Rafa On Why He Brought In These Players This Summer

It was refreshing in the summer when Rafa Benitez targeted a number of British players and he did that after learning as much as he could about the Championship, which is a very physical and a very tough league – one of the toughest leagues in the world.

Rafa wanted players who were used to playing in English football and he brought in players like Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden, Ciaran Clark, Grant Hanley and Daryl Murphy.


Matt Ritchie – one of the British players signed by Rafa this summer

Rafa has talked today about his decision to target British (and Irish) players during the summer:

“We knew the Championship is so difficult that we needed players with experience of the Championship and of English football.”

“What’s good is the British players – or players with Championship experience – they knew already about the physicality, the importance of every contact.”

“It was important to get players with knowledge of this side of the game to add to our quality and to what we already had.”

“We have brought some experienced players in, so now I think we have enough experience, young players and talent, that we have a good mix.”

“You want to prepare a team to be compact, and you want to compete.” “Will it be more physical than the Premier League?”

“Yeah, it could be.”

“Then you have players with experience in the Championship and you hope that they can cope with the intensity and the physicality.”

Newcastle already had British players in the squad such as Jonjo Shelvey, Paul Dummett, Jack Colback, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles so we now have quite a big base of British players – which is very different from the squad of the the last eight years, when we had far too many French players.

If we can attain our major goal this season and get promoted back to the Premier League in May, it will be very interesting to see what kind of players Newcastle will sign in the summer.

We discussed some of that in an earlier article today.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

42 comments so far

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 7, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #1

    Glad Yedlin’s been withdrawn at HT.

    that pitch is going to be the end of somebody’s time today surely

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 7, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Comment #2

    Each time I see a Clinath@ed post I can’t help think of Clint Robinson, an Australian canoeist who upon returning with a Gold medal from the Olympics was greeted by a large banner saying “WELCOME HOME CLINT” that had been strung across the main street of his hometown Nambour in country Queensland. It stayed up for about a month, but unfortunately the L and the I in CLINT were painted a little closer together than the other letters and so looked like a U, which rendered it a more droll and understated country welcome than perhaps intended.

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #3

    dok – keep your pecker up man.
    Some folk on this blog -the infrequent/or irregular posters – or those who have not been personally abused often come to the conclusion when there is a ruck going on that all participants are “equally guilty”.

    Whereas those one the end of the insults/abuse no fine well exactly who the culprits are.
    I am really astounded that more folk on here do not speak up against the rabble now on here and who themselves are emboldened by others like them.
    In the midst of filthy gutter talk some on here react as if nothing is occurring around them or converse with said miscreants as if they are “good old boys”.
    At the minimum – a “hey there is no need for that” might suffice but nothing.
    What has happened to the basic levels of human decency?
    I’ll still challenge them though with or without help -my stance might embolden some to speak up as well.


  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #4

    no fine well = know fine well.

  • welshgeordie9

    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Comment #5


  • Average_Contents

    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #6


    I didn’t need to answer your question of who. I knew they’d do it for me.

    Cheap schnapps? Highly doubtful.

    Turpentine with old Spice as mixer is probably closer to the mark.

    A vacuum has been created. Unfortunately the’re the ones who’ve decided occupy it and destroy the blog in the process.

    You strike me as the kinda guy I’d give up my self imposed exile to go to the match with.. Not that that’s much comfort but hey ho.

  • clinath@ed

    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #7

    Jimmy…..do you know how many times that happened to me while I was a school kid. Pmsl

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 7, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #8

    possibly boring but true.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 8, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #9

    I didn’t ignore your question earlier about who I thought we might be swapping with from the EPL.

    After a bit of mulling, I reckon Sundaland are nailed on certainties, Stoke are looking serious contenders with 5 or 6 other clubs in the frame including Leicester and WH although my money would be on Hull.
    Unfortunately I don’t think CP and the turn coat will be one of the three relegated, Pardew always seems to be able to wriggle out problems.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Oct 8, 2016 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #10


    I know you mean well but all you’re doing is adding to the demise of the blog. Constantly bringing up this topic for what seems like months and has it gotten you or this blog anywhere? Ignorance is surely the best policy in this situation?

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Oct 8, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #11

    Do what you want it’s completely fine I just don’t get it at this point.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 8, 2016 at 12:25 AM

    Comment #12

    Yeah, I can imagine, but you’re in good company, Clint Eastwood uppermost among them.

    A while back I was in a pub in Ryton on a Friday evening with my cousin and half a dozen of his pals when a radgie local with tatts on his fingers and neck and a mouthful of missing teeth wandered up to our table and swapped some rapid fire quick witted pleasantries with the lads in such broad geordie that I struggled to fully follow. My cousin pointed out that I was visiting from Australia, where I’d lived from the age of seven, and he acknowledged me with a fleeting dismissive glance and a short sharp “reet cnut”. Funny.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 8, 2016 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #13


    Whenever I travel back to the homeland it takes me a few days get what’s being said. My missus laughed at me last time up there as she could understand better what my nephew was saying and she’s a southern lass.

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 8, 2016 at 1:21 AM

    Comment #14

    Bar’lick – you see what happens on here and who says it. My list of “offences” also occurs on here.
    Nothing the matter with leg pulling – but where standards fall, not just below, but way below those standards which normal society adheres to -should we not say something.
    off the blog – I would intervene and say something -have done historically -and would continue to do so – not frightened at all -big enough at 18 stone -to intimidate societys’ thugs and bullies -and if needed can easily give them a “lesson”.
    So decent folk should say something – if you were out with members of your family -say having a meal at the local pub- and were confronted with some of the behaviour which occurs on here I’m sure you would want it to desist.
    Decent folk should fight for acceptable standards.

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 8, 2016 at 1:25 AM

    Comment #15

    and ——not be dragged down to the gutter by societys’ shyte and scum or to be intimidated in keeping schtum.

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Oct 8, 2016 at 2:05 AM

    Comment #16


    Ofcourse that is what should be done in those circumstances, it’s truly sick that we have to deal with it on the Internet. Unfortunately it’s a lot harder to deal with it on this platform because everybody is behind there screens and will generally say what they want and be under no threat of the correct consequences. It’s unfortunate, but not much can be done. Simply you bringing up this topic is enough for those you want to diminish from the blog to have there fun.

    Look, what you are trying is admirable but it’s just not going to work, you’ve been trying for so long (atleast it seems) and if anything it has got worse. Your morals are fine even if you just decide to ignore those you protest against. In the long run this blog will be better off if everyone learns to accept each others dithering opinions and leave out the petty name calling. It’s simple, just ignore those you cannot tolerate. There’s no need for it to escalate to the point it has.

    But I understand if you wish to continue… Your choice.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 4:18 AM

    Comment #17

    Just thought I’d pop on and see if there was anything interesting happening in the world of NUFC.

    Instead it appears to be all out blog warfa….. bickering. Not sure what Dok has ever done to rub people up the wrong way. Whenever I’ve seen his posts they have generally been relevant NUFC or football related posts. Yeah, occasional pops at others, but if we banned/chased/lambasted every person who has given someone stick then there wouldn’t be anyone commenting here. I definitely include myself in this, and would say almost every poster (if being honest) has done.

    Borgs, alliances, coups, factions… seriously? It is a football blog, specifically NUFC, a club that is dear to all (maybe one or two exceptions) of our hearts, otherwise I doubt any of us would spend the time on it that that we do.

    That last thread was ludicrous. 162 posts and probably around 75% were posts about disputes between bloggers, misunderstood posts taken as insults (which probably would happen less if the general mood wasn’t like it is) and just general snipes at people.

    I get Tuff’s stance on the issues he points out, I’ve seen some stuff from some of the bloggers on here that is incredibly offensive, and has absolutely no place on here. I’m certainly no angel, but there is a line, and there should be a point where people say enough is enough. Ed should be the person dealing with that when it happens though, not regular posters, although definitely bring it to the attention of Ed.

    Pretty much all the posters on here can contribute to a reasonable football discussion. Not a hope we would all agree on everything, so of course there will be arguments, differences of opinion, etc. But that doesn’t mean threads have to go the way of the previous one.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 4:21 AM

    Comment #18

    Anyway, on Townsend,

    “It was the first time in my career that I actually did feel loved and did feel right.”

    “The fans were great with me, everyone loved me.”

    “On the last game of the season against Spurs, the standing ovation when I got subbed was incredible, it made the hair on my arms stand up.”

    But I thought I’d go to Palace anyway. Ritchie is the more effective player anyway, so no hard feelings, enjoy the occasional 26,000 sell outs. See you next year, not sure how much the fans will love you on your return…

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 4:51 AM

    Comment #19

    Well said Burnley. From the mouths of babes. The problem is mate, Tuff and co live by the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ model of facists. AC, the foulest mouth on the blog? Aye, probably. Tuff’s buddie. Nastiest individual? BandB? Tuff’s buddie. Insults about the disabled? Comes from Tuff’s buddies. Row for the sake of it? Ibiza. Tuffs buddy. Biggest pompous ass in the universe? Tuff obviously. Yet said pompous ass never has a word against his buddies. Notice a theme here?
    Yes, we’re all toon fans, but we’re also individuals. Anally retentive people – Tuff is your finest example – won’t let things go. He must be right, ergo everyone else is wrong. Most people have crossed words and agree to disagree, then move on. Their problem arises when somebody stands up to them. It was like this long before I came on, so it ain’t just me. Only a pompous facist nomark would claim to be blog controller. Only he sees himself as that like, but he’s obviously sick. Nobody tells me how to behave. I’m my own man. Certainly not the most disgusting individuals the blog ever assembled. I get that he loves to play the headmaster, spanking naughty boys, but that alone is creepy enough. He is, basically a control freak. Has to do it behind a keyboard, because he’s no 18 stone hardcase, he’s a pathetic little manchild. Issuing threats he couldn’t back up – even to the disabled. Gobshite extrordinaire
    Really the simple answer is, stop acting like the blog owner, or set up a blog you do own and you might get six posters? Maybe. The borg. 🙂
    Certain posters only post to cause rows and don’t try to hide the fact. Work it out. I talk football in the main, but don’t suffer fools gladly. Yes I bite, but generally when provoked. Listening to some pompous irritating little nobody telling people what they can or can’t do, generally does it.
    So, in a nutshell, don’t insult people, then cry for weeks when you get it back. Lighten up ffs, nobody likes to be controlled and definitely not me. Nobody has ever told me what to do and not got it back double. Talk about decency? Generally your first insult of the day is ‘jib jibberish, the blog pest’. Is that not insulting? You make shit up, like me being a hooligan and claiming I said I crack people skulls open, or other such crap. Things I’ve never said. But like your hero once said, ‘Tell a lie often enough and loudly enough and the fools will believe it’. That does sound like your philosophy, although it originally belonged to adolf hitler. He loved telling people how to live their lives and using bully boy tactics. Not that a measly mouthed worm like you… then again, he was too! 🙂 Coincidence?
    If you really want to know what the problem is on here, I suggest you take a good long look in the mirror. Stop trying to act all disgusted, when nobody is more disgusting than you and your cronies. Stop pulling people up because you don’t like something – it’s generally none of your business. By the way, generally, your posts on football – rare as they are – smack of cut and paste. Definitely not in your usual bluster. 🙂 whoops! Sussed again.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 8, 2016 at 4:55 AM

    Comment #20

    My uncle was North East correspondent for the Mirror for quite a while, and one of his responsibilities as a cadet was to dole out the prizes for the weekly “Face in the Crowd” giveaway, usually two tickets two the match.

    On one particular morning a load of manure meant for a neighbour was mistakenly dropped off in his driveway and so before driving in to the office he had to help shovel it and barrow it onto his neighbours property.

    Later at work he had the usual problems with people coming in to claim the prize when it clearly wasn’t any one of them. One was a young lad of about 12, who claimed he was standing on a box at the match and that so he only appeared fully grown.

    My uncle was no dope and wasn’t having it despite repeated protestations from the lad who finally relented with the parting remark of ” I never wanted the f@cken tickets anyway pal, and by the way, ya stink a’ shit.”

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 5:24 AM

    Comment #21

    Lil, you’ve clearly missed a good lot of what was said. And it’s not worth reading to be honest.
    When you and me get together on here, we talk football. Good football, because we both have a passion for the game that goes deeper than some. Funnily enough, 90% of my posts are like that. Football. I love the game and I love Newcastle with a passion. Passions can run high. 🙂 That’s one thing. Every single argument on here, mine included, is started by one of a minority of a few people. Every one. You know who they are if your honest, and I believe you to be.
    I only come on here to talk football – warts and all – but will not be told what I can write because it upsets – allegedly – some pompous oaf. The other night a lot of home truths came out and only people who love to row would dare show their faces after that. True colours were exposed. No shame.
    Just wanted you to know where I’m coming from. Please don’t judge me without the facts.
    Anyway, nice to see Callum Roberts getting an England call up for the U20’s. Same game young Arma scored his god knows how many winning goal.
    When we were discussing Heany a while ago, did you realise how young he is? I didn’t. He’s still playing for the academy, as well as the U23’s as it now is. Still scoring as well. 🙂
    Young Roberts is training with the first team now as well. Love it when academy lads come through.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 5:27 AM

    Comment #22

    Must run in the family jimmy! 🙂 🙂

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:15 AM

    Comment #23

    Yeah, we talk football. But with most of those that you decry to YMFB I also have good football conversations with.

    I’m not judging anyone, other than to say that all of the people on this blog are capable of decent football discussion, and I’ve had them with all sorts of people that get involved with this. Each person has there merit on the blog, if a different delivery style or viewpoint.

    I’m not big of swearing, but AC also talks a good football conversation. As can you, BandB, Ibiza, Dok, Tuff, Jib etc…. Ignore each other if you just want to stick to football, it’s easy enough to do. I normally do, but that previous thread was embarrassing for most parties concerned in my opinion.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:18 AM

    Comment #24

    *big on swearing

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:20 AM

    Comment #25

    Yeah, I knew how young Heaney was, followed him for a while now. He is a very exciting prospect, fingers crossed Rafa and his team can help deliver the potential to reality.

    Not convinced Roberts will cut it with us eventually if I’m honest. Probably a decent Championship player, but to break through and stay there for the foreseeable he needs a bit more than that.

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:28 AM

    Comment #26

    It doesn’t escape the notice of many bloggers who don’t regularly post that mr T applies his blog standards inconsistently. Bobby is right that he doesn’t try to chastise posters he appears to like. There are plenty of incidences of ‘gutter language…abuse’ he doesn’t seem to notice.. Didn’t he see it? Was he looking the other way? That’s the problem when you set yourself up as upholder of all that is saintly and true. You end up looking like a hypocrite yourself.
    On a blog, all you can ever hope to police is your own behaviour. Or you end up with endless tit for tat bickering.
    Shame,because there is some great contact, discussion and insight going on in amongst it all.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:31 AM

    Comment #27

    Six o’clock is a good place to start in the morning. No actually, it’s not. Anyway, I’ve got a new game to play today. It’s called ‘ignore the borg.’ You can place bets on this game. How long can bobbybee totally ignore any digs and attempts to cause trouble by the unsavoury mob. 🙂 And before you start saying ‘the next post’ or an hour, be warned. I fully intend to make this last forever. Nor would I advise you to go that far either.
    I shall be engaging in football chit chat and open to other moods, should they arise, such as cricket or other sporting activities. 🙂 Or maybe not. Time to draw a line under it and move on. We all know where we stand on matters now. A new dawn. Litterally.

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:33 AM

    Comment #28

    Would you be in favour of somehow getting all the football federations together and trying to agree a wage cap for footballers? Particularly youngsters?

  • cyprus

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:43 AM

    Comment #29

    Just had a quick check on the previous threads to see if all is in order.

    Bullying check.
    Xenophobia check
    Non football matters check.

    All in order.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #30

    I think plenty of posters ignore inappropriate comments by those they prefer whilst picking up on anything that those they aren’t keen on say. Singling Tuff out as the only person to do that is doing exactly the same thing as you are accusing Tuff of.

    Anyway, football, a wage cap? In theory it sounds a good idea, but probably impossible to actually implement.

    You mention the wages for youngsters, since Alex Hunter made his debut at 13 for Celtic U20’s last week, there has been all sorts of talk about how young players are underpaid and exploited coming from Scotland.

    It is difficult to was cap them though. If we looked at many industries the most talented youths would be offered more than others. For companies to get them, they will have to offer a good wage. I do think the money in football is absurd nowadays, and the wages paid are way over the top, but I don’t see any real way of regulating a wage cap.

    All the football federations is FIFA. Just can’t see that idea gaining traction sadly, and the money in football will grow as FIFA continue to expand major tournaments to bring in new and lucrative markets.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:50 AM

    Comment #31

    *who ignore…. zero sleep last night thanks to circumstances out of my control taking its toll….

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    Comment #32

    Scrap that, didn’t need correcting. Think I’ll give up for today….

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:55 AM

    Comment #33

    Bankers earn in far excess of what footballers do. Many people do. You can’t wage cap footballers without visiting other top earners – and the powers that be won’t allow that to happen. You might not remember, but in the past clubs leached money out of the public and paid players a pittance. A 25 quid cap. They’re the ones providing the entertainment and deserve market value. Otherwise they’re being exploited. Is it excessive imo? Yes, it is. But rather they get it than club owners. That’s one genie that ain’t never getting back in its bottle. 🙂

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 7:00 AM

    Comment #34
  • sing in the corner

    Oct 8, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    Comment #35

    1st para…disagree there. Tuff singles himself out by repeatedly inferring anyone who doesn’t join in in his policing of some,and not others,is yellow, lily livered etc so it’s just an alternative view to that, is all.
    Yeah everyone agrees the money is ridiculous. An example (only) would be the questionable attitude of Sterling…Putting out into the public domain some very boastful stuff about his huge wealth when not exactly delivering on the pitch.
    I really don’t begrudge anyone success but too much too young it seems to ruin some of the games budding talents and undermines the game.

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 8, 2016 at 7:21 AM

    Comment #36

    You’d think young people reach their full potential by having that youthful vigour, ambition and drive to better themselves. The kids who make it out of some of the academies already have a sports car, huge bank balance and all the fame they could want at their disposal and they’ve not had to strive for anything else yet.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    Comment #37

    Sing, I think there’s a case for capping players under a certain age – apprentices – as much for their own good. It goes to their heads, but who wouldn’t have their heads turned at a young age by all that money? If I’m honest, it would’ve turned my head being a teenager with millions to spend. Dangerous road for them and they need proper guidance, which is often not available or wanted even.
    Your other point I agree with also? 🙂

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 8, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    Comment #38

    Question mark? Forget that bit.

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 8, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    Comment #39

    Looking forward to the Brentford game (never thought I would be using that sentence last year). Got tickets in the leazes end behind the goal this time, unfortunately couldn’t get 2 together for the Gallowgate east corner! Seems the tickets have been selling earlier for this one. The price of growing success dammit 🙂 Loving the pace and form of Yedlin

  • Mag52

    Oct 8, 2016 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #40

    Great win by our cricketers in Bangladesh yesterday. Huge team effort, and managed by an Aussie.
    The national rugby team are carrying all before them, and managed by an Aussie.
    Are there any Aussie football managers out there ?


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