Rafa Benitez has declared that one of the priorities at Newcastle United, is that he and his coaching staff ‘have to be sure that everybody is giving everything’.
It goes without saying that this wasn’t the case under Steve McClaren and it will be interesting to see just which players respond to the crack of the whip, or continue as they had been doing under McClaren.
Not every player was guilty under Steve McClaren but there were very few who could claim to be innocent on all charges.
Having only landed in Newcastle on Friday, no doubt Rafa Benitez will largely be relying on the advice of Ian Cathro when it comes to selecting his team on Monday night.
McClaren’s former assistant has had an unbelievably low profile since arriving at Newcastle last summer but of all the coaching staff, I think fair to say he was the only one (along with goalkeeper coach Simon Smith) that fans didn’t mind seeing stay on.
So what changes would we anticipate?
Fair to say that if Yoan Gouffran or Emmanuel Riviere were named, there would be a lot of sinking hearts.
Rafa Benitez has made a lot of expected noises including saying it is a good group of players at Newcastle etc etc but that surely isn’t the case.
Newcastle have SOME good players but you would be lucky to pick a first eleven of ‘good’ players and that is if everybody was fit.
Ayoze Perez would be a popular choice to be in his countryman’s first starting eleven, whilst there will also be an expectation that the back four won’t look quite as clueless as they did against Bournemouth.
After Steve McClaren’s repeated empty promises before away games and the empty excuses afterwards, refreshing to think/believe/hope for better at Leicester.
“You have to be calm, you have to analyse things and you have to be sure that everybody is giving everything.
“We have been analysing the stats but what we want to do now, is to change the mood and give them confidence.
“If the offensive players are confident, they can score goals.
“If the team defending can defend as a unit and are compact – if they know what they have to do we can improve in defence, so that is the idea at the moment.
“We need to give confidence to our players, to organise the team in the way we want to do things. It will be difficult, for sure, but the atmosphere of the fans, everyone in the city is helping, so hopefully we can do well.
“The main thing for me is that I know that we have a very good group of players. I know that we have quality in the squad, so we need to give them confidence.
“From them, I expect 100% every game – they have to give everything,because the fans will be behind us and they will help. We need everything from everyone now.
“I believe that these players are good enough to stay in the Premier League. Now, I have seen the quality of some of them, and little things that we have to change.
“We have a good team, we have some injuries, this may be the main problem – but if everything is fine in a few days, I think a little later they’ll understand what we want and we’ll be growing.
“You know that it is a massive club and that it’s not doing like they can do, so your target, your idea, is to try and improve things and do things in a way that everybody will be proud of.”