Another Rafa Benitez press conference and the manager once again looking like most of us feel in early January.
However, the Newcastle United boss isn’t experiencing a temporary feeling/sensation of disappointment, as we all do when real life hits after the festive period.
Instead he is now approaching three years employed at the circus that we call Newcastle United under Mike Ashley.
Rafa Benitez watching his team lose to Manchester United is neither the biggest surprise or problem he has to get over, not by a long way.
The manager expressed his disappointment at the result of course, his team having battled away and maybe deserving a point over much of the game, only to gift the three points via Dubravka’s mistake and then lame defending on a Man Utd counter-attack.
However, it was the double barrel question which everybody was waiting for and sure enough it arrived.
Just as he did in his previous press conference though, Rafa Benitez delivered the same response: ‘I don’t talk about the transfer window and I don’t talk about the takeover.’
These are the big hope and expectation questions for Newcastle fans.
We all hope for Mike Ashley selling up and signings of the quality needed….but surely none of us expect any of that this month, if ever, in the foreseeable future.
What Rafa says doesn’t improve your mood and certainly his body language most definitely doesn’t suggest that here is somebody who is desperately trying to hide imminent breaking positive news.
Instead, he looks like somebody who knows that yet again he has to search the bargain bins and loan market if he wants to add any players. As for a takeover…
At which other Premier League club when your team is deep in relegation trouble and a month before the mid-season transfer window opens, would you have the owner going on TV to say a sale of the club is imminent and then…nothing.
Heading off on holiday and nobody from the club feeling the need to help the manager in any way, letting a situation happen whereby Rafa Benitez has to go from press conference and as well as everything else he has to deal with, has to answer questions about takeover and whether he has any money for players.
Remember, it is all down to Mike Ashley, he was the one who dropped the takeover bombshell and then has left others to deal with the fallout, as always.
It is almost as though he on purpose wanted to cause more mischief for Rafa Benitez and the supporters…
“I don’t talk about the transfer window and I don’t talk about the takeover.
“I talk with Lee Charnley almost every day, but I will not talk about that…
“We made a mistake for the first goal and then conceded on the counter-attack, which happens when you play good players.
“They punish you.
“We had chances in the first half, you lose 2-0 but we deserved more, and if you analyse how we concede it’s not clear chances. It’s mistakes.
“The final third is the key and that’s where you pay big money for offensive players who can make the difference.
“We started quite well, there were two or three situations where we were quite close, and we also had some chances in the second half.
“To win the game? I don’t know, but to be there and be close and get a draw, I think so.
“If you analyse how we concede, they didn’t create many clear chances. At the end, when we were more open and exposed, they were more dangerous, but for 80 minutes it was really close.
“You have to give credit to our players because for 85 minutes they were in the game.
“In these kind of games, one mistake and these players can make the difference.
“When we made a mistake, they punished us with the quality they have.
“When we were reacting, the second goal was a counter-attack that we could have defended better.
“I think for 85 minutes, we deserved something more.”
“It is in the hip and the groin.
“He has had this problem before and we hope it will not be serious.
“He couldn’t continue in this game but normally he is fine in a couple of days.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2
Goals: Lukaku 64, Rashford 80
Possession was Man Utd 65% Newcastle 35%
Total shots were Man Utd 16 Newcastle 14
Shots on target were Man Utd 7 Newcastle 3
Corners were Man Utd 2 Newcastle United 1
Referee: Andre Marriner
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 81), Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Diame (Shelvey 53), Perez (Kenedy 69), Atsu, Rondon
Woodman, Joselu, Manquillo, Lejeune
Crowd: 52,217 (3,000 Man Utd)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle United 0 Man Utd 2 – Read HERE)
(Alan Shearer talks about Rafa Benitez’ ‘Unbelievable Budget’ now we are in January transfer window – Read HERE)
(An impressive Jake Burns rant at Mike Ashley in aftermath of Man Utd defeat – Read HERE)