Newcastle United have made a stuttering start to their 2018-19 campaign under Rafael Benitez. The Magpies have lost two of their opening three games and managed a draw in the other.
It has been a summer of huge frustration for Rafael Benitez and the Newcastle fans. The Spaniard failed to bolster his squad as significantly as he wished with owner Mike Ashley failing to provide him with the funds to sign players of his choice.
The Magpies lost 2-1 against Chelsea in their last match at St James’ Park. Eden Hazard scored from the penalty spot in the 76th minute. Joselu restored parity with seven minutes left on the clock. However, an own goal from DeAndre Yedlin earned all three points for the Blues.
Popular football pundit Jamie Redknapp has criticised Newcastle’s approach under Rafael Benitez saying the performance was an insult to Geordie fans who were present in the stands.
He adds that the performance was a real turn-off and that it would have been a travesty if they had escaped with a point.
“If Chelsea play Sarri-ball — trying to dominate possession — then Newcastle play Rafa-ball. They don’t want to touch the ball at all,” wrote Redknapp for The Daily Mail.
“Benitez’s side were a real turn-off on Sunday. It would have been a travesty if they had escaped with a point.
“This weekend, we saw Wolves go toe-to-toe with Man City. No disrespect to Chelsea but they are not at the level of the champions and yet Newcastle just sat off them.
“That performance was an insult to the 50,000 passionate Geordies who want to see their team have a go.”
Opinion: The criticism is very harsh on Newcastle fan-favourite, Benitez. Wolves, the Premier League newcomer, have spent big on top-class international players and therefore they are expected to play a free-flowing attacking game.
The best that Rafa can do with this side is grinding out results against top teams. It has to be noted that Newcastle missed two key and influential players in the form of Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles for the game.