Size And Quality Of Squad Will See Newcastle Through


The 2017 African Cup of Nations takes place in Gabon from January 14th until the 5th February, although players will be leaving to join up with their squads in early January.

Newcastle will lose Mo Diame (Senegal), Christian Atsu (Ghana), Achraf Lazaar (Morocco) and Chancel Mbemba (DR Congo) during that time with an outside chance of Cheick Tiote making it in the Ivory Coast squad since he is now fully fit if not match fit.

Mo Diame in training

Of those five players only Mo Diame has been a regular starter for Rafa Benitez this season, so we are not likely to miss the African players too much.

Mo Diame has turned out to be a good buy for us for just £4.5M from Hull City and he thinks the Newcastle squad is big enough and good enough so that their absence during January and possibly early February will not impact the team.

This is what he said yesterday as reported in the Shields Gazette:

“I want to contribute before I go away,”

“We have a big squad – a quality squad – so I’m very confident with the team the manager can play when I have to leave.”

“Anyone can play. We know what we have to do. Every single player has to come in and give something to the team.”

“It’s important we all do, but I want to contribute now.”

Next up are Sheffield Wednesday next Monday night and it will be important that we win the game to keep the winning streak – currently at three games – going.

Here are the Newcastle games through early February and some of them will be missed by our African players away in Gabon.

December 2016	
Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday Mon 26 Dec 19:45	
Newcastle v Nottingham Forest	Fri 30 Dec 19:45	
January 2017	
Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle 	Mon 2 Jan  15:00	
Birmingham City v Newcastle 	Sat 7 Jan  15:00 - FA Cup	
Brentford v Newcastle 	        Mon 16 Jan 19:45	
Newcastle v Rotherham United	Sat 21 Jan 15:00	
Brighton v Newcastle            Sat 28 Jan 15:00	
February 2017	
Newcastle v QPR	                Wed 1 Feb  19:45	
Newcastle v Derby County	Sat 4 Feb  15:00

Comments welcome.



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41 comments so far

  • Jib

    Dec 20, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #1

    from previous

    Hibbit
    Tienes razon
    However I think Rafa will be going through his little black book looking for an older midfield warhorse on loan just to tide us over for the next 6 months.

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  • Average_Contents

    Dec 20, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #2

    Exactly my point poster boy, it’s OK for you to call your new friend a w@nker the majority of the time. I mention spunktrumpet and it’s the end of the world.

    Hypocrisy.

    As for the pent up anger, I suggest you look long and hard in the mirror as all you do is reply to your new friends which suggests whatever they say gets under your skin.

    As for my foul mouth, I’ve admitted previously it is indeed because I say what I feel and that’s just how I am, I don’t beat around the bush but I have tried to tone it down considerably the past few months. I’m sure others have noticed (not the silent majority obviously)

    You on the other hand are just a mealy mouthed, want to be liked, balloon knot.

    You remind me of Mr Wraith.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #3

    Anyone live in Cumbria? Just heard on the news that a lorry carrying live chickens has crashed. Get yourselves out and stock up the freezer! 🙂 Talking about clucking, you can tell the football’s finished for a while. 🙂

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  • Ron Knee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #4

    Re Shelvey

    Perhaps we’ll finally find out what is alleged to have been said to whom!

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  • martoon

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #5

    I can’t agree with Ed’s title as I commented yesterday. If we lose Atsu & Diame to the ACoN, Shelvey suspended and Coback out for an unspecified time with his eye injury then I think this leaves us very light in midfield.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #6

    Tis the season to be jolly tra- lala – la!

    It’s funny when we are doing c–p we still rip in to each other and when we’re top of the league with a world class manager we’re still at each other’s throats and trying to points score.

    I wonder if we could have a truce just for the festive season. I freely admit I am as guilty as anyone else on here, but will happily rein myself in for the next week or so.

    Peace and goodwill and all that.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #7

    Ron, you can’t help but wonder that if Shelvey was racist, he would have slipped up sometime during a good training session and made a racist remark following a bad challenge? Yes, he definitely needs to control his passion more, but racist? Surely most young players have been surrounded by black team mates long enough to realise that racism is a pretty sad trait and has no place in society, let alone football. Do you happen to know who his witness was? Anita was closest, so I’m guessing him? No black player would go as a witness for a racist is my point, if that is the case.
    Let’s hope the FA see it that way. If it’s one man’s word against two, I fail to see how they can convict, but then again, this is the FA we’re talking about.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #8

    Bobbybee

    Apparently the guy he allegedly abused speaks very little English and wouldn’t necessarily have understood what Shelvey was saying. It was another player who reported it.

    Mind you Shelvey was appparently responding to being called ”baldy” which kind of gives the lie to someone not speaking much English!

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  • JAMSHA

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #9

    Jamie sterrys only hope of playing in the 1st team next season will depend if we sell anita

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  • Ron Knee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #10

    RH/Bobby

    That’s my point. It’s still all hearsay at the moment.

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  • JAMSHA

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #11

    yedlin taking that RB spot with sterry as cover

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #12

    Jolly good A_C, ho ho ho and a merry Christmas to you too!

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #13

    By Rotunda, Aye, I heard that mate, so his evidence won’t be required if he didn’t understand what was said. If someone cursed me in a foreign language I wouldn’t remember what word was used either. I get the prosecution case, it’s the defence I’m unsure of. I believe he has a witness who denies he made a racist comment and I don’t know who it is. One of their players claims he made that remark, but if it’s two against one, unless they can prove they are unreliable, surely it would be wrong to convict on the word of one player? I can’t help but wonder why he didn’t tell the ref when it happened, rather than wait until the game ended either. On the spot justice would serve their cause better, surely?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #14

    Bobby,
    Did you see the headline in Blyth and Ashing ton post this morning after that truck full of tortoises and terrapins collided on th A19?

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #15

    Ron, not wishing to quibble, but hearsay is when it’s heard by somebody else. If the witness says he heard it himself, then it isn’t hearsay, it’s witness testimony. What worries me is that in an attempt to look anti racist, the FA will ignore the evidence of both Shelvey and whoever his witness is, in favour of one witness who, in fairness, may well have misheard what was said. Nobody hearing is perfect in a situation where 52k are making a lot of noise. In the interest of justice and fair play, two against one of has to carry more weight surely?

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #16

    Jail, Aye, it was turtle chaos! 🙂

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #17

    You must have got the early morning addition mine said there’d been a turtle disaster 😀

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #18

    Bobby,
    Did you hear about the bloke who went in to the barbers in Ashington and asked for a perm?

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  • firebug666

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #19

    Bobby

    I said the same at the time, why was it not reported to the ref when the alleged abuse occurred. I thought that maybe the wolves player might have been looking to get Shelvey a quick ban before the rematch.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #20

    Ah ha jail, you’ve got me on this one though. Go on, what was said. 🙂

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  • Ron Knee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #21

    Bobby

    I meant we – the outsiders – are going on hearsay.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #22

    Bobby
    Tbf u don’t have to be a racist to use racist remarks so just because x is defending him doesn’t mean he didn’t say anything

    The two vs one thing essentially comes down to who is more believable rather than number stacking aswell I’d imagine…does the Wolves player have reason to lie compared to Newcastle players? Hasn’t it pretty much been confirmed he did say something though? Thought he was aiming for mitigating circumstances rather than a straight innocent route

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #23

    Firebug, that would make sense, but sadly ‘sense’ has always been in short supply when you’re talking about the FA. If I’d heard one of my team mates racially abused I would’ve jumped straight in, not waited until the game ended. That alone must surely cast doubt into his testimony, because to me it shows that he couldn’t have been 100% sure at the time. To me it shows that after giving it some thought, he then decided it was a racist comment. Double that with Shelvey’s evidence And his witness denying the claim, I just fail to see how they can be certain the comment was actually made. If they can’t be sure – and with such a serious charge they have to be really sure because nobody wants to be branded racist wrongly – I feel it would, be unfair to find him guilty. I would say that even if the roles were reversed. To brand somebody racist is a horrible thing if you can’t be sure and if I was Shelvey, I would sue for defamation of character. I would inform the FA of my intent beforehand as well. If he didn’t say it and has a witness to back him up, the word of one person simply isn’t enough. It wouldn’t happen in a court of law unless the one witness was a copper, who according to magistrates never lie. 🙂 I certainly wouldn’t let it drop if I was Shelvey, but if he does, it doesn’t look good. He’ll be stuck with that for the rest of his career otherwise.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #24

    WWSBRD, if you read what I said properly, I did say that unless they feel the witness is unreliable, there’s no reason to doubt his veracity. Just because it would suit Newcastle players to defend Shelvey, you can’t assume they’re lying. That alone is wrong on so many levels. They are expected to tell the truth and unless you have reason to believe the witness is lying – eg he’s lied before in such a situation – then why would you disbelieve him? Racist is a nasty thing to be branded without better evidence than somebody said so after the game ended. He should have spoken up immediately if he thought a racist comment had been uttered. Otherwise this sets a very unsafe precedent that is wide open to abuse.

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  • firebug666

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #25

    Jonjo Shelvey has been given a five-match suspension and £100,000 fine after an FA misconduct charge against him was found proven.
    Jonjo was charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent in the 87th minute of the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, 17th September 2016.
    It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.
    The player, who denied the charge at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, was also ordered to attend an FA education course.
    The sanction has been set aside pending consideration for an appeal. The player has seven days from receipt of written reasons in which to lodge any appeal.
    The club and the player will await the FA’s written reasons before making any further comment on this matter.

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  • NUFC FOR SALE

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Shelvey 5 game ban 100k fine 🙁

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  • Bambams

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #27

    There must be more than just someone hearing it, there must of been a recording or something, £100k for what is a section 5 public order ( racially motivated) is huge.
    Time will tell and we will see if we appeal.

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  • firebug666

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #28

    I don’t think the FA are too sure themselves here, as they have this line in the statement:-

    The sanction has been set aside pending consideration for an appeal. The player has seven days from receipt of written reasons in which to lodge any appeal.

    Are they expecting JJ to appeal?

    It will be interesting to know what those written reasons are.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #29

    Bobby
    But it’s not a common occurrence so there’s little likelyhood that said witness has been involved in it before so equally u can’t assume he isn’t covering for a team mate and friend. The FA have to consider the bias there (especially because it’s about our best player)

    As for when the complaint was made it depends on the circumstances which we don’t know but it’s serious enough for an investigation to of taken place and charges to be made

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #30

    Bobby,
    Bluwk walks in and says can I have a perm and the barbers say why aye hurmpty durmpty sat on a warl 😀

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #31

    firebug
    They all offer appeals

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #32

    5 games and 100 grand for Shelvey

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #33

    No mention of a witness? Does that mean he didn’t give evidence after all? Then again, the FA found Terry guilty and a court of law found him not guilty. That alone tells you what a bunch of lily livered cowards the FA are. Too frightened of being branded racist themselves. Clearly the standard of evidence required at the FA isn’t anywhere near that of the courts of law in England. If Shelvey didn’t make those comments then I hope he takes it further. In modern society being branded racist is nearly as bad as being branded a thief – if not more so.
    So, the good old FA bow down to the PC world yet again. Unless the witness failed to materialise, which wouldn’t look good.
    Maybe the FA need to make players swear an oath before giving evidence? If he did have a witness, then the FA is nothing short of being a kangaroo court. The weight of evidence needs to be beyond reasonable doubt in cases of racism imo, not simply who you choose to believe. Is it any wonder when the FA is full of old farts from public school?

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #34

    Least it’s put to bed (hit send before I meant to)

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #35

    There mustn’t be reasonable doubt, either that or the FA don’t adhere to typical UK law practices.

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  • Bobbybee

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #36

    Jail, lmao, very good. 🙂

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #37

    People leap to racism accusations these days.

    Calling somebody a derogatory name regarding skin colour isn’t racist. Moronic, unsavoury and juvenile yes, but like juveniles, in the heat of the moment Shelvey may have gone for the ‘weak point’, the sensitive subject to insult, just like I’m sure he will have to put up with the occasional insult about his lack of hair. If he did it’s pathetic but not racist.

    Now if he expanded and said “You’re a worthless….. yada yada yada….. just like all of them.”, or words to that affect, then yes he’s racist, but I’m sure he said no such thing and was simply trading verbal blows – we shall see.

    Either way, if there’s is reasonable doubt – and from what I gather it is just one word vs another in which case there is – then he should have been found not guilty.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #38

    So if he appeals he plays against Sheff Wed and Forest, we can tgen buy tgat too quality CAM we need anyway.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #39

    Then that top

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  • martoon

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #40

    Hail Wor Ashley – well said – in my mind there is a big difference between racism and name calling.

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