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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!

The Boys Are Sharp And Raring To Go

9:57 am, Monday, August 1st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 63 Comments

Rafa Benitez has still to announce who his Newcastle captain will be for this coming season, but 22 year-old Jamaal Lascelles has had those duties in pre-season and while he is very young he could get the captaincy this season and not too many Newcastle fans would complain about that.

Jamaal showed last season what it means to play for the famous Newcastle club and he let players a lot more experienced than himself  know that – and in no uncertain terms too.

Good for him.

jamaal lascelles 9

Jamaal Lascelles in new strip – raring to go

And Jamaal, who has looked very good in pre-season at center-back has been interviewed on the Newcastle web-site:

“Pre-season isn’t just for fitness – you’ve also got to make sure you are doing the right things, and our results would suggest that we have been,. 

“It’s a nice feeling to have been unbeaten going into the season, and I feel like we’re ready.” 

“The boys are sharp, we are all raring to go and if we continue like we have been in front of goal then it could be a very exciting season.”

“We started off really well.”  “Vitesse were a different type of opponent to what we have faced so far in pre-season – playing much more in front of us and very much to feet.”

“But I thought we dealt with it well and took our goals fantastically.” “I was really pleased with the first half,  but I was quite disappointed with the goals we conceded in the second half.”

“As a center-half it’s not nice to concede any goal but especially from a set-piece. We’re going to analyse it, go over what we need to do and correct it ready for Fulham on Friday.”

“We know what we’ve got to do and we’ve got to get things right. We’ve got high standards and want to be as good a team as we can, so it is important that we get things right.”

We did quite well in pre-season and won four of the five friendly games, but that doesn’t really mean too much.

ClubLocationDate and KickoffResult
BohemianDalymount ParkSaturday, 16th July
Won 6-0
Doncaster RoversKeepmoat StadiumWednesday, 20th July
Drew 2-2
KSC LokerenDaknamstadionSaturday, 23rd July
Won 4-0
Southend UnitedRoots Hall
Tuesday, 26th July
Won 2-0
SBV Vitesse St. James ParkSaturday, 30th July
3:00 pm
Won 3-2

The real stuff starts on Friday at Fulham and it would be great to get a win in our first game in the Championship for over six years.

That’s what we’re hoping for.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Captain · Championship · Coaching · Jamaal Lascelles · Newcastle News

63 responses so far ↓

  • 1 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Some inspiring signings please….

    Look to South America or Asia or something thats a bit unexpected.

  • 2 martoon // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    I was sitting level with the 18 yard box where all the goals were scored (good choice 🙂 ). What was good to see was after we conceded each goal Lascelles was going mad with the other defenders – good to see he cared in what was only a friendly – definitely Captain material. I also noticed Hanley was pretty vocal as well which good to see or should that be hear!

  • 3 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    gorgonzola, I said that on the last thread, but Ed quickly moved it on, as he always does when I post.

  • 4 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    On ur game will u allow changes to the predictions depending on signings coming in?

  • 5 expatmag // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:11 AM


    From a couple of threads back re: left wingers

    I wasnt even considering Thauvin as it seems pretty evident he is going but both Aarons and Ritchie play on the left whilst we seem to be short on the right.

  • 6 Fatman_joe // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Final League Position – 2nd
    Final no. of points – 93
    League Cup round – Q-F
    FA Cup round – 4th
    Player of the Season (Blog) – Perez
    Top goal scorer (TGS) – Perez
    No. of goals for TGS – 15

  • 7 tomellifred360 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Creating a Fantasy Football League if anyone is interested.


  • 8 expatmag // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:13 AM


    Thats because you live in the Yarra Valley mate……lol

    Ed doesnt like wineries

  • 9 Nufc-83 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Wwsbrd I think we all now we need a winger anyway taking into account we only have Richie and Aarons.

  • 10 lesh // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:15 AM


    Where’s the vineyards in Jarra?

  • 11 Nufc-83 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Diame must have gone downhill dramatically since I last seen him at West Ham if he is getting compared to Gerimi as he was immense the last time I seen him.

  • 12 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Newcastle United have met the release clause for Mohamed Diame.

    News broke earlier today that Newcastle were interested in the midfielder and now George Caulkin of The Times, has revealed that the player is currently en route to Tyneside for his medical.

    – See more at:

  • 13 martoon // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    WWSBRD @4 – I was going to freeze it after Thursday but you have a point about signings so yeah – I’ll allow changes to Player of the season and TGS to a new signing if you want – never let it be said I’m not amenable 😀

  • 14 RolandoOverhead // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Final League Position – 1st
    Final no. of points – 101
    League Cup round – 4th Round
    FA Cup round – Winners!
    Player of the Season (Blog) – Hayden
    Top goal scorer (TGS) – Mitro
    No. of goals for TGS – 34

  • 15 one fine day // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Funny how welshies predictions are more ball park figures rather than a stated total .
    Talk about covering all bases ?

  • 16 RolandoOverhead // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Diamé as well as Knockaert or instead of, what do you guys recon?

  • 17 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Diame will be a good signing he’s got vast experience proper tank and he’s just been a big part of a hull team that’s got promoted, however we’ve got a hell of a lot of cm,s now I’m hoping a couple of wingers are next

  • 18 hibbitt // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    if i had to pick it would be Knockaert but both would be nice
    a lot of games to be played this season and in the championship they come thick and fast

  • 19 welshgeordie9 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    one fine day

    Nothing wrong with my predictions as Del Boy would say He who dares………………..

  • 20 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Ur a good un. Have a sneaky feeling we might bring in another ST who make guy turn my head haha

  • 21 welshgeordie9 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Cocks it right up.

    Ha ha ha

  • 22 welshgeordie9 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    From what I’ve read about diame he can play centre midfield, left wing or right wing.

  • 23 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Anyone wondering why Diame left West Ham it was because he was getting fed up of getting “Shunted” around by Big Sam even being asked to play as a striker !!

    Whenever I have watched him he looks like the midfielder I expect Sissoko to be!!

  • 24 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    If the preferred midfield mix is going to be Anita, Hayden, Colback and Diame, we are going to have approximately zero flair and creativity. I’m all for being pragmatic, this is the Championship I know, but that is a pretty pedestrian group, to be fair.

  • 25 one fine day // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Based on yours I will adjust my points total to between 80 and 120 🙂

  • 26 expatmag // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:48 AM


    Good one mate. The Yarra Valley on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne is famous for its wineries and TOF lives there

  • 27 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    just reading about diame,needing a right winger and anitas preseason over the last few days…maybe diame is coming in to replace tiote,and rafa may prefer anita on the right as he may feel he’s not strong enough for central mid,so diame would come in to cm with hayden,colback,saivet,shelvey and maybe anita pushed wide to give a bit quality and work rate on the right….just a thought.

  • 28 one fine day // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Hope this diame one is right .
    Just the sort of player we will need in the champs and he was pretty decent at west ham from what I recall.

  • 29 nut meg // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Final league position——–2nd
    Final number of points——97
    League cup round————5th
    FA Cup round—————–5th
    Player of the season blog–Lascelles
    Top goal scorer—————-Gayle
    Number of goals—————23

  • 30 JamesToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Overrated Frenchman

    Your forgetting Shelvey??? Hayden is tidy in midfield and not as backwards as Colback, Diame will run for days, and can pick a pass here and there, but he is more of a box to box midfielder. We have Got flair pace and creativity in the 3 in front of the 2 in Ritchie, Perez, Aarons, albeit we need more depth which Knockaert and Pritchard would strengthen. We have by no means zero creativity and flair in the MF though.

  • 31 nut meg // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Forgot to add ….many thanks Martoon.

  • 32 martoon // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    one fine day – to be fair Welsh revised his predictions to exact numbers afterwards.

  • 33 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Final League Position – 4th
    Final No. of Points – 80
    League Cup Round – Fourth
    FA Cup Round – Third
    Player of the Season (Blog) – Sels
    Top Goal Scorer (TGS) – Gayle
    No. of goals for TGS – 14

  • 34 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Which 3 teams are going to finish above us?

  • 35 one fine day // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Shame this Alex Pritchard link seems to have gone quiet though really think he could do a job for us .
    Nice part of the world
    Was down there last weekend for an inlaws 70th birthday lunch at meleetos at the punt road vineyard.great food and wine but pleased it wasn’t my shout on this occasion.

  • 36 one fine day // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Martoon @32
    Fair enough .

  • 37 Bearsize // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Final League Position – 1st
    Final no. of points – 99
    League Cup round – 5th
    FA Cup round – 5th
    Player of the Season (Blog) – mbemba
    Top goal scorer (TGS) – mitro
    No. of goals for TGS – 18

  • 38 one fine day // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Seeing a keeper get player of the season doesn’t boad well for this coming season .
    Elliott was many peoples favourite here last year and look how that worked out .
    But who knows how these things work out

  • 39 lesh // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:16 AM


    We live and learn…….hic!

  • 40 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Has something happened? Jib’s not on every thread. And where’s Tuff?

  • 41 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    WWSBRD@34 – maybe Brighton, Wednesday, Norwich. It’s more a case for me that we look like being a team that grinds out predictable results rather than really going full out to play winning football. I see a lot of draws. I mean that’s ok, if that’s the plan and it keeps us in the mix, and gives us a shot, fair enough. But unless we see some rabbits pulled out of the hat, we are not going to be the dominant team that many expect, in my opinion. We look like a solid, blue-collar team, and I think there’ll be two or three sides with a more attacking approach who’ll probably win more games overall.

  • 42 geordie157 // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    I can see Norwich being a serious title contender, lost Redmond but brought in Canos who did well last season. If they get McCormack they will have two proven strikers at this level with him and Jerome.

    Is the wolf still there….I’m glad we never signed him!

  • 43 G // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    @42, the wolf signed for Vitesse recently.

  • 44 Mister Tuff // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Blackley – fear not I’m still about – just nothing much to comment on at the moment -and getting collared by the dragon for DIY jobs.
    Martoons predictions seemed to have garnered some interest – I’ll do mine in a day or so.
    Other than that – the blog mischief maker is still scheming.

  • 45 Oleg G // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    martoon // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Oleg G – Hoy you’re nicking my job ?
    Seriously this is the point of doing this – it’s all about opinions – I don’t think I’ve seen yours yet!



    I was bored.
    Of course these are just opinions. I am liking the optimism actually. But 111 points? 🙂 That’s crazy like.

    MY opinion – I don’t have one really until the window will close.

    But if I have to guess now, with the knowledge I have at this moment:

    Final League Position – 1st
    Final no. of points – 95
    League Cup round – Quarter Finals
    FA Cup round – 4th round
    Player of the Season (Blog) – Perez
    Top goal scorer (TGS) – Gayle
    No. of goals for TGS – 19

  • 46 beefman13 // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Rafa, get the mindset drilled in to them from the get go, they cannot go in to games just thinking they are going to breeze past teams, you have to be at it for 90 mins, we let up against vitesse, only a friendly, but for me we should have went out there second half and went nap, full throttle for this season, anyone slacking gets the haul off asap, our mentality and mindset has got to be different from last season, because it was disgraceful.

  • 47 Goldmbemba // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Is anyone else dissapointed with the chronicle’s live text coverage of NUFC games?

    When someone scores they just say ‘GOAL’.

    Ok, who scored it, and how, was it a good goal or not… come on are you journalists or what?

  • 48 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Nar mate I dont see it like that at all. We are lacking a few attackers but pre season we havent stopped scoring so maybe Rafa knows what hes doing. Plus we are actively bidding on attacking players and have a month left

    Plus Sissoko is still here

  • 49 Very Terry // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:33 AM


    Final League Position – 1st
    Final no. of points – 100
    League Cup round – QF
    FA Cup round – Finals
    Player of the Season (Blog) – Ritchie
    Top goal scorer (TGS) – Perez
    No. of goals for TGS~ 24

  • 50 Mister Tuff // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    One thing I would say is that Rafa does seem a bit of a diplomat.
    He has not gone out of his way publicly to pour scorn on the knackers who have been running the club but rather get them on board.
    Probably the base sentiment from most fans would have been to sack them/expose what they did wrong etc etc.
    Not burning bridges seems to be his style -currently.

  • 51 expatmag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:46 AM


    Aye. Lovely part of the world but wineries are a growing industry down here on the Mornington Peninsula and we now have around 100.

    Have to admit that the Yarra Valley wineries are more famous and established.

  • 52 jayphoto // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    If we sign Diame I think our 3 midfielders will be Shelvey, Anita and Diame. Hayden has looked good, but from what I’ve seen of preseason shelvey and anita have been standouts. Hayden is young, and I’m pretty sure he’ll be probably get a lot of games from the bench aswell as covering midfield and occasionally CB.
    I wonder what theyre looking at for Saivet. He played CF, LW and DCM in france, anyone know how rafas used him in preseason?

  • 53 martoon // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Oleg G @45 – You could be right I would have thought around the 100 points mark is more realistic but then again there are 138 points to play for. I’m also wondering if we might sacrifice the cups to concentrate on promotion – not sure if all fans would accept that but I think I would just this once!

  • 54 Rotonda heights // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    over rated

    I think that’s very harsh. Diame was fantastic for Hull last season scoring 10 goals from a defensive mid position.
    I’m not disappointed with any of our signings, all of whom are yes ”horses for courses”, yet under rafa could develop in to much more.

    we’ve lost quality in AT, GW and probably MS, but shifted a lot of de-motivated deadwood and brought in hungrier players.

    knockaert, forestieri and henry would top it off but i don’t see how rafa could have done much better and at 3m only, diame could be a masterstroke if only for one season. geremi and amdy faye never scored 10 goals in a season between them.

  • 55 carl // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    The Hull Independent fanzine say we’re only paying £3 million for Diame.

  • 56 G // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    Completely off subject, but Johny Nic’s column in f365 is well worth a read about the Champo today:

  • 57 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    I hope ur wrong mate, Anita just isnt good enough

  • 58 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    WWSBRD – well, maybe those attacking players you are talking about are my “rabbits out of the hat”.
    JamesToon – I agree Shelvey is a creative player, but Rafa doesn’t seem to rate him does he? I just don’t see us being a high scoring team as it stands – you can’t really say any of our forwards are prolific and as I say I think our midfield the way it’s shaping up is generally pretty dour.

  • 59 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Diame at £3m would be a fantastic signing, particularly in the context of a Sissoko replacement at a 1/10th the price.

    Much more effective than Sissoko, better brain, technician and killer instinct, just lacks the flashy speed of Sissoko. All the the power of Sissoko and is better with both feet than Sissoko is with his dominant right.

  • 60 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 1, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    Would say Sissoko is faster than Diame but Diame is much better on the ball and gets stuck in

    Watch some of the goals Sissoko could never score like this in a million years !

  • 61 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Tbh mate I think u are over critical of the current squad we have a number of players who are far better than the league we find ourselves in

  • 62 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Rotonda, I’m not really knocking the players we’ve signed, I’m just making the observation that they appear to have been chosen because they are solid, reliable Championship quality, no more, no less. And I think they’ll do the job, which is fine, but I don’t expect us to be more than just a good, hard to beat team.

  • 63 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    Overrated, i disagree. Diame looked like hulls main man last season. A replacement for sissoko for sure. We need a left winger and i thunk a back up striker but i have a feeling Diame can do that. Norwich is they get mccormack will be real rivals. So will derby. I wanted their manager before rafa came because i was sure we were going down. He created a brilliant leicester team and walked that division. he has some excellent players there too

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