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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 Defender Thanks Rafa – He’s Absolutely Fantastic

12:15 pm, Thursday, June 16th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 12 Comments

We suppose you could say Chancel Mbemba really likes Rafa Benitez and he has been interviewed on the Newcastle web-site today and he says in the 10 games Rafa was at Newcastle, the manager made him into a better player.

Rafa had Chancel and Jamaal Lascelles playing at the heart of Newcastle’s defense in those final games of the season and they seemed to get better as they played more together.

They could be the central defense partnership next season, although we expect Rafa to bring in some experienced defenders in the summer.

Chancel Mbemba Newcastle United Signing

Chancel Mbemba – a better player under Benitez

This is what Chancel Mbemba has said on the Newcastle web-site today:

“On a personal note, it’s really good to have worked with him. I’ve worked with a lot of coaches over the last few years, and Rafa is one of the best.”

“He’s absolutely fantastic. He’s a Champions League winner, he’s managed Real Madrid, he’s managed Liverpool and personally, I think he’s really helped me improve as a player.”

“It’s really important. The coach, when you look at him, is like a teacher – he watches everyone, all of the players and he gives you the confidence to go out there and do what you do best, so I would like to thank him a lot for that.”

“I played a lot of games last season. It was my first season here and I played 30-something games and that was really fantastic for me.”

The younger players at Newcastle will have the huge benefit of having a world-class coach bring them along over the next few years – and its got to be exciting for them.

Rafa made a big difference with a number of players once he arrived on Tyneside in March and they included Chancel, Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett, Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback, Andros Townsend and Cheick Tiote – amongst others.

He played Jamaal in central defense and Cheick Tiote in central midfield when neither had seen much playing time under the woeful Steve McClaren.

It’s going to be interesting to see how he can make Adam Armstrong into a top goalscorer for his home town club – hopefully next season.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Chancel Mbemba · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bobbybee // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    You can’t coach finishing Ed, it’s natural. You can improve the all round game of a striker, but sticking the ball in the net – you either can or can’t and Arma can. 😉

  • 2 SPRINGY // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    ano you have great confidence in arma..hopefully your proved right,but a couple of questions….
    1)could he start at his age/size and be effective regular…scoring,assisting,creating?
    2)where do you think would be his best position,right up front,lone striker or as part of partnership with another striker,mitro for instance,or behind alone striker,the number ten position?
    i do like the lad,looks a talent,i just wonder whether his age and size would get him overlooked a little when they are back in training.

  • 3 Bobbybee // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Mbemba and Lascelles both improved under Rafa and would be crazy to think of moving when he can teach them so much for their future. Both need to grasp the chance of learning under such a legend whilst the opportunity is there. That pretty much covers all the squad – except those who think they’re already top notch; eh Moussa? 😉

  • 4 SPRINGY // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    i hope lascelles and mbemba are our cb’s next season,they are quick,strong and young enough to learn under rafa not stuck in there ways like older defenders maybe…yes they’ll drop clangers now and again but they could be the basis of a solid defence for years to come if they progress,learn and have decent players around them.

  • 5 Bobbybee // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Springy, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough and big enough. He’s a powerful little bugger! He can play both, but out and out striker is his best position purely because of his finishing. He could work with Mitro in the little n large combo or drop back to No10, but anywhere near the goal will do, because most of his efforts end up on target. I make no bones mate, this kid will take the Championship by storm and then push on for Newcastle and England next season.

  • 6 JAMSHA // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    haha that sissoko video lol

  • 7 SPRINGY // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    if given the chance bobby,if not, he may want to leave,frustrated….hope not tho.

  • 8 Average_Contents // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Are you trying to convince everyone that we don’t need a new striker, proven at championship level as we’ve got a hotshot one already.

    Why spend money eh bob.

    He could bomb. He could come good. Who knows.

    Pinning goals not yet scored and international caps not yet received onto our melon heed future prospect is slightly fanciful bob and to be honest, silly.

    The way you go on about him you’d think you were his dad or worse, his agent.

  • 9 Bobbybee // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    AC, you mistake me for somebody who cares what you think. Try watching the kid before making a mug of yourself.

  • 10 SPRINGY // Jun 16, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    with the news(paper talk) that gini and sissoko are about to leave and then maybe janmaat,tiote been mentioned as possible departures…as things stand is this the side to start next season?
    not a bad side in fairness.

  • 11 Bobbybee // Jun 16, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Springy, decent team and that’s without any replacements we’ll bring in for those who leave. No doubt Rafa has got players lined up already and probably not those we’ve been linked with. I imagine he’ll do business his way and we’ll see the results when he’s done. 😉 He’s been pretty adamant about not letting anybody know how much we’ve got to spend and I imagine he’ll just as quiet about who he has his eye on, for fear of being gazumped.

  • 12 AncientC // Jun 16, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    England unchanged against Wales.

    Walker up against Bale looks a little suspect to me, what with the pace of Clyne sitting on the bench.

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