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Rash Benitez approach could be final straw for struggling Newcastle stalwart: view

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OPINION

It’s understandable that Rafa Benitez was frustrated by Martin Dubravka’s error against Wolves on Monday night.

In the very last knockings of a tight match, the Slovakian’s flat-footedness allowed Willy Boly a gift on an equaliser that cost the Magpies a vital victory against one of the Premier League’s hottest form sides.

Any manager would have been fuming, especially when the mistake came off the back of another howler at Wembley last Saturday that cost the Toon Army a crucial point against high-flying Tottenham.

But the manner in which Benitez handled the issue will not do the goalkeeper any good.

Speaking after the match, as quoted by Sky Sports, Benitez said: “These kinds of balls you can do a little bit better – just punch the ball and finish.

“I was not very clear watching the replay, but it’s something we have to defend better.

“We know that it is England and people will come against the ‘keeper so he has to be strong enough.”

His confidence is clearly low after a couple of high profile errors, and he himself will know that he has cost his teammates. That in itself is hard enough to swallow without his manager coming out immediately after the error and laying the blame at his door to the waiting media.

In a moment of madness like that, players need a manager who will put an arm, round them and reassure them that, although that kind of mistake is unacceptable, they are still good enough and that they have their support.

Hanging him out to dry for the TV cameras is a rash and petty way to go about things, and you would expect Benitez to know better.

The great pragmatist, usually so calm and levelheaded, really lost his cool last night.

Newcastle fans better hope that he hasn’t snapped the last string of confidence Dubravka might have had left.


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