Rafa Benitez’ Praise For New Goalkeeper

Rafa Benitez has praised new goalkeeper Matz Sels this morning and he thinks that Matz can become a star in English football if he can adapt quickly.

Matz was voted Best Goalkeeper of Belgium for 2015 and will give Tim Krul, Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow competition this coming season for the first team goalkeeper jersey.

matz sels ireland

24 year-old Matz Sels in training last week in Ireland

Tim and Rob are still out injured with their ACL knee injuries and it looks like Tim could be sold later this summer once he proves his fitness, with Everton’s new Dutch manager Ronald Koeman said to be very  interested in taking Krul to Merseyside.

Sels signed on at the end of June for us for a reported £5M and Rafa Benitez had this to say this morning about him in the local press:

“Matz was the best keeper in Belgium in the last season.” “Obviously, we have to wait and see how he adapts to the Championship and the English style.”

“He has the physicality. He wants to adapt and to cope with the strikers. You have to be strong. It’s little things you have to adapt. I think he will be fine.”

“It’s always important to score goals.” “It wasn’t the best game on Saturday, but when you start the preseason you want to see little things – details, qualities and movement.”

“There were some mistakes too, so we have to keep working. All of them were doing well. We had chances.”

It’s between Sels and Darlow as to who starts in goal at Fulham on August 5th.

At the moment it looks like the Belgium U21 International has the edge, although Karl showed last season he too is a very good young goalkeeper.

We have some very good goalkeepers at Newcastle at the moment with 19 year-old Freddie Woodman starring for the England U19 side in the European U19 Championships taking place in Germany at the moment.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #1

    I still can’t forgive McLaren for what he did to this club. The clamour for Sissoko, Wijni, Janmatt etc show he had the tools, but still he only ever played for a point away from home.

    watch Wijni away from home with a Klopp, Koeman or Pochetinno’s mentality. Poor rafa will never get the chance to see that now.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #2


    Sissoko has been doing it for YEARS, man!
    He absolutely does not want to be at the toon. He is going to be completely un-open to any sort of persuasion to stay.
    Gini may well prefer to move, it is very probable he feels that way in fact. However, we are yet to hear of him and/or his agent going to papers and having hissy fits over getting him shipped out.

    It is not a question of ability or performance. I am simply saying Gini might be persuaded to stay, wheras Sissoko has made it clear he has no intention of playing for a champs club.

  • jazzyp

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #3

    Hard one to call on the keeper front.
    Krull on his day can be top class. Elliot before his injury was playing out of his skin, And Darlow was looking like he was coming into his own.
    Then we have young Woodmen who looks a future star.

    So where does this leave Sels???


    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #4

    Sorrry mate but ur kidding urself if u think Gini has any care for NUFC or any intention of being here next season. As for not being in the papers where do u think these rumours have come from?

    When we reportedly rejected a Spurs bid he put on a cry face on Twitter then quickly deleted it, he’s just trying to hedge his bets incase Rafa makes him stay. Both would play if we force them to stay but neither want to be here

  • Oleg G

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #5

    If any clubs are willing to buy Gini\Sissoko, then we should send a message to those teams.
    Send your best offer and we will consider. You got 7 days max.
    After that, players aren’t for sale for any price.

    This way, we pressure them to decide and we won’t have to be in a limbo until the end of August.

    Imagine that a week before the transfer window closes, we will say one of them or both. Then what? Who will come to replace them?

  • jimmysmith

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #6

    Krul, if e’d been fit, would have been sold by now, because of his refusal to sign an extension and the depth of keeping talent we have for a Championship campaign. Should he be playing before the window shuts, or the next, I expect him to go, and certainly either he or Elliot.

  • jazzyp

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #7

    Looks like the scum are getting Moyes as there next manager.
    Feel like Fat Sam is just another line of the Hodgson bore tactics

  • Ian Toon

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #8

    jazzy- Lascalles. Interesting local view on Lascalles : Des Walker. He ( Walker) was a bit before my time but I know the role he played at Nottm Forest and England- “you’ll never pass Des Walker”. In Clough’s autobiography he said that when scouting a player he and Taylor always used to make a point of asking the home supporters what they thought of him long before bidding.

    I watch less home games as I am London based but Lascalles looked very raw on occasions in the away games I saw. He’s certainly a great prospect and is familiar with the Championship. I see we play Forest home and away in December so maybe there’s a good chance of me seeing both games.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #9

    Surely Rafa had a reason to sign Sels. And I wonder if that was because he had some doubts about our other keepers. All capable of making great saves, but perhaps none of them the sort of player who dominates the box and is reliable in every way. Personally I have never been a huge fan of Krul. Too many chinks in his armour.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #10


    You’re putting words in my mouth, mate. I am SIMPLY saying that Gini MIGHT be persuaded to stay, and that Sissoko WILL NOT (This is not even debatable, as he has openly said as much a few times). There is nothing in that that suggest i think Gini has feelings of care. I DO think he is proffesional enough to play properly if he does stay. I KNOW sissoko will not.

  • lesh

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #11


    Don’t be too sure that Allardyce’ll get the England job. He’s reportedly insisting he brings his own men as support whereas the FA seemingly want to identify and develop his successor to work with him.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #12

    i was a huge fan of Krul’s, but something isn’t right. his distribution has never improved and he started letting in some soft goals. Maybe his hunger has gone, but he just doesn’t seem to be the dominant keeper I thought he would become.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #13

    Ian Toon@8. I saw a lot of Des Walker. Very different type of player to Lascelles in my opinion. That’s not a criticism, I just don’t think there’s a lot of similarity in the way they play.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #14


    I think RAFA would like signings in for next Saturday’s game at KSC Lokeren
    then for the home friendly against Vitesse
    so he can get in the two games against opposition similar to the standard we will will come up against this season then into the Fulham game with the team he wants.

    Think Windjammer will be way this week

    Sissoko – still be on holidays so that could take a little bit longer.

    Would like to see both stay but if they are not happy along with Janmaat then sell and bring in players of a high quality that want to play for the TOON

  • lochinvar

    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #15

    Jazzy P – Allardyce must be desperately hoping he can land the England job as a way out of Mackem Land because he knows how desperate their position is going forward and like Advocaat before him needs a face saving excuse to escape. Taking the England job rather than resigning to try to join another club is a good move on his part..
    Moyes might relish an opportunity to be back in football management but could be taking on one of the worst run clubs despite their survival last season and could damage his reputation even further.


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