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These Two Players Have Given Me Everything – Benitez

9:33 am, Saturday, April 30th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 93 Comments

Rafa Benitez has explained today why he has turned to experience and has brought back 30 year-old Papiss Cisse and 29 year-old Cheick Tiote into the first team.

Both have performed very well for the new boss with Papiss getting a good goal last week at Liverpool – his first since last November at Crystal Palace.

The goal, early in the second half last week at Anfield, allowed Newcastle to make an incredible second half comeback and get to 2-2 – and a point that could yet be vital in the relegation struggle.

rafa benitez cheick tiote

Rafa Benitez congratulates Cheick Tiote

Cisse and Tiote had been largely ignored by Steve McClaren, although both had also been fighting with injuries earlier this season.

Rafa was full of praise for the two veterans at the club:

“I was really pleased with the way that they were working, trying to be fit and trying to impress me.” .

“Then I knew that they were very good players, because I was watching a lot of games before, and a lot of people here they were telling me that they were good players.”

“They needed confidence, and when they were fit I gave them confidence. They gave me everything.”

Cheick Tiote in particular has turned in some great performances for us lately and we expect both players to start this afternoon against Crystal Palace at St. James´ Park – in a game we just have to win.

Comments welcome.



Tags: Cheick Tiote · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Papiss Cisse · Prayer · Premier League · Press




93 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tinman // Apr 30, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Worried by how many people expect us to win today. All the fans, all the media, hopefully not too much pressure on our softies

  • 2 sing in the corner // Apr 30, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    The Rafa effect…he has gotten a decent tune out of Tiote I didn’t think was there any more. We’re still waiting to see the old Cisse though. The one that exploded into toon when he arrived. Maybe it’s no longer there. Go on Papisse, prove me wrong again! I don’t mind!!

  • 3 sing in the corner // Apr 30, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Tin man
    I don’t think it’s literally expectation really. More hope and collective will, fresh from the last chance saloon!

  • 4 Blofal // Apr 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Everything I’m hearing from Benitez is common sense. I just can’ believe how it has alluded the managers at our club for so long.

    Give players confidence and they will perform.

    It’s unfortunate (or fortunate) that he realises in the situation we’re in it is not the time to try new things and I think players like De Jong have suffered from that.

    But I dearly hope even if we get relegated we can keep Benitez. If he manages to pull 4 wins and 2 draws from our last 6 games and keep us up then he will be worshipped for decades to come.

  • 5 Tinman // Apr 30, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    Tiote is now crucial for us.
    Cisse not so much…

  • 6 Small World // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    For those of you “thinking” about going today. Forget it. Just checked the web site and we’ve sold the last ticket. *Expecting* a cracking atmosphere and *hoping* for a win

    HWTL

  • 7 SPRINGY // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    hopefully cisse has worked really hard on his first touch this week coz lets face it….thats been woeful recently….when he tries to control it,its like watching a bouncy ball off a rubber wall tbh….but he must be showing in training a lot more then riviere and dounbia who cant even make the bench at times…when rafa first came it looked like riviere was going to be rafas goto super sub, as i remember him getting a good few minutes in a few games but seems like that was just a flash in pan coz him and doumbia have disappeared recently….a solid performance today and if im to be a little greedy…a shit load of goals for us…but the win is the important thing.

  • 8 Jib // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    Springy
    Doumbia has disappeared because CSKA Moscow want to buy him back from Roma.

  • 9 BandB // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    If Tiote plays well, we play well.
    It has always been the case, even if he had looked disillusioned for a good while.
    My son made what I thought was a good point about Shelvey the other day.
    He is too weak in the tackle and lacks the anticipation to be an effective defensive mid, and needs more time and space to control the ball than he gets when he is pushed further forward.
    Hang on to the audacity of that hope chaps. HWTL.

  • 10 SPRINGY // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    jib
    is that the craic like,i was’nt entirely sure who we were loaning him from….tbh,thought he was already cska player who had been on loan to roma….wires must be crossed.

  • 11 SPRINGY // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    would agree BandB…tiote playing well has big influence on the side…but when he does’nt it really sticks out like a sore thumb,which attracts a lot more criticism then other players having stinkers for some reason…not sure who his best midfield partner is to be fair…..shelvey lacks pace to get around the pitch,colback seems to lack the passing but grafts,anita the same and saivet lacks premier league experience needed right now.

  • 12 Jib // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Springy
    It is confusing
    Roma bought Doumbia from Moscow on the strength of his Euro appearances for €15 million!
    He played 13 times in Serie A and was crap , so Roma loaned him back to Moscow from whence he came to us .

    Roma probably only paid a deposit so Moscow won’t have to fork out.

    With regard to this and Chucky (Facundo Ferreyra) last season , I have been racking my brains to work it all out.

    I think it has nothing to do with favours for agents (Chucky’s agent is his uncle).

    In my opionion it is tricky-trousers Ashley trying to get a sponsorship link behind the old iron curtain for the love of his life – SD.

  • 13 Veltman // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    I still have big respect for Pardew.Unlike Mac,
    he had some memorable moments here.It’s not an easy game as it seems because they want to keep their form,shape and momentum for the cup final.Whether he may do us a favor by fielding weaker team remains to be seen.Stoke are in bad mood.Not only they lost consecutive games by big score line,but also Nothing left for them to play for.They won’t make it to Europe next season too,so they may not put out too much effort in Sund’d game again,unless Mark warn his players to finish inside top 10.But I just keep feeling both will slip up today.And we’ll be big leapers.All we need is that opening goal early.I don’t mind who start who,as long as Benitez keep Janmaat far away from the team.

  • 14 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    On me way too work, so gutted I will miss the match.

  • 15 AncientC // Apr 30, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Colback is a delightful passer of the ball, his passes are always nicely weighted and he can pass under pressure. I would have Colback down as in the top 3 passers in the squad, Shelvey and Coloccini being the other two… still, I wouldn’t go quite as far as the Pirlo comparisons.

  • 16 Magpie Season // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Quick question:

    I know some of the crowd will boo Pardew but what about Cabaye?

  • 17 SPRINGY // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    magpie season
    there will be a lot who boo for his departure and antics trying to get a move but there will be a lot who appreciate what he did for the club and what he has said about the fans and city……not an answer tbh, but will be interesting to see.

  • 18 Bobbybee // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Just about ready to go and it can’t come round quick enough. 😉 I’m not sure i go with this ‘nothing to play for’. I can’t recall seeing too many games where a mid table team just doesn’t bother trying. Players have huge egos abd want to win every game they play in. Sometimes having nothing to play for can benefit a side, because they’re not playing under any pressure. They relax and play well. If we do go down, we can’t blame Stoke for not bothering; it’s our fault for not winning more games. Although technically it’s out of our hands, i’m convinced three wins will do it for us. We could win three and still go down, or win one and stay up, that’s how daft it all is. Until we’re officially doomed, i’ll keep hoping and believing – starting today. COME ON NEWCASTLE!!!!!!!

  • 19 Bobbybee // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Magpie season. We had some good times with Pardew, but we had some bad ones too – pretty much like most managers as it goes. Definitely time to let it all go. Might take some of the fire out of their belly if we don’t boo either? Individual fans will do as they see fit and neither are right or wrong. Booing Cabaye after his love in might put him completely off his game, but it might also inspire him. One thing only is guaranteed from this individual fan: i’ll be 100% behind the lads from start to finish. I suspect the othwr 50k will feel the same. 😉

  • 20 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Ancient I hope your taking the mick on coldback he passes 5 yds backwards or sideways which I could do so I’m not sure if you got mixed up with the pirlo tag and started watching Italian football???

    On another note I agree on when tiote plays well we play well it’s always been the case and if he goes in the summer which he likely will if we stay up even we really need to get a cdm enforcer to replace him as people like Anita and coldback are not even close to being good enough.

  • 21 toon kk // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Why the big hatered for Pardew? He did quite well under the circumstances.
    His biggest falt was being a yes man.

    What the fk people thought our players were capable of I really don’t know.
    Give your heeds a shake.

  • 22 Bobbybee // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Toonkk, it’s fair to say that it’s only now, after two replacements, that the team looks like a team since Pardew left. He did work under terrible conditions, with his arms tied behind his back, but i think some feel he signed up to that and became part of the problem. It’s all water under the bridge now and only one thing matters today – beating palace, regardless of who their manager is. Pardew and Cabaye are side issues imo.

  • 23 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Toon kk, he is abysmal, he lies, he blags his way through management.

    Under the circumstances of playing a centre forward as a winger/fullback? Ruined. Our most skillful player scapegoated and is now back to scoring 17 goals in France and is up against Zlatan, amongst others, for a player of the year award.

    The list can go on and on.

    They’ve had one win in 2016 with having his hands tied – boo hoo, Europe – boo hoo, and all the rest of the bull crap. excuses that some fans lap up.

    The proof is on the pitch and the patterns of development play over the course of a number of games. He blags his way through management and has an ego the size of space.

  • 24 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    One win in 2016 without having hands tied that was meant to be.

    The fact that he has a set of big defenders who, without even needing coaching, can win balls in the box has literally kept them up this season. Their defenders have about 50% of their goals or something, and mostly from set piece situations.

    Cannot stand him.

    I’ll be singing the Rafa song at full voice today again. A proper manager.

  • 25 goommy // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Frankly, I think Tiote would never comeback to his best day again. But see what Rafa bring out of him? I’m totally wronggggg.

    HWTL!!

  • 26 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Pardew was a clown who made so many wrong decisions that non football people would be able to spot he was a joke of a manager however not sure there needs to any animosity towards him. Some examples of the top of my head:
    – Took months to change to a 433 formation which the team was so well suited and every fan I know was screaming for him to change it yet it took injuries to force his hand then we started winning and playing well.
    – Cisse was scoring for fun and full of confidence with ba on the left providing goals and scoring. Cisse picked up an injury and so ba moved central which was fine. Ba continued to score and play well and spat his dummy out when cisse come back and he was put on the left so Pardew kept him central to keep him happy and moved cisse out wide!!!!! Cisse is the most unnatural wide player to ever grace the earth he is purely an instinctive player with a poor touch, no dribbling skills or vision/creativity. Fans started getting on cisse’s back and he was getting dragged off as he was useless. He was then left out and has never recovered and now we are stuck with a terrible player even centrally (ruined his career in my opinion).
    – HBA debate has been talked to death but for me he was an amazing player who needed his manager to believe In him and not shackle him and play him defensively. Pardew played so negatively and deep that our wide players sat on our full backs all game isolating our striker. Hba suffered immensely for this as he was never in dangerous positions and obviously never defended we’ll so got made a scapegoat. Class player if managed well and pardew messed it up ( even though when played right in a 433 was great so why change him to a defensive winger).

    Only 3 real bad decisions but I guess we have could all pick lots and just his general negativity and defensive football was terrible and depressing.

    Sorry for the ramble at times 🙂

  • 27 AncientC // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Nufc-83, Statistically Colback is one of our best passers. If you want to cite that he rarely plays a through ball, you have to remember we do not have any players in our squad that are successful at playing through balls.

    I am confused what you mean by ” I’m not sure if you got mixed up with the pirlo tag and started watching Italian football???”

    I was referring to the Ginger Pirlo tag bestowed upon Colback by Hodgson.

  • 28 Jail for Ashley // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    I can’t get away with this “Pardew done well under the circumstances” he was a major part of the circumstances being the way they were.

  • 29 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-release-two-senior-11266080?

    Looks like Marveux and Obertan are finally out the door then !

  • 30 Shot Bru // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Well said Laurent Robert!

  • 31 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Ancient I meant did you get confused with the real Pirlo if you think he’s a good passer (bit of a joke sorry 🙂

    Statistically I would be the best passer as I can play 5 yard passes and yes only shelvey has good through balls in his locker for us (possibly SDJ but need to see him!!).

    That saying most of our team are terrible at passing and don’t have any vision or creativity so even if I said coldback is a good passer when compared to our squad he is still shocking for a midfield player operating at the highest level.

  • 32 AncientC // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Pass succession so far this season, for players that have played more than 10 games.

    1. Wijnaldum – 85%
    2. Jack Colback – 84.2%
    3. Coloccini – 83.7%

  • 33 toon kk // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Lauren
    I know a lot of the things you say are true, but there’s was a regime at the club, he was under Mashley rule (his biggest mistake).
    Our best player’s were continually sold and not replaced, part of the reasons why players are out of position, and it’s just the same now.
    Alot of the lies came from MA, Pards was his spokesman. Could you not see that?.

    You would probably do the same under the circumstances if you wanted /needed the job.

  • 34 martoon // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Getting ready to go to the match I’m feeling more nervous than usual. Like I said earlier in the week I won’t boo Pardew but I probably won’t applaud him either. Regarding Cabaye I’m pretty sure a lot went on behind the scenes we don’t know about that Cabaye hinted at about JFK so I, personally, don’t think he deserves stick either.

  • 35 AncientC // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Nufc-83 @31. I see your point in the last paragraph.

  • 36 Mister Tuff // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Continued decent performances from Mr T and Sissoko will be key for me – plus Townsend is eventually causing problems – is he going to cut inside or go on the outside.
    Should be a good game although nerve wrecking.

  • 37 AncientC // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    The last game played against Crystal Palace was easily one of the worst performances I have seen by a Newcastle side. So many wrongs to be put right today. I would like to think the players who played in the last fixture against Palace are relishing this chance to put things right.

  • 38 martoon // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Sorry but I don’t get the stick that Colbacks gets. Surely his main job is to win the ball in midfield. Once he has it I don’t have a problem with a short pass to give the ball to someone who does have an eye for a pass etc. One thing I know is that we’ve looked a lot more secure with him back in the midfield and before you say it, yes I know, Tiote alongside him has contributed towards that.

  • 39 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    As a squad player I don’t have an issue with cold back really but for me a premiership player should have more in his locker than just a decent work rate. If i compare coldback or Anita as their both much of a muchness to a prem cm like Kante for Leicester (maybe that’s unfair considering the season he has had) then they are far short of being good enough. Kante can works hard is strong in the tackle and great at interceptions. Coldback and Anita are not even very good at them attributes let alone the fact Kante can dribble and break forward quickly with good vision to spot a pass and even an eye for goal. What I’m trying to say is even if they are not on the same level as Kante they should bring more all round game to the table rather than working hard and playing simple passes.

  • 40 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    Martoon that job you mention is basically our cdm which is tiote who also brings with him the strength and physicality which coldback doesn’t so isn’t a great cdm. The player alongside tiote should have a lot more to offer than playing 5 yd passes and working hard.

  • 41 toon kk // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    Ancient
    Palace ripped us apart last time, like you say it was one of our worst performances.
    But we just can’t handle pace, our players forget there roles and turn into headless chickens. Hope it doesn’t happen again today.

  • 42 Munster Mag // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Laurent, hba was unsuited to English football because he had no workrate. Do u think rafa wud entertain that? not a prayer.

  • 43 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Toon kk, managers all over the place get their best players sold, that is no a reason to boo hoo over as a mainstay of an excuse. It doesn’t help, it won’t with any team. It is a focus to distract his inept management ability, just like the rest of the nonsense excuses.

    We had Ba, Cisse, Remy up front. If played correctly, all are very good forwards. Only dead brains play a centre forward as a winger and then, due to his inept tactics, is a defensive winger is atrocious. Did similar with Tevez.

    Mascherano was even out of favour. The lad has over 200 games for Barca now.

    He HAS Cabaye at Palace, still the abysmal run is there, another nonsense excuse for us. We’d already lost about 4 in 5 before he left anyway. Nor are they in Europe – more nonsense.

    It was plain to see that he was out of his depth as he had the players sitting back and looking to nick a goal through ‘hope’ rather than competent knowledge of shaping a side.

    Our players are no way as bad as the lower league managers had them playing.

    Just flashed up on Sky there… One win in 18 for them – Ashley, Ben Arfa, Europe, Science, grass length are nowhere in sight.

  • 44 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    3-0 Cisse with 2 and Gini with 1

  • 45 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Munster, that’s nonsense. I watched his skin Premier League defenders many a time – with ease. He closed players down more than Ginola and Robert combined. They were in very good sides. Hatem was in a negative side with little to no attacking game plan or team direction.

    I’ve Read Zlatan’s book last week (one of my favourite players) he speaks about this defending and tracking back myth. Not that they shouldn’t work for the team (that is subjective). Van Basten even spoke to Zlatan about it and told him to conserve his energy for forward play. The same as I’ve read from Brazilian Ronaldo as well years ago.

    There’s doing your job in a competent side by closing down defenders, or there’s being asked to do a back tracking job to a side that sits right back but also expected to sprint back up the team and attack. Pardew’s side was deep, therefore a lot more to run and waste energy on. Not even super humans can use their energy with maximum forward play then be expected to sprint right back down the pitch to double up as a fullback due to team mismanagement.

    Long live Hatem.

  • 46 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Can we save this pointless HBA debate for next season please?

    If he gets a transfer to a big team with a proper manager this summer lets see how he really does

  • 47 Bambams // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Hail Wor Ashley

    I hope you are right my friend !!!

    I am going out for 1.30pm to watch at our local AND I am ‘ bricking ‘ it….

    Must win today and hopefully Stoke do us a favour

  • 48 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    His just scored 17 goals, Lee. He’s doing it now.

  • 49 martoon // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Nufc-83 I can’t agree. They are both CDMs and Rafa has decided to play them both. You could argue Tiote should be playing the creative role so therefore he is poor it’s just nonsense!

  • 50 toon kk // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Laurent
    Like I say I agree with what you say, some of his decisions were strange, but once our best player’s were sold by MA, and not replaced that’s when we went back over.
    Many expected more than our players are capable of. And STILL do.
    We’ll be relegated for that reason.

  • 51 Bobbybee // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    Let’s view it positively. If pardew hadn’t walked and chumlee hadn’t appointed two plums, we wouldn’t currently have had Rafa in charge. 😉 What’s done is done and nothing can ever change it. Time to look forward, starting with today. Like Martoon, i’ll do neither and concentrate on getting behind the lads.

  • 52 Munster Mag // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Zlatan the mad egoist telling us how defence works? No thanks. Hba once ran less than a goalie. He was constantly drifting out of position. Rafa wudnt entertain it. Its not popular to say it but rafa is a systems and shape man and hba wud be dropped constantly.

  • 53 Jib // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Laurent Robert 32
    Would appear not to know the difference between an out and out striker – Ibrahimovic/Van Basten/Ronaldo mkl
    and
    A winger/attacking mf

  • 54 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Martoon if you read what I said in that Tiote offers the physical side of the game which Anita or coldback can’t do well and so they are left wanting in cdm position when Tiote (is not trying to be cabaye) can be great in that position when on his game.

  • 55 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Munster some of the best prem players and our players as already listed (ginola and Robert) did not work back/defensively well. HBA is extremely gifted and when he had confidence and allowed to play he was unstoppable.

    Idiots like Bruce and Pardew didn’t know what to do with such a talented player.

  • 56 Bobbybee // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:53 PM

    We’ll be relegated if we don’t win these last three games probably, but we ain’t down yet. Rafa believes the fans can help keep us up and i’m inclined to agree with him. So i’ll come home with a sore throat and either buzzin’ or deflated. There’s a reason this is a sell out crowd and that’s because we’re still in with a chance, no matter how remote it might appear.

  • 57 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Also is anyone really looking forward to Tiote versus Cabaye today??

    Cabaye got to totally boss us the last time and got away with a few nasty tackles on Perez and Wijnaldum in the last game but I would love Colback and Tiote to noise him up early doors!!

  • 58 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    cabaye was such a good player but he had a horrible nasty streak in him. I can see this in Shelvey aswell tbf.

  • 59 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    @Laurent

    Agree he has done well this season but its in the French league !! Cabella and Thauvin looked like world beaters at times in that league !

    Nice do play to his strengths but as I say it would be good to see how he done at a Liverpool or Dortmund he does have quality but would he get a game every week with them?

  • 60 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    The good thing about having Sissoko playing centrally is that when he breaks there may only be one or two opposition players in front of him and we then have two options to the left and right of him, rather than him just heading towards to a corner flag where he’s not great at crossing a ball anyway.

  • 61 Mister Tuff // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Dismissing Abramovics’ observations on teams defences is frankly alarming. With the goals he’s scored, breaching defences, he must know what he is talking about. Whilst the French league may not be the best -this season he’s into 30 odd goals -nearly twice as many as Lacazette and Benny.
    But he has proved himself in other leagues – I for one would listen to what his viewpoints are and not dismiss him without due consideration.

  • 62 magscar // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    This guff about having to cover his defenders is misdirection. For all the times HBA beat his man he also continually held on to possession too long, didn’t always see a pass and got dispossessed or tried to pass through players – nothing to do with having to cover for defence. Not seen him at Nice so don’t know whether he has finally improved on that side of his game. Suspect that his game is more suited to French league than PL.

  • 63 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Jib, I certainly do understand those positions. It seems you didn’t grasp what was right in front of you and that the reference was regarding forward, attacking players and their defensive duties. Maybe too complex for you to grasp.

    I’ll keep you right.

  • 64 Bobbybee // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Lee, I too am looking forward the that clash marra. Let tiote give him a good old fashoined welcome back. 😉 Keep cabaye quiet and the rest might well take care of itself.

  • 65 magscar // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Nufc83@55

    You may be right about Pardew and Bruce but it doesn’t account for his falling out with (all?)his previous managers – a factor in us being able to buy him in first place. Why weren’t clubs interested in picking him up on a free from us? Too easy to say because he had been mismanaged

  • 66 Mister Tuff // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    If Benny is tempted back to the PL – I think we may see him in fine form and others may have to eat humble pie.
    For him personally, I think he should remain at Nice – but these guys are tempted by the big time – they just cannot resist the pull of possible greater things.
    Whatever he does I’d like to see him do well – tremendous natural footballer- had more ball skills than others could only dream of.

  • 67 Laurent Robert 32 // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Munster, you’re definitely wayward with your thoughts. Zlatan’s contributions to his teams are world class and has won many, many trophies throughout lots of times of people doubting his ability with lazy comments like ‘He just dribbles, he doesn’t track back.’ Some of his goals are unbelievable and is regularly in sides that win leagues.

    I think he’s great. His book was a good read.

  • 68 Mister Tuff // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    Agree about Cabaye – cannot let him loose firing long range passes.
    Could see some fireworks with either Ginger or Mr T after him.
    Opposite is true with Cabaye having a bit of a naughty side to his game – what will be the reaction if he does a couple of over the top tackles.
    Anticipation is building up – who is going to prevail.

  • 69 Bobbybee // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Right, time to hit the road. SJP is calling and we must answer that call. 😉 To one and all, enjoy the game regardless of where you are watching from. Scream loud enough and we might still hear you. 😉 A win is all that matters, regardless of who it’s against and personalities involved. For those thinking Stoke might not try, i refer you to the current game on sky. Hull fighting for promotion; bolton already doomed. Bolton giving at least as good. Players egos matter to them. So does the win bonus!!! Catcha later, Howay the lads!!!!!!!!

  • 70 magscar // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Mister Tuff

    If HBA does return to PL and does well it would be a case of him having sorted himself out – which I believe is problem for some other gifted players as well.

    Mahrez wasn’t anywhere near as effective last season – what changed? Age, experience. team blending in, new manager, other players blossoming?

    Modern game is so much more demanding than in the past when most First Division teams had their own flair players.

    Having said all that perhaps being in the right side with better players all round him could just see him achieve that potential? I do struggle though to think of a similar situation with another unrealised talented flair player.

  • 71 magscar // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    On Cabaye he often can be a naughty player and wind up oppostion – just let Tiote and Colback keep their heads and concentration.

  • 72 magscar // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Teams will be announced soon. Not expecting any real surprises with ours but be interesting to see Palace’s and whether likes of Zaha are rested because of strain.

  • 73 magscar // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    As everyone has apparently gone to match time for a cuppa to calm the nerves

  • 74 Nufc-83 // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Really hope zaha is not playing but bolasie is a nightmare aswell

  • 75 davetoon // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Last time i was this nervous before a game was West Ham last year. Hopefully its the same result.

  • 76 Munster Mag // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Ok let me spell out some truths here guys:

    Zlatan is a great player. Hba is barely an international
    Hba fell out with just about every one of his bosses ( i am not defending pardew)
    He plays in a weak league
    He has amazing dribbling skills
    He doesnt hold team shape well
    Rafa wouldnt have him because rafa is a defensive manager who believes in team shape
    I cant see klopp wanting him either- its the workrate thing again.
    He may be improving now with maturity , as he finally realises what a mess he has made of his career.

  • 77 mindshaft // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    hopefully we can get 3 early goals and put the game to bed – just need Stoke and arsenal to turn up

  • 78 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    I find it funny when bb comes on, the amount of flirting that goes back and forth between other desperate bloggers is funny. I could flirt with most people on this site yet I keep it quiet. I guess I’m not as desperate…

  • 79 one fine day // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Magscar
    Will take more than tea to calm these nerves.
    Got on flight back to sydney last week with us 2.0 down.
    Nearly punched the roof out the cab when I turned my phone back on.
    Don’t care how we do it today a win is all I want a big win is a bonus .
    Those who say us overseas are not real fans … Trust me it’s a lot harder… You lose you back to work with fellow fans and suffer together .
    We do it in the middle of the night ( suffer)and then have to go back to work with fans of Man U ,chelsea etc and sadly these days ” new” Leicester fans.

  • 80 MAUTITOON // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    with a winbar like this,hmm when did we last win?Beware of boldlassie and giving away useless freekicks when we know what cabbage is capable of.come on you toon.

  • 81 toon kk // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    I wonder what Newcastle will turn up today?
    Hope our players work rate is high or Palace will show us how to play.
    I predict another defeat.
    Hope I’m proven wrong. It’s to late anyway, it’s out of our hands now.

  • 82 Blackley and Brownlie // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    BandB
    Clearly your child knows his football. Where does he get that from? Is there someone in the family?

  • 83 MAUTITOON // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    one fine day
    hope this is one fine day for us mate.

  • 84 MAUTITOON // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    toon kk
    your prediction always worry me cause u seem to be most of the time right with them.i’ve been following for quite sometime now.What will u take to back off your prediction?

  • 85 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    C’mon the tooooooooooooooon!!!

    Please God let us win.

  • 86 one fine day // Apr 30, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Crazy thing is I know if we some how we can stay up ,
    we will cream a lot of teams next year with finally someone with a football brain calling the shots and hopefully all deadwood cut loose
    Leicester have proved this league is no longer just about the top four

  • 87 MAUTITOON // Apr 30, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    the final nail in our coffin,hope it is nowhere to be found.

  • 88 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Apr 30, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Ofd

    That’s why it would be such a waste if we go down.

  • 89 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Apr 30, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Sunderland have our final nail and oh boy do they want to give it to us.

  • 90 one fine day // Apr 30, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    83MAUTITOON
    We can only win our three games
    If we do that and still go down then so be it
    But just have a feeling we are going to

  • 91 magscar // Apr 30, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Someone mentioned Jimmy (Jinky) Smith yesterday a great player for us and I was privileged to watch him regularly back in the day.

    However he also could be infuriating ( an adjective that often goes with comfortably with talented) and wasn’t always trusted by then Manager Joe Harvey because of his waywardness and Bob Moncur ( yes that one) would often be shouting at him.

    A memorable game for me was V Wolves ( early 70’s?) and Jinky had already nutmegged Mike Bailey ( an old fashioned bruiser of a midfielder and Captain) twice and it was clear that he was chasing back after Jinky and giving him some advice about not trying it again.

    Cue Jinky looking for an opportunity throughout rest of game and it finally came Jinky completed his hat-trick of nutmegs , took a blow to the face and Bailey was walking before Ref could get out red card.

    Great fun at time and we won but he was I believe distracted from the game by his personal challenge and it probably wasn’t professional 🙂

    Still one of my favourites and a joy to watch.

  • 92 MAUTITOON // Apr 30, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    hmm sunderland,what else could be yr worst nightmare,lol

  • 93 MAUTITOON // Apr 30, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    one fine day
    But just have a feeling we are going to?




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