Wooah now steady on!

Now that the club has a top notch manager on the books the Toon Army is awash with full blooded optimism. It’s a refreshing change for us but it’s important not to lose sight of the cold, hard reality of our dire current standing.

I’m still not convinced we are staying up ‘if I’m being honest‘ (to borrow a phrase from the Alan Pardew handbook of handy sentence closures). I hope Rafa can work miracles and we certainly stand a much better chance now than we did under Steve McClaren – who appeared tactically inept and seemingly lost the dressing room a long time ago.

The big concern like a few have pointed out, is far too many of our players are either simply not good enough or just dont seem to care. I know the Grin Reaper lost their respect and they were not playing for him, but they are very well paid professionals and regardless of a lack of tactics or an inspirational leader they should still have been displaying the basic principles of football such as pass & move, chase balls, close down the opposition and commit to winning the ball. It’s not rocket science and the absence of the concentration and/or will to get the basics right for large swathes of the last 18 months under various managers and coaches worries me.

This league has been a funny one and anyone can beat anybody else on their day. I know a lot of people have us down for victories against every one of our relegation rivals, but it will more than likely be the case that those teams will come fighing for their lives. They will want the points just as much as our players. Who saw Norwich picking up a point against title chasing Man City for example?

If we as fans expect and pin our hopes on wins against every relegation rival then I fear we are in for disappointment. Numerous people have pointed out that local rivals Sunderland have displayed fight in recent games. Newcastle have not. The Derby game is absolutely massive. A loss puts Sunderland 4 points clear of us but secure a win and we are right back in it, with a psychological advantage.

Its worth noting that every bottom half team has beaten us at least once this season with the exception of Norwich. We seem to fold when the pressure is on. More often than not, these games against relegation rivals come down to who wants it more and tactics go out the window. Do our lads have it in them?

No doubt Rafa Benitez will inspire a few individuals and bring a fresh impotus into the squad. He has been there and done it in several Countries and we could not have wished for a better managerial appointment. He has several big tasks to overcome. They include making our defensive unit more robust, making our forward line more potent and getting key players such as Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko to perform consistently.

I just hope the lads listen keenly to Rafa’s instructions and actually go out with focus and determination. If they do, they will pull off a shock result or two against the better placed sides we are due to face such as Liverpool and Man City. It could well be those games that we will be relying on to stay up, not necessarily your Norwich City’s and Swansea’s.

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

165 thoughts on “Wooah now steady on!

  1. can only see a draw at best at the weekend tbh.. would love three points but I see a draw or home defeat. the biggest danger to the toon will be there own gung-ho attitude spurred on by a rabid but nervous crowd.. fat sam will have that card marked and will hope to profit from it.
    the makkems also tend to play until the 95th minute, something which we haven’t managed to do with knacker ned in charge. hopefully rafas new full power traning sessions will put an end to that..
    cannae wait for sunday, bring them on !!


  2. SHARPY I really think Rafa will enjoy it here “if” he keeps us up,his name is on the line here he’s not going to let the players off lightly


  3. Ice – I think Rafa is a fans manager. I think he loves that relationship with the fans. He knows the fans turn up because they are passionate about football.
    With clubs like Liverpool & Newcastle, we crave success and any we get is appreciated & celebrated.
    Clubs like Chelsea & Madrid expect it. It’s not really appreciated, and when he won Europa with Chelsea is was still seen as a poor season by their fans.

    If Rafa can keep us up, that will be seen as huge success & he’ll be loved by the Geordies. It will buy him the time to improve us & develop HIS team.


  4. Sharpy – very pleased to have Rafa on board. Would be a crying shame to lose him and a relegation now.
    Can’t think straight about the derby. A typical Sam approach would be to say keep it tight for 20 mins and the crowd will silence. He’ll also know Rafa will expect that. Rafa will know we’re better on the counter with our pace so like I say I can’t even think logical thoughts about this one. Hate derbies anyway!
    Must not lose at any cost.


  5. Very interested to see how we play on Sunday and to see if Rafa has had more influence on them.

    Hopefully we have some players back but do we risk them? Mbemba is back in training and Taylor was missing today (shock!) so we might not have any choice as to whether to risk him.


  6. Working hard…

    As you know, work began with intensity from the moment my coaching staff and I arrived. Our first job is to make sure we remain a Premier League club and this week we have committed everything we have to making that happen.

    Whilst the result on Monday at Leicester wasn’t what we wanted, I was pleased with parts of what I saw. We have worked intensively on the areas that need improvement and I am confident we go into Sunday’s game well-prepared.

    A Black & White Army…

    I have been in the opposing dug out at St. James’ Park and I know that when I take my place on the home side, I will be backed by some of the most passionate fans in the world. In fact, the strength of your famous support is one of the many things that drew me to this club.

    On Sunday, Sunderland’s team will face not only the 11 players on the pitch, but a 50,000-strong army. I hope you will not underestimate the importance of the role you will play on Sunday; you can make the crucial difference for us.

    Let’s create a wall of sound and a tide of black and white. I am sure there will be respect on both sides, that’s important, but I have no doubt that the atmosphere you will create will be electrifying and imposing


  7. It’s gonna be very intimidating for Sunderlands players on sunday. We need to make it pay, even if we haven’t scored after say 20 mins, which they will be relying on to silence us . We need the fans singing and chanting from start to finish especially if they go ahead. I want us to win more than kick their arses, a thrashing is just gravy tbh, the 3 points are all that matters.


  8. Georgio – see I think Sam will go the other way. I think they will play 100 mph from the off to try & unsettle us and pin us back in the first 10mins.
    If we fear their attack it will stop us going at them might be his approach.
    We just need to play our own game & stick to what Rafa has instructed them. What I liked about the Leicester game was that Rafa was making the subs to try & change the game.
    I think if the players do as they are told we win.


  9. GlosMag: Not sure source is reliable but this sounds positive. It’s nice to see interest in the he club from a positive view. Possibly some reputation boost from having Rafa on board

    Oh dear .. apologies if the post reads as if I questioned Sharpy as a source. It was the source of the original article I questioned.

    I trust all posters here as impeccable sources.

    Note to self .. reread before posting ☺


  10. DJG the last time we won at Anfield was back in 1986. Long time ago but we have managed a draw at best. The bogey. I can’t see us picking up 3 points there


  11. Manchester City is another bogey for me. Spurs also but not impossible if the player’s put in a good shift. Sunderland is a must for me or we go down its that simple.


  12. I don’t think a draw or loss is the end of the world, we have 9 games to save our season, Scum have 8. I refuse to believe we cant pick up at least 3 wins under Rafa plus there is no way Scum or Norwich will win more than 2 or 3 games from here on in. Work hard and they can beat Scum, Swans, Norwich and I would expect saints too for that matter.


  13. I agree Kim, it certainly doesn’t mean we’re down if we were to lose..though it makes it so much more difficult…and confidence wise it would be a huge blow I think.
    i believe we’ve played the same amount of games as the scum though, so same amount of games to save ourselves.


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