Soccer

Rafa Benitez tells Newcastle fans to mute the TV on critical pundits – but keep listening to Alan Shearer

Rafa Benitez has told Newcastle supporters to mute their TVs and ignore what is said about their team by pundits – unless the opinion is coming from club legend Alan Shearer.

Newcastle lie 17th in the Premier League, having earned their first win of the season against Watford at St James’ Park on Saturday. They had lost seven and drawn three of their previous 10 games.

Benitez has been criticised by some for the perceived negativity of his tactical approach, while others have claimed that another summer of underinvestment from unpopular owner Mike Ashley has left Newcastle’s squad short of the required standard to survive in the Premier League.


Premier League week 11 goals





1/20 Bournemouth 1-0 Manchester United

2/20 Bournemouth 1-1 Manchester United

3/20 Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United

4/20 West Ham 1-0 Burnley

5/20 West Ham 1-1 Burnley

6/20 Everton 1-0 Brighton

7/20 Everton 1-1 Brighton

8/20 Everton 2-1 Brighton

9/20 Everton 3-1 Brighton

10/20 Cardiff 0-1 Leicester City

11/20 Newcastle 1-0 Watford

12/20 West Ham 2-1 Burnley

13/20 West Ham 2-2 Burnley

14/20 West Ham 3-2 Burnley

15/20 West Ham 4-2 Burnley

16/20 Liverpool 1-0 Arsenal

17/20 Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

18/20 Wolves 0-1 Tottenham

19/20 Wolves 0-2 Tottenham

20/20 Huddersfield 1-0 Fulham

1/20 Bournemouth 1-0 Manchester United

2/20 Bournemouth 1-1 Manchester United

3/20 Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United

4/20 West Ham 1-0 Burnley

5/20 West Ham 1-1 Burnley

6/20 Everton 1-0 Brighton

7/20 Everton 1-1 Brighton

8/20 Everton 2-1 Brighton

9/20 Everton 3-1 Brighton

10/20 Cardiff 0-1 Leicester City

11/20 Newcastle 1-0 Watford

12/20 West Ham 2-1 Burnley

13/20 West Ham 2-2 Burnley

14/20 West Ham 3-2 Burnley

15/20 West Ham 4-2 Burnley

16/20 Liverpool 1-0 Arsenal

17/20 Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

18/20 Wolves 0-1 Tottenham

19/20 Wolves 0-2 Tottenham

20/20 Huddersfield 1-0 Fulham

“It’s time to switch the volume off the TV and just watch the games,” Benitez said. “We don’t need to read too much press and we need to just concentrate on football.

“If we could add players we could increase competition. 

“Everybody has an opinion. But the main one for me is Alan Shearer so maybe I will try to sign him and play him up front! Unfortunately I can’t.

“We have what we have and we have to make sure we get the best from this group of players.”

Benitez retains the backing of a majority of Newcastle supporters, many of whom lay the blame for the team’s struggles at the feet of Ashley. The owner sanctioned only a modest transfer outlay last summer despite pledging that “every penny generated” would be reinvested.

Newcastle take on high-flying Bournemouth at St James’ Park on Saturday, and Benitez warned that their support will be more vital than ever as his team navigates a run of games against teams outside the top six in the run-up to the festive period.

“Our fans are clever,” he added. “They know the team needs them. Hopefully, we score goals and win games.”

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