Newcastle may have won on Saturday, but the three substitutes caused quite a stir.
The Magpies’ squad was looking slightly bare due to injuries to Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto.
That meant that Benitez’s options off the bench were limited. However, the Spaniard had to work with what he had, although some fans were confused by his changes.
Substitutes fail to inspire any confidence
It was another week where Rafa’s subs got people talking. While the three against Watford were enforced changes, the trio that came on against the Cherries were all tactical.
Isaac Hayden was the first to get on in place of Matt Ritchie, then Ciaran Clark entered the fray. The Republic of Ireland’s introduction saw a change of shape as Newcastle looked to hold on.
The third and final change was another odd one, with powerhouse Mo Diame being replaced by the diminutive Christian Atsu. This decision forced Ayoze Perez to drop deeper, a very unfamiliar role for the forward.
The Magpies were able to hold on for victory, despite the strange substitutes made by Benitez.
Fans react to Rafa’s changes
The subs were a real talking point for Newcastle fans, with some baffled by the decisions, while others respected the judgement of the manager.
What’s raffa doing with this sub #nufc
— big steve (@schteve_mclaren) November 10, 2018
These subs are puzzling
— what do i put (@NUFC_GRB) November 10, 2018
WTF are these subs? #NUFC
— Joe Halliday (@halliday_9) November 10, 2018
Rafa was spot on with his subs today and change of formation. #NUFC
— Ginola’s left foot (@Ldntoon) November 10, 2018
I am so proud of #Rafa & the Lads! Still trying to calm down! Just a gutsy performance with just enough quality! #Kenedy was much better today! @yedlinny great going forward, everyone bled for the cause & im just so proud of all the boys! #Rafa got the subs perfect! #HWTL #NUFC
— Caleb (@YankGeordie) November 10, 2018
Great win yesterday but can somebody tell me Rafa’s thinking behind the subs yesterday? Didn’t make sense to me and thought we were gonna mess it up.
— Harry Nufc (@Harry_Nufc5) November 11, 2018
— Ghosted G (@g_ghosted) November 10, 2018