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Rafa Benitez Sends Out A Clear Message About This Season


You can never accuse Rafa Benitez of being over-confident or resting on his laurels.

Rafa has been down to the Championship with Newcastle, and he was respectful of every team during that promotion season.

Not many world-class managers would have stayed with Newcastle when we were relegated, but that’s what he did, and that’s one reason the Geordie fans love him so much.

Even though he has won three European Championships Rafa’s feet are always firmly on the ground.

Rafa Benitez – at a previous press conference

And that’s what he wants from his players – that they do the job and don’t get cocky, carried or over-confident.

Like some of us fans.

🙂

At his press conference earlier today – Rafa sent out a clear message to both fans and players alike:

“Too many teams are still around (relegation zone). If you play top six twice in a row you may be back in a relegation battle.”

“We are doing well and fine. It’s a game that can change a lot of things. If we win this, we can push on without fear.”

“If we don’t win, we must keep on fighting.” “I think 38 points will be enough. After that, we can go for 40.” (maybe 45?)

“We have to be careful. The job is not done. Every game is a Cup final for us. On our day we can compete with anyone.

“No new injuries. Lascelles still feeling his knee so won’t be risked. Clark back.”

The fans seem confident enough about tomorrow’s game, but Bournemouth are always a difficult side to play.

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Comments welcome.


68 comments so far

  • jane

    Mar 15, 2019 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #1

    probably only through the play-offs as there are only 4 matches left

    1 Wolves U23 18 +24 37
    2 Southampton U23 19 +9 36
    3 Reading U23 19 +9 34
    4 Aston Villa U23 19 +5 33
    5 Newcastle Unit… 18 +10 31

    3
  • jane

    Mar 15, 2019 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #2

    lesh probably thinks the moon is made of cheese.

    4
  • Vask

    Mar 15, 2019 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #3

    If we win our game in hand we would be two points off automatic promotion. But our run in looks like could go either way.

    1
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #4

    With Lascelles and Schar missing I’d go with what we finished with last weekend 4-2-3-1

    Don’t like Fernandez at RCB in a three, has to be central, nor Lejeune as he is used to being the LCB, Dummett and Clark too. Especilly as they have quick STs. Will help sure up our left wing too.

    Get Ritchie back on the RWF position where he helps get the best out of Yedlin. Allow Ritchie, Perez and Almiron

    Rondon to bully Ake like he did for his bullet header earlier in the season.

    _______________Dubs_________________
    Yedlin___Fernandez___Lejeune___Dummett
    _________Hayden___Shelvey/Ki
    __Ritchie________Perez________Almiron
    _______________Rondon

    1
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #5

    and Almiron….freedom to interchange.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #6

    Jib

    Feb 26, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #65
    Nah , when Xavi left Barcelona in 2015
    Iniesta dropped further back and filled
    his boots for the next 3 years.
    Which was kind of my point –
    at 29 Andres was able to modify his
    game , such was his footy nous.

    Stick to FIFA

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #7

    Jane that game in hand is surely key. As Bask says, win that we’ll be third, two points behind Southampton with a better goal difference.

    Automatic promotion is still possible if not yet likely and with those three lads back we’ve every chance of a strong run in.

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #8

    Lesh from earlier I think the point I was trying to make was that if Dubs is looking for a new contract here he may already be quite sure that Rafa is going to stay.

    Also, I wonder if NUFC would actually start contact negotiations if Rafa didn’t instigate them at this stage of a season?

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #9

    That’s why you think lesh was being a pr!co, because he, like many others have sussed you as a complete bullshitter and blagger. You haven’t got a footin clue that Xavi was replaced by Iniesta or that Tim Krul received his injuries with the national team from playing with unfamiliar defences, or that the fireworks caused by our left sided play and Bournemouth’s 4-4-1-1 Is just complete bullshit coupled with what you’ve read in articles, Callum footin Wilson drop in form!!! AND you’ve got the nerve to tell people to stick.to FIFA.
    I’m sick to death of your bullshit!!

    11
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #10

    I think Clark could play right centre back in a three with Lejeune left and Fernandez Central. I think that we will start with three at the back as this seems to be Rafa’s preferred formation now.

    Of course the fact we don’t know will make things equally uncertain for Eddie howe.

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #11

    Talking of Bournemouth who saw the interview with Charlie Daniels where he said he grew up a Newcastle fan today?

    It’s a bit late now Charlie at the age of 32, why didn’t you say anything sooner?

    2
  • beermonkey

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #12

    rob

    i think we will go 4231 and shelvey starting with hayden although i would not be surprised if diame came in for hayden

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #13

    RobLeenio,
    I think Clarke would be better served in WBA’s back three, four or five, he’s been brilliant to date but in the bigger picture should have been moved on last summer.

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #14

    Beermonkey I think that you could be right too. I think Rafa bingo is alive and well again 🙂

    Jail Clark may be the weakest of our centre backs but he’s still a decent squad player. He shouldn’t be playing every week and I’d worry about him against the best in the league but for an away game Vs Bournemouth he’s fine.

    And he’s a threat at corners too

    I wonder who else we could get to come and sit on our bench and still be happy to be here?

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #15

    RobLeenio,
    I’m a great believer in two for every position but we have four very capable CB’s. Clarke’s performance against Notts Forest showed, despite his transfermarkt or whatever he is not a LB, I’ve got nothing against his ability or contribution to the toon, like Pancrate and Williamson it’s time to move on.

    0
  • NY Mag

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #16

    Jail,

    Re : Clarke

    You could well be right, but maybe he doesn’t want to move on because he knows his next contract won’t be as lucrative as his current one

    1
  • Tsunki

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #17

    “jane

    Mar 15, 2019 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #2
    lesh probably thinks the moon is made of cheese.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha…..oh ..wait – are you saying it isn’t?

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #18

    NY Mag,
    Despite what Jib and his potato brained sidekick think I’m mostly right 😀
    I think his next contract at an ambitious Champo club will be every bit as lucrative as what we’re paying him.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #19

    Btw jib, do you think Victor Wanyama is turning out for the Chezzers the Morra? He he he always tickles me that one. 🙂

    1
  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #20

    Jail

    From Marca 4 years ago this week

    “Iniesta is not a regular goalscorer, but he has netted a couple of historic efforts. The first of his little collection of gems was the right-footed strike that won Spain the World Cup on 11th July 2010.
    The second was the last-gasp equaliser at Stamford Bridge on 6th May 2008 which put Barcelona through to the final of the Champions League, before going on to win the competition.
    Recently the Spanish wizard has not had much luck in front of goal. He has yet to find the back of the net or provide an assist all season, and has now gone 364 days without netting in La Liga.
    The last time he scored was at the Santiago Bernabéu, in last season’s barnstorming 4-3 victory against today’s opponents in the ‘Clásico’. Iniesta has not etched his name on the scoresheet in a league match since then.
    The fact that Barcelona have three prolific scorers up front has seen Iniesta take on a deeper role with greater responsibility for building up the play.
    In years gone by this was almost exclusively Xavi’s stomping ground, but this season since his retirement , it has not been uncommon to see Iniesta on the edge of his own area or helping his team win the ball back.”

    Just cos the guys that tell you what to post support Liverpool doesn’t make them experts

    8
  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #21

    Not really been on put passing through. Heard Mike Ashley is sanctioning a move for LK Bennett. Anyone know if he’s any good like? 😉

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #22

    On Clark, think he’s a decent back up for where we are. If we are going to be playing 3 cbs more regularly think 5 cbs in the squad is needed. Don’t think it is easy to find better than him at 5th choice.

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #23

    Jail, it could be his time to move on, agreed, but if he does then Rafa will need another to cover him if he intends to play 3 CBs next season. Dummett can play there but he’s a little short and will likely be found out aerially at some point.

    I think we’re lucky to have him, but if we can get an upgrade then great

    0
  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #24

    Jack colback apparently said despite one year left on his contract, he won’t be playing for us again.

    #gutted

    😀

    2
  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #25

    Tsunki
    I don’t remember that one
    remind me of my faux pas with your prodigious memory

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #26

    Jibberish,
    My point proven exactly. I’m not saying that never happened, I’m just pointing out that you haven’t had a clue that it actually did other than reading it in Marca you footin buffoon. You reliably informed us that Callum Wilson’s drop in form should see us ok this weekend, then even back tracked about when he was injured, which was also bullshit, he scored just before going off and on his return. We all get things wrong, I remember my getting Colbacks goal tally wrong, it’s your footin embarrassing “stick to FIFA” that makes you such a pr!co.

    6
  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #27

    Jail
    Who’s moonwalking now ?
    One of your scouse buddies told you my post was wrong
    ha ha ha

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #28

    I think we are playing five at the back because we have two average FB,’s not because Rafa wants to play that defensive, unless anyone can show me where Rafa has always preferred that formation.

    0
  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #29

    what’s the phrase ?
    YOU ARE OWNED
    😀

    4
  • NY Mag

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:30 PM

    Comment #30

    Jail,

    I would agree if he went to a recently relegated club (ie. a club that has parachute payment income)…..

    1
  • beermonkey

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #31

    jail

    not sure how long clarke has on his deal but i cant see us upgrading this summer because we will need to buy rondon or replace and buy a back up to him
    we also need to replace hayden and maybe diame no offence to what we have but we need to buy better to move up the table
    i dont think there we will be any defensive upgrades this summer

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #32

    Who is “OWNED” Jib, I never doubted for a minute what you posted about Iniesta and Xavi, my concern is a guy who can post such detailed knowledge on two footballers a few years ago can’t even grasp that Callum Wilson’s loss of form was caused by, you’re a bullshitter and I’ve got you sussed.

    4
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:42 PM

    Comment #33

    Jail I don’t see the five at the back as over defensive. The good ball playing centre backs schaer and Lejeune have had freedom to advance up the pitch with and without the ball. Even Lascelles has carried it forward on occasion.

    It’s more of a fluid total football back three with different players able to perform the Gullit sweeper role.

    Inviting teams on and looking to hit on the break is not defensive it’s a tactic which encourages teams to leave space to exploit at the back. It’s just that until now we’ve struggled with the actual exploitation bit.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #34

    I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t got a clue what West Ham’s Bournemoths or Leicester’s formation is, but when our font Jiblets said Bournemouth’s was 4-4-1–1 I was pretty sure on MOTD one night King and Wilson were an old fashioned 4-4-2. Who does this charlatan Jib think he is kidding?

    1
  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #35
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #36

    RobLeenio,
    I see it as playing to the fact our four centre backs are much better than our three very average full backs, If we had Kieran Trippier ,(Not impossible) and Roberto Carlos ( very impossible) we wouldn’t be playing three at the back.

    2
  • welshgeordie9

    Mar 15, 2019 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #37

    Jib you have been sussed my friend.

    2
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 15, 2019 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #38

    Jail, obviously it’s hypothetical, so it’s kind of a moot point really, in that we can’t know one way or the other how Rafa would play if we had better / more mobile / more technically able full backs. Kieran Trippier would definitely improve our squad by the way, he was amazing for England at the World Cup, always plays well for Spurs when he gets a game.

    Would he have to play full back, though, or would he be equally good for us as a right wing back with a back three? I think Rafa would be tempted to play him there to make sure he got forward with cover behind. I think I would too.

    I think it also comes back to the debate over who is in control of player recruitment. If you accept that Rafa has recruited Jejeune, Fernandez and Schaer over the last two seasons, then you have to think that he had a plan in mind to base the team around a strong defence and that 3 at the back was always an option in his mind if not necessarily the actual aim.

    The other option is to say Rafa didn’t want either some or any of these players, that they were recruited by the regime and that Rafa is playing the card he has been dealt absolutely expertly.

    Either interpretation gives Rafa a great deal of credit, but I think I prefer the one where he’s recruited them with a plan.

    0
  • Jib

    Mar 15, 2019 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #39

    Looks like it Welshie
    😛

    3
  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 15, 2019 at 10:15 PM

    Comment #40

    welshie – well said.
    You could have ended up in the back of the taxi – narrow escape lad!

    0

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