Mohamed Diame reacts to criticism of Rafa Benitez - and Newcastle’s players

Sherman Parsons
September 3, 2018

They next play Arsenal on Sep 15 after the worldwide break.

Newcastle fielded five players in defence in their last two games but their conservative tactics did not prevent 2-1 defeats to Chelsea and champions Manchester City, with Benitez drawing criticism from the media and some supporters.

"We have six strikers and I made a decision to play with two strikers, we have two wingers plus another one on the bench and that's why we decided, this game, he wouldn't be there".

Dubravka turned in a brilliant display against Man City, making a number of high-profile saves to keep his side in the contest at the Etihad Stadium.

Meanwhile, Guardiola is confident that City will kick-on and further improve once the squad reassembles after the worldwide hiatus.

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Having accrued 10 points from a possible 12, City now lie two points behind the leaders.

"It's normal with this unbelievable squad [a player left out for a game]", the 21-year-old said, as quoted by Manchester Evening News.

"We have the same points as last season at this stage, but our opponents have more. So, we need quality, but what I want is to win". I'm going to work hard to avoid that from happening to me, though.

"The other day he had a shot against Wolves which almost hit the corner flag, so it's just a persistence thing", said his fellow defender John Stones.

"We will improve", he said. We need time. After global break we will start every three games having a game. The mums and dads bring their kids into the schools, they have more order, and we start again.

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