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Center-Back Over The Moon About Rafa Staying

9:38 am, Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 87 Comments

Although he may still be a little young and inexperienced to become the Newcastle captain for next season, Jamaal Lascelles is already a firm fan favorite on Tyneside.

One reason for that is the way he confronted the more senior players during half time of our latest humiliation at Southampton on Saturday, April 9th.

He told them they needed to show more heart and spirit if they wanted to play for a club like Newcastle.

Good for him!


Jamaal Lascelles in action last season

In fact it was so bad that on the Newcastle web-site that game has gone missing – completely – it’s not in our list of results for last season – that’s how bad it was.

Maybe we should also erase the 6-1 hammering at Manchester City and the 5-1 disgrace at Chelsea or  just obliterate the whole of last season – well apart from when Rafa came in.


Jamaal has been interviewed on nufcTV today and he confesses he was over the moon when Benitez agreed to stay with Newcastle for the next three years on May 25th:

“I was over the moon about Benitez, honestly.” “It was such a breath of fresh air that he was staying, I think that was the same for everyone as well, especially the fans and also the staff.”

“What he did towards the end of the season was unbelievable, it’s just a shame we couldn’t do it properly.”

“But I’m really pleased that he’s here and this time we’ve got a full season with him so who knows what we can do?

It’s because of Benitez and Benitez alone that Newcastle fans are so upbeat after we were relegated last season.

We were just a disgrace and deserved to be relegated, but Rafa is now the Newcastle manager.

Isn’t life great!


Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Jamaal Lascelles · Management · Newcastle News

87 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 9:41 AM


    Jib & Munster

    Would a formation of 3-5-2 work with Mbemba flanked by Dummitt and Lascelles ? I think Dummitt is a better central defender than a left back.

    Our recent lack of goals has been our Achillies heal using Mitro as the single striker. I’m sure we would be more effective with two strikers, possibly Mitro and Gayle but only if our midfield can deliver.

    If we packed the midfield it would give the flexibility to support our strikers.

    However, I’m not a student of Rafa so don’t know whether he has ever tried that formation before.

  • 2 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    I too like the idea of a Lascelles/Mbemba partnership but we definitely need another CB. So do we go for one for the future or an older experienced one, if he’s the quality we should be aiming for he won’t want to be third choice.

  • 3 lordy_geordie // Jul 3, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    I would sign Arbeola and Jose Enrique for Fb. Enrique now out of contract. Then I would like us to sign dunk from Brighton.

  • 4 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:01 AM


    It’s going to be a difficult decision for Rafa.

    To me, Lascelles is the key man. He has proved himself in the Premiership and has demonstrated strong leadership qualities and has the experience of the Championship.

    It is arguable that a less skilled defender from the Championship is better equipped for that league than a more skilled defender from a foreign league.

    Personally, I would go for a top central defender from the Championship and let him fight it out with Lascelles and Mbemba.

  • 5 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    A certain Mike Williamson might have been an excellent option as third choice. Considering Churnley and Carr spent years putting together a team for the Championship it was a bit short sighted letting him go.
    lordy geordie
    Enrique wouldn’t be a bad shout at all on a two year deal, first choice for the Championship before playing as back up to the quality LB we’ll bring in on our return.

  • 6 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:07 AM


    Why get two has beens ?

    Why get players only because they are out of contract ?

    Dunk is probably a good shout. A lot of Championship experience and like Lascelles able to step up to the Premiership. However, can’t see Brighton letting him go as they are likely to be one of our main rivals.

  • 7 The overrated Frenchman // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    I think we need to remember that neither Lascelles or Mbemba are the finished article just yet. Lascelles didn’t play that many games and Mbemba was error prone. They showed good signs for sure, but I’d be surprised if Rafa didn’t bring in at least one more experienced CB, rather than another younger type.

  • 8 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:14 AM


    It incouraging that Gayle and Ritchie have come to us from the Premiership which begs the question are there central defenders who would also do the same.

    I’m thinking that perhaps not a central defender who is a regular first choice in a Premiership team but someone who is a good backup to them who would wish to be a first choice with us in the Championship.

  • 9 lordy_geordie // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Think has been is a bit harsh. I think one either side of our young CB would be a shrewd move. For Dunk, yeah Brighton may not want to sell him but if his head gets turned thats fair game.

  • 10 Jib // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    Sorry had to make the missus brekky.

    Italy and Germany both played 3 at the back yesterday and a lot of clubs will follow suit this Winter.

    However Rafa was one of the pioneers of 4-2-3-1 and the players he has bought indicate he’s going to stick with what he’s most comfortable using .

  • 11 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Funloving please don’t try and make out I know knowt about football because I don’t rate Simpson. He certainly did not do much organising while at Newcastle so don’t make out he was this great leader. His positioning was also terrible so not sure how you feel this is one of his good points.

    Anyway this is a Newcastle blog and the Simpson debate has been done to death so I will leave it at that.

  • 12 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Simpson was there when we finished fifth he also has title winning medals with 2 different teams.

    Our defence struggled badly when he left. Collos bad form started when Simpson left and people only started noticing how bad the likes of Taylor was when Simpson left.

    That speaks for itself but I will leave it alone.

  • 13 giimps // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    The las celes and mbemba partnership managed 3 clean sheets with a relatively inexperienced keeper and makeshift right back next to them, this IMHO is due to the organisation and instruction from Rafa.
    They will make mistakes but the quality in the championship means it’s unlikely those mistakes will be punished as often and will hopefully be the Learning curve they need, whether we need cover is another thing but I would choose those two as primary CB partnership and have another experienced CB as cover only.

  • 14 hibbitt // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:36 AM


    it’s alright to tell others there no nowts
    but not alright to be told your a no nowt
    not sure that works on a blog

  • 15 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    Lees is better than Dunk IMO but I would be happy with Dunk.

    It has to be for competition though. Mbemba and Lascelles have the potential to be a great pairing but they need many games together so that each knows what the other ones doing without looking. Best place to start that is the championship and not the premiership so unless someone really special comes along who is also a young un then they should be first choice.

    With Rafa though, you know the one thing you will have is a cracking defence. He will bring in the odd OAP to train with them and give them experience as well as cover for them for rotation.

    Thats why Im not surprised we are after the real madrid RB.

  • 16 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:36 AM


    I can understand a manager sticking with what he knows best.

    However, and this is not a criticism of Rafa but, should an experienced manager not be flexible enough to vary the formation to suit the players at his disposal and / or who his team faces ?

    I think we have all seen managers trying to fit round pegs into square holes because they won’t budge from the formation they are most comfortable with.

    I guess we will see in the coming months how things pan out.

  • 17 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    I can assure you I noticed Taylor’s failings much earlier than Simpsons departure. when you say don’t notice how good Tiote is I actually rated the lad very highly a few seasons ago but I think everyone has seem his decline. If you are referring to not respecting players in that position then you are wrong Kante is one of my favourite players who I think is outstanding.

  • 18 hibbitt // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Slank / Jib
    how do we know he wont none of us know what Rafa’s thinking / plans ????

  • 19 Jib // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    This German article says AC Milan have a history of taking ageing Real Madrid stars – Kaka 2013 – Diego Lopez 2014 and thir new coach Vincenzo Montella is a big Alvaro Arbeloa fan .

    However Rafa has been in touch.

    I feel RM have dropped a clanger not extending AA’s contract – he’s only 33 ffs !

  • 20 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:48 AM


    Are we actually after the real madrid RB or is it a case of Rafa once was their manager and therefore he will buy his former club’s left offs ?

    Also, can an experienced right back be more knowledgeable about being a central defender than our two central defenders even though they are relatively young but not inexperienced ?

  • 21 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 10:53 AM


    ‘…how do we know he wont none of us know what Rafa’s thinking / plans..’

    True, we don’t.

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    When have I ever claimed to be an expert on football, having followed the sport for 38 years it would be impossible not to have gained some knowledge of the game but I’ve never claimed to be an expert. Put your spoon away.

  • 23 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Slank Yeah I think we are really after him. The reason is that Rafas defences dont just play one way and having someone who has worked under his system before and is also a top player is a very good thing because any doubts any players might have (and they do with tactical formations sometimes) will be stopped due to the fact that a guy has worked under Rafa at 2 different clubs and can show and tell them how it works.

    It doesnt matter that he isnt a centre back. It gives him a unique perspective because he has played both left back and right back. Experience on when to push up a line or drop back the line, when to play offside etc can come from any position in the back 4. Just like Simpson used top do for us though some cant see it.

    I doubt he will come though.

  • 24 Jib // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    From a Talksport article a season ago when Arbeloa had Wenger sniffing about.

    “Arbeloa would be coming in to replace Thomas Vermaelen at the Emirates, and the Madrid man ticks an important box in that capacity: he can play across the back four. As well as his usual role at right back, Arbeloa has regularly filled in at left back during his career, while he can also play in the middle of the back four. That’s an attractive quality for any club, and Arsenal are no exception.”

  • 25 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    NUFC 83 why do you think Tiote declined?

  • 26 Slank // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Funloving & Jib


    But in which position would we play ?

  • 27 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    I would say it was around the time cabaye left and he started trying to play above his capabilities. When he focused on playing to his strengths he was awesome.

  • 28 jimmysmith // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Simpson had this unnerving habit of either getting too close to his man, or not close enough and getting turned, or beat without making a challenge. Not the best shortcoming in a fullback that, not knowing how to close a player down. It used to have me shouting at the telly. He really wasn’t that good. I assume someone has sorted him out.

  • 29 Jib // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    I don’t agree that players get “Pardewed”

    His sin is bigger than that – he actually teaches his players nothing – like Pulis , Allardyce etc. he has this philosophy of buying players off the shelf.

    In the modern game managers/coaches should be so much better that that – that is why Rafa is such a dramatic departure from NUFC’s last 10 years of managerial experience.

  • 30 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Cisse and gouffran are both clear examples of being pardewed. Strikers played out of position and ripped of any confidence never to be seen again.

  • 31 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Yeah NUFC 83 I agree. When Cabeye moved they moved him slightly higher up the pitch and expected him to do more than what he was great at. Square peg in round hole. Mcclaren and Charver carver thought he would be our outlet for creativity, which was just insane so he started to look worse and worse because it was not something that he has in his locker. So that gave him lack of confidence when fans got on his back because some didnt understand what had happened and he ended up just being completely demoralised.

    Benitez of course just told him to be a DM, it gave him confidence and he got his confidence back.

    Same kind of thing happened with Gini but in a different position of course

  • 32 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    I also agree about Cisse and Gouffrann. Cisse being put on the wing was just insane and would affect any poacher, same happened to Gayle at Palace

  • 33 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    What position would he play slank? Or we play?

    If you mean Arbeloa then it is RB. Its his preferred position.

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Imo Tiotes decline happened after the slimy and true footballing know nowt Dirk Llambias promised him he wouldn’t stand in his way if a CL club came in for him, after Chelsea offered a ridiculously over priced 18M for him and we turned it down trying to be smart and treating Chelsea like mugs it left Tiote feeling let down and cheated, he’s looked disinterested ever since, that is until Rafa turned up.

  • 35 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Surely a player like Arbeola could still play at a lesser Italian or Spanish CL club

  • 36 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Jail fo Ashley, that wouldnt have helped granted, but then playing him out of position after was just ridiculous.

    I think we went to much to prove we werent a selling club. That is the good thing about having a manager because he will know if the money is good and a better player can be bought for the money.

    I bet Rafa was frothing at the mouth when Charnley told him Townsend had a get out clause

  • 37 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    I wouldn’t say 18m was overpriced when Tiote was playing well (with cabaye next to him) probably fair price IMO. I also am not sure the managers asked him to get forward and be creative I think he just started doing that because we lacked any ability in the side and never replaced the creativity when cabaye left.

  • 38 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Yeah Jail he could thats why I think we have no chance. He will know he has one maybe 2 years left and will want a chance at winning something other than the championship title ha ha
    But you never know. He does seem to really like RAFA and maybe Rafa will offer him a coaching deal on retirement or player coach so you never know

  • 39 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    NUFC 83, his starting position was higher up the pitch that means a change in role.

    18 million was a fair price but like I say I think that Newcastle didnt want to appear to be a selling club

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    Imo 18M was a he’ll of a price and the fact that no one else offered it or Chelsea weren’t prepared to go another 2M shows it was overpriced.
    Fun loving express,
    Have to disagree, it wasn’t a show of intent at all just pure greed from a bunch of clowns who didn’t have a clue how to run a football club, we were very much a selling club and sold anyone decent, in fact it has been proven beyond doubt what the policy was.

  • 41 jimmysmith // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Pardewed, isn’t that really just a reference to sacrificing players in unfamiliar roles, because the club wouldn’t buy for balance and depth, being preoccupied with buying low to sell high no matter if we had plenty of cover in that area and nowhere near enough in another.

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    I hope Tiote stays for another couple of years, trying to flog him in January was madness.

  • 43 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    Jimmy that’s pretty much exactly what I said pardewed was

  • 44 Jail for Ashley // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    I think being pardewed means having any natural talent you once possessed being slowly drained out of you by a coaching method designed to inflict pain and suffering on the paying customer.

  • 45 jimmysmith // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    haha, yeah maybe.

  • 46 jimmysmith // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Surely Ashley’d would be more accurate, or Graham Carr’d, or even Llambias’d.

  • 47 hibbitt // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Jail for Ashley

    that’s by far the best definition of Pardewed i’ve ever seen just about sums it up perfectly
    the pain was intense
    i was one of those victims for weeks months years but now i am free !!

  • 48 Rafa Revolution // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Pardew was the manager so Pardewed is correct

  • 49 Bobbybee // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Here we are, with the best manager we’ve had for years and years and yet I turn on to a page of Pardew, Pardew, Pardew. I’ll get me coat. 😉

  • 50 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Naa Jail for Ashley, It wasn’t greed. Only players we have sold either wanted to be away or we made a loss on.

    I think on the whole they have tried to keep their players. The two faults they had with their model were they never employed a decent head coach and they never filled positions that needed filling.

    They bought decent players and then basically employed monkeys to improve them.

    I dont follow the buy em cheap sell high argument as only a stupid club would continually look at buying players to make a loss on.

    All clubs look to make a profit. But you need the right guys scouting and the right guys buying them.

    We have that with RAFA. He will get some wrong ofc they all do but he will also balance the books and make us into a force.

    Also because him and his staff actually do improve players he will turn us into a force. People go on about his wages but he only has to make one less thauvin type mistake and hes paid for himself.

  • 51 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Rumours are that Sissoko is starting tonight – bet he gets subbed.

    King Percy going for Beneteke – interesting.
    Master plan – big man up top. Townsend to supply the crosses.
    Reasonable plan -but the plan will fail. Townsend will want to cut inside for a hollywood shot himself. Thereby cutting off supply to the big man.
    Percy will instruct Townsend to go on the outside – this will end in tears as defenders suss the plan out. Townsend will get the lip on -row with Percy and get dropped.
    Crowd will turn on Percy and he’ll get sacked.

  • 52 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Townsend will get told and told to track back. He wont know if he is coming or going.
    I forecast one good season out of him max before he dips in form and is ostracised.

    Agree with everything else Mr Tuff

  • 53 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    So would you’s have caulker?

  • 54 Novocastrian66 // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Slank; I reckon 3 at the back would be a cracking set up. Especially at home where teams will play with one up front and defend deep.

  • 55 expatmag // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:15 PM


    If memory serves me correctly, thats what Rafa had Townsend doing……travking back

  • 56 funlovingexpress // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Expat you arent wrong of course. All wingers have to track back.

    With most managers They expect their wingers to go forward quite a bit too. Pardew just wanted extra defenders.

    I really think we have come out of this better than Palace anyhow. Ritchie is the more complete winger IMO.

    Townsend was Fresh and hungry when he played for us the last 3 months. Most of the defenders he came up against weren’t. They had had a long gruelling season and near to the end some were already on their holidays

  • 57 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Shelvey was a big disappointment for me. After his initial good debut – he went missing and petered out of games and just waved his arms around.
    If Benitez can get his playing to his undoubted talents it may solve midfield.
    Balls over the top for Gayle/Ritchie is an obvious and workable ploy.

  • 58 expatmag // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:35 PM


    Balls over the top will not be as effective at home as I would expect most teams to defend deeply against us and probably park the bus.

  • 59 expatmag // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:37 PM


    Much of what you say is true and I would imagine he will find it a lot more difficult from August onwards at Palace

  • 60 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    Jib Jibberish – after your goose debacle which left you floundering I had an after thought that you may be getting mixed up between England and America so I have designed a simple quiz to check this out.

    Check out the image.
    Is the person depicted American or Northumbrian.

  • 61 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Jib – next question.
    Are you likely to see this animal swimming in the Tyne.

  • 62 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Jib next question.

    Are you likely to see this animal grazing on the plains of Northumberland.

  • 63 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    expat – -suck them in to the half way line then ball to chase over the top – ball to chase as opposed to the big boot to challenge for in the air.

  • 64 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    I imagine Jib is frantically checking Google in order to get the answers to my quiz
    I could just about hear the words ” Duh this quiz is too hard duh ugg”.

  • 65 expatmag // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:58 PM


    Aye….patience will be the name of the game

  • 66 Back Door Man // Jul 3, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    Jib – re: from the thread last night …

    Game birds are defined in UK LAW* and do NOT include geese or ducks which are waterfowl (legally described as non-game birds).  Your reference to the Protection of Birds Act 1954  outlines the circumstances when various quarry species, in this case waterfowl (often called wildfowl), can and can’t be taken (shot).  Of course, a raft of additional Firearms Acts, Environmental legislation and EU regulation is also concerned with these matters, however, in all circumstances waterfowl are defined as non-game birds.

    *Game Act 1831, Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and various amendments.

    This post is meant as a friendly correction and shouldn’t be viewed as ‘having a pop’.

  • 67 Back Door Man // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    The thing about Townsend is that he ain’t that good … he’s a ‘one trick pony’;  run fast, cut inside so is easy to play against. With us he briefly glowed as bright as a toc h lamp but that was hardly suprising as he was surrounded by a collection of guttering glims.  At the time we needed somebody to lift our spirits and he was the best of a bad job.

    He’ll sink without trace at Palace.

  • 68 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    Expat as fun loving points out there is a big difference to normal defensive duties of a winger and the second full back approach pardew used. Hba was an amazing player but pardew expected him to sit on our rbs toes which completely nullified his attacking capability.

    Don’t agree on people having a dig at Townsend he is a top class player and it will be interesting to see if pardew adopts the same approach.

  • 69 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    People saying Townsend a one trick pony are so wrong. Yes he cuts inside for a shot more than an average winger yet with a bullet of a shot on him and getting on the scoresheet regularly why wouldn’t you want him doing that??? He also used to use his pace and deliver good quality balls which is something that with sissokho on the right we lacked so either people didn’t watch Townsend for us or they have a short memory.

  • 70 Jib // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    All it took from Tuffty was to say I think you are using USA nomenclature not UK.
    No one was right or wrong
    Instead he always feels the need to do a chest beating strutting impression of a pigeon playing chess.
    He must be hard work to live with !

  • 71 Belfast // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Bird bird, bird is the word!

  • 72 Jib // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:30 PM

  • 73 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Jib – all you have to do is say oops I’m wrong instead of trying to save face telling porkies.
    You still won’t have it – when discussing the geese in Northumberland _you posted a photo of a Northumbrian scene- has anything to do with America or with an American home decor site where a group of women are gossipping about their pads. is beyond me.

    Victory to moi.

  • 74 expatmag // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:42 PM


    I would imagine he thinks exactly the same about you…….pot….kettle….black ….springs to mind.

    At least he doesnt play the victim like you do.

  • 75 Mister Tuff // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Jib if you are stuck on my quiz I’m prepared to give you some clues.

  • 76 expatmag // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:45 PM


    Fair point regarding Townsend and those castigating him have indeed short memories.

    One trick pony he isnt but I wish he had signed for someone else other than that twat at Palace.

  • 77 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    He really gutted about him signing for palace he will pull them out the brown stuff plenty of times next season.

  • 78 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    He = Ye lol

  • 79 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Townsend maybe a one trick pony, but it’s a trick that works more often than not. If your feet are fast enough & you have pace, it’s very difficult to deal with. I’m a defensive player myself played in leagues & tournaments, I know how hard it is to deal with these quick 1 trick ponies

  • 80 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 3, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Espically if he’s two footed. Can go either way

  • 81 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    One player who I think will thrive with Gayle now in the side is Shelvey. His whole game is about picking killer passes out yet last season Mitro didn’t show any movement off the ball at all (not really his game I know). I think that partnership will see gayle hit over 20 goals easy

  • 82 Rafa Revolution // Jul 3, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Shelvey seems lazy, I wonder if Rafa can change that?

  • 83 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    I agree the most frustrating thing about shelvey is he doesn’t bust a gut to get in any space to receive the ball it was so annoying last season I found myself screaming at the telly at times. It could have been because he didn’t have the character and wanted to hide or maybe he is just lazy.

  • 84 Back Door Man // Jul 3, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    I’m sure that there’ll be folks on here who can trawl the football statsnet for Townsend’s various performance data … stuff like, distances run, successful crosses from the byline, cutting inside, shots to goal ratios, and half-a-hundred other markers.  If we can borrow from Ofsted’s grading system I’ll bet it will reveal he’s only ‘satisfactory’, not ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

  • 85 Nufc-83 // Jul 3, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    4 goals and 2 assists (in 12 starts) in that god awful side is enough stats for me to consider he is a good player as well as watching his contribution in them games. He was one of few players not hiding and trying to make things happen which shows he’s got a great character as well.

  • 86 JamesToon // Jul 3, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    Think Rafa is building our side similar to his Liverpool system. I.e Shelvey can be our Alonso, Gayle can be our Torres

  • 87 Rafa Revolution // Jul 3, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    I hope you mean the Liverpool Torres and not the Chelsea Torres lol

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