I love Rafa Benitez for the way he has stuck at it with Newcastle United.
However, when nonsense is spoken, whether it is by an Alan Pardew or a Rafa Benitez, it has to be called out.
I couldn’t get to the south coast today but I watched the whole game in my local pub on the dodgy foreign TV.
What I saw was absolutely shocking.
Newcastle arguably have the worst team in the Premier League and certainly the one playing the worst football. Particularly based on this ‘performance’.
Southampton had won one home PL game in the past 11 months and hadn’t scored in the league for 386 minutes, yet Newcastle made them look almost a decent team.
Yes we were away from home but Newcastle didn’t have a shot on target, worse than that, Rafa’s team quite literally didn’t have a shot of any description, unless you count DeAndre Yedlin kicking the ball from thirty yards out and it sailing twenty yards over the bar as a ‘shot’.
Nevertheless BBC Newcastle report Rafa Benitez after the game saying:
“You have to analyse the circumstances and where we are at the moment.
“To go away, have a clean sheet and get a point – I think it’s positive.
“Again, I will say our fans are quite clever and they can see sometimes that we were a little bit nervous on the ball.
“It’s something we have to manage if we want to turn things around.
“I think the team, with the way they were working today, will do it.”
The only positive is that Newcastle didn’t get beat!
However, that was largely due to Southampton being hopeless as well, their players missing some great chances.
With Martin Dubravka also making a few inspired saves.
The defence were committed but that alone will take us nowhere, or nowhere decent anyway.
If you didn’t watch this game, honestly, it was by far the worst of the season and tells me Newcastle are going down unless something miraculous happens.
Rafa Benitez says ‘the way they were working’, well I didn’t see anything that was working.
Diame and Shelvey had zero control of midfield, the wingers gave no threat, whilst none of the strikers contributed anything. The only thing that worked was somehow stopping the home side scoring, via desperate defending and pure luck.
It by no means equals me wanting Rafa Benitez gone, that would be a real disaster!
However, he can’t come out with the kind of stuff Alan Pardew used to come out with, today was shocking and to say anything else is embarrassing.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Southampton 0 Newcastle 0
Possession was Southampton 50% Newcastle 50%
Total shots were Southampton 22 Newcastle 6
Shots on target were Southampton 4 Newcastle 0
Corners were Southampton 7 Newcastle 2
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame (Ki 76), Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Rondon 69), Muto (Atsu 80)
Darlow, Schar, Joselu, Manquillo
Crowd: 30,736(NUFC 2,450)