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Federico Fernandez Reveals What Rafa Asked Him To Do Against Chelsea

It looks like captain Jamaal Lascelles could miss the game tomorrow at the Etihad Stadium because of his ankle injury in what is another tough Premier League game for Newcastle.

New signing Federico Fernandez has played the last couple of games and has shown his vast experience and skill for Newcastle, and he could turn out to be an absolute bargain buy at only £6M.

And it looks like Fernandez will play again tomorrow – his third game in 8 days.

We expect Rafa to replicate the formation of five at the back we used against Chelsea for the test at Manchester City tomorrow in the late game.

Federico Fernandez – in action against Chelsea – organizing the defense

This is what Federico has said in Chronicle Live today:

“I have played a lot of games in Wales last season in a three-man central defense.”

I know the system and how it works, and why we need to do it against top sides like Chelsea and Manchester City,”

“Teams try to put teams in between the lines and so we have to make sure we don’t give too much time to them, then we can recover the ball and try to create our own chances.”

“I saw during training in the week when we trained in this system, so the gaffer told me I had to play in the middle.”

“We were working very hard during the week to improve this system, and we will do going forward, too.”

“It’s an important position and I feel good that the gaffer has the confidence in me to play this role so early in my Newcastle career.”

“I try to talk to the lads, pull them into the right position, and it’s a role I know well so I tried to help Fabian [Schar] and [Ciaran] Clark to be tight with the striker, and try to cover them in the last part of the box.”

“We had our game plan and it was working really well [against Chelsea].”

“We didn’t concede too many chances to Chelsea, we tried to restrict the space for their attacking players like Hazard and Pedro,”

“Then when we got the ball we tried to counter-attack them if we could. We created a couple of chances from corners and set pieces, and I think the penalty was unlucky.”

“We kept pushing, we scored and made it 1-1, then we conceded an unlucky own goal. We worked very hard and I think we deserved a point, but this is football. It was not our day.”

“But we know how tough our start of the season is. Our focus is now on Man City, and they have more or less the same style as Chelsea, if not better.”

Now we know why Rafa wanted Jamaal Lascelles to play on the right side of the three center-backs and why Rafa wanted Federico to play in the middle and control things at the back.

He did an excellent job last Saturday, and the same will be needed tomorrow.

Maybe we can get something out of the game at the Etihad tomorrow, but it will be extremely difficult – this is probably our toughest fixture of the season.

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Comments welcome.

7 comments so far

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 31, 2018 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #1

    *if it wasn’t clear it should read moaning and not meaning…

    …but I am sure someone will moan about that too

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 31, 2018 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #2

    The bus was well parked Federico…

    …maybe this week you guys should train how to turn the high pressure game the big teams impose on you to an advantage when going the other way (on a counter for example)

    There has to be more to it than just parking the bus…otherwise Citeh might just treat us the same way they treated Hudders…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 31, 2018 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #3

    From the chronicle
    “Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is miffed that Rafa Benitez has never invited him to watch training – but would still be likely to an accept an offer from the manager, raising the possibility of the pair mending their broken relationship.

    Sportsmail has learned that the sports retail tycoon is irritated that the Spaniard has never invited him to take in a session at the club’s North Tyneside base or invited him to a game, issues which we understand have been raised during meetings involving both sides.

    But we have been told that, were Benitez to extend an olive branch to Ashley, there is a chance they could meet face-to-face in a more relaxed setting away from the negotiating table. Sources close to the owner say he does not want to be at war with Benitez.

    The news will offer hope for supporters that the popular boss could yet stay on beyond this season – when his contract expires – but it is further evidence of the stand-off which exists between them”

    If true, it just shows what a bizarre and petty man he is.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 31, 2018 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #4

    It also shows moaning Myrtle, that you don’t take what you read with a pinch of salt (you just soak it all up as gospel)

  • Jib

    Aug 31, 2018 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #5

    I have this dread feeling that Jamaal Lascelles could be sold at Xmas
    It would appear that the scuffle twixt Ritchie and him – was because
    Ritchie told him that – if the boss wanted to play 5 across the back
    just get on with it and stop whining.
    He’s not the best centre back at the club and if Rafa believes he’s lost
    the respect of his compadres he may well think it’s best to cash in.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 31, 2018 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #6

    Of course there’s a bloody stand off, he’s lied to him, used him and hung him out to dry to deliberately undermine him. He’s upset he’s never been invited to training.

  • Toon&oot

    Aug 31, 2018 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #7

    Ashley likes a nice standoff especially when there is a transfer window open. They could make friends till Christmas, fall out again in late December and have another standoff ready for the next window!


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