Rafa Benitez is always very supportive of his players and we saw that after the game last night when he refused to even talk about Matz Sels blunder when he couldn’t hold a shot shortly after we had gone ahead in extra time and it was an easy chance for Robert Snodgrass to smash the ball home.
That eventually led to the game being drawn 1-1 after extra time although we created and missed chances after that.
Then we had the penalty fiasco from Newcastle’s view-point when only Christian Atsu scored from the spot and three of our players missed.
Rafa Benitez last night on the touchline
Matz made an error at Aston Villa in the last league game he played in the league but it was minor compared to last night’s blunder.
At that time he was hounded by Newcastle fans on Twitter for the hesitancy that led to Villa’s late equalizer and that reaction was way over the top and uncalled for.
This time the reaction seems to have been more contained, which is good, but Matz still made the error and you cannot get away from that – and goalie’s errors are usually very costly as we saw last night.
Rafa will always support his players in public but he is also not daft and he knows the goalkeeper probably cost Newcastle dearly last night even if he will never say that publicly.
He didn’t get the enormous success he’s already enjoyed in the game by going soft on players.
After Chancel Mbemba made the mistake and scored that own goal in the 2-0 defeat by Wolves on September 17th he didn’t play again for the first team until last Saturday when we lost 1-0 to Blackburn.
Karl Darlow will be back in goal for the game at Nottingham Forest on Friday night and this game could be a banana skin for Newcastle.
We will be very pleased if we can win this game at The City Ground.
With Rob Elliot coming back it could well be that Rob will shortly be on the bench to the exclusion of Matz.
We feel a little sorry for the 24 year-old Belgium goalkeeper since he is still settling in somewhat, but it cannot take forever either.
We hope Matz still comes through, but he is now in danger of losing the back-up goalkeeper position to Rob Elliot, who is now presumably fully fit again and close to a return for Newcastle.
And it’s good that Karl Darlow has been so good for us since he came in after the 1-1 draw at Villa Park and he seems to be improving all the time.
Maybe Rob Elliot will not be the substitute goalkeeper on Friday night, but it now looks like it will soon be between Karl and Rob for that starting position in goal.
Both lads have shown themselves to be good goalkeepers who make few mistakes.
Matz Sels didn’t take his big opportunity last night and he’s now likely to be the number three goalkeeper at Newcastle.
What do you think?