Rafa Benitez has achieved something quite remarkable.

To have Newcastle United top 10 and 13 points above the relegation zone with five games still left to play…

After beating Arsenal 2-1 despite falling behind on 14 minutes, Rafa Benitez simply declared ‘I want to congratulate everyone’.

The Newcastle boss wanting to share the moment and the glory, saying ‘It is a massive achievement for the players, the city and the fans’.

Quite ‘amazing’ on so many levels.

Seen as it is Rafa Benitez himself who should be taking an overwhelming share of the credit AND the fact is we had become so used to have charlatans such as Alan Pardew, who were always determined to blame everybody else for defeats and claim any credit for victories for themselves.

Whilst Arsenal did have midweek European commitments, it is worth mentioning that either of their two strikers today, cost about the same as Newcastle’s entire starting eleven.

Lacazette and Aubameyang showed their class when combining for the opening goal but it was Rafa Benitez who masterminded yet another win against the odds.

Summing up the 90 minutes, the Newcastle boss stated ‘Today we didn’t play amazing football, because we played an amazing team, but you have to manage how you play and compete for the win’.

To borrow Rafa’s buzzword for today, it has been ‘amazing’ just how competitive he has made this team.

After regularly beating the teams that were battling relegation, the last seven games have seen five wins and a draw, which included victories over top eight clubs Man Utd, Leicester and now Arsenal.

Rafa Benitez, simply…amazing.

Rafa Benitez:

“Obviously I’m really pleased.

“It was important for us to achieve that [Premier League safety], and the way that we did it, every single player, every fan, every member of staff… have to congratulate them all…because it has been a fantastic achievement in a very difficult season.

“We started learning, without too much experience for some players in the Premier League, little by little we were growing.

“Especially in this second half of the league, the team has grown in confidence.

“We were so good in a lot of things, that in the end, I think that we deserve to be where we are.

“Some people were dreaming that maybe we could be here – but they were not awake.

“We were awake, we were believing from day one, and we have achieved what we wanted.

“I think we are safe with 41 points.

“It is a massive achievement for the players, the city and the fans.

“I want to congratulate everyone.

“Today we didn’t play amazing football, because we played an amazing team, but you have to manage how you play and compete for the win.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Arsenal 1

Goals:

Newcastle: Perez 29, Ritchie 68

Arsenal: Lacazette 14

Possession was Arsenal 72% Newcastle 28%

Total shots were  Arsenal 15 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Arsenal 3 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Arsenal 5 Newcastle 2

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 86), Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Joselu 79), Gayle (Slimani 63))

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden

Crowd: 52,210 (2,700 Arsenal approx)

(Alan Shearer revels in Newcastle win and has Piers Morgan and other Arsenal fans biting – Read HERE)

(United fan/writer instant reaction to the 2-1 victory – Read it HERE)

(Match ratings of all NUFC players after beating Arsenal – Read HERE)

(Arsene Wenger says Newcastle didn’t even deserve a point…Read HERE)



  • Albert Stubbins

    Amazing!! Fact.

  • Rob

    Fantastic. Hope all the trolls who wanted Benitez out are thoroughly ashamed.

    Please let’s have a meaningful transfer window and build something positive next season.

    • ghostrider

      I’m not ashamed I wanted him out earlier on.
      I will however be more than happy for him to stay and carry on what he’s doing since January.

      • TheNutJob

        well said

      • Polarboy

        So what you’re saying is you have no shame.

        • Jezza

          He’s got no shame just like he’s got no friends apart from his brother who he trolls this site with under multiple ID’s.

        • ghostrider

          Not in this case, no. What I said earlier was bang on for me and it’s me that counts because it’s me that pays good money to follow Newcastle United and all tenants who are there at any time, who will get praised and slated as and when the situation calls for it.

          I’ve slated Rafa for his earlier mindless idiocy in playing Joselu over anyone and a whole host of other mind numbing nonsense.
          I’ve also praised in over the last few months for getting it right.

          It’s there for all to see.
          If people want to blow smoke up his aris regardless of what he does then blow it till your lungs burst…but remember, the same people who do this are the very same people who crucified Dummett and Diame and Shelvey and Yedlin, Ritchie and so on and so on…some of which were stood out as never should be allowed to play another game.
          People screaming as to why Rafa would pick Joselu consistently with no return.
          But none of this is Rafa’s fault it seems…it’s Ashley’s because Rafa was working with championship players we were told by many fans following the pied pipers of spin.

          All the players that shouldn’t ever play for the club are getting man of the match accolades….I wonder why?

          I’ll tell you why.
          It’s because Rafa decided to drop Joselu and started to actually play football in a much more balanced way which gives entertainment offensively and also a biting midfield that can create and hunt and harry like wolves and a defence that’s gelling well.

          This is why Rafa gets my thumbs up, because he knew he had to change it up or suffer the consequences, even though he knew in his mind that Ashley would take the flak for any downfall, plus the media will continue stoking up the championship squad nonsense.

          So no, I don’t have any shame because everything I’ve said was said for a genuine opinion…for myself to chew on and put into words for anyone to have an opinion on, which you clearly have.

          I watch the football. I see the body language of players.
          I saw dejection of players earlier on but they grafted, yet graft alone is only one massive installment of a game.
          Now I see a different body language. I see the same graft but heads up graft and a team that expresses themselves offensively as well as doing all the other things as per norm.
          A different set up because they’re allowed and not a coincidence it happened when Joselu was took out of the equation, because that lad wasn’t played primarily as a striker but as a backline harasser, midfield stopper and set piece defender.

          • Polarboy

            That’s a whole lot of f’ing waffle. What’s changed is that both Diame and Shelvey have gotten fitter, hungrier, and have come into great form. Rafa is the man that facilitated that. Gayle and the rest of the squad have also shook off some niggles and got their head down and grafted. Joselu being dropped was not some magic cure all. Joselu wouldn’t even be at the club if Rafa had been given any decent money whatsoever to bring in a striker. What’s changed is that Lascelles, Dummett and Lejeune got themselves fit and we have a settled back four. What’s changed at the club is that he was allowed to bring in three decent signings in January, albeit we’re only seeing Slimani play now.

            Rafa was still the same coach who had us playing out of our skins at the very start of the season as the one who is doing it now. So anyone who thought it would be a good idea to sack in him in the middle of the season because of the run of defeats we went on is still an idiot. The logic was, well he’s gotten a tune out of these players already this season and they like, trust and respect him, but let’s fire him p*ss them off, and bring in someone who will definitely be less experienced and no more skilled as a coach than he is.

          • ghostrider

            Like I said, some people just like to blow smoke up his aris no matter what.
            The very same people like yourself would have had effigies of other managers dangling from lamp posts or the tyne bridge earlier on.

            It’s a funny thing when people buy into the messiah stuff. They refuse to see any wrong doing…and that’s all well and good but it’s dangerous to give a messiah too much leeway to the point where the blame can always lie elsewhere other than be apportioned.

          • Polarboy

            You’ve not made one compelling argument to support the notion that he deserved the sack at any point this season you muppet. And given that the list of managers that we’ve had over the last 10 to 15 years include Pardew, Carver, Kinnear, Souness, Hippohead, Gullit and McClown, it’s not surprising some people have gotten irate at certain points. We’ve had almost every shyte manager there is. Benitez is a quality coach who conducts himself in a dignified manner. It’s not surprising that people put him on a pedestal in comparison to the absolute embarrassments we’ve had to put up with. At the end of the day Benitez is looking like he’ll have us finishing in the top half of the table. Had you got your way god knows where we’d be now. You were wrong and that’s the end of it. Where you are at the end of the season is what matters.

          • ghostrider

            No I wasn’t wrong. I was perfectly right earlier on to slate him because he deserved it.
            Right now and since January he’s been praised by me. That’s the way it works.
            Alex Ferguson was one game away from the sack many many years ago. Can you remember it?
            Fans wanted him out but Mark Robins saved Ferguson’s bacon and the rest is history.

            Rafa’s bacon was saved because he chose to change things up and allow the players to play football….including allowing Kenedy to express himself.

            Managers live and die by decisions. Rafa made some head scratching one’s before January and changed it up….and now we get results…simple as that.

          • Polarboy

            You wanted him to get the sack, that would have been an awful decision as evidenced by his overall track record this season, therefore you were wrong. You can criticise a managers decisions without calling for the sack if you realise that their overall contribution and ability to turn things around are there. And good job bringing up the prime example of why you shouldn’t agitate for a manager to get the sack without weighing up his potential to turn things around.

          • ghostrider

            Earlier on I wanted him gone. I didn’t like his ways. He appeared to refuse to want to change. He insisted on playing Joselu even though we were diving into oblivion.
            He was changing things up by dropping good players because they lost form, which appears sensibble, except his was his set up that was knocking them all off form.

            I’ll say it again. He’s changed it up since January and is playing a much more balanced game with what he has. That’s all I asked.
            So on that note I no longer want him sacked but I stand by what I said earlier regardless of it appearing like I was hasty.

            It’s no different to those who were saying Diame shouldn’t ever pull on a black and white shirt again and should be sold as soon as possible.
            Imagine that?
            Also Dummett. People calling him all kinds worse than dog tish.

            The list goes on but we all make assumptions based on the issues and time not on the future of ” I told you so” or using contingency plans if things don’t go right like, ” ohhh if it does all go teets up it’s because he’s tried to work miracles with a championship squad.”

            The issue is simple. He messed up at first and then started to do the right thing and got results.
            The man is a top manager when he’s doing it right but he is not beyond reproach.

          • Polarboy

            Waffle once again. You wanted him sacked, it would have been a colossal mistake, you were wrong, end of. And as for the Diame and Dummett, anyone who was criticising them and now sees their worth should admit they were wrong to completely write them off. You on the other hand want to say that you don’t regret calling for Rafa’s sack, even though he’s proven you wrong. Not a shred of f’ing logic.

          • ghostrider

            I do regret calling for him to be sacked and I was wrong to go overboard which I admitted to earlier on…but I stand by my criticism of him for his earlier mistakes which I stand by.

            He certainly has proven me wrong as of January to now because I didn’t think he was going to change anything up and we were just going to spiral down and be relegated.

            Yes I wrong and I’m absolutely over the moon that Rafa has turned this around.
            I’m starting to love the bloke because he’s showing me what he’s capable of doing which is fantastic.

            If you think my earlier criticism does not give me a right to accept him, then carry on but my Newcastle United experience and beliefs does not start or end with anything you decide…..but….by all means keep hitting me with your opinions and thoughts, no matter what, because this is what it’s all about.

          • Polarboy

            “I’m not ashamed I wanted him out earlier on.” – ghostrider

          • ghostrider

            I’m not ashamed. I regret being hasty but at the time I really wanted him out because the football was excruciating and my head was battered with it.
            Maybe take a look at yourself before you try and pacify yourself on my sayings.

          • Ba ba.

            T1t

          • ghostrider

            ….?

      • KRS1

        That’s really big of you. I think we can all discard any of the drivel that comes out of your mouth in future.

        • ghostrider

          Feel free to discard anything you like. Feel free to think whatever you like on anything and even about myself.
          Nothing will change from me until I decide it’s worthy of change.

      • Ba ba.

        😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 Your embarrassing

      • Cockneytrev

        🔔 end

        • joe mac

          exactly!

        • Ba ba.

          😂 😂 😂

  • KRS1

    Rafa is pure class! We are lucky to have him.

    • Ba ba.

      100%

    • thewildchimp

      I was always wondering how did Charnley trick him into accepting the job, but I’m glad he did. :)

  • Phil Yare

    the signings of dubravka, kenedy and now slimani have been absolutely outstanding and i honestly can’t believe the change in mo diame….. he has went from shocking to an absolute rock! (lets ignore the one little slip up today!)
    credit to rafa – has tactics that looked questionable but all of a sudden they look extremely effective on once quality is added to the team

    i starting to think that some clown has been buying players for rafa previously

    • thewildchimp

      He did modify the tactics a bit, what some of us were hoping for. Perhaps the loaned lads gave us that one bit he thought we were lacking, I don’t know. Now we play offensive football and the fans are happy. :)

      • TheNutJob

        the boys on loan have made a big difference to our form

        • thewildchimp

          That is unquestionable.

  • TheNutJob

    not really surprised we won today, they haven`t even picked up a point in an away game in 3 months & we`d won our last 3 matches it went to form,
    i want to see old Hippo Heed choke on his gum next Monday when the boys pagger them

    • nufcslf

      I think the Spurs match having to be re-scheduled was well timed as well. A rotten result there on a Friday night could have put a damper on things.

  • ghostrider

    We won as a team by grit and determination for 90 plus minutes.

    • Ba ba.

      You wanted rafa sacked… He has created this team and spirit.
      Your a poor two faced fan.

      • Kneebotherm8

        20 faced………

      • Jezza

        He’s not a fan at all, he’s just a troll.

        • Cockneytrev

          He also knows nowt about football,,,

          • Jezza

            True. He needs to stick to his fantasy warcraft games.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You’ve not been too good yourself.

      • Pozz Mozz

        Rafa should have credited GR with making us play offensive football like Ronald Koeman did at Everton. Shame on Rafa for not showing due appreciation.

        • Ba ba.

          That’s who he wanted RK

      • ghostrider

        I didn’t just want Rafa sacked. I wanted him rolled out of the ground with a foot up his aris for his earlier nonsense and sickening football that through his own stubborn arrogance refused to change until later on.

        Now I don’t want him sacked if he carries on doing what he’s doing.
        See how it works?

        I’ll put it into clear perspective for you and I’m fairly sure you and others like you will deny it.
        If Pardew or Allardyce or someone like than had done what Rafa did earlier on, you would have crucified them.
        Because you feel privileged to have Rafa he could most likely make the team play in stilettos and pencil skirts and some fans would give reasons as to why he did it this way. lol

        • Ba ba.

          We seen the bigger picture you moron….. He got two players in he needed to change his tactics… Imagine if he got the four he wanted at the start of the season?
          Now just move along and go away.

          • ghostrider

            He also brought in Sels and Lazaar and Gamez, etc and refused to play them or loaned them out after not fancying them.
            He took a risk on Kenedy and Dubravka which paid off due to him also changing his tactics to suit.
            A win win as we can see.

            There was not bigger picture earlier on, just excuses about Rafa’s handicap of having a championship squad if we end up in trouble.
            Weirdly there is now a picture appearing but that picture really only appeared in January which coincided with the upturn in the squads fortunes.
            Players being allowed to play football instead of setting out to stifle and feel down trodden.
            Those who speak out against it are dropped.

            Looks like Rafa gave up and bit the bullet and allowed more freedom to play.
            We now see the very same players who were down trodden back in the frame and ALL playing the football some of us knew they could play.

            Rafa’s learning once again …and just in time.

          • Ba ba.

            Go away ffs ya boring zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          • ghostrider

            Click on my name and the three dots next to follow, click on those then click on block. That makes me disappear from your view like I’m going to do with you. Try it.

    • wheyayeman

      But haven’t you read – your team Manure got beat today! Meanwhile Rafa masterminded another check mate for the real United 🕺

      • ghostrider

        Not my team. My team is Newcastle United. Do I gove any impression that it isn’t or is it just the fact that Rafa got a few choice words from me that rankles with people like yourself?
        Because Rafa deserved everything I said earlier just as he deserves plaudits right now as as of late.

  • wheyayeman

    Get ready – the mighty Joselu is going to batter Everton !!!!! Watch out hippo heed we’re coming for ya

  • Desree

    And Rafa managed to do this without Mitrovic in the side

    • wheyayeman

      So glad Mitro is doing brilliantly at Fulham but he simply didn’t show enough to Rafa while here before. Nevertheless maybe his form will convince Rafa to try him again next season. Good luck to the lad!

      • nufcslf

        My thoughts exactly. Seems like he needs to listen and learn a bit more, but do hope he gets another chance under Rafa.

      • Jezza

        I truly can’t see either Rafa or Mitro being at Newcastle next season.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          I”d offer you a bet if you weren’t a welch

  • Peaky

    I’ve said it before on here and I’m going to say it again….we are a far superior side with Dummett in it than we are without him….the lad has been brilliant since his return…

    • wheyayeman

      He’s Rafa’s vice captain ! Seriously though it does seem like the gaffa has a really trusted small cluster of players in the squad and Dummy is one of them – him, lascelles and more laterly Perez seem to have grown in confidence as more intentional confidence has been put in them. The whole team have reaped the rewards as they have risen to it.

      • Peaky

        The ‘spine’ of the team is just missing a quality striker….let’s see what’s going to happen.

  • Peaky

    Can anyone name me a bigger w*nker on TV than Mark Chapman ???? No…goodnight then I’m off……

    • Steven05

      Simon Jordan

      • Peaky

        Aye he’s pretty vile as well…I’ll give you that.

    • TheNutJob

      hate him

    • Rob

      Mark lawrenson, Garth Crooks, Michael Owen are all muppets too.

  • TheNutJob

    Happy birthday to Rafa.

    Jabba oot

  • pedrodelgardo

    Happy Birthday Rafa! The longer you stay the better we will get.