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

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Howay The Lads!!

Benitez Explains The Goalkeeper Situation At Newcastle

9:42 am, Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 88 Comments

Rafa Benitez has been in coaching for 30 years and he will have handled almost every situation you can dream up in football during his long career and managing some very big clubs.

So it´s reassuring that he will have the right words to say to Karl Darlow today when he is between the posts for Newcastle at Norwich City.

It is another crucial fixture for Newcastle as we try to avoid the drop to the Championship for the second time in seven years and if we do go down it will be catastrophic for the club.


Karl Darlow – gets his big chance today

This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle today when asked how he will prepare Karl Darlow before the game:

“Maybe it’s simple what I will say to him – ´That 18-yard box is the same in any league and the goals are the same size.´”

“Hopefully, he’s going to be a lad with confidence. I think he can do well and we will try to help him.”

“I think that he’s doing well in training and he’s got experience in the Championship if not the Premier League.”

“We can’t sign another goalkeeper.” “The rules say that if you have two senior keepers you can’t bring in another.”

“We have a good opinion about Freddie Woodman.” “Everybody tells us he is a great keeper.”

“At the moment he hasn’t been with us because of England duty and I think Karl will be more secure because of his experience and he has been training with us everyday.”

Newcastle can only sign a free agent goalkeeper, but obviously cannot bring in a goalkeeper already under contract at another club – either permanently or on loan.

Freddie Woodman was impressive in pre-season for us when he played in America and he didn´t seem to have many nerves at all – he is definitely a top goalkeeper in the making.

So we should be signing him up to a long term deal in the summer, since his current contract ends at the end of June.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Freddie Woodman · Karl Darlow · Management · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League

88 responses so far ↓

  • 1 microbar // Apr 2, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    You can only patch up a boat so many times before it sinks.
    And we are at that point now.

  • 2 Bambams // Apr 2, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    I have a good feeling about today’s game…
    3-1 Toon

  • 3 beermonkey // Apr 2, 2016 at 9:56 AM


    sorry to hear that i had menigitus as a kid it was awful

    if rafa stays the i think the board will just go back to being a board not transfer commitee

    but it all hinges on ashley and if he trusts a manager thats won it all or his toy boy and carr

  • 4 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Rafa has never been afraid to give a good young’un a go.
    I think Liam Gibson from Stanley will start for us at left back today , he’s trained with the first team for the last 2 weeks and has travelled to Norwich.

  • 5 jazzyp // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    Would have to be a massive change in direction to oust his trusted henchmen from there posts.
    We all need it to happen, But will or is Ashley that bothered about Nufc to change his policies of how the club should be ran

  • 6 davis_toons // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    They will put more shots on goal. And unrest our young keeper.

    Their striker is fast and can shoot on target. Just like a young Defoe.

    …we can get a draw.

    Be cool for the 1st half and absorbs their attack. They will definitely attack like crazy. We just got to work as a team and defence like crazy and break unless we can hold on to the ball for more possession to lessen their attacks.

    Our attacking play is slowly picking up so there should be goals.

  • 7 davis_toons // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Time wasting is needed here as well. We need to do that.

  • 8 beermonkey // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:33 AM


    i think rafa has sought all the changes he wanted with reguards to players in and out
    i also think if he keeps us up he knows what he has to spend

    the only thing i dont think will change is the age policy it might get tweaked but i dont see any 28 29 year olds coming in and defo no over 30s

    and to be fair if rafa has control over players in and out and contracts the rest isnt that important


    i hope ur right but thats only cos i dont want to see sissoko there
    if anita is fit i bet he starts there, although rafa said janmmat was fit ssn said he isnt i dunno who will be ar rb spose it all hinges on janmmat

  • 9 davis_toons // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    All odds are against us ….we are suppose to lose this match. Really hope that we can hang on and play strong on the defensive side.

    I hope someone can keep their striker quiet …or we doom.

  • 10 jazzyp // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    As I haven’t been around for a bit. Could anyone shed some light on the Doumbia situation.Thought he would have been a quality loan signing !!

  • 11 davis_toons // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    TIME needed.
    I really hope the team can waste alot of time in the 1st half…to slowly get our team into play.

    We are ALWAYS slow to start.

  • 12 AncientC // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Rafa and the goalkeeper crisis, what what.

  • 13 AncientC // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Rafa is the new manager, and Darlow must play in nets, what say you?


  • 14 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    We badly needed to beat the makems but they looked a much better coached team than us with more fluency and not half the long ball stuff we toon fans like to label Sam with. But were pretty awful until the last quarter. Sissoko on the left of midfield doesnt work and i would worry about his concentration on defensive duties and tackling ability at left back. If rafa cant get us creating more chances we can start to say goodbye. He may be a fine coach given the right to choose his own players but now we will see if he is a good attacking coach and so far i havent seen much. 1-1 or 2-2. If we win we will stay up. Lose we go down.

  • 15 Magpie Season // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    If anyone is from Sydney, when does the match start? Is it 2am or 1am? Because our clocks get put back an hour at 3 am tonight.

  • 16 AncientC // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Any other news apart from wafa, wafa, wafa Darlow, wafa wafa, Darlow, wafa?

  • 17 sparky55 // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    We’ll win today and whats more we’ll win well.

    Keep the faith ya miserable b@st@rds

  • 18 Toon Tang // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    G’morning people’s

    What time is Dennis twice getting on? My day can’t start till his motivational words of wisdom appear.

  • 19 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Good man Sparky i always like your posts. We need to see more in attack from rafa though or we can forget it. We have slightly better players than norwich so the pressure is on him to make that count. I like his no nonsense approach after so much bluster from the bluffer Tufty.

  • 20 martoon // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Well said sparky55. If we can’t be confident with a world class manager against Norwich then there is no hope!

  • 21 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    My best guess at team: darlo janmaat lascelles mbemba sissoko shelvey tiote wiji de jong townsend nitro. I wud be very worried re sissoko at left back as the makems didnt go after him. I think we have to get all 3 points today because i have a feeling fat sam will get the lot v west brom

  • 22 sparky55 // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    This is the day we start getting confirmation a good manager was always going to get more out of this squad of poorly assembled misfits.

    We may have suffered badly from a poorly conceived and poorly implemented transfer policy but Rafa now knows which players will get out of this mess and how we’ll do it.


  • 23 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    I think i would prefer to see 442 than the 4231 above with cisse and nitro together. If we can limit their wingers and full backs we will win and rafa will be good at that. Their central defence is weak and i would like two strikers to test them and take the weight off nitro

  • 24 lochinvar // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Forecast Summary for East Anglia Today
    Early fog clearing then dry with long sunny spells. Becoming pleasantly warm by the afternoon in mainly light winds.

    Dry pitch, sun out – could be a good footballing day and well suit the likes of Cisse and others who prefer football to hoofball.

    Should suit our performance under Rafa – HWTL

  • 25 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Sparky problem is we blew the home chance v makems and we were 6 mins from probable relegation. We offered very little up front and the first half was abysmal from rafa and the team. Thats the long and short of it. Smc would have been booed off at half time for that effort.

  • 26 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    UK put clocks one hour forward last weekend
    The match KO’s at 1a.m. NSW time .
    When the match finishes put your clocks back one hour and when you wake up the time will be right

  • 27 sparky55 // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:32 AM


    IMO we’re now at that moment in time when the Rafa stamp starts coming to bear and today is the day we start gaining momentum irrespective of what’s gone on before

    Todays the day lads…it all starts from here irrespective of the result…todays the day we start proving everyone wrong and todays the day we start dumping the mackems into the championship

  • 28 stuart no9 // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    im sorry to say it again about darlow but its just that i have no confidence in the guy . ok ive only seen him once and hopefully that was a one off , but the only thing i want come may is to secure our prem league status. can we acheive that with our defence and darlow between the sticks ??? maybe , but would we have a much better chance of achieving that with an experienced keeper who could get us over the line ?? absolutely, so , i know it sounds hard on the kid , but a slight knock today that could see him sidelined for a couple of weeks would , to me , be our best hope of survivel, benitez MUST have thoiught about this scenario.and got someone already in mind. its hard on the kid i know but its also hard depending on the kid to keep us up as well , so either way its not fair . but we must stay up at all costs.

  • 29 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    I keep reading everywhere that we’ll go down because fat sam etc have more experience being at the bottom end. What utter drivel. Every game is a seperate thing. Experience at the bottom means zilch. Every manager sets his side up to win, top, middle or bottom. There’s a reason fat sam and co have experience at the bottom end and that’s because he struggles to get teams out of the bottom end. Rafa wins games once he gets to grips with players and I know who i’d sooner have. If anyone can, Rafa can. There’s a reason he gets the better jobs in football. I’ve no idea why he came to us and frankly, i don’t care – i’m just glad he’s on board. It might well be too late, but whilst there’s still hope, we’ve got the best man for the job. Keep the faith lads n lasses and back 100% whoever wears the shirt. Howay the lads!!!

  • 30 Magpie Season // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:36 AM


    Thank you very much, sir. Makes sense now.

  • 31 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Rafa was really ticked off when Perez appointed Zidane and showed him the door.
    He’s come to us to win the EPL and get into the CL and then NUFC to smash the Galacticos at the Bernabeu .

  • 32 AncientC // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    Allardyce isn’t fat, he just has a massive head and is big boned.

  • 33 bettyswallocks // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    Well said Sparky. This is a game where we will need to be calm, focused and follow the gaffer’s game plan to the letter. Spirit and endeavour will obviously be required but at this stage should be taken as a given.
    Losing our shape and discipline will be a disaster as their young manager will have them well organised. HWTL.

  • 34 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    I can see the headlines now
    “TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND TICKETLESS GEORDIES DRINK MADRID CITY DRY – emergency San Miguel convoy heading in from Benidorm”

  • 35 Toon Tang // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Damn crucial game this.

  • 36 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Jib, we’ve somehow managed to get one of the best managers in the world and he’ll get more out of them than anybody else could. This presents us with the best hope of survival we could ask for. I don’t see anything negative in his arrival, just positives. If he can turn us into CL contenders then it would be his biggest achievement to date! Just glad he chose us for his little project! 😉

  • 37 Essex Geordie Bill // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Munster have to disagree with you, we don’t have slightly better players than Norwich.

    We have much better players than Norwich!!

    What we have needed was a better manager to get them playing properly, this we now have.

    Big win for us today.

    Probably still be where we are position wise as I can’t see WB beating Sland. But the situation will have improved!!

  • 38 Toon Tang // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    I’m sweating like a cornered nun here. Cold shower when I get out me pit I reckon

  • 39 davis_toons // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Under SMC the play was ok just that our striker couldn’t convert, that’s that problem that leads one to another finally to low morale.

    The lucky thing is our players are still trying hard at times. Rafa just need to get them to concentrate fully for the first half and i believe our team will do its job at the 2nd half.

    We just have to see what team will turn out later.

    A brave one or the weak timid ones that gets some of the players playing frustrated football.

  • 40 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Toon Tang

    you’ll have Rotonda and Mr Tuff on your case bleating about your rampant Nunism !

  • 41 one fine day // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Mag season
    Rosebery 2018
    Pretty sure it will be 1 am
    Clocks go back at 3 am so won’t affect game
    Personally I’d love to miss it and simply wake up to find we had won 4.0 🙂

  • 42 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    Rafa will put out the best team he can today, what with injuries etc, and they’ll be properly prepared. Be honest, how many of us would’ve made the changes he made during the mackem game? It changed the game and won us a point. That alone showed that he’s already getting to grips with each player and what they can do. A win today will put Palace on alert. They’re not out of it yet. The way to drag them into it is by winning games. Plenty of twists and turns in this season yet.

  • 43 Toon Tang // Apr 2, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Gotta love a bit of casual nunism

  • 44 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Essex i would have agreed and on paper guys like wiji are class but these guys have been failing for too long under 2 useless managers and one below average one ( and i am being generous to pardew) so lets hope rafa lifts them. However any decent analysis with show that he has only made us more compact so far, little else. We need more from rafa and the players

  • 45 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    At least nuns wear the right colours. 😉

  • 46 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    There shouldn’t be too much noise from the M1 at 1a.m.

  • 47 Toon Tang // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    So do we all think that’s about that if we’re beaten today. Pundits appear to think so.

    Will be a tough one making up 6 points and overthrowing goal difference in 6 games eh

  • 48 Essex Geordie Bill // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Big plus is that Redmond may not play, he’s their only quality player.

  • 49 Toon Tang // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Bobby. True, true haha

  • 50 Toon Tang // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Or should I just clear my mind of all negativity for now and panic like a bastard after the game is up?

  • 51 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    I’m watching a feature on Villa’s predicament on BT
    Seeing all those yamyams crying gives me a great feeling of schadenfreude.

  • 52 davis_toons // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:09 PM


    1. Crystal Palace will lost the game

    2. Sunderland – Win

    3. Swansea City – Lost

    Newcastle – (we are different we will beat the odds, the players just need to focus on the 1st half at least)

  • 53 21st Century Schizoid Man // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Jonathan Pearce
    Match of the Day commentator at Carrow Road

    “Defeat for Newcastle would leave them six points adrift and almost certainly facing the drop.
    “Having 13 players out recently has been an obvious handicap but the squad has too many who are no longer good enough for the Premier League, or never were. The scattergun transfer policy has been ruinous.”

    That’ll be the Carr blunder-buss then. The DoF on the Board for now.

  • 54 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Rafa was given a paltry ten games to save our season. Not much, but if it goes to the final game and he saves us, so be it. Nothing will be decided today, either way. Plenty of points to play for yet, but the sooner we’re safe the better. Don’t hear no fat lady singing yet. 😉

  • 55 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Toon Tang

  • 56 Belfast // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    It’s like This is your life Rafa Benitez on here at the moment. Ed blowing so much smoke up Rafas arse I can’t see anything.

    I hope we win today lose and we’re doomed.

  • 57 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Jib, we remember the chant of ‘we’re having a party when the geordies go down’ all to clearly. Nice to see them suffer innit? 😉

  • 58 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    “sob on the Tyne”

  • 59 Rotonda heights // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:17 PM


    Even though ash knows sweet fa about football even he can surely see carr has wasted millions on totally unsuited players both physically and character wise.

    I don’t know how carr is even still there and he is apparently bleating about rafa having more powernow. YCMIU.

    Carr was a very poor manager back in the day and his misses now as a scout vastly outweigh the plusses.

    If we miraculously stay up or even if we don’t, then carr, charnley, beardo and watson must all walk for sheer incompetence, along with a dozen or more players.

  • 60 Rotonda heights // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    good day to you Jib. I hope all is well with you on this glorious spring day.

  • 61 one fine day // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Scrappy nervous one nil
    Happy as f@@k
    As per Dennis
    Attack toon attack

  • 62 Termijn // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    My team for the game today
    Janmaat – Mbemba – Lascelles – Anita
    Townsend – Tiote – Shelvey – Sissoko
    De Jong

    Wijnaldum been out of form of late, may make a good impact off the bench

    Cisse we already know can be a good super sub

    Perez too inconsistent for me, may be good off the bench should we need goals in the 2nd half
    Saivet should be brought on to shore up the midfield should we find ourselves in a winning position

  • 63 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    Bobby he did change things v makems deffo. However sams lot were playing too defensively from half way through second half. Lets hope he gets one of smc’s few attacking games out of them.

  • 64 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    The team is just coming in on the ticker tape – hang on

  • 65 Munster Mag // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Hey bobby mate i hope u still aint pining for schteve 🙂

  • 66 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Right, gonna watch Villa and cheer myself up. 😉 It can always be worse!

  • 67 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    It’s as we thought

    Not many changes

    GK 1 England Mike Mahoney
    DF 2 England Irving Nattrass
    DF 3 England Alan Kennedy
    DF 5 England Glenn Keeley
    DF 6 England Pat Howard
    MF 4 England Stewart Barrowclough
    MF 8 Northern Ireland Tommy Cassidy
    MF 11 Scotland Tommy Craig (c)
    FW 7 England Micky Burns
    FW 9 England Malcolm Macdonald
    FW 10 England Alan Gowling
    FW 12 England Paul Cannell

  • 68 Bobbybee // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Not much pining going on in this house Munster! Amazed we got Rafa but couldn’t have hoped for better. Earlier might have been better though!

  • 69 davis_toons // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    Shelvey cant defends and is slow so if he couldn’t attack in any form. He is basically a unless international. He better run all his guts out and be sub in the closing 2nd half…or we are dead meat.

    .hopefully he did learn something from his senior SteveG.

  • 70 SPRINGY // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    afternoon all,hope all are well,although a wee bit twitchy!lol
    big game today,but theres big games coming for all the bottom sides, i do feel this is a game we must win.

  • 71 jimiley // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Who said this 10 months ago “the buck stops with me.” Who said this a week ago. “its nothing to do with me.” It is to do with you because if you appoint humpty and dumpty to run the football club, you are the prime mover in causing it to fail.

  • 72 jimiley // Apr 2, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Everybody is saying Rafa is great at this, that and the other. Its like the players signing a letter of support. A win some time would be nice.

  • 73 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    Jim Iley
    We don’t actually get the points until the end of the game and only if we win – just saying like.

  • 74 lesh // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:20 PM


    It’s fair to say that all oc Carr’s signings have been quality. To what degree of quality though is debatable!

  • 75 beermonkey // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    this hour really drags till the team sheet is out

  • 76 John Akomfrah // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    sparky55 // Apr 2, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    We’ll win today and whats more we’ll win well.

    Keep the faith ya miserable b@st@rds
    tell us again at 4.55

  • 77 The next Mike Williamson // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    There are only 3 explanations for our dire form over the years
    1. terrible players
    2. terrible managers
    3. Both the above.
    now we definitely have a good manager so we will find out which of the above is true. If we’re still awful it’s the players and thus Carrs fault. If we’re good it’s the previous managers that have been awful and the blame can go to Charnley and Ashley. my money is on kinnear, pardew, carver, and mcclaren being terrible bosses. 3-1 toon.

  • 78 Blackley and Brownlie // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Old Blackas can’t see us winning and can’t see us avoiding the drop.

  • 79 John Akomfrah // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    me neither bnb

  • 80 Sliema // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Moussa at left back? Anyone reckon that would actually work? I must say watching him play every week hasn’t convinced me he could do a job like that, infact I wouldn’t trust him with it at all.

  • 81 John Akomfrah // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    he shoulda been left back at home useless fcuka

  • 82 WWSBRD // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    Spank Norwich today lads then relegate Palace by the end of the season HWTL

  • 83 Ron Knee // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Sacking Garde has certainly made a difference for Villa.

  • 84 Sir Braveheart // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    I’d take us playing shite all game and winning 1-0 with a scrappy rebounded deflected goal that goes in off Mitros arse. In fact I’d take 8 games of the worst football ever seen by man woman or child in the history of the universe if we still got the points to stay up.

    Then Rafa can start work fixing this mess in the summer.

  • 85 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    The next Mike Williamson

    Chelsea’s team last game 2015 season (S’land 3-1)
    Diego Costa

    Chelsea’s first game 2016 season (Swansea 2- 2)
    Diego Costa

    Same manager for both games.
    What happened ? He was sacked in fairly short order.

    Same manager pretty much the same players.

    Never once heard Roman Abramovic or Ron Gourlay (Chelsea CEO) criticised.

  • 86 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Liam Gibson should be left back

  • 87 WWSBRD // Apr 2, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Decent team, shame it’s Gini not de Jong but in Rafa we trust

  • 88 Jib // Apr 2, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    I bet Remi Garde’s laughing his stotts off

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