Advice To Rafa – Ditch Those Players Who Won’t Cut The Mustard

Freddy Shepherd has been talking in The Sun today about Mike Ashley, Rafa Benitez and the plight Newcastle find themselves in at the moment with the club being back in England’s second division for the second time in seven years.

And Freddy says it’s possible to stay down below for one season and not lose too much and be able to recover – but not for two seasons.

rafa benitez rafalution

Rafa Benitez – rebuilding both the team and the club

And Freddy has talked about Rafa being a smart guy but that he has some players in the squad who will simply not be able to do the job in the really tough Championship – and he needs to ditch those players.

Here’s some of what Freddy has said in The Sun today:

“People normally associate Rafa with clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid and Chelsea.”  “But he’s smart enough to know what sort of player he will need for the muck and nettles of the Championship.”

“Some of the players he’s got there now just won’t be able to cut the mustard in the Championship and they need to be got rid of.”

“I’m sure Rafa will have identified the dead wood and they’ll be on their way soon.”  “I think we need to bring in more British players to steady the ship.”

“The last time we went down people like Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll and Alan Smith led the way and it’s really important that they follow that blueprint.”

“You can recover from being relegated and spending one season away from the top table — but not two.”

“So it’s essential Rafa is given whatever he needs to get the club back up at the first attempt.”

Newcastle have already been linked with a number of British players – Will Hughes, Ross McCormack, Lewis Cook and Lewis Dunk –  among others.

But the next thing we expect to hear from Rafa and Newcastle are the players who will be released this summer.

That should be an interesting list.

Who do you think the players are who will not cut the mustard in the Championship?

Comments welcome.

49 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 28, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #1

    As Freddy not got a scrap metal business to run. Don’t need your advice you crook.

  • kakaobi

    May 28, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #2

    Personally I thought all the players ‘cut the mustard ‘ when playing under Rafa

  • Tsunki

    May 28, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #3

    I don’t think Rafa needs advice about what to do with spineless mercenary players any more than Lee Charnley needs advice on how to accidentally staple his fingers together while rummaging in his desk drawer for doughnuts.

  • Tsunki

    May 28, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #4

    FFS mentions sacking SBR as a “board decision” and maybe he was on staying he regretted it in hindsight to save face regarding his own history. I dunno. He might be a crook (not wanting to sound scrapmetalmerchantist of course…) but he was our crook, and pivotally for me anyway, he actually gave one about our club, which as we know Little Mikey never will. Putting their characters aside and the endless speculation about the impending disaster that actually never happened, just look at where our club was under FFS and compare.

  • Ron Knee

    May 28, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #5

    NUFC retained list out next week, according to M. Douglas.

  • Tsunki

    May 28, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #6

    Just read back over the posts to see Jib congratulating the blog on some good craic, amongst it of course “jack root” one of his resurrected personas from some time back giving out typically jibian snipes to random posters. If that’s good craic, jib I wish you’d enjoy it on your own blog. Then you can slag yourself without end. Or point of course.

  • Mister Tuff

    May 28, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #7

    Jib Jibberish – I see that earlier you were venturing into the world of ornithology (this big word means the study of birds).
    As usual you cocked it up by saying martens were flying around – clearly martens are not birds but members of a mammal group mustelids ( includes ferrets,weasels etc).
    You later attempted a recovery by correcting your post with the word martins – which are indeed birds.
    However, I suspect your knowledge on this branch of zoology is limited and have formed a question to test you knowledge.

    Is the creature in the below image :-
    a) a bird or
    b) a mammal

  • nufcursed

    May 28, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #8

    guys if this could be our team next season, that would be pretty decent:

    (anita/new CB/new CB/haidara)
    (new DM or tiote/colback)
    (new RM/new AM/new LM)
    (toney/new ST)

    if we keep those we have and add a few decent young players, we would have a pretty good team in my opinion..

  • James Keith

    May 28, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #9

    Players who definitely need to go: Riviere, Gouffran, Saivet, Thauvin, Cabella. All of these players are French, except for Saivet, but he was still bought from a French club. I think this should be a lesson to learn for Newcastle, the French league is crap, these players can’t cut it in the physical English leagues.
    Maybe even add Haidara to this list.
    Cisse needs to go too, he’s past his best.
    Coloccini should be given the option to leave, as well as a testimonial. He’s started to get injured a lot more and Lascelles and Mbemba should be given the opportunity to step up.
    Lastly, I’d say Sissoko needs to go, get some good money for him while we can. He has one good game out of 5/6 and it’s obvious that he doesn’t wear the shirt with pride anymore.
    Wijnaldum should be given another chance, but I’ve been very disappointed with his performance in the second half of the season, no fight when we needed him most.
    The rest of the team are the core pieces who should be kept. Some of them can do a job when/if we get promoted back to the PL, others will do a solid job for us in the Championship, and then we’ll see.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 28, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #10

    I want to see what he can do with our youngsters, some of them my be better than those you mention Ed if given a chance.

    Also re. the previous thread, I’ve said it many times but when we get real success all of Ashley’s history will become just that and many will be saying that a statue should be erected to him.

    Rll it will take is for Rafa to win the Premiership although as pointed out on HIGNFY it’s not called that anymore.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 28, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #11

    The thing about Saivet is that we haven’t a clue if he is any good or not as he hasn’t really had a chance to show us. So to all those saying sell him I say lets wait and see.

  • sing in the corner

    May 28, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #12

    Essex @10
    Yes me too. The likes of young Callum Roberts and Herdman must think they’ve won the lottery, suddenly having a top coach / manager who will analyse them and give them their chance if they work hard.

  • sing in the corner

    May 28, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #13

    ..and it’s a real mystery (what we were doing signing Saivet and, for that matter Doumbia??)

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 28, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #14


    I don’t think they lack the work ethic, just need the right guidance and as you say Rafa’s the man to do just that (we hope and believe)

  • bettyswallocks

    May 28, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #15

    If Jib was a bird he would undoubtedly be a woodpecker without a beak. In other words a headbanger!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 28, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #16

    The Hull, SW game should be a good-un, I’m still tipping SW.

    If they don.t win though I wouldn’t mind us having a punt for Forestieri although he’s another of the frustrating hot and cold players.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 28, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #17

    Nowt wrong with headbangers, I was one when I had hair.

  • chicousa

    May 28, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #18

    Others to cut loose besides those mentioned below: Sammy Ameobie, Curtis Good (will he ever be healthy?), Lubo Satka, Gael Bigirimana.

  • banjax

    May 28, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #19

    Rafa will have learnt a lot in the few short weeks he has taken the players for training but whilst some of the championship players mentioned will do a good job, it will be experienced Premiership players who will make the difference between staying in the Championship or bouncing back to the Premiership in one season. Players like Carrick, Mason (Spurs) can more than do a job so it’s these kind of players who we need, as well as keeping Tiote, Colback, Mbemba, Dummett, Perez and Mitrovic. It’s doubtful wether Wynaldum and Sissoko will stay but it’s debatable whether they would try their best if they did.

  • county down magpie

    May 28, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #20

    Get rid of the likes of Taylor, Colocinni, Thauvin, Sissoko and the bottlers, then ull the French mistakes ie gouffran, Riviere etc then build around Lascelles, Mbemba, Mitro Arma etc and we’re on the right track.

  • sing in the corner

    May 28, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #21

    I was thinking Hull will win this one, but it would be nice to see Sheff Wed back up. Formerly a biggish club fallen on hard times,passionate northern fans. Hull, well for me they are tarnished with that spray tanned makem manager they had!

  • Tsunki

    May 28, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #22

    Me T @ 7 – fairer for Jib to do the entire test before judging, start with the basics…

    U7 Recognition Test Sample?

  • Tsunki

    May 28, 2016 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #23
  • Tsunki

    May 28, 2016 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #24

    Looks like Ed doesn’t like some hot links.

  • Tsunki

    May 28, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #25

    Oh well looks like jib will never pass.

  • stephen1971

    May 28, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #26

    gagging to see arma with a good coach, he needs a good chance

  • martoon

    May 28, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #27

    Tsunki – I love the way you have an epic fail posting a link and then blame Ed – looks like you failed that test! 🙂

  • Mister Tuff

    May 28, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #28

    Tsunki – Jib will be on later re my question. I anticipate his post will be along the lines of :-

    “Wey I think thats a hard question but I think a kna the answer. Positive I saw a documentary years ago about these creatures – Aye ave got it noo -it was a documentary called Dumbo – A divvent need nee Google for questions as easy as that”

  • bettyswallocks

    May 28, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #29

    Tsunki……… Jib is obsessed with his bird puns at the moment but Toucan play that game. If he would just sparrow moment to consider others on the blog. He’s owlways doing this , I mean ducking ell he doesn’t seem to care a flock about anyone else.

  • Mister Tuff

    May 28, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #30

    Jib Jibberish.
    Another bird question to test your knowledge.
    It is a bird with black and white feathers-
    a) Is this bird the mascot of NUFC.
    b) Study the image of the bird -do you see anything which is unnatural in the image.

  • clinath@ed

    May 28, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #31

    I often wonder if Mr Tuff, Tsunki, Ancient C, Jib, Ciaren, Jail etc…are all the same person with multiple personality problems.

  • clinath@ed

    May 28, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #32

    Or maybe it’s a social experiment thing, to see how long the rest of can put up with it..?

  • bettyswallocks

    May 28, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #33

    Jib…… Talk is cheep. You need to seek tweetment.

  • lesh

    May 28, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #34


    Some players could be improved under Rafa’s coaching but there’s one key proviso – they must be willing to stay, listen and learn from him.

    One or two of them may feel they’re above than playing in the Championship and if that’s the case, they should be moved on.

    We need personalities of the Nolan, Barton type, players who have the guts and enthusiasm to get us out of the lower league that they were instrumental in relegating us into.

    No commitment, no stay.

  • lesh

    May 28, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #35


    Jib must feel a right Tit after his birdy gaff!

  • bettyswallocks

    May 28, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #36

    Lesh…… Yes, he’s behaving rather strangely as he’s been cooped up all week. But it’s time he started pecking on someone his own size.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 28, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #37


    It’s going to be interesting to see how Barton gets on in the SPL with Rangers, that’s even more physical than the Championship.

    I’m not so sure that it’s personality figures that are needed, just as you say plenty of willingness to graft and I reckon Rafa will make sure of that. If you don’t perform then you don’t play!

  • bettyswallocks

    May 28, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #38

    Jib’s neighbour has confirmed that he is a slightly eccentric maths teacher. Apparently since his pet parrot escaped last year , he can be seen most mornings with his head out the window shouting, “Polygon Polygon.”

  • Back Door Man

    May 28, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #39

    Jack Rootvegetable said about our beloved Ancient C, ” You don’t always get it right but who does.” … BDM always does!!!!

  • Back Door Man

    May 28, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #40

    Thank goodness that Ancient C and Ron Knee read that old posting of mine celebrating Mr Tuff’s battles with Jib and checked-out the reference to Dr Strangelove I used some weeks ago, and I quote:

    “You’ll recall that daft suggestion the other day that the glorious Mr Tuff was only a “wingman”;  the poster was soon disabused of the slander when Tuff confessed that he always flew solo – he was being modest as usual.  He is, in fact,  the blog’s Chief Air Marshal whose call sign is ‘Badger-Biggles’ and is usually found at the controls of his B52 bomber, the Bee Zapper Boy. 

    His last successful mission was against his old adversary Baron von Jib who was spotted flying his Fu**a tri-plane over the strategically important St James Park.  Badger was scrambled, ‘Angels, one five.  Angels, one five’, ready to meet von Jib in combat in the skies above the Toon.  Badger had some secondary targets to deal with enroute;  he strafed a hill farm in Wales known as Welsheez Hareem, then onto the Lancashire town of Burnley to carpet bomb a cave where a young, obscure agitator was holed up.

    Badger soon located von Jib who was conducting his favourite manoeuvre, flying round and round in circles.  The enemy was engaged, hit in the tail with a large number of incendary rounds and began to lose height, smoke trailing from his behind.  Von Jib managed to exist his blazing Fu**a and parachute to safety  taking refuge in a cow shed.  Badger decided to finish him off using a 50 megaton nukkie which he decided to steer himself.  In later de-briefings his crew members stated they last saw Badger astride the bomb, waving his stetson hat and shouting, “Yee haa”.  They said it was just like the actor Slim Pickens in the final scene from the film Dr Strangelove.

    But we all know that Badger is invincible, immortal, devine, indestructable … he walked away from the fireball.  He was reported to be back with his squadron ready for the next sortie against the Forces of Darkness.

    *our younger viewers and those without any cultural hinterland might wish to Jigoogle some of the references above.”


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