Author Topic: Rafa is a Geordie!  (Read 1036 times)

Offline Legzy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
  • Karma: +9/-0
    • View Profile
Rafa is a Geordie!
« on: March 11, 2016, 03:46:24 pm »
3 year deal as "The Manager" apparently, with the option to part company if we go down.

So 10 very important games, needs 4-5 wins to keep us up!

Toon Army!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 03:52:10 pm by Legzy »

Offline mrmalaki

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1955
  • Karma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Rafa is a Geordie!
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 04:47:54 pm »
Wins against Norwich and Sunderland are musts and actually possible now.

Offline CraigDoyle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Karma: +8/-0
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook Profile
Re: Rafa is a Geordie!
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 05:53:14 pm »
I won't be getting too excited until I see what team he is putting out. With only ten games to go there are significant changes required and Benitez must not fall into the trap that previous manages have of playing 'big names' out of position to satisfy egos.

He must address the formation. Benitez favoured 4-2-3-1 at Napoli and Real Madrid but that formation this season has been disastrous when deployed by McClaren. Admittedly it was difficult to tell if that's what McClaren was playing at times but with two defensive midfielders and a cluster of players behind a lone striker it seemed to me that's what he was trying to do. If this is to continue to be the formation how do we deploy the players we have to maximise the output we are getting on the pitch? My personal opinion has been that the two 'defensive' midfielders cannot just sit and hold on the half way line. They must take it in turns to join the attack as having only four forward thinking players has restricted us greatly in making opportunities.

There are also big question marks over which players he will pick.

1. Who plays in the lone striker role?
It seems that almost has to be Mitrovic but question marks have been raised over his ability to finish chances. With only one upfront you simply have to be converting chances and getting goals from elsewhere.

2. Who plays in the attacking three roles?
Benitez is used to having game changing players such as Hamsik, Lavezzi, Ronaldo, Bale etc in his teams. These are flexible players that can play anywhere in around the front line and create goals or chances galore. We have a selection of players to choose from but finding the right balance has been a problem that our two previous managers have failed to do. A look at our options and it's easy to understand why: Sissoko, Townsend, Perez, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Obertan, Gouffran, Aarons, Marveaux and you can probably include Shelvey and Saivet as options here as well. We have tried a variety of combinations here all season and seen little joy. I'm not so sure it has been the choice of player that has resulted in failure though so much as the tactical instructions.

3. The two other midfielders?
The selections here are probably the most critical choices of all. Depending on what happens in here tactical it can influence everything else up the pitch. If both players are told to stay on the half way line and never join the attack, like they have been under McClaren, then it doesn't matter who you pick as we lack the quality in front to control matches. The players in here are not so much defensive midfielders as they should be central midfielders who get on the ball and control the match. Our choices in here are limited and we need two players with the right attributes to take matches away from the opposition. If Colback and Anita are selected here then we have problems. Too small, lacking physicality and will be bullied out of games. Both are defensive midfielders that are reaction men. They make tackles around our own penalty box and look good in games where we are being overrun. The reason we are being overrun is that they are in there in the first place. We need strength, physicality and players who want to be on the ball in here. Over to Rafa to find two.

For me it's all tactical. If he can get these three areas working in harmony he'll save the club from relegation and give himself a job for the next three years. If not, then we'll see more of the same I reckon.

Offline Legzy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
  • Karma: +9/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Rafa is a Geordie!
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 08:08:24 pm »
If Colback and Anita are selected here then we have problems. Too small, lacking physicality and will be bullied out of games. Both are defensive midfielders that are reaction men. They make tackles around our own penalty box and look good in games where we are being overrun. The reason we are being overrun is that they are in there in the first place.
Totally agree.
I enjoyed reading a book not long back called "Moneyball" about baseball. There was a lot of talk in that, that the players getting the headlines for making a dramatic catch or something, were often stood in the wrong place & would catch some amazing ones but drop what should have been an eyes shut catch if only they had known where to stand. Similarly, these two look good (sometimes) because of their lack of ability! lol

I am confident that we'll benefit enough from the New manager syndrome, that we should "get over the line" (hate that quote now)