Star Reveals Intense Competition For Places Under Benitez

Rob Elliot has returned to full training with the squad this week after it was just over six months since he badly damaged his Anterior Cruciate ligaments playing for Ireland in Dublin.

Rob returns to the fray with there being great competition between the three goalkeepers vying for the number one position.


Rob Elliot back to full training this week

Karl Darlow has only just been given the nod over new signing Matz Sels, who played the first 9 league games before being displaced.

That was after a mediocre showing at Aston Villa when he was hesitant when Villa scored the equalizer in the last minute of normal time.

Rob has been talking this week to the Chronicle and these are some of his latest remarks regarding competition for places at Newcastle under manager Rafa Benitez:

“The good thing is we all know that nobody’s place is safe. That’s what you want as a goalkeeper.”

“If you play well you keep your place you will do well, if you don’t, you might lose it.”

“Matz has done brilliantly but because of the quality and strength in depth we have the manager has been able to change it.”

“Karl has come in and he now knows the same. He’s got to keep at it. It’s great for me to come back because I know it will be hard to even get back on the bench, before I even think about playing.”

Rob Elliot had a brilliant season last term and it will take him some weeks to get back to full match fitness and as he says – it will be difficult enough for him to get back on the bench let alone back in the first team.

But if Rob shows the form he showed last season he’s probably still the best goalkeeper we have at the club and he’s also a strong voice in the dressing room for Newcastle.

It will be interesting to see how this battle for the number one shirt goes in the next several weeks, but Karl Darlow will know he will have to be at his very best to keep the jersey.

And that’s exactly how it should be with any good side.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 13, 2016 at 12:10 AM

    Comment #1

    Very diplomatic Rob, tell us what you really think!! 🙂

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 13, 2016 at 12:14 AM

    Comment #2


    From previous thread, very true, I doubt many of us will get it right, still it’s fun to try.

  • Graeme

    Oct 13, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #3

    Can’t argue with his sentiments!!

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Oct 13, 2016 at 3:48 AM

    Comment #4

    The further Sels is pushed down the pecking order the better in my view. He inspires a complete lack of confidence in me. And I think I’m also speaking for the other defenders in saying that as well.

  • cyprus

    Oct 13, 2016 at 6:06 AM

    Comment #5

    This position is so hard because there’s only one. You can’t be placated being played elsewhere. Coaches don’t like to rotate it. Errors instantly punished. Must be battle ready, even when you haven’t played for ages.

    Good luck to all.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 13, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    Comment #6

    And the old boys management merry go round trundles on. Confirmed Bruce to Villa – possibly too late to get them in the mix for promotion – and wally back to Derby. The next head to roll is probably the Scotland head coach. Great work if you can get it – and keep it! 🙂

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 13, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #7

    Assuming McClaren has received contract pay ups for his last 3 jobs held in the last 18 months…he’s actually doing quite well for himself. Doesn’t seem to mind having the tag of serial loser, so why not?
    Completely crackers.
    Remember Derby fans saying good riddance laughing when he got he job here after his sacking?

  • Jib

    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #8

    I don’t get this criticism of Sels.

    I know it goes back years with the Toon fans this collective blaming of one individual for all the clubs errors and faults.

    When I was a young’un just starting my love affair with the club it was Tommy Gibb a midfielder who we signed from Partick Thistle who played 234 games for us.Certain sections of the support were , for reasons best known to themselves , never off his case – just like with Sels now.

    Before M’Bembas own goal against Wolves , the team had gone 524 minutes without conceding.

    The second goal (Costa’s curling drive) was from a Perez mistake .

    The last minute goal we conceded away to Villa was only the second goal conceded away fom home all season and , like the first (against Fulham), was a header which should see blame placed on the defenders shoulders as well as the goalie.

  • firebug666

    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #9

    Newcastle United host Brentford on Saturday October 15 for the game at St James’ Park and the match carries a 3pm kick off.

    Referee: Simon Hooper
    Linesmen: Christopher Akers and Philip Dermott
    Fourth Official: Christopher Kavanagh

    Match Day referee Hooper has officiated 12 games in 2016/17 with a return of 39 yellow cards and one red card.

    Highest card count so far this season was nine yellows and one red in the game between Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.

    He took charge of 42 games last season and in those games, across all competitions and football divisions, he handed out a total of 100 yellow cards and two red cards.

    He was most card happy in the match between Burton and Wigan in April with six yellows being shown.

    An EFL referee for eight years, Hooper has refereed over 100 Championship games. He took charge of the League Two Play-Off Final between Wycombe Wanderers and Southend United in May 2015.

    Source – EFL.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #10

    Is there anybody Benitez has signed, or anything at all he has done, that is not completely beyond reproach in your view Jib?

  • Jib

    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #11

    We had our 2 first choice goalies out with ACL’s so Rafa looked around and bought last season’s Belgian Professional Goalkeeper of the Year (won by Courtois and Mignolet).

    Some don’t like his continental style but Rafa prefers a sweeper keeper.

    Really it’s what he achieves (only 2 goals conceded away from home and nine hours without conceding before the Wolves game) that matters.

    I’ve seen very little to reproach Rafa with thus far – however if you go through life doing a Victor Meldrew and having your default setting at Maxiwhinge I’m sure you’ll find summat.

  • Ian Toon

    Oct 13, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #12

    TOF- Oh give me blind faith! We used to have bloggers that were angered by positivity and termed it blind faith- pre Benitez. Now the majority love the mood and atmosphere generated. Aside from a few with a feeling of despair at the lack of contemplating demonstrations and Ashley bashing. We now have self regulation which seems to be working well and your ilk seem to have cast aside the desire for blog domination and banishing the status quo.

    I used to think that it was only Millennials who are increasingly cynical. Your likely 60 something and it seems from your moping around the blog, increasingly finding it difficult to hold a state of hope, curiosity, adventure and positivity. We’ve had your loathing of maintaining the status quo which translated came from over fuelling .

    Or are you simply programmed to believe that everything NUFC ends in failure and disappointment- get out more . Why not look around at what modern progressive humans are generating in the world at large. Or is it a case of in a world increasingly addicted to domination and control, trust is a dangerous stance. So dangerous that it can end in sudden demise or failure at the hands of the powerful. Step outside your bubble type existence . Hope then is the feeling you have that the dark mood and feelings you are having will not last.


You must log in to post a comment.