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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 Talks About Matz Sels And The Goalkeeping Position

2:26 pm, Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 16 Comments

After the game on Saturday our goalkeeper Matz Sels took some severe criticism from some Newcastle fans on Twitter that was simply way over the top.

Matz did hesitate in coming out for the corner that led to Aston Villa’s very late equalizer, but it’s not like it was a major error and the ball should still have been cleared.


Matz Sels – adjusting to playing in England

Unfortunately that brutal criticism made the national headlines in English papers and it does not reflect well on those specific fans or on Newcastle United either.

Rafa was asked at his press conference about Matz and the goalkeeping position and this is what he said:

“Matz Sels is fine, a young lad coming to a new country, some games he has done well and some games he could improve – but he has a great future.”

“They are professionals, and they have to deal with this kind of situation.”

“We know how hard it can be to settle down, but he just needs to keep working hard and trying to improve his game.”

“Karl Darlow has done well in the cup games and we will decide tomorrow. I told them  that they have to put me under pressure.”

It would not surprise us if Karl Darlow gets  a start tomorrow night against Norwich, but if Rafa makes that change it’s because he thinks it’s the right thing to do for Newcastle and the right thing for Matz too.

Maybe it’s good to give Matz two or three games on the bench so he can take in everything that’s happened since the hectic season started on August 5th – and he’ll be a lot better for it.

It’s very difficult for continental goalkeepers to adjust to English football and that’s true also with Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo this season.

It takes time to adjust to both English football and to life in England.

Let keep supporting Matz Sels and let’s keep supporting all our players at Newcastle.

That’s the least they deserve in this crucial season.

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Tags: Championship · Coaching · Karl Darlow · Management · Matz Sels · Newcastle News · Poll

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Oldgit1 // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Appears moyes uses zonal marking as well as Rafa. Concerning that be Benekick (wrong spelling I know) said he knew he would score when he found Sunderland was using zonal marking. Have forwards found a way to beat this type of marking?

  • 2 Bobbybee // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Ha ha bill, guess who missed the bus again? 🙂 Do you think Ed is targetting us specifically or what?

  • 3 Bobbybee // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Oldgit1, not sure, or if it was just Sunlun defence being that poor. Did you see it mate? Shocker lol. He just waltzed in and nobody had a clue he was there. Not a glance over the shoulder even. They all had their eyes on the ball. He couldn’t believe his luck.

  • 4 Oldgit1 // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Totally agree with ED on this, people on this site are far to quick to condem players. Seen it in the past and no doubt will see it in the future. We have a young team with some players making mistakes. We do not live in the perfect world so give the kids a chance.

  • 5 Oldgit1 // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    At bobbybee, I didn’t see the Sunderland match, but it seemed a strange thing to say re zonal marking. I suppose there is good zonal marking and bad zonal marking. But him stating this was the reason he knew he would score suggested he would be given more room/time rather than man marking.

  • 6 firebug666 // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:44 PM


    I disagree mate, I don’t think the players get condemned on here (except maybe by a minority) but most of it is constructive criticism.

    We all have a right to argue for or against, I for one think Sels may benefit from being dropped, that’s not condemning him, that’s my opinion on beating Norwich, at the end of the day we need a keeper that the fans and players can trust, and at the moment that is not Sels.

  • 7 Bobbybee // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    Oldgit1, if you get chance, look the goal up mate. It should be used by coaches as what not to do on zonal marking. I watched it a couple of times and not one defender looked over their shoulder to see who might be behind them. Bearing in mind that there was nobody in front of them, they should have had a clue that they must have been coming in late. Very very poor marking – but entertaining all the same. 🙂
    Agree with your comment @4 by the way. Spot on. He’s our player after all.
    Anyway, my services are required elsewhere so I’ll bid you all farewell for now.

  • 8 clinath@ed // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    re: corner marking…i think most observers agree that a combination of man-to-ma and zonal marking is better than zonal marking only. All the defenders standing still while the attackers get a good run at the ball can’t make sense in anybodies books..

  • 9 Belfast // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    There was a football agent from Boro I think who was really laying into fat Sam and his agent Mark Custis a few years ago about how bent they both were.

    I bet he opened a bottle early today lol

  • 10 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:52 PM


    Gonna get me a hoverjet, bus and train aint fast enough. 🙂

  • 11 Bobbybee // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    Belfast, before I go, would you buy a used car off Hippo Heed? Damned if I would – dodgy dealer! 🙂

  • 12 Mag52 // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    My team for Norwich:

    Sels(Rafa will stick with him)
    Yedlin Lascelles Hanley Dummett
    Shelvey Colback
    Ritchie Perez Gouffran


  • 13 kimbo // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Critical comments are acceptable but let us face facts that we threw 2 points away against Villa. We were crap up front and Rafa did nothing about it. Hanley was on the bench because of aerial threats, Rafa didnot us him so am I being critical of Rafa.

  • 14 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 27, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    I think the only player that I may have gone over the top with critically, was Taylor.

    In retrospect I shouldn’t have but we all (to be fair) do it to some extent.

    I certainly wouldn’t troll someone that is just nasty (even if I had a twitter account)

  • 15 BeeGuy // Sep 27, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Hard to blame Sels for the Villa goal.
    Yedlin had gone off injured.
    Ritchie and Gouffron were winded and not subbed.
    Tiote just getting his feet wet.
    NUFC in the Prem were often as poor as Villa was, then NUFC lulled the opposition to sleep and grabbed a late point. Seems the shoe is on the other foot now.

  • 16 posada // Sep 27, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Well said kimbo. Welcome to the Rafa Reality Club.
    Make sure you have a hard hat as you will get flak from the Rafa for Pope Brigade.

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