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Why I’m relieved Rafa Benitez didn’t come to save Newcastle United earlier

5 years ago

This time last year we were being fed soundbite after soundbite from a clueless manager who had taken the reins from another clueless manager.

Our results were awful, save for a game against Norwich, and our league position was being cemented.

Imagine if Rafa Benitez had taken over at Christmas, we might still have our expensive stars…..

Except I am glad he didn’t, I am really enjoying the Championship.

It is so nice to hear a record crowd at each (away) match and listen to our fortress humming in the middle of the city.

Seriously, I ended up at the RVI for my wee one during one match and it sounded like a concert from there!

I am still not convinced by Colback or Dummett but I am sure Rafa will square away a replacement, as and when needed. How many times have we seen talent chucked on too early just to fail?

Our squad are relishing the challenge and playing for manager and fans, you can see every game that each player is improving. Clark in the middle for me has been an unsung masterpiece.

Signed from Aston Villa, I honestly thought we did that just to weaken them, but he is keeping other more ‘expensive’ talent out and keeping our Captain busy and safe.

Between Atsu and Ritchie we have the best wingers, Gayle and Mitro the best strikers.

It’s a joy and long may it continue.

In Rafa we trust !!

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Preston 1 Newcastle 2

Goals – 

Newcastle: Mitrovic 59,71

Preston: Beckford 90

Possession was Preston 55% Newcastle 45%

Total shots were Preston 14 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Preston 4 Newcastle 6

Corners were Preston 8 Newcastle 0

Newcastle starting 11:

Darlow, Yedlin (Hanley 90+5), Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 90+2), Gouffran, Hayden, Shelvey, Diame, Mitrovic (Perez 86)

Unused Subs:

Sels, Gamez, Anita, Lazaar,

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Crowd: 20,724 (5,626 Newcastle)

(For instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to yesterday’s win at Preston go HERE)

(To hear why Newcastle didn’t deserve anything, according to Preston boss Simon Grayson, go HERE)



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