Rafa Benitez has worked some magic once again.

After 11 games without a win, the Newcastle boss has conjured up three wins in a row from fixtures where they didn’t win a single point last season.

Watford and Bournemouth put away at home, followed by an excellent away display on Monday night.

Rafa Benitez was loving it after the game and summed up just how tough the challenge is at the moment: ‘Every game for us is like a final. Winning is massive because it gives us more confidence.’

The Newcastle boss believing that ‘amazing’ was a fitting description to the ‘effort, organisation and team spirit’ that was shown in Monday’s 2-1 win.

With the clock ticking down, it was predictable that as usual Benitez would be asked about his own contract position and the January transfer window, which looks to be key if the manager is going to extend his stay. Rafa Benitez having repeatedly said this over months and months.

He gave a great answer this time: ‘When we talk about my future, talk about what can happen, we are talking about the future of Newcastle United Football Club, it’s not Rafa Benitez in the end. If we sign the players, I will not take the players home with me, so they will stay there. And if they are good players, they can also be the future.’

As our top class manager says, this is all about Mike Ashley recognising that he has to allow the club’s money to be invested in adding better quality players to the squad, not (only) because it might help to keep Rafa at the club, but because it is essential that it happens for the future of Newcastle United.

Or even better, Mike Ashley finally puts the club up properly for sale and moves aside to let ambitious and (hopefully!) decent new owners work with the fans and Rafa Benitez to allow NUFC to realise its potential.

Rafa Benitez:

“Every game for us is like a final.

“Winning is massive because it gives us more confidence.

“There is still a long race ahead but we are doing well, hopefully we can continue that.

“We needed to win and to perform well…the players did it and it was amazing in terms of effort, organisation and team spirit.

“We were working in the week trying to manage Burnley’s two big centre-forwards and our players did really well.

“The main thing for us is to make sure we can get something out of these games and we have the confidence now, the players will continue pushing and working hard.

“Our away fans are amazing.

“At home, they are really good but away? They are even better because they come here just to support the team and enjoy the game.

“So when you go back with three points, it is the best thing you can do for them.

“We had an idea how to play against a physical team that was strong.

“The effort and attitude of the players was great, they stuck to the game plan.

“The team are beginning to look like what we can be, but we have to get the right side of the margins because it is tight for teams like us.

“Landing on those right sides (of the margins) is so, so important.

“When we talk about my future, talk about what can happen, we are talking about the future of Newcastle United Football Club, it’s not Rafa Benitez in the end.

“If we sign the players, I will not take the players home with me, so they will stay there.

“And if they are good players, they can also be the future.

“It’s a question of wait, go to January and see what we can do, now is the time to enjoy (having won the game).”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Burnley 1 Newcastle 2


Newcastle: Fernandez (Mee own goal?) 4, Clark 23

Burnley: Vokes 40

Possession was Burnley 56% Newcastle 44%

Total shots were  Burnley 14 Newcastle 17

Shots on target were Burnley 4 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Burnley 5 Newcastle 5

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Diame, Ki, Kenedy (Hayden 90), Rondon (Joselu 71), Perez

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Manquillo, Shelvey, Murphy, Atsu

Crowd: 20,628 (Newcastle 2,400)

(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win HERE)

(Read the match report HERE)

(Sean Dyche puts defeat down to ‘lucky’ and ‘poor’ goals – Read HERE)

(After NUFC win, Danny Mills sees problems ahead for Burnley AND Newcastle fans – Rad HERE)

  • Vodkamagpie

    How do you strengthen the team?. If you try to strengthen team, there is a possibility of weakening the team. Let me add, we won the game without 5 first team players, lascelles, lejeune, dummett, shelvey, muto.

    • Toon Arnie

      Yeah Man City have been really lucky they didn’t weaken the team by spending all that money on new signings – what a ridiculous point you’ve just made !

      • Vodkamagpie

        Man city buy world class. Everyone outside top 6 /7, buy average , that’s just how it is

        • Toon Arnie

          That’s where Rafa could show his worth though. Two or three good players of his choosing could really get us pushing on.

      • Garry Norman

        Look at West Ham, they’ve spent a bucketload this season and where are they?
        Spending big doesn’t always equal success.

        • Toon Arnie

          I think it would be worth a try though !

        • Wezza

          That is true but it does guarantee failure. That’s why we’ve been relegated twice under the FCB.
          There is no argument for the FCB to allow the club to spend its own money. None. No matter how much spin people put on it. We have been asset stripped to the hilt.

    • ScreamStevie

      Muto isn’t a first team player

      • Vodkamagpie

        He was ahead of Perez before his injury

  • JohnnyH

    The last few sentences give an indication of what most of us have thought for a while now.

    “When we talk about my future, talk about what can happen, we are talking about the future of Newcastle United Football Club, it’s not Rafa Benitez in the end”

    “If we sign the players, I will not take the players home with me, so they will stay there.”

    We have been fortunate to have the best manager in decades, and he is going to leave, solely because of the greed and malevolence of one man.

    • Alex

      You could amend your last phrase to, “….because of the greed and malevolence of one man…..and the support of thousands.”

    • t00nraider

      He is teasing.

  • Gallowgate Dave

    He’s not entirely right. The future of Newcastle United is so dependent on Rafa Benitez. It shouldn’t be like that, the club should be bigger than one man, but right now we’re so bloody lucky to have him. Well done to Rafa and the players last night.

    • Leazes.

      There’s an article about Tottenham’s new stadium, and its looking likely that the opening fixture might be against us….

      ….a sharp juxtaposition of the positional reverse of the two clubs since Ashleys occupation…..

      ….United galloping backwards whilst the rest gallop forwards.

      Their stadium looks tremendous, I still don’t know how they managed to get around objections, maybe they didn’t have Spital Tongues Liberal Party, and Greenpeace campaign against them….. I can’t think why…..

      ….. I suppose half a club is better than no club at all, but it looks to be a matter of time before the potential of the sale of scrap metal is realised by Justin Barnes.

      • Gallowgate Dave

        I suppose we’re cherry picking by choosing to compare Spurs with the Toon over that time period as there’ll be other clubs that have fallen away while we have maintained Premier League status (albeit as a yo-yo club) but it is terrifying how far they’ve grown in comparison to us under Ashley in the last 11 years.

        I do actually think there are (even) less competent chairman than Ashley but I’m not sure how many other clubs are so cynically run with such a disregard for their fans and with so little “soul”. Maybe Ashley or Charnley deserves more credit for hiring Rafa or maybe the only reason Rafa took the job is he saw the potential of the club based on it’s fan base and his tenure is all despite the “board” (of one, at least officially) but I’m convinced when we lose Rafa we’ll be flushing a huge asset down the toilet due to Ashley’s lies, lack of charisma and dreadful communication.

  • Kenny

    The Rat isn`t bothered about Newcastle or it`s future as long as we maintain our position in the premiership that is all he wants.
    Rafa & the fans are fighting a losing battle all you can look forward to is more of the same

    • Peaky

      Yes…as long as this regime remains it’s going to be a case of stop and rewind at the end of every season.

  • East Durham Mag

    Again Rafa proven to be a master tactician and motivator, however Fatty is not wanting progress or success only minimum outlay and maximum return. Until it is made mandatory for the money made from league position etc to be reinvested into the club the Fatcunt will bleed NUFC dry. #ASHLEY OUT

    • t00nraider

      Nee bleedin when he spent £90mil net on players in 12 months before the tv money came in. He will spend again. Take a chill.

      • Gallowgate Dave

        Explain please?

      • JohnnyH

        Details of £90 million net spend?
        In which 12 months?

      • East Durham Mag

        On what and who will actually chose the players? Certainly won’t be Rafa, it will be as cheap as possible in the hope they come good to generate a profit for your Fat Buddy.

    • porciestreet


  • Malcolm Fisher

    Was fatty st the game last night? Doubt it. Too cold and windy, a where is Burnley,?