The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Striker – The Way Rafa Has Got Us Playing Is Just Fantastic

12:57 pm, Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 37 Comments

Newcastle travel to Oakwell for tonight’s game against Barnsley and we are hoping we can get another win and 3 points under our belts.

Newcastle have finally made it into an automatic promotion place in the league and we are second top and just one point behind Norwich.

From now on we have to press on and try to get as many points on the board as possible – as quickly as possible.


Dwight Gayle – Newcastle’s number 9

Rafa Benitez is now starting to show why he’s one of the best managers in the world as he has molded Newcastle into a good team that’s willing to fight when the going gets tough in games.

We have a number of strong characters in the team and it starts with our 22 year-old captain Jamaal Lascelles whose attitude is just fabulous and it’s a lot of responsibility for one who is still young and fairly inexperienced.

But Jamaal is doing a very good job as the Newcastle captain.

One of the stars of the season so far for Newcastle has been our number 9 striker Dwight Gayle and he doesn’t seem to be fazed at all about wearing that iconic number 9 shirt – in fact he seems to love wearing it.

He has been interviewed today and this is what the Walthamstow-born striker had to say about the pressure on our players:

“We try not to think about it.” “We don’t particularly listen to media so much, we just try and focus on what we do and our jobs and try to build up team spirit.

“It’s going to be tough because we know everyone comes to St James’ trying to beat us. We’ve got to deal with that the best way we can.”

“We might not have done it at the start of the season but we’ve picked up and we’re on our way now. Hopefully we can maintain that.”

“Twenty goals is where you start and I just want to be winning games for the club,”

“The main thing for me is not even goals, I just want to get promoted and get back up to the Premier League with the club.”

“We need to score goals to get promoted and I’m happy to help out but we’ve got other great players in there as well.”

“You know the previous history it’s had and how big a number it is.” “To play in front of the fans every week is unbelievable.”

“Everyone’s behind me and the team’s helping out fantastically in terms of assists and the quality in the team is fantastic. I’m relishing playing with the other boys in the team.”

“I’m perhaps not the biggest or the strongest but the way Rafa Benitez has got us playing is fantastic for me.”

“It works wonderfully and long may it continue.”

With 9 goals already in 11 total appearances for Newcastle, Dwight may have to increase his goals target for the season above (just) 20 goals.

Bottom line is that we hope he can keep banging in those goals for us and another goal tonight at Oakwell would be very nice.

Here’s the goalscorers to date for Newcastle.

Dwight Gayle11011
Ayoze Perez325
Jonjo Shelvey303
Yoan Gouffran213
Mat Ritchie213
Ciaran Clark202
Christian Atsu101
Jamaal Lascelles101
Grant Hanley101
Aleksandar Mitrovic101
Issac Hayden101
DeAndre Yedlin101

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Dwight Gayle · Newcastle News · Other News

37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    34bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Rafa would not take a job if he was instructed to just survive in the division and not bother to compete in the cups. He just wouldn’t. He is a winner and I’m sure he has negotiated assurances that under his management we will compete in every match we play.

    Ashley must now be able to see that a competent, experienced manager with a proven track record can actually make owning a football club a pleasure as oppose to a headache.

    During his last interview when asked about football he said, Oh, football ha ha , the sun, the moon and all the planets have to align to succeed in this sport.

    My hope is that after his own failed attempts to run the club with subordinates not fit for purpose, he has finally realised that if he employs the right man for the job and sits back and let’s him get on with it , then there is a chance to succeed.

  • 2 Bobbybee // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    35Bobbybee // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Spoof, I’m with you on this one. Just enjoy what’s happening without looking for things that MIGHT happen in the future. Ashley spent 80m through McClaren and they blew it. Didn’t stop him then pushing the boat out to get Rafa and back him all the way. Has he changed? Looks that way for now. Will he revert? No evidence of it so far. As long as Rafa gets what he wants, why even bother about him? Just enjoy what’s happening now and let the future take care of itself. We can’t change anything after all. He’s doing everything we wanted of him – staying out of football matters – so I’m not even sure what else he could do to show he now gets it. Just enjoy.

  • 3 Spoof // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:22 PM


    Its a no brainer for me, if things are going well enjoy it, I really cannot see the point of refusing to enjoy the good times in fear that bad times may follow, if that’s the attitude then what is the point, all they are doing is to make it impossible for themselves to get any pleasure, imagine if we won the CL, all we would get get is yes a good day but it’s all downhill from here, I seriously cannot understand the logic in them, but never mind we are all different, but like yourself I’m going to enjoy today and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes, and who can confirm that tomorrow will not be a better day than today.

  • 4 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    Main issue is what is success to Ashley?

  • 5 AncientC // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    bettyswallocks – Benitez would have seeked assurances before agreeing to the job, that does necessarily mean those assurances are guaranteed to be realised.

    The club was in a sink or swim position in the summer, it was absolutely paramount that the club kept Benitez on to have any chance of promotion the following season. Had the club lost Benitez in the summer, they would have struggled to find anybody of any real quality to fill the vacuum, and with that a section of the fans would have given up.

    What Benitez has been promised (if we get Premier League football), and what he will get, may be two different things.

    Benitez is the first manager at the club since Keegan, those in-between were journeymen and compliant coaches happy to have no power. Following the Ashley form guide, I can see a future clash between Benitez and Ashley, in regards to transfer funds being made available when they are needed. I hope I am wrong.

    I doubt Benitez wants to bring the club back to the Premier League, with a view to just keeping the club in the league in year 1. That is where I believe Benitez and Ashley will differ.

    The Europa league is probably our best chance of Champions League football, Benitez is good at competition football, and could be eyeing Europa League qualification in season 1 – that aim will take some significant investment.

  • 6 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    WWS………… I am only surmising but I would have thought that the club succeeding on the pitch and maybe even winning something whilst being financially self sufficient would be considered a huge success for Ashley.

    As has been pointed out on here, next season will tell us a lot more about where we aim for next, but most of us have agreed that if Ashley allows the club to reinvest the incomings back into the team whilst retaining Rafa and not interfering then we’d settle for that.

    You never know he might get bitten by the football bug if we continue winning and chuck a few quid of his own in. It’s happened to many others over the years.

  • 7 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    Ancient C………. I honestly can’t imagine Ashley reneging on the agreements he has made with Rafa and risking jeopardising Rafa’s tenure. If the club is running itself and progressing then it would make no sense to disrupt things. I know Ashley is a law unto himself and prone to pig headed behaviour but I’m sure he would prefer to own a winning team than a losing one.

  • 8 Jail for Ashley // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Hasta luego bloggers. Barnsley here we come.

  • 9 Graeme // Oct 18, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    Betty – one would hope that MA would understand that a successful NUFC will generate massive positive opinions right through the UK. Under KK and SBR we were almost everyones 2nd favourite club, after their own and there is no reason this couldn’t be replicated by Rafa!!

    There is massive money to be generated via the Premier League and European Football to the advantage of both NUFC and MA. For SD to tap into that, in Europe, would anyone object if the shirt Sponsor was changed from W***A to SD? It’s the only advertising available to MA if we qualify for Europe as all Stadium Advertising is taken by UEFA!!!

    It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest, I’d be delighted to see the back of the loan shark!!!

  • 10 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    problem with that is Ashley has never wanted us to be successful on the pitch. I cant see a football bug biting Ashley hes had his chances to show us he wanted success in the club and hes thrown it away

    Imo he doesnt care about NUFC he cares about the business and if we are in the PL thats it

  • 11 firebug666 // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    Graeme @ 9

    Maybe he will just stick a (70% OFF) sticker on our shirts next season. 😀

  • 12 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Ud happily see our main sponsor income replaced by SD (which will be free)? Also not so sure SD is all that much better than Wonga

  • 13 Graeme // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Yo – NO – He / SD would have to pay the going rate, obviously!!!

    Firebug – as long as he / SD pay for it!!!

  • 14 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Graeme ……. It all boils down to money but as I said , surely to have a winning team and a club that is respected makes sense for all concerned.

  • 15 martoon // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Graeme @9 I’ve said that a few times on here. I never understand why SD don’t simply become our sponsor with names on the shirts etc. I’m not an accountant but I believe they could offset some or all of the cost of this against tax. So it would be win win for NUFC and SD.

  • 16 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    He wouldnt pay for it though

  • 17 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Wws……. I can’t agree that he has never wanted us to be successful on the pitch. I think after he realised how he couldn’t compete with Sovereign States and Russian billionaires he decided to run things solely to promote his brand.

    I’m sure he bought the club initially to have fun when he was awash with cash. Having fun surely doesn’t include owning a losing team and getting slated in the press.

  • 18 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Wws…… Anyway that was then and this is now. I’m sure that everyone involved with our club is enjoying the Rafalution including Ashley and intrigued to see where it might take us. Long may it continue and let’s all embrace it and enjoy the long overdue positivity around the club.

  • 19 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    According to those around him while he made the deal he only ever wanted us to promote his brand and Ive seen nothing from his time here to suggest he wanted us to be successful on the pitch

    Am sure he didnt know what he was doing when he bought the club

  • 20 Jib // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Oh dear it dosn’t get any easier for the mackems .
    Of the other 2 in the bottom 3
    Swansea at home to Watford
    Stoke away to Hull
    While the unwashed have West Ham away !

  • 21 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    We have no idea how Ashley feels about the club atm mate, we never do

    Hes passed up chances before to capitalize on the clubs success why is this time any different? Truth is its not we just want it to be

  • 22 clinath@ed // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    The way MA saw it, his business model was about buying cheap foreifn players, giving them long contracts and (hopefully) selling them at great profit. This idea only required us to STAY in the prem, not be successful in it…
    But, with the greater money pouring into the PREM, the amount of revenue for just staying has far outweighed that of individuals being sold on.

  • 23 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    Wws…….. Everything in Ashley’s life equates to money but my point was given the choice between a winning team and a losing one with the same financial outlay then surely it’s a no brainer.

    His biggest mistakes have been taking advice from the wrong people and allowing the wrong people to make decisions and spend money. Now we have Rafa he can see what is possible with the right man steering the ship. Even he can’t be that blinkered.

  • 24 Obafan // Oct 18, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    Is there a possibility to watch the game via stream tonight???

  • 25 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    But it wont be the same outlay mate, to be successful we are going to need investment and plenty of it. Hes not a football man, wouldnt surprise me if he wasnt a fan of the sport certainly no fan of Newcastle and had/has little understanding of the club itself

    His biggest mistakes have been of his own making, we only have Rafa now because he approached us otherwise who knows what we’d have…possibly still McClaren

    Now Rafa is getting it right no doubt about that but hes going to want money, players, better facilities, better PR, links to fans etc essentially hes going to want this to be a football club again which imo isnt want Ashley has wanted previously

    Now I could be proven wrong and I hope I am but for now my opinion of tubs is what it is and hes done nothing to change it

  • 26 Jib // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Barnsley have their own youtube site
    No mention of the game tonight.
    It’s subscription as well
    here it is if you want to have a peek

  • 27 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    It would be interesting to know what Ashley is thinking at present with Rafa throwing a different light on things . The Ashley discussions have been done to death as we all know and I’m sure he is fickle and unpredictable . However Leicester showed us last season that it’s not impossible to succeed without spending billions so maybe his sporting instincts have been tantalised.

  • 28 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    In fact his biggest mistake was buying NUFC and we’ve all paid for it

  • 29 Slank // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    martoon @ 15

    ‘… .never understand why SD don’t simply become our sponsor with names on the shirts etc..’

    If it isn’t illegal that a publically quoted company should be using shareholders money to promote a private company owned by one of its directors then its almost certainly unethical and contrary to the rules and regulations of The City.

  • 30 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Wws…… I agree that we acquired Rafa from being in a desperate position and not by a pre meditated selection policy.

    Rafa has realised the club’s potential and bought into it as have the majority of players and fans. What’s to say Rafa’ s infectious approach to football hasn’t changed our owners philosophy. People do evolve with age so we can but hope.

  • 31 Jib // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Slank //

    If it isn’t illegal that a publically quoted company should be using shareholders money to promote a private company owned by one of its directors then its almost certainly unethical and contrary to the rules and regulations of The City.

    You’ve got yersel muxed ip there.

    The scenario you have quoted above is as if somehow SD advertised NUFC !!!

  • 32 WWSBRD // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Theres nothing to say it has changed Ashley’s outlook though mate plus if Keegan couldnt sell this club to him then am not sure who could

    Time will tell but I wont be singing his praises again anytime soon, he has to prove he has changed

  • 33 bettyswallocks // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    Jib….. Why would SD advertise NUFC. SD is a separate entity with its own shareholders, most of them unlikely to be interested in football.
    You’re getting confused there also son.

  • 34 clinath@ed // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    Jib, Slank is commenting on Martoon questioning why SD do not sponsor NUFC.

  • 35 Slank // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:30 PM


    What I was hoping to say was…..

    Whichever way you look at it any money exchanging hands between SD and Ashley’s private companies would almost certainly be investigated if not by the police most certainly the media.

  • 36 Jib // Oct 18, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    Aye lad
    He has to prove he has changed
    I’ll believe it when I see it me – like
    Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
    Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
    Ashley is in the windmills of Yo’s mind.

  • 37 TyneMouth // Oct 18, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    RAFA BINGO; Team sheet for Barnsley…

    Anita. Lascelles. Grant. Dummett.
    Shelvey. Hayden.
    Yelin. Gouffran. Ritchie.


previous post: Rafa Asks For Shearer’s Advice – How Are We Doing?

next post: This Is The Result Newcastle Fans Expect Tonight

You must log in to post a comment.