Rafa Talks About One Of His Favorite Players

The Newcastle crowd was treated to a terrific Yoan Gouffran goal after 32 minutes that put Newcastle two goals up last night after Matt Ritchie had scored an excellent goal just three minutes earlier.

And then Matt Ritchie became the provider as he sent over a right wing cross and the Frenchman rifled the ball home in simply stunning style.

What a buy this Matt Ritchie is turning out to be!

And Yoan even gave a quick Alan Shearer type acknowledgement with his right arm raised after he scored – Yoan has obviously been looking at the new statue of Alan at St. James’ Park.



Great shot of Yoan Gouffran and Rafa Benitez last night

That was Yoan’s second goal of the season and he’s playing his best football ever at Newcastle under the watchful and very experienced eye of Rafa Benitez.

After the game Rafa talked about the player he is getting the very best out of since the 56 year-old Spaniard arrived on Tyneside last March.

This is what Rafa said about one of his favorite players:

“I am always happy when any player plays well, but in this case, Gouff has been working very hard from the beginning.”

“He didn’t know what would happen in the future, but he was still working hard so I am happy for him. He has been scoring great goals, especially from volleys, so that is good.”

“It is important for us, and for the players, to feel that there is a lot of competition.”

“That is good for everyone. The players know they have to go on the pitch and do their best, and it doesn’t matter about the competition or the game.”

“That is a key factor if we want to be strong and successfully manage the number of games we are going to play this year.”

“I was pleased with Gouff in pre-season.” “I was expecting some offers for him, but we had one and that was not good enough.”

“After that, I was expecting that another one would come, but we were watching him close and he was training really well.”

“I was talking with my staff and saying that it could be better to keep him.”

“I am really pleased for him, because when you have someone working so hard, he deserves some luck sometimes.”

Yoan seems to be one of Rafa’s favorite players because he works his socks off in training and also in the games.

He has said this season he’s really a striker and not a winger – and to prove that he’s scored two stunning goals from crosses when he hit the ball on the volley and it just flew into the back of the net.

Yoan is becoming a very important player for Newcastle United this season – that’s a fact.

Howay the Lads!!

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88 comments so far

  • outside the box

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #1

    my views from last night….
    darlow …reminds me a lot of given… good shot stopper but distribution slow and woeful expect sells to be in sat…
    yedlin looks like he will be crowd fav ..electric pace …
    lazzar needs more time…murphy held line well and would be plan b …ie long ball game but expect gayle on sat …diame shelvey ritchie gouffran and colback solid …hanley and clarke played well …subs only on to protect players for weekend …
    my view taking shape with yed and ritchie on right and goofy and dummet on left …mbemba and lasceles at back and shelvey hayden diame colback for cmid..
    only strikers to sort out..

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #2

    just got in from game

    much better performance all-round – quicker tempo passed moved – yet wolves created better chances before we scored.
    First time since Carroll I have seen a centre forward lead the line – had bite in midfield with Colback and Goufran who score s superb goal.
    Did not understand substitutions bringing on Perez and Atsu – became lightweight and lost the battles in midfield.

    Here goes my merit marks

    Darlow – 9 – Outstanding – now thats how I like to see a goal keeper play
    cam caught every ball inside and outside the box he had to COMMANDED the SIX yard box
    Lazar – 5 – started brightly good on the ball but does not like to tackle – backed out of a couple of tackles
    Hanley – 7 – Commanding in the air – distribution not bad today – overall a decent display
    Clark – 7 – Ditto another commanding display – kept it simple wanted the ball
    Yedlin -7 – did what he had to do quick as shit going forward but needed one touch to many on the ball
    Colback – 9 – My MOM – shaded it from Goufran – covered every blade of grass – tackle broke up play and his distribution link up play was good tonight
    Shelley – 7.5 – had a decent game without being spectacular – linked up play well
    Goufran -8 – would of been my MOM if he had not faded second half- great goal and pass to start the move for the first goal
    Ritchie -7.5 – another who had a good game – scored a good goal- carried the ball out of defence well but tends to try the killer pass to often
    Diame – 8 – Back to his best ran closed down linked up play from midfield to attack – closed their defence down
    Murphy – 8 – Hope Mtrovic was watching him – first time in a long time a centre half that led the line – went for every ball in the air, tackled, harassed, great flicks and lay off’s held the ball up and unlucky not to score when his shot was deflected onto the bar.

    Perez -2 – wast elf space knocked off the ball far to easy
    Atsu – 4 – ran around made a nuisance of himself but again to lightweight

    All in all a lot better
    But in my eyes got to start with Darlow, Colback, Goufran and Murphy on Saturday

    All four give much more bite weight tenacity to the team

    ADD on this morning

    Little bit worrying though with Hanley and Clark as our two centre halfs – easily got split early on last night with through balls – wolves could of taken the lead if not for Darlow who was superb

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #3

    Super pleased for Gouffran. Glad we’ve gone through.

  • Jib

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #4

    The draw for the 4th round (last 16) of the EFL cup is live on Wednesday night after the N’hampton Town v ManU cuptie (about 10pm GMT) on SS1 and SSNews.

  • toontaff2

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #5

    9 in RAFA’s bingo, missed Diame and Ritchie – put Gayle and Atsu in – thought Ritchie was MoM and Diame excellent, so what do I know?
    Impressed by most, especially Yedlin, but not sure about Hazaar! Maybe nerves?
    If Anita is suspended, surely Yedlin must start?

    It was like watching musical chairs in the Gallowgate for the first 20 minutes, with people in the wrong seats, people arriving late – was on the end of a row, so up and down like a whore’s drawers! Some of the late arrivals were off out again 10 minutes before half-time, came back 10 minutes late for the second half and left before the end! Doubt they saw half the match.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #6

    It was like that all over the ground I ended up paying at the gates sat in the leazes end. Bloody awful full of kids who were more interested in watching and goading the Wolves fans throwing bottle tops and paper aeroplanes – lost my rag with a couple.
    Tell who if the Wolves fans ran at them they would of ran a mile!!!!

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #7

    mag, come on , mara dona was built like a bull with a very low centre of gravity and was just an amazing footballer, he also played in a time where footballers where not as fit and strong as they are right now,

    perez has ability but does not know how to use his body to really shield the ball, 9 out of 10 times he falls over

  • outside the box

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #8

    charlie in gallowgate…accept your views on darlow and whilst not a big fan of sells his distribution is better …depends how you view goalkeepers job
    i used to go early and watch warm up before games …given s kicking was spot on during warm up but once game started was all over place …in my view darlow is given mark 2…..would ..take a dave hollins mark 2

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #9


    I’m not sure if Ayestaran and Rafa had a bit of a fall out after all their success at Valencia, when they went separate ways. Would be great if they could make up again though.

    I freely admit never previously being a Colback fan, but Rafa even has him playing 1-2’s now! What a great manager and fair play to Colback to respond. Ditto the Goof.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #10


    Would value your opinion on the best formation for an under 13’s team who are new to 11 a side and big pitches and goals this season.

    So far we’ve tried 343 with mixed results. I am tempted to either go 442 with a diamond shape midfield or 433.

  • toontaff2

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #11

    Charlie , glad it was not just me doing a Victor Meldrew! It is annoying mind trying to watch the match with constant interruption.
    Colback was good, Darlow was solid and Murphy led the line really well.
    Who voted for Hazaar? 15 so far – WUM’s!

  • toontaff2

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #12

    RAFA’s bingo could be even tougher this week, after last night! A few of Saturday’s poor performers are looking over their shoulder.

  • Jib

    Sep 21, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #13

    Just one day left for the middle east window.
    It looks very much like Cheick Ismael Tiote is with us until January at the earliest

  • Jib

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #14

    Yedlin Lascelles Clark Dummett
    Colback Hayden
    Ritchie Shelvey Diamé

    Subs Darlow MBemba Hanley Gouffran Murphy Gayle Tioté

    Every match it’s getting harder to pick a team !

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #15

    So Murphy is the new “lead the line” poster boy it seems, and Mitrovic continues to be cast as the pantomime villain. NUFC.com amongst others wheeling that barrow. Find a proper club Aleksandar, you are wasting your time here.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #16

    Mitrovic will make the position his own by Christmas. Murphy has been brought in to encourage it, despite what Supermac has to say about it.

  • Mag52

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #17


    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Perez is another Maradonna in the making.
    He needs to get the strength to avoid being brushed off the ball so often, and to learn how better to shield the ball.
    He’s a young guy, by no means the finished article,still learning, and under a good coach will improve.

  • Pardews Priceless Bulls#*t

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #18

    I remember saying this summer that I’d keep Gouffran this year as he is a lively player etc. I was roundly criticised.
    Admittedly I did say I’d get rid next year though haha


    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #19

    Tbf Murphy is fast approaching the number of good games Mitros had in a toon shirt

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #20

    Yes, Mitrovic had a shocker at QPR, deserved to be dropped for the next two games. Am I allowed to say Fat Spanish Waiter on here? We used to say it, didn’t we?


    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #21

    Who said he a poor game against QPR?

  • Slank

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #22

    Jib @ 14

    How can you select a team without The Gouff ?

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #23

    WWSBRD – I know what you think, you know what I think, let’s not get into petty point scoring. I may have started it. I should shut up.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #24

    Rafa bingo for Aston villa


  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #25

    Over rated

    Rafa rotates, he doesn’t drop people, there is a difference. I don’t get the need to be abusive and name calling about possibly the best manager we’ve ever had.

    Murphy waited his turn, as have others. Mitro at times can be a liability, but I think Rafa is handling him and others extremely well. Not many thought Rafa would get stellar performances out of Goofy and Colback, but he has.

    Mitro has to mature and may be Rafa feels he has a way to go yet on that score. Gayle was scoring for fun but got rested, as have other deserving souls. Squad really means squad with Rafa.

    Team at 14 is sound, but I never thought I’d say it, how can we leave out the Goof. Stats can’t be denied with him in the team, he is one ”constant” that may be we do have to keep, day in, day out.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #26

    We were in the gallogate upper section, row B. A family arrived ten minutes before half time, then got up again five minutes later to go to the bar I presume. The Leazes was filling up right through the first half. Ended up pretty full, but so many must have missed a big chunk of the game. My advice for anybody paying on the night would be to get there really early. Don’t think they were expecting so many to pay on the night tbh.
    That said, thoroughly enjoyed the game and a massive improvement on Saturday. Murphy looks more of a handful than Mitro and won more headers, but hard to judge on just one performance. Darlow was excellent imo. Commanded his area and caught all but one ball, which needed punching. The much maligned Ginger Pirlo was very good. He does all the dirty work in midfield and I think that’s why he doesn’t get the credit he often deserves. Sprayed some nice passes about as well. The Gouff is a revelation and took his goal brilliantly and Ritchie was, well, Ritchie. Best player on the pitch. He was never going to miss his chance. All in all a vastly improved display and more like what we’ve come to expect. Hopefully this is the start of another run of unbeaten games, but the next two will be a real test. Pass those and we’re flying.


    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #27

    Haha didn’t even realise u we’re talking about me I was gonna stick up for Mitro but ok

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #28


    i think he was being sarcastic.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #29

    Oh yes, and Diame looked very good, much improved on recent games. Clearly getting up to pace and his talent is starting to show through.


    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #30

    perez should’nt be played at all if he’s played wide,he lacks pace for that position,he did good against qpr in the that number 10 role behind mitro,but has’nt done it enough for the team…he’s young and has ability but he needs to strengthen up and sharpen up,try not to hold on to the ball any longer then he needs to,mitro is looking like his sharpness isn’t there yet,hopefully it comes but right now he looks like if he has time to think about a finish he’ll miss it…not a good sign,i hope thats just lack of games,he does look fitter,less bulky and a bit more mobile though.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #31

    I just asked. I didn’t use the term abusively. Although I would like to have it at my disposal for future use if I can get clearance.

  • killit the bulb

    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #32

    Overated frenchwan sorry frenchman. Suggest; pal you air your question in a bar in the vicinity of St Jame’s Park preferably on a matchday. Mackem


    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #33

    morning all…by the way!lol


    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #34

    I got the sarcasm but thought it was because someone had actually said Mitro had a bad game against QPR not at a perceived opinion of mine

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #35

    Tof, Mitro has found a proper club mate, he’s here. For a fan, you sure seem down on us! 🙂 No idea what your problem is with Rafa either. Could you maybe suggest a better manager we could have got? Damned if I could. Nor would I want to.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #36

    Over rated

    Not sure we can grant you clearance on that. I’ll check with the dodgy goals panel if there is a way you can call someone a ”fat Spanish waiter” and it not be considered abusive….lol !

    It is after all a derogatory term used by fans playing against Rafa teams. Maybe you could get away with ” un camarero Español grasa”

  • Slank

    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #37

    For Villa:

    Yedlin – MBemba – Lascelles – Dummett
    Hayden Colback
    Ritchie Shelvey Gouffran
    Mitrovich / Murphy / Gayle

    I think Darlow is a better keeper but Rafa bought Sels so he will get the nod.

    I’m not sure Clark returning to his former club is the best preparation so have returned Mbemba.

    Not sure who should lead the line. There doesn’t appear to be a standout player yet.

  • Jib

    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #38

    The best attacking mf ‘s are Ritchie , Gouffran Shelvey , Diamé -Atsu/Aarons /Perez ?
    I feel Shelvey is wasted dropped back into the defensive midfield pairing in a 4-2-3-1
    That should be any 2 from Colback , Hayden ,Tiote , Anita.

    When Diamé was off form it was easy – but he put in a shift last night so the choice is between Goofy and Baldy (Ritchie is a no brainer)
    I plumped for Shelvey but wouldn’t cry if Rafa picked Yoan.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #39

    killit, you have a short memory son. benitez may be flavour of the month now but his bindipper legacy lives on with some of us, son.


    Sep 21, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #40

    I take it u dont rate Rafa then?


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