Rafa Lauds New Arrival – He Works Hard – He’s A Good Player


Christian Atsu has looked good when he’s been given his chance at Newcastle and the Ghanaian International is hoping to make his loan move from Chelsea for the season – a permanent one in the summer.

Atsu is still fairly new to Newcastle and Rafa thinks he probably needs to get to know more about the way the team plays before he starts playing him on a more regular basis in the first team, but he’s already made 3 appearances for the team.

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Christian Atsu in action at QPR

The 24 year-old was a substitute on Saturday but didn’t get on.

This is what Rafa said about the 42 times capped Ghanaian International (9 goals) after the game on Saturday at Villa Park:

“I think he’s a good player. We brought him here because we know that he’s a good player.”

“Maybe he is the type of player that needs to know the Championship and to understand the way we play.”

“He went away with the national team in the first 10 days of his Newcastle career.”  “We have not had much time with him but I am really pleased with him.”

“He is a nice lad, he is working hard, he’s different to the other lads we have.” “I think he can be a good player for us.”

“It depends on the games.” “I thought he could have been an option but they were throwing so many balls in the air we need to have strength in the air.”

“You never know. He could make the difference in games on the counter attack.”

“I am really pleased with him, he’s training well and working hard and I am sure he will give us good games.”

It seems that Christian can become a really good player for us and he has both speed and skill on the right wing – and can score goals too.

He could make his 4th appearance for the side on Wednesday night and he could even start that game.

Comments welcome.


52 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #1

    posada thinks that Rafa Benitez’s fifth place team with the best GD in the division need to start delivering, we have only played 9 games so far with a brand new team, he also thinks that the rotation policy doesn’t work. Here is a list of honours won by our UEFA elite manager with said policy.
    Valencia La Liga: 2001–02, 2003–04
    UEFA Cup: 2003–04
    Liverpool FA Cup: 2005–06
    FA Community Shield: 2006
    UEFA Champions League: 2004–05
    UEFA Super Cup: 2005
    Inter Milan Supercoppa Italiana: 2010
    FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
    Chelsea UEFA Europa League: 2012–13
    Napoli Coppa Italia: 2013–14
    Supercoppa Italiana: 2014

    Individual awards
    La Liga Best Coach: 2002
    UEFA Manager of the Year: 2003–04, 2004–05
    LMA Special Merit Award: 2006
    Premier League Manager of the Month (6): November 2005, December 2005, January 2007, October 2008, March 2009, April 2013

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #2

    It will be hard for him to replace Ritchie who has been excellent for us. But I love tricky players with speed to burn and he fits the bill.

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  • Yo-yo

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #3

    The pattern is emerging on here is that as soon as we drop a point or lose a game then the rotation policy critics come on and post where Rafa’s selection policy has got it all wrong. I doubt it.

    We all knew what we were getting. It isn’t as if he has ever been unsuccessful.

    We knew that the previous head coaches were picking people well out of position, playing the same starters game after game, regardless of form, sometimes even carrying niggles, for the sake of stability or some vain hope the view would improve. It didn’t. And we got loads of injuries into the bargain.

    We now have a real tactician, who selects sides for the upcoming game based on his tactics for that game. They are not always ths same tactics either.
    Rafa’s career win % is only just over 50% (go compare it with the previous 3 coaches) so even he doesn’t get it right every time – and the other side is usually trying to outscheme or outplay us anyway. Players don’t always do their job properly and then their are laspses in form and errors on the pitch.
    There is no perfect system even if you have 11 £100million rated players on.

    I for one am perfectly happy with the Rafalution, rotation, his choice of starting 11s, and his work round the club. He thinks, and explains his thinking even if his predecessors could only manage excuses. Long may it continue.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Yo-yo- amen to that. The only thing that bigs me with Rafa is why is he sticking with Sels!? He has been very poor to say the least. He is a liability and makes everyone nervous. Why not try Darlow in a couple of league games and see how he does? We have never had a poor goalie in 20 plus years but now we do and he keeps starting. I bet Darlow, Elliot and Krul are much better and should be miles ahead of him in the pecking order. Apart from that I love the fact we have Rafa as our coach.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #5

    Yo-Yo,
    People saying he got it wrong on Saturday, if we’d been 3-0 up before Yedlin went off then he’d have been a tactical genius, no matter what decisions he makes he can’t ensure that Diame and Gayle bury their chances. He does need to look at resting Lascelles though, he must now know that.
    From NUFC.com:
    ”The Belgian stopper’s indecision and poor handling was clearly affecting those in front of him with Jamaal Lascelles clearly waving his hands in frustration towards the bench after Sels completely missed yet another cross”

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #6

    Lascelles??? Sels

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #7

    ‘Bigs me’ *bugs me lol

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  • cyprus

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #8

    Our defensive line was as solid as I’ve seen for ages. Much as I like Mbemba, those two in the middle were rock solid. Same can be said for the two FB’s.

    AV really didn’t get much of a look in at all, the win seemed assured, even with a one goal advantage. Ayew’s effort was a moment of brilliance.

    Of course, the line would’ve been great if the keeper had had a better game. Crosses kept coming in deeper and deeper as it became clear he was hugging his line.

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  • Budge123

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #9

    Why is it that whenever someone dares to suggest that rotation is costing us points everyone points out ‘he’s always done it like this’ ‘you knew what you were getting ‘

    So what – does that mean we can’t debate or question?

    Rafa’s long list of great honours has been posted (again ). Look at the list apart from 2 leagues 12 years ago it’s a list of cups (a long list granted ).

    If he’s always rotated then his achievements show it’s hardly ever worked in the leagues.

    We need promotion this season or god knows where this club will be heading.

    so I’ll keep questioning rotation as I see fit thanks

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  • cyprus

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #10

    Having criticised the goalie, I hope what Lascelles was signalling to the bench isn’t what it seems, or that Biffa got it wrong. What, he was saying our keeper is useless?! Well done captain 🙂

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  • cyprus

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Budge you are right.
    Rafa or god himself isn’t beyond constructive criticism.

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  • cyprus

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #12

    PS. I’m not against rotation. Despite drawbacks there are serious benefits. It will probably translate to a stronger finish as other sides will be getting battle scarred.

    Still, some combinations may not work. And some key ‘winning’ players (and formulas) will need more game time

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #13

    Yo yo @3 Good post, I agree.

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  • Spoof

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #14

    With Yedlin a serious doubt for the Norwich game and with Anita and Gamez already ruled out who will play at RB.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #15

    Mbemba will probably need to come in at right back for the Norwich game which would maybe suit him a little better as he has pace and can bring the ball out

    Clark and Lascalles were excellent so would be good to see both of them get a little run together in the middle

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  • Spoof

    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #16

    Lee

    that will probably be the case with the only other possibilities being Lazaar played as a right back or Hayden as a right back with Tiote taking Hayden’s DM position, I very much doubt that it will be Lazaar but bringing Tiote in would give Hayden at RB the protection that he may need, but if I was forced to place a bet on it I would agree with yourself and Mbemba.

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  • Sav

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #17

    tbh, I’d have rather seen Murphy or Atsu brought on instead of Mitro on Saturday. The legend of our Serbian hitman is overshadowing the reality – the lad can’t score. And he’s got neither a turn of foot nor a great first touch to bring others into play.

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  • Spoof

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #18

    As for the rotation policy I do have my doubts about it, the benefits are easy to see, it keeps everyone on their toes and the fitness levels will benefit greatly from it, the downside for me is that the fluidity could be jeopardised and against Wolves I feel that was the case, however you cannot blame the rotation policy for throwing away two points against Villa as we were very fluent and played very well for most of the game, but if guilt edges chances repeatedly get missed then we can look no further than that for why we didn’t win.

    All a manager can do is to set them up with a tactic to give his players the best chance of winning the game, it is then up to the players to do their bit and win it, Rafa done his part but the players didn’t, no way can we blame the rotation policy, and that is coming from a rotation sceptic.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #19

    @Spoof

    Yeah for me we lost the midfield battle once Hayden had to go to right back and he didn’t look 100% comfortable at right back either

    At least with Mbemba he could just focus on defending as he will probably be up against Hoolahan or Brady

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  • cyprus

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #20

    Last year we beat them what, 5-2? Commentators were saying this is a wake up call for promoted teams, you can’t go gung ho against PL teams (us!) or you will be punished.

    More of that please.

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  • WWSBRD

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #21

    Gamez isn’t injured though is he? He’s just being given time to adapt last I saw

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  • Spoof

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #22

    WWS

    I must have that wrong then as I thought he was injured.

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  • Spoof

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #23

    I could have swore that he has a calf injury but I could be wrong.

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  • WWSBRD

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #24

    Spoof
    I honestly don’t know mate I recall he picked up a knock but it wasn’t serious and last I saw team news wise Rafa had a full squad to pick from barring Aaron’s, Elliott and Anita

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  • Ron Knee

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #25

    On this day:-

    “On 26 September 2008, Kinnear was named as the interim manager of Premier League side Newcastle United.”

    And the rest is history!

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  • Spoof

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #26

    WWS

    I hope that I am wrong and that he is available as he would slot straight in, he was defo left out of the Wolves cup game due to a calf i njury but whether he is fit enough now I don’t know.

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  • Spoof

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #27

    Ron

    Thanks for the good memories you have brought flooding back lol

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  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #28

    gilt edge not guilt edge

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  • Ron Knee

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #29

    Spoof

    Those were the days!

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  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 26, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #30

    cyprus

    6-2, wijni 4 goals

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  • posada

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #31

    Seems I’ve upset the Rafa for Pope Brigade by daring to question his rotation policy.
    Firstly, I don’t see anyone else rotating to that extent. Has Rafa rotated to that extent in the past.

    Aguero doesn’t get rotated much.
    Harry Kane played all of Spurs games for a year or so before his injury. Or so it was mentioned on TV over the weekend.

    Rafa was Liverpool manager for 6 years. In that time Jamie Carragher played Premier League games as follows.
    38/36/35/35/38/37.
    What sort of rotation was that.

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  • WWSBRD

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #32

    Spoof
    I hope so too haha though I think Mbemba could do well there if not

    Any idea how bad Yedlin is? He was brilliant against Villa and him coming off changed the game imo

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #33

    Managed to catch 2 games live so far and a few on the tv, one thing I’ve noticed about sels, he adds to the team in a different way to our normal keepers. He’s a lot more modern. His standing position when we have the ball is about 15 yards further forward than Elliott/darlow and the players use him a lot more as a simple ball to retain possession when teams press. His footwork is very good and his coolness with the ball at his feet and passing is good. Even when he plays it long we invariably retain possession. He’s Obviously taking time to adapt to the physical nature of the league as keepers on the continent don’t get as much as brushed against. For me, rafa has obviously placed importance on a sweeper keeper, and lets be honest, darlow is absolutely terrible with the ball at his feet, and Elliot isn’t much better.
    Watch the next Newcastle game, watch how many times sels has the ball at his feet and retains the possession, hes a big part of how rafa sets up.
    Also, against Villa, Gouffran let his man get the jump on him. Not been mentioned much because he’s the current darling of the fans (rightly so, hes played well) but he should have been stronger.

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #34

    good to see tiote on the pitch! Hes a good player when he gets going. Better than championship level! Anyone else notice he looks about a stone lighter?

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  • manxpie

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #35

    Ron so that means in a couple of days time we can all celebrate the anniversary of the most C words used in 2 mins ever!!

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  • WWSBRD

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #36

    posada
    Bad examples there mate Aguero gets injured a lot and Spurs had to play Kane because they had no one else. Also both in the pl where there are less games

    We have at least two good options in each position and more games

    Singling out Carra aswell he was a key player for Liverpool, Lascelles Hayden Dummett and Ritchie haven’t seen much rotation either for us

    The rotations working imo it has draw backs but so does every strategy otherwise there’d only be 1 way everyone played

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  • WWSBRD

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #37

    jayphoto
    Sorry mate but we need a keeper not another defender otherwise we might aswell stick another out field player in a keeper outfit and be done with it

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #38

    I don’t mind the rotation! I think theres 3 players that should start most games. The keeper (as rotation isn’t great for gks) Lascelles, and shelvey (dictates our play when others don’t)
    Every other position, its horses for courses for me. Rafa used clark against villa, he got MOTM, I’d probably use mbemba against Norwich as they have quick strikers but Hanley against other sides.
    Similarly I’d Play mitro or Murphy against Norwich as they seem to struggle with big strikers but Gayle against Rotherham as they play a higher line.
    The rotation and options makes it very hard for opposing managers to prepare for what rafa will put out and will probably get us more points than not. We literally have different style players of the same ability in most positions!
    Also… when did a 1-1 draw at villa park become the end of the world? They’ll be up there or there abouts at the end of the season, have spent a fortune, have a good squad etc, i’d take away draws at both villa and Norwich if we beat them at home.

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #39

    @wwsbrd – see what you’re saying. I just still think Sels will come good! I’d stick by him. For me, I don’t rate Elliot, and Darlow is never better than a second choice premier league keeper. Sels or woodman have unlimited potential with the right coaching and application. Doubt woodman is near ready so I’d go with sels everytime compared to what we’ve got

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  • WWSBRD

    Sep 26, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #40

    jayphoto
    Sels will come good hopefully but right now hes costing us points and worrying the defenders. He’s done nothing to warrant starting over Darlow for me (he ended last season well and he’s been replaced by a lad who can’t catch a ball or make a save so far)

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