Rafa Benitez has identified at least two targets, one short-term and one longer-term.

The immediate problem is to win a match, to get that starting point.

The Newcastle boss saying ‘It’s a question now of having one game where we might be lucky to score – to change the confidence and everything will change.’

Confidence and momentum are massive factors and we saw the two extremes last season.

A run from October to December with only one point from nine games, even worse than this current one, then of course the February to April run that took NUFC to early safety with results such as victories over both Arsenal and Man Utd.

As for longer-term goals/hopes, Rafa Bentez declares ‘We will try to find three teams worse than us, that is it.’

Most Newcastle fans have seriously doubted after this summer’s transfer window, whether there are indeed three teams/squads that are worse than Newcastle’s.

Last season’s 10th place finish (on final day of season Newcastle could have ended up 15th if results had gone against them) has clouded the issue for some, reality was that Newcastle carried significant luck at times and Rafa Benitez’ expertise and experience did the rest.

The Rafa factor was the biggest hope for Newcastle fans this season as well, hoping he could make the team better than the individuals who make up the side.

We haven’t really seen much evidence of this so far, late summer signings on a non-existent budget adding to the manager’s problems.

Are there three worse teams this season?

I think we can still be hopeful that Huddersfield and Cardiff will prove to be worse, whilst Brighton were woeful on Saturday and certainly no better than Newcastle. However, problem is that already they have nine more points on the board than NUFC.

Fulham score goals but are conceding many more…but at the minute Newcastle are conceding enough and look incapable of scoring many/any goals against the clubs they need to. Blanks already against Cardiff, Leicester, Palace and Brighton.

Rafa Benitez:

‘We will try to find three teams worse than us, that is it.

“They (Newcastle fans) can see the team’s working really hard. 

“They can be upset if they miss a pass or a chance, but the players…they are trying, and 

“Should they stick with us?

“Yes. It’s good if they stick with us.

“That is the right message, because we need everybody on board, to realise that’s the only way.

“When you are bottom of the table, normally it’s more difficult to play the way that you want to play.

“Now we are there, I said before with the fixtures we’ve had it was going to be difficult.

“We’d like to think we could be higher, and with the performances, we deserve to be higher, but that’s where we are and we have to try to carry on.

“We will analyse what we did right and wrong.

“We did almost everything that we had to do.

“Winning a game (though) is about the final third, the final pass and the decisions we make.

“We are a little bit under pressure because the time is short now and you play with anxiety trying to make the right decisions.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Brighton 1


Brighton: Kayal 29

Possession was Brighton 32% Newcastle 68%

Total shots were  Brighton 8 Newcastle 27

Shots on target were Brighton 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Brighton 2 Newcastle 10

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez, Muto (Joselu 74)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Atsu, Murphy, Schar, Hayden, Manquillo

Crowd: 50,329 (Brighton approx 1,300)

(Can these statistics from Newcastle 0 Brighton 1 be misleading? Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the defeat HERE)

(Match ratings of all NUFC players v Brighton HERE)

(Lee Charnley “We’ll do better when we play the lesser teams” – Read HERE)

  • Geordiegiants

    It won’t be long until the tide turns on Rafa. It will be down to him soon enough when another couple of defeats secure our relegation early on, I’m not sure the majority of NUFC fans are exactly that anymore. It will be down to his tactics or only playing one way etc etc, or not bringing on players that they think should of been bought on.
    I would happily be where the inbreds are if it meant being cured of the cancer by the way. My personal opinion is he is stripping the club of every penny while trying to take us down out of spite. He has had his money back ten fold.

    • FatParosite

      The tide has turned on Rafa. How can ANYONE question him when we KNOW Ashley made a profit in the summer window? These are not hard equations even for the terminally thick fans that pay Ashley to strip NUFC. There is no logic to blaming Benitez but Bishop is putting it out there and the lazy media love to lap up a free story.

      • Geordiegiants

        They will sit in the ground feeding his fat face blaming Rafa soon enough. Just watch this space.

      • Sickandtired

        As pointed out in the fans forum, Ashley’s first thought after bumper revenue on return to the PL, and another net trading profit from Rafa, was to repay himself some more money. The team got two loan players and a free signing among the summer recruits. It’s criminal, not laughable.

    • Steven05


    • Sickandtired

      Rafa could field the entire first team squad and I doubt they’d do any better with that advantage. The players are simply not good enough and there remains only one person responsible for that.

    • Wezza

      The KBA PR machine are already setting those Blame Rafa wheels in motion to take the heat off the FCB. Shame is many are falling for it!

  • Leicester Mag

    He lies to a legend and still they came. He ignores the greatest goalscorer ever and still they came. He sacks a gent to employ a puppet still they came. He remains the ground and still they came. He starves a Champions league winner and still they came. Relegated us twice and we stand on the cusp of a hat trick. Will we boycott? History says more of the same please Mike. So sad what has become the accepted norm.

    • Wezza

      Spot on.

    • DC1964

      Well said

  • Andynufc

    This is my last season as a ticket holder. Even if by some miracle, we stop up or even if Rafa stays, I won’t be renewing and that’s down to 1 parasite of a man in Ashley. Comes to something when you wish someone dead but when I think of him, i actually do. What he has reduced this great club to by his sheer greedy thirst for money is sickening. Nufc aren’t even a football club anymore. I can live without the trophies but when the club has no ambition to be better or even trying to stay in this league than there really isn’t any hope left. I watched that game on Saturday and thought why am I coming to sit and make myself miserable and actually paying for the pleasure while fatty takes money out of the club to pay for some other shop. That team now resembles the inside of one of his SD shops. Cheap n tatty. I fear that if Nufc do get relegated than we won’t be back for a long time. 3 relegations in ten years. But like some idiots in the media claim, we’re ungrateful and lucky that Ashley stabilised the club. Embarrassing and tragic!

    • BanJones

      Well said mate, took the words out of my mouth, couldn’t agree more.

    • Billmag

      Well said mate, 👏👏.

    • Steven05

      Perfectly put 👍

    • Dave Pattinson

      My sentiments exactly. Its sheer misery at pres & has been for last 4 yrs at least.

      • Geordiegiants

        4 years????? You just started following us? 😃

      • panther

        where were you the previous 7?

  • Peaky

    Awful thought but it’s possible this time next year S’land could be above us in the championship and the Smoggies are in the Premier League…..

    • Wezza

      Nailed on!

  • mentalman

    We’ve just played one of these teams and got beat which says a lot

    • Ram Kishore

      And only by a goal.. not like we lost 5 nil. We will do well if we keep improving.

      • panther

        because we dont have anyone who can score, and we wont sign anyone who can either we could have had 90% posession and 60 shots and still lost 1-0

  • killymag

    I hate the Fat Lad with a passion for what he is doing to our club and society in general . However Raffa is not blameless with his pragmatic approach its no use him keep on blaming lack of money , he had money in the Championship and we were still s#it to watch , the tactics need to change Raffa is like a Spanish Tank with six reverse gears and one forward

    • Geordiegiants

      We were highest scorers that season! Record points!
      What more do you expect?

      • killymag

        attacking pass and move football

        • Geordiegiants

          With this lot????!
          Pass and move, Slo Mo to Perez to who exactly????
          Ps. Look at where that style of play got Keegan.

      • Sickandtired

        He does have a point. The football, regardless of the stats, wasn’t exactly memorable was it. While City and Liverpool are playing Keegan style fantasy football, Rafa is undoubtedly sticking to his own brand of football. I don’t think that would change with better players either.

        • Geordiegiants

          Yeah but, and it’s a big BUT!
          What did Keegan win? I loved going to the match every week and loved being entertained, BUT I would of given anything to of won something.
          We aren’t going to have either I know BUT Rafa is our only hope. Any other manger the fatcunt gets in might play attacking open football but he will NEVER EVER be able to survive on Rafas budget and he certainly wouldn’t thrive like Rafa has until this season.

          • panther

            it was a joy to go and watch and I would have gladly paid twice the price, cant even be bothered to watch this non event anymore

          • Geordiegiants

            I’m the same to be honest, but our promotion season was good to watch because we were winning and scoring. Football is a tactical game now. If you have pace and power you can go on the front foot, if you don’t you can’t.
            We DO NOT have ONE single striker of any note. We simply just don’t have one. Rafa thought by getting rid of Mitro and Gayle he would be able to bring in new forwards. Every manger has their own opinion on who and what they like, managers move on excellent players all the time in the hope of bringing their own players in.
            It’s a mangers prerogative to swap and change who he fancies. Rafa has been fuckedover by the fatcunt and if he played his style of football with Sane on the wing and Say Kane up front etc he would be winning cups and leagues.

  • Sickandtired

    Danny Murphy said Rafa has some of the blame – because he chose not to walk away. Who would be prepared to pay Fatty £6 million for breaking their contract – when the reasons for leaving would be the under-investment and lies from him once again? It’s like KK all over again so why the F would anyone expect Rafa to shoulder the cost of Fatty’s failures?

    • Wezza

      It is KK all over again and her warned us of it. Things wont change.
      I’m so sure a few players were brought in without Rafa’s say so as well.

      • Geordiegiants

        I think that’s probably a given. I would guess Murphy is one of them, he is a decent player that needs a good run but just isn’t Rafas choice or cup of tea.
        That’s what managers are paid for and although Rafa does makes mistakes, he makes more correct decisions than wrong and his record proves that.

  • Tweed Mag

    Latest reports in the Telegraph say that Ashley took £10m out of the club in the Summer.
    Add the transfer window profit with the TV money and the total is in excess of £150m. Where is the money?