Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of his biggest fans.
I think Newcastle are privileged to have such a great manager. Especially when you consider the people he has to deal with at the top of the club.
But in my humble opinion, Rafa Benitez lost us two points against Bournemouth.
We were fine as a team, everyone doing their job, we were on top at two up and looking set for a win – even a third goal.
On sixty four minutes we substitute Kenedy, bring on Atsu, fine – like for like.
Not sure if Kenedy tires quick, or it’s a keep players happy thing? But no harm done.
We then on seventy eight minutes hand Bournemouth the advantage, we remove Gayle and bring on Isaac Hayden.
If you needed to make a substitution why not Joselu? Still attacking but better at corners.
We have just basically shouted to the Bournemouth players that we are scared they might score. And of course two minutes later they did.
A great goal to boot, I can’t see too much wrong with the players for that one.
At the very least why wasn’t it Merino for Gayle? Give them something to think about.
We then take off yet another attacking, but also hard working, player in Matt Ritchie and put on another defender…
They end up in each other’s way and not marking, guess what? Gosling is unmarked and scores.
Sorry Rafa mate, you need to hold your hand up on this two points lost, after a fine team performance with the defence looking solid.
We would/should have won 2-1, or maybe even 3-1, not two bloody two.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Gayle 17 and 45+1
Bournemouth: Smith 80 Gosling 89
Possession was Bournemouth 64% Newcastle 36%
Total shots were Bournemouth 18 Newcastle 15
Shots on target were Bournemouth 5 Newcastle 4
Corners were Bournemouth 8 Newcastle 1
Referee: Roger East
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Manquillo 84) , Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Gayle (Hayden 78), Perez
Darlow, Clark, Merino, Joselu
Crowd: 10,808 (Approx Newcastle 1,400)
(Instinct reaction from NUFC fans/writers to the match HERE)
(Eddie Howe reaction to the game HERE)
(Rafa defends his substitutions after later Newcastle collapse – Read HERE)
(Give us your player ratings HERE)
(Alan Shearer accentuates the Jonjo Shelvey positives – Read HERE)