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Benitez Joining Newcastle A Big Boost For This Player

11:25 am, Monday, March 14th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 150 Comments

One player who was simply delighted that Rafa Benitez joined Newcastle United as manager on Friday was our young Spanish star – Ayoze Perez – who knew about Rafa when he managed his home town club Tenerife way back in 2000.

Rafa got them promoted to La Liga in his first season there – and then he joined Valencia.

ayoze perez -newcastle-norwich_3365597

Ayoze Perez – a big boost for this youngster

Rafa was asked what he thought of Newcastle’s young rising star:

“I was pleased because I spoke to people face to face. I was surprised by Ayoze, because I thought he was less mature, but he is mature.”

“He analysed the situation with me and it he was good and quite clear, he was like the players who have more experience. I was impressed because he understands what is going on.”

“He was very clear about what he needs and I will try to give it him. I was also manager of Tenerife so I know a lot of people there and we have talked about how good he is.”

One of the areas that Ayoze has to improve on is his consistency and he knows that, but with six goals this season he’s our second top goalscorer.

So maybe Benitez is hoping Ayoze can get the goals for us over the last 10 games of the season.

We have to score to win – so it’s important that somebody starts banging in those goals for Newcastle.

It would be great if one of those players can be 22 year-old Perez, who may even get a start tonight at the King Power Stadium.

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Comments welcome.

Tags: Ayoze Perez · Coaching · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League

150 responses so far ↓

  • 1 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:33 AM


    Please please please do not get the AP stuff started again. Yes, he was bang average or just below as you say, and had he still been here churning out his overcautoin ball, we would be 10th-15th every season and bored to tears. Its just a shame Mash went for JC and SM and has left it this late to do the right thing. But you are right about us having a manager to get behind and hopefully unite over. Let the Rafalution commence

  • 2 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    Why does perez have a face like a pile-sufferer in this photo?

  • 3 BenbulbenMag // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    I “lol”ed at Rafalution.

    Heady times. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many posters on this blog positive and hopeful. Long may it continue.

  • 4 Blofal // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Because he just squeezed a goal out of nothing!

  • 5 Ian Toon // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    For the superstitious. Benitez has not lost a first game in charge as a Manager and he has mentioned this fact to the squad frequently in recent days. Success breeds a positive cycle of confidence and BeNitez has been working on this since the first get together.
    “Each club is different,” admitted Benítez. “If I’m here, it’s because I believe these players are good enough to stay up.
    “I’ve seen them and I’ve seen their qualities and little things that we have to change.”

  • 6 JP...from The Rock // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    I much prefer Wijnaldum for captain. Shelvey as vice captain. The only thing against my choice is that Gini is too quiet on the pitch and we’ve had enough of that. But I think he is much more consistent than Shelvey.

  • 7 John Akomfrah // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    there is…….always a first time

  • 8 JP...from The Rock // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    I really really hope we survive this season. It would be a huge shame to miss out now from a potential regular top 10 team pushing for europe every season under Rafa.

    I just have this sneaky feeling it’s too little too late. Hope I am wrong though.

  • 9 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:49 AM


    I think Shelveys inconsistency is more down to how Smac set up. Same players, but playing differently each time. One week there are runners, the next everyone sitting back. I think we will see a vast improvement in all our players’ consistency under rafa.

  • 10 Goldmbemba // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    id feel better if there were a couple more teams around us then there are. Swansea and palace are kind of reachable but no one expects either of them to go down.

    Its that 4 team mini league with only 1 survival spot that scares me.

  • 11 ArtyH // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Rafa the gaffa will sort it out and it starts tonight.

  • 12 hibbitt // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    JP…from The Rock

    Wijnaldum has only been consistent at home in away games he’s had some stinkers think he is one of the players that could benefit most under rafa….as for captain it will be interesting who rafa picks

  • 13 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:52 AM


    It might be a good aim for nufc to try and catch one of them. Look up rather than down. Aiming for 16th, imo, might galvanise the squad, and if we fall one place short, we still survive. Just a thought.

  • 14 DeanToon88 // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Sorry guys but there is no chance we are going to beat leicester, they are in top position for a reason and just because we have got a new manager doesn’t mean we are going to suddenly become an incredible team.

    We will lose today and beat the mackems i can just sense it.

  • 15 Goldmbemba // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Couldnt agree more, good mentality.

    Im torn on the Rafa get out clause. On one hand he’s managing with no personal pressure which could infect the players in a good way. On the other hand, they know deep down that he has the option to walk away that they dont have.

    A fascinating psychological situation amongst the bottom 4 teams and within our own camp.

  • 16 richyg01 // Mar 14, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Really hope Rafa the Gaffa can fire up these lads:

    > Gini,
    > De Jong,
    > Shelvey,
    > Mitro,
    > Perez.

    Hopefully he can also instill some belief in the defenders.

  • 17 Rotonda heights // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    I think very few managers would publically condemn their own players, but we don’t know what went on behind closed doors and perhaps more tellingly the horrible little hooligan was let go not long afterwards.

    Did SAF publically condemn Keane when he basically broke that guy (Alf – what’s his name) in half or Mancini when De Jong decapitated HBA. In a word no. ”Honest” AP would never do it either and nor would the vast majority. Not saying it’s a good thing but Martinez is hardly alone.

    Martinez gets a hard time on here but I thought Everton were fantastic against Chelsea.

  • 18 Thump // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    I’ll be celebrating a point like a victory tonight. If we lose – fair’s fair. As long as I see some application in the squad, I’m happy.

  • 19 ToonAndy // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    I actually really want to see this team tonight…








  • 20 Ian Toon // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Interesting comments from Benitez in the media this morning when he was asked about transfer operations going forward.
    Under Newcastle’s previous model, Graham Carr, the club’s chief scout, had enjoyed full responsibility for recruitment. Benítez will expect substantially more input. Though he was quick to point out that he has no objection to working with the 71-year-old to identify transfer targets, he intends to make plain his belief that Newcastle’s approach needs to “change a little bit”.
    “I have not spoken to him, but I know him and have friends who know him. I don’t see any problem,” he said. “He is a football man, we will talk about football, we will talk about players, and I think we will be fine. I understand why the club is going in this direction. I have to explain why we have to change a little bit, and I think that will be good for everyone.”
    Ashley and Carr are among the few people Benítez has not held meetings with over the past 72 hours.

  • 21 Rotonda heights // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    Dean Toon

    That’s the spirit…

    Unbelievable some people taking negativity to a whole new level. Yes it should have been done sooner but it is what it is is. It aint over till the fat lady sings.

  • 22 Rotonda heights // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    toon andy

    Apart from saylor, i like that team. we should go for it, not just sit off waiting for the inevitable.

  • 23 Jail for Ashley // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    We might not win tonight but at least we can look forward to the game knowing that there is a renewed belief with a manager we can all trust. That game against Stoke highlighted to everyone that Mclaren was not setting us up to win away from home, if ever a manager was found out that was the game it was done.

  • 24 DeanToon88 // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Rotonda heights

    YOU have to put things into perspective though, its fine been optimistic and I would love us to win, but leicester are a good team and they are looking to win the league, we are looking to get out of the relegation zone, it will be very interesting to see how we play under a top manager though, there should be a noticeable difference in performance levels and it should be a good game.

  • 25 Goldmbemba // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    Maybe playing leicester at their own game is the way forward. their defenders rarely get forward, and keep their discipline. We can play a decent bit of counter attacking football at times, just need to keep the discipline a bit more.

    would be delighted with 0-0 tonight.

  • 26 Rotonda heights // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    “If I’m here, it’s because I believe these players are good enough to stay up.”

    Cynics would say he’s here for the big bucks but this guy has already earned more than he would know what to do with, so i think he genuinely sees us as a project

  • 27 Rotonda heights // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:09 PM


    to be fair i didn’t properly read through to the bit where you also added we will beat sunderland

  • 28 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Even with this interview, the key is how and why a player can be improved and it is again touched upon here. Quality manager, and you know areas of their game will be studied and tweaked. Bodes well.

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    All these worries about our model not changing and Carr having control etc, I have full belief in the fact that Benitez has demanded assurances unlike his three predecessors who were desperate for a job. The guy wouldn’t be here if he didn’t think we could win a cup or qualify for CL unlike Pardew and that last tw@t who just wanted to try and establish themselves at the Hughes, Pulis and Allardyce dining table, one may have got himself a seat at the end and the other should never be given another managers job in the PL again unless he gets someone promoted. I doubt the Boro fans want him back the way I’ve heard them speak about him.

  • 30 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    To counter Leicester’s work rate we will need to go 3 in the middle

    Rafa does like to play with a deep lying play maker , holding mid and box to box midfielder next to each other

    Shelvey will be one of them then it will be either Anita/Saviet or Colback as the holding mid and if Sissoko could get the finger out he may get the box to box role

    Then with plenty of pace up front with Townsend , Doumbia and Perez as the front 3 all pressing and ready for the counter attack

    Either that Wijnaldum instead of Sissoko

  • 31 The Newcastle Armchair // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Toon to win 3-1 and therell be a “bookies street crash”

  • 32 The Newcastle Armchair // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Seriously though, why is everyone writing us off tonight? Leicester are a team of average players working very hard for their manager and league position.

    On paper, our squad is better than theirs plus we have a manager in whom I believe the players will work hard for, just like Leicester.

    Interesting game tonight, waiting for kick off like its Christmas.

  • 33 martoon // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    I have a feeling Rafa will play very defensively tonight – probably with 2 holding midfield players. I don’t think it will be a classic but at the moment we need points not free flowing football!

  • 34 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Posi/nega feelings aside, I am sure we can all agree that we have a better chance now than we did last monday.

  • 35 Ian Toon // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Benitez will get the best out of a number of underperforming players under Macca. The likes of Sissoko and Wijnaldum in particular who’s form deserted them during the closing months and certainly have so much more to offer. That and being better organised and combative.

  • 36 martoon // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    Incidentally do we know for definite if Townsend is fit or just wishful thinking?

  • 37 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:30 PM


    Yeah I agree. I think the game has come too soon in his tenure for us to suddenly open up and attack a team aggresively, so a hard fought point would do me tonight.

  • 38 martoon // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    YouCouldn’tMakeItUp @34 – Yes definitely sometimes I think I’m dreaming that Rafa is actually our manager. We don’t have the greatest defence but I think Rafa will organise them better.

  • 39 beermonkey // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:42 PM


    have to say i am impressed by rafa
    he really seems to have done his homework on our players
    i think your right on the project front

    he wont goto china at this stage as his family are still young and wanted a job in the uk we are a great project for him for a few years

  • 40 beermonkey // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:53 PM


    a few threads back you post a link about obertans wages as i am curious i looked at the squad

    they have armstrong earning 2.5mill a year
    they have sammy earning 5mill a year
    capt colo earning 1.25 mill a year

    could you not find a better site on google i dont think that one is very reliable 🙂

  • 41 Wayayman // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    As far as we know, Townsend isn’t available, neither is Colo (small mercies) or Dummet.

    Shame if Townsend doenst make it as the one weakness in the Leicester team is Simpson. One of the worst right backs we’ve had at our club in recent times and he could end the season with a PL winners medal. If ever proof was needed of the power of a great manager, there it is. Rafa should just pin up their team sheet tonight and point at Simpson’s name on it. Tell the boys that if HE can play in a league-leading team then there’s no reason why we can’t be in that position next season. Let’s dent their title winning chances and make a real fight for our survival.
    The Rafalution starts tonight! HWTL!

  • 42 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // Mar 14, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    dont see benitez playing anything but 4-2-31
    ill quote ancient c in my a back four


    then sit these guys above

    Perez—————-wini————-Townsand(he is 50/50)


    if no townsand




  • 43 Lindisfarne // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Am guessing that the prescribed way to challenge Leicester is to sit back, not allow them space in behind, let their defenders have the ball and convert mistakes quickly. If so, perhaps playing Perez,Aarons and Doumbia would be the best solution to provide speed and fast passing.

    Shelvey has to play in midfield and if solidity is required the Colback and Anita would be the shout. Not to bad away from home and being able to bring on Gini or Socks.

    I hope Mbabu is able to play LB, Lascelles and Taylor in the middle is a good blend and Janmaat needs to concentrate on defending and finding a winger with through balls primarily, rather than pushing too high and being out of position.

  • 44 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:01 PM


    This is what I think Rafa will do is finally attack oppositions weak areas overload next to Simpson as Mahrez wont track back either

    When you watch our games you can see the opposition target our weak areas but we seem to play the same way every week which is pass it to Sissoko who then lets Janmaat provide the chances

  • 45 martoon // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Just looked on the physioroom and Townsend isn’t mentioned so maybe he is fit?

  • 46 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:05 PM


    Townsend has been training this week, maybe he was one that was suppose to be injured but had a miraculous recovery when Benitez arrived.

  • 47 Sir Braveheart // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:08 PM


    “dont see benitez playing anything but 4-2-31”

    To be fair if we’re playing 31 up front I’m going to back us for a win too. 🙂

  • 48 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Just been looking at the table and all these games are 6 pointer games for us.

    Crystal Palace
    Swansea City
    Norwich City
    Aston Villa

    Every one of those games are winnable games for us and would gives us 15 points.

    HWTL Oh and Rafa!

  • 49 manxpie // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Townsend is in the likely lineups in the papers so they might know more and maybe he was one of the miracle players that healed themselves in just a few hours

  • 50 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Sir braveheart

    any edge we can get!

    really hoping anyone but saylor is playing CB

  • 51 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Well that’s the beer sorted for tonight, one way or the other I am going to be happy 😀

  • 52 WWSBRD // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    First time this season am annoyed to be missing the game tonight

    We can win tonight, probably won’t but we are capable of it. A draw would be great too

    I expect the our fans will the song contests though atmosphere should be made by our lot after the week this has been

  • 53 Jail for Ashley // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Why would anyone call him macca, to give someone a nick name that isn’t derogatory is a sign of endearment, what did Mclaren do or say while at the club to endear himself, unless people like the way he grinned like a caged orangutan after a humiliating defeat.

  • 54 sparky55 // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    how about “Slacca”?…a bit nearer the truth perhaps

  • 55 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:35 PM


    Its quicker to type. Less different letters. It is possibly a little petty to suggest that those who use ‘macca’ somehow have an affection for him. I use it sometimes, for the reason I used above, and i dont have any affection for the useless buffoon.

  • 56 barkel // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    it’s really hard to pick our best team for this, depending on injuries i’d be playing 451/433
    Jan Tayls Lasc LB (whoever if fit from Dummy, Mbabu, Colback)

    Townsend Socks Gini Shelvey Aarons

    Perez (Cisse if he’s fit)

    We have to play on the counter

  • 57 WWSBRD // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Haha does it matter mate? He’s gone we hopefully won’t be mentioning him for much longer so who cares if people use a nickname for him

  • 58 Mister Tuff // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    I think Rafa is making all the right noises so far. I like his bit about small changes will have to be made – probably code for a lot of changes will have to be made.
    Got the impression he is not going to stand for any crap and it looks like – do it my way or the highway.
    Need to see his influence on the players – tonight – hopefully the few days he has been here will have imparted something on the players.

    Who would you believe most :-
    1. King Percy saying you’re a good player.
    2. Wally saying you’re a good player.
    3. Rafa saying you’re a good player.

    Must be number 3 because of the guys pedigree – so I think we should see something different/a Rafa effect tonight.

  • 59 Goldmbemba // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    Rafa quoting Colo…

    “On Saturday we had a tactical training session. We were doing some movements I would like to do in the future so he (Coloccini) came outside to see what we were doing and I was talking with him.

    He added: “He was really confident the team is good and will do well.”

    Not sure if id rather this quiet confidence or rather have him saying we are in trouble and have a lot of work to do.

  • 60 catchy in norway // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    LC will be under a lot of pressure tonight, let’s hope we can add a little more.

  • 61 Jib // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    YouCouldn’tMakeItUp //

    It is possibly a little petty to suggest that those who use ‘macca’ somehow have an affection for him.

    Jail Petty ?
    Heaven forfend !!!!!!!!

  • 62 Jib // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:45 PM

  • 63 Mister Tuff // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Knacker saying Macca……………………………OOT.
    Those saying Wally………………………………..IN.
    Maccas’ Bwave New World ……………………OOT
    Wafas’ Bwave New World……………………….OOT
    Tools using dodgy expressions………………..OOT
    Those who have dumped Wally quicker than a
    hooer drops her draws……………………………. OOT
    Those who knew he was a Wally from the off……………………………………………………………IN
    Those knowing what a quality manager is………IN
    Supporters of Wally and the King………………OOT

  • 64 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    What about

    Those wanting to forget the past and get behind Rafa and the Lads……..IN

    Anyone against the above………OOT

  • 65 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Oh…and of course Mash, the cause of all our woe, even though he has signed rafa……OOT

  • 66 WWSBRD // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Stop trying to unite fans u mad man!

  • 67 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:02 PM


    Aye probably a little futile 😀

  • 68 SuperShearer // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    I think we have a good spine of a team in:
    Krul / Elliot
    Mitro / Perez
    The likes of Townsend, Sissoko, Janmaat & Aarons can play a part but IF, and it’s a big IF, there has to be a clear out in the summer. Because we have too many uncommitted players on our books. Sissoko being a prime example although my hope is under Benitez he starts to show what he is capable of.

  • 69 WWSBRD // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Just join me in humming La Bamba in the background whilst sporting a sombrero and let people throw shot at each other far more fun

  • 70 JackButler // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    I think we can and will get something out of tonight’s game, the personnel on the pitch will be the same but I expect the attitude to be VERY different. For the first time I. A very long time, we have a proven man in the dugout, one that won’t take any shyte from our primadonas, one that will demand 100%.

  • 71 dok - the horrid colonial // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    not expecting much tonite, just hoping we give them a good match, show us what the future this season and next CAN hold… a point would be grand…

    oh and an absolute thrashing of the SMB tribe to come…

  • 72 The Newcastle Armchair // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    Might even buy sky sports for rafas first game tonight.

    And a brand new armchair.

  • 73 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    Alright guys I am just going to get tickets for the Swansea game wondering about what places to get seats

    Are the Platinum Club seats any good ?


  • 74 mad-serb // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Afternoon lads

    Great to see the positive views on the blog and long may it continue. Just show you what can be achieved if only the buffoons that run our club knew anything about our club and it’s supporters.

    Anything tonight is a great start. If we can go ahead early it will be interesting to see how Leicester will react. The closer you get to winning it the harder it gets. And there’s none better than us to tell them about it.

    Will be interesting to see how and who raffia puts on the field tonight. But as he asked for to support the players and forget the past I will happily ablige and give everyone a new start even my favourite Sissoko. The slate is swept clean. Atleast I know that when you don’t do your part We at last have a Manager with the balls to drop you when you do not preform.

    From the lines about it would therefore seem Sissoko starting, and I guess Mitro as well seeing his been given a vote of confidence from Raffa. I think we might see Gini on the left or in a deeper role and possibly De Jong could be the surprise selection in the 10 role.

  • 75 acuna // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    As drastic as it may be, the following deadwood needs to be eradicated this summer:

    Fabricio Coloccini
    Paul Dummett
    Jack Colback
    Moussa Sissoko – bad influence
    Vurnon Anita
    Siem De Jong
    Yoan Gouffran
    Gabriel Obertan
    Massadio Haidara
    Florian Thauvin
    Cheick Tiote
    Karl Darlow
    Emmanuel Riviere
    Sylvain Marveaux
    Curtis Good
    Lubomir Satka
    Samuel Ameobi
    Gael Bigirimana
    Remy Cabella
    Haris Vu?ki?

  • 76 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:35 PM


    Half a squad !! Its actually frightening how much deadwood we have !

  • 77 lesh // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Interesting words from today’s Guardian. Rafa…..(‘….. They [the board] will try to bring in the best players for me. If I’m here it’s because they trust me, they want to listen to me, they want to improve and want to do things in a certain way.’

    What do I read into those few words?

    Simply, if Rafa decides enough’s enough then it means that Charnley et al will not listen or positively respond to his wishes or advice.

    So, it’s really up to Ashley to tell Charnley to show Rafa the respect he deserves and take the Club forward.

  • 78 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 2:45 PM


    If chubby-golllum cant show respect to somebody like rafa, then he should be hung, drawn and quatered. Time he learned his place in the football world……sitting in the corner and doing what rafa says!

  • 79 G // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    The timing of this match couldnt be worse, only 3 days for Rafa to work with the squad, and the 2nd half is going to play havoc with my ‘Walking Dead’ schedule!

  • 80 bettyswallocks // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    I wonder how Macca will feel if we thrash Leicester tonight.

  • 81 santon3 // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    I think the surprise player who will save us is SDJ, he would probably play better under different system.
    The player that suddenly fit is most likely SDJ, he was probably an outcast under SM.

    I certainly hope Rafa drop Sisso


    Sorry, very limited choice at the back, don’t know who is fit, I prefer Colo and Mbabu than Saylor or Llaceles.

  • 82 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    If any of you don’t know how valuable Siem can be, here’s a vid:

    Look at the type of chances he’s having, where he’s making his runs, the technique used for the difficulty level, variety of goals, linking with his teammates, accuracy, skill etc.

    It’s a shame he’s had his freak lung and eye issues, and of course being managed by the last two below par managers.

    I hope he can show what he can do once given the chance in this new chapter. He’s a lot better than we’ve seen so far.

  • 83 lesh // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:19 PM


    You’re right of course about Charnley and respect for Ashley. But, Charnley’s been leant on by Ashley to get rid of McClaren when he clearly didn’t want to. And now he’s had Rafa imposed on him by Ashley, he could try to be mischievous – both him and Carr and try to help him walk.

    There’s no doubt that Charnley’s card’s been marked and if he does try it on with Rafa, I think Charnley’ll be the loser in the long run.

    But it is Newcastle United as owned by Ashley so there’ll be no certainty until Rafa’s nicely settled in for next season.

  • 84 lesh // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:20 PM


    * Charnley respect for Rafa, not Ashley….


  • 85 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:34 PM


    Yeah i knew what you meant. I agree that Charnleys card is marked. We know already that Mash only ever gets involved when hes seriously p155ed at something.

  • 86 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:51 PM

    Must be hometime. Everyone gome quiet 😀

  • 87 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    Made a point a few days ago, regarding our “flops”. There is always a chance they could suddenly produce something useful in the last 10 games with an inspiring manager. They might not, like, but it will be interesting to see who gets the chances over the course of the battle.

  • 88 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    Everyone is furiously writing formations on any scrap of paper they can find, You Couldn’t, out of sheer excitement.

  • 89 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 3:59 PM


    Aye,but this time they don’t need to sent them to the club, due to having someone there who is actually capable of picking a team 😀

  • 90 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    I wish Ed wiuld add a “not sure” to the ‘will rafa save us’ poll.

  • 91 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Exactly 😀

  • 92 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:06 PM

    Laurent Robert 32

    Second guessing the inept one, Carv-up and Wally was easy, but trying to second guess Benitez is a whole new ball game.

    The team he puts out tonight may surprise us all, even in defence.

  • 93 mad-serb // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:16 PM

    Another positive note that might help save us is the striker training the guys are getting it seems for the first time.

    Maybe after all these years Rafa will learn Cisse the offside rule. He had one of the best running in behind strikers in Torres at Liverpool.

  • 94 Tsunki // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    Still doesn’t sound real “Rafa Benitez takes his team to Leicester tonight..”.

    Going to be weird watching him in the dugout shouting at colback to play balls forward.

  • 95 dok - the horrid colonial // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:33 PM


    its goona be strange having a competent manager on the touchline.. and one who actually watches and not writes in a notepad..

  • 96 Mag52 // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Huge amount of optimism around the blog. Let’s hope it’s all justified.
    We need points Rafa. Do your best amigo with what you’ve got to work with.

  • 97 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:40 PM


    How on earth can he expect to run this team with no notepad!?!?! Thats just crazy talk!

  • 98 toon kk // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    It’s going to be a massive learning step for Rafa tonight, he may get his eyes opened when he sees just how poor we are.
    Don’t expect miracles it’s going to take time to motivate our flops and make them understand you have to work hard, something our players aren’t used to.

  • 99 MacToon // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    Been away for a short break. So what have I missed?
    Anything new?

  • 100 Munster Mag // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:46 PM

    Rotunda, Martinez is a joke IMO. He has a v good Everton team and they aint up to a whole lot. He still cant coach a team to defend properly. Yes I would have preferred him over ” the unmentionabe one” ) 🙂 ….but so pleased to have Rafa.

  • 101 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:49 PM


    That depends how short the break was!

  • 102 dok - the horrid colonial // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:54 PM


    I mean, how does one make a grocery list or errand list while pretending to watch the match? might explain some of the dumb substitutions

  • 103 The Newcastle Armchair // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:55 PM


    Rafas joined

  • 104 The Newcastle Armchair // Mar 14, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    How come there’s been no charlie Austin updates recently?

  • 105 JackButler // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    I see people are still banging the drum for SDJ, he may be a good player, but he is worth nothing to anyone as he’s constantly injured, take a look at what FdB said about him when he left Holland.

    Great player but never fit enough to kick a ball

  • 106 dok - the horrid colonial // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    in the US, teams would call thios a trap game… meaning its easy to look past the opposition to the next match.. .heres hoping they do, and we shock the world…

  • 107 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Firebug, yeah, I’m intrigued to see if he goes for the regulars to start with or just on how they’ve performed in training over the last three days. The team sheet will be very interesting.

    I’m really looking forward to this one, even though it’s Leicester. I think Tottenham did us a favour by getting their win and keeping the pressure on, as small an edge as it maybe.

  • 108 mad-serb // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    I can already see that all of a sudden our players will find space and there is a lot more movement from our players tonight.

    I watched bits and pieces of our last 3 games just now and its staggering how little movement there was and nobody every being in space to pass to.

    In rugby we always referred to it as running lines, where you basically put yourself in a position not to make a tackle or receive the ball.

    That will already show you if there is any difference in our play and if the players has made any chances. Rafa teams were always comfortable in possession so he will see the line runners 😉

  • 109 Tsunki // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Not sure about the notepad I’d have had more respect if he had used an etch a sketch.

  • 110 Goofy // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Fourteen home games this season for Claudio Ranieri has seen just one defeat – 2-5 to Arsenal back in September. Eight victories and five draws include no less than five clean sheets in their last six games.

    Copied that from

    Quite scary when you look at it like that. A win/draw tonight will be absolutely massive C’mon Toon shock the league and put the 5hits up the Mackem c@:~s.

  • 111 Mag52 // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:21 PM

    It’s quite unusual for a team to go through a whole season without a stutter of some sort. Could be that tonight will be the beginning of a (hopefully short) Leicester stutter.

  • 112 MacToon // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Rafa who? You’re kidding me right?

    lol, only joking – Turn my back for a minute and Ashley employs a top manager. Who’d have thought it! Defo not Jeff who had McClaren here for relegation and then promotion.
    Shame the club left it so late. Our last 2 games were both winnable. Surprised McClaren was so bad tbh, thought he’d have fitted Pardew’s shoes at least.

    Going to be tight run in. With Rafa we at least have a chance.

    Onwards and upwards.

  • 113 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Siem De Jong Appearances – Goals

    2008–09 Eredivisie 16 1
    2009–10 Eredivisie 35 17
    2010–11 Eredivisie 52 16
    2011–12 Eredivisie 39 17
    2012–13 Eredivisie 47 16
    2013–14 Eredivisie 28 9

    Jack, that’s his appearance record for the seasons prior to joining us – including cup games and European games. It’s a consistently credible appearance record in my opinion, not to mention his goal contribution, and of course, he was captain for a period of time.

    He’s been unfortunate with his lung problem, and the eye issue was another left-field problem.

    I hope he does well, he has a lot to offer when in form.

  • 114 ShirebrookToon // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    Would like to see Doumbia given a start tonight. His pace will cause them problems

  • 115 duncandisorderly // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    I expect to see us playing really tight tonight – don’t expect a feast of free-flowing football. Leicester play on the break so I am sure Rafa will be looking to make that difficult for them. What are the odds on a 0-0??

  • 116 sing in the corner // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    Scrap, show guts, determination, togetherness, whatever organisation Rafa has managed to get into them along with a slice or two of luck and a point is gettable here.

  • 117 hibbitt // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    a point and a good solid performance with every player tuning up would give us a big lift for the darby

  • 118 ShirebrookToon // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:45 PM

    Hopefully we see some fighting spirit

  • 119 hibbitt // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    will be very interesting to see the team and how we set up under Rafa, not expecting to much change i think Rafa will have been doing his homework a long time before he got the job and will know a lot more about our players then people think

  • 120 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    If we can go the first 20 minutes without conceding then I think we can win Leicester will come at us full pace from kick off so we need to learn to play the ball quickly when we have it and fight for every loose ball as well

    Also slow the game down when we are under pressure such as take a while with free kicks etc Benitez knows how to do this!!!

  • 121 toon kk // Mar 14, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    I do think Leicester will be to strong for us but I’m looking forward to seeing a more organised team showing effort (hopefully).
    In Rafa we trust!

  • 122 Jib // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    Team arrived at hotel in Leicester at 1pm – straight into a team meeting.^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^search

  • 123 Blackley and Brownlie // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    71% expect us to get at least one point tonight. Optimism is clearly sky high. To me, everything says we’ll get thumped. I can’t see it any other way.

    I fear Benitez is going to see exactly how bad we are. Charnley and Carr have left us in a shocking predicament. Our defence is simply awful. What can Rafa do about that? Remi Garde has found out how difficult it is when you’ve not got the tools.

  • 124 SPRINGY // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    afternoon all
    sounds everyone is looking forward to tonight i guess from the sounds of the blog today…not necessarily for the win or draw but more for a better attitude from the players…a response of some sort!….on SDJ…i like him as a player seems to have a football brain which if we could get him playing regular could be a big asset…but there in lies the problem….hopefully hes at least available from now on……not what players will be picked tonight but i’m expecting the formation to be 4-2-3-1….if its mitro starting up top he needs willing runners around him…..if its doumbia i would think players who can pick out the passes for his runs…hopefully a committed performance tonight whatever the result and whoever plays.

  • 125 manxpie // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    For once I’m actually gonna enjoy listening to Jamie Carragher on MNF as he can tell us more than anyone

  • 126 Jib // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    The Chronic’s suggested team

  • 127 SPRINGY // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    more like evening all

  • 128 toon kk // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    I agree, I think there’s going to be a lot of disappointment. We still have major flaws.
    To be realistic there’s only a few games we have a chance to get any points from.
    But I am expecting a positive response.

  • 129 Jib // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    manx you have an advantage over us listening to Carragher – coming from Ellan Vannin you understand them scousers.

  • 130 sparky55 // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    We’ll soon see by the effort the lads put in whether or not they’ve bought into the new manager’s vision.

    They’ve lacked direction, they’ve been poorly managed, they’ve lacked belief, they’ve not played for each other…but more than anything they lacked heart.

    if they play with heart, play for each other and leave everything on the pitch it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose tonight…what matters is they put in a performance and start the gelling process regardless of the result.

  • 131 hibbitt // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:22 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie

    think Rafa already knows how bad we have been but i hope he has seen enough to work with …………..going for a draw with the new manager bounce …….. i honestly think our players have a lot of room for improvement

  • 132 JackButler // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    Laurent Robert 32

    His ability is, and never has been in question, but he is never fit enough, for long enough. de Boer said that he would not be missed simply because he was never fit and given our track record with injuries I dont expect to see too much of the lad in our shirt which is a real shame as he is a very good player

  • 133 scottoon // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    Been a long time since I posted…..I did the polls above and answered that Shelvey should not be captain…that Benitez will not save us, and that we would draw today.

    Shelvey as captain is different than whether he is captain material. He might be a leader on the pitch but the fact is that as a new man in the dressing room, hit appointment would be more disruptive than good. Should be someone who has history at the club. Simple manangement 101.

    Benitez wont save us. The players might save themselves but this isn’t a case of miracle worker, anymore than Alan Shearer was or wasn’t the last time we went down. It wasn’t his fault we were relegated any more than it would have been down to him fully if we has survived. Benitez might be a factor one way or the other but nine games does not a miracle worker make. Just ask Nigel Pearson.

    And I see us drawing today. Leicester will take us lightly and we will have a slight boost from the appointment but not enough to actually score. I see a goalless draw.

  • 134 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    Jack, I hope he can put a run together to show what he can do.

  • 135 JackButler // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    Laurent Robert 32

    You and me both mate, as we need every single player right now

  • 136 sparky55 // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:36 PM

    I don’t think we’ve got enough games to pull this around. The squad is p!ss poor and not enough quality to grasp the the higher level of play Rafa brings.

    If he had come in before the stoke game it’d have been different because 2 more games to get his message across and the 18 days he would have had before the stoke game would have made all the difference…but IMO they’ve left it too late with the heartless gutless average players we have in the squad because I think by the time he’s got the system and the best 11 sorted we’ll have run out of games…IMO not even rafa can save us now but I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

    Just for the record I’ll never blame for Rafa for anything if we go down…the blame lies squarely with the village idiot Charnley and all I can hope is Rafa decides to stay to get us out the championship

  • 137 sparky55 // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    There’s no way it’ll be goalless tonight…we don’t have a defence fit for purpose and a midfield solid or organised enough to protect them.

    They’ll score at least 2 (because that’s we let in on average every game even at home) it’s all about how many we can score.

    If we can score a couple we’ve got half a chance

  • 138 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Not sure how tonight will pan out, so not counting on any points, but I do think Rafa and his coaches will save us this season.

    We should get 15 points from the teams around us, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Swansea, Norwich and Villa, they are all very winnable games, as for the others I can see a couple of draws in there, Liverpool, Southampton and spurs, and even city if we have a good day. I can also see a couple of defeats in that last four.

    Point is if Rafa can get the best out of this team we will stay up.

  • 139 Belfast // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Be a bit shite if we got hammered tonight lol

  • 140 scottoon // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:49 PM


    if I’m being honest, I don’t really think I see us holding them goalless, but I just have an inkling. My head tells me we are in for a proper hiding though.

    Agree with you about Benitez….simply not enough time to work and reshape the squad. The only factor he will be over the remaining fixtures is an intangible one, a boost in morale perhaps. But not sure I think that will be enough unfortunately. The derby is absolutely mammoth now.

  • 141 toon kk // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    Rafa will be flogging a dead horse with our defence, he can’t change that. All he can do is get us working harder and creating more chances, it’s the only way we have a chance by out scoring, but with no cutting edge we’ll struggle.
    I do expect more Commitment from our players but also relegation.

  • 142 Jail for Ashley // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Can’t blame it just on Charnley pal, everyman and his dog knew that Mclaren had to go after the Chelsea game if not long before, who knows why he was sacked when he was, but if Mashers did say enough is enough he surely should have done it previously.

  • 143 dok - the horrid colonial // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    I refuse to vote on the win-draw-lose being its always the opposite of what we all think will happen…

  • 144 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:57 PM


    Judging by some of the comments on here it must be 3 points in the bag for us tonight then! 😀

  • 145 Jail for Ashley // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    Team’s out in five minutes, who’ll be the first to slag Rafa the gaffa off, HWA, catchy, Rotonda or toonbotherer?

  • 146 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 6:58 PM


    Are we having a sweepstake?

  • 147 firebug666 // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Elliot, Janmaat, Taylor, Lascelles, Colback, Sissoko, Anita, Shelvey, Wijnaldum, Perez, Mitrovi

  • 148 Blackley and Brownlie // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    I agree. We need to see 100% for 90 minutes plus. I expect to see nothing less.

  • 149 manxpie // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    Looks like a 4411 with perez on the left

  • 150 toon kk // Mar 14, 2016 at 7:04 PM

    I always vote for us to loose,and I’m nearly always right, unfortunately until there’s any evidence of me giving a reason to vote otherwise a loose vote is a realistic one, not a hopefull one.

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