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Where Was Rafa Yesterday – With UEFA’s Elite Coaches

11:54 am, Thursday, September 1st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 207 Comments

Rafa traveled to Switzerland yesterday and was one of a number of Europe’s leading club coaches meeting in Nyon to openly discuss a number of key issues to do with their jobs and the modern game of football.

rafa benitez with top coaches yesterday

The UEFA Elite Club Coaches’ Forum includes Rafa Benitez

The UEFA Elite Club Coaches’ Forum was formed back in 1999, and it gives top coaches in modern day football to meet each other in a more relaxed and comfortable environment and away from the high-pressure jobs they are in.

They are encouraged to give UEFA their opinions, proposals and ideas to improve the game of football.

UEFA then takes that feedback and discusses the recommendations with various committees, expert panels and working groups.

The current Forum chairman and UEFA coaching Ambassador is Sir Alex Ferguson (who else?), and he had this to say after the meeting:

“It’s great to get all the coaches we have today to give up their time and make the contribution that they did,”

“It’s an enthralling meeting because the contradictions in people’s opinions were fantastic.” “The good opinions of experienced people in the game is invaluable.”

“The different coaches put forward different opinions, and I think that is really refreshing.”

Since 2013, UEFA has invited those coaches who have coached in more than 100 UEFA Champions League games, as well as coaches from the UEFA Europa League semi-finalists.

Some of the top coaches present yesterday in addition to Sir Alex were the following:

  • Carlo Ancelotti (FC Bayern Munchen)
  • Mircea Lucescu (FC Zenit)
  • Rafael Benítez (Newcastle United FC)
  • Jose Mourinho (Manchester United FC)
  • Arsene Wenger (Arsenal FC)
  • Unai Emery (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Luis Enrique (FC Barcelona)
  • Dieter Hecking (VfL Wolfsburg)
  • Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid CF)
  • Rui Vitoria (SL Benfica)
  • Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)
  • Hein Vanhaezebrouck (KAA Gent)
  • Sergey Rebrov (FC Dynamo Kyiv)

It seems to us that Rafa needs to get his current club playing in Europe again rather quickly.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Newcastle News · Other News

207 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jazzyp // Sep 1, 2016 at 11:57 AM


    Yep well spotted pal, More goods to be added to the pot.
    It has been some amazing bit of business by all concerned at Nufc that they could transform our club in such a way over one transfer window.

    Beggars belief what actually went on behind the scenes before the intervention of Rafa.
    Next summer providing we get out of the championship at the first hurdle, Could be a massive pivotal point in Newcastle’s premiership status because there is going to be a big gulf between us and the top half of the PL table.

  • 2 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 11:57 AM


  • 3 JamesToon // Sep 1, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    So weird isn’t it how before the window, people were discussing about how much of an overhaul there would be. Poeple saying like “oh i dont think there will be many signings” “he’ll keep most of our players”

    Bloody 22 outgoings and 12 players incoming! Crazy! but so pleased as we now have a settled squad of players who want to be here.

  • 4 jazzyp // Sep 1, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Makes you see where the club could be headed with Rafa at the helm.
    Probably the best bit of transfer business we did at the club keeping him on board for the foreseeable future

  • 5 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Plenty of pats on the back and high fives after the window. Let’s get promoted and then we will see if Ashley has changed, all we’ve done so far is trim the squad and bring in a load of revenue whilst saving on wages. Music to Ashley’s ears… money money

    When it comes to spend let’s see how ambitious we really are next season, because the squad as it stands will come straight back down if we go up

  • 6 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Benitez must be on the cusp of controlling Newcastle much to the same degree that Ferguson came to at Man U.

    I suppose that once he demonstrates he can, Ashley will indeed give him free reign.

    Why not? I’m sure it’d be a blessed relief to him.

  • 7 LGFUAD21 // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Our toon

    Yes it is fair to say that we have funded ourselves this window. But I don’t think the he fans appreciate being self sufficient enough.

    Sure it must be great having an owner wiling to plot millions in but I don’t think fans should expect it. They never used to in the old days and I think clubs should be regulated more on ensuring that they only spend what the club as a business can afford. It’s not just about fair play. It’s also about ensuring clubs can survive long term.

    The way we have done our business this summer means we should have money in January and next summer to properly keep the club moving forward.

    Whether that happens is the acid test for Mike Ashley. I would hope that what happens is he will finally see/learn from Rafa how a club should be run in order to keep moving forward without crippling itself in the process financially.

  • 8 martoon // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Although this sounds negative I was pleased we didn’t sign McManaman. I think his signing would have upset the fans and some of the players.

  • 9 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    How can you possibly predict that. Is our squad any worse than Watford or Bournemouths last year who stayed up. We are just finding our groove. Teams will soon be facing a team who are so used to winning their heads will be gone before they step out in to one of the biggest stadiums in the country managed by a UEFA elite.

  • 10 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:09 PM


    Yeah i agree. There is no suggestion he had changed his ways. The haidara challenge was not the first or last time he has committed rediculous fouls.

  • 11 Toon_Barmy // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    Doesn’t bare thinking about but where would we be if we didn’t have Rafa? Stuck with McClaren or some other mug and a handful of players in from the continent that are not suited to this league. Wonder if we will terminate Tiote’s contract now? Shame we didn’t get a fee for him mind.

  • 12 nut meg // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    From news now…spurs are paying Sissoko 80k a week, that doesn’t sound much at all for a 30m player.

    Revealed: How much Tottenham are paying for Moussa Sissoko London Evening Standard 17:57

  • 13 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:17 PM


    No our squad wasn’t worse than Bournemouth, Watford bought in 14 players and a new manager, more importantly both sides played attacking football and went for the points, the ones that didn’t got relegated.

    You think the current squad is good enough for the premier league? With all the investment by clubs this summer, far from it mate.

  • 14 Ron Knee // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    nut meg

    What was he paid at Newcastle?

  • 15 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    It doesn’t bare thinking about. Stuart Pearce in charge being dictated to by Carr and Churnley. We’d have kept sinking. I honestly think Ashley would have sold every saleable asset, took the parachute payments and folded us in about three years.

  • 16 expatmag // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    I bet Pardew is well p***** off he wasnt invited…

  • 17 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Don’t forget rafa went 5 unbeaten with the same squad mcclaren struggled with. We got relegated because we didn’t bring rafa in sooner. This current crop is good for the championship but premier league….not a chance.

    Lgfuad, being self sufficient is good but when everyone else isn’t then it’s a hindrance rather than a positive

  • 18 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    You’re going on that assumption based on two very poor performances at the start of the season. This same squad with a season together gaining a winning mentality would imo would survive in the PL. With the careful additions that will of course have to be bought we will comfortably finish in the top ten.

  • 19 martoon // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Toon_Barmy if he doesn’t want to play for us then cancelling his contract would seem logical. We wouldn’t get a transfer fee but we would save on his wages and he could find a new club x

  • 20 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Expat – you’re right I’ve checked and Alan didn’t make it to the photo shoot, maybe he was still eating Wengers’ dinner? Sam Allardyce obviously had other engagements too.

  • 21 Kebabacus // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    What’s the team going to be at Derby then?

    I’m not even sure who plays or us anymore 🙂

  • 22 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Hey Ian, thanks for taking the time to read my posts carefully enough keep track of the thread of my arguments. That’s rare and maybe even undeserved.

    For my part, I enjoy your posts a great deal, not just for the football content, which is always well considered and well written, but also for the drama and humour that swirls around them. Good fun. Keep ’em coming, even if I don’t mind if you leave me out of them pal. haha!

    I’m happy for people to make whatever they want from my posts. Happy for them to be making anything at all out of them in truth. Happy if anyone bothers to read them at all. Like most I write out of pure devotion to the club, to get it off my chest, and I think they’re a mixed bag to be honest, often rattled off, but I can look after myself, as I know you can too.

  • 23 santon3 // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    where is pardew?

  • 24 nut meg // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Not sure what he was on but I’m pretty sure 80k is not that much of a pay rise considering we paid him decent money when he first signed for 1.8m I think he got a increase shortly after also while showing some good form but all those players costing that kind of money seem to be getting a lot more than 80k a week,at least the one’s I’v read about over the years.

  • 25 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:34 PM


    And what have you based that assumption on that this current squad can finish mid table in the prem? The last 2 performances?

    Brighton was good they still had chances which they didn’t take, Bristol again missed quite a few chances. Good results for us but be realistic mate.

    All clubs that get promoted say the big difference between the championship and PL is you get punished for making mistakes.

    Be interesting to see how many others think the current squad which lacks in creativity would be good enough to finish mid table in the prem

  • 26 Budge123 // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    Let’s just concentrate on getting up before we worry about staying up!

  • 27 toon22 // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    The problem we have had over the last god knows how many years is we havent had an actual team,its been a group of people who rely on individual skill to gain resluts.
    Weve not had a team effort for as long as i can rememmber,Rafa is obviously building that team.
    Once we get out of this league we will need that extra spice to add to an already solid team.

  • 28 JP...from The Rock // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    This is worrying ;

    “…the payments means Newcastle would receive the full fee — in five instalments of £6m — only if he stays for the duration of his five-year contract.”

    Then does that mean to say if Spurs sell Sissoko within a year or two we only get half of the money?!? If that is true we end up losing money and only selling him for a fraction of the £30m.

  • 29 nut meg // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    I 100% agree with that

  • 30 JP...from The Rock // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    It on here at the top of the article;

    Hope us fans can get a clarification to this from Rafa in a fans forum meeting or something.

  • 31 Ron Knee // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    nut meg

    Let’s hope he gets a London Weighting Allowance like the nurses. He’ll find it a struggle to make ends meet on a measly 80K!

  • 32 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Sissoko is overpriced at 30m, but the bravado on here about what a bad character he is for not going to Everton (diddums) or how much better off we are without him – and wini, etc – is denial central. The squad has taken a hit of around 40% in quality, going from a lavishly assembled bunch of talented misfits (that did all our heads in) to an attritional rump with bells on it, akin to QPR or Fulham.

    The fact our manager is vastly superior to others at this level probably means we’d be in promotion contention with either squad come May. Sissoko drove the team from midfield on a good day, especially on the counter. No love lost, but can’t see any current player fulfilling that role.

  • 33 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    I never said finish mid table, it would definitely need three or four quality players for that. This current squad with a season together would not get relegated. All just opinion of course.

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:53 PM

    Does it really matter how Spurs are paying us. We did not get a chance to spend the money last night, so unless it really affects our January spending I don’t really care what they’ve done.

  • 35 Ron Knee // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Realistic Rafa:-

    “We know we couldn’t get some names that we wanted but we brought players in the positions and with the experience required for this division.”

  • 36 Wayayman // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Don’t forget poor Moussa would have gotten the rest of his contract here paid in full as he didn’t hand in a transfer request. Them’s the rules nowadays, not the old style ‘waiving’ the signing on fee.

  • 37 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    JP – I can’t imagine that means anything more than if they sell him before the five years instalment plan term they have to cough up the balance.

  • 38 Sliema // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:57 PM


    I don’t want us to need a single player who can drive the team all on his own. Too long we have ended off deliberately or not relying on one player to do such tasks, I’d much prefer a team, and the team is more of a team without Sissoko imho.

    There was more to moan about than to rave about with Moussa, we need the right characters at our club who want to work hard.

  • 39 Belfast // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    They obviously didn’t want him that much if they only bought him with minutes to spare. I think they had a list of midfield players and he was probably the last name on it to be honest. Failed to sign Zaha and a couple of others which left Sissoko or nobody.

    And like the article states Levy very rarely signs anyone over 25 – So it looks like there was an element of desperation at Spurs to get one player on that list.

  • 40 nut meg // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    I agree,it would be a struggle for me too…but…cut the coat according to the cloth.Stay in on a Monday night!

  • 41 Belfast // Sep 1, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    And thankfully they done it! 🙂

  • 42 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Yeah I think this current group might get relegated from the epl, which is stronger now than last year, and we essentially 30 million quid of players weaker, even with Rafa.

    We have traded quality for depth, balance and commitment, but this will not be the squad we’ll have this time next year should we go up. There will have to be quality additions.

    I think the exodus was down to Rafa recognising he couldn’t hold on to some, that many were psychologically shot, and others simply not good enough.

  • 43 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Pat on The Field. Tosh. Sissoko “Good Days” were surprisingly less than Gouffrans apparently. His lack of appearance in the gritty basement must -wins, alongside the other prancing show pony wijnaldum, left us seriously in the lurch considering their quality was what we relied on to keep us out of this division, the one they didn’t have the bottle or morale fibre to get us out of.

    Their mercenary behaviour is indicative of the greedy selfish attitude many young players fall in to when their own self worth is bolstered by grasping agents. The lack of any Team Ethic is a glaring omission from the game of a Top Player.

  • 44 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Don’t like the sound of that – 6m a year payment.

    Fcuking load of bollox if true. Should of been a lump sum say £15-20m then the rest paid over 1-2 years.


    I’d imagine that if they sold him before the five year mark we’d receive the outstanding amount in full.

    Ah, but what happens if he turns out shite for them and they sell for say £10-15m.

    All questions we’ll never get the answer too I’ll wager.

    Just glad he’s gone though tbh.

    Fcuking snake.

  • 45 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Sliema – I take your point but we have lost other individual match winners as well. A team is built not bought, which goes back to my original point about Benitez being able to build team spirit with either set of players. So all that’s happened is a big drop in quality, which may have been necessary, but is not cause for celebration like some seem to think.

  • 46 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    All just opinions mind but the lads at NUFC.Com know their onions. They claim Sissoko and Wijnaldum contributed more than their fair share to our relegation last year, you claimed that we’re crazy to sell them. Ian Toon knows.

  • 47 Belfast // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Aye seems like it’s buy now and pay never haha

    Just goes to show you how desperate they where to get rid of him though, just like I suspected.

  • 48 Ron Knee // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    nut meg

    He’ll have to keep the onyx Bentley for another year or two!

  • 49 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    I think it is difficult to make any assessment of our team in the prem at the moment, the players need to gel and the new lads have to start getting involved.

    This team looks OK at the moment, certainly good enough for the championship, but I would wait until around Christmas before making a judgement on if they would be good enough for the prem, with a few prem additions.

  • 50 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Team spirit looked pretty good in the last 6 games. Maybe top players needed a top manager? Wini and sissoko are preening and greedy? Dun dun derrrr Wow I take it all back, because no teams in the premiership have fancy dans with big egos? Match winners in the premiership are all called trev and share their cheese and pickle with you at half time? Are we aiming for the premier league or the Rymans league here?

  • 51 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Jail, never claimed we were crazy to sell them, quite the opposite, acknowledged it was excellent business. Did maintain we should have tried to keep all our better players though, and bought once back. I’m not sure we didn’t initially. The opposite has happened, but I agree with Pat on the Heed, its six of one half the other, with Rafa as manager. I didn’t foresee such an overhaul for sure, but I’m not complaining about it now he’s managed it.

  • 52 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Pat there’s your problem you assume everyone on this blog is naive. I observed what I see as the sharp end of an accepted ethos, the bit where the player thinks he’s too good to be a team member at all, that’s where their talent falls off a cliff, that’s why we had very little out of them for last season. The last few games? I can imagine Rafa saying “if you want a move, and a well paid one, get us out of this crap by playing the way you should and we’ll both be happy”. Doesn’t take a genius.

    Coming on here and berating the majority for observing what has plainly been displayed by these characters makes you look shabby.

  • 53 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    READING FC have been fined £5,000 by the Football Association following an incident in their 4-1 defeat at Newcastle United last month.

    Royals have been penalised for failing to control their players after former transfer target Dwight Gayle punched the ball into the net in the third minute at St James’ Park.

    Referee Andy Madley awarded the goal but then overturned his decision after consulting with his linesman.

    Gayle was also booked for deliberate handball, which left Reading players furious.

    However, the FA deemed Jaap Stam’s men went too far with their remonstrations.

    The FA tweeted: “Reading have been fined £5000 after being charged for failing to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.

    “It follows an incident in the third minute of the game against Newcastle United on 17 August 2016.”

    Gayle went on to score twice for Rafa Benitez’s Magpies on the night.

    However, Reading fans have criticised the FA for their decision to impose a fine.

  • 54 DaraghL // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    JP/Average Contents –

    The deal would be structured as £5m per annum for 5 years. If they were to offload Sissoko in lets say Year 2 they would need to pay years 2-5 in a lump sum.

    The deal would not hinge on how much he sells for. If Spurs release him on a free they would still need to cough up.

  • 55 BandB // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    I see JFA getting a lecture this morning on being one of those dinosaurs who’s time for extinction has come.

    Can there be anything more risible than the sight of a man who has changed his opinions but kept his name being told to scoot by a man who has repeatedly done the very opposite?

    For shame……

  • 56 DaraghL // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Rafa’s interview on

    Following the close of the transfer window on Wednesday night, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez sat down with to reflect on a summer of change at St. James’ Park…

    The transfer window closed last night (Wednesday). How happy are you with the business that’s been done this summer?

    I am very happy. We have really done a lot of business, to move players out and also to bring new players with experience in. It has not been easy all the time, because of the price of players in this window especially when the Premier League clubs had received their television income.

    But we have traded very well, we have kept focussed on our targets and we have tried to bring the players in with the characteristics that we needed.

    Every day, until the last minute of the last day, my communication with Lee Charnley has been great. We did everything we had to do to finalise our business early, but these days you can’t control what others do, so while I was in Nyon in the UEFA Coaches Meeting and on my way back to UK, we were talking about the last transfers.

    I have to say I think we have done a great job and I think it is easy to see that.

    There’s been a significant number of changes to the squad, both incoming and outgoing. What has been your thinking for the major overhaul?

    We needed every single player in the squad to be dedicated and to want to help in the campaign for promotion.

    I said in a lot of interviews this group of players have been very good professionals, but when a player doesn’t have that desire then we need to move him on to another club. It affects moral and atmosphere in the group and that can be damaging.

    Also, we have had some players who were happy at Newcastle but they would not have been a big part of my plans this season. These players want to play football, that is normal, so sometimes it is in the best interests of everyone that they leave.

    We have brought in 12 players, which is more business than the Club have ever done in a transfer window. But after the relegation and the atmosphere you could sense we needed to make sure that we were strong in every position and that we had the right players and the right characters with experience for the Championship.

    We know we couldn’t get some names that we wanted but we brought players in the positions and with the experience required for this division.

    A few positions were a priority for you – centre-back, striker, left-back and winger. Are you happy with the way the Club has strengthened those key positions?

    Yes I am happy. Everyone could see we needed more offensive players, more creativity in the team. So we have Matt Ritchie, Mohamed Diame and Dwight Gayle who are already doing a really good job for us to create chances and score goals and, of course, we added Daryl Murphy, which gives us another option up front.

    Now we have Christian Atsu who is an attacking winger, as well as Achraf Lazaar and DeAndre Yedlin, who are attack-minded defenders.

    We have also strengthened in other areas; Jesus Gamez, Ciaran Clark, Grant Hanley and Matz Sels will increase the competition at the back and Isaac Hayden will do the same in the middle, so the competition in each position only can be good for the team.

    You’ve brought in several players with lots of Championship experience and knowledge of English football. Was that important for you?

    It is important. The priority for us is that we get promotion this season, so we had to focus in the window on getting the right players for this division.

    The Championship is tougher and more physical, but still with good quality. Players who already have experience in the Championship understand the way the game is played already and they can help the rest of the squad to prepare for the style of football and the character that you need to succeed in this division.

    The likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend, Moussa Sissoko and Daryl Janmaat have left Newcastle in this window. You stated before that players would only be sold if the deal was in the best interests of the squad and the Club. Are you happy that is the case with these outgoings?

    With Andros, I wanted to keep him because he was exactly the type of creative player that we could build the team around, but football is not always as easy as that. He loved being at Newcastle but he wanted to play in the Premier League. We had to respect his decision.

    Gini, Moussa and Daryl also wanted to play in the top division. They are talented players but our objective is very clear and we needed every single player, like the staff and the fans, pushing in the same direction.

    It can affect the atmosphere and the team spirit if you don’t have that. Fans will know that sometimes the team spirit was not strong last season and that was part of the problem why we got relegated.

    A group of individuals with a lot of talent does not make a good team. Our priority has been to build a strong team with good character, mentality and also talent. Now we have a squad where every player who is here wants to work together to fight for the Club.

    Do you expect to see some of the players loaned out, such as Tim Krul, Siem de Jong, Henri Saivet and Kevin Mbabu, back at the Club next summer?

    Our focus right now is only on the season ahead of us and we will look at the squad for next season when the time is right.

    For now, it was important for them to get some match time as they have not played as much football as they would have wanted to for a while. We will see, obviously, how these players do this season.

    Some fans are thinking Adam Armstrong would have been better staying at Newcastle but is the thinking to give him regular starts (at Barnsley on loan)?

    I agree that Adam is a good striker, he has good ability and it can be an exciting future for him. That is why we have given him a new contract, because we see that in the future he can be a very important player for Newcastle United.

    But at the moment he is still young and with not so much experience. The best thing for Adam’s development as a player is to go on loan to a club where he will play regularly.

    With the experienced players we have in attack, I cannot guarantee that Adam would have the minutes on the pitch that he needs for his development.

    The bench is not a good place for a young player. It is always better that the player is on the pitch, so a loan was perfect for this season. We have to think always about the long-term, not just the short-term, and do what is best for the player and the Club.

    Promotion is obviously the main aim but how many of the players signed this summer could have a job to do beyond that, and will they stay on the journey?

    You are exactly right, promotion has to be the main focus so we had to build a team with that as the priority.

    There is no sense to be building for the Premier League if it means we don’t have the right players to get out of this division.

    When you look at our squad, though, there are many players in different positions who will be very good for the Premier League, too. We will need to make some changes if we are successful at getting promotion, of course, but the foundation of a Premier League squad is already there.

    It is a good blend of players that we have now.

    Even in the first few games there have been injury problems. Does this prove you’re right that strength in depth is vital?

    Absolutely, we have to have strength in depth. We have two games a week, every few days there is a game and we know from experience and also from research that if players are playing as many games as this they will pick up injuries. The research proves that it is inevitable.

    So, we have to do a few things. We have to rotate the squad. I have done this before at other clubs I have been at and it helps a lot to reduce the number of injuries because you can rest players and make sure they properly recover between games.

    Also you have to have depth to the squad in every position to make a rotation system possible but also to give us cover when injuries do happen.

    Finally, we have to have the proper medical and rehabilitation processes in place to get players back from injury safely – always – but as quickly as we can.

    That is why we made some changes to our medical team and our facilities this summer and I’m really pleased with the job they are already doing, it is all important.

    Does the big summer shopping spree mean we can expect less business in January?

    Now is not the time to talk about January. Our focus now moves away from transfers and is only on the football.

    Of course, we will continue to assess the squad over the next few months and see how we are doing before the end of the year. I have a lot of confidence in this group of players and hopefully we will be doing well and looking strong.

    There was a feeling Newcastle were previously signing players to use the Club as a stepping stone to bigger clubs, is that no longer the case?

    The main thing is that the Club is in control and we are signing players who are right for this Club and for our Championship campaign. It cannot be the other way around.

    We are only interested in bringing players to Newcastle who want to work hard for the Club and the team; not players who want to be at another club maybe next year or the year after.

    We are not a stepping stone, we are Newcastle United.

    Every player should be honoured to wear the shirt of this Club. They should feel the same passion that the fans feel, then you have a great relationship between the players and the supporters in the stadium.

    It is magical when that happens and it can help us achieve great things together.

    Are we still favouring European markets for transfers?

    For me, it doesn’t matter where the player comes from, as long as he has the right mentality, character and the quality we need.

    Sometimes it is true that there is better value in other countries in Europe but we look at players from every league, it does not matter the country.

    We had a meeting with the scouting department at the start of the season to clarify the way to work and we constantly share information about players to be sure we can find what we need it doesn’t matter where they are from.

  • 57 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Selling the likes of wijnaldum and Sissoko makes more than immediate monetary sense. it’s good sporting business when you are reconstructing a fit-for-purpose league winning TEAM. Wijnaldum breezed through his year waiting for a ‘bigger’ club to escalate him, same with Sissoko, who in fact was a star-shaped peg in a side that had no hole for him to fill. His decent performances were virtuoso ones and masked over the lack of chances and wasted opportunities most of his huffing and puffing amounted to, for someone with so much talent and in such a pivotal role.

    Rafa knows what he is doing I think. The change is justifiably radical, and sporting-wise it means we have jettisoned much of the spiteful and selective mentality these ‘better players’ burdened us with.

  • 58 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Tsunki – I don’t know why you turn this personal. But okay, I’ll bite. I am countering the majority view, so what? Things become entrenched on here. It’s like one massive straw man opinion which everyone builds together bit by bit. Your role seems to be court jester, and a couple of hundred years ago they would probably have given you a hat and stick with the little bells on it. More’s the pity eh.

  • 59 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Just to select one part from that Rafa inyerview-

    “We needed every single player in the squad to be dedicated and to want to help in the campaign for promotion.

    I said in a lot of interviews this group of players have been very good professionals, but when a player doesn’t have that desire then we need to move him on to another club. It affects moral and atmosphere in the group and that can be damaging.”

    There you go, Jimmy and Pat and also the other Sissoko apologists

  • 60 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    it’s not personal Pat it’s probably a little bit of ire at what appears to be a lecture for the blog collective on how stupid and short sighted they are for rounding on the likes of Sissoko. There’s always a few characters who like to complain about the Football Managers on here without stopping to think they are setting themselves up as one.

  • 61 JP...from The Rock // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Thanks for the replies lads that puts my mind at ease. With Rafa on board I know that money will be spent wisely.

  • 62 hibbit // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    could it possibly be that jimmy pat and ian are all one and the same i do wonder
    they write in that condescending dismissive tone ???

  • 63 DaraghL // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    My only concern with the deal is the value of money today vs over a 5 year period.

    Look at recent history £5m five years ago got you a hell of a lot more than it does now. What may have swung the deal was the option of either c.£25m now or £30m over 5 years. Most clubs would take the latter.

    Given Sissoko’s character, I would strongly doubt we will be waiting 5 years for the full amount to be repaid.

  • 64 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Why apologists? Rafa himself wanted him to stay until it was clear it wasn’t on.

  • 65 martoon // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    If Rafa was away at the elite coaches forum then how could he give that interview. I suspect it must have been done a few days ago and only published now.

  • 66 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    You sure about that Jimmy? Someone posted earlier that sound bites about having no problem keeping him in the squad were part of the sale dialogue, it would seem to bear out. That snippet from Rafas interview and the fact Sissoko spent his off season fitness regime largely apart from the squad suggest he was destined to go from even before the end of last season.

  • 67 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Tsunki – even allowing for your apparent superhuman powers in reading Benitez’s mind, no one suggested keeping players against their will as far as I’m aware. Try responding to comments people actually made, it tends to make for better debate.

  • 68 Moonraker15 // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    We’ve seen the best and the worst of Sissoko but surely no one can doubt that Diame is a better all round player albeit 2 years older.
    If Pochetino had watched him all season as we have there’s no way he would pay 30 million.
    I think they were fooled by the 2 games he played against Spurs and the Euros where despite looking brilliant, he achieved nothing.

  • 69 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Daraghl – reasonable conclusion. A £5m credit premium isn’t that onerous considering not just the potential revenue over that time but the sell-on fee to be recouped. People think it’s Spurs being ripped off but if Spurs get him to do what he wouldn’t do here, they have an investment. I can imagine Sissoko tearing his wick out in those CL draws with major European clubs, trying UK get his next move.

  • 70 manxpie // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Jimmy he is hardly going to say I want rid of him is he?
    The reason we got 30 mill is how rafa handled the situation

  • 71 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Hibbit, Ian, Pat on the Heed and I are not the same person, and we don’t represent obscure views.

  • 72 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    “We are not a stepping stone, we are Newcastle United.”
    A far far cry from we can’t compete with Swansea.

  • 73 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    Cite the mind-reading part then Pat.

  • 74 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    Interestingly, Benitez’s actual comments about wanting Sissoko to stay carry none of the import of Benitez general allusions about unhappy players being allowed to go. See it’s all code. But instead of Alan Turing, we have Tsunki.

  • 75 manxpie // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Martoon nah he says in the interview he was still chatting to Charnly on the way back so will have been done this morning

  • 76 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Don’t bother actually Pat I can see what you were driving at send it’s inane and time consuming. it’s not mind reading, it’s observing what transpired and concluding reasonably. The fact that Sissoko and wijnaldum have gone should lead you to the same conclusion. What you are berating the majority for is for seeing things the way Benitez has. Good luck with that then. 😉

  • 77 cyprus // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Jose Enrique hasn’t a club? Did his frequent injuries get the best of him?

    Remember he said he wanted to end his career here. Of course he didn’t mention that by by that he meant a big chunk to be spent elsewhere. Can he still play?

    Academic question of course. But he was very good on his day.

  • 78 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    Cyprus he should never have had that haircut. That did for him

  • 79 cyprus // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    I was suspecting that myself

  • 80 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Tsunki – I agree this season had the unmistakable feel of wijnaldum’s first and last at the club, a la hamann. It pains me to say it in a way but we’re not a club that can carry a Wijnaldum, an assured technical operator without obvious flaws and demons. They tend to go to Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal for some reason.

  • 81 jimmysmith // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    What makes you so sure he wanted rid all along?

    His head wasn’t right, but there was definite quality in his football.

    Surely it’s more than plausible he liked him, he wanted him to stay, and simply ultimately realised he couldn’t keep him.

    I think he’d have been happy either way it panned out.

    As it happens, he went, and we got good money, well done Rafa.

  • 82 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Under Rafa it could be argued sissoko was very good, played LB or RB when needed, did what his team needed of him when asked.

    These relegated misfits that are now deemed not good enough went 5 games unbeaten when rafa finally got his magic working. If Rafa had been bought in 1 month earlier we would have stayed up.

    The players didn’t help themselves but we didn’t go down because of gini or sissoko, in fact they aren’t even near the top of my list for why we went down.

    Top of my list is mcclaren, followed by the defence, tactics and poor selections.

  • 83 NUFCPaul // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Rasul – hope you’re reading this and all the other sensible replies to the tosh that you wrote. Why are we bothered about the money we receive for players? Why do we have a problem with Sissoko? Are you kidding me?

    We’re bothered about the money because we know that 30M will be reinvested (for the most part) on new players coming in. If we had no money coming in then we’d get less players coming in, and players of a lower quality. Common sense.

    And why do we have a problem with Sissoko? Apart from his lackluster performances last season (from a player who seems to think he’s world class), he also couldn’t keep his gob shut about wanting to leave. Sure, complain to your manager and agent and teammates behind closed doors (I don’t have a problem with him wanting to leave – good riddance) but he should have had some class, dignity and basic intelligence to not say anything in all the interviews he was conducting. Again, common sense.

    His treatment of Everton yesterday combined with his complaining about wanting to leave when he was away on international leave and never to local papers where he’d be closer to home, shows you just how cowardly and spineless this little toad really is. Football supporters have good memories and between us and Everton supporters, he’s going to be getting a lot of stick when he visits SJP and Goodison Park for years to come.

  • 84 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Who is “Pat on the heed”.
    New posters don’t generally open their first post calling the blog collective whinging old crones in a very condescending manner. They don’t harbour old grudges and they wouldn’t comment on the pitch of somebody’s voice on the radio. A regular poster reinvented or the resident troll under yet another guise.

  • 85 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    Of course it’s an art, rewriting history. Forgetting all those winnable matches where two key players never showed up. Forgetting the obvious showcasing against “bigger clubs”. Forgetting the endless interviews about leaving for the of the youth. Forgetting they trained alone in the close season because they had one foot out of the exit already. Top Players we shouldn’t have lost? Give me a break.

  • 86 outside the box // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    somehow i doubt that the amount of clearing out would have been done had we not been relegated and we would have another few seasons of hovering around the bottom of the league ..i doubt the powers that be would have sanctioned such a rafalution thinking the premier isnt the time or place for it …… .relegation may be seen in future as blessing in disguise

  • 87 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    …leaving for the club of their youth.

  • 88 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    I thought it was another Ian, Jail.

  • 89 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    Me too Tsunki

  • 90 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Jimmy, that’s about the size of it.

    But I can fairly safely say there won’t be a game this season where we will say ” if only we had Moussa or Gini in that position” strangely we might say it about Tiote if he leaves.

  • 91 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Sorry Tsunki, I missed the bit in Benitez’s interview where he celebrates the departures of premiership standard players. He sounds more like a man reconciled to reality to me.

  • 92 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    Nufc Paul

    It’s not 30m, it’s 6m in installments

    As for it being reinvested on the squad, that’s not a certainty, we’ve been relegated it’s more likely to service the debt or lack of funds from TV deal that has dropped off

  • 93 NUFCPaul // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    Catchy – two things with you – firstly you say that the football under McClaren is the best you’ve seen in the past five years? Unbelievable. Were you highly entertained by losing on a weekly basis? Did you enjoy the style of football we played to end up with such a negative goal difference? McClaren had a good chunk of the season to at least keep us up, but we were too far under by the time Rafa got here. Goes to show just how bad McClaren was that someone as good as Rafa couldn’t save us in the end.

    And secondly, before I started contributing to this blog I remember you saying that you’d stop watching Newcastle games while we were on a run of bad games (while Pardew was manager I seem to recall) and wouldn’t start watching until we were winning again. Talk about a fair weather supporter. Stick with the team while they’re winning but jump ship when the going gets tough. The team needs MORE support when it’s doing badly, not part time fans who pick and choose when to give their support depending on the form of the team. I’ve never forgotten you saying that. Shameful.

  • 94 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    I take it that the deal between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur for Sissoko at the cost of £30 million – instalments or not (which is a bloody joke the amount of TV revenue the spuds are getting) they will have to pay the TOON £36 million including VAT as the deal was between two English clubs ????

  • 95 NUFCPaul // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Our Toon – where’s the official confirmation that it’s installments? Anyway, even if it is you’ve missed the point of what I was saying entirely. We’ve made about 75M or so from the sale of our four biggest players. If all of those players had gone for free (receiving no transfer fees) then isn’t it obvious that we’d have less to spend on new players? Sure, we don’t know if ALL of that incoming money would be spent on new players, but even if it was only half then it’s still a good chunk. I don’t think that’s too hard to understand, is it?

  • 96 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:19 PM


    Yes including VAT it would be 36m but VAT doesn’t belong to the club so it’s 30m in installments of 6m. That’s 6m every year not 30m to be reinvested immediately or next season

  • 97 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    6 mill installments over the next 5 years….why would Newcastle agree to that?

  • 98 cyprus // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Vat? He a winger?

  • 99 nut meg // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Does it actually state that payments of 6m are to be paid yearly? Maybe it’s 6m every transfer window…5 years is a long time to wait especially with all the money swishing around for the next 3 years.

  • 100 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Jail – I merely made a passing comment about my surprise at how soft and feminine you sounded on air. Why is that so wrong?

    But yes, this blog follows the same pattern with every player. Hero to villain, sometimes round the houses but virtually always concluding with the same end point. We don’t need THEM. Not THEM. With their rumoured thing they said and never playing well against teams with an M in the name. The nerve! This new one’s much better, and he wants to be here and we love him. Oh no wait we don’t cos he did a thing. Get rid! Who does he think he is?

  • 101 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Pat on the heed,
    I know you did, nothing wrong with that at all. Just saying a brand new posters very rarely have a blog history as accurate as yours.

  • 102 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    Nufc Paul

    What’s not hard to understand is we missed out on the TV deal which is massive, more than all of our outgoing transfer fees combined.

    Relegation cost us a huge chunk even with parachute payments which are paid in installments. Unlike last time when we got relegated and Ashley put up 40m of his own cash to ensure we kept our stars and didnt offload more than we needed to. Rightly so as well seeing as he messed up big time.

    The money is not reinvested it’s used to service the debt, it’s widely reported we get 30m over 5 years in 6m installments. You find me somewhere where it’s stated it’s 30m upfront and not in installments.

    Even the 25m for Gini was subject to us giving psv money as we made profit, think it was stated that this is at 25%, so that’s 2.5m if we made a 10m profit which goes to them.

    Yes a tiny proportion has been reinvested and it needed to be, we’ve reduced the wage bill massively another plus, an even bigger amount will need to be spent for next season of we go up because the gulf is massive now

  • 103 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Jail – I like to watch. What was your second question by the way?

  • 104 NUFCPaul // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Rasul/beautifulmind – just had a chance to read back over today’s comments and I don’t think you need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that you have two accounts under the above names. It seems your mind is far from beautiful, in fact it’s downright ugly.

  • 105 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    I wonder if blog mischief is starting up again, yesterday Young magpie told me my Icon had changed, I don’t know what the pattern was but I know the colour was purple, last night YCMIU told me it was still purple, but that his kept changing along with many others, Now we have a poster who is new apparently but sounds a lot like Young magpie, tfl etc etc.

    Just hope we are not in for another month of mischief.

  • 106 NUFCPaul // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Our Toon – I haven’t said either way that we received 30M in one chunk or over six installments, again, that’s besides the point. The basic idea here is less money in = less money spent on incoming players. We can at least agree on that, right?

    And I didn’t once mention the financial hit that we took with getting relegated. Of course that was a disaster for us but Ashley will have a fixed amount of money put aside to cover wages, etc. Rafa has greatly reduced the wage bill during this transfer window combined with a major chunk of money in transfer fees which will offset the money we lost dropping down a league. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t entirely cover the cost of relegation, maybe not even by fifty percent, but it’s better than retaining all those high earners and receiving no transfer money.

  • 107 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:40 PM


  • 108 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:42 PM


    You are still purple on mine buddy

    Nufc Paul – no matter what the squad was going to get trimmed this season especially after relegation, I agree it’s been a productive window and the squad has more competition for places, but the quality has dropped

  • 109 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Aye my icon has changed I was formally pretty in pink now am racing green. I was also (like others it seems) moderated for a time….seems something is afoot in blog land

  • 110 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:46 PM


    Your icon is now light blue 😮

  • 111 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Thinking about the Sissoko deal and the money changing hands its a bit boring isnt it and tbh not sure why anyone cares all that much

    NUFC under Ashley are financially savvy and we wont know how the deal is structured but we wanted 30 mill and we are getting 30 mill, we are up 31 mill on transfers so the fat mans not had to dip into his pocket…come January or next Summer I hope he adds to that 31 mill

  • 112 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    lol not creepy watching. More like the perfectly normal – through binoculars in the bushes – kind of thing.

  • 113 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    Our toon

    He’s gone light blue on mine.

    Mine is still cream, yet when I look at my profile, its gone blue. Strange things are afoot, and maybe even aleg

  • 114 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    Our Toon

    Thanks marra, apparently some have changed or keep changing.

    On topic, I think the squad is a lot more balanced, has pace and a renewed desire, maybe not as much creativity, but that will be countered by hard work and the desire to win the game.

    Once this team has gelled, I don’t think creativity will be a problem as the team are developing an understanding of passing and moving. We do have some players who can be creative and no doubt Rafa will bring that out of them.

    All in all I am very happy with the squad we have, and with Rafa at the helm. Now bring on Derby and then go on and win this damn league.

  • 115 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:51 PM


    OMG Nooooooooooooo! not blue!

  • 116 Belfast // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:51 PM


    Because they where desperate to get rid and new he wouldn’t be a good little soldier and knuckle down if he was still around.

    Do keep up 🙂

  • 117 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:51 PM


    You are still pink on mine.

  • 118 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:52 PM


    Your still pink on mine mate lol.

    Lots of others have changed colour though. Jfa, firebug and lesh three that I can recall.

    Mine used to be blue but has changed also.

  • 119 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    YCMIU, wwsbrd, firebug

    No one’s ikon colours have changed on mine, cream, pink and purple are still your respective colours on mine. Odd, very odd!!

    Firebug – yes the balance is better in the squad but I feel the quality is lacking but not for the championship.

  • 120 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    I wonder if Ed is doing some work on the blog, as yeterday on one of the treads I got HTML code instead of the story, it stayed like that for a while.

    Could answer some questions, unless it Rob hacking the site again. lmao

  • 121 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:54 PM


    Yes you are still blue on mine mate.

  • 122 Tsunki // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    Pat @91 I missed the bit where I said he did. Weird, eh?

  • 123 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:54 PM


    You are still blue on mine. I blame Brexit

  • 124 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    I’m back to Blue today.

    Ed’s experimenting.

    Wipe it all ed, wipe it all.

  • 125 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    U just dont like the French! Haha maybe though who knows

    Am I? On the top right where it says Howdy its showing me a green one now…weird maybe its a wordpress update gone wrong

  • 126 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:56 PM


    Maybe he would have knuckled down and been a good solider considering he played where the team needed him to play last season under Rafa….be it AM, winger, DM, RB or LB. Not many of the “good soldiers” in the squad now would be happy to do something like that

  • 127 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:57 PM


    I dont think Wor Robby Vollans has been around in a while. Tfl/take a chancel, and a few other aliaseses.
    YMFB has been on, but that was never rob. YMFB admitted too and appologised for a completely different set of shenanigans.

  • 128 dok - the horrid colonial // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    I was told mine is pink… any truth to that>? if so, I’m okay with it, save the tatas month in almost here 🙂

    We are not a stepping stone, we are Newcastle United” great statement, should’ve figured that out years ago..

  • 129 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:58 PM


    Yeah i am still posting as cream, but my top right on the desktop site shows deep blue.

  • 130 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    On the PC where it says howdy I just have a white box, but it always been like that, on my phone is has always been purple……..Awwww I liked purple!

  • 131 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:58 PM


    You had to go and mention it didn’t you.

    We’ve only just got past sisulko’s attributes (I hope) or lack thereof which was riveting in itself.

    Let’s talk about….er…erm..Yes, trees.

    You start and I’ll go play tick with a train.

  • 132 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 2:59 PM


    You are indeed pink.

  • 133 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:00 PM


    Actually, Firebug mentioned rob first.

  • 134 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:02 PM

    See last night I was using my phone and it was swapping between pink and green I just ignored it tbh. Am sure itll sort itself out as people say maybe Ed is playing around with it, maybe got sick of the troll issue and looking into fixing it

  • 135 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:02 PM


    You are indeed pink.

    Great statement from rafa that.

    Shame the slug and his vile cronies never seen it that way and proceeded to beat us down until we couldn’t compete with the mighty Swansea and the like.

  • 136 isleofmanman // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Still bumps to come along the way – but the fact that our manager’s back catalogue of successes makes him an elite european coach makes me feel like I’m walking on air compared to 6 months ago

  • 137 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Anyway moving away from blog issues…

    Strongest team then? Whose willing to take a crack at Rafas job? Guessing itll be 4231 mostly

    Anita Mbemba Lascelles Lazaar
    Shelvey Hayden
    Ritchie Diame Atsu(hope more than knowledge here)

    That’d be mine

  • 138 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:05 PM


    I meant brexit lol.

    Rob who.

    But yeah, what a complete and utter spunkbubble.

  • 139 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Oh Junior Hoilett is on a free

  • 140 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:10 PM


    Pretty much what I’d go for apart from de yedlin for anita.

    Prefer a specialist rb than a cm (I know he plays best in that position rather than midfield but still)

    Anita could be our perch, filling in when needed but only when needed.

    If gayle goes on a bit of a barren run then chuck mitro up top. If he loses it then Murphy lol.

  • 141 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    If atsu’s shite then goofy as he’s been pretty solid the last few games although it would be unfair to drop him initially imo.

    That thunderbastard of a shot deserves another start 🙂

  • 142 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:14 PM

    Yeah maybe Yedlin at RB though I dont rate him that highly from what Ive seen at club level

    I agree up front…bit worrying that both of us have Perez so far down the pecking order though is it not?

  • 143 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:27 PM


    Forgot about Perez tbh mate.

    Impact sub. I feel better already.

    He’d fit in up top with Mitro or Murphy if rafa played 442 and gayle wasn’t cutting it.

    I don’t like him playing number 10.

    Not enough guile or ability (just yet) to thread a pass through for the striker as he tends to try and do a bit much without lifting his head up.

  • 144 dok - the horrid colonial // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:27 PM


    mighty swans? well, seems to me were finally getting it right after a decade of stupidity… I mean rafa came into this window with a weed whacker and cleaned up the yard …

  • 145 Alems1983 // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    I don’t think we need to worry about Mike dipping into his pocket and making funds available. I’m sure Rafa had it written into his contract that presuming we are promoted at the 1St attempt funds will be made available (big funds) those are the assurances Rafa wanted before comitting, he was probably told for this season, that to buy all the players he wants he will have to sell.
    You’ve got teams like palace paying out fees of 30 million+.
    We spent 80 odd million last summer albeit the wrong people spent that but in Rafa we now have someone trusted in the transfer market. Every single manager who’s ever managed has bought duds or misfits, it’s always a gamble buying any player, and Ashley and us and any other manager, chairman, fan will know that! I think Mike has finally seen the light and realised his mistakes, Charnley will be working on Rafas orders only trust me. Rafa is the main man now and bright things are on the horizon! Sit back and enjoy the show!

  • 146 Belfast // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    Nah Rob is still definitely around – just keeping his big heed down these days.

    Our Toon in my opinion there was no chance of him being a good little soldier and knuckling down and for all we know him and his entourage could have been threatening all sorts behind closed doors. Did you see his team picture ? 🙂

  • 147 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    Forgetting him, does that not tell a story?

    Am not sure where is best to play him tbh I rate him less and less as time passes

  • 148 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    Plus with his back to goal outside of the box he tends to lose the ball quite a bit or gets bullied off it (comes with experience I suppose) so I’d much prefer him in it where I think he excels.

    Fox in the box so to speak.

    I’ve a feeling that once Diame is upto speed he’ll be an absolute beast for us and with shelvey playing slightly higher like in the last game and hayden sitting deeper, we’ll be quite exciting to watch.

    I did notice though that once shelvey ventured forward against Brighton that Diame dropped back to cover his run. It seemed to work well.

    Here’s hoping anyway.

  • 149 Ron Knee // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    I think Sels is preferred to Darlow.

  • 150 sweendog // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Some good points on here but surely everything is as cut and dry as
    Sissoko/Wijnaldum/Janmaat – they made up the team that got relegated
    They wanted to leave
    We got a lot of money from them.
    I’m happy as the club has more money and as Benitez has said, only players who want to be here are staying.
    Excellent window for me, maybe in January if we are clear at the top we will start to see the rewards, some exciting players.
    At the moment I’m excited that Rafa is here and the team is definitely on the up.

  • 151 WWSBRD // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Ron Knee
    So do I but I dont think he should be

  • 152 sweendog // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    Ron Knee .. Sels was excellent against Brighton too, I think his confidence needed that.

  • 153 sweendog // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    Average_Contents … diame definitely looks like an improvement on Sissoko for me, not a 1-2 game wonder.

  • 154 Ron Knee // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    “Fellow new defender Archaf Lazaar came off the bench for Morocco in their 0-0 draw against Albania.

    The full back came on with only minutes to go to earn his 15th cap.”

    Did anybody see him?

  • 155 Average_Contents // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:41 PM


    And the like.

    Pinnochio regailed us with tales of not being able to compete with clubs in and around our position at the time.

    Perhaps he knew then what we know now. We’d be in the fizzy pop.


    Perhaps, I like him and think he’s a good player but like you I’m debating with myself whether or not he’s improving or just staying the same.

    I think the initial gloss has been rubbed off to leave exactly what we thought we were getting, a player for the development squad at that time and after such a breakthrough season it’s become apparent that that’s probably what he needed.

    That’s what expectation does.

  • 156 Pat On The Heed // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    Tsunki – then your comment at 76, that Benitez sees Sissoko as ‘the majority on here’ do, i.e. a bad apple we are well rid of, makes no sense.

  • 157 Ron Knee // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:43 PM


    You might see Sels in action this evening!

  • 158 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    I think Rafa seen Sissoko, Janmaat and Wijnaldum as disruptive to the team judging by his Q&A session.

    “Gini, Moussa and Daryl also wanted to play in the top division. They are talented players, but our objective is very clear and we needed every single player, like the staff and the fans, pushing in the same direction.

    “It can affect the atmosphere and the team spirit if you don’t have that.

    “Fans will know that sometimes the team spirit was not strong last season and that was part of the problem why we got relegated.”

    “A group of individuals with a lot of talent does not make a good team. Our priority has been to build a strong team with good character, mentality and also talent. Now we have a squad where every player who is here wants to work together to fight for the club.”

    Therefore get them out of the club and bring in the players that want to be here and want to help achieve our aims.

  • 159 SuperShearer // Sep 1, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    I’m not sad to see the back of Daryl, Wini or Sissoko. I don’t care how highly they thought of themselves all three went missing in a season when we need them all to shine. Did any of them? Wini had one great game against a Norwich with no defence, the rest of the time I barely knew if he was on the field or not.

    Rafa has given the squad a massive overhaul and while it might not look on paper as talented as the last squad I would bet them to beat that team of mercs any day of the week under Rafa’s guidance. Here’s to the future.

  • 160 Toonces // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Just a couple thoughts…

    30M for Sissoko is 30M whether paid in installments or not. Why worry about it? As far as my limited knowledge about football transfer business goes, isn’t it the case that all cash up front deals are the exception and installment payment schemes are in fact the more common? Wasn’t this one of the issues Ashley discovered when he bought the club – that we were still owing transfer payment installments? So the Spuds owe us 30M and the payments are whatever they might be.

    And a comment about Tiote. I am happy he is still here but I think the other day that I saw mention that a Russian club or two might be interested in him. The Russian transfer window is still open until Monday so he might still have a chance to leave.

  • 161 Ian Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:06 PM

    Jail – This wasn’t about you but Xia and Villa. Hence collectivism and not individualism. I apologise if you didn’t find it humorous. Maybe you didn’t read anymore than the first sentence.

    106Ian Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 7:11 AM

    The sharpshooter Jail for Ashley type poster has passed its sell buy date and is in need of a facelift. Maybe, just maybe the new Aston Villa owner Tony Xia could fill the void. Xia could not have timed his foray on to the world wide web any better to step into the breach. A makeover is in the offing!! A loop on the “too good for” material.

    Anyway. Xia soon after purchasing Villa took part in an Q&A session designed to give the impression of communicating with the fans without actually saying anything controversial or of note. That was doubtless the plan, anyway. But in answer to the question “where do you see Villa in five years’ time?” Xia answered: “The top club in Europe with the highest number of fans all over the world.

  • 162 chicousa // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    This is the section of the interview that to me summed up what Rafa discovered about Sissoko, Gini, and Janmaat:

    “We are only interested in bringing players to Newcastle who want to work hard for the Club and the team; not players who want to be at another club maybe next year or the year after.”

    “We are not a stepping stone, we are Newcastle United.”

    For those 3 players (in their minds) NUFC was never anything other than a stepping stone for their own personal career advancment.

  • 163 davis_toons // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    Did i see Pardew sitting beside Fergie?

  • 164 bettyswallocks // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:21 PM

    Sissoko’s agent played it well yesterday. He knew all along that £30m was the last price and convinced Everton of that and then persuaded them to do the deal. Levy obviously intended to try his case and chip away at the price up until the close of play but once Everton agreed to deal that was time to put up or fcuk off.

    To play Koeman and Everton like that shows what a bunch of mercenaries Sucksoso and his mob are. Anyway that’s the end of that saga.
    I think some credit needs to be given to Charnley for negotiating and administrating all our deals. Last season after being promoted to a level of his own incompetence he was trying to keep Mikey , Carr and McC happy , now he just has to focus on what he’s good at, which is to administrate for Rafa and negotiate with clubs, players and agents on Rafa’s behalf, which make no mistake is not an easy task.

  • 165 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    It’s a nice comment from Rafa but reality is that once back in PL we will be a stepping stone for players and coaches. Liverpool was a stepping stone for Suarez as Man utd was a stepping stone for Ronaldo.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is somewhat deluded to think we aren’t a stepping stone.

    Rafa wanted players that want to be here, yes good comment. Sounds good to the toon fans as well, bottom line is ambitious players whether good or not will always dream of playing for a better club than nufc

  • 166 JP...from The Rock // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    Oh no just seen this my fears of a dodgy deal are true..

  • 167 dok - the horrid colonial // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    our toon,

    ill bite and play devils advocate…

    what if rafa gets us to the top, CL appearances and deep cup runs and wins… are we still a stepping stone then???

    I think/believe/hope that is where this club is heading… call me deluded then…

  • 168 chicousa // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    Our Toon,
    Sorry mate….there IS no better club than NUFC!

    Rafa is trying to build a club that can stand as equals to the biggest clubs in the BPL and Europe. He knows we have the fanbase to continue to bring the club the revenue it needs to compete. But there are some that thru habitual thinking, feel we will always be an inferior club.

    Inferiority feelings – out!

  • 169 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:34 PM


    I don’t believe that article. I cant for one second believe Mash would give that the o.k.

  • 170 HTT // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    Can always choose to see the cup as half full or half empty Our Toon. From where I’m sitting there is plenty to be positive about at the minute, you’re not doing yourself any favors searching for things to get yourself upset over ha

  • 171 Toonces // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:39 PM

    JP… how would anyone really know that? The story doesn’t quote a source and who says it is installments every year? It could be every window. And why would we agree to that if Everton were truly in play? I think this is just some Spurs ass-covering to make it look like Levy got a good deal. And if Spurs moved him on, wouldn’t he have to go back to Newcastle if the fee wasn’t paid in full? A lot of what ifs and we could have got a better deal from Everton. We agreed terms with Spurs so Rafa and the club must have liked what was offered.

  • 172 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:43 PM


    Not asking for a bite mate, just speaking the truth. Are we a bigger club than real madrid, barca, Bayern, juve, man utd etc etc. No we aren’t, even if Rafa gets us to CL consistently it doesn’t automatically make us a big team as arsenal found out with vardy this season.

    We are not an elite club, we are a big club because of our fanbase but will never be above the likes of the teams I’ve just mentioned. Are you seriously suggesting that nufc is bigger than all the clubs I’ve listed?

  • 173 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:45 PM


    Inferior to Madrid and barca we are just like every club in England and around the world. I love my club and wouldn’t trade it for the world but in also realistic

    Reality check needed, deluded thoughts out

  • 174 lochinvar // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:48 PM

    Take a deep breath and look closely at the list of clubs attending the UEFA conference.
    Then also take a look at the coaches named with only Rafa and Mourinho from the Premiership.

    Rafa is a consumate professional and has restored so much pride and respect for Newcastle United . We know what the club stands for and now Rafa is showing the world as well.

    Match days are now a great event for all the right reasons. No protests, no banners just flags , no awkward managers that make you cringe with embarrassment on the touch line and a bunch of players who are showing glimpses of what’s to come. Let’s hope they will peak at the right time like the Olympians.

    Back up where we belong – for now in respect and all being well back in the top division as a top club.
    Sir Bobby – hope you’re smiling !
    Fergie – take note !

  • 175 davis_toons // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    “The bench is not a good place for a young player. It is always better that the player is on the pitch, so a loan was perfect for this season. We have to think always about the long-term, not just the short-term, and do what is best for the player and the Club.” – Excellent! (just like Shearer..maybe that’s a little far)

    I only hope we could keep hold of Rafa another 10 years.

    As long as Quality Manager like Rafa is here..The club can handle all the issue of running a football club. That’s very normal. (like we all know we are not RM or Baca)

    Be it stepping stone or not. It doesn’t bother them. (and us of course)
    It will only be another 30 million into the club.

    We have got top class quality manager to spent and compete, not too worry.

    With Rafa the club will invest well.
    (Fegie persuaded CR7 to stay for another 1 season to help him win another Tittle..that’s all important to Fegie..thereafter he can go.

  • 176 Toonces // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    There is a difference between:

    a player developing at the club to the point where a “bigger” club comes in and he moves on after being an honest servant to the club, not actively looking elsewhere all the time.


    Telling players when we sign them that they can use us as a stepping stone a couple seasons down the line because otherwise they wouldn’t sign with us.

    The first case is normal footballing economics. The second is the blatant stepping stone i.e. I only want to be here so someone bigger will notice me.

  • 177 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:52 PM


    I’m content with where we are but the real test is in the summer, will we spend what’s needed or will we do enough? Can anyone 100% say Ashley has changed and rafa will or will Ashley be grateful for getting back in the prem and go back to old habits like he did when he pulled the rug from under Houghton

    This window has been about making money and creating depth in the squad, let’s see what happens when we need to get quality and spend some big money…..history tells us that Ashley will be less inclined to do so.

    I don’t get giddy over the sort term fixes which was obviously a case of make money this window to reduce the debt of relegation and negate as much impact as that’ll have. I’ll get giddy if we go up and true quality is bought through and rafa stays, we’ve taken a very small step to where we need to be……although it doesn’t seem that way when reading this blog

  • 178 Ibizatoon // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    Not buying that if they sell Moussa within the 5 years that the payments to us stop. Who on Earth would agree to that?

    If that was the case, Spurs could sell him next summer for say £15m (plucked from thin air) and have made a £9m profit, whilst we’d have only got £6m for our “£30m” player?

    Not a chance.

  • 179 Budge123 // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    Borini out for 3 months.
    At least the window is still open…….

  • 180 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:57 PM


    To us that follow the game it’s in our blood, to those we idolise it’s a job to them, like we all have on here… makes them money, earns them a living. They have no affinity to the club other than they are employing them, paying them.

    There isn’t much loyalty in football from both players and clubs

  • 181 chicousa // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    Our Toon,
    You are right that Barca and Real Madrid are giant clubs….now. But how did they get to be giants? Their owners, managers and fans expect it, demand it. But how did they ever come to that point of dreaming or daring to demand and expect greatness? Certainly not by thinking they would always be a smaller club than the giant clubs that existed back then. Rafa is saying in effect, “why not build NUFC to be a giant?”.

    Is he and the fans that want this deluded? Or ambitious ??

  • 182 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:58 PM

    Our Toon,
    Applying that logic every team bar Barca and Madrid are stepping stone clubs. What Rafa is trying to say is that we are not selling to players the idea of coming here solely to be put in the shop window and that we have ambitiono of our own. We are Newcastle United not a branch of Sports Direct.

  • 183 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    Our Toon

    I totally understand your feelingz on Ashley. He has screwed it up so many times. However, I am slightly less negative about the current squad than you. Of course it isn’t qualifying for the champions league in 2 seasons time,but IMO it gets promoted this year, and would survive lower mid table if left unchanged. But I don’t think it will be unchanged. I think it will be improved.

  • 184 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:00 PM


  • 185 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:00 PM


    A club relegated to the championship that needs to address debts a loss of income would agree to that. It’s either that or keep him on and keep his wages on the books.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if sissoko’s representatives were in discussions with spurs all along and told the club that he wouldn’t go to Everton…..maybe levy played us rather than the other way around

  • 186 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:03 PM


    That’s exactly why I mentioned Suarez and Ronaldo, every club is a stepping stone except the real elite ones…..the way some are chatting on here it’s as if we are no longer a stepping stone or rafa will change that…….even if he was here for 100 years he would never change that.

    It’s like the food chain

  • 187 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:05 PM

    So Spuds could sell sissoko on at a profit in say 3 years, and also save 12M on the fee?

    Nah, Soz. Not having that. The club was cited as being sound financially, and it was always claimed we didn’t need to sell. Going from that to being Levy’s b1tch is a none starter. I call b0ll0cks.

  • 188 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:06 PM


    We will never be an elite club in our lifetime or our kids lifetime, that’s what I believe, we could become a club that buys that status but in all reality not the history. We don’t even own SJP

    He can make us a respectable club but then you throw Ashley in the mix and anything can happen

  • 189 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:07 PM

    But the way he speaks about us is better than the way some lower league con man told us we couldn’t compete with Swansea or Soton and that we over stretched our selves with fifth. We are one of the very few English clubs to compete in the CL ffs. Rafa is restoring that pride.

  • 190 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:08 PM


    Yes the squad will be added to mate, even I’m optimistic of that, but Ashley is always in the background, all he wants is PL status with little cost to him…..that will always remain

  • 191 Our Toon // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:11 PM


    Yes you are right, I had no time for the con idiot. Rafa always speaks well, I’d be worried if he didn’t as he’s his own man, he ain’t no puppet

  • 192 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    Our toon

    Yeah like I say,i understand and even worry myself about the Ashley factor. He APPEARS to have had a change in direction,but will it last beyond this season?

  • 193 bettyswallocks // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:21 PM

    JP From the rock………. If Sissoko leaves Tottenham then his next club would need to make the payments until it’s paid in full.

    Newspapers trying to sensationalise a non existant situation .

  • 194 davis_toons // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    For now, if promoted, Spurs and Arsenal model shall be our next target.

    I think that’s realistic.

  • 195 chicousa // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    Our Toon,
    Aye, Ashely is fully capable of de-railing Rafa’s “project”. That IS a real worry! I just hope Rafa is not undermined or backstabbed in his quest. He certainly has more backbone than Pardew, McClaren et al. So perhaps he can “work” Ashley to his own designs…

    We shall see (said the blind man)

  • 196 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    I’ve had eight years of Ashley’s shite, I am worn out from it. I do not think he’s had a change of heart or anything, a dire situation was forced on him. I am not going to spend time worrying what he might do while an elite manager, with weeks of reassuring talks is in charge.

  • 197 Toonces // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    Our Toon

    I agree about their not being much loyalty but that is not the same as whether or not a player puts in effort whilst at the club they are with only because they want out as fast as possible. Or do they put in an honest effort because they are good professionals?

    All clubs are stepping stones for a player to get to the next level of their development. But no need for us to have an inferiority complex and wear it on our sleeves. Rafa is saying there is pride in being Newcastle United and we don’t want players who don’t want to be here and fight for the club during their time.

  • 198 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Wrong, wrong and wrong again. Rafas model shall be the target.

  • 199 Jail for Ashley // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:30 PM


  • 200 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    £6m every year for the five year duration of his contract, they can sell at any time and the £6m payments stop. Arhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, not even Penfold is that dumb.

    C’mon never would any club agree to those terms, the whole story is a total fabrication, Levy could not even save face with this story it is that unbelievably stupid.

  • 201 davis_toons // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    We all have to agree that the most worrying thing is Ashley..but we never know what he might do next ..maybe he might sell again.

    I believe if we are successful we can attract much better investor.

    For now, we are doing all the right things. Let’s hope for the best!

  • 202 hibbit // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    where does it say spurs are paying in instalments
    that was offer only made to everton i believe

  • 203 firebug666 // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:41 PM


    I never read anything about instalments only that silly story that started in the Evening Standard.

    The deal will no doubt remain a secret.

  • 204 davis_toons // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    Levy is just another business man, just that he got his mangement sorted out.

  • 205 davis_toons // Sep 1, 2016 at 5:46 PM

    “It’s classic Daniel Levy. Let Everton do the running, push the price to the high ceiling, then steal in, and offer Champions League football, offer his agent a higher fee. Everton were used as a patsy.” -Niall Quinn

  • 206 NUFCPaul // Sep 1, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Don’t we usually find out at the end of the financial year when the club announces it’s profits/losses etc. how much players really went for? I’m sure transfer fees are revealed then and are no longer ‘undisclosed fees’. If so, we’ll find out if Sissoko went for the full 30M upfront or a series of installments. Unless either Spurs or NUFC come out and confirm it none of us can know for sure.

  • 207 KevinHann // Sep 1, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    “We are not a stepping stone, we are Newcastle United.”

    Easier said than done, however it is so great to have that vibe at last!

    Even though we just sold a bunch of players for precisely the same reason, those words made me tremble. Sheer class, please keep it up!

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