After a tough game at Cardiff City on Saturday, we were a bit unlucky not to get all 3 points after we went down to 10 men in the second half when Isaac Hayden was sent off.
But we played well with one man short, and at the death, Kenedy missed a penalty after 6 minutes of stoppage time.
As usual, our players give their all, but the performance wasn’t good enough.
And we again didn’t show enough in the final third of the pitch – a weakness Rafa wanted to correct in the summer transfer window.
Rafa Benitez – he wants full commitment
But Rafa has made it clear to all his players after the game what he wants from them this season – 100% commitment in training and in games.
This is what Rafa has said as reported in the Chronicle:
“I want to be clear and everybody needs to understand this. What I am asking for from our players is commitment.”
“Everybody has to give that. They do. Joselu, Rondon, Muto and Ayoze must compete.”
“They have to give everything in the training sessions and the games, that’s it.”
“They may play better or worse but me as a manager I just want to see them give everything.”
“After that, it’s on them. I am happy with how hard they work.”
Rafa has tried to bring players in who will immediately compete for team places and put pressure on those who start for Newcastle.
That strategy works and it’s worked in the past, but Rafa didn’t get in the caliber of players he was hoping for in the summer.
But that’s now water under the Tyne Bridge, and it’s all about the team and how we can pick up points in every game before January rolls around.
Rafa’s recruitment staff are out there checking on players, and we hope he is allowed to bring two or three players in during the January transfer window.
We also hope that Rafa has signed a new deal to stay long-term by then, but we don’t know why he would, given the current attitude of owner Mike Ashley.
There remains a massive gulf between the two as far as ambition for the club is concerned.
That’s a problem.
What do you think?