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Belgium Still Shocked About Matz Sels

1:52 pm, Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 48 Comments

Former Everton and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is the new Belgium National manager and his job is to take the very talented Belgium players he has available at the moment and make them into a very good National side.

One of those up-and-coming players for Belgium is Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels who is currently number three behind 24 year-old Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and 28 year-old Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

It seems it was quite a shock in Belgium when Rafa decided to drop Sels for the home game against Norwich City last Wednesday after Matz had played in all nine previous Championship games as he was getting used to football in England.

matz sels bristol city

Matz Sels in action at Bristol City

Journalist Stefan Smet is the Gent reporter for Het Nieuwsblad and he had this to say in the Chronicle today about the dropping of Sels:

“It got big coverage in Belgium.” “He’s one of the top three goalkeepers in Belgium and is one of the big promising players for the next few years.”

“So to see him dropped in the Championship made headlines over here.”

“It seemed strange for people over here when you look at his performances and the number of clean sheets he has got, it didn’t look too bad.”

“He is an excellent goalkeeper and when he left, he went with the best wishes of everyone at Gent.”

“It was strange to see what happened on Twitter as well, but we have the same problems in Belgium.”

“Knowing Matz and the way that he trains and competes, I think he will be back stronger than before.”

“He is a sensible guy and an intelligent, measured individual. Whatever he thinks about what has happened to him, he will just get on with working hard.”

“He is not the kind who will criticize the decision of the trainer or disrupt the situation at Newcastle. Instead he will keep his head down and keep working hard.”

“Matz is an intelligent, sensible guy. He is not showy and I think this is a setback for him to deal with,” he said.

“Most of all he is an excellent goalkeeper. You don’t play as well as he did in the Champions League and become the Belgian goalkeeper of the year if you are not.”

“It might not mean as much in England but there are some good goalkeepers who he is competing with.”

“I know that he still talks to many of his old team-mates in Gent and the goalkeeping coach – he has a lot of support in Belgium,”

Sels being dropped is nothing to panic about and he has had a decent baptism of 9 Championship games and he will be all the better for it when he gets another chance in the Newcastle goal.

But the Twitter abuse he unfairly received from a small contingent of Newcastle fans after the game at Villa Park was simply unacceptable – and didn’t put Newcastle in a good light.

The player is new to Newcastle and new to the country so he needs both time and the full support of fans  as he gets used to things in England; there’s no doubt he has great potential.

It’s interesting that number two Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has also just been dropped by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, as their new signing from Mainz Loris Karius is currently preferred having now recovered from an early season injury.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · International break · International News · Matz Sels · Newcastle News

48 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Oct 5, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Oh well, we should get our money back for him then if he’s not suited to life here.

  • 2 WWSBRD // Oct 5, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    He didnt see his performances if he think Sels had been good. He needs to get used to the English game once that happens if hes good enough he will reclaim his spot from Darlow

  • 3 Pat On The Heed // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Selz was out of form but the reported online abuse by fans was saddening and unhelpful in the long run. Once the mob singled him out, Benitez had his hand forced. I don’t imagine Rafa will entertain scapegoating like that too many more times, especially as it was the ‘warmth of the fans’ that convinced him to stay in the first place. Some toon supporters not only deserve a Pearson or a Pardew, they actively bring it on themselves.

  • 4 Tsunki // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Probably the best antidote for being shockingly dropped would be for the third best Belgian keeper to perform a little less shakily.

  • 5 Jail for Ashley // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    Pat on the Heed? Luckily Rafa Benitez has nous and understanding that there are idiots on Twitter all over the world and won’t think any less of us because of a few mindless idiots who could quite easily be mackems supporters causing bother.

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Rafa strikes me as the kind of weak minded fool to drop a player because of twitter, he got rid of Collo because of toonbotherer don’t you know.

  • 7 Tsunki // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Oh no Jail, it will definitely have been genuine proper Toon fans.

  • 8 Tsunki // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    How come dummett still plays then? 🙂

  • 9 lesh // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Whether he was dropped for Championship games or Prem games makes not a blind piece of difference. Rafa’ll have dropped him for a number of reasons not least doubts about his ability to cope with the English game.

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Columbo, the shabbily dressed detective played by Peter Falk didn’t believe in coincidences. Ian Toon doesn’t post for awhile and appears at the same time as Pat on the heed last week, a patronisingly sneering type with the same writing style as carl, after Ian gets blatantly outed (again) this morning Pat on the heed turns up to do a bit of sneering. Just one more thing ….

  • 11 Pat On The Heed // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Jail. Hope so. Otherwise the ‘I support Benitez (apart from being up in arms whenever he does something I don’t like)’ brigade will ruin it for everyone. I wouldn’t pick gouffran, dummet or Diame, but I would hate to think Rafa could be swayed into dropping them because of online know nowts (myself included) deciding they know what’s best.

  • 12 Tsunki // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Funny you should mention him Jail, but whatever happened to the smartest guy in the room? Has Colo leaving cast him adrift of purpose I wonder? Odd, seeing as we probably still have one or two worthy bothering subjects still at the club.

  • 13 hibbit // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Tsunki /

    thats easy……. he’s the best LB we have at the moment and Rafa picks him

  • 14 Mister Tuff // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    January signings might be interesting.
    Firstly I expect a relentless machine like trudge from us to gain top spot by January. Edge of the seat football being the exception rather than the rule.
    Looking ahead in anticipation of glory this season – our team are well behind mid table PL teams – upgrade of forwards will be a must. But where to get them and no gaurentee PL football 6 months ahead.
    I think someone else on here has suggested this – suitable players may be those just about to breakthrough into the big time.
    Additionally if Rafa does buy could it upset the applecart/upset other players and put the run in in jeopardy.
    Interesting times ahead.
    Cannot see young Armstrong getting a recall now in January – a tad too early for him I think.

  • 15 lesh // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Just a thought and not thread related but thinking about the troublesome multi-named posters we get on the Blog, I wonder whether Ed’s system might allow for a poster’s unique avatar to be directly linked to his/her IP address, when registering for the the Blog.

    Ok, that would probably mean all posters reregistering, limiting registration to one poster per IP address (computer, tablet or mobile) but it may go some way to curbing the idiots.

    Just a thought and nowt to do with the price of fish.

  • 16 2_goal_tino // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Sels wasn’t dropped because of the fans, he was dropped because he hasn’t been good enough. We have got clean sheets and he’s made some good saves but he has also made regular mistakes, which have/could easily have cost us a needless goal.

    He needs to get his head down so he is better suited to the English game. This includes working on dealing with crosses, commanding his box, and distribution.

    (This of course doesn’t exonerate fans from abusing him, which is entirely unnecessary and counter-productive).

  • 17 welshgeordie9 // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    No offence jail but I reckon you would be a rubbish detective.

  • 18 Pat On The Heed // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    So expressing a relatively benign opinion that goes against the self appointed heavies of the blog is now sneering? It’s like a little jobseekers fiefdom on here, complete with Stasi style ‘outings’ and multiple poster conspiracy theories. References to daytime tv detectives Jail? Why it’s almost as if you have too much time on your hands. Don’t worry, I’ll leave you to enjoy one another’s company. Enjoy!

  • 19 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Belgian Press not getting Rafa’s rotation? Now Sels getting in Belgian goal before the other 2 if fit would be the surprise.

    Sels has been shaky ( and he knows it) but does show some potential and I suspect plays the Rafa way likes his keepers to. Taken out of spotlight not because of Twitter but because Rafa sees the sense in doing so. Resting Lascelles certainly didn’t work did it 🙂

  • 20 lesh // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Come to think of it, maybe Ed should just limit registrations to one poster to one IP address.

    Those thoughts are there to be shot to bits by the many who are far more IT literate than me.

  • 21 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 2:39 PM


    It isn’t too difficult to have 2 ISP’s though if you really want and there re VPN’s. Seem to recall lots of discussion on this point during The Burnley Witch Trials or it might have been the Leeds ones. Belfast would know.

    I know – but why bother with all that faff? Is it really that much fun? Don’t get it myself at least not over months and months….

  • 22 Tsunki // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    it’s a difficult one, this ID business. Unless your ISP has assigned your router a static ip, your ip could change if your router connection dropped out. Also if you use a laptop on WiFi at home for one ID but your phone for another, your phone data is usually another ISP, then you take your tablet to Maccy D’s, there’s another. You just need a few email accounts, it’s not rocket surgery to be a multiple

    You do of course need to have a good memory though, in case you eventually get caught out using trademark phrases, same typos, same writing style and narrative, agenda etc.

  • 23 Mister Tuff // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    magscar – you highlight a decent point.
    Why introduce yourself to all the pulavar of have fake/multiple accounts on here – and I would imagine the further aggro of servicing them all.
    That in itself intoduces how desperate these folk are to make whatever point they want to make. Forgive me if I use a more colloquial expression “I couldn’t be arsed”.

    However their arrogance and belief of their own assessment of how intelligent they are normally catches ’em out.
    Viz Ian Toon posting to himself and of course common phraseology.
    Not forgetting Jib – making a gaffe in answering questions for Jane and of course identical abuse being dished out to the same people.

    Really are desperados.

  • 24 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:19 PM


    Whilst I totally appreciate Ed’s hard work in setting up and maintaining this Blog ( best NUFC site for bloggers in world by miles) especially given his health issues there is only one effective way to resolve several of the problems that plague Blog.

    I have been against it for obvious reasons before but if the problems are as widespread and in danger of destroying the Blog as some have it then only Ed , his son and/or someone he can have respond to posters email’s of complaints can be the answer.

    If there is any kind of abuse which falls foul of the Law then of course the Internet is covered by greater power than Ed.

    For the lesser issues of Multiples and WUM’s etc self policing just doesn’t seem to be working if the amount and regularity of certain posters contributions are to be believed. I don’t overly concern myself but there does seem to be at least two commonly accused of being multiples – one more frequently and by more posters than the other I think.

    The answer is in our hands – no not sniping everytime he/she comes on but report THE FACTS to Ed to deal with -it his Blog and he has his rules on Home page. Fall foul of those then report poster.

    No it isn’t grassing/running to the Teacher it is saving the Blog if that is what it has come to.

    I am not prepared to go to that length myself unless I am personally attacked or I find the comment(s) so reprehensible in real time – my choice I know. Real time is important because it would be best if a poster states he/she has done so to save Ed being unnecessarily inundated and overworked – that is not the answer. It hopefully will then stop all the other comments against offender which I can’t be alone in not being amused by.

    Disagreeing with other posters opinions on NUFC and related matters to the point of sniping at them is not something which ought to have to be reported as we can correct that ourselves if we try.

    Not personally aimed at you Lesh just you have mentioned issue but is simply a sincere thought for all posters to mull over.

  • 25 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Mister Tuff

    It is all the pularvar and associated book keeping that is necessary to keep such subterfuges going and over years that really makes me wonder is it all what it seems and to the full extent.

    I honestly prefer not to get involved in the outing because in many ways it is self defeating ( I accept it is morally sound ) and unless a serious offence/breach either in Law or in Ed’s rules has occurred then it is a sledge hammer used……

    No matter how many times folk go on and on about the same posters nothing changes – so if it IS broke then fix it – see my previous post which I repeat is a sincere try to move on with this which must have been an issue for at least 2 years to my reckoning.

    Posters need to be aware that the solution adopted so far is in danger of killing the patient for some 🙁

  • 26 Mister Tuff // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    Good quote from Abraham Lincoln.
    No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.

  • 27 Mister Tuff // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    and another from Edmund Burke.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

  • 28 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    Mister Tuff

    Both fine quotes and both known to me but seriously let us not get too carried away with our interpretation of evil.

    The instances that can be discerned as such can and should have been reported to the Authorities and I don’t mean Ed.

    On that point though Ed would be interested as I seem to recall some one else posted to the effect that he could somehow get dragged into matter if post was on his Blog – you may know more about that aspect

  • 29 Mister Tuff // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    magscar – I would imagine that when Ed started off his blog- a service to Toon fans -specifically those living overseas he did not have one inkling of the mischief subsequently created by some of those using the service. I would also guess he would be unaware of the technology developing to assist these scallys and their online mischief and that he would have to police it – and wasting his time.
    Generally this abuse is getting worse as more and more of “ya shyte and scumbags” go online to abuse others with their filth from the gutter.
    What to do about it God knows.
    I will personally take the piss out of them but strangely some who are fellow scum or have no moral compass support them.
    What is the world coming to.

    Ya shyte and scumbags………………………..OOT

  • 30 lesh // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Magscaf, Tsunki, tuff

    You’re all right of course. Dealing with those idiots who have a need to adopt multi-personae is probably more effort than they and more particularly Ed, deserve.

    These multi-facets are quite simply crackers, round the bend, eejits who should seek out specialist treatment. I’m sure Nurse Ratched could be just the therapist to oversee their treatment.

    Magscar, how many points for a literary allusion?

  • 31 Mister Tuff // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:46 PM

    Off to do some painting.

  • 32 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:47 PM


    I have had a brainwave – how abou self scoring – most on here on honest and could self assess 🙂

  • 33 lesh // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:48 PM


    I’m assuming your international break game’s not been forced to close by the puritan killjoys that patrol the Blog!

  • 34 hibbit // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    tuff / magscar
    your both right but the only man that can fix it is Ed

  • 35 lesh // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:52 PM


    Self-scoring and assessment? What a brilliant idea though it does rely on entrant honesty.

    I’ll give myself 42 for this mornings, and that along with my latest should give 1984…. Oh gawd, it’s getting tricky now!

  • 36 BandB // Oct 5, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    What is really telling on here is this.
    If X is accused of being a sock puppet of poster Y, you very rarely see the “real” poster X trying desperately to clear his/her name as you might expect.
    What you instead get is poster Y attacking his accusers for not talking football and having nothing better to do.
    The reason for this is because there are only two main culprits, and they are quite useless at changing their MO.
    Most of the retorts are puerile enough not to warrant a response, and there are some instances where it’s simply best not to interfere in private grief.
    Even if bidden 🙂

  • 37 lesh // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Mr Tuff, painting?

    We have an artist in our midst? A budding Munch, Van Goch, DaVinci on Ed’s blog?

    You may of course be well established, an internationally renowned figure, a colossus of the art world.

    I’m honoured to be in the midst of such genius!

  • 38 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    Mister Tuff@29

    I never thought I could sway you 🙂

    The issue is one that plagues the full range of Social Media though but Blogs like this are only so anonymous because of need to sign in.

    Notwithstanding the IP issue which as a former high up in IBM I am sure Ed would have a better understanding of than most (or know a man who does) the type of issue some stand accused of are matters which if deemed serious can and arguably should be addressed by a Blog Host. He can simply stop posts from those bloggers if he sees fit and watch out for new sign ups with same IP.

    Yeah Ok Mr Multiple can get another IP or disguise his but he will end up being reported again and eventually get sick of hassle – only one of him ( well you see what I am getting at!) and loads of us QED

    Ed won’t read most of posts on here unless he is directed to them – I understand he always looks out for mine though ( no not moderation – behave) and has been following my adventures on the run keenly 🙂

    Anyway the ongoing issue has had another outing – let some one else have their two penny worth

  • 39 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:03 PM


    Yup that is why all this hounding and outing really works – they just hate the attention

  • 40 BandB // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    Sometimes, Mascara, a person commits blog suicide in front of our appealed eyes.
    The only way they survive is a result of people wading in to kick them while they are down, allowing them to play for sympathy.
    You’d be amazed how often this plays out….

  • 41 BandB // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:09 PM


  • 42 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:11 PM


    It is going on as we write but it isn’t mine I sort of stumbled across it (it is a bit like the Illuminati).

    It is well established but nonetheless very fluid reacting to changes of mood and issues of the moment without stuttering – got to take my hat off to it.

    Blown my chances of getting an invite but like the ONEPLUS phone phenomenon maybe that will be done away with and become open to all to get in some new blood 🙂

    As a poster who has mostly peaks and troughs though I would never be a real competitor and I won’t play unless I can win!

  • 43 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:15 PM


    Amongst all the joshing I honestly hope my serious points haven’t been lost – real problems need real solutions after all.

    Off to watch Tuff paint – find it relaxing

  • 44 BandB // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    I thought your analysis was typically mealy-mouthed and one-sided with huge blind spots for your fellow speakers for the silent majority (and BOY were they silent last night.)

  • 45 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:18 PM


    I noted the “rarely” . You no doubt recall when I was Mr X I know I do 🙁

  • 46 magscar // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:26 PM


    “You talking to me?”

    What analysis migh that be?

    No forget that – what do you think is the solution(s) really – never mind the sniping it b=never gets anwhere. Move with the times and have an adult and straight conversation may check back when I get back from my paint watching but not expecting much

    Hey Mister Tuff and I managed to have a one to one with no punches pulled (well none thrown) and you know I enjoyed it.

  • 47 Mister Tuff // Oct 5, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    In for a quick cuppa – no fine painting I’m afraid – painting the outside of the house.
    Proper colours as well – black and white. White on the rough cast, black on base plinths, sills and door surrounding. Pig of a job but looking good so far.

    Ref the new blog game. there are a few tying on the score of 666. I won’t mention them by name so as not to incur their abuse.

  • 48 goommy // Oct 5, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    He’s not on the PRM level. That’s all..

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