Heading into the festive period, Rafa Benitez has reminded his players of the perils of social media.
David Moyes and Sunderland have banned their players from having a ‘traditional’ Christmas night out but Rafa prefers to put the responsibility on the players themselves.
The squad are set to have their Xmas do next week with no matches until Boxing Day and simply asks his players not to do ‘silly things, just be normal and enjoy’.
To be fair, Newcastle have had their fair share of ‘silly’ players in the past but hopefully there will be peer pressure to stay in line anyway – on top of that, with such a competitive squad at St James Park, it should help focus the minds.
We still don’t really know what did or didn’t happen in Liverpool with Dwight Gayle last month when out for Jamaal Lascelles’ birthday – but hopefully it will serve as an extra warning that if anything, no matter how minor, happens then it will end up in the public domain.
Back in the days of Keegan’s teams, it was a regular sight to see the players celebrating in the city centre after the match. When the team are doing it on the pith then no reasonable supporter begrudges a bit of team bonding off it.
“My feeling is that players having a lunch or dinner or spending some time together – normally, it’s positive.
“The dangerous thing, I told them, is don’t do silly things, especially (when it comes to) social media.
“Don’t do silly things, just be normal and enjoy – that is it.
“You have to find the positive side to this.
“Hopefully, they don’t do silly things and then we will talk about how happy they are and things like this.”