Rafa Benitez Praises Form of Newcastle Goalkeeper


In his press conference today for the home game tomorrow against Birmingham City, Rafa Benitez has talked about Newcastle’s in-form goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Karl has become one of the stars of the season so far and he  seems to be improving all the time as his confidence rises.

Rafa talked about Karl today and he admits Karl is doing well.

Karl Darlow and Rafa Benitez last season
This was after the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on April 30th
Karl Darlow brilliantly saved a penalty from Yohan Cabaye


Here’s some of what Rafa said today as reported in the Shields Gazette:

“At the moment we have to see where we are. “We play too many games, so you don’t have too much time to see people.”

“Every week he (Karl Darlow) has improved. Every week he is playing with more confidence.” “For me, as a manager, you have 27 players.”

“It doesn’t matter who plays.”   “I try to make the right decisions, and sometimes I don’t.”

“Karl is doing really well, I was keeping an eye on him and the other goalkeepers with the coach Simon Smith.”

“If it is difficult for them to get back in the team, then it is difficult for me. That’s good for the team.”

Certainly Rafa has managed to create enormous competition for places in all positions in the Newcastle team and as he says – that’s very good.

We need to beat Birmingham tomorrow afternoon.

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55 comments so far

  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #1

    Bobby
    With Gayle, Mitro, Perez and Murphy as forwards (also Goufran as a possible striker and Diame in the no 10 role).
    Do you see Armstrong getting a game as cover with one cup gone and half a season remaining?
    I agree on his potential but realising it at his boyhood club in such a pressure season would be tough for the lad, especially if it doesn’t work out for him.
    We generally play one up top so he would have to produce something special to get a run of games. Would you see that as a risk worth taking?

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #2

    Jail, better that than playing in a team that simply isn’t good enough to play to his strengths. Another club would be the better option, but not having a crystal ball it’s impossible to predict what might happen with Gayle. If Gayle picks up a bit of bad knock – and he’s been lucky so far to escape injury – we don’t have a replacement for him. Any injury would result in us having to change direction as we only have big strikers, when we do better with Gayle. Arma is like for like and an ideal replacement if Gayle is injured. Hopefully he won’t get injured, but right now we’re gambling on it and that’s not good imo. Neither of our other strikers is a replacement for Gayle and neither could do that job. Personally I’d be happy with him moving to another club because it simply can’t work at Barnsley because of the game they play.

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  • lesh

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #3

    Essex

    You seem surprised that a few hundred have voted that we’ll lose tomorrow.

    Well, there’s a helluva difference between ‘will win’ and should win’. Given three consecutive defeats coupled with what I understand to be crowd concerns translating into quietness, tomorrow’s home game may not provide the win we expect and hope for.

    We can but wait and I for one, hope that I’ve voted the wrong way and we hammer the life out of Brummingham.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #4

    Bobby,
    There seems to be two choices then. Either bring him back here purely as cover for Gayle the way Murphy seems to be for Mitro or get him moved elsewhere in January and next year get him at a club that plays to his strengths

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #5

    Born, yes, frankly. His finishing is second to none. I’ve followed him closely – even attended away games for the academy to watch him – and he’s a special talent. Given chances, his goal to chance record is exceptional, so I wouldn’t fear him playing the Gayle position if Gayle was injured. He wouldn’t let anybody down. People point to his size, but a lot of them haven’t really seen him play. He’ s strong for his size and seldom gets knocked off the ball. Just take his goal for Barnsley at Preston. Shrugged off a six foot plus centre back to get the ball. Same at Coventry. His size isn’t a problem. All that matters is can he take his chances? The answer is yes.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #6

    Jail, yup, that’s how I see it too. I do worry about an injury to Gayle though. If we cover that in January then another club has to be the answer. If we don’t, then I feel we’re taking an almighty gamble on Gayle not getting injured. In which case, the club comes first and we need to bring him back as cover. Imagine if we lost out because Gayle got injured and we had to go direct? We might be OK, but is it really worth the gamble?

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  • bettyswallocks

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #7

    The problem with developing players is for them to get a decent run in the team they need to show something out of the ordinary. There is so much pressure on managers to win that they will normally stick with their tried and tested thus giving limited opportunities to those wanting to make a breakthrough who would improve with a run of games.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #8

    Bobby …… Why could Arma not do what Perez is trying to do and play in behind Gayle. He would get played in by Shelvey and could link up with Gayle or score himself.

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  • SPRINGY

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #9

    Bobby
    I agree about arma in that if gayle was to pick up a knock arma is the player who is similar in play….and tbh im not convinced with mitro….i like the lad but his form is erratic….i know some will argue that arma is untested anf thats true…but player for player….murphy covers mitro and arma could cover gayle….if a striker comes in January i fear the worst for arma….and possibly mitro…in thr long term.

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  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #10

    Bobby
    I agree on his ability and have no issue with his size but with our much improved injury record I can’t see where he might get games. In gayles absence we have options although that does involve a change in tactics bringing on a less mobile big man.
    I see a future for Armstrong with us as does the club, hence the new contract and I don’t dispute his current ability
    I think there is a gamble of either bringing back Armstrong or buying a no 10 next month. One or the other, or neither may work out in the short term and any purchase should really be with promotion to the PL in mind, not just a stop gap.
    I suppose it depends on where people think or would like Armstrong to play, I would like to see him in the no 10 role but that’s as much because I’m disappointed with our current options in that position and happy with our current strikers, of which we only need one in a game and we have seen little of Murphy.
    I suppose having this problem to discuss shows how far we have come as a club.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #11

    At least now we have a manager who we can trust do the right thing regarding Armstrong and maybe questions have to be asked as to why he was sent out to a team that doesn’t play to his strengths.

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  • SPRINGY

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #12

    Born
    Agree with u about the numbet 10 role…..dont see diame there long term and perez is struggling….maybe arma could do a job there but its a lot for a young lad to come in and shine….but unless tried we’ll never know…still see him as a striker though.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #13

    I guess we’ll find out on the first of January what we’ll do with him, wouldn’t every player like to play in a great team that creates loads of chances and plays to their strengths though.

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  • SPRINGY

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #14

    Thought arma was at barnsley till end of feb….i might have that wrong like.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #15

    SPRINGY,
    Not sure, not much we can do about him until then if he is though, personally I don’t think we’ll buy another striker in January though so we might see him back.

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  • SPRINGY

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #16

    Jail
    I thought that arma signed a 6mth loan deal at the very end of august….so that would make it end of feb that it runs out….unless I’ve bollicked up the count….or misread the loan details.

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  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #17

    Springy
    I see Armstrong as a striker also and although he could do a job in the no 10 role it could possibly harm his development bringing him back to make do where others have failed.
    I see him as having a big future, hopefully with us, but would like to see a new no 10 brought in and think whoever that is it must be with one eye on post promotion and shouldn’t be a developing player.
    Armstrong will have his chance and that may or may not happen next season but I believe it will at some point as long as his development continues.

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  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #18

    From . com

    (32) Adam Armstrong English born Newcastle
    Barnsley – Loan 01.2017

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  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #19

    The number of months is matterless
    The loan is from window to window

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  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #20

    I have watched Armstrong play whilst on loan, as well as for England and he is a talent with stacks of ability. What I find disappointing are the games and minutes for us (when brought on late in a game) he doesn’t seem able to get into the game.
    Wether that’s because he or other players are not on the same wavelength or the other players don’t trust him with the ball (I see no reason why they shouldn’t) I don’t know but you often see him when playing for us screaming for the ball or that killer pass to put him through yet it doesn’t happen or the pass is delayed.
    Maybe we don’t play to his strengths which was understandable under previous managers but under Rafa you would think that sort of play would be worked on.

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  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #21

    Looking forward to Hoot’s Brighton vs Garry Monk’s Leeds tonight.
    Could be a cracker I reckon.

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  • SPRINGY

    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #22

    jib
    i was’nt sure what the craic was with loans,i thought they could run on a month or so after the window closed and thats why his 6 mth loan was able to run into feb,guess not if your info right.

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  • NoahJ

    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #23

    If elliot is truly fit, I hope sels gets sent out on loan in january to an english team (to boost his confidence and his gameplay of the English game)- he’s currently not good enough for newcastle.

    I’m secretly hoping Krul will be back with us next season, and with darlow finding form and the (apparently excellent) prospect in woodman, then I think we can afford to send Sels out

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  • bettyswallocks

    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #24

    http://funchun.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/drunk-guy-5.jpg

    Jib…. Go easy on the white lightning , you know what it does to you.

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  • Tsunki

    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #25

    Jail – yes.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #26

    Sorry, wasn’t being rude not answering, had to take wor lass to central station. Just me and the lad until Tuesday… PARTY!!!! 🙂
    Arma will break through purely on his talent. Natural goalscorers are hard to find but we have one in the lad. I see him as Gayle’s replacement eventually.
    Born, the times he played for us was under Pardew and Carver, when we insisted on flinging high balls down the middle towards him and his six foot plus markers – never going to work. Playing in the Gayle role, with the same service, he’ll score for fun.
    Anyway, this Brighton v Leeds game is calling to me. A draw would be nice.

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  • toontaff2

    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #27

    Someone may have told ED, but he had it wrong last time as well:

    Leeds are 4th on 32 points!

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  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #28

    Can’t see where sels fits now with Elliot being fit. Darlow is rightfully no 1.
    I’m aware that not everyone rates Elliot that highly but in a choice between him and sels, Elliot for me is the more proven Keeper.
    Interesting problem to have though.

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  • hibbit

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #29

    bobby
    other than you i seem to be the one thats seen a lot of arma up till he went to coventry
    I’m not looking for a row so this is purely my opinion
    arma is a good lad plays well in certain set ups but can easily be missed out of games by his own team mates which i think is whats happening at Barnsley
    only seen him play 2 games for them it wasn’t the arma we know
    to be honest i think we picked the wrong club
    the same happened the second half of last season when most Coventry’s quality loan players went back to their mother clubs and they had to change their style of play and arma’s game quickly went off the boil
    not sure bringing him back now would do any good we only play one up front and there’s to many in front of him
    what needs to happen is a change of loan club Rafa must have contacts at clubs that could help to improve his game and i dont just mean a uk club
    it would not benefit Arma sitting in the stands or on the bench he needs to play if its not at newcastle Rafa needs to sort a club out that will bring the lad on not hold him back

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #30

    Red card Leeds and a penalty. So much for my hope of a draw! 1-0

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  • toontaff2

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #31

    Leeds are going to try and outdo us – both centre-halves already booked, too.8 mem by the end?

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  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #32

    I’m watching Brighton vs Leeds and the fourth match official is the c**t Stephen Martin from last Friday !!!!!

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  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #33

    Bobby
    That was my point that under previous managers……..well enough said really!
    In pre season arma and the rest of the team didn’t swam to click. Maybe the pressure of playing for his boyhood club on his part but I believe he wasn’t receiving the type of service he thrives on. Looking back we weren’t as good a ‘team’ pre season as we are now and with shelvey fit and in form I can see how that supply would now be there for him. My concern is would he displace Gayle in the striker position given his current form and what would that do for Armstrongs development if he was to struggle for games.
    We will have a better idea next month on how Rafa views the situation and the fact that he is capable of creating this debate can only be good for us. As I’ve already said I agree with your assessment of his abilities and think he has a long future with us, I suspect Rafa is looking long term and taking the cautious approach with his development.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #34

    Hibbett, Aye, picked the wrong club all right. Like every other striker in the world, even the likes of Shearer, a striker is as good as the service he gets. No service, no goals,it really is that simple. Playing for a club that goes long and high is no good for his development and he might as well go somewhere else. He’s not learning anything there. Don’t think it will harm him though, because he’s a natural and he’ll retain that natural ability through this tough time. Put him in any team that plays to his strengths and the goals will flow. You only need to look at his England performances to confirm that. He went from Barnsley – where they don’t play to his strengths – to play for England – where they do – and scored three goals in two games.

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  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #35

    Hibbit
    That was my view of Armstrong this pre season in that either he didn’t get involved in the game or the other players didn’t play in a way that brought him into the game.
    That can be worked on but may be a gamble in such an important season when things, so far at least, are going very well.

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  • toontaff2

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #36

    Rafa YamYam Bingo:

    Darlow
    Yedlin Lascalles Clarke Dummett
    Hayden Shelvey
    Ritchie Diame Gouf
    Gayle

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #37

    Born, agree completely. I think he could replace Gayle given the chance, because he’s a more natural finisher, but Gayle deserves his place on his current form. Anyway, like you say, Rafa will have a decision to make soon and hopefully he’ll rescue him one way or the other. Like you, I think Rafa has him in mind for the future. He said he wanted experience to get us promoted, which makes sense. In Rafa we trust.

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  • born in newcastle lives elsewhere

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #38

    Bobby
    Any thoughts where he could go next, if he doesn’t come back.
    Obviously needs to be a team capable of creating chances and not as a backup forward to warm the bench and play a few minutes each week.

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  • lochinvar

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #39

    Brighton 1 up against Leeds
    Penalty for handball and Leeds lad off , red card
    Sounds genuine enough so no conspiracy theory , yet !

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #40

    As for the bingo, I think the team picks itself. However, I’m going to go against the grain and not pick the obvious. I had the same team as Toontaff lined up, so I’ll make one alteration.

    Darlow

    Yedders Lascelles Clark Dummett

    Shelvey Hayden

    Ritchie Diame Atsu

    Gayle.

    All out attack and why not? I suspect The Gouff will get the nod though. 🙂

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