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Poll – Can Newcastle Bounce Back Against Norwich?

12:28 pm, Monday, September 26th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 57 Comments

Newcastle have a chance to get back in the mix at the top of the Championship on Wednesday night when we entertain league leaders Norwich City – who are currently 4 points above us in the league.

A win in that game will likely take us back into the top three of the Championship before our visit to the New York Stadium at Rotherham United and the next two International break.

Norwich have won their last five league games.


Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Norwich?

View Results

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Tags: Championship · Coaching · Newcastle News · Poll

57 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Sep 26, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Can anybody playing Rafa Bingo in which firebug666 has the only 5 points please wait until Ed has posted his team for the Norwich game, it just makes it easier to look back and check.

  • 2 Jail for Ashley // Sep 26, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    Huge game on Wednesday, what a shame we couldn’t have held on for the three points on Saturday and used this game to go top.

  • 3 Mister Tuff // Sep 26, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Norwich on Wednesday, for me, is the big test so far this season.
    Everybody else plays tomorrow night with our game on Wednesday the only match that night.
    Norwich seem to be playing ok and seem to have a side which is going to be there or thereabouts for the title. So a big test for us – for me a game where we can assess a bit better where we really are.
    Sad bit is I think we may get beat off them – hope not -but I think they might just edge it.
    They seem to have better forwards whereas our lot are a midget/powder puff strike force that would have difficulty scoring in the boudoir of ladies of the night.

  • 4 Average_Contents // Sep 26, 2016 at 12:41 PM


    I thought the cutoff point was two hours before kickoff?

    Ed usually posts the team news around an hour before.

    Or do you mean his usual “is this the best team to play…insert team name here” post?

    I got one wrong against villa. Gutted lol.

  • 5 jayphoto // Sep 26, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    @Jail – from prev page – think the thing with mike Ashley is, he seems to leave the running of the club completely to the people he puts in charge. Seems very hands off which in the past has been a problem. he’s at fault because of his appointments and negligence for wise, llambias,Kinnear, Charnley etc
    From what I’ve seen this year, ashleys behaviour, policy hasn’t changed in his approach, but in Benitez we now have someone who know’s what they are doing, aswell as charnley, a young man for his job seemingly learning from mistakes and Ashley being consistent in not getting involved in club matters.
    I guess the problem from before was charnley was promoted to a position without experience or even the right attributes for it, so was always going to need to learn and fail on the job. Couple that with a chief scout with far too much power and a manager just happy to play along as nufc is the biggest job he’d ever have and you have the shambles of the last 10 years.
    Always thought Ashleys biggest negative wasn’t that he had no ambition for the club, but that he was far too hands off and left people to run it with no ambition

  • 6 jayphoto // Sep 26, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Just putting it out there for any away day fans, Rotherhams new York stadium is a cracking stadium to watch football in! Be an enjoyable trip that! Its a far better stadium than that of a few in the premier league

  • 7 sing in the corner // Sep 26, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Like everyone’s
    Haha.. Museum piece

  • 8 sing in the corner // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Mr tuff
    If Murphy gets the nod, as I hope he will, he will certainly give Norwich defenders something to think about. I’d like to see Gayle running off him from slightly deeper..

  • 9 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    I’ll stick with ignoring Ashley is still around personally and celebrate the day he finally leaves

    I think we will draw with Norwich can’t see us losing but this season am yet to see that as a possibility

  • 10 Lindisfarne // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    Premature formation:

    ——Gayle – Shelvey – Atsu
    ———Colback – Tiote
    Dummett – Clarke – Lascelles – Mbemba

  • 11 Lindisfarne // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Its 4231 but more like 433.

  • 12 JP...from The Rock // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Ed of course we can win, WILL WE? That’s another question altogether.

    Tbh I think we’ll lose.

  • 13 sing in the corner // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Like EVERTON’s..

  • 14 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Who are Norwichs danger men? Brady I know but that’s it

  • 15 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Oh Naismith and that young Murphy lad aswell

    Am not seeing them beat us though

  • 16 sing in the corner // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Is Naismith still there?

  • 17 stuart no9 // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    ive put us down for a draw on wdnesday simply because after the draw at villa we will be a bit more tense than if we had won on saturday. We cant afford anorther loss at home so soon after the wolves game and the villa game may have knocked a bit of confidence out of the lads. In some games you can afford to take chances and gamble but after the last 2 league games we will have to stay tight and stick to the plan and concentrate, on the other hand , norwich wont fancy it either. A long trip midweek, 50,000 fans and knowing a loss will put us just one point behind them.Both teams have it all to do and norwich will be more than happy with a point

  • 18 SPRINGY // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    i could’nt name you norwich’s danger men,but then again i could’nt name you,villas,wolves,huddersfield,or fulham….but we dropped points against them…think its more about our attitude on the day.

  • 19 jayphoto // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    @wwsbrd – in this league Cameron Jerome seems to turn into 90’s Michael owen ….
    Naismith is pretty dangerous on his day
    Think Norwich’s biggest danger is that they all work like dogs in every position. They’re quite an old fashioned style team for me, its a team of 11, 7/10 players who are all consistent at this level of not being spectacular but always being good

  • 20 SPRINGY // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    we seem to be getting a nervousness at st james….need to shake that and start punishing teams at home…we have no devine right to do that,so has to be earned.

  • 21 Ibizatoon // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    So Firebug did win a Rafa bingo!

    Well done Firebug.

  • 22 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    I think so because didn’t he score to beat Everton?

    True but those points were down to our mistakes whereas it seems Norwich could actually challenge us (or at least they are meant to be according to everyone worrying about them)

    Sounds fine by me tbh is quite like to see a game where we don’t just walk it. Didn’t realise Jerome was still there though

  • 23 Belfast // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    We have to win this game for me. They will go from strength to strength if they come and turn us over. Be great if we could give them a good hammering.

  • 24 MadisonToon // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:35 PM


    There are those of us who can’t post within 2 hours of game-time as we are at work or on the other side of the world, etc. I like the idea of Rafa bingo but it would be a shame to not be able to play if we can’t login within a certain time window if Ed waits a while before posting his “will this team take all 3 points?” post.

  • 25 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Ed posts his ‘best team’ about a day or two before the match I think Jail means that thread

  • 26 MadisonToon // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    That makes sense – I don’t know why I thought the 2-hours was before the match started, I misread. Cheers.

  • 27 MadisonToon // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    Also, I really shouldn’t be too bothered, considering I doubt I’ll be coming up with the actual starting XI anytime soon, anyway!

  • 28 NoahJ // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    It’s important to remember that we actually played very well against villa on the whole- we could (should) easily have been 3-0 up; and we panicked in the last 20 mins.

    If we played like that again, and particularly at home, we should beat norwich

  • 29 GeordieGadie // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    I really hate to do this but we can’t hide from it.
    Regarding the Mat Sels situation…

    A team with a dodgy keeper can’t top any table let alone survive any league.
    Liverpool lost glory last year because of Moreno the dodgy left back, or let’s call him: ‘Liverpool’s weekest link’

    A team is as good as its weakest link and that’s where teams have to improve and not its strongest asset.
    Even FC Barcelona can be relegated from the liga if they had a dodgy goal keeper who causes everyone to hold chests everytime a ball comes flying across his six yards box.

    I remember in 1982 Brazil had the best strike force in the world cup, when the likes of Zico, Scorates, Falcao and Eder were causing havoc across all defences, and even though they had the likes of Oscar in defence, still they took in as many as they scored if not more, they played 3 games in the group stage and could only keep a clean sheet in one game. Even though they scored 4 and 5 goals, still they couldn’t keep a clean sheet, then in the next round they won 3/1 against Argentina but went out losing 3/2 to Italy who went on to win the world cup having scored only 2 goals in the group stage but then had a goal difference of 5/3 in the second round whereas Brazil who scored 5 mighty goals went on to concede four goals and went out crashing.

    The same story goes for the Portugese minnows of Euro16 who were not that strong in scoring goals, but being solid defensively won them gold.

    We have got an excellent defensive unit in our team but it’s not enough, a goal keeper can cost you a fortune.

    I know well that Mat Sels is not to blame in this and I may be treading mines here because the blame will shift to the gaffa who signed him in the first place let alone who insists on selecting him when everyone sees otherwise.

    It’s not like he’s being given a chance to prove himself against bad luck of one game like what happens when a striker hits the post or even like what happened with that Argentine striker, Martin, who missed three penalties in one game in a Cupa America a few years back.

    A player has to be either a very good (Maradona, Messi, this kind of player) in the first place that you need to keep him so you give him a second and a third chance whereas Mr Sels is a mediocre keeper at best, or an irreplacable player (not good but that’s all we have) as in the case of Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, or in particular a certain Mr Joe Heart of England, I won’t say Colo of last year as he was in a period of dormant club, and again this is not the case with Mr Sels, because we do have two good shot stoppers who proved themselves last year.

    I know again that it’s just about illegal to criticise Rafa, he knows best and all that but the joy (or god forbid the pain) of winning the championship will be spread equally and thinly amongst all of us, and while Mr Rafa will still be counting his millions whatever happens come May, we will be visiting Dr Jones in the coronary department in the local hospital if we lose qualification on goal difference to some low life team like Villa.

    So the only thing I am saying here is not to drop Sels, or even give Darlow a chance, that’s just about tresspassing onto the gaffa’s territory, I am humbly requesting those who are asking us to clap for that clown to zip it, he hasn’t saved a penalty in the cup final or even a league match yet, he could have jumped to catch balls everytime it comes flying in his six yards box to save us from worry and pain.
    Also those who made a martyr out of him by calling him names to quit this childish thing, it’s not worth it, you made a martyr out of him that way.

    There will always be an excellent goal keeper sleeping outside the two posts while a less good one is wearing number one, ask Shay Given who long he waited!
    But let’s hope for two things, first that it’s a matter of time before he’s sub’ed and second that we don’t suffer too much from him because we can’t afford time unlike McFraud’s judge me after one month which became six games and then in December only to be told to wait till May which we all know how it ended, and second because we all love this club and the pain we suffer may kill more and more joy out of our lives, I have had enough facing work colleagues on Monday mornings and family members all week who have nothing better to talk about than our loss to teams we are already a million times better than them.


  • 30 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Haha no bother mate I think a few have gotten the wrong end of the stick

  • 31 Rotonda heights // Sep 26, 2016 at 1:55 PM


    do you have a lot of time on your hands….lol !
    fair points though.

  • 32 firebug666 // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:24 PM


    Ok post it after Ed’s team thread, Damn I’m such an early bird though. I will stick with my selection though and hope Yedlin is fit to start.

  • 33 BandB // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    I think the most worrying thing about Saturday’s game was the sight of our immature captain apparently gesticulating to his manager his concerns about the performance of his goalkeeper.
    I really didn’t like it, for two reasons.
    It is very poor form for a captain to undermine a team mate in that way. Especially as it could be construed that he might have other reasons for wanting Darlow to play.
    I hope the fans can show more class.

    Benitez has said that he picks players with particular tactical problems in mind and is most influenced by overall form and attitude. He has explicitly stated that he does not drop players for individual mistakes.

    Clearly, Sels form has been a concern.
    However, we are nothing if not predictable.
    One flap from Darlow and everyone will suddenly be frothing at the mouth about the excellent goal difference we had when Sels was between the sticks.
    The man has a right to expect some support from “the best fans in the world.”

  • 34 hibbit // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:29 PM


    i get your point on Sels
    but not the one we are million times better than these other teams in the championship which we are clearly not

  • 35 BandB // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Not sure how predictable Rafa’s selections are, but who would have thought it just needed a relegation to to get Jail For Ashley ordering people off the man’s case and using the kind of abusive language he has so often whinged about to do so?

  • 36 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    When Darlow came in for us last season he started off terribly and was at fault for goals at Norwich and West Brom but he did get better and by the end of the season was excellent!

    Same thing happened to Elliot and eventually Sels will no doubt come good reminds me of Reina at Liverpool who replaced a Champions League winning keeper and took a while to get used to the premiership!

  • 37 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    What would happen if that one flap from Darlow never comes? Has he not earned some respect so far in his Town career rather than simply expected it?

  • 38 firebug666 // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:35 PM


    Totally agree, but at the same time Darlow could do with some game time.

    Obviously each game is different and therefore suited to different players with a different style. Goalkeeper should be no different, Sels has a few clean sheets to his name, but that may be down to our defenders, and Sels does not like to catch the ball, but if he must punch or flap it would be nice if it was not back to the opposition.

    I still like Sels and think he will come good for us, but maybe a couple of games rest might give him the incentive to take command in his area and relieve some of the pressure we come under towards the end of games.

  • 39 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Sels will probably become a very good GK once he adapts to English football, at the moment he is to slow in his reaction time.

    We can’t afford to play a player who is not quite up to speed however, he is obviously Rafa’s favourite and that is a cause for concern if that is his thinking.

    So do people want a captain who keeps his mouth shut or one who expresses himself. If he was genuinely concerned at the performance of one of his players then he has to make his concern apparent. Actually going over to Rafa under the circumstances wasn’t really an option at that moment.

  • 40 BandB // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:44 PM


    The flap that never comes ALWAYS comes…


    As LCBP has said, neither Darlow nor Elliot got off to fliers. Both got their chance through injury and both took it after they were persisted with.
    I don’t think many managers routinely drop their first choice in order to give their back-up game time.

  • 41 cyprus // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Norwich have generally played very very well including beating the number two team in the PL. Favourite to win this league in my mind.

    Our biggest challenge. AV no comparison I think.

  • 42 clinath@ed // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    But surely the difference is that Darlow and Elliot have now earned the right for that “Flap”, whereas in the eyes of the fans Sels has not.

  • 43 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    Darlow has performed better in a Newcastle strip than Sels but finds himself behind him while the team suffers

    If we didn’t have a better keeper on the bench then Sels gets all the time in the world but we do so why suffer through it?

  • 44 jayphoto // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    actually saw a championship gk comparison that had sels with the highest catch percentage in the league, aswell as the best passing percentage. He was top 3 for least individual errors made and shot stopping percentage too….

  • 45 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    Norwich have played no one mate

  • 46 jayphoto // Sep 26, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    for me, Saturdays failure to win was on rafa. Could see Villa had gone direct from a mile away, they put kodija onto our fullbacks and pumped it 60 yards constantly. Think most of us could see their goal coming.
    Could also see from about 70 minutes that gouffran and diame’s energy was gone as they;d worked their socks off, but were struggling to press, mitro didn;’t really do much to help this. We had 6″3 grant hanley sat on the bench, a change of system in hindsight and more height in Hanley would have seen out the game.
    Not knocking rafa, pretty sure the team will learn from the mistakes, they’ll definitely be working on it and identifying it in training which is more than we’ve done in recent years, just to blame everything on sels is a bit strong. He made a mistake, but there were multiple mistakes before his that would have stopped Villa even getting that corner

  • 47 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    We have a very good defence and dominate games I could play in goal and have decent stats especially percentages

    Do u honestly think Sels has done well so far?

  • 48 clinath@ed // Sep 26, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    Sels performance did not cost us 2 points on Saturday. Our woeful finishing did.
    But there is definitely tension between our defense and him. BandB is correct about Lascelles unprofessional behavior toward him, he has to learn from that if he is to become a better captain….but it does highlight a mistrust, if you like, of the outfield players and their keeper.
    That is something only Rafa and Sels can address

  • 49 posada // Sep 26, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    Be careful you’ll upset the Rafa for Pope brigade.
    Thou shalt not say anything negative about the prophet.

  • 50 Novocastrian66 // Sep 26, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Norwich beat Everon away recently. Okay Everton may have had their second string out but it was still an impressive result.

  • 51 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Aye good result but that’s a cup game, in the league the biggest their faced is probably Shef Wed

  • 52 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Sep 26, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    Everton actually dominated Norwich in that cup game but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net and then Norwich scored belting goals with some of their only shots on target!

  • 53 manxpie // Sep 26, 2016 at 4:19 PM

    The only top half teams Norwich have played aagainst so far this season is Birmingham who hammered them 3-0, Bristol City they won 1-0 and a draw against sheff wed they’ve had a far easier run so II’m not that worried by them plus we should be after revenge from last season

  • 54 Novocastrian66 // Sep 26, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    I think if we play at our best we will beat them. However they are well organised and a threat on the break. To say the haven’t played anyone yet dismisses their results. They’ve lost one game. We lost 3 against teams I would have thought we would beat. If let our standards slip we will get beat. We will have to have to be at our best to beat Norwich.

  • 55 WWSBRD // Sep 26, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    I don’t mean to disrespect them but they have had pretty easy fixtures, they’ve done well to win them but doesn’t change their fixtures. We are the first quality team they’ve come up against whereas we have played all those considered our rivals in a row and none of those teams held a candle to us imo

    They will have to play very well to beat us and they may well do that but am not worried by them

  • 56 Bobbybee // Sep 26, 2016 at 5:09 PM

    I’m not convinced anybody has said you can’t criticise Rafa on here. I think people – myself included – are just surprised that his rotation system has been criticised when he’s always done it. We’re not that special that he should change a winning formula that has served him really well all his career. People claiming his system will cost us promotion – is there relly any evidence for that nine games in? Can’t see it myself. He’s not going to change it because people moan about it every time they come on. Horses or courses is how he sees it nd it makes sense. He has a big squad of very similar players nd s simply utilising his squad to keep players fit and ready. Some will get rotated more than others, depending on who we play, because some players are better at some things than others. He swapped Clark and Mbemba because of Villa’s ariel threat, but may swap back for Norwich’s pace – if Ledlin is fit to play right back. That makes perfect sense to me. It will really come to the fore when smaller squads are suffering from fatigue and injuries – and that will happen. We know from our failed purples experiment that injuries can decimate a small squad. Maybe better to wait until mid winter and see how we stand then strength wise. If other clubs are suffering and we’re not, he’s been proven right. It’s just too early yet to pass fair judgement imo.

  • 57 lesh // Sep 26, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    WW/ Novo

    I think it’s the case that where we’ve brought in 12 and changed the squad substantially, Norwich have made few changes and kept the core of players they had last season.

    As a result, Norwich’s players and manager haven’t had the familiarisation necessities we’ve had hence, they’re playing better as a team at the moment.

    However, as our lads bed in and get to know one anothers’ games, we should become more consistent….. We hope!

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