Rafa, relegation and resurrection


Now I hate to mention the R word, or several in the case of this header, but lets face it, we can’t ignore our perilous position. It would seem we have a mountain to climb to secure our premier league status with just 8 games remaining.

Rafa Benitez has really taken on the task with vigour, getting all the negativity away from the first team squad, including stopping the under 21 players that were hanging around the first team. Even Peter Beardsley has been ousted and the likes of Cheick Tiote and any other negative or moody first teamers will also be told to stay away from Benitez chosen group of first teamers.

I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t suffer fools gladly and you will quickly become persona non grata if you don’t pull your weight or fight for the cause. So it would seem he is doing his best to establish a sense of brotherhood and togetherness amongst the first team, encouraging them to eat and socialise together. After all, this is how they operate at Leicester city and it seems to work for them. The only problem with this approach is it mustn’t be forced as I can’t see it working. At Leicester they are genuine friends who socialise not just with each other but with each others families too.

What ever changes and ploys Benitez chooses to adopt, he has little time to make them effective – hampered somewhat by the overall quality within the squad. We have seen some good progress with the defence. It was immediately noticed in the Leicester City game where we looked calm and passed it out from the back well. However, in the Derby match the same old lack luster, slow play seemed to rear it’s ugly head again and the first half wasn’t pretty at all. Second half we seemed to up our workrate, helped in part by Sunderland sitting back and a Rafa rollicking no doubt.

But.. does Benitez really have time to save us? Are we so wrapped up in the arrival of such a good coach that we are in danger of forgetting part of the reason we are where we are, namely those players? Do we have a squad who are truly able to step up, helped along by good solid tactical knowledge? After all he can only pass on his vision and knowledge to them, in the end it’s up to them to implement that vision on the game.



If the unthinkable were to happen and we are relegated, we then have the question of whether Rafa Benitez stays or goes. Will he fancy a rebuilding job given we are likely to lose several good players and some not so good ones hopefully too? Or will the board opt to let him go and bring in a coach along the lines of Nigel Pearson, who some might argue would be possibly better equipped for that type of fight?

There is also the question of whether or not the team we deployed in that division would have the ability to bounce back like our previous team managed in that league. If I’m honest I cannot see a Toon ressurection like before. There are no Barton’s, Carroll’s and Nolan’s this time – or in the near future it would seem, not with Mike Ashley telling us the financial cupboard is bare. If this is true then we can’t sign good battling footballers because they cost a pretty penny – even in that league.

So it would seem we have to pray and if you aren’t religious, plain hope that we survive and Benitez is allowed to build something really special with Newcastle…… After all – haven’t we waited long enough?

Kimtoon

204 thoughts on “Rafa, relegation and resurrection

  1. Rooney’s gone down hill every year since 2004 when he was the wonderboy. Happens to a lot of players like Owen and Gascoigne. No way should he now be in the England team. Not even sure I’d want him at SJP. Never liked him anyway.

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  2. I can’t think of any other England player where so many people would be so happy if he was dropped

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  3. Should be interesting to see if Hodgson goes against his usual cagey style when it actually matters & not a pressure less friendly we expected nothing from…

    The way I’d go (I loath Vardy but his pace & pressing game compliment the others)

    ——————-Hart—————-
    –Clyne–Stones–Cahill–Rose–
    ——–Dyer———Alli————-
    ————–Barkley—————–
    —Vardy—–Kane—-Sterling—–

    Knowing Woy:

    ———————-Hart———————-
    —Clyne–Jagielka—Cahill—Baines—
    ——–Henderson–Carrick–Milner—-
    —-Welbeck—–Rooney—Lalana—–

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  4. DAVE I have feeling Rafa is creating a fear factor within the board and are putting no obstacles in his way,if he pulls this off and keeps us up there will be big changes at the club,and my god it needs it imo

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  5. Ice I said when we signed him that the best thing about his appointment was that it signalled an end to the stupid way that they run the club, and that Rafa would want things done the proper way, and wouldn’t be a puppet for them

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  6. I’ll think completely differently about our club if they manage to keep Rafa. Fingers crossed.

    Mind you if we lose to Norwich it’s the Championship. Win and I’ll change my mind but with 6 wins in 30 I’m sceptical.

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  7. 4 hours to go before England play Holland. If we lose will we be shit again and will there be cries that it was all because we miss Rooney 🙂

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  8. For any of those people who think Rafa will stay if we get relegated can I just point out that Valencia will almost certainly be looking for a new manager at the end of the season. In fact, even if we stay up that might be a job that Rafa will find hard to turn down.

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  9. Eric, can’t see him going to Valencia as the whole point of coming to us was he wants to manage in the PL again as he lives here.

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  10. Love the shit-talk the chron keeps producing.. now we have Townsend on how we’re perfectly prepared for Norwich 🙄

    Stop the talking, show us on the pitch!

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  11. Bloody hell, if we’ve lost Elliot we are defo buggered 🙁
    Planets and stars aligning to send us down I reckon, bloody internationals.

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  12. interesting

    Taylor and Besty Retweeted

    sportingintelligence ‏@sportingintel · Mar 20

    The Premier League’s bottom three have more English top-division titles between them (17) then the PL’s top three (15).

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  13. Villa have sacked Garde! That means they’ll no doubt have a new manager by the time we play them. Shame! 🙁

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  14. Gini – Worst player on the pitch tonight. Hardly a surprise – Netherlands are away from home…

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  15. These meaningless friendly games at such a vital time of the season for both ends of the table are a pain in the arse.

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  16. So we will have no full back and first choice and second choice keepers out in the biggest game of the season! Apart from that, we should be ok.

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  17. Shelvey can do everything that Drinkwater can and more with a blindfold on and his bootlaces tied together…

    His inclusion makes Colbacks call up look plausible

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  18. Poor Darlow lots of pressure on him now 🙁 First we lose Krul playing for Holland now Elliot playing for Ireland. Stitched up both ends of the season 😡

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  19. CC, Agree on Shelvey, there are a few getting picked that shouldn’t be, but it’s always been that way.

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  20. Elliott was much maligned until this season & was widely expected to be the odd one out when we signed Darlow

    He’s excelled and silenced the doubters, Hopefully Darlow can do the same

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  21. CC, I wouldn’t wanna be in his boots, so much pressure on him. Poor sods only had one start. What a time to have to step up.

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  22. Well I hope Rob gets well soon, he doesn’t deserve his season to end like that. He’s my player of the season.

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  23. According to O’Neil Elliota injury is “serious” and could be out for the season!

    Over to you Darlow, lad!

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  24. Darlow was a bundle of nerves in his first game at SJP. Hopefully he will have settled down a bit and playing away from home might even help. I remember his decision making was bad but, again, I hope that was just nerves.

    I wonder if the happy clapper(s) saying we will win the Euro (Troy) will be on here soon?

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  25. Sorry, Darlow’s only PL game was away and I remember he was just terrible. Fingers crossed he got rid of the jitters, because if he is really that bad he is akin to Alnwick.

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  26. Can we get an emergency keeper? And is there anybody out there with PL experience?

    What happened with Victor Valdes?

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  27. Since we have 2 first choice goalkeepers injured whilst on international duty, we should be all over the dutch and irish fa’s looking for compensation.
    I recall a case a few years ago where arjen robben was injured playing for holland, and fc bayern went absolutely ape-shit, it was approaching an international scandal. kalle rummenigge and fc bayern demanded a massive compensation due to the fact that they were without Robben for several months. i think in fact in the end there was a friendly between fc bayern and holland to smooth things over…
    didn’t the toon also receive compensation when the legendary Michael Owen got crocked playing for England ?

    Still, it’s all insignificant at the end of the day. Karl Darlow is 25 years of age and has played for England, he sould be in a position to handle the next 8 games. If he isn’t then he shouldn’t be anywhe near the Premier League. Harsh facts, but true. Fingers crossed for the lad because we need him to come up with the goods. He’s sure as hell going to get plenty of shot stopping practice with our sieve like defence in front of him. Come on Karl lad, do us proud and show us
    what you are capable of. You need to look no further than Rob Elliot for inspiration.

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  28. MM: I looked up Wikipedia and it didn’t say Darlow had played for England, maybe youth level?

    He did play 46 times for Forest last year so he can’t be as bad as he appeared to be on his debut for us. He was second choice ahead of Elliot before being injured so he must have looked OK in training.

    I hope Elliot’s injury is not as bad as feared as I think he was well on the way to getting player of the season. Shows how bad the rest of the squad have been 🙁

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  29. Yes we did get compo for Owens injury.
    It is infuriating to lose both Tim and Rob in internationals at both ends of the season. Feel really bad for Rob, he finally gets to show his worth and gets crocked 🙁
    Darlow will need nerves of steel now, such a pity he doesn’t have the defence in front of him to protect him that he should have. Poor decisions now coming back to haunt the muppets at the top.

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  30. Darlow cost us a point at WBA and looked a bag of nerves all night. They’ll have to recall Woodman. I would start him!

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  31. Darlow was signed to be no2; He was crocked at the time of Kruls injury or would have stepped up then & Elliot would still be Pardews teachers pet, fat, Pub player, hinderence to Woodmans progress he was wrongly accused of being before his run in the side.

    With time to prepare before the match (Which he didn’t have pre WBA) hopefully Darlow be fine. This shouldn’t be a Jack Alnwick situation when he blatantly wasn’t ready or good enough. He’s played over 100 league games

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  32. Stoke losing Butland for months after the friendly with Germany is swiftly followed by Elliot facing a long lay off after the friendly with Slovakia.
    I suppose this is all good news for Sunderland who will soon be playing Stoke and their odds of survival must be increasing whilst our chances of survival slowly diminish.

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