Rafa Benitez is facing maybe his greatest ever challenge at Newcastle United.

An underfunded squad and uncertainty surrounding a potential takeover, not the best of helps in managing a return to the Premier League.

The Newcastle manager’s greatest career achievements centre around what he did at Valencia and Liverpool.

Breaking the stranglehold of Real Madrid and Barcelona with a remarkable two La Liga titles at Valencia (2001/02 and 2003/04), then later that Champions League triumph with the scousers.

Marcelino (not the Newcastle dodgy centre-back – the current Valencia boss) has no doubts about how great Rafa’s achievements were at Valencia, saying ‘It’s impossible to match what Rafa Benitez achieved here.’

Benitez started the 2001/02 title winning season with a run that saw no defeats in the opening 13 matches, on Sunday afternoon Marcelino’s Valencia could beat that.

With nine wins and four draws so far, they play away at Getafe. A win would put them only two points behind leaders Barcelona and a sizeable six points ahead of Real Madrid in fourth (Atletico Madrid currently third).

Valencia boss Marcelino speaking ahead of today’s match against Getafe:

“Our idea is not to match that Rafa Benitez record, it is just to win with our idea of football.

“Winning fills me with more satisfaction than equalling or beating a record.

“It’s impossible to match what Rafa Benitez achieved here.

“He is a point of reference for us.

“I’m happy with the goals of our three forwards, who were questioned at the start of the season.”

Valencia’s impressive run coincides with tough times for Rafa at Newcastle, only one point from the last 18 after defeat at Chelsea.

He has achieved a minor miracle to have 15 points from 15 matches so far, though it is essential that these are added to in the upcoming home games with Leicester and Everton.



  • Monkseaton Magpies

    It’s time to stop playing games and making political statements and play the best team on Saturday and week on Wednesday the time has come to try and get points.
    Rafa knows his best team and they should play on Saturday rather than playing players who are not up to it to prove a point to Ashley that we need to spend more money.

  • Geordiegiants

    Rafa knows what he is doing, he has proven it time and time again. For people to start doubting his ability is crazy, only at Newcastle United.

    • Soldier

      explain 1 win in 11 then

      • Leazes Ender

        Promoted to Premiership didn’t have words with Ashley.

      • Geordiegiants

        Playing staff.

        • Lhc

          Team selections/substitutions also

          • Geordiegiants

            The whole team bar a few obvious are pure shyte Man, do you or any other sensible person think that Mitro would make any or that much difference?

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            No, he wouldnt

          • Lhc

            Aye given a chance a do…… ‘but in rafa we trust’ blah

          • Albert Stubbins

            He’s made more comebacks than Take That man!! He’s u.s FFS!!

          • Lhc

            Whey it must just be a funny coincidence the fans yesterday gave him a lot of vocal support in the stands when warming up, if he is a useless as most pedal on here.

        • Jezza

          Precisely.

      • gallowgate26

        Easy….Most championship players in a squad of any PL club….

  • Kuta

    I agree about political statement Rafa currently playing right bow through the game. It’s crazy but let’s make a fun with some conspiracy theory for a moment.
    1) He needs a prolific striker, skillful no 10, proven CM and solid CB. Found 2 in the making of Merina and Lasscell, he will force his buying next window.
    2) Left in the dark about transfer kitty and takeover, thinking about how “good” Boro last season, he start changing his selections for more attacking minded BUT NOT TO WIN, draw is the target!
    This will prove his political statement that the team is very weak and unable to compete.
    3) He doesn’t want to walk away if everything goes bad. He wants that £5m compensation when it happens. Takeover or not, he must get that transfer kitty in January!
    4) Shelvey prepared to be supersub if new player comes. Wants a new winger but likes Ritchie so much, experimenting as explosive fullback, matching Yedlin at RB, just like Valencia at Manure.
    5) Stateveley, georgeous woman, called Rafa she wants an attacking-minded team, forcing his way to conclude the relegation terms to be included.

    No takeover, he won’t lose £5m, Ashley will take the blame.
    Takeover happens, got burnt too much, relegated but he will freedom with bigger chunk of money to spend. Staveley got cheaper price, kick fat c in the a**e or laugh him loud when another relegation happens and Rafa walks. His valuation dropping like the stones thrown by fans. And try to renegotiate later season.

  • Lhc

    How is having achieving 15 points after 15 games a minor miracle?!

    • gallowgate26

      Because we have the worst team in the league and should be bottom….
      38 points will keep us up this season, easily.

      • Lhc

        We aren’t the worst team in the league the table doesn’t lie. Team selection/substitutions etc is the reason we’re on a bad run. You should play your best players Shelvey Mitro make the correct substations at the right times. Not rocket science. Hayden on at 2 1 down with Shelvey on the bench is a funny old decision

        • Geordiegiants

          I think I’ll go with a proven winner that see’s these people everyday training and their attitude and fitness, rather than a fan on a forum cheers. Merino was appalling yesterday.

        • Mike Adam

          It is amazing that some will not even question Rafa for not making substitutions yesterday to go after a point!!!!

          • Jimmy_toons

            That may be due to the fact they agree as much with Benitez’s decisions which is their right, as it’s your right to disagree with them.

          • Mike Adam

            I respect that jimmy, if we were talking about player selection or style of play I would certainly agree, but going after points is very different. If we don’t get points we will be relegated, so I don’t understand how any NUFC fan can support not going after a goal to tie a match.

      • Peaky Magpie

        I think 38 points looks about right we need however to make sure our GD doesn’t go too far into the red as a lot could depend on that come next May.For me I think Swansea & Huddersfield will go down and then one from Palace,West Ham,WBA,Brighton,Bournemouth or ourselves but obviously hopefully not the latter,all depends on January.

    • Albert Stubbins

      A lot of people who post on here said we’d be bottom all season with the squad we have so it’s testimony to Rafa that we’re still five points clear of the relegation places.

      • Lhc

        It’s roughly were we should be with this squad, we shouldn’t be getting relegated.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          we have 1 problem, the teams below us will buy in January, we won`t

          • Jezza

            Spot on.

          • Lhc

            Maybe

        • Jezza

          I truly believe our squad is relegation material through and through. I can’t imagine there is a single club in the Premiership with a weaker squad than us.

          • Lhc

            Brighton wba Huddersfield Swansea to name a few

          • Albert Stubbins

            Your right jezza. Which is why I said it’s testiment to Rafa. We had Rafa at start of season that’s why I was confident. Most other managers we’d be f*****.without a doubt.

          • Rich Lawson

            No.but some of them have weaker manager’s and we are in a position where we can but hope Swansea,Palace and West Ham persist with them until it is too late ?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        A lot of people on here said we`d be in the bottom 6 and from where i`m sitting they are going to be spot on.
        have a look at the table

        • Albert Stubbins

          No. Plum bottom mate. Bottom six is balls. A lot of people said we’d be bottom three all season. Bottom six? Who even uses that term? We re doing as well as can be expected with the squad we have. The reality is a few got carried away after a good start but we’ve got to be satisfied that we’re giving ourselves a realistic chance of surviving despite a threadbare squad very short on quality. Of course we should be aiming way higher I accept that but with what rafa has at his disposal we’ve got to be satisfied that’s all I’m saying.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Ok, go back months and you`ll find a post by Leazes stating that Fatso has positioned the Toon at 15th or something similar & that`s exactly where we are

          • Albert Stubbins

            There’s also posts from others who predicted certain relegation. It doesn’t matter tbh we’re all in this together. It’s not worth arguing about.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            bottom 6 is often quoted

          • Albert Stubbins

            Bottom six is relative success then?if someone offered most people 14th/15 th before the season started they’d have taken it all things considered. I think a lot of people are sick as we had a really good start but the reality is there’s four or five times who are worse than us and this will be the case until the end of the season so no doom and gloom from me.

          • Mike Adam

            But Rafa doesn’t use all of what is at his disposal, either to start or as substitutes.

          • Geordiegiants

            That is your opinion, his is different, his is educated, yours is purely on speculation.

          • Mike Adam

            Only time will tell who is educated and who is not.

          • Geordiegiants

            That reply tells me.

          • Mike Adam

            Yes Geordiegiants is the all knowing, educated one, you have a higher IQ and know more than everyone else. Sorry I forgot about that you arrogant ***.
            I will continue to question ANY manager no matter what their past success may have been. Any manager who does not try to chase a point at 2 – 1 down in the 62nd minute and decides to make a defensive substitution instead for damage control is playing with a loser mentality. Burnley and Crystal Palace beat Chelsea so how is it that a point is unrealistic or impossible to get? That is an absurd attitude! Why even play the game? Rafa’s substitutions this season have been very suspect and usually too late.
            So let’s just agree to disagree! Or we can continue this excellent dialogue doesn’t matter to me. And please, don’t tell me again that a “world class” manager who has won all kinds of harware around the world knows more than me, because ALL managers and ALL people make mistakes and bad decisions including Pep, Mourinho, and Rafa just to name a few.

  • Clarko

    Spend €106.5m and still have to start Joselu and a right winger at left back?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      😂😂😂😂

    • Geordiegiants

      Since when?

    • hetonmag

      Stick to finance because you know Jack Shyte about football.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        so, you`d play Joselu and put Ritchie in at left back ?

        • hetonmag

          We’ve won once in 31 years and that’s with better teams than we can put out now, their bench cost 3 times more than our entire team.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            I`m not on about the match, it was a forgone conclusion.
            Its the team selection that worries me

          • hetonmag

            Joss didn’t play yesterday and he still gets pelters, on team selection I thought we were doing ok until a couple of daft mistakes cost us.

      • Clarko

        What an absolute moron you are. Look, here’s some free financial advice for you, when your IQ hits 70, sell.

        • hetonmag

          My IQ is quite high actually moron, have a real go at talking football instead of doing your 2 times table moron.

          • Clarko

            Of course it is… Whatever you say 😂

            “Stick to finance because you know Jack Shyte about football”

            Did Newcastle not play Matt Ritchie at LB/LWB against Chelsea? Does Joselu not usually start for Newcastle? Did I not quote an amount spent in my first comment?

            You are as dumb as they come. Seriously.

          • hetonmag

            Ha ha Clarko the great Archimedes.

          • Clarko

            I guess that makes you Koalemos.

            Stay in your own IQ bracket next time. Moron.

          • hetonmag

            Just showing how low your IQ is by using the word Moron twice in your replies dipstick.

          • Clarko

            “My IQ is quite high actually moron, have a real go at talking football instead of doing your 2 times table moron”

            Moron.

          • hetonmag

            Ha ha ha halfwit,

          • Clarko

            Have fun being stupid 👍🏿

  • Peaky Magpie

    Just when you thought you’d heard everything a dirty mackem b****rd dropped his keks and took a dump on his seat yesterday at The Stadium of Sh**e !!!??? Unbelievable

    • Leicester Mag

      If Hos tried that he’d miss the seat

      • Peaky Magpie

        😂😂😂😂😂 Just nearly choked on a mince pie 😂😂😂😂

    • Geordiegiants

      They are beltas aren’t they? It’s just as well we have still got them to cheer up our days.

    • Rich Lawson

      Those Cheesy Chips just go right thru you ! Or it could have been a comment on the football he witnessed from the home side ?

      • Peaky Magpie

        Cheesy chips & Smirnoff Mule that’ll have done it ! Wasn’t Simon Grayson’s parting shot was it ????

  • gallowgate26

    Wet Spam had a good go here, thankfully Man City pulled it around. Keeping Gollum down the bottom and maintaining that 5 point gap. Phew.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      they`ve got Chelsea next week
      😁😁