The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Benitez Has Big Decision To Make This Week

7:13 am, Monday, March 14th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 9 Comments

Coloccini is out of the game tonight at the King Power Stadium after amazingly being injured in the warm down after the Lillestrom game that took place over three weeks ago.

It just about sums up the incompetence at the club when the captain hadn´t even played in the game but still picked up an injury which will have kept him out of the side for four weeks if he returns next Sunday against Sunderland.


fab coloccini rafa benitez

Fabricio Coloccini and Rafa Benitez

Injuries are an area Rafa and his coaches will need to pay special attention to over these next nine weeks.

Colo has had a poor season and Rafa has to decide this week who will be his captain – but we have a feeling he may well stick with Colo.

That´s because of his vast experience in the Premier League and Rafa should be able to get the best out of the Argentine because of his considerable coaching prowess.

Benitez was asked yesterday about Coloccini:

“I have been talking with Shelvey, Coloccini – a lot of players..” “I didn’t have time to talk with everyone. I shook hands with everyone..”

“We had some meetings together on Saturday morning, talking about tactics and all these things that we normally talk about..”

“I have had individual conversations, face-to-face with some players. Coloccini was one of them.”

“On Saturday we had a tactical training session,”  “We were doing some movements that I would like to do in the future.”

“And he was there, so he came outside to see what we were doing.”  “I was talking with him, he was really confident that the team will do well because it’s a good team.”

With Mbemba still not fit we suppose Jamaal Lascelles and Steven Taylor will be the central defenders tonight and they will have to play very well if we are to get anything out of this game.

Steven may be one of the players Rafa can get playing out of their skins for him.

We need a few players to be doing that if we are to survive.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Leicester?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Do You Want Shelvey To Be Made Permanent Captain At Newcastle?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Will Rafa Benitez Save Newcastle From Relegation?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Comments welcome.

Tags: Captain · Coaching · Fabricio Coloccini · Jonjo Shelvey · Newcastle News · Steven Taylor

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:23 AM

    Tonights game is too soon for dramatic changes, ST and JL cb pairing I expect. Cant see us winning, defeat seems more likely, a point would be good, 3 would be amazing.

  • 2 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    I’m not expecting any miracles tonight, we are what we are, but I do expect to see a marked improvement in the style of play, more passion & commitment from the players, and more scoring chances created.

    If Benitez has managed (in three days) to instil some confidence in the squad, and the back four concentrate more and panic less, whatever the result we should be entertained with a good game.

    For me this game is all about building confidence, putting in a performance, and showing some desire that will give the fans a lift ahead of the derby.


  • 3 jane // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    defence is the biggest challenge, what about playing 5 at the back in the circumstances?

  • 4 giimps // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    The team have defended well in some games, manure away for example but offered only a little going forward, yet could still have snatched it at the end.
    Having a taller CB, and the jack russel that is Taylor may work if played together and drilled for the next few weeks, left back is a problem though and further up the pitch playing the right tactical formation and players will see us create more concede less ..”….Rafa is no miracle worker but he brings the ability to make decisions based on what he sees on the pitch and the power to play who he wants not who thinks they should play.
    We may get the dead cat bounce high enough to get something to protect, but don’t expect him to make a silk purse from a sows ear

  • 5 Thump // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    @jane: we don’t have 5 defenders, so that puts a bit of a crimp in that plan. Also Colback as a wing back?

  • 6 sing in the corner // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    Tonight is just the aperitif really, with the main course coming on Sunday..
    It’s a ‘free hit’ tonight in that last weekend not one toon fan would have predicted we would get anything from this game. If we get even just 10-15 pc more out of each player that’ll be a collective sea change. As long as we don’t get a chasing, we’re compact and play like a football team that will set us up for the big push at the weekend.

  • 7 Ron Knee // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    Under McClaren, I was more or less reconciled to relegation and the prospect of McClaren or another mediocre coach taking charge in the Championship.

    Now we have a glimmer of hope with Benitez. If we can stay up, life in the PL will be something to look forward to. It’s a tantalising prospect.

  • 8 Jib // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    One of the old chestnuts in football is – Defending starts with the No.9.

    So it will be Mitro up top and Shelvey playing much deeper than at home .If he plays with wide men they will be told their first job is to cover the fullbacks .

    Although Leicester are an unbelievably quick side they still remain vulnerable to the counter.

  • 9 giimps // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    Leicester are a counter attacking side but press high up the pitch, they utilise pace up the pitch but don’t like pace in behind them, I would play doumbia with Aaron’s and toonsend if available ,put Shelvey, Saivet and Gini sitting behind them but keep the ball moving forward to try and offer a threat ,if we offer no threat going forward we will put the defence under immense pressure……but mor importantly, we need to play as a team, the midfield defence and attack need to press to get the ball and be fluid enough going forward to cause issues to the opposition……if Rafa can get them doing this we might get a point or three per game…..if not maybe he finds another way, but we need more than a point a game from now till May to stay up, 9 wins will see us top half of the boTom of the league….here’s hoping

previous post: Benitez Willing To Work With Board – Could Bring Shearer Back

next post: Benitez – I Can Work With This Board Member