Deserved Praise From Rafa For This Talented Defender

Karl Darlow and the back four of Newcastle on Saturday gave a backs-to-the wall kind of performance and showed a lot of fight and resilience – and when that happens you usually get some luck and we had some of that.

There were two loud shouts for penalties from Preston and then right at the death – about 10 minutes of the allotted six  minutes of stoppage time – they hit the post.

Karl played really well and showed some physical prowess in his often packed penalty box.


Karl Darlow – Newcastle’s in-from goalkeeper

He made three good saves and dealt well with the crosses and generally commanded his box very well.

That’s an improvement we have seen from Karl this season and he seems to be improving and gaining in confidence with every game he plays for the Magpies .

He has now played 8 times this season and 18 times in total for Newcastle.

He was signed on from Nottingham Forest along with Jamaal Lascelles just over two years ago and £7M  for the two players is looking like a great deal for Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez has talked today about Darlow:

“He knew that the competition would be tough.” “And in any position we have one or two players that do really well and can challenge for the position.”

“The keepers are the same with two doing that already plus Freddie Woodman and Rob Elliot.” “Competition is a problem and a good problem for me.”

“He didn’t have too many saves, but the main thing was he was managing the space.” “When teams put the ball into the box you want to see composure and control in the area.”

“It’s really important and he did well.”

With both Matz Sels and the returning Rob Elliot both breathing down his neck this season, Karl will need to keep up his very good form to keep his place.

But he already knows that.

And Tim Krul will return next summer from his loan spell at Ajax and Rafa will then have to decide which goalkeeper he allows to leave Newcastle.

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Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • clinath@ed

    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #1

    great line to finish the last blog on Betty…..

  • martoon

    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #2

    When I read The Overrated Frenchman’s comments although he is quite blunt I think the point he is making is that Rafa should not be deified and that he makes mistakes. I can only speak for myself but I don’t think Rafa is a god but I do think he is the best manager we’ve had since SBR.

  • mindshaft

    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #3

    Okay Pards, you were hard done too at Newcastle and they actually made you sign the right year contract … funnily enough he left for palace and full autonomy on players etc and has spent quite a lot on players he wanted … result – 5 wins in 32 games

    You see, he’s a great manager

  • mindshaft

    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #4

    Long live Rafa – For sure he can’t turn water into wine but he’s by far better than anyone we’ve had as manager in a very long time

  • jayphoto

    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #5

    @Munster – I’ve no issue with tactical criticism of rafa. I agree with you on 4-4-2. Id love to see it. We went 3-5-2 for 15 minutes against Norwich and scored 2 goals..
    just know with rafas history, he’s never going to go gung ho or risk it.
    Really interesting story, I think from Materazzi about Benitez in Inter. In the world club cup final, which would have been Materazzi’s last game for inter, with 10 minutes or so to go Inter were 3-0 up. With one substitute left, despite complete domination of a poor opposition, Benitez chose to bring on defensive midfielder Mariga for a striker to 100% see out the game rather than give a club legend and an Italian footballing legend a 5 minute cameo and send off in his last game of his career. A man who only sees details not sentiment.
    I think that story alone sums up both why Rafa is an elite level manager, but also why Rafa falls short from time to time

  • jayphoto

    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #6

    I fully believe Pardew could get a pub a team to finish 16th in the premier league. Its his managing super power.
    Pub team – i’ll get you to 16th
    Average team – we’ll comfortably finish 16th
    Team of expensive superstars- 16th you say…no problem

  • bettyswallocks

    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #7

    Martoon……. TOF. has also stated on here that Rafa is mercenary and insincere and only here for the money which couldn’t be more untrue.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts , for support rather than illumination.

  • Munster Mag

    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #8

    Jay, glad to see some reasoned discussion re rafa. As i said before he is exactly what we need, especially given our defensive history as a club. That said, given the clear superiority of our squad over all the other teams in tbe division , if we dont win this league with a good few points to spare, cud we say that we have performed below capacity? I think we will win it by at least 6 points but really, given the cost of our squad, surely that should be expected, and possibly with more dynamism brio and flair at home? Just a thought, not an attack on the manager.

  • stephen1971

    Oct 31, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #9

    guys, i,m not having a dig or anything but i find it strange that people go straight off the subject, like this for eg, its about the goal keepers in particular then 2nd comment is about rafa compared to sbr, most blogs usually talk about the topic written about

    so yea, darlow is doing a great job now but i think elliot will be back in the sticks soon


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