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Why This Man Is Rafa Benitez’ Perfect Player

9:48 am, Sunday, August 21st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 69 Comments

At the end of last season Rafa Benitez played Vurnon Anita at left back and the Dutchman struggled a bit, but then he was switched to right back and he played very well and scored a great goal against Manchester City in the 1-1 draw at home.

And in those last few games of last season Vurnon looked excellent at right back and carried out Rafa’s instructions to the letter.

Vurnon was even called up for the Dutch squad in the summer and Daryl Janmaat wasn’t – and it seemed that Rafa had found Vurnon’s best position.

vurnon anita _newcastle_united_nufc_770

Vurnon Anita – now a key player at Newcastle

In pre-season Rafa played Vurnon all the time in various positions and he has done that in the first four games of the season and sometimes even on the right side of midfield.

Vurnon struggled there, but in the last two games he’s been back at right back and looked a very good player in that position.

Daryl Janmaat has not played in the last two games and Rafa explained after the 1-0 win at Ashton Gate yesterday why he picked Vurnon at right-back – basically because he earned his place there and the gaffer also talked about the game yesterday:

“I have to pick the best players for games, I thought Vurnon Anita did well the other day. I wanted to keep playing with him.”

“You also have this second ball to deal with too. In the end it was a good performance as a team, a defensive team performance.”

“Everybody tried to help. It was important to see everybody working so hard. It is important to be a team that attacks and scores goals.”

“But then at the same time you have to be organised and have team spirit to work and get a result.”

“For me it’s a good step forward in terms of confidence as well.”

Vurnon seems dedicated to Newcastle and you didn’t hear one squeak from the Dutchman about wanting to leave the club after we were relegated.

In fact he said he wanted to help Newcastle get promoted first time – and he’s certainly going to be an important player for the team and for Rafa this season.

He follows instructions well, trains hard every single day – and is certainly appreciated by the manager.

It seems his career on Tyneside has been revitalized since Benitez arrived at the club.

That cannot be bad.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Vurnon Anita

69 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 9:52 AM


    9SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Can’t believe anyone thinks this current team would hold its own in the Premier League. No chance. If we played like we did yesterday against a premier league side, we would have taken a sound beating. The opposition in the Championship is poor but we are still managing to get dominated in every game we play.

  • 2 toon22 // Aug 21, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    I think the point is Rafa is turning around a once shocking team,its going to take time.
    Its a good sign if you play poorly and still win.

  • 3 Ron Knee // Aug 21, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Mark Douglas:-

    “Benitez really wants four players in before the end of a transformative transfer window.”

  • 4 james589 // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    So watching the highlights (admittedly all I have to go on) we still look extremely vulnerable from set pieces. And I don’t want to be overly critical of Sels but he is going to have to curb his habit of parrying the ball back into the danger zone if he wants to remain our first choice. Hopefully Steve Harper can teach him to catch 🙂

  • 5 sparky55 // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    toon 22

    the underlying factor to winning is games is playing well.

    If you play poorly and win you’ll probably only get away with that 2 times out of ten…it’s important we start playing well which IMO we haven’t been but are very slowly getting there.

    as mentioned before I reckon we’ll be in the top three and playing like we should by the end of september.

    Rather play well and lose the odd the game rather than play badly and win the odd game

  • 6 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:12 AM


    Did you watch the whole game mate

  • 7 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    James, look at Sels highlight on YouTube for when he was in Belgium, parrying into the danger zone seems to be his standard save.

  • 8 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    James, unfortunately no.

  • 9 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Jail – (from a couple of threads back!) I get belted around the ears when I say I’d like to see more quality in our signings, because we’re in the Championship. Look, I get it, I really do. I wasn’t talking about absolute top drawer. Ritchie (for example) to me is a quality signing. Clark (for example) isn’t. If we are going to get another three or four players in, I just think that we should be looking at that Ritchie end of the scale. It’s not like we can’t afford the sort of fees we will have to pay. Of course, the (small to medium-sized) elephant in the room is Charnley, who still apparently holds sway in transfer negotiations, and is, as we know, a clueless idiot, so that’s a complication I’ll admit.

  • 10 Ian Toon // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Expatmag- Earlier – Spurs are spoilt for choice at RB. The London Evening Standard in recent days have said that both Yedlin and Trippier are available. Pochettino is happy for one to go out on loan and t’other to be sold. Yedlin, is a few years younger than Trippier and he would be a good acquisition.

    It seems Villa would be a major competitor.

  • 11 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    When it comes to Serls being “the best GK in Belgium.”.

    1) Hardly a ringing endorsement.

    2) Sounds like a line Rafa has just been fed by a scout that he is repeating.

    3) Puts Mitro’s scoring stats over there into context if true.

    Cup match not a priority for me, would play a mix of those needing fitness, fringe players and U-21s.


    Don’t know who is and isn’t fit at CB – MBabu/Good/Satka/new lad Findlay.

  • 12 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    If he must play its at RB, I dont know why he is seen as a utility player simply because he will play anywhere hes poor everywhere else other than RB imo

  • 13 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:41 AM


    No Sels I think does look nervy and dodgy especially from crosses and set pieces. I was actually at the Bristol game and I’d say overall we had the better chances and it was a deserved win. 1st half we were better, 2nd half Bristol had all the ball but tbh, I wasn’t exactly biting my nails as they never really broke down our defence, I was more worried about Sels gifting them a goal, none of their attackers really made an impact, yes we could have held the ball better and created more chances, but i thought it was a solid defensive display, everyone worked their socks off and the back 4 were brilliant

  • 14 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:41 AM


    Agree re Anita

  • 15 Ian Toon // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Given the on -going uncertainties of who stays, who goes and who comes in it’s still highly likely that Jimmy Smith and a few others will have called it right. This was before the window opened.

    We do lack quality at present in key areas and Benitez is all too aware of the potential need to consider keeping certain players whilst also bringing some in. Talk of Janmaat going to West Ham suggests flexibility.

    Talk of blithely spending £ 100 million to solidify us in the EPL once secured is daft at this time. Sissoko has always been the player that Benitez least wants to lose. Negotiations are such that both parties could be faced with the option of him staying. I believe Benitez would welcome the challenge of integrating him back into the team.

    In truth none of us really knows what is dependent upon him going for us to be able to buy. We would just have to cut our cloth accordingly.

  • 16 WWSBRD // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    How was Clark at LB? From the radio sounds like he was roasted early on but grew well into the game? Though BBC Newcastles opinions are interesting at times

  • 17 Munster Mag // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Anita is a solid player with a great attitude. If he played right back from now on he wud be very solid. I agree with the 100 mill comment. If we do get up this team needs serious bucks

  • 18 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Hail@11. Pencil Clark in for that vacant CB slot. The ideal man to be in there for a low priority game. The lower the priority, the better suited he is.

  • 19 Yo-yo // Aug 21, 2016 at 10:56 AM


    I’m not sure what your point is, if its that we have some incredibly over-optimistic fans then fair enough.

    The current team is only there to do the job of getting promotion.
    They are not playing Premiership sides, so we don’t have to worry about how they might play.
    I doubt an experienced manager like Rafa would try to start the current 11 in the EPL, and would certainly know very well that he would need major incoming transfers to build an EPL capable side.
    As for being dominated in every game we play – yeh like Huddersfield at home really ran us for 20/90 minutes. Give it time and for the side to gel, they are on the up, we need patience. It looks as if a lot of other top 6 sides in this league can all beat each other on their day, so being consistent is going to be the main thing that will get us to the top and keep us there – not win 2 lose 1 form… so time will tell. Glass half full just now

  • 20 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    The overrated Frenchman

    Yeah, could play him I suppose, just thought would be good to give one of those fringe players a chance, if nothing else to get a bit of exposure.

    Cheltenham are a League 2 side without a win so far this season, so such a team should be able to sweep past them.

  • 21 Mister Tuff // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    I find it most annoying that certain posters post things which suggest they have known Benitez personally for years.
    Rafa does this, Rafa does that, Rafa thinks this, Rafa believes that, Rafa believes that.

    Even more annoying is the usual suspects were backing King Percy and then Wally brolly. And they now back Rafa with an assumed air of knowledge.
    Real fickle fans.

  • 22 beefman13 // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    The manager obviously like the lad, he picks the team its up to him, for me hes an ok squad utility player a bit like ginger pubes, still seems strange that we are getting plaudits for battling on like the light brigade against Bristol City away, our team on paper looking at the starting line up dosnt for me look like a team that is going to run away with the championship, so far i would give them a C.

  • 23 jimmysmith // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    He does appear to be willingly dismantling what was largely a side that was although full of conspicuous talent, admittedly clearly less than the sum of it’s parts and building a new one with the goal of being more than the sum of it’s parts. The emphasis more on greater depth and balance, and greater spirit. It’s a big undertaking though to effectively transform two sides in two seasons, one to go up, the other to stay up, and to do it without pots of money to throw at it, when other clubs, not having been hampered by relegation, will have more to do exactly
    that. Almost every move we make in the transfer market in this and the next three windows will determine how well we do should we go straight back up. I don’t see much room for error, with the EPL clubs being so flush.

  • 24 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:18 AM


    Clark was solid, it’s debatable whether he was better than Dummett has been in the last 3 games. He made 1 rash challenge and maybe got skinned once or twice, in the first half, but second half not really, he was quite reliable, distributed well, didn’t really get forward but Gouffran did and put in a shift, who maybe could have been a bit more direct but he did actually look like the Gouffran when we actually first bought him

  • 25 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:19 AM


    It was in response to this question

    4jazzyp // Aug 21, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Do you think as the squad stands, we would be good enough to stay in the Pl if we won automatic promotion this season ??

    You’re absolutely right that consistency is key, for that reason I do like the squad rotation, keeps everybody up for it and means that when we do have injuries then we have someone who is match fit and has had regular football to slot in.

  • 26 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    On another note, Lascelles’ mother is a very nice person to talk to! Also saw the Aarons family after the game

  • 27 OneAlanShearer // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Toon22. My thoughts exactly. There are good signs all over the park. Some signings with heart and ability. Team defending and attacking at times as a team. Goals are coming. Considering this is virtually a completely new team I’d say we are heading in the right direction.

  • 28 Ian Toon // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Analysing the number of points obtained which has secured automatic promotion from the Championship! Points dropped is more of a key determinant. With three points for a win let’s hope we can be adventurous.

    At Bristol we were faced with a team of probably 6 players of 6′ 3″+ and Lascalles at the end won every header. It wasn’t pretty but effective. Team selection was spot on and probably our best defensive performance.

  • 29 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    I wonder how Benitez is going to Shoehorn Mitro and Gayle into the team? He’s obviously dead set on 4231 so can’t see a way of getting them both in without ruining what they are good at. They are both best right at the top of the pitch. Gayle could play out wide but then you lose his biggest asset in his poaching ability and his ability to run off the shoulder of the last man.
    442 is the obvious answer but can’t remember Benitez ever playing that.
    I’m guessing it will be one or the other which would be a waste and a major disappointment.

  • 30 toon kk // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Rafa needs options to on the bench to change games and to cover for inevitable injuries.
    It’s not all about fitting players into the first team.

  • 31 Ian Toon // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    James- I thought his thought process and movement on the ball was better than Dummett’s. Sels was nervous but the defence has not been settled. Give him time but Darlow in the cup and take it from there.

  • 32 Small World // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    21 Mister Tuff // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    “Real Fickle” fans

    Carfeul some of them will claim to have know about Rafa and his ways, when he managed Real Fickle in the spanish 2nd division.

  • 33 msk21dec // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Di sciglio or darmian to replace janmaat i hope

  • 34 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:51 AM


    yeah i agree much more positive body positioning. theres something about dummett where hes so negative with the ball

  • 35 Shadow_Shearer // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    I see some people saying on they would rather us play well & lose, than play bad & win. Let me explain why this is the wrong attitude.

    Steve mcclaren every match last season said we played well but didn’t win, but if we keep playing like that we will be fine. Steve mcclaren got fired & we got relegated.

    Now we have leicester city scrapping 1 nil wins all season, & defying 5000/1 odds. It’s a no brainer!!
    If you can keep wining even when playing bad, you will be going places. We need to build the wining mentally. It is the mark of champions. How many times yous think Fergie pulled it off???

    One more point is, we may not be playing well, but if we keep winning while playing bad, the confidence will come out, & we will start dominating games with wins. It is a process. Each of the four games we have played, I have seen improvement in each game. We’re not firing on all cylinders yet, but wait till after 25 games. We will be playing alot better.

  • 36 cyprus // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Gouffran, Anita, Obertan, SDJ, Riviera, etc. were, unfortunately, in retrospect, failed purchases. This team, given spending (about eighth in the PL in last five years), should never have been relegated. How on earth we got in this mess nobody knows. From Ashley to the last fan. We have opinions, we ain’t certain.

  • 37 magscar // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Was at Huddersfield game and was disappointed at performance and result but early days and squad is in a state of flux.Had to miss Reading ( as away for week) and they won comfortably ( by score if not necessarily performance) hope there isn’t a message in there about my attending games but again it is early days 🙂

    Only seen highlights of yesterday and on those Sels ( like those at match have said) was again uninspiring – needs to sort himself out quick.

    Importantly from reports I have read our game management seems to be improving and that will be key in this division and has long been a problem for us.

    Looking forward to Mitro being available again and hopefully another striker, winger and LB coming in as hinted at by Rafa in 4 players on radar comments. They are needed.

    There is still a learning curve involved even though we were bookies favourites and Rafa and players had acknowledged that it would be a tough league. Nothing like games though to reinforce that assessment and point way forward.

    Once window is closed and we have some reinforcements and the potential outgoings either gone or having to knuckle down we should see the reality of the squad Rafa is building.

    The next games through to end of September ( Brighton, Derby, QPR, Wolves, Norwich,and Villa are real tests and how we come through period will give an indication as to whether we are the real deal or have miscalculated.

    What ever happens January will clearly be an important month to bolster or correct squad.

  • 38 Rotonda heights // Aug 21, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    s—e is basically s—e wherever it goes.

  • 39 cyprus // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Well said, but:
    If you play well, yes, you may lose, however you greatly increase your odds of winning. Playing badly and winning is generally a rarity. It happens, like us when we ended fifth, but not often.
    Still, I agree with you. Let’s get out of this division by any means. And I mean up to the PL! 😉

  • 40 Mister Tuff // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    small world – jib Jibberish will be on Google now checking it out.
    I can just picture him musing to himself
    ” Duh Wee -al Madwid, duh Wee -al Sociedad, duh ugg ugg cannot find Wee -al Fickle” Duh.

  • 41 lesh // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:03 PM


    Yes it’s Sels’s turn to be the butt for our fans. Last year it was Colo, Willo and Colback – there’s always got to be one who’s responsible for everything – whether on the field or anywhere else!

    Why oh why does this happen at Newcastle United? Why should it happen? It doesn’t do any good at all other than give some folk a chance to vent there spleens!

  • 42 Rotonda heights // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:05 PM


    not really rocket science. pardew, carver, mclaren. all z listers who should never have been here in the first place, that’s how we got relegated.

  • 43 Mag52 // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Shadow Shearer.

    Good point you make there about playing badly and yet winning.
    There’s also a school of thought which says that possession is all important, and that if your opponents have a much bigger %age of possession than you, then, even if you win, it must have been a lucky win.
    Again not true. Counter-attacking tactics are a perfectly respectable tactic and wholly justified in some matches.

  • 44 geordie157 // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    Would like to see sterry start vs Cheltenham.

    One player who’s worrying me a little bit is Perez, since signing that new contract he’s been pretty ineffective in games.

    IF a new winger and striker come in, I’d actually loan him out for half the season to getting him playing regularly and keep Armstrong who could be dangerous off the bench.

    I’ll get shot for suggesting that!

  • 45 Ian Toon // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    With a number of fans suggesting that we couldn’t afford to lose too many games to secure automatic promotion; I said earlier in the week that I would be more worried about performance than the result. Of far more concern to Benitez would be the quality of the performance. He subsequently stressed this in his press conference.

    There is with 3 points for a win ample time to make up points. I stressed defensive issues and giving away daft goals just before half time. This was a feature of our play last season and it was good to see this addressed in an assured defensive performance. Benitez is renown for getting the basics right and progressing to an injection of creativity.
    Carra has much to say about Benitez in his autobiography- looks almost like a blueprint for a Benitez team.

  • 46 Rotonda heights // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:11 PM


    by selling invisible, no heart, 1 in 10 match performers like wijnaldum and sissoko we will have quite a lot of funds to add to the existing stockpile.

  • 47 cyprus // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Good point. Still, if only we had the players, they’d ‘hide’ poor management to a good degree. Eg. Ba, cisse on fire, HBA, got us many ‘undeserved’ wins.

    We’ve misfired too many times on transfers is the most likely reason, maybe. Even with expensive 10+ million ones.

    Bad coaches certainly don’t help either.

  • 48 toon kk // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    There were alot of failed signings, very poor scouting alot of players bought with future resale value in mind, but lack of knowledge was brought the wrong players in.
    Although some including Anita etc are and always have been no more than championship quality, so some should do well.
    But probably us being relegated was often who we didn’t sign when needed and sticking with Wally.

  • 49 JAMSHA // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    GFF Reportng Rafa Has Personally Spoken To Sebastien Haller, An His Willing To Join Us

  • 50 firebug666 // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Palace fans are now calling for the inept one’s head, and just reading a few of their comment saying the Geordie fans were right all along, I seen this one and thought I would share it.

    Liverpool fans slating Wijnaldum for being ‘invisible’. Palace fans calling for Pardew out. Newcastle fans never get it wrong.

    — Alex (@AlexMcGuire98) August 20, 2016

    Anyway you can see the rest here:

  • 51 cyprus // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    Agreed especially regarding not signing the ‘right’ people. We seem to have missed some obvious ones.
    Anyway no use crying over spilled milk. I think Rafa needs to sign a couple so called game changers if we are to dominate this league. I disagree with the post below regarding let’s wait till January. Sign those two today. Well ok, tomorrow 🙂

  • 52 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    Norwich 1 up through Jerome

  • 53 firebug666 // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    From the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez on Matz Sels:

    Rafa Benitez says he has no qualms about his new goalkeeper Matz Sels.

    The Belgian goalkeeper looked nervous during the 1-0 win at Bristol City and opted to punch the ball rather than catch it on a host of crosses during the home side’s bombardments going forward at Ashton Gate.

    But Benitez was not worried and said: “It is not easy if the crosses are good and there are a lot of bodies in the middle.

    “I do not see too many keepers that are good in the air in England.

    “I don’t see too many that can catch the ball with ten players around, it is not easy.

    “The best keeper in England was Pepe Reina and he was punching the ball. People were saying, ‘You should catch the ball’, but he was punching it and controlling the box.

    “It is difficult in England, particularly in the Championship – not just for him, but for everyone.

    “You have to deal with that.”

    Whether Benitez gives Karl Darlow a game against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night remains to be seen.

    But after making more changes against Bristol City he will rotate again for the EFL Cup match.

    He said: “We will have to change things.

    “You could see today that some players were tired so we will have to change things.

    “My main message to the players and the fans is that we have to be sure we can use players that are fresh and ready for every game.

    “It was great team spirit and obviously a good result.

    “The main thing is that it could be a step forward in terms of what we can expect from this team.”

    It’s interesting that he says some players were tired, that may explain the second half siege we had to put up with.

    Looks like all change for the next match.

  • 54 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    Rotonda@42 – don’t overlook the roles played by Charnley and Carr in the relegation. Impossible to say exactly how much was down to the “questionable” dealings, and how much was just sheer incompetence. But both deserve condemnation to the highest degree. The fact that they are still in their jobs I find most unsettling, I have to say.

  • 55 jazzyp // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    Talk of Debuchy coming back to replace Janmaat.
    Would take him on loan for the season to do a job for us hopefully getting out of the championship, but nothing more.

    According to the mirror.. Wolfsburg are after Mbemba and we have put a 12 mill price tag on his head.A 6 mill profit after just one season

  • 56 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    my team v cheltenham

    Sterry Hanley Clark Gamez
    —–Shelvey Tiote/Colback

  • 57 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    then hopefully team v brighton will be

    Anita Mbemba Lascelles Galloway
    Shelvey Hayden
    Ritchie Diame Gouffran

  • 58 Ron Knee // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:47 PM


    You’ve got Sels in goal. Is that wise?

  • 59 jimmysmith // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Not really. The Widjnaldum and Townsend money has already been spent and we are still two or three players short of the squad we want this term, which will need further restrengthening next term at likely equal or greater cost. I think money is a significant issue for us because of this relegation.

  • 60 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    I see Norwich have borrowed our 45th minute hoodoo

  • 61 expatmag // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:53 PM


    Yes. Ipswich equalise right on half time. Hopefully stay that way too

  • 62 Thump // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    @firebug: That’s a Newcastle fan. Point remains, though.

  • 63 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    expatmag – on behalf of the entire blog, thanks for reporting Kets to Ed and I’m sorry it took something unpleasant like that against you for it to finally happen. Hopefully we’ve seen the back of him now.

  • 64 SUTTY1978 // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Hope Ipswich win. Despite his Mackem history, I quite like Mick McCarthy. Proper football man

  • 65 Sazzer // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    News from Anderlecht that they have agreed the sale of Idrissa Sylla for €3m, to Wolverhampton in the Championship.

    I don’t think we were ever interested in him despite link.

  • 66 NUFCPaul // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Not sure why people are worried about the current squad being good enough for the Premier League. What we need right now is a squad good enough to get promoted at the end of the season. If/when that happens we’ll have that sweet Premier League money and the prestige of being back in the top flight again to attract better players. The current squad isn’t the one that will be competing in a higher league next season.

  • 67 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    I would like us to sign:


  • 68 Spoof // Aug 21, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Whats the view on Yedlin, many will say it would be a shame as it could prevent Mbabu from staking a claim but if Rafa doesn’t rate or trust Mbabu’s injury record then with Janmaat hopefully going Yedlin for me could be a worthwhile purchase.

    Anita done well last season with the hard working back tracking Townsend in front of him, he done ok again with the equally good Ritchie in front of him, but we’ve seen him before without good quality in front of him and he has been poor, I’m not convinced that Anita is good at RB, I think it’s his right winger helping him which has made him look ok.

    Now I would be the first to admit that an attacking fullback is not my ideal type of fullback, defence first for me and does Yedlin meet my fullback wishes, no he doesn’t, but in a season where we expect to dominate more than be dominated and having Gamez who is a defensive stalwart to learn from along with Rafa’s natural demand for good defensive work from his defenders then Yedlin could be in the ideal position to improve his defensive game, and going forward he could offer us something, long term with Ritchie who always helps his full back with Yedlin then it could be a really good pairing.

  • 69 JamesToon // Aug 21, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Ron Knee

    I think Rafa will give him another few games.

    RE Yedlin, he was OK defensively for Sunderland, but he may be like Janmaat and too attacking. Janmaat has exposed our defence so much that he gets away with it due to “attacking capabilities” whereas Anita is so much more reliable, supports attacks but always gets back and defends well. Don’t think we need a right back. We just need a left back, left winger and possibly a striker

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