Rafa Benitez has raised an excellent point following Saturday’s uninspiring display at Cardiff, reminding fans that we’ve started poorly in our opening two games over the past last two years but have still enjoyed successful seasons.
There’s been a number of fans raising serious concerns after the nature of Saturday’s performance, but Rafa’s response here really does put it all into perspective – even if the team showed a total lack of discipline, urgency and ideas over the weekend in Wales.
As Rafa points out, we lost our opening two games in the Championship season (losing to Fulham and Huddersfield) yet went on to win the title and also lost our first two last season (losing to Spurs and Huddersfield), yet we managed to turn it around and finish 10th.
Here’s what Rafa’s said when asked about the nature of our performance on Saturday:
“To be fair, you don’t analyse what happens in the past too much. But it’s true; we lost two games in the Championship and then won the league. We also lost the first two last year and finished 10th,”
“So it could be positive for us to have one extra point. We want to win every game though, and especially against those teams who you know will be close to you because they are even more important.
“But, in the end, I think that we were working so hard that we deserved at least a point. And, because we had the chance with the penalty in the final minute, we could have got three points from a very difficult game in which we only had 10 players for a while, we had to change the system and positions because we had problems at right-full-back.
“So we have to be happy with the performance of the team, but still we know we have to improve things.”
It doesn’t hide the fact we were awful on Saturday and we will need to improve considerably if we wish to get anything from upcoming games against Chelsea, City and Arsenal, but this does perhaps bring some much needed perspective into the equation.
Let’s keep calm and trust Benitez and our boys. After all, they’ve ended up delivering when they’ve needed to over the past two seasons – and plenty fans have doubted us..
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