Rafa Benitez says that ‘it is obvious we can improve things on the pitch’.

The Newcastle manager’s mantra once again in turning it around is ‘keep working harder and better. That is the only way’.

As for help arriving in January, Rafa confirmed he had met Lee Charnley this week to talk about transfers but he also confirmed that he had no idea of what his budget will be. The transfer window opens in 17 days time.

As for more pressing matters, Paul Dummett is now fully fit and in the squad for Arsenal.

However, the United boss confirmed that Aleksandar Mitrovic is out due to ‘a little problem with his back’, whilst Jesus Gamez is also not available for some unspecified reason.

Exactly how serious the Mitro ‘back’ problem is, will be open to question, whether it is just a diplomatic way of curtailing the questions about the Serbian.

The striker a constant topic of debate after not getting a start all season and not even making the bench against Everton.

Altogether there will be three unavailable for the trip, as Jonjo Shelvey has the first game of his two match suspension, following the red card against Everton.

Rafa Benitez Arsenal press conference:

“Every game is a challenge, an opportunity to get three points. If you have a couple of chances and you score goal, you never know. The main thing is to try to keep the team competitive.

“I’m not happy with the run we are on at the moment. We are still talking about a long race. We have to go back to the pace that we had before. We don’t give up, we carry on.

Arsenal is a fantastic team with a great manager. They have lots of experience. It will be tough.

 “Yesterday, I had a conversation with Lee Charnley about what we want to do, the players we’d like to bring here and the players who might go for whatever reason.

“We are progressing and looking at players. We will talk again over the next few days.

 “It’s obvious that we can improve things and we want to do it. It depends on the players we can sign – how many you like and who will be available.

“With the players we have, the people we have, we stay calm and keep working harder and better. That is the only way.

 “We have to stay united. I use those words all the time and so do our fans. We have to be united if we want to go through this and start winning games.

“It’s very clear that when you are in a bad run, you doubt what you are doing. We change approach but sometimes it isn’t enough. You have to be sure that you take your chances, get a bit of luck and improve what you haven’t been doing well.

“These last two games, you have to be disappointed when you are so close, doing things right and have 52,000 fans behind you. The main things is to analyse what is going on and find solutions.”



  • Peaky Magpie

    “We have what we have,we are what we are” Verbal copy & paste.

    • nufcslf

      Painful. Just have watch the match with a straight face and not get carried away with whatever happens. Hope for Christ sake we don’t take an early lead.

  • TheNutJob

    Park the bus

    • Peaky Magpie

      The entire fleet of Arriva !

      • Scott wood

        Plus stagecoach

  • Alex

    Mitrovic is easy. There’s a deal lined up for him in January, and there’s no point in risking him in fixtures like Arsenal and Man City.

  • ash1001

    Discus transfers in/out, who’s having a laugh if money is not mentioned, what a waste of time, whoever’s to blame, then there’s us for reading the article. Once again we are been led up the garden path, Rafa is our only source of contact with Charnley and Ashley, time he stood his ground one way or the other, he is getting well paid, now’s the time to earn it.
    And as for Mitro’s bad back, he’s got to be joking,

  • Leicester Mag

    Having Rafa on his back has taken its toll

  • wheyayeman

    Rafa mate you’ll still be no clearer on the transfer funds you should have had 17 days after the window has closed.

    • nufcslf

      Very likely, if fatty has the last say.

  • wheyayeman

    If the lads hide in the dressing room til full time can we still get a point?