Rafa Benitez explains Bournemouth defeat set in motion two months ago
Rafa Benitez cut a frustrated figure after Saturday’s defeat to Bournemouth.
It was over 10 months since Rafa had last lost a home Premier League game on a Saturday.
A remarkable record that showed only one defeat (Liverpool v Man Utd in March 2007) in 58 home Saturday Premier League matches.
You can now make that two in 59…
The Newcastle boss was understandably not very happy with his team, a failure to take chances, especially in the first half, as well as far too many mistakes, particularly after the break.
However, it was interesting to hear Rafa Benitez hark back to the lack of backing in the summer transfer window, the United manager having kept quiet on that one, once the deadline had passed.
Rafa declared after the Bournemouth defeat ‘I was worried from the first of September’, a clear reference to the understandable belief he has that he was left high and dry by Mike Ashley, after the owner had failed to keep the transfer window promises – which the Spaniard kept referring to whilst the window was still open.
He has performed minor miracles in picking up 14 points after 10 games, now 11, but with only one goal and a rather fortunate three points via the late goal against Palace in the last three matches, the lack of enough quality signings in the summer is now really beginning to bite.
Nowhere more so than up front. Dwight Gayle looked very good on his return to the team but after so little football no surprise it may take time to get amongst the goals, though he was robbed of one by an incorrect linesman’s flag.
No excuses for Joselu on that front though, he was a £5m 27 year old unwanted Stoke reserve striker who has never scored double figures in a league season, yet Rafa was forced to bring him in due to a lack of backing from Ashley. Yet again on Saturday his finishing looked like that of a £5m 27 year old unwanted Stoke reserve striker who…
The fact that Bournemouth had the luxury of bringing on Jermain Defoe in the later stages sadly only summed up the summer transfer failings further.
Newcastle had only an £11.5m net spend this summer, both Huddersfield and Brighton saw their owners commit to net spends of over £40m in both cases.
It was ironic/telling maybe that Saturday saw both of those clubs win again, taking the pair above Newcastle United.
It is not all doom and gloom and Newcastle do have some good players and a very good manager…but yesterday reminded us just how tough this league is and the last two home matches have been against the clubs who were in 20th and 19th places.
Whoever owns the club on 1 January 2018 has to fully back Rafa Benitez, or you fear for the team, as well as indeed the manager himself and whether he will be prepared to put up with a lack of backing for very much longer, the January 2017 window as well saw him not backed with a single signing.
“In football, you have to play well, create chances and take them….don’t make mistakes, we didn’t do that.
“I will not talk about the decisions (by the match officials) because I am not very happy with the decisions.
“Once you lose, it doesn’t matter if it is tough or not. We lost and we didn’t do what we had to do in a lot of occasions.
“We made mistakes, and in the end, we paid for that. We gave the ball away easy without great pressing, we were giving them chances to counter-attack.
“They went direct late on, they knew what they had to do.
“We gave them the chance to believe they could score and it was a self-inflicted defeat.
“I was worried from the first of September (after transfer window closed), what I did is to work harder, and that is what I will do now.
“We are where we are.
“I said before, now is another proof that we have to keep working, keep compact together, or we will have problems in these kind of games.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Bournemouth 1
Bournemouth: Cook 90+2
Possession was Bournemouth 52% Newcastle 48%
Total shots were Bournemouth 16 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Bournemouth 6 Newcastle 4
Corners were Bournemouth 9 Newcastle 11
Referee: Paul Tierney
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark 55), Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu (Murphy 82), Joselu (Perez 68)
Darlow, Gamez, Mitrovic, Diame
Crowd: 52,237 (Bournemouth 1,600)
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
(A worthwhile experiment Rafa Benitez will not be repeating..? Read HERE)
(Update on Jamaal Lascelles injury – Read HERE)
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