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Rafa’s Website Thanks Newcastle’s Legendary Fans

10:01 am, Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 79 Comments

rafa benitez newcastle with scarf

The people running Rafa Benitez’ website have thanked Newcastle fans for the warm and professional way they have welcomed Rafa to the famous Newcastle club and inundated his web-site so that it had it’s biggest day ever last Friday with all the new visitors to the site.

Well of course that’s when Rafa Benitez was sensationally appointed our new manager.

Here’s the very nice message sent out on the web-site:

Thanks toons, thanks visitors would like to thank all the visitors of this website, fans of RB, and in a special way to Newcastle United FC staff and fans for their warm and professional welcome over the past few days. has been honoured to receive a phenomenal number of new visitors since Rafa Benítez’s appointment on Friday –in fact we recorded the second highest since the launch of the official site.

This gracious welcome has made us at even more motivated to work for our visitors and fans of RB and to build on the already legendary support from the Newcastle fans.

We look forward to being part of and contributing to supporting Newcastle FC for the remaining games of the 2015/16 season.

So we are toons?

Here is Rafa’s very good web-site in case you haven’t had a look yet.

Let’s beat Sunderland on Sunday – that’s what has to be next in saving our season under the great Rafa Benitez.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Other News · Premier League · Press

79 responses so far ↓

  • 1 AncientC // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:05 AM lol what

  • 2 Slank // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    For the Sunderland game I’m not sure we need Anita alongside Shelvey. He didn’t impress yesterday. Nor did Shelvey in the first half.

    Things changed when Gini moved infield alongside Shelvey. It become more fluid. I would play a midfield three of Shelvey, Gini and De Jong. De Jong hasn’t got the pace but that isn’t going to matter too much as Sunderland are more than likely come to defend and sit back.

    Townsend has to start. He is probably the best crosser of a ball at the club.

    Mbabu also needs to start instead of our standing left back.

    Whilst I admire the hold up play of Mitrovic you don’t score mid way in the opposition half. The style of play has to change from humping forward for Mitrovic to chest down. If we are winning the game with a safe goal difference Mitrovic is essential to slow the game down with hold up play but if we are looking for goals he needs to be in the penalty area with our forwards attacking down the wings.

  • 3 anthc // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    I thought the dad’s did well last night in comparison to the dross they’ve served up recently.
    Everyone ran their socks off albeit some didn’t have great games but hopefully that will come with confidence.
    I thought de Jong did okay when he came on although thought he could’ve done a bit better with the chance he had. If we can match sunderlands work rate and will to win we should beat them as imo we have better players. Saying that we’ve bottled it the last several.

  • 4 jimiley // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    You cannot make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. Our strikers are crap. Rafa will organize our defence and make us harder to beat but we cannot score goals. We did not force a very average Leicester keeper to make a save. That is the bottom line from this performance. We need to win most of our home games otherwise we will go down. The next two games are massive and if we fail to win them our confidence and managerial lift will disappear.
    Regarding Leicester, I think the rest of the league has not taken them seriously as league leaders and are willing them to win the league. They are playing to Leicesters strenghts by attacking them. Teams should sit deep and invite them on and counter attack them. Just as Rafa did. They are clueless when they have to break teams down. Leicester are an average team with a decent defence and two good attackers. Danny Simpson ffs?????? Our 1996 team was much better. Out attack and midfield was much better but they have a better defence and keeper (RIP Pav. I would not swap you for either Scmeichel). Kev should have bought a top centre half instead of Asprilla. Our problem was not scoring goals but not holding onto leads away from home. Leicester have had it easy. I hope they win the league and I expect their defence to do just that. Up the foxes!!!

  • 5 jimiley // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    I meant to say a very average Leicester team to make a save. The keeper is very good. Not as good as his dad mind you. We player Leicester spot on. Our problem is our strikers are crap so we cannot counter attack very well. No shots means no goals and we all know where that ends.

  • 6 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    I thought the defense was pretty good last, Colback included, he was up against best winger in the league in the shape of Mahrez.
    Elliot paradoxically had probably one of the easiest games he’s had this season and but for that wonder goal we’d have had a clean sheet and a point at least.
    If the defense had performed like that all season we wouldn’t have the awful GD and a lot more points on the board.
    “IF” we do go down and Rafa decides to stay on then we would be odds on to come straight back up again as a lot of the potential leavers would possibly stick with us.
    Also if the unthinkable does happen it would give him a chance to sort out some of the under-performers.
    Anyway that’s my two-pennorth for the day.

  • 7 AncientC // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    It will be a crime to football if Leicester win the league playing that type of football.

    I would prefer to see a club with ambition and footballing philosophy receive their dues. Arsenal develop young players and attempt to play football the correct way – Godspeed to them.

  • 8 jimiley // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    Rafa will not stay on. End of.

  • 9 hibbitt // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:37 AM


    how are you so sure ???

  • 10 lordy_geordie // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    @9 because he thinks we will go down. That negativity we can do without. Sick of people bitchin.

  • 11 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Massive positives to take from that game last night. Many people have said that the Leicester team is rubbish or that they played poorly last night but I think that our boys didn’t let them play their usual game for the most part.

    Bear in mind that we had a three defenders who wouldn’t normally be playing if everyone else was fit, and that we are so low on confidence that we’ve almost forgotten why we play football these last couple of months. We were playing a team full of pace upfront and strenght at the back, so to come away from that game angry that we didn’t beat them says a lot about Rafa.
    I thought Mitrovic was actually very good. He was like a battering ram against two of the strongest, most physical players in the league, both of whom are vastly experienced. I’ve not seen a CF chest the ball out of the air as many times in one match, his hold up play was very, very good. The lad is young, and it’s his very first season in probably the best league in the world playing for a club who have massive expectations for their strikers but who barley make any chances for the lad. He’s 21, younger than Perez dont forget!
    Mitro will score on Sunday, then he’ll feel a huge release of the pressure and we’ll see more of what he’s capable of.

    Sissoko on the other hand. Jeeeeez. His decision making is possibly the worst I’ve ever seen in a toon shirt. You can tell that he’s always been the biggest, strongest kid in his age group when he was younger, so he’s been able to use his pace and power to blast defenders away. As a result, he’s not developed any acuall skill with the ball at his feet, his first touch is as bad as Cisse’s and his awareness is utterly lacking.

    Sunday, I’d have Shelvey and Gini in CM with Perez on the right and Townsend left, De Jong and Mitro up top with Siem replaced by Doumbia after an hour to blow those two donkey Mackem CD’s away.

  • 12 Transfer Sage // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:53 AM


    Leicester play brilliant football.

    Might not be as slick as some teams but passion, energy, pace, direct, some very good passing moves and skill when they do through mahrez.

    For me that’s what’s exciting about football, not this slow tedious play you get from a lot of the top sides these days.

    All opinions though, each to their own.

  • 13 jimiley // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    I suppose bitchin means saying we have crap strikers? The truth is bitchin is it?

  • 14 Very Terry // Mar 15, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    I live overseas. I got up at 3:45 a.m. to watch the match last night and I’m glad I did; thought we looked like a decent team.
    A couple of weeks ago I was so depressed by their ‘performances’ I wouldn’t have got up at 3:45 p.m. to watch them.
    Rafa seems like a class act and talks a lot of sense. I have a feeling that he’ll keep us up and if MA keeps piling money in for players and Rafa and Ian Cathro and the rest are able to have some influence in player recruitment, well, maybe my dream of some kind of success in my lifetime will be realised.
    As Rafa says, let’s keep cheering them on.

  • 15 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    The atmosphere on Sunday will be incredible. Not like anything many of the players will ever have experienced, especially if we score first.

  • 16 jimiley // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Transfer Sage
    Leicester is a top counter attacking team. Sit back and invite them onto you and they are clueless. They are not a complete footballing team. Even our weakened defence (one of the worst in the Premiership) coped well with them because Rafa got the tactics right. Leicester will be a flash in the pan. I hope they win the league because it gives teams like the Toon some hope. They will be mid table next season after selling a couple of their best players. Danny Simpson ffs. Come on. He was struggling to make the Toon reserves.

  • 17 mickybraham // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    IMO our best team for Sunday based on last night:


  • 18 Transfer Sage // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:09 AM


    I just find them a good side to watch, much better than slow build up some teams are. For me Dortmund under Klopp were the best I’ve seen for a long time in terms of pure enjoyment.

    Just nice to see teams playing a different way and showing you don’t have to try and copy Barca like a lot of sides do.

  • 19 mickybraham // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    IMO our best team for Sunday based on last night:

  • 20 jimiley // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Point taken Transfer. Many people hold your view and I have some sympathy with it. You can get bored watching a team play possession footy. But I fancy Barca would play them off the park.

  • 21 Transfer Sage // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:14 AM


    No doubt. I meant more along teams who try to mimic Barca but don’t have the quality so end up with lots of meaningless passes and no real end product.

    I like that everyone enjoys different things in football. Makes it a lot better to talk about for sure.

  • 22 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Agree with your Asprilla summing up

    I thought at the time and still do we would of won the league if we had not signed him.
    Great player but we seemed to change our style to accommodate him.

    As for the Mackem game WHO DO WE PLAY UP-FRONT –
    Mitovich does not look like scoring and a worry he will get wound up and sent off – Fat sam will be playing on his mindset/winding him up
    Perez – don’t know if strong enough
    Doombiadanceband – ain’t seen enough to pas comment
    DingDong – looks weak
    Riviere – Can’t score.


  • 23 Jib // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    It’s really strange I find myself agreeing with so much of what is being said.

    Wayayman is right – whether Sissoko is good or bad is not the issue it is his decision-making when he has the ball that is so poor.

    I also find myself feeling that there is something missing from Wijnaldum’s game.

    After watching Leicester closely last night I think they flatter to deceive.

    To a large extent they reap the benefit of the underdog syndrome , it would be a brave referee who would award a penalty againt valiant Little Leicester.

  • 24 Rotonda heights // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    The thing is with that free kick there was just no need for colback to even give the ref a decision to make. On the half way line, back to goal, lots of cover, just plain daft.

    I’m not sure why saylor struts around so much. very little to justify it. Weak clearing header for the goal and still fatally backs off with people running in on goal. I pray MBemba is back soon.

    Lascelles has quietly got a little run of games together and has had some good moments. Janmatt, Lascelles, MBemba and MBabu are very young but probably our most competent back 4 when available.

  • 25 jimiley // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    The whole country wants Leicester to win the league. Only the challengers do not. They have had no injuries all season and are getting all the decisions. Vardy goes down in the box at the slightest puff of wind. How many pens has he won? They are the new Toon. But nowhere as good as our 1996 team. You can win the cups with a great midfield and attack and average defence but you cannot win the league with that set up. You start at the back and build from there. Kev got it totally wrong but he almost succeeded to rewrite the laws of footy. And we love him for it.

  • 26 Rotonda heights // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:32 AM


    i think batty replacing lee clark was more damaging.

  • 27 Rotonda heights // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    anth at 3

    they’re not that old are they …lol!

  • 28 stuart no9 // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    i think even if we go down , Rafa will stay .
    Why would he wsant to leave a club that he can build into a top top side . Yeah , he is going to have to spend one year in the championship.,however , he will get up us straight back upthen he can start to build his team , his players, NUFC could be his baby, We as fans have to get back him every step of the way and show him we want him as our manager no matter what happens because there is no one better than him to take this club whwre it should be. I dont think the championship bothers him that much as long as he gets the full backing from the board , he will suffer the same as us coz he knows just how big we could become , but to do that we may have to leave the prem for a year . Rafa is not stupid , he knows what he could have here, and with the fans , the stadium, the support of the board , and a chance to build his team and show the football world how he pulled NUFC from the gutter and turned them into a top euro side and became a geordie legend, i believe that would mean more to him than leaving and joining an already established top side and have the pressure of keeping them there and probably having the fans abusing you coz you lost a couple of games .He will know , as long as he gives 100% to the club , we are going to love him no matter what . why would he not want that,??

  • 29 Ian Toon // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Nobody said it was going to be easy! But to separate the wheat from the chaff and in line with my own thinking. It’s certainly worthy of a repeat in mho.

    6LGFUAD21 // Mar 15, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    I definitely feel some people need to follow Rafa’s lead and stay calm.

    We’ve been woeful all season. Last night we limited their chances to one on target. We had the better chances arguably but didn’t take them.

    We defended pretty solidly and looked like a team for the first time since Norwich.

    Benitez is spot on when he identifies the movement which was off. There was a lot of misunderstanding but the key was that we’re organised which we weren’t under Mcclaren.

    I think Benitez may have a battle with the fans as Newcastle fans always want to attack. Benitez is a tactician. Very much from the italian mold (despite being spanish) he will manage games and fans won’t like that here. But I say it’s for the best.

    Carragher got it spot on last night when analysing our goals conceded when he said it was typical newcastle going back to Keegan.

    Just as the board need to change their approach. So too does the team and fans.

    I imagine that some work will be done on our attacks this week given how disjointed we were in the final third.

    Ian Toon again – One obvious area to improve on though is the lack of composure throughout the team . Perez should have scored after a few minutes but snatched at the chance. Likewise defensively we will doubtless be working on the basics but we were vastly improved and compact than in recent games. Shelvey was not a presence for much of the game but he was not helped in anchoring the midfield by Anita; who lacks physicality and required ball distribution skills when under pressure. It was this I felt that Benitez was thinking of without mentioning names when he said that we have to use our brain and make the right decisions. Consistency, discipline, maturity, stability and in fact all the characteristics Benitez looks for- it’s all about keeping your head under pressure.
    Players and fans alike. When the going gets tough the tough get going.
    As fans let’s not throw in the towel after 3 training sessions.

  • 30 martoon // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    I wasn’t expecting any points from last night’s game but I was looking for an improved performance and better organisation which I think most would agree we did indeed see. I was disappointed with the way Mahrez & Vardy dived to the ground every time they were touched and the ref fell for it!
    The games against the makems and Norwich will seal our fate not last nights.

  • 31 Rotonda heights // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:57 AM


    ”in your humble opinion”

    you have to laugh

  • 32 Ian Toon // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Rotonda- Colback did OK. He was playing out of position and against
    Maghrez- who many see as player of the season.
    It’s not that he played for the mackems that you constantly have a downer on him! He does the tough things that Anita wants to avoid but are essential in a well balanced team.
    My Merit Marks:
    Elliot. 6
    Janmaat 6
    Taylor 5
    Lascelles 6
    Colback 6
    Shelvey 6
    Anita 5
    Perez. 6
    Wijnaldum 6
    Sissoko 7
    Mitrovic 6

  • 33 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Ian Toon, you’ve got to be kidding. Sissoko MOTM for us? I mustve been watching a different game to you. He catches the eye as he is like a bull in a china shop, but there’s no finesse, no guile, skill or cunning in the way he plays, his runs are up blind alleys, his first touch is dreadful, his passing woeful and he can’t tackle. Oh and he is so often in his team mates space it’s comical. Not just the Mitrovic chance, he was impeding Janmaat, Shelvey and Gini on separate occasions last night. Apart from that, he is brilliant…

  • 34 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    Sissoko is exactly what Rafa was talking about when he said that we have to use our intelligence.

  • 35 Ian Toon // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Has anyone seen Sissoko head the ball so much?
    It’s clear that Benitez has told him to make his physical presence count. Could you have imagined him clattering Schmeichel early doors- he looked the most influenced player under Rafa.

  • 36 Ian Toon // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Maybe you were!

  • 37 Ian Toon // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Sissoko and Perez both exercised the wrong options when through on goal. Sissoko lasted the pace and was unlucky with the volley off Morgan. It’s the best and most determined showing by him in ages.
    You have to judge on individual performances in games and not pre conceived notions.
    We will just have to disagree.

  • 38 Tsunki // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Sissoko is as effective as any opposing centre half at disrupting and did jointing out play. What he is good at – ranging runs from deep – is dwarfed by his lack of control, poor decision making, and woeful positioning. I was sick of him ages ago and I see getting shot of him as a reasonably high priority if the team is to balance out properly and done reasonable understanding brought into team play.

    Apart from that he’s ok 🙂

  • 39 Tsunki // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    Disjointing our play.

  • 40 Tsunki // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    His control of the ball I feel is roughly on a par with swinging a vacuum cleaner by the hose to strike the ball.

  • 41 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    That is more or less the reply I was going to make before life intervened and I had to do more mundane stuff.

    I think he will see the potential at the club and stick it out for a couple of seasons either way.

  • 42 Veltman // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    wayayman is talking bollox.You haven’t watched the game properly or you luck football knowledge.Sissoko indeed is motm by country mile in our team.He is not world beater but with the squad suffering from confidence for 6 or so months,you cannot underestimate his efforts,
    particularly yesterday.He probably had one of his best displays after a while this season.If his playing was greedy like Perez,he could have scored couple of goals this season.I’m sure Benitez will address him to be greedy upfront.
    He should have shoot the ball towards the goal instead of making a pass in one occasion.Apart from that,he is the only player who looked lively and was trying to create something yesterday.
    Others were average and below average.

  • 43 LGFUAD21 // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    As a few have. I’m going to do my ratings

    Elliott 5 – didn’t really have much to do. Some say he could’ve come to claim the ball that lead to the goal. Perhaps. I think he also expected his cbs to have the situation under control.

    Janmaat- 5 – mixed feelings. He defended better than usual but lacked any chemistry with perez or townsend on the wing. Delivery was mostly poor and got caught out a few times. Thankfully the players fancied putting the effort in so he recovered where he wouldn’t have in the past. What was the effort from 20 yards in the first half though?

    Taylor – 3 – he fights for the team but he looked like a deer in the headlights when they ran at him. Needs to stop trying to tackle by running backwards and lunging.

    Lacelles- 6.5 -impressed. He won a lot in the air. Something we struggle with. Looked comfortable on the ball in possession too. Can’t really fault too much.

    Colback – 6.5 – got stuffed by the ref for the free kick. Did well to keep Mahrez at bay. Good positional play and decision making. Even did some decent things on the attack.

    Shelvey – 5.5 – tried one too many champagne balls without anybody there to receive it. Put in some good work marking and made some key tackles. Looked after the ball better than anyone else. Shame he had to baby sit anita. I would like to see tiote or Colback next to him to set him free a bit.

    Anita – 4 – he didn’t doo much wrong but he didnt do much right either. He tracked him men. Seems to panic under pressure. Some of his forward passes were terrible.

    Sissoko – 5 – gets a 5 for a few big runs late in the game. Wanted to strangle him when he got in mitro’s way. Still runs into traps. Some terrible touches but also some nice controls. For most of it he still didn’t look too bothered.

    Gini – 5 – you can’t work him out. He’s a tidy player like Carzorla but he goes missing or tries too much himself. Seems to be he can’t work out whether he should be behind the striker or running off him. I think less is more for him would be better.

    Perez – 6 – played out of position some would say but he did his job. When moved central he still looks like he can make things happen. Sometimes he tries too much. Sometimes he unlocks space for himself. I think he is under utilised by his team mates. His movement causes defenders problems.

    Mitro- ? – I cant decide. He helps us advance a lot but his second touch, much like sholas, let’s him down. He will take the ball down on his chest and then be beaten to it before he can pass again. Needs to get into then of more. Did well pressuring Leicester though.

    Townsend – 4.5 – I like his directness but he looked unfit. Some terrible touches and he’s nowhere near the dribbler he things he is. And what’s with the stepovers. I believe he could be decent for us if he was told to play like and old school winger rather than try to be a modern trickster.

    De Jong – 5 – I thought the pace of the game would suit him but he struggled to get in it. Looked un fit like townsend. Don’t blame him for the missed chance though. Even if he had hit it clean Leicester defenders were well covered and would’ve blocked it. Gets 5 because he made some good moves in the box that many including his team mates did not pick up on. I wouldn’t mind seeing him tried as a striker. Given how much mitro is running into midfield anyway we could do worse than just playing an am.

    Doumbia – n/a – came on too late. I really want to see him get a chances to use his pace not when we are chasing a game.

  • 44 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    my merit marks and thoughts I posted last night

    well well
    I don’t know what to think.
    We did OK but never looked like scoring against a poor Leicester side tonight. Sadly lack confidence in front of goal – frightened to shoot
    we huffed and puffed without looking like we would score. Cannot see another goal coming unless it comes of someones backside.
    Still saying that we were a tad unlucky noy to pick up a point
    Their goal Vardy offside when heading ball back across – but that bloody idiot Colback gave a pointless stupid free kick away that led to the goal.
    Should of had a penalty deliberate arm to the ball from sissoko shot.
    Both decisions we have got to learn to be more vocal and complain about the incident.
    Elliot – 7 did OK might of been able to come for the header from Vardy that led to their goal.
    Colback – 1 for the stupid foul that led to the goal.
    Lasclles – 7 going to be a good player with experience
    Taylor – 3 backed off to much and let Leicester run at him – distribution poor.
    Janmaat – 6 did OK defending – didn’t see him as much going forward
    Sissoko – 4 and thats for the last 15 minutes
    Wiljanum – 6 started well but faded
    Anita – 7 did well but tired
    Shelvey – 5 thought he was poor another that did not come alive until near the end – did n’t pick up their runners.
    Perez – 6 drifted in and out the game to much
    Mitrovich – 5 Oh I would like to see him head the ball, close control poor tonight.
    subs Townsend ok but did not look fit
    as with de Jong
    Doumbia – not on long enough

  • 45 Rotonda heights // Mar 15, 2016 at 12:53 PM


    He just didn’t need to make a challenge in that situation. I think Colback is an honest worker but lacks any real star quality in any particular position. he doesn’t create, or score or go past people and often gives needless free kicks away when people move away from him.

  • 46 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Cheers Veltman. I clearly don’t understand football the way you do. Obviously you know better than me so I bow to your greater knowledge.

    Can I please change my post from slating Sissoko as he’s not good enough, to Sissoko being man of the match and our best player by miles. So much so, that he really is too good to play for us and it won’t be too long before football giants like Palace come in for him.

  • 47 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    Rotunda, to be fair, Mahrez bought that free kick off Colback. He fell over 3 or 4 times last night and won free kicks when there was no contact.

  • 48 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Stuart No.( that’s a great post, I hope you’re right. We need the crowd to play to Rafa’s ego and show him love regardless of where we end up this season. It’s a real make-or-break. Keep him here next season and we’re destined for better things long term but if we lose him and go down, we’ll be stuck down there for a long time as we just don’t have the grafters needed to get out of the championship.

  • 49 Wayayman // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    •Stuart No9!

  • 50 Tsunki // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    I’ve no idea what you saw veltman but I respect your opinion if you think sissoko is that good. I feel he probably is in the right kind of team but it’s not ours I fear. He is like a fish out of water gets in the road, doesn’t quite know what his final position should be, strolls about ( at about 90 minutes I saw him actually strolling in front of Shelvey like he was walking his dog while the poor bloke was trying to pick a ball forward. that was annoying). He is completely off the wavelength with everyone and weeks to run about creating space problems rather than creating them. I’d like to see Rafa choose a run of games without him tbh. See how our attacking midfield can be made to think together, so our strikers can actually…strike.

  • 51 Tsunki // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    Mind you if it isn’t Steven Taylor, it’s Colback giving away FK’s for no reason at the edge of our area. Eject him to subs please.

  • 52 MadisonToon // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    Much improved performance, although not an improved result. Still, going to the league leaders (whoever they are at this stage of the season) is going to be tough for anyone to grab points.

    For those saying that we should have taken Benitez the moment he was available – I’m not sure he would have come here immediately after RM. This may have been about as early as he wanted a move anyway, and potentially as early as he would have been interested in the Newcastle job. If he had come in earlier when it was more likely that we would stay up, he may not have been able to get a managerial role and would have had to slot in more as a head coach – something he probably would not have taken. This very well may have been as early as we could have gotten him. Hindsight is great and all, I’m just happy he is here as it’s clear he’s going to get the players moving together this season and we have a much better chance of staying up than with SM.

    I also think Colback played well for being out of position. That foul was a dive and we should have dealt with it before it got back to an offsides Vardy. Blame him if you want a scapegoat, but that goal was also pretty spectacular – if you get scored on by a bicycle kick you just have to let that one go. Colback wasn’t great and it’s abundantly clear we NEED a starting LB in the summer, but I think if Benitez is still around we will get one and get a good one.

    Anyway, an improvement, now to beat the unwashed.

  • 53 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    afternoon all
    i think gini wants to play the attacking role,but tbh he’s having a mare of late in that position,along with anita and janmaat last night gave the ball away far to easy under no pressure which led to attacks against us…cant do that…got to be better not knock these players commitment and work rate just passing needs to more accurate,place properly in front of someone who’s running not behind….these are small things but a misplaced pass can take out 1,2,3 players on your own side and that happen a few times last night…..he could do the job next to shelvey no doubt, but he has to remember to pick up runners from midfield when defending which he’s shown in a few games this season he does;nt always do……although this is a long winded gripe of sorts i was happy with most aspects of the performance last night….a bit work needed in creating goal chances and passing but the attitude seemed right last night to me,which it never did under wally(for those who hate the term macca!lol)

  • 54 Tsunki // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Benitez was never going to pull a win out of his chuff last night so we have to expect he galvanised the lads as best he could and then watched them under pressure conditions to see what actually goes on down on the ground so to speak. I expect him to make sense of the midfield and sort out who our target men are, instead of the cranky free for all attack we fudge tighter every game. I just hope he can get it right enough for the vile unscrubbed mob of oafs down the road.

  • 55 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    one more thing….they need to stop giving away fouls in dangerous positions or stupidly fouling when the opposition are struggling to clear…..need to play smarter…we all know if you touch a player he’ll fall over so dont give them the excuse….play smarter.

  • 56 Tsunki // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Noticed a few attempted flicks and back heels that never came off last night. At least they are starting to do them.

  • 57 Ian Toon // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  • 58 lesh // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    On thread

    Whether we go down or not, it’s imperative that Ashley keeps Rafa at the Club.

    Fans can play a big big part in persuading Rafa that he wants to stay if we get relegated and massive support for him could well be a key factor in that.

  • 59 barkel // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    I’m surprised with how we played last night, I really wasn’t expecting anything before the match and I was disappointed after that we didn’t.

    I think Sissoko played fairly well, he made a couple of mistakes (getting in Mitro’s way, crossing instead of shooting) but I think that was showing his desire to win.

    Our midfield seem to all want to play in the same position, everyone wants to be central, even Townsend.

    On Sunday, I’d go with Shelvey, Sissoko central & Gini as a CAM, Perez and Townsend out wide and much higher up the pitch.

    I think Sunday will be a tougher game than last night to be honest, Hippo head has gotten them playing decent football and they signed well in January. Khazri has a wicked set piece in him and Kone seems to be a beast at the back

  • 60 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    it was more the standard passing one two’s….give and go’s….passing it in front of a willing runner stuff like that..flicks and back heels are tried and not always completed in tight spaces thats exceptable..but open play standard forward passing thats not….thats ya bread and butter as they say…..ana the team is lacking confidence so hopefully it’ll get better with a few goals….but when your confidence is low try and do the simple things better,the rest will come.

  • 61 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    I know it has already been said a million times but that was a clear cut penalty. The ball was going into the net and his arm got in the way, intentional or not it stopped a goal.

    Just another aspect of the secret refs cabal to not give us a level playing field.

    Anyone any thoughts on Sundays ref?

  • 62 cyprus // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Interesting how points are given to each player. I disagree in some assessments but that’s football.

    How on earth did we get nothing there? The defense, MF, worked well. Their stars did nothing really. Elliott had VERY little to do.

    We had no one to put the ball away, and that’s where the problem lies.

    I get a sense of inevitability, watching this team. It’s when will they score? That penalty could’ve seen us win it, but no way we get that pen…

    I think we are going down. We’ll get 5-6 points, low 30s.

    My MOM, Sissoko. His blocked shot was goal bound, saved by an arm… Colback was good too. All of them tried, but they too now have a sense of inevitability. We’ll outplay Sunderland, contrive a way to lose.

  • 63 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Martin Atkinson, I believe.

  • 64 AncientC // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    FAO@ 57

    Patrick Bateman: Come on, Bryce. There are a lot more important problems than Sri Lanka to worry about.

    Timothy Bryce: Like what?

    Patrick Bateman: Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. We have to provide food and shelter for the homeless, and oppose racial discrimination and promote civil rights, while also promoting equal rights for women. We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern and less materialism in young people.

    Luis Carruthers: [feigning tears] Patrick. How thought-provoking.

  • 65 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    when sissoko tackled mitro when he was about to shoot made me put my head in my hands and say…that sums up our season,no communication and clumsy.

  • 66 AncientC // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    According to ‘Whoscored’ Sissoko was our best player, although I have to say, I disagree on that one.

    For anybody interested.

  • 67 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    as much as keeping rafa here if we go down is a must… the club may have inserted the clause so they could activate it, if we did go down….rafa would be on a hell of a lot of money to manage in the championship.

  • 68 hibbitt // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    pleased i am not fighting a war with the toon army so many of them throw in the towel after the first battle what a set of quitters we have on here

  • 69 cyprus // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    the commentators said the same, re- sums up our season. For what it’s worth, Sissoko was in a better position. The ball hit Mitro on the nose, though he had a right to be there…

    Like they all just met.

  • 70 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    he seemed to want to work harder last night chasing players down,closing down the keeper but i think he is naturally blarzay player…at one stage he was chasing a ball,stopped then he remembered that the new gaffer was there and then started chasing again… needs drilling in to him again and again….but his passing and close control is not the level of a champions league player…tbh not even championship on occasion…yes he does flash brilliance now and then but needs to do that week in week out.

  • 71 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    aye but sissoko can see whats happening,mitro ciould’nt and from mitro’s reaction he didnt communicate that he was there,he should said something or got out of the way in my opinion….he might of shouted and it just was’nt heard by mitro in fairness.

  • 72 SPRINGY // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    what do you think about it last mate?
    i thought there was improvement,but confidence is shot.

  • 73 cyprus // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    What exactly do they do in training? Do they play goalless draws? 🙂

  • 74 Ian Toon // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    hibbitt- Spot on. The very first setback and many are suggesting that were being unrealistic to not accept the inevitability of Championship football.
    I personally was massively encouraged by the spirit shown after such a short time under Rafa. There was a clear willingness I he team to work to improve the overall performance going forward..
    The fans can and should make a difference.
    Band B – Highlighted recently of hope being for the young but pleased that the more mature fan has conviction and belief.

  • 75 AncientC // Mar 15, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Springy, Beardsley may be a good coach to take Sissoko aside and work on his vision and decision making – that is if he would listen. It would be a shame for his potential to be wasted simply on his final ball.

  • 76 Toon Tang // Mar 15, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    “RB runs the show”

    10 toon points for anyone who can remember where that came from without googling.

  • 77 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 15, 2016 at 2:11 PM


    Who’s chucking in the towel, I would think most of us are willing the team on to stay up, I reckon most of the street heard me shouting at the TV last night. to my wifes despair.

    At the same time I reckon most of us can see the realism of our situation. Not so much a chucking in of the towel more of a girding of the loins.

  • 78 lesh // Mar 15, 2016 at 2:13 PM


    Ashley’s be mad if he let Rafa go if we’re relegated.

    No matter what the cost, keeping him and our best players should ensure we’re out first time thus setting up the platform so that the squad could be developed to take the Prem seriously, challenging for more than avoiding relegation.

  • 79 Moonraker15 // Mar 15, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    My biggest disappointment will be losing Rafa if we can’t manage to stay up. Luck plays a big part with only 9 games to go. However, I think he will stay as he’s been bitten by the Geordie bug. Hope so anyway !

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