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Rafa Determined To Make Newcastle Great Again – Here’s The Problem

There have been recent signs that Rafa Benitez really wants to stay at Newcastle, and he has said it often enough.

And in yesterday’s press conference he was more open to talking about his future, and it looks like negotiations have started up again.

That may be because Cardiff’ have had two defeats over the last week, and it’s looking like Newcastle need only three points from our six games left to be safe.

Maybe we can get those points this afternoon when we play a decent Crystal Palace side at home?

Rafa said yesterday he is waiting for answers from Lee Charnley who of course will have to go to Ashley to get the answers to Rafa’s questions.

We have to remember that what Rafa is trying to do at Newcastle is precisely what the fans want.

Mike Ashley – that looks like St. James’ Park in the background

And of all people not in the loop on having Newcastle start winning lots of games again – it’s owner Mike Ashley.

The billionaire had his success in business with Sports Direct by cutting costs at every turn, so that he had a cheap product to sell to the masses.

So when you are successful for many years doing that in business, it’s difficult for him not to do the same thing at Newcastle – his other business.

Ashley tries to get bargain buys all the time and also attempts to make money on players – so get them in while they are young.

All his thinking is on the financial side and not the football side of things.

We have to give Ashley some credit for the financials at Newcastle being in decent shape, and that’s helped us to immediately get promoted twice – when we were relegated in 2009 and 2015.

But more ambitious owners would never have allowed the club to be near the bottom of the league to start with.

So when we read about Rafa trying to get agreements from Mike Ashley to stay on Tyneside – he’s not just doing it for himself – he’s doing it for the fans and the City.

Not to mention the local journalists who are as keen as anybody to be able to continue to report on one of the best managers in the world.

Rafa’s the man pushing to make Newcastle into a top-six side again – like in the good old days of Sir Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan.

It’s just that we have this owner who’s not on board with Rafa’s potential new project on Tyneside.

And he may never be.

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Comments welcome.


22 comments so far

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #1


    Barring the Bournemouth equaliser, do think Matt Ritchie has had a poor run of form. If he has a poor game today, do think it’s time to try either dummet at lwb or give barrecca a start and see what he can do for us.

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #2

    that picture honestly just makes you want to hit him so badly.

  • AncientC

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #3

    Ritchie’s mistakes are amplified by virtue of the fact that he is so heavily involved in the games he plays in. If you were look to at the heat maps of Ritchie playing LWB, you would see he is constantly in the thick of it.

    I haven’t seen the stats recently, but Ritchie is supposed to be in the top 3 players for crosses made this season… that is impressive stat for somebody in a position that plays mostly on the back foot.

    It is easy to underestimate just how important Ritchie is to side. Ritchie certainly deserves a lot of credit for taking to LWB as a model professional, not just because he doesn’t complain, but because he is making such a good fist of it. Perhaps if the other 9 outfield players were as involved as Ritchie is in the overall play, Ritchie wouldn’t have to be doing most of the work.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #4


    I noticed that Ritchie ignored Almirón’s runs in his second game for us. He’s been doing it since. It was more evident in our last game. Clearly there is an issue there, whether Ritchie wants to admit it or not is another matter. I think it’s an ego thing as I think Ritchie wants to be the main provider and not let Almirón take all the plaudits- which is frankly very childish and detrimental to our success on the pitch. I really hope that is not the case and passes the ball to him regularly today.

  • geordietom

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #5

    only one problem i can see is Ashley being an arse …

  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #6

    Ancient- yeah Ritchie can be in the top 3 for amount of crosses, but how many pf those crosses been successful? More hit and hopes than anything else tbh, barely beating the first man which is so disappointing. I truly admire Ritchie’s workrate, grit and professionalism but he shiuld really brush up on his ‘brilliant left foot’ of his that has left a lot to be desired this season.

  • AncientC

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #7
  • geordietom

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #8

    i was reading last nights comments and someone posed ( cant remember who it was ) a question to toon22 …

    about him saying in 2015.( that he kept saying ) that he thought the club was getting sold …

    never did see toon22 come back with a answer to the person who asked the question …

    wonder why ?

  • AncientC

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #9

    JP, from what I can see, Ritchie is playing to instruction. How often do you see any of our players trying to dribble past a player? Murphy is that style of player and cannot get near the team.

  • geordietom

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #10

    @8# …

    i meant to put in the lad who asked the question said what made you change your stance …

    my bad …

  • chicousa

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #11

    That NY Mag who asked toon22 the question.

  • AncientC

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Cross accuracy, 24%.
    47 accurate long balls.
    4 through balls.

    Using Townsend for comparison (who plays much further advanced)

    Cross accuracy 25%
    27 accurate long balls
    1 through ball

  • AncientC

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #13

    Ritchie has more assists than Townsend, too. 4 to 3.

  • chicousa

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #14

    Today’s Rafa bingo

    Schaer, Lascelles, Lejeune
    Manquillo, Ki, Shelvey, Ritchie
    Perez, Almiron

    Toon win: 2-1

  • geordietom

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #15

    chicousa …

    cheers mate must be old age setting in lmao…

  • chicousa

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #16

    Not older, we’re just getting less concerned with details and facts, and more concerned with essential truths! 😉

    It was an interesting discovery by NY Mag….I’m interested in the frog’s answer!

  • AncientC

    Apr 6, 2019 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #17


    I see Dubravka is the top keeper in the PL for coming and claiming high balls. Interesting when it was viewed as one of his potential weaknesses.

  • geordietom

    Apr 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #18


    snap mate …

    waiting with baited breath here…

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 6, 2019 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #19

    58 Minutes to KO

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 6, 2019 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #20


    Newcastle United: Martin Dúbravka, DeAndre Yedlin, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Ki Sung-yueng, Miguel Almirón, Ayoze Pérez, Salomón Rondón.

    Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Javier Manquillo, Federico Fernández, Paul Dummett, Jonjo Shelvey, Christian Atsu, Yoshinori Muto.

  • geordietom

    Apr 6, 2019 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #21

    chicousa …

    my cousin has just moved lock stock and barrel to th states …

    Michigan a place called Midland 2 hours drive from Detroit… he’s a big Toon fan is there any ( that you know of ) any fellow toon fans for him to connect with in that area ? ( i know its a big ask )…

    be grateful of any info mate …

  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 6, 2019 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #22

    Ancient- those stats are very surprising tbh. I can’t wrap my head round it as every game I see Ritchie try a cross and it’s wayward 80% of the time. Same with the rest of our players come to think about it. Very frustrating to watch. For long passes I don’t feny that we have some great long passers of the ball but for some strange reason they can’t cross it properly from the byline.

    We should put all our wide players through crossing drills everyday, and if we already do, then it’s very worrisome.


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