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Benitez – If I Had Hazard – We Could Do Different Things


Rafa Benitez seemed pleased with the performance of Newcastle this afternoon at least until those last 15 minutes when we conceded one, scored one and conceded the second with just 3 minutes to play to lose the game against Chelsea.

But with Rafa making six changes and all five new players signed this summer (excluding previous players Kenedy and Dubravka) taking part in the game, it showed we have some strength in depth.

In fact the starting team today had six new players in from last year and seven if Kenedy had been available.

So Rafa is slowly but steadily changing and improving the team with not much financial help from owner Mike Ashley.

Rafa Benitez on the touchline today

Here’s some of what Rafa said after the game:

“Normally you lose before and everybody knows the answers after. You saw the last 10 minutes the chances they had, they’re very dangerous.”

“Against any team they can pass, run, that is the reason why they are a good team and candidates to win the title.”

“Any of the top sides lose five players they are missing that one that one, Jonjo can pass but was not there, we did a great job, it’s a pity to lose in this way.”

“We have shown last year we finished 10th and made not too many mistakes, we had to try to do similar things this season if we can.”

“With the players you have you can coach one way. If I was coaching Hazard you can do different things. We were really close, it’s a pity.”

“I remember a long time ago – Pep Guardiola played a game for Barcelona, they had 80% possession and lost 2-0.”

“Possession now is just a stat for TV. It means nothing if you create five chances.” (so very true)

“I like to talk to players to ask their opinion. If any player has a different opinion, he can give his opinions but after, we stick with the plan and that’s it.”

“You talk with your players every day, and you talk about everything, so we don’t have any problems.”

Those last two sentences are a reference to Jamaal Lascelles.

And it doesn’t seem there’s too much of a rift between the captain and the manager – hopefully Jamaal will be back on Wednesday night at Nottingham Forest from his slight ankle injury.

We need everybody to stick together – including Rafa and Jamaal.

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Comments welcome.


114 comments so far

  • catchy in norway

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #1

    and if he had messi he could also do things differently.

    try and stick to who we have

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #2

    Aces of eights last thread
    You dropped your toys out of the pram. These quotes direct from Rafa should help.

    “You are at Newcastle in the Premier League – you have what you have. Credit to my players for the effort. It depends on the cards you have.”

    “Each team is different. It depends on the players you have.”

    2
  • catchy in norway

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #3

    does anyone believe Lascelles was injured?
    I don’t, i think he lied

    4
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #4

    Catchy
    I really don’t know. I hope they didn’t fall out. It really doesn’t make sense to me if they did fall out, lascelles has been absolutely great for us on and off the pitch and for Rafa. To fall out over something so trivial doesn’t really add up when you remember how many times lascelles has spoke so positively of Rafa.

    2
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #5

    Uugh, Ruud gullit on motd. One way this is going lol.

    0
  • toon22

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #6

    The simple fact is if you have an owner who blows your entire budget on buying House of Fraser your really not going to be able to add much to the team
    Yes we got people in but if we had 90 million available do you think they would have made a profit on player transfers ?

    MA is a cancer that needs to be removed

    7
  • wynsleap

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #7

    We would do even better if we had a decent left back. How much longer are we going to play Dummett? Offered nothing going forward and left his flank open far too many times. This bloke is not up to Premiership standard and he HAS to be replaced in the January window.
    Quite impressed with Schar and Fernandez and thought Yedlin looked much improved than of late.His speed is breathtaking at times but needs to improve on his final ball. Dubravka looking like the player of last season now and a decent shift from Diame who was absolutely everywhere. Not sure quite what position Ki was playing in but didn’t do much wherever he popped up. Early days I suppose.
    Really worried about Murphy, however, as he seems to lack the pace or the strength to make an impact. The introduction of Muto much earlier might have brought dividends..

    1
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #8

    Ronaldo I’m back to the same feelings that I had when we embarrassed ourselves lady year v city. That’s twice that sky commentators have had to ask what sort of bizarre game plan we have employed. I don’t remember them talking about the home capitulation of any clubs, except us. Twice. As I asked earlier, if Rafa managed wolves yesterday, would he have faced City so bravely? I just don’t know.

    1
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #9

    aarons
    rafas quote doesnt mean jack to me. I want a mgr who has faith in his players and will let his players have no fear. With rafa saying he has no quality will demoralise these players and not help them perform more better. I want a mgr who encourages and makes the players feel 10 feet tall not accept defeat before game has started and these sort of tactics give me these ideas. I thought rafa was better than that. clearly not

    2
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #10

    With Mitro playing like fun and people saying he didnt suit our tactics, in my opinion Fulham play better football than us. So forget Man city and Liverpool and Chelsea. Like I said before why cant we play like Fulham, Watford, Wolves?

    4
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #11

    Dyche saying Mitro was the difference. Really.

    3
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #12

    Ffs!!!!!!!! This has NOTHING to do with Dummett, or House of Fraserburgh. This is about sensible balance between attack and defence. About a managers philosophy about how you can put 10 men behind the ball and barely leave your defensive shell. Rafa had a face like a smacked arse after the game, probably because of the ref. What does he expect if that’s his philosophy ffs??? I am not asking for Barcelona football. But I don’t want Halifax Town facing Chelsea either. Not at home. No bloody way.

    7
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #13

    Aces of eights
    So you’re saying Rafa isn’t getting the most out of the team? Did he get the most out of the team last year?

    4
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:45 PM

    Comment #14

    Just watched MOTD 2, Mitro was outstanding. Part of every Fulham attack and highlight.

    7
  • lochinvar

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #15

    Rafa has identified a target for the January window.
    Hazard.
    Now go get him Charnley.

    3
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #16

    Aarons, don’t talk about last year. It was a freak season as in there were 10 teams who could have gone down last season that’s how close it was for a long time. We just managed to get away from bottom 3. Any other season we could have easily gone down. There wasn’t that many points difference from 17th to 10th. Even then there should be improvements this season. With different players if you get same performance its obviously down to the managers tactics.

    2
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #17

    Aces, you see Mitro was a thicko and couldn’t understand tactics. That’s why he’s an international footballer who will score 15-50 goals this year and be worth 40million in two years. Last time I saw him he saved us v west Brom. He saved us in the epic Norwich game too. But he can’t be trusted with Rafa’s deeply analytical tactics. What a palaver. Rafa’s way or no way, ever.

    4
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:50 PM

    Comment #18

    Munster
    I couldn’t care less about sky and what they have to say. They don’t care us or our fans so they can do ones put it nicely.

    How many teams last season played defensively and were described as ‘plucky’ or whatever. Whereas if we do it it’s embarassing.

    That’s a good question actually. Rafa has always been pragmatic but he’s also been attacking too when he could. As he earlier pointed out, he has been attacking at Liverpool and Napoli. You could say the same about many other managers though, do you think the wolves manager could have got 10th last season with our squad. Even pep would have struggled imo.

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #19

    Aces
    lol it’s relevant when your argument is Rafa isn’t getting enough out of these players.

    2
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #20

    Ronaldo, do you think Rafa did well v Cardiff, a completely useless lump it outfit. Or today, at home, scraping the barrel of possession? Would you accept that from mcclaren? Do you think Rafa wud gave us test city like Palace did last year or wolves this year? Let’s analyse the games, not forgive all because our craven club has an ex champions league manager

    4
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #21

    Ronaldo we are using different excuses each week. We were rank v Cardiff but blamed that on Ashley, even though our team is worth miles more than us. We are ultra defensive at home v Chelsea but suddenly find that we can make them think a bit when we go after them. Do you think the Bristol City left back wud have helped us today? Nope. We had enough quality on the pitch to test them more than we did and we failed badly.

    3
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #22

    Munster
    I can’t really comment on the Cardiff match, I missed it and only saw highlights. Can I just ask, do you think Ive never criticised Rafa when I felt he deserved it?

    Let me give you two questions. Do we have similar levels of quality as the attacking players that palace and wolves have? And if we were to take the game to them attacking, how do you think the result would change?

    0
  • Shadow_Shearer

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #23

    For all the ppl out there having a go at benitez tactics and saying we should have given it a go, thats easy to say AFTER the game!

    If we gave it a go, we would have been battered 5-0 and everybody would be asking why we didn’t park the bus. Yes it wasnt pretty to watch, but i would have parked the bus also. We would not have matched them at all any other way.

    Yes after we went a goal down we changed tactics and did better. But that was at a later on stage in the match when chelsea had done so much running, they were no longer at there best. We took the sting out of them, and thats how this tactic works. Thats how we beat man united last year. Its like the rope a dope. Or the rocky balboa tactic, and it only works if your team has heart and spirit.

    Obviously theres a difference between boxing and football but its an example. Sometimes we walk away with a point, today we were unlucky, an own goal and a penalty were our defender was unlucky. So was the whole team as a whole.

    9
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #24

    aarons I think he could do better with this squad and do much better performance wise. I honestly think our best performance last season was the home game vs chelsea which was a game neither team had anything to play for. Instead of kicking on we have gone back to same way as start of last season. Its up to rafa to sort it. we will see vs forest how we play

    3
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #25

    Lascelles has tweeted he has slight injury.

    2
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #26

    Another point when a team and players have a defensive mentality it isn’t always easy to shake it off. Instead of looking forward they would tend to play it safe. The game vs Forest is massive a must win.

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #27

    Aces
    Sorry but we lack quality throughout the squad. Even more so the first team with lascelles, shelvey, kenedy missing. I think it’s quite deluded to say we could have gotten more. Hard work only takes you so far. Commentator said that average cost of players today in the teams were £4m per player for us, £35m for Chelsea. how could we get more today?

    Arsenal have an abundance of attacking players yet got the same result as us v Chelsea. Why do you think we should have done better?

    2
  • lochinvar

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #28

    MOTD thought no penalty. Well Gullit thought otherwise but he’s a clueless twit. And final consensus was we were close to a hard earned draw against one of the most expensive sides assembled by a Russian billionaire who can’t get a Visa into this country because of some financial irregularities ?

    Rafa knows what he’s doing. He’s getting the key players fit and not risking longer term injuries which was a failing of old when we played half fit players.

    Chelsea got away with a win they didn’t deserve today – a dodgy penalty, an iffy free kick and an own goal. Hardly impressive. And their £70million keeper let in a header.

    4
  • Toonces

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #29

    Catchy: is Lascelles lying too?

    https://twitter.com/Lascelles16/status/1033805172563169281

    Jamaal Lascelles
    ?
    Verified account

    @Lascelles16

    Frustrating not to be able to play today due to a slight ankle injury. Great effort from the boys against a top team

    4
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:18 PM

    Comment #30

    aarons as always misses the point. I’m talking about performance not result. I want more better intent not 18% possession at home. not men behind ball tactics. Our team was full of international players apart from Murphy. I expected better game plan. Everyone is pissed off cos of the men behind ball at home tactic vs chelsea. chelsea are not that invincible. we give teams too much respect. men behind ball tactics shows fear. we should have been more brave and have more faith in our players.

    2
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:18 PM

    Comment #31

    Loch
    Pretty much it. Judging by the comments after the game today though, we are in for hell over the next couple games.

    1
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #32

    Forest can do us there. They have good attacking midfielders. If they do nail us well, I presume we blame Ashley, because just like at Cardiff, they have better resources on the pitch? Look, we probably wee Rafa at his worst against good teams. We know he has excellent qualities etc. But jeez it boils my piss when I see us so defensive. If munster did that against the best team in the world, us munster fans would be livid. We expect blood and guts and defence and some form of attacking threat. We can ask for the same at home to Chelsea, in St james

    1
  • toon22

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:24 PM

    Comment #33

    So the whole rest of football in just about every team who wants to compete has wasted money while MA,our financial savior has decided to not spend yet again

    As people who buy players are idiots and they just cant see how they can do the exact same thing by selling everything possible and replace,well maybe replace,with loans are free transfers?

    So the whole of football is wrong and MA is right?

    And whatever money MA magically found to buy HOF is just some kind of coincidence ?

    LMFAO

    0
  • toon22

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #34

    As we have seen so many times ion the last 11 years

    MA is a god like figure in the sporting world and has proven time and time again he can magically put rabbits out of his Ar..se

    0
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #35

    Performance and attacking intent of Arsenal v Chelsea yet still lose. Don’t know where’s your heads are at but we don’t have the players to go toe to toe with Chelsea. What good would a 3-4 goal defeat do. Even at full strength we risk a hiding. Our strength is defence and shape. That’s how we should play. You don’t play to your weaknesses in any sport, you play to your strengths. Today we missed a third of our first choice team (lascelles, Lejuene, shelvey and kenedy) yet people want to go toe to toe with Chelsea. Mind absolute boggles.

    5
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #36

    If mitro gets 15-20 goals this season, do we concede that Rafa was stupid and blinkered or do we just say that mitro was dim and couldn’t understand Rafa but could understand Fulham, anderlecht and Serbia manager. How many goals does he have to score? Or do we now say that strikers are defenders and if they can’t close down defenders, that they should be sold? Just aswell asprilla and Duncan Fergus on are not here then.

    1
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #37

    Munster
    There has been very few blood and guts performances – Man Utd game last season
    We seem to play the same tempo same way same formstion who ever we play
    Forest will be no different Wed night
    We seem more worried about the opposition than in our own game.
    Yet today it took us to go behind before we showed any urgency but soon as we scored we went onto the back foot
    Last game so can say I got really excited was the last twenty minutes against Norwich City
    And Mitro got all his scruples got you fired up – funny Just been watching Kings of Leon

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:33 PM

    Comment #38

    People seem to think we are newcastle of the past and we should not defend and counter at home. We are a shadow of the teams under Keegan and sir Bobby robson. You can thank one man for that and it certainly isn’t the current manager.

    5
  • Munster Mag

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #39

    Ronaldo, I am not asking for toe to toe. Wolves didn’t do toe to toe v city. Like Lilongwe I’m asking for more balance between deep lying defence and an ability to do something half creative when we have the ball, at home.

    1
  • toon22

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #40

    You see most teams just didnt see the loans and the free transfers we managed to get over MAs line were somehow world beaters that the whole rest of the football world somehow missed and even though we had almost the spine of the team missing these hidden jems would finnaly show what City and Barcelona etc had missed and would be able to wow the footballing world

    We have a team that just about might stay in this league and thats probably because we have a world class manager
    If you cant see that were being fleeced by a greedy man your deluded

    1

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