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

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Newcastle Player Thanks Rafa Benitez

7:18 am, Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 3 Comments

A lot of people in the game thought that Newcastle overpaid for Andros Townsend when we signed him from Tottenham for £12M in January, but he’s been great for us since then and scored four scintillating goals.

He finished second behind goalkeeper Rob Elliot in our annual Player of the Season poll – he made such an impact at Newcastle in a short four months.

And his great form has landed Andros in the 26 man squad that will take part in the friendly games leading up to the Euro Championships.

andros townsend rafa benitez spurs

Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez at end of Tottenham game

The first friendly game is today against Turkey (5:15 pm kickoff) at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Andros is very clear it was Rafa Benitez who is responsible for his improved form and he was asked if he hopes Rafa will stay on at the club:

“Of course I hope he stays, that’s no secret. Ever since he came to the club there was an upturn in my form, from day one.”

“He’s been very hands-on with me, telling me how I can take my game to the next level and he’s been a huge help getting me where I am today, back in an England shirt.”

“I hope he stays, that’s no secret. Ever since he came to the club there was an upturn in my form, from day one.”

“I’m not naive, I know maybe I got my chance because Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got injured, but I’ve been given this chance and I’ve got to take it with both hands.”

“I was delighted to be called up. The media was speculating, in some reports I was in and some I wasn’t. It was bittersweet of course, because I would have liked Newcastle to stay up and then get the call, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

“It was a huge honor and a big relief when I was named in the provisional squad. The manager has to pick 23 out of 26 now, that’s going to be very difficult.”

“I know loyalty is not going to get me on the plane to France, I need to play well in the friendlies if I’m given game time.”

The latest news on Rafa is that he will be introduced as the new manager at Newcastle for the next three years on or before this coming Wednesday.

That will be a monumental achievement to get a world-class manager to manage Newcastle in the second division – the future will then look extremely bright for Newcastle United with Rafa stating publicly he wants to win trophies at Newcastle.


And it will also be a huge relief for Newcastle fans if it  happens,  because the fans simply don’t trust the current leadership (we use the word loosely) at the club.

Let’s hope Andros makes the final 23 man squad for the Euro 2016 – and maybe he will get a game today against Turkey.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Andros Townsend · Coaching · England News · Euro 2016 · International News · Newcastle News · Premier League

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lochinvar // May 22, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    The club needs to ensure that true fans can have affordable access to singing sections of the ground on a match by match basis and demote the tourist visitors to more remote sandwich bar sections of the ground. Many true fans who can’t afford season tickets might not be able to attend every game ( depending on work and cost ) but they must be encouraged to bring their vociferous support back to SJP. Too many clubs are turning football into Disney land franchises and are only one step away from castrating the atmosphere that is needed to motivate and support players and real fans alike.
    Point is that last time we came straight back up we had 102 points and thirty wins – to ensure those sort of results SJP needs to be a hostile place for visiting teams and not a day out on the back of a shopping trip to Eldon Square.
    If Rafa is here to sort out the team , the Academy , the Scouting and the Medical/fitness facilities Charnley or whoever needs to understand that SJP needs to be part of that action plan. And while it’s a pet hate ( apologies to the little uns ) the ball boys / girls need to be older , more aware of the rules and physically stronger to get the ball back to players and keepers to keep the momentum of games going.
    Youngsters in Level 7 should be entertained at half time by video highlights of great games, great players , great goals and club history rather than mundane party games on the pitch. Keep the atmosphere and the passion – it’s points we we will need and it all helps.

  • 2 Jib // May 22, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    Re the previous thread (the morning threads are never given time to build up impetus !)

    Without denigrating Chris Hughton’s efforts too much I think the coaches were just that,not much more , in our last Championship visit.

    There was definite player power there (some of the names have already been mentioned ) Allegedly , after Hughton had talked tactics pre match , he then left the players alone and the old hands wound the team up.

    Under Rafa it will be different.

    Regardless of peoples fears he has had experience of fighting out of the second tier with Extramadura and Tenerife.
    Gaining promotion to La Liga is just as difficult in Spain as anywhere in Europe.

    He took the job on at NUFC totally believing our squad was good enough to survive the PL so it surely must follow even with some players baling out , that he thinks we are easily able to get back.

  • 3 Douglas // May 22, 2016 at 8:23 AM


    Rafa is already the manager. It will just seem as if we have a new manager!

    Sorry to nitpick

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