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

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Rafa – New Signings Ready To Play

3:25 pm, Friday, September 9th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 50 Comments

Rafa has given his press conference today for the Derby game tomorrow and he seems pleased with the fitness and form of the new arrivals at the club.

Since the International break started 13 days ago Newcastle have managed to sign Christian Atsu,  Daryl Murphy and Achraf Lazaar and from what Rafa has said today they are all fit and ready to play.

achraf lazaar and rafa benitez

Achraf Lazaar with Rafa Benitez after signing

Daryl and Achraf are permanent signings, and Christian is on loan for the season from Chelsea with an option to buy in the summer.

This is what Rafa had to say about the new arrivals:

“Each player is different, so it depends on how they adapt and train and if I have to play some of them they can play,  if they have to wait they will wait.”

“I think they are ready, I’ve been really impressed with them and we’ll see how they adapt.”

“At the moment some players have an advantage because they have been playing, so they have more chances to play in this game.”

“When you are winning four games in a row, maybe it’s not the right time to have a break.”

“But players have been out to play for their countries, have picked up confidence, and come back with no problems and ready to play.”

“In this case, Mitrovic  played for Serbia and Gayle has had time to train so they can be in the squad.”

“I was watching (the Serbia vs Ireland) game and pleased to see Daryl score an important goal for his country.”

Newcastle are on a four game winning streak and we really hope we can make that five wins in a row  tomorrow at Derby County.

And it’s a good question as to what the Newcastle team will be, with our new arrivals apparently all ready to play.

What would your team be?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · International break · International News · Newcastle News · Press · Press Conference

50 responses so far ↓

  • 1 barkel // Sep 9, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    I think the team that starts will be much the same as our last game, perhaps Gayle coming in for Perez the only change. It’s going to be very interesting with the squad we have now for players getting game time

  • 2 Rotonda heights // Sep 9, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Band B

    ”My own feeling is that changes will be incremental, based on form, fitness and development, with any surprise choices picked for plausible tactical reasons.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Oh the joys of having a proper manager.

  • 3 dok - the horrid colonial // Sep 9, 2016 at 3:45 PM


    been so long since weve seen a proper manager itll take time to digest…

  • 4 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 9, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    Lol, nufc digest.

  • 5 Markaccus // Sep 9, 2016 at 3:57 PM


    Yes apparently I am me again. Return of the Mark (accus)

  • 6 Markaccus // Sep 9, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    The delay was because i was collecting my youngest offspring from school,rather than being modded.

  • 7 Markaccus // Sep 9, 2016 at 4:05 PM


    Yeah i think that will be the case. Shouldn’t mess too much with a winning team

  • 8 dok - the horrid colonial // Sep 9, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    WB mark 🙂

  • 9 Markaccus // Sep 9, 2016 at 4:27 PM


    Thanks, although I never really left 😀

  • 10 Lindisfarne // Sep 9, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    Achraf Lazaar looks like a square peg, will be used in a square or round hole?!

  • 11 Lindisfarne // Sep 9, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    #will HE be used…

  • 12 Markaccus // Sep 9, 2016 at 4:57 PM


    He might be one of those players who has more than one square hole, with any luck.

  • 13 Lindisfarne // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:04 PM


    I am sure he will have more than one Square t-shirt.

  • 14 WWSBRD // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:12 PM

    Welcome back Markaccus

    Lazaar for me should be straight into the team and Gayle back up top but other than that we look, touch wood, very solid so I wouldn’t change the rest

  • 15 Tsunki // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:14 PM

    YaY! Markaccus! I also can avoid doing those double takes with Young Magpie in Traction now ha ha

  • 16 G // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    @2 + 3, funny you say that about the propper manager, every time there is a press release I feel like arguing with it, then I remember that for the first time since Hoots we have a manager who talks sense!

  • 17 Tsunki // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    Difficult to say how or why the team should be changed for this one seeing as we are doing OK atm. I know Rafa will rotate (jesper!) personnel but I doubt if he’ll make more than one starting change at a time, but if all goes well we might see new subs.

  • 18 Lindisfarne // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    I have had this discussion a couple of times with various bloggers (and not all actually the same person), we now have a proper manager and rotating the team is very much on the cards. The arguement always tends to go with stick to a winning team, where as replacing a player here and there is essential in order to use the squad properly.

  • 19 bettyswallocks // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    If the players are speaking unscripted as they appear to be, then it really does seem that Rafa has instilled a healthy competition for a starting place in the team with everyone pulling in the same direction.

    Since Rafa’s appointment there doesn’t seem to be that cloak and dagger insincerity when they’re asked a question and everyone seems to understand the new remit which is to win matches.

  • 20 bettyswallocks // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    Tsunki……. Why would Rafa rotate Jesper? It was suggested when he was at Liverpool that he often rotated his wife!

  • 21 Legolas // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Looking forward tomorrow now. Can’t wait. Hopefully it won’t disappoint. For whoever cares the team that I think will be picked tomorrow is:

    Anita Lascelles Mbemba Dummet
    Ritchie Hayden Shelvey Gouffran

  • 22 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:48 PM

    Joke. Of. A. Blog.

  • 23 martoon // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:53 PM

    I think Rafa will rotate when the games are coming thick & fast but surely after a break he will pick what he considers to be his strongest team. I think pretty much nailed on the same team as Brighton except Gayle for Perez.

  • 24 hibbit // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:53 PM

    once a wum always a wum

    that right rob

  • 25 BandB // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:57 PM

    Judging by his comments at the press conference he will use rotation as a tool rather than as a policy.
    He knows he’ll have to rotate to keep the squad serviceable as there are a lot of games to get through.
    I also think he will rub some people up the wrong way from time to time for his steady away approach, believing that rough patches are there to be ironed out.

  • 26 Lindisfarne // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:57 PM


    I would go with that team

  • 27 Kabul Fish // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    Legolas – I was thinking the same team mate. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game – shame I have to wait until nearly 2100hrs out here. Fingers crossed it will be well worth it.

  • 28 BandB // Sep 9, 2016 at 5:59 PM


    I think that’s close to the one that might start, all else equal.

  • 29 bettyswallocks // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    YMFB………. It’s encouraged to tell jokes on the blog. It helps to relieve boredom and frustration between games and to calm the nerves before a match.

    By the way have you tried those ribbed condoms ? Apparently they provide far more traction in the dirt.

  • 30 Lindisfarne // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    I do not know the relevance of this but, does anyone else recollect that when Rafa took over L’pool he struggled to fit Gerrard into the team?

  • 31 dok - the horrid colonial // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    good team there… see mitro and Yedlin come on late…

    how are ya BandB?

  • 32 dok - the horrid colonial // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    why don’t young magpies drink Kool-Aid?

    they cant figure out how to get 2 quarts of water in that little pouch…

  • 33 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    Insulting jokes? Appropriate on this blog? Whatever ya say.

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    I’d like to see two up top with Mitro or Murphy instead of Shelvey but that team there is looking most likely.

  • 35 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:06 PM

    He should play my team. Easy win for sure.

  • 36 Kabul Fish // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Would like to see the same Jail – hopefully will happen at home soon as I think it will be one up front when away

  • 37 Legolas // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Lindisfarne, I can’t see Rafa mixing it much at the moment. As others have said it will be different when games come thick and fast.

    Kabul, nightmare bud. However, I am at work until 17.30 tomorrow. Will have to rush home for the start. Lol.

  • 38 WWSBRD // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Why would u drop Shelvey mate?

  • 39 bettyswallocks // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Mitro looked a bit sluggish and off the pace the other night for Serbia.
    He obviously needs to play more games to get up to speed. Therein lies Rafa’s dilemma.

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    Because I’d like to see Mitro or Murphy start with Gayle with Hayden as the holding mid and would prefer Diame in place of him.

  • 41 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    Wow Lazaar is hot.

  • 42 Kabul Fish // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    Legolas – surely u can slip out a wee bit early lol

  • 43 WWSBRD // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    I think we would struggle without Shelvey to make chances Hayden has looked good but he’s another who doesn’t play forward and Diame is more of a ball carrier than a playmaker imo

  • 44 Belfast // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Think it will be pretty much the same team tomorrow : Perez out – Gayle in.

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    That’s why I’d maybe be I coined to start with Murphy but that might not do Mitros confidence any good, but then again it might teach the lunatic not to try and cripple people.

  • 46 Legolas // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Ha ha. I might just do that. Perks of being the boss.

    Can’t believe we are all have Gouffran in the team bet nobody thought that at the start of the season. He deserves his chance though.

  • 47 Jail for Ashley // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    Dear me, auld wax lips would have had a melt down with such a dilemma., Carver would have head butted a few to making choosing easier and Shcteve would have just sat with his head in his hands.

  • 48 Kabul Fish // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    Do it Legolas!!! My boss is away so we will be having sports on in the office all day 🙂

    Goffy defo deserves a start, thought he played really well the last game and deserves another shot. Good for him

  • 49 bettyswallocks // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:26 PM

    Jail….That’s the problem with players needing to excel in every game to keep their place. Some of the younger more hot headed ones trying too desperately to impress.

  • 50 Kabul Fish // Sep 9, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Jail – sounds like the three wise ostriches ha ha

    One flapping, one pecking people and the other burying their head in the sand

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