Rafa Benitez knows where his strengths lie at St James Park.
There maybe be a certain somebody holding him back as he tries to turn around Newcastle United but Rafa declared after hammering…the Hammers, ‘I think I have some friends in the stands’.
The support for the manager was evident throughout the match and as Newcastle stretched away to a comfortable win which could have been five or six, the United boss heard his name chanted from the stands.
The commitment of Rafa and the fans was matched by the team today and the manager summed it up: ‘We won with everyone trying so hard’.
Rafa Benitez picked out Matt Ritchie for special praise and I would live to know how far he ran this afternoon, the manager saying about the winger ‘the way he works is an example for the others’.
Who knows what lies ahead but if there is this kind of commitment every week, then things could turn out not so bad, though you have to factor in just how poor the visitors were today.
Rafa Benitez post-match:
“We won with everyone trying so hard.
“The fans were crucial last year and they have to be crucial this year, they are trying to help.
“I think I have some friends in the stands.
“I said before that Joselu needed to be fit. He did well, it was a great effort.
“Matt Ritchie is an important player and the way he works is an example for the others.
“We will try and bring in players that will give us something different…we know these players.”
“They know exactly what we are talking about in terms of targets – players going out because we have too many, and hopefully we can do this.
“Nothing changed after the first two games, or the first three games, and nothing has changed now.
“We have a clear idea of what we want to do and we will try to do it.
“I don’t know if we can do everything…but we will try to.
“Normally, whenever you win you are happy.
“In the way we won here and the performances of the players, the connection between players and fans, it makes you very happy!
“It is always nice to win, especially when it is at home.
“Three goals and a clean sheet. Team effort and a lot of good individual performances – really positive.
“The team worked very hard and the fans appreciated that.
“They were behind the players and they can make the difference.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 West Ham 0
Newcastle: Joselu 36, Clark 72, Mitrovic 86
Possession was West Ham 63% Newcastle 37%
Total shots were West Ham 8 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were West Ham 3 Newcastle 8
Corners were West Ham 5 Newcastle 7
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Elliot, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Ritchie (Murphy 88), Hayden (Diame 82), Merino, Atsu, Perez, Joselu (Mitrovic 72)
Woodman, Aarons, Gamez, Saivet
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win over West Ham HERE)
(To read what Slaven Bilic had to say after the match go HERE)
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])