Winger – Rafa Is Helping Everybody At Newcastle


This is a crucial season for 22-year-old Ayoze Perez after arriving at Newcastle two years ago from Tenerife for a measly €2M and having had a terrific first season at  Newcastle.

But last year he didn’t progress as much as expected in what was a nightmare season for the club and we hope to see good progress this season from the likable Spanish U-21 International – coached by his fellow countryman – Rafa Benitez.

rafa benitez ayoze perez first day

Rafa Benitez and Ayoze Perez on first day back

Perez’ only focus seems to be getting Newcastle back to the Premier League next season and he had this to say today in the local press:

“I already said when the team went down that I would try to come back to the Premier League with Newcastle.” “That’s it. I’m focused. I’m here. Now we need to get fit for a tough season.”

“We have had a rest, now it’s time to start again, work and focus on the season ahead.” “We try to get back as soon as possible.”

“We all know how important Rafa is for Newcastle,” “He always helps everyone at the club. It’s good to have him as our coach.” “He’s important for me. We are going to learn a lot from him.”

“It was really good,”  “It was hard work, as always in pre-season. It was a good week in Ireland.”

“They are all good signings.”  “At the moment the squad is really good – a lot of quality – and now we need to get ready and fit for this tough season.”

Perez signed a new long-term deal in February and should see some action tonight at the Keepmoat Stadium at Doncaster  Rovers in our second friendly game of preseason – the game kicks off 7:45 pm kickoff.

Newcastle seem to be close to finally signing Grant Hanley from Blackburn Rovers and we have already signed five good players in Matz Sels,  Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Jesus Gamez and Isaac Hayden.

The squad is now stronger than it was at the end of last season.

It would be great to get Grant through the door very soon as the sixth signing this summer.

Comments welcome.

Note: Reader Sean Pigott is taking part in an Ultra white collar boxing event in Aberdeen on the 10th of September this year and collecting for Cancer Research UK, because many of his family have suffered from the terrible disease.

Sean has set up a justgiving page here if you can possibly donate to a very good cause.



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95 comments so far

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #1

    TP

    Lucas’ position is officially recorded as “Random Midfield presence of no real note”
    ?

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  • Jib

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #2

    Owen Coyle is a fox
    Only when I see GH in a toon top will I believe it !

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  • cyprus

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #3

    That’s suspiciously similar to Perez’s position, we don’t need to many of those.

    Seriously. Lucas is a decent player for us, a step up to the likes of Shelvey.

    I’d rather we keep Gini, who is technically our best player, but it seems he’s gone. As for Sissoko, our second most gifted player, he wants out, he’ll be gone. My estimate: 29.3 mil 🙂

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  • cyprus

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #4

    to=too

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #5

    ED I am not sure why you label Perez as a winger as he is clearly a striker or his second psoiton would be a no10. He did get some game time at LW last season when we had only Gini to select and by this point he was playing so badly Perez was the only option due to his skills and workrate. Perez actually done ok LW/LM as he often accepted the ball and carried it upfield releaving some of the pressure which is a lot more than any of our so called star players where doing at the time. All in all he is not a winger so lets not get back to the Pardew days asd its clear Rafa is trying to build a much more balanced team.

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  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #6

    YCMIU – that’s Colback’s job, and he executes it perfectly. Lucas can actually tackle, and pass the ball forward, both of which can come in handy, and skills which are not in wor Jack’s repetoire.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #7

    I don’t get why people are accusing Owen Coyle of being greedy while Rafa has reportedl slapped a price tag of 35M on the fraud Sissoko.

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  • jackostoon

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #8

    Morning folks, is this Hanley any good, seriously, I never gave him a second glance before we were mentioned with him.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #9

    I wonder if the penny will drop with our CL midfielder Moussaka Sissoko if Lpool cough up 25M for Wijnaldum while the club (s) of his dreams try to haggle over the 12M they think he’s worth.

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #10

    I cant understand why people are saying Lucas actually gets forward and is a neutral Midfielder. Lucas is one of the most defensive minded midfielders in the PL with possibly only Mikel more defensive. I dont doubt he would be a half decent addittion if we are to sell Tiote as for me Anita is not good enough in that role and is just a squad filler at this point and coldback is much better playing box to box. Hayden has come in and will likely be the starting CDM as i do think Tiote will be sold but if we get Lucas then it will likely see hayden dropped to the bench or possibly pushed to defense.

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  • SuperShearer

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #11

    Can’t be a coincidence that with Gini on the verge of leaving we’re not close to signing the player we’ve been after for the past two weeks. In other words we’ll sign GH and then wave goodbye to Gini. Best way to do it so as Blackburn don’t up their price last minute because they know we’re cash rich from the sale.

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  • cyprus

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #12

    What’s the deal with Saivet? Ok, labled a flop, but he was given what, 11 minutes? Wasn’t he like a big talent and prospect? Did Carr make another mistake? Had he been given the myriads of chances people like Obertan (he who kept the likes of HBA out!!) were given, would he still be a flop?

    Just wondering.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #13

    YCMIU,

    Just like Anita then! Tidy CM on his day?

    I think Colback and Anita has more than enough for this league. Hayden looks promising also as cover. Saivet is a question mark at the minute. He didn’t even get on the bench towards the end of the season.

    Tiote can go. Get him off the wage bill.

    I’d like to see a CB, number 10 and a winger brought in to replace Sissoko and Wijnaldum.

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #14

    Before the start of the season i expect the following wil be sold:
    – Gini
    – Moussa
    – Tiote
    – Jaanmat
    – Krul (depending on his fitness situation)

    I would like to see the back of Gouffran and Riviere but i hope Thauvin stays as i think the championship could be the making of him like it was Enrique.

    All the fringe players like Vuckic etc will be gone also im guessing.

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #15

    Looking at Lucas’s record on liverpoolfc.com – looks like if we get him he will be a replacement for Tiote.

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  • magscar

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #16

    Rafa has seemingly already got some good deals done before a possible windfall from Sissoko and Gini pushews up asking price although Blackburn have realised that NUFC already have money to spend unlike the usual situation with other relegated clubs.

    We don’t have to( but might) sell to restock or reduce wages which is also not usually the case and so can play hardball despite relegation. Having said that Rafa will have weighed up all options and will I am sure do what is best for NUFC which doesn’t necessarily translate into for Ashley or the players involved.

    As I referred to yesterday I am a little concerned at a dilemma which will be presented to us if either or both go. Replacing with players ready for PL won’t be easy and he will need a war chest next summer if we gain promotion.

    I am sure Rafa can play the long game and I am curious as to what his strategy will be

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  • cyprus

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #17

    Lucas is a very good, versatile player, I think. He can play the role he’s known for, but is also decent moving forward. I think, overall, he’s better than what we have. How old is he, seems he’s been around since I was 12 🙂

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  • Jib

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #18

    jackostoon

    I think what players stats may or may not be is irrelevant.

    Rafa monitors players all the time.

    I think Grant Hanley is one of those players that Rafa has thought “he’s got potential – if I could just get some one on one coaching time with him he could be much better”
    This is the secret of good player dealing.
    Rafa rarely buys a player at the top of his game.
    He has dropped clangers before now but has created some worldies
    The World Cup winning Spanish squad had it’s fair share of Bentitez oeuvre’s

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  • Nufc-83

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #19

    Toon-Prodigy, Coldback is not a true Dm and when he his asked to sit back and play that position he is pretty shocking tbh and his game seems to improve big time when he is given some freedom to get up and down.

    Anita is just simply not physical enough to do the job and has had some really great games like west ham the season before last when we stayed up but overall i think the starting cdm needs to have some steel and physical presence.

    Saviet needs more game time before we can judge him its as simple as that when he came on he actually looked ok to me so not sure why he didnt get a look in but he really cannot be written of yet.

    Hayden looks very tidy on the ball and has the stature to impose himself on the opoosition. I hope he starts as CDM for us.

    Tiote- Good player in his day (when cabaye was next to him) but all went to his head and he started moving away from his core strengths which has impacted his performances ever since – get him sold.

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  • cyprus

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #20

    Jib,
    Any big examples of stars bought-created by Rafa? And clangers?

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  • Jib

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #21

    Cyprus he’s 29
    Rafa brought him direct from South America to Liverpool when he was 20.

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  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #22

    I would love to debate this lucas thing further, but i am having trouble commenting. Very dodgy connection today. Its taking multiple attempts to post.

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  • cyprus

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #23

    So I wasn’t 12 then.

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  • cyprus

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #24

    Maybe you are at dodgy surroundings?

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  • Novocastrian66

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #25

    I don’t like Lucas or Hanley, however if the both sign and do a job with getting us promoted I won’t complain.

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  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #26

    Cyprus

    Work WiFi, and if I try mobile data, the thundery atmosphere seems to be making it just as bad.

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  • Jib

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #27

    Off the top of me head
    Torres – Reina – Xavi Alonso
    Raul and Segio Ramos both played for him as kids in RM’s b team
    Mata was a kid under him at Valencia
    The only big flops I can remember is Riera from Manacor who went to school with Rafa Nadal, and was going to be the next big thing and Morientes.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #28

    NUFC83,

    I’m all for upgrading, I just don’t want to see an abundance of CM’s at the club now that we seem to be correcting the balance throughout the squad. Looking at it, for me anyway, we seem to have enough in that department for this season. I think I would rather have the cash for Gini and use it wisely on proper forward thinking players. Him and Sissoko will need to be replaced.

    Im looking forward to seeing what Hayden can do also.

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  • Ian Toon

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #29

    Rolando Aarons is a winger despite being pressed into service as an emergency left back. It was one of Macca’s ideas to drag that whole flank of the team up the pitch by playing a classic winger in a deeper position. Whatever the theory it didn’t work as Aaron’s looked lost. Though every single sub appearance I’ve seen of his he’s impressed. His presence changed our team’s outlook each time. The staid plodding grind of Pardew’s team became transformed into a forward-flowing wave. He’s got something and clearly in a wide wingman role in a 4-4-2.
    Macca’s team’s impotence wasn’t helped by playing with a lone front man. Cisse/ Mitrovic seemed incapable of fulfilling the role, either not strong or quick enough, not a good enough finisher, or they didn’t hold up play. This season particularly at home play two up front Mitrovic and Gayle. Play two together as a unit and their strengths could complement each other. With Aarons attacking down one wing and Ritchie the other, Shelvey Creating opportunities and Perez arriving in the box, there are goals in that team. But If Gini and Moussa are to leave we need to find goals from midfield. Last season getting goals was our biggest problem and closely followed by our inability to defend. The defence is being addressed at long last and this will be a stronger unit than last season.

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  • jackostoon

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #30

    Jib,
    Cheers kidda, appreciate the reply.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #31

    This Hanley deal looks very close. Not sure what to think of this one to be honest. His leadership will be great and seems a good back up option for this league but untested in the Premier if promoted at the first time of asking.

    I don’t want another Williamson on our hands for the next 5 years. I know he was a hard worker but CB’s need pace now in the Premier and from what I have read this Hanley dosn’t seem to be very quick.

    He should hold his value though.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #32

    We have agreed a fee for Hanley. SSN. 5.5 mil.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #33

    Hanley is a 24 year-old Scottish international. Captain of his club and voted their player of the season last time out. At the very least he’s going to be solid like Willo was at this level, with better leadership qualities, time on his side to improve and a top manager to help him do that. £6-7m is fair enough for that sort of player these days. Any more than that and we’re overpaying, but I’m not against that to get players in quicker. This season of all, it’s better to pay£2m extra to get a player in 2 weeks before our season starts than haggle and get them in 2 weeks after the season starts, particularly in a position in which we’re short like CB.

    Think he’ll complement Lascelles and Mbemba well.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #34

    He’s on his way.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #35

    As I say that we’ve apparently agreed a fee! Good.

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  • JamesToon

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #36

    SKY SPORTS: £5.5m FEE AGREED FOR GRANT HANLEY

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #37

    HWA,

    I hope your reet on the lad!

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  • G

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #38

    Who’s saying Hanley is slow? Fair enough he’s no sprinter, but he’s certainly a lot quicker than both Colo and Willo were in their prime. People calling him slow must be picking the stats out of computer games and not watching matches again. He is more than quick enough for a prem club, the question I have is does the lad have the skill set for the prem? He certainly won’t disgrace himself in the Champo if he signs.

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  • Ian Toon

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #39

    Nufc83- spot on with your relative merits of Colback and Anita. I am a big Colback fan and he played last season for the team rather than himself. He was close to being our player of the season in his first season but last had to play far deeper to prop up a leaky defence. He’s a scrapper which is just what we need in a balanced side.He will enjoy the combative nature of the Championship whereas I am not sure Anita will. For me Anita is more style than substance and lacks physicality.

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  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #40

    Is welshy about? This will surely lower his blood pressure 😀

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