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Benitez Sends Pointed Message To Ashley – Big Money Needed To Sign Goalscorers In Summer

Newcastle were second best last night in London at the Emirates, but manager Rafa Benitez thinks it’s Newcastle’s lack of firepower up front that cost us the game last night.

Newcastle had a bad day at the office last night.

Let’s hope that’s the case because we have a game to win against an in-form Crystal Place on Saturday and we must take something out of that game.

Rafa was trying to get Mike Ashley to pay £16.5M for Salomon Rondon in the summer, and the owner refused.

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle weak in the final third of the pitch

And it looks like Rafa will get the same answer this summer with Ashley unwilling to pay out that amount of money for a 30-year-old.

But Rafa has said you have to pay out big money for strikers these days and he said last night we need more strength in that area of the Newcastle team.

This is some of what Rafa said at his press conference in London after the game last night:

“The final third we have been speaking all season, the final third you have to spend £40M £50M, £75M.”

“I think this kind of game is very similar.” “We were close, but it was about chances in the final third.”

“After you have to defend against a team with pace and quality.”

“You have to do things right in defense.

“After we conceded the second goal it became even more difficult for us.”

“We tried to attack but they are a good team at home – they play and pressed.”

“We were pushing at 1-0.” “They need to score the second goal.”

“Both of their goals were scrappy goals.”

“We have to try to get three points against Palace.”

“The next match is the most important.”

“Obviously last week the teams at the bottom, except for Cardiff were winning.”

One thing that Rafa will be wary of is to sign on at Newcastle and then not be supported in this summer’s transfer window.

That’s what’s happened the past two summers, and he must get cast iron guarantees on transfer money being available – not on for the summer – but for all upcoming transfer windows.

Ashley must change the way he runs the club, but it reminds us of that old saying – “a leopard can’t change its spots.”

Another way the saying is sometimes worded is “It’s difficult for a leopard to change its spots.”

The second one is more positive – maybe Ashley can change his ways?

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Comments welcome.

60 comments so far

  • posada

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #1

    I went to watch us at the old Highbury. Souness was manager, so must have been about 2005.
    Only lost 1-0 but they were better, fitter, stronger, quicker and more athletic.
    It was like watching a junior side play an adult side.

    For last night 15 years later.


    A repeat, but it does relate to this post.

  • posada

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #2

    It’s all about the two seconds after you loose the ball.
    Barca, Man U under Ferguson, Liverpool now. It’s not a new thing. They have a catch phrase for it now – the high press.

    We can’t do a high press. Not against good teams. They would play through us.
    We can’t play through a high press. Not against good teams. We simply are not good enough.

    Rafa knows this and his options are limited.
    The solution – 5 or 6 much better players.

    Another. Relates to this post.
    and I think it’s really good.

  • Bambams

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #3

    So is Rafa suggesting here Rondon at £16 million is not the player he now wants but a player over £40 million IS….


    This is what it will cost Ash to buy another player of Rondon quality (£40 million +) if he doesn’t sign Rondon.

    Rondon is a good player, but is not the quickest and we will only get two or three years out of him before he will want his final contract in China or somewhere. But then again at £16 million in this market, even less probably if they want Gayle.

  • posada

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #4

    Just watched the Pickford files on U Tube.

    1) How could he not know that all hell could break loose depending on how their game went.

    2) At one stage his arm is going like a fiddlers elbow.

    3) The sort of brawl that happens every night. If there are no injuries (if) all parties should put it down to experience, forget it and walk off into the night.

    4) Probably won’t happen. Someone will want their 15 minutes of fame and claim to be severely dramatised by it all. Especially if compensation sets in.

    5) He’s in a fight and his Mrs is trying to hold both his arms behind his back. Thanks love – I really wanted a broken nose.

  • Jib

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #5

    She could have held both his arms with one hand
    Ha ha ha

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #6

    High press – we count press flowers last night – stood off them all night allowed their midfield far to much space.

    We looked like we had just come back from our holidays – slow an lethargic all over the pitch and when we had the ball hadn’t a clue what to do with it our captain being the biggest culprit last night.

    Rafa has got to give them a big shake/wake-up call – dust ourselves down ready for Saturday and to the end of the season to pick up the points we need for safety

  • lochinvar

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #7

    Diame is two games away from triggering a one year extension to his contract but not sure if he’ll get them. Pity Longstaff is injured otherwise he’d be keeping Diane out of the team.
    Lascalles was injured last season – was it a hernia ? This season and last night he was returning from another injury so clearly needs the ice bath treatment to recover his pace and get his confidence back.
    Ritchie needs to play further forward, he’s a winger at heart and likes space to operate in.
    Rafa has some serious thinking to do before we play Palace.

  • Mag52

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #8

    Schar in for Lascelles v Palace surely. Our captain has not been performing this season as he did last one.
    Almiron buzzing around like a wasp all evening, but not getting enough of the ball, especially from Ritchie. How about linking him up with Yedlin on the other side of the pitch for a game or two ?
    Overall, the Arsenal seemed to want this one more than we did, which is a shame.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 2, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #9

    Me start with two ball playing centre halfs – LeJuene and Schar with Dummett in between

  • posada

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #10

    We do often play like that. Perhaps not as bad, but sometimes that is down to the quality of the opposition.
    We loose the ball. We drop off into a set shape and just wait/hope we get it back.
    When we get it back we are under pressure and can’t get out of our own half.
    That pressure ups and ups and something gives.

  • posada

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #11

    I think Diame’s legs have gone/are going.
    Rafa will know this.
    A force to be reckoned with when at his best.
    For 2-3 months this time last year he was.

    Was it the last of the summer wine. Very probably.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #12

    Last we didn’t drop into our two banks of four making it hard to pass through us
    It was like 3 different teams
    With no link between them
    Yes Arsenal have better players but last night soon as they lost the ball their midfield attackers were at us closed us down – as they say defend from the front
    I don’t know what was wrong but they looked tired slow lethargic and without a plan

  • hibbit

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #13

    according to this report Rafa’s no closer to signing a new contract as was a month ago https://www.themag.co.uk/2019/04/rafa-benitez-responds-to-claims-he-is-almost-certain-he-will-agree-to-stay-at-newcastle-united/

  • Jib

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #14

    With regard to an Ashley protest
    I think we should follow the example
    set by the climate protesters in Westminster

    Hibbit and BobbyBee whip your kit off on

  • beefman13

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #15

    Obviously The gooners were better everywhere on the pitch, some of our players genuinly did not know what they were doing, headless magpies, depressing game to watch, the difference is humungous.

  • Just a fan

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #16

    We were poor last night especially passwise.but I don’t think arsenal were as great as people are making out.
    I like arsenal,well Wenger’s arsenal.and would rather they were in top four rather than manue or spurs.
    I hope we change our flip flops for footy boots next game or we will be back in the door da.

  • posada

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #17

    Yeah, that’s just about it.
    7 defenders.
    No midfielders.
    3 attackers.

    Perhaps a tad too harsh, but that is what it felt like.
    I really think we just went through the motions and wrote off the game.

  • Just a fan

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #18

    There were a lot of posters on here yesterday whom i rarely see and some comments were a bit ridiculous.
    It may have just been emoticons running high but a lot of it was uncalled for.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #19

    Spot on
    3 teams
    Through the motions

  • Jib

    Apr 2, 2019 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #20

    my emoticon always runs low

  • ScoopSouthAfrica

    Apr 2, 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #21

    Wow we were really crap last night, we gave the ball away far to cheaply. Totally void of ideas going forward, I really felt sorry for Almiron as he was starved of the ball from Ritchie when getting in good positions. This has happened in a few previous games as well, I wonder what is going on there….

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 2, 2019 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #22

    Arsenal are actually not that great we let them look a lot better than they actually are a bit like the West Ham game recently we got outnumbered in midfield and Rafa didn’t really look like changing it at anytime until it’s too late!!

    It was 7 defenders hoofing it to 3 players with no support if we were going to do that would have been better with Atsu , Muto up front with Shelvey playing balls over the top for them to run onto !!?

    I think Jib was defo correct in that Rafa and the coaches sometimes write off a game and it seeps through to the players and they seem to go through the motions I expect we shall see a better performance against Palace!!

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 2, 2019 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #23

    Also we always seem to have our off games on sky sports away games in front of the nation!!

  • Jib

    Apr 2, 2019 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #24

    If you are not going to contest the midfield
    you need players like Shelvey and Schar
    who can pop long passes to your front men.
    Clearly Schar wasn’t an option but Jonjo was

  • toon kk

    Apr 2, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #25

    We never have been a match for Arsenal for some time, MA saw to that they’re far too quick and have far superior quality players. Had we scored we would probably would have lifted our game.(we needed some luck as Rafa puts it).
    Yes we’re capable of more but we were just Outclassed all over the pitch.
    We can only move on, thankfully we aren’t playing Arsenal every week.

  • Just a fan

    Apr 2, 2019 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #26

    I don’t think we were outclassed.
    We were very very poor and arsenal are no world beaters at the moment.
    Our passing was the worst I’ve seen this season.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #27

    It’s an odd one because i don’t think simply being out passed by better players is the total reason for failures to play like last night. Of course there are lots of factors, how you set your team up to nullify threats, personnel tasked to fit the plan etc but we have played better with more application against top teams, and won. It seems there are days when belief disappears and the ability to put opposition on the back foot with our press to regain possession just isn’t there. Arsenal were fit and harrying us all over the place, we were just allowing it and instead of letting them chase the ball around and being patient while they wore themselves out, our passing was awful, Rondon broke up three good attacks with woeful passing in quick succession,
    several poor passes in midfield gifted them, they closed in, intercepted and quickly regained possession and with that much it’s inevitable they will break through. I really couldn’t see shelvey being effective at all in this one, it was right to try and break up their midfield but our chosen breakers just…didn’t. Poor defending too, Lascelles watching that ball bounce was a head shaker. It was almost like everyone chucked this game in the bin before kick off.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #28

    Perhaps our best runs of form coincide with not switching personnel around as much? Maybe despite the tactical matching of opponents on a game-by-game basis it’s best to good ol’ fashion’ stick with a side that is simply winning then change it when the wheels wobble.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #29

    Can someone go down the cellar and flick the banter switch back on? I think jib nudged it off with his fat backside when he was changing his gas bottle. 🙂

  • chicousa

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #30

    Well I see sanity has returned to the blog today! Good points made my the regular crowd! Maybe with exception of Tsunki… 😉

  • chicousa

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #31

    Made by. Not made my.

    And while I’m correcting my spelling, last night I wrote, “we gave the ball away way to often…”. Should have been “…way two often…”. Obviously! 😉

  • Tsunki

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #32

    Chico – harummmphhh. 🙁

  • Tsunki

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #33

    Checked on .co.uk, eds blog is slowly catching down to their post count ha ha. .org though – If you fancy digging there for comments or even articles newer than January you’ll need a grounding in Archaeology. I get the same feeling gazing at it that i did as a nipper seeing a dried dead baby bird on the pavement.

  • chicousa

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #34

    Do we need to send out a search party for some missing “forward station, camp Harrison” soldiers? Not seen Jail for weeks, no signs of Belfast, Jesper, Shirebrook or even Jane lately. Do we have a man eating lions dragging men off as the slumber by camp fire??

  • Tsunki

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #35

    I think I saw a clown on here yesterday suggesting almiron was a spent force / not worth the money or something like that. We do attract a few clowns here – pity really because with these talents the blog could have saved Barnum & Bailey’s circus.

  • chicousa

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #36

    And my ability to type and spell has now completely disappeared….wtf is going on?

  • Tsunki

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #37

    There’s a snowstorm enveloping Harrison Camp at the moment I’m led to believe. Nothing getting in or out.

  • chicousa

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #38

    I saw that comment about Almiron after the match as well. I tossed that comment aside like a boy who hastily picks up a rock and realizes to late that it a piece of dung…. clearly a wum with a number in his blog ID.

  • chicousa

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #39

    Too not “to”! Damnit is all to hell!

  • martoon

    Apr 2, 2019 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #40

    Arsenal were good but we were poor and made them look better than they actually were. It’s hard pinpoint the reason – maybe lack of belief, maybe team selection, maybe the internationals and travelling affected key players such as Rondon & Almiron. However we can’t do anything about it now and it least it was in a match where we weren’t expecting much anyway.

    However Palace is a different kettle of fish we must buck our ideas up and improve all over the pitch – I think a change of personnel would help – certainly bring back Schar into defense (preferably for Lascelles but it will probably be Dummett) and surely play Shelvey in a home game that we are looking to win! If we play a high tempo game then surely Palace will tire as they are playing Wednesday night as well?


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