico Fernandez out, because he has had a whirlwind 24 hours and hasn’t trained with the team yet.

Rafa Benitez – was positive in the press conference

This is some of what Rafa has said, and it will be available for free viewing on nufcTV later today:

“The Premier League is so competitive, you have to fight. It will be difficult. The main thing for me now is to be sure I bring the best from our players.”

“The way to do that is to focus on football. Now is the time to focus on Tottenham, and this very difficult game.”

“Every season, every game is different. Jonjo Shelvey is more mature. The players know we’re playing against a very good team.”

“The key is to stay focused and have the right mindset from the first moment.”

“To bring in new players is important because if a player sees someone running faster, they have to run faster too. The competition is good.”

“The reality is that we have a team that did well last year. We are ready.”

“I am quite excited and quite happy because I can see the players working hard and training as well as they did last year.”

“I would say it is a surprise that they (Tottenham) didn’t sign anyone. But at the same time, they had at least 11 players in the World Cup.”

“We are talking about one of the best teams in the Premier League, and in terms of English players, Tottenham are the best team.”

“Federico Fernandez is not in the squad, because I think it has come too late.”

“He needs some time to get to know his teammates, and the understanding between the defenders.”

Good words there from the gaffer.

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Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #1

    Clark starting at CB I am guessing. The rest of the team picks itself. Perez behind Rondon. It very much could be a case of 10 of the 11 tomorrow being part of the side from last season.

  • RobLeenio

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #2

    “Jonjo Shelvey is more mature” – very pointed remark there, given he obviously got himself sent off in the same fixture last season. Bit of a veiled warning also maybe?

  • ToonTime

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #3

    Ancient, in the previous post you said last season we were only one good striker away from 8th. I’d agree!
    And apart from Rondon who is a good striker (you must agree as you picked him to start tomorrow), we also bought Muto! That’s two good strikers! I think 8th is possible. But first, survival…

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #4

    RobLeenio – I think it’s a bit of that combined with Shelvey showing that maturity in the second half of the season. He’s also been working off the pitch to change his mentality and learning techniques to help prevent the red mist descending when provoked.

  • Toon&oot

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #5

    We cant afford Shelvey to miss any games. As are only creative central midfielder if he gets injured we will be fckd. A back up would have been nice!

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #6

    Clark is a concern. Hopefully Shar and Fernandez can get up to speed in double quick time.

    Ironic how possibly the most classless individual and shining beacon of nouveau riche, ie lots of money, zero class is buying up HOF and wanting to make it the ”Harrods of the high street.”

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #7


    Think you could be surprised by Ki.

  • RobLeenio

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #8

    Chancel, yes agreed. Maybe more of a reminder than a warning then. I saw the Jonjo interview when he was talking about anger management, he definitely seemed a changed character last season.

    Also, last season we had nobody to replace him, now we have KSY who can spray the ball long or short the same way. If he does get an injury or suspension, we’ll not be left exposed the same way again.It means Rafa can rest / drop him if needs be.

  • Rackateer

    Aug 11, 2018 at 6:54 AM

    Comment #9


    I think you’re overlooking that his comment about Shelvey was probably in response to a journalist’s question about Shelvey (I haven’t watched the press conference yet)… So it’s not like Rafa brought up Shelvey’s name as a veiled warning or something.

    Also I agree about KSY. We may see him line up alongside Shelvey but he looks like he’d be able to deputise in his place if need be.


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