Center-Back Over The Moon About Rafa Staying


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+Newcastle+United+v+Manchester+xmq6FlXUh8El

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.



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87 comments so far

  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #1

    REPOST

    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.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 3, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #2

    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.

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  • lordy_geordie

    Jul 3, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #3

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

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  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #4

    Jail,

    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.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #5

    Slank,
    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.

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  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Lordy

    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.

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  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #7

    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.

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  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #8

    Jail,

    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.

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  • lordy_geordie

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #9

    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.

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  • Jib

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    Slank
    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 .

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #11

    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.

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #12

    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.

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  • giimps

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #13

    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.

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  • hibbitt

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #14

    Nufc-83

    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

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #15

    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.

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  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #16

    Jib,

    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.

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #17

    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.

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  • hibbitt

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #18

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

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  • Jib

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #19

    http://www.fussballeuropa.com/news/real-madrid-macht-es-arbeloa-wie-einst-kaka-2016-07#

    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 !

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  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #20

    Funloving

    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 ?

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  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #21

    Hibbitt

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

    True, we don’t.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #22

    Jib,
    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.

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #23

    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.

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  • Jib

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #24

    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.”

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #25

    NUFC 83 why do you think Tiote declined?

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  • Slank

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #26

    Funloving & Jib

    Interesting.

    But in which position would we play ?

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #27

    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.

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  • jimmysmith

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #28

    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.

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  • Jib

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #29

    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.

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #30

    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.

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #31

    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

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #32

    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

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #33

    What position would he play slank? Or we play?

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

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #34

    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.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #35

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

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #36

    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

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #37

    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.

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #38

    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

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  • funlovingexpress

    Jul 3, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #39

    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

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 3, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #40

    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.

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