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The Rafa Benitez Thread
30 June 2017 19:19 Post ID: #480717 - in reply to #480716
It's early-ish in the window there may well be nothing to worry about but equally there's nothing to reassure either.
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17 July 2017 13:00 Post ID: #481337 - in reply to #469610
Rafa mentioned transfers today by saying that there is money to spend. He also put the ball in Ashley's court by saying this according to the ronny gill:

When I had the meeting with Mike Ashley I was confident that after that meeting we have the money available and the wages. Everything is in place to move forward.

Hopefully, Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do.
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17 July 2017 13:43 Post ID: #481340 - in reply to #469610
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Mike Ashley keep his word, good luck with that like.
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17 July 2017 14:00 Post ID: #481341 - in reply to #481340
"Hopefully, Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do."

Not exactly convinced is he ?

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17 July 2017 14:16 Post ID: #481343 - in reply to #481341
keggy_keagal - 17/7/2017 14:00

"Hopefully, Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do."

Not exactly convinced is he ?



It sounded like a message to me.
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17 July 2017 14:57 Post ID: #481344 - in reply to #469610
I'll get a link later but ive just watched an interview with Rafa on Sky Sports and he's firmly put it all on Ashley. If we get no-one of note then it's another season of kick off guaranteed.
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17 July 2017 14:58 Post ID: #481345 - in reply to #469610
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17 July 2017 15:06 Post ID: #481346 - in reply to #469610
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That's a worrying statement about Ashley keeping his word. It's a typical Benitez move and the ball is firmly in Ashley's court. I can only see this ending one way.
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17 July 2017 19:04 Post ID: #481355 - in reply to #481346
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vin1892 - 17/7/2017 15:06

That's a worrying statement about Ashley keeping his word. It's a typical Benitez move and the ball is firmly in Ashley's court. I can only see this ending one way.


Yep, I think it's close to the end, Ashley won't like that one bit and we all know what happens if you challenge him.
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22 August 2017 12:27 Post ID: #482472 - in reply to #469610
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Is he actually any good? Signings have been pretty poor in my view and tactics no better. Away to Huddersfield surely it needed a big man up front? As for last year as I have said before my old granny could have got that squad promoted. Not convinced at all I am afraid and now he at risk of losing the dressing room by making it clear he doesn't rate most of them.
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22 August 2017 12:38 Post ID: #482473 - in reply to #482472
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He's definitely better than anyone we've had since Bobby Robson, I wouldn't worry about the dressing room, we'll lose him before any of them, sadly.
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22 August 2017 13:10 Post ID: #482474 - in reply to #482472
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He's being sussed by a few clubs now CT.

His only tactic seems to be stop the opposition,then play on the break.

He's so obsessed with defensive tactics he couldn't figure out playing Gayle and Joselu together against a dog shit Huddersfield side would have at the worst given them something to worry about,whereas their defence had one of the easiest afternoons they can expect for the rest of the season.

Then there's Tim Krul vs Rob Elliot,
the latter's kicking alone would be enough to persuade any manager worth his salt who should be on the team sheet.

H'es living off past successes,
his tactics require a world class midfielder and forward to work and according to his good self that is not an affordable option for our club.

He's the perfect foil for Ashley though.

Can you imagine what Pardew and co would have done had they been given the budget he has ?
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22 August 2017 14:42 Post ID: #482476 - in reply to #482472
People questioning whether Rafa is any good are playing into the hands of why Ashley employs PR people. The mainstream media including Sky and Talkshite being the worst for putting negative shite out there in the past week alone.

So far Rafa has turned a fan base on it's head from a sunken ship to one that floated and us being worthy of the 'United' bit after Newcastle not to mention a promotion straight back to the league where Ashley lines his pockets.

With two wins in our two first games there'd be stories of holding the horses and the same should apply now in relation to the end result although a squad desperately short all over the squad and at least two quality players away from a mid table chance, may not get the chance to settle into any sort of rhythm this season with a big battle ahead.

The internal politics are yet again dictating the season and for the 11th season running that is down to only one man. A man that has always had full control here and decides every single thing that happens. The puppets in the dugout may change with some being tactically better than others as well as easier on the ears to listen to but until the name above the door changes, the script cant and wont change.

Thanks Mike.
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22 August 2017 14:47 Post ID: #482477 - in reply to #482472
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Only knicker wetters fall for media shite.
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22 August 2017 14:52 Post ID: #482478 - in reply to #482476
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Toon_NoMatterWot - 22/8/2017 14:42

People questioning whether Rafa is any good are playing into the hands of why Ashley employs PR people. The mainstream media including Sky and Talkshite being the worst for putting negative shite out there in the past week alone.



People not questioning whether Rafa is any good are playing into the hands of Ashley.

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22 August 2017 14:55 Post ID: #482480 - in reply to #482478
PieMag - 22/8/2017 14:52

Toon_NoMatterWot - 22/8/2017 14:42

People questioning whether Rafa is any good are playing into the hands of why Ashley employs PR people. The mainstream media including Sky and Talkshite being the worst for putting negative shite out there in the past week alone.



People not questioning whether Rafa is any good are playing into the hands of Ashley.



I dont think it's an issue yet though. Not until we've a level playing ground to go off. I agree that the same applied to other puppets but Rafa is more ambitious and right not to be happy in the tools he has for the job he wants to do.
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22 August 2017 15:20 Post ID: #482482 - in reply to #482472
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Would any manager with real ambition work for Mike Ashley toony ?

His recent statements about the crazy transfer market suggest to me that his ambition for the club matches Ashley's.

I wonder if he saw £19m for robbie keane or £20m aquilani all the way back in 2009 as crazy ?



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22 August 2017 16:04 Post ID: #482483 - in reply to #482472
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You can tell Rafa is a man of integrity, the way he wanted a root and branch transformation of the club was testimount to this. He is a football man through and through, knows the premier league inside out and commands respect at the highest levels of football . He seen a chance to work in England, which he loves and got a chance to sink his teeth into a project of awakening a sleeping giant. When he left Chelsea watch his interview he was virtually asking to come to the toon. He likens the area and the fans to Liverpool and we all know his affinity with that area. His will he won't he sign a contract when we got relegated shows he was promised the world and on promotion the world wasn't delivered. I don't think he is a yes man nor a puppet. His CV stands up against anyone's. I like the man , I was all for uniting the fans and getting a feel good factor in the city etc... but lately feel his brand of football is ok ish but I can't get my head round only 1 up front lark ... At home attack . I guess he is used to working with good players in most positions on the pitch ... Whilst the current lot he has couldn't at times trap a medicine ball . But at least during his tenure so far we ain't been spanked good n proper unlike previous managers.
In summary just feeling deflated and that comes about by nee proper investment for our manager
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22 August 2017 16:16 Post ID: #482484 - in reply to #482472
The side was set up far too negatively for the Huddersfield game. Huddersfield played the high press,We didn't have ability or nous to play through, around or over that. Benitez opted to play his usual 4-5-1 but as deep as they were against Spurs. That's partly down to the players to pick from but it is also on Rafa. Even his staunchest fan wouldn't suggest he's a shrewd operator in the transfer market. He buys a lot of players some are hardly seen near the team or squad again. We had a left back in Lazaar who's never been given a go, not even in the squad and played a right sided centre half at left back in Mbemba. If Ashley wasn't a viable excuse when assessing the managerial talents of Pardew, McClaren etc it can't be a viable excuse for Benitez .
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22 August 2017 16:58 Post ID: #482486 - in reply to #482472
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He's got his faults and only time will tell if he's a spent force, but he's a manager of some standing and really wants to do something here, more importantly 'gets' the club, the city, sadly the owner never will. The situation has become so sour under this detestable lying, cheating, parasite of an owner that sadly it's immaterial trying to judge any manager who works for him. It's a travesty that Ashley has the best chance he's had since taking over to really have a go at competing and yet isn't interested. To be honest if no players of note come in the next couple of weeks then I hope he shows dignity and walks, with a frank admission of what it's like trying to deal with the ignorant arsehole.
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22 August 2017 17:05 Post ID: #482487 - in reply to #482472
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What Pyrry says.

*with the caveat - the window is not closed yet; and, things are only likely to happen, when we shift our deadwood. He'll be on a wage budget as part of his remit/funding.



Edited by CuckFan 22/8/2017 17:07
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22 August 2017 22:50 Post ID: #482489 - in reply to #482472
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I like Benitez, if that's because i believe he had integrity, knowledge and a decent history or it's just because he comes across as a decent bloke, i don't know.
However i do have the following concerns about him.
Why on earth has he' bought into' the MA plan? I don't buy the "i love the UK, my family are here" argument. He has enough dosh to have a nice life here without the hassle of football. If he ' needs' the footy then he'd have no problemo finding a position in a club with aspiration.
Regarding his tactics, i think he's one of those Managers who can't see any other
way, bit like Wenger.
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22 August 2017 23:00 Post ID: #482491 - in reply to #482472
When Rafa speaks he commands respect and you can only think the players give a little bit extra as well on the back of it.

He also has a game plan for a game that he sticks with but can change it if he needs to and the plan he is on is no quick fix. He wants a slow build but has found out that Ashley is a liar and his 'project' will take time if it is indeed allowed to bear fruit ever.

I also heard that Rafa has a clause in his contract as well that Ashley insisted on in that he has to pay the club if he walks out of his contract. Not sure how true it is but it wouldn't surprise me and would explain one or two things.

On saying this, he seemed chirpier in the press conference earlier which could mean something or nowt. Long way to go yet in this.
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22 August 2017 23:22 Post ID: #482492 - in reply to #482491
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We fucked up the beginning of last season as well.

I'm prepared to give him and his players plenty of time.

I think we're all aware he needs to add.

My gripe with him is I wish he'd give up on his lone striker policy. For me, they always work better when in tandem.
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23 August 2017 01:35 Post ID: #482494 - in reply to #482472
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The bus from Manchester must be close. I heard it off a person who is 'rarely, if ever, wrong.'

Like a few knights in shining armour.
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23 August 2017 23:24 Post ID: #482525 - in reply to #482472
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I like Benitez as a bloke but he certainly isn't as good a manager as some on here think he is. Its ok doing it with a world class squad but when you have to deal with bog standard players your true managerial class comes out. you just have to look at Guardiola at city, he isn't exactly pulling up trees and he has spent a fucking fortune on players.

He was amazing at Barcelona/Bayern but coming to a league as fast as the premier league his style of play isn't working. Our next manager should be someone who has done ok for a club without the funds to work with, because i cannot see Benitez being here by the January transfer window.
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23 August 2017 23:33 Post ID: #482526 - in reply to #482472
People really need to ignore the likes of Sky and whatever other media outlet Ashley's PR brigade has got to as their agenda is worse than propaganda.

We have a World Class manager in charge of us with a pedigree which puts him right up there and he wants to try to replicate his successes here, only we have a bloke in charge of us that wants to use every avenue possible to divert eyes from what he's done to the club.

Tonight was a clear message from Rafa and he even hinted in his pre-match press conference as to what was to come. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a Graham Carr inspired team that was chosen to start, just to highlight how weak we are in squad depth.

Nowt wrong with Rafa's tactics but there's plenty of things wrong in it's application so far. I also dont think that Ashley is too bothered about going down anyway as the coverage is almost priceless.
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24 August 2017 00:57 Post ID: #482528 - in reply to #482472
Another chance to win a trophy gone. Unacceptable no matter who's picking the team. The policy of we do not try in cup competitions is clearly still in place.Rafa's got a World Class pedigree but he needs to start showing it. If tonight was a way of putting people in the shop window they'll be having to borrow those big ShiteDirect 80% off stickers. The majority of the signings on display tonight weren't Carr's they were Benitez's. Namely Lazaar , Hanley, Gamez , Diame, and Murphy.
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24 August 2017 01:02 Post ID: #482529 - in reply to #482528
keggy_keagal - 24/8/2017 00:57

Another chance to win a trophy gone. Unacceptable no matter who's picking the team. The policy of we do not try in cup competitions is clearly still in place.Rafa's got a World Class pedigree but he needs to start showing it. If tonight was a way of putting people in the shop window they'll be having to borrow those big ShiteDirect 80% off stickers. The majority of the signings on display tonight weren't Carr's they were Benitez's. Namely Lazaar , Hanley, Gamez , Diame, and Murphy.


Carr was still here when they were bought and we dont know for certain whether they were recommended to Rafa or not is basically my angle on it.

As it is, im not going to give Rafa a free reign from criticism, the same as I didn't with Keegan and Sir Bobby but this just feels like a big game of politics of the likes we've never had here. Tonight was a shot across the bows from Rafa in my opinion.
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24 August 2017 06:48 Post ID: #482530 - in reply to #482526
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Toon_NoMatterWot - 23/8/2017 23:33

People really need to ignore the likes of Sky and whatever other media outlet Ashley's PR brigade has got to as their agenda is worse than propaganda.

We have a World Class manager in charge of us with a pedigree which puts him right up there and he wants to try to replicate his successes here, only we have a bloke in charge of us that wants to use every avenue possible to divert eyes from what he's done to the club.

Tonight was a clear message from Rafa and he even hinted in his pre-match press conference as to what was to come. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a Graham Carr inspired team that was chosen to start, just to highlight how weak we are in squad depth.

Nowt wrong with Rafa's tactics but there's plenty of things wrong in it's application so far. I also dont think that Ashley is too bothered about going down anyway as the coverage is almost priceless.


It's patronising to assume that any criticism of Benitez is sky or Ashley induced Toony ?

His team are playing shit football,his players don't look motivated or properly prepared,and his negative tactics are there for all to see,I don't need Sky to point that out.

I often read that he is a world class manager,
people are entitled to their opinions and his record and past glories can be rolled out as proof of this fact,but there are political commentators who can produce proof that Margret Thatcher was the best PM we ever had as well.

His last five clubs knew he wasn't good enough.

As for integrity,that team he put out was an insult to the paying public.

Unsurprisingly the raffarites are trying to spin his selection as a master plan,in reality it was poor management and disrespectful to those that turned up.



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24 August 2017 07:38 Post ID: #482531 - in reply to #482472
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Rafa took a gamble last night, by wanting to protect most of his 1st team, and play a mix of youth, fringe, and players who are expected to leave.

It didn't work. Bad result.

It's a meaningless competition though, so I'm over it.

On the plus side, Mitrovic looks eager to take any chance he's given to play. And by the time the FA Cup competition comes around (a proper Cup competition), we should be more settled.

If we beat Wet Spam - last nights result will be forgotten, albeit brushed under the carpet.
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24 August 2017 08:06 Post ID: #482533 - in reply to #482472
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'As for integrity,that team he put out was an insult to the paying public'

To be fair, the team that played Huddersfield was an insult, I doubt very much they would have got a different result.
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24 August 2017 09:12 Post ID: #482535 - in reply to #482533
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Paul Kannell - 24/8/2017 08:06

'As for integrity,that team he put out was an insult to the paying public'

To be fair, the team that played Huddersfield was an insult, I doubt very much they would have got a different result.




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24 August 2017 09:28 Post ID: #482536 - in reply to #482472
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Looks like our whole squad can produce two shite teams rather than one good one.
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24 August 2017 10:39 Post ID: #482539 - in reply to #482472
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To be fair if Pardew had of been in charge of that shower he would have been rightly slaughtered. No doubt Benitez has a pedigree but the last two games have shown that we have a shit squad and that he is too negative.
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24 August 2017 11:11 Post ID: #482542 - in reply to #482529
Toon_NoMatterWot - 24/8/2017 01:02

keggy_keagal - 24/8/2017 00:57

Another chance to win a trophy gone. Unacceptable no matter who's picking the team. The policy of we do not try in cup competitions is clearly still in place.Rafa's got a World Class pedigree but he needs to start showing it. If tonight was a way of putting people in the shop window they'll be having to borrow those big ShiteDirect 80% off stickers. The majority of the signings on display tonight weren't Carr's they were Benitez's. Namely Lazaar , Hanley, Gamez , Diame, and Murphy.


Carr was still here when they were bought and we dont know for certain whether they were recommended to Rafa or not is basically my angle on it.

As it is, im not going to give Rafa a free reign from criticism, the same as I didn't with Keegan and Sir Bobby but this just feels like a big game of politics of the likes we've never had here. Tonight was a shot across the bows from Rafa in my opinion.


I don't agree on the Carr point . Rafa stated (and we know from past experience and more recent statements Rafa only says what Rafa wants to) : “I will take responsibility (of transfers) if I have to take responsibility. From day one my relationship with Lee Charnley was really good. I am pleased to work with him." He's taking the responsibility, it's on him .

He's certainly not above making a political point with his team selection but if that was the case last night that's deplorable. It's supportive of every policy Mike Ashley has had in place since he's been here . The policy that made Keegan walk . It's this simple. It's Mike Ashley's golden rule. Nothing matters but my money , secure me more money.

The fans don't matter , the ground doesn't matter, the club doesn't matter, ambition doesn't matter , the staff don't matter , the manager doesn't matter, our history doesn't matter, our legacy doesn't fucking matter. I just don't see where the debate is. Ashley's never going to change, never. I understand when Benitez was wheeled out and interviews were given the supporter base, and us Newcastle fans are certainly optimistic, thought maybe he's changed maybe he finally gets it ? He doesn't, he barely gives a fuck .

He's like Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas . Make money on a player sale ? Fuck them wheres my money ? Compete in a cup competition ? Fuck that wheres my money? Relegated to The Championship ? Get back up and get me my fucking money ?

I like Rafa Benitez , I've always thought he was a good manager and I believe he's a decent bloke but he's not being truthful if he's playing politics with selection and implying he was deceived over transfer business. He's had the luxury of being able to judge Ashley on his history, a luxury Keegan never had, and his treatment of two of the pillars of Newcastle United in Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer should have sent him running from the negotiating table. He didn't and he's now just another product on the shelf, credibility for sale, respect for sale because for Mike Ashley everything's got a price .
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24 August 2017 12:02 Post ID: #482546 - in reply to #482472
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Keggy's bang on there. I'd only add that Ashley has gone public on his 'disposable income'. He's probably lying but who cares? It underlines his intentions. He will spend no money. The club only exists to deliver his cash bonus. I don't think he bothers with the club; it's there to give him cash.
Nothing else. Rafa has to do it all with a bit of day to day admin from Charnley.

If you still wish to support the club, that is how it is. I don't think a better manager than Benitez is going to take on that situation. I don't know when the frustration of his circumstances will force him out but it would be an extraordinary human being to waste his talents (his self-belief is renowned) should other clubs come calling. The owners of Leicester may wish to go beyond Shakespeare - would you be tempted?
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24 August 2017 12:13 Post ID: #482548 - in reply to #482472
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Good debate lads but for me the evidence is starting to stack up against Rafa:

Multiple expensive signings who he didn't play except as a last resort and no-one else wants to buy. We could be stuck with them on the wage bill for years. He was spending like a drunken sailor last summer, he just assumed he would be able to change them all for a couple of premiership quality players this summer. It seems other managers have more sense.

The most negative tactics I have ever seen at SJP, perhaps joint most negative with BSA, but certainly no better.

Buying more players no-one else seems to want and then can't get them performing.

Complaining about not enough investment when he has had near enough as much cash to spend as Huddersfield (to name but one) - it seems up to now they bought better players and got them playing.

The constant political posturing which is clearly unsettling the whole club.

I am seriously concerned. This isn't going to play out well I fear.





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24 August 2017 12:23 Post ID: #482551 - in reply to #482472
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Don't worry, Crook, that Manchester City bus is en route.

It has broken down on the M6 and only has 3 wheels but it's en route! I've been assured of it by someone who is never wrong apparently.
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24 August 2017 12:31 Post ID: #482552 - in reply to #482551
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Should be alright then ;-)

Joking apart I am more concerned by who we do buy than who we don't right now. £12M for Jacob Murphy when we already have a few wide men who are pretty decent, but not really good enough for the premiership. Seems an expensive ornament to have sitting on the bench like.

Spanish fullback no-one else wanted, a joke for the makems? Why?

Then complaining about not enough money to spend? I don't get it.
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