Three things that Rafael Benitez has to fix at Newcastle United
It’s all very predictable at Newcastle United, which is a frustrating thing for fans on a number of levels.
Newcastle are 18th on the table, with the Magpies having failed to win any of their opening six games.
Rafael Benitez’s side slumped to a 2-1 defeat in the Premier League against Arsenal at St. James’s Park last Saturday. They drew the important game against Crystal Palace and with Leicester City coming up, Benitez has to quickly sort out a few things in order to gather some results.
So here are three things that Benitez must quickly fix to turn Newcastle’s fortunes around.
Sort out the defence
Eight goals conceded in five games by Newcastle is not something pleasant for Benitez, particularly because of the Spanish manager’s emphasis on a strong defensive organisation and rigid tactical set-up.
Benitez has always set up his teams defensively in order to frustrate his opponents but the plan hasn’t worked well this season, with the Magpies just milking out only 2 points in the first six games.
Benitez needs to go back to the drawing board and get his defence sorted out. He needs to finalise a central defensive pairing as quickly as possible to start getting positive results.
Find a goalscorer
As much as fixing the defence is a priority, finding a reliable goalscorer is of paramount importance for Benitez.
Joselu has two goals so far this season and the other two scorers are defenders – DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark. This shows that there’s a clear goalscoring trouble for the Magpies.
Benitez has decent attacking firepower in his ranks and he has to ensure at least one of his centre-forwards starts delivering the goods on a consistent basis before it’s too late.
Improve the team morale
Newcastle’s team morale seems to be down after managing just two points in five games. It’s the worst possible start Benitez would have expected, particularly after ending last season on a high.
After the poor start to the season, the Spaniard faces a big challenge to lift his players’ morale and improve the mood around St.James’ Park.
Perhaps the 56-year-old Benitez can at least instil more discipline in a side that has clearly lost its way this season, which would fix the rut.