Benitez & Rondon hit problems at Dalian Yifang despite strong start to life in China

After a strong start to life in China, former Newcastle United duo Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon have endured a difficult few months at Dalian Yifang.

Despite the Spaniard winning 5, drawing 2 and losing just once in his opening 8 games for the club, they’ve been on a wretched run since August.

They’ve been knocked out the cup and have registered just one win since early August, losing 5 of their last 7 in all competitions and slumping to 9th in the Chinese Super League.

The team’s struggles has also coincided in a loss of form for Salomon Rondon.

The Venezuelan – who plays alongside Marek Hamsik and Yannick Carrasco – started off superbly, bagging 3 goals and 2 assists in his opening 4 games, however the former NUFC loanee has failed to find the net since August – and even found himself benched by Rafa Benitez as a result last month.

I’d take both back at Newcastle United in a heartbeat, but it seems both are have work to do in China after a brilliant early start has quickly unravelled for the former NUFC duo.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

6 thoughts on “Benitez & Rondon hit problems at Dalian Yifang despite strong start to life in China

  1. Bout time the mighty RAFA got some normal press instead of blinkered nufc fans crying. He was a manager who could not get a top rated job when we took him. He is known to the footballing world to be an awkward customer when it comes to demands. He was ok at Newcastle, but not amazing and i don’t know why we are all so up in arms about it all. Yes we don’t like Ashley but what matters most to us are the games. Its proved time and time again that spending huge amounts of money does not equate to success on the pitch. Look at so many big spenders in the league right now. Then look at Frank at Chelsea… he bought no one but sold the biggest names, had to bring in the youngsters and they are flying. Hard work beats talent all day long if talent does not work. This season we are playing better and in a better position stats wise than that of last season. We can debate all day long the merits of RAFA and Bruce but you cant debate stats on what has been a similar start in terms of teams we have played. Is it down to Bruce being here or is it down to RAFA not being here? i don’t know but we have more points and that fact can not be deleted.

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  2. Rafa has always been a manager who does well on the coat tails of others.

    Which manager would not do well walking into teams like Liverpool, Real and Chelsea who already had trophy winning teams.

    As for you comment that you’d take both back in a heartbeat – are you honestly saying that you would rather take back a manger and a striker who haven’t had a win or a goal between them in three months, rather than sticking with a set-up here which has us in a better league position with more points than Rafa managed last season?

    I think that says more about you, Olly, than it does about them.
    You are

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  3. Brrrian: Rafa has always been a manager who does well on the coat tails of others.

    Which manager would not do well walking into teams like Liverpool, Real and Chelsea who already had trophy winning teams.

    As for you comment that you’d take both back in a heartbeat – are you honestly saying that you would rather take back a manger and a striker who haven’t had a win or a goal between them in three months, rather than sticking with a set-up here which has us in a better league position with more points than Rafa managed last season?

    I think that says more about you, Olly, than it does about them.
    You are

    Rafa Benitez is without any shadow of a doubt a far superior manager than Steve Bruce, while Salomon Rondon is our current player of the season who was involved in 19 goals last season (12 goals / 7 assists).

    I’m happy to have Joelinton and believe he has real potential to make it in the PL, but feel he needs someone like Rondon with him to take the pressure off his young shoulders and help chip in with goals.

    If you want to write an article on why we don’t miss Rondon and are better off with Bruce than Benitez, be my guest?

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  4. Why is Benitez “without a shadow of doubt a far superior manager than Bruce”? I need this explained to me please. Don’t go talking about the various exploits at other clubs. Explain it to me in the context of Rafa last season at Newcastle against Bruce this season. I really want to see how you find a person far superior when his record is worse?
    Olly Hawkins: Rafa Benitez is without any shadow of a doubt a far superior manager than Steve Bruce, while Salomon Rondon is our current player of the season who was involved in 19 goals last season (12 goals / 7 assists).

    I’m happy to have Joelinton and believe he has real potential to make it in the PL, but feel he needs someone like Rondon with him to take the pressure off his young shoulders and help chip in with goals.

    If you want to write an article on why we don’t miss Rondon and are better off with Bruce than Benitez, be my guest?

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  5. Craig Chisholm: Why is Benitez “without a shadow of doubt a far superior manager than Bruce”? I need this explained to me please. Don’t go talking about the various exploits at other clubs. Explain it to me in the context of Rafa last season at Newcastle against Bruce this season. I really want to see how you find a person far superior when his record is worse?

    Well, saying I can’t use what he’s done at other clubs is pretty biased given one has a history of Champions League success and the other has a history of Championship success, but ok.

    You insist on me comparing Rafa’s start to last season with Bruce’s this year as if it defines how good each manager is.

    1 – Rafa Benitez got a Championship squad into the top 10 in our first season back. Yet Bruce has only managed two top 10 finishes in the PL over the past 20 years.

    2 – Last season our defence was statistically the 7th best in the league. 5-0 defeats at Leicester and 3-1’s at Norwich wouldn’t have happened under Rafa.

    3 – Rafa Benitez had Kenedy, Atsu, Ritchie, Joselu and Gayle for the majority of his time in the PL with us. Bruce has a £75m front three, yet we’ve barely looked like scoring all season prior to last weekend’s win at West Ham.

    Here’s a question for you. We’ve finished 10th in 2017/18 and 13th in 2018/19 (11 clear of the drop zone) with a poorer squad than we have this season under Bruce. Do you think Bruce will better our position and points total last season this year? He may have started better, but you seem to be forgetting just how good we were over the second half of last season.

    Are you honestly saying Rafa Benitez is not a superior manager to Steve Bruce?

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