MATCH PREVIEW: Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium, 14/Mar/16, KO: 8pm, Premier League.

by • March 12, 2016 • Match previewsComments (8)3745

TRUE15 LUKE 1977 Voucher (1)



In 2006, two years into his role as Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez was asked why he had put on so much weight since moving to England.  Benitez responded immediately “every time I win a trophy I put on weight.”  I’ve no evidence that story it is true but a quick search on Google backs it up that he did say those words, there’s just not a lot of context behind them bar the above.  The most important aspect of this myth/story is the “trophies”.  Raafa Benitez has won trophies.  Loads of them.  Rafa Benitez is now manager of Newcastle United, all being well, for the next three years at least.  It’s yet to sink in.


La Liga (twice), the Champions League, the Europa League (twice), the FA Cup, the Coppa Italia (twice), the Italian SuperRanieri Coppa (twice), the UEFA Super Cup (twice) and the FIFA Club World Cup.  Benitez is the only manager in history to win all of the trophies open to a club manager – no other manager has won the Champions League, the Club World Cup, the Europa league and the Super Cup.  No one else.  Compare him to the other choices to replace Steve McClaren.  Moyes?  Pearson?  Rodgers?  The combined career’s of these managers doesn’t come close to our manager.  I cannot believe he has agreed to join Newcastle United.  the club of Sports Direct.  The club of the banned Supporters Trust and journalists.  The club of of Alan Pardew, John Carver, Joe Kinnear and Steve McClaren.  Failed, desperate managers.  Not Benitez.

The reason this appointment is so incredible is that Rafa Bennitez does not need Newcastle United.  We need him, badly – whatever happens at NUFC Rafa Benitex will walk into another top job.  He holds all the cards.  No more Emmanuel Riviere turning up at the training ground at the manager not knowing who he was.  No more making excuses for Mike Ashley.  Rafa Benitez, if he keeps us up and Ashley cedes total control then all of our lives will change.  St James’ park will become the arena where season tickets mean something.  It will become the place you go to enjoy yourself, not out out of duty.  Rafa benitez has won trophies at each of his last five clubs.  He has never been relegated.  He doesn’t do relegation scraps as some in the media are pointing.  GOOD.  THAT IS A GOOD THING.  Rafa Benitez wins more than half the football matches his clubs take part in.  Not one in 5 like the previous manager.  Not like the managers with experience of countless relegation battles.

Most of all Benitez has given us hope.  I left the Bournemouth game last week early.  When we got one back, a horrible TFBadgerealisation dawned on me.  I didn’t want us to equalise, we had to lose that game to ensure the manager was sacked.  Awful for everybody.  From that catastrophe something incredible has happened.  I simply didn’t believe the rumours, the calculated leaks to the media.  Even “if” (and what an ‘if’) Benitez was interested in a basket case like Newcastle United, surely those running the club would cock it up.

This is a great article from a great journalist  which tells you everything you need to know – click here  Benitez demands control.  He’s taken the job at United and therefore he’s been granted control.  I have no doubt that if backed properly, and we stay up, he will be one of the, if not the, most successful manager in the club’s modern history.

There’s the “if” again though.  IF we stay up.  That is now what the club, the fans and the city must know focus all energy on.  SJP needs to bear at it’s loudest, radgest best for every single home game this season.  Our away form is so wretched over the last two seasons that it will be hard for Benitez to turn water into wine in the short time he has and the fixtures we have away from home.  It is the home games against the sides in the bottom half of the league that our future relies on.  Maybe it’s too big a job even for a man like Rafa Benitez, but I back him over Alex Neil, Remi Garde and Sam Allardyce.  I back him over Manuel Pelegrinni, Louis Van Gaal, Roberto Martinez, Alan Pardew, Mauricio Poccetino, Claudio Ranieri and any other manager in this league.  He has archived more than all of these managers put together.  Only Hiddink and Klopp can currently claim to come close to our manager.  they don’t by the way – but at least a discussion can be had.  Every single other manager in this league is a worse manager than benitez.  That’s a fact.

Leicester away is simply the hardest start.  If ONLY Rafa had been given Stoke and Bournemouth.  This game is legitimately the hardest game in the league.  Followed by the mackems and Norwich away it’s essential our new man hits the ground running.  Taking an impromptu training session one hour into the job suggests Benitez knows what he has to do and the challenge he faces.  At worst Leicester City will start Monday night 2 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.  If they didn’t play goal music I’d want them to win the league.  I do really.  It would be great for them to drop points on Monday night.  I’m going.  I touted going this week, and no one would come.  Now there’s seven of us going, all absolutely buzzing.

Leicester have lost just once at home this season, back in September.  They lost at home to Spurs in the cup.  Their last two home games against Norwich and West Brom yielded 4 points, with their defence looking more shaky than usual, conceding plenty of chances.  Yes I’m scrapping the barrel here.  They are the best team in the league, we are the worst bar Vile.  We have tons of injuries, they have very few.  Krul, Haidara, Dummet, Mbemba are all definitely out.  All first team players.  Cisse, Colo, Townsend and Tiote are all doubts.  That’s 9 first team players out for the new manager to deal with.  Whether he risks the latter four or saves them for next weekend, only he will know.

The result against Leicester will likely not go our way.  They are too good, we’ve too many of our better players missing.  We don’t have a fit left back so it’s likely Colback will be moved to play there.   What we’re hoping to see is a totally committed performance on the pitch from the players he has available.  Against Evertom, Chelsea and Stoke (our last three away games) we didn’t look competitive or like getting anything from the games.  I back the new manager to at least make us competitive.

Here is a documentary you should watch about our new manager  and his career to date – click here

Let’s get excited

Prediction:  2 2 draw

ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892 

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8 Responses to MATCH PREVIEW: Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium, 14/Mar/16, KO: 8pm, Premier League.

  1. tom Bates says:

    It’s true that we have potentially a turning point in the club’s recent history. Benitez is on paper the best manager the club has ever had though Bobby Robsons achievements with Ipswich were miraculous. Be careful what you wish for was rammed down our throats when Pardew was replaced with Carver and then McLaren. This appointment is more impressive than we could have hoped for. My only concerns are that Benitez is seen as more of a tactician than a motivator so whether he can have an instant impact remains to be seen. If he does well with us will he have an eye on nabbing the man u or arsenal job when Wenger and van gaal leave? But for now let’s be happy that we seem to have a much better chance of staying up then we did last week. The players effectively downing tools though it’s shameful to an extent has forced the change that was required.

  2. mike says:

    Ill be amazed to see how many of the “injured” players recover quick! He will demand respect and either get it or they will be shipped out …and thats about time

  3. Desree says:

    We need a tactician, not a motivator. The only way you can motivate players is to help them win. that means giving them a specific job. Results motivate players, playing them to their strengths and not hanging them out to dry.

    Benitez is absolutely the right man for the job and you have to for once give a little bit of credit to MA.

    I hope to see a team soon.

    • Ken Brown says:

      I wouldn’t give Ashley the slightest smidgeon of credit for anything at our club.
      This is the man who, after completing the purchase, issued the clubs mission statement as “The future strategy of this football club will be to find young players, to develop them and to sell them on” (or words as near as dammit) as if he was buying cheap tat for his shops. Kevin Keegan quit as a result and the rest is – as we all knew it would be – complete and total disaster. We are well into his NINTH season and he has achieved absolutely nothing. In fact it has long puzzled me that such an (allegedly) astute business man did not realise what it was that he owned, i.e. a magnificent vehicle to promote his major business and himself.
      Benitez is an excellent signing and luckily he held every card in the pack so was able to dictate terms and conditions. We will now be properly managed. Regrettably, I think his appointment is too late and also I would bet that had we been in the position of, say, Swansea or Palace then we would have still been saddled with MacClaren.
      Needless to say the supporters will not let the side down.

  4. stevie office says:

    My only worry is he,s gone from Ronaldo and bale to collicini and colback 2wronguns never thought this regime would get a top manager to put up with ashleys shite but hopefully he ,s realized were in the shit with charnley and Carr who should both be gone not expecting to much tomorrow but hopefully by the time the scum turn up he.s sorted

  5. Peter Ward says:

    When the euphoria at Benitez appointment has died down then the cold light of day beckons. Will we escape relegation ? It’s a big if and will need a near miraculous improvement on what we,ve been seeing. I certainly hope so but we just don’t know. After two or three games it should be clearer. He must think it possible and surely wouldn’t have taken the job otherwise. Or would he ? He has a break clause if we go down. The other concern is Ashley. I don’t think he’s changed, look at the spat he’s engaged in with a parliamentary select committee. According to reports Benetiz, who has a history of disagreements with his owners, and Ashley have yet to meet.. Ashley’s history is quite clear. He does his own thing regardless and surrounds himself with toadies. He’s nasty with it and vindictive. Oil he water?

  6. Bob says:

    I think this is the first good thing that the regime has done since Ashley came in, although the sacking of Allerdyce can be included in “good things”. Hopefully Charnley, Carr and Moncur will be so in awe of Rafa they will just do as he says, including “get lost you fools”. The rubbish we have had to put up with to get this far, incredible.

  7. mike says:

    cold light of day not good enuff.
    Thanks Raffa u tried but the damage is done