Rafa has had to explain why he must play a weakened side from those he plays in the Premier League and has reiterated to the fans that the Premier League has to be the priority this season.
The goal is to stay in the Premier League and finish as high in the table as we can.
That’s the same level of ambition from veery manager we have had since Mike Ashley bought the club eleven painful years ago.
But the way our new players played against Chelsea on Saturday – Fernandez, Schar, Ki, and Rondon – makes us think they are good acquisitions for Newcastle and they fit right into the side.
They worked their socks off, and Fernandez in particular in central defense looked a terrific player.
Mike Ashley – Newcastle’s frugal owner
This is some of what Rafa has said in the Chronicle today:
“Yes, clearly. You have to manage your squad.”
“Depending on the transfer window, your squad is stronger or not.”
“You have to manage the team. You cannot forget that this one has a knock, this one has a problem or this one is tired, or this one will recover more quickly or this one needs more time.”
“First of all, because we have some injuries. Second of all, because we don’t want to play too many players in three days.”
“For example, Ritchie has a knock on his knee, so he cannot play – but some of these players, they were coming back from the World Cup and they were not fit.”
“They have to play, if not they will not be fit ever, because the match fitness is something you only get playing games.”
“These players have to play in these games in order to get that match fitness,”
“Some people say ‘at this stage of the season, you cannot be tired, you can play games, and maybe in April you can be rested.'”
“But the time it takes you to recover, you need at least three days. If you don’t have that time to recover, you lose something.”
“Even if you have the passion, even if you are fit, you lose a little bit. That is a scientific fact, it’s not just my opinion,”
Players coming back from the World Cup will play – Ki, Muto, and Schar.
But as we reported earlier today the team he could play is a strong one:
Sterry Schar Fernandez Dummett (c)
Atsu Muto Kenedy
If Fernandez is to start the game at Manchester City on Saturday, maybe he will not start tonight and/ or get only 45 minutes.
But that team looks strong and includes five new players brought in over the summer – Schar, Fernandez, Ki, Muto, and Rondon.
And loan signing Kenedy is eligible for this game too. and he could be key tonight.
An excellent time to give them all some playing time.
We really hope we can win this game – we need a win – and it will lift the spirits of the fans.