These Two Players Have Given Me Everything – Benitez

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.

93 comments so far

  • Tinman

    Apr 30, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #1

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

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 30, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #2

    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!!

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 30, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #3

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

  • Blofal

    Apr 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #4

    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.

  • Tinman

    Apr 30, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #5

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

  • Small World

    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #6

    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



    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #7

    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.

  • Jib

    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #8

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

  • BandB

    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #9

    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.


    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    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.


    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #11

    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.

  • Jib

    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #12

    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.

  • Veltman

    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #13

    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.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #14

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

  • AncientC

    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #15

    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.

  • Magpie Season

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #16

    Quick question:

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


    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #17

    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.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #18

    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!!!!!!!

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #19

    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. 😉

  • Nufc-83

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #20

    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.

  • toon kk

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #21

    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.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #22

    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.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #23

    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.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #24

    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.

  • goommy

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #25

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


  • Nufc-83

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #26

    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 🙂

  • AncientC

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #27

    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.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #28

    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.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #29
  • Shot Bru

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #30

    Well said Laurent Robert!

  • Nufc-83

    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #31

    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.

  • AncientC

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #32

    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%

  • toon kk

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #33

    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.

  • martoon

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #34

    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.

  • AncientC

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #35

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

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #36

    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.

  • AncientC

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #37

    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.

  • martoon

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #38

    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.

  • Nufc-83

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #39

    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.

  • Nufc-83

    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #40

    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.


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