Is This Rafa’s Team To Beat Nottingham Forest?


Newcastle did not play well on Monday night when we were beaten on merit by Sheffield Wednesday, but that was also about the best team Rafa could field given that Jonjo Shelvey was not available.

Jack Colback came in for Jonjo and didn’t have a particularly good game, but that was also his first game back for a while after injuring his eye.

So we would expect Rafa to keep Jack and Isaac Hayden as the two central midfielders for another game.

Rafa could make some changes to the side and wemaybe American DeAndre Yedlin could come in at right back and Christian Atsu could get a start before he goes off to play in the African Cup of Nations for Ghana.

Christian Atsu – could get sa start tomorrow night

So here’s the side that Rafa could start tomorrow night in a game we can win and get back on track.

Darlow
Yedlin Lascelles (c) Clark Dummett
Colback Hayden
Atsu Diame Gouffran
Gayle

Only two changes there from the side that disappointed against the Owls.

What would your team be for tomorrow night?

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Nottingham Forest?

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166 comments so far

  • beefman13

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #1

    Listen, I know we got beat the other day, for me we looked bad, missed Shelvey yadda yadda yadda, but Colback n hayden is so weak in midfield, it’s a real worry for me.

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  • Tayls

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #2

    I’d like to see Anita playing the Shelvey role in central midfield if it’s just Gayle up top. If we’re adamant on playing Colback and Hayden then we have to play with width and 2 strikers (Mitro & Gayle)!

    Hayden and Colback offer little to no creativity.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #3

    The problem with your team Ed is that we will still only be attacking from the right hand side!

    We need Richie on the left so he can ping in first time crosses and Colback needs taken out that line up for a more attacking player !

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  • Malta Mag

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #4

    I think its clear we have to move the ball quicker? Too many side ways passes, and not enough pace.If that means a slightly more direct approach then so be it. Yedlin in for sure on the right, Mitro up front alongside Gayle and Atsu on the right instead of Goufran and drop Diame back deeper alongside Colback.. A simple 4-4-2 and take the game to these lot because we owe them a proper going over.

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  • JDdubai

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #5

    Malta

    Exactly the formation and personnel for me too, at least while Shelvey is out.
    If we attack teams we will comfortably win, Rafa is setting us up defensively to begin games, even though we know teams will defend deep and give us the possession.
    It’s the championship, just how defensive will he set us up in he PL if we are doing it this much at home against Sheff Wed?

    Anita, Dummett, Colback, Hayden, Gouffran…are we surprised we couldn’t break them down with those players. It left us with only 2 players trying to supply Gayle, cannot be right for a home game in the Championship.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #6

    If Rafa had any brains, he would pick Mitrovic, Atsu and Yedlin tomorrow but guess what he probably won’t, so it’s pointless trying to guess what lineup he’s going to pick, probably be defensive anyway.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #7

    welshgeordie9,
    Rafa has and that’s why unfortunately for you Swansea aren’t trying to prise him away.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #8

    Not 100% sure why we went so defensive considering we played a much more attacking team against Burton away in the previous game!

    Thought Atsu done well in that game seems strange why he can never get 2 games in a row starting ?

    Anyone watching Villa Leeds? Villa started the way I would like to see us play full of pace and pressing with attacking intent

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #9

    beefman,
    If he picks Hayden and Colback in MF again everyone will be worried!

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  • Tayls

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #10

    “If Rafa had any brains” Haha maybe you should apply for the Swansea job genius.

    0
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #11

    @Jail

    I wouldn’t mind Colback and Hayden in the middle if we had Mitrovic and Gayle up front with Lazaar, Yedlin , Richie and Atsu on the flanks !

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  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 29, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #12

    Jail

    Let’s see how Rafa does this season, long way to go yet before anyone can say he’s done well in terms of results, think some are getting carried away, yes i agree, Rafa is one of the best managers around but let’s see what happens this season and next if we are in the premiership.

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  • lochinvar

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #13

    Was it just me or did Wednesday target Anita’s lack of height at the back with some high balls and the goal was scored on his side ?
    Move him to midfield to buzz around and make things happen with Atsu and Ritchie on his flanks. Yedlin who’s taller at left back seems a sound idea. It’s right back that bothers me at least in terms of going forward as opposed to sideways.

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  • lochinvar

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #14

    got that all wrong – just move Anita into midfield and Yedlin to full back
    Going for a lie down , too much lucozade

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #15

    @lochinvar

    They did target him with the high ball at the same time they also had a few other tricks up their sleeve

    Foul Gayle and Richie at every opportunity

    Let Lascalles and Dummett have all the time in the world on the ball who eventually hoof it or pass it backwards

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  • welshgeordie9

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #16

    Tayls

    I would be awesome I would be like the welsh version of the true geordie.

    Ha ha ha

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  • Mag52

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #17

    My team for Forest :

    Darlow
    Anita Lascelles Clarke Dummett
    Ritchie Hayden
    Atsu Diame Gouffran
    Mitro.

    HWTL

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #18

    LCBP,
    Not sure how two DM’s work though, not when both have proved to have little attacking flair, Hayden has given the odd shot off but I don’t see them working together.

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  • The overrated Frenchman

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #19

    It’s a pity this game is against Forest. Benitez will be able to pick his usual lacklustre formation and play the same old rubbish football and get a result because they’re so poor. The Sheffield Wed. game will be swept under the rug, and the fans and Benitez himself will be happily reassured of the man’s genius.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #20

    ToF,
    Would it be better if it was against Brighton away while we have suffered a blip and they are full of confidence, I think you, like welshgeordie9 are deliberately trying to wind people up.

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  • anthc

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #21

    Have to agree with Malta mag re the side way passes and the slow pace at which we played football last game. We need to speed up and get at teams when at home. Mitro with gayle upfront as I’ve no problem with the direct approach when required. I like watching good football don’t get me wrong, but this league is brutal and you need to win by any means necessary to get back where we want to be. Colback and hayden is just too defensive for me as they do the same job, break up play and give it to a creative player.
    We need to get at these from the off and give them a good thumping!

    0
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #22

    @Jail for Ashley

    It was more along the lines of if we have 6 players looking to attack at all times then all they have to do is pass it to someone more attacking and sit back

    Against Wednesday they passed it to Dummett and Gouffran who then passed it back who then passed it to Lascalles who passed it to Darlow …….

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  • The overrated Frenchman

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Comment #23

    Jail I have consistently been a critic of Benitez all along as you well know. Why continuing to say what I think is a “wind up” I don’t know.

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  • hibbit

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #24

    The overrated Frenchman
    it must be being so happy that keeps you going !
    you should stay out the sun a little more you obviously not used with it coming from sunderland WUM

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #25

    Lilo

    You say ”Rafa has always been defensive. It’s worked for him, so why change. But the only times he has managed a team that would be classed as (one of) the biggest in their league he has struggled.”
    – – – – – – –

    Could you explain how we are top scorers and the match before Rafa was sacked at RM they beat Racing Vallecano 10-2. Also how Rafa managed to win the title with Valencia not once but twice in that league.

    If that’s defensive and struggling give me more of that.

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  • The overrated Frenchman

    Dec 29, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #26

    hibbit, you are clearly one of the great minds of our time, and it’s pointless for me to argue with you because I could never win. But when we miss promotion after losing in the play-offs, I will be back to say “I told you so”

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #27

    Rotonda,
    I thought you knew as a coach you’d have a bit more knowledge not to question that in such a basic way.

    We are top scorers because we have far and away the best squad in the league.

    Beating Vallecano 10-2 with Real Madrid… A one off, that wasn’t the norm hence him being removed from his role.

    As for Valencia, if you look at it, the success was built on a solid defence, not a free scoring team. Are you implying defensive managers have never won titles?

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #28

    TOF

    Funny you never mentioned the 4-0 v brum, 4-3 v norwich, 4-1 v reading, 6-0 v qpr, 6-0 v preston, 3-0 v ipswich, etc etc and the fact we’ve been virtuually top all season and are top scorers across all 4 divisions. why is that I wonder? kind of makes your argument rather pointless and redundant when presented with the facts rather than personal pejudice.

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  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #29

    The heavy shirt is a real thing. Big club, big expectations, big occasion, anxious crowd and a fired up opposition playing Championship football often to a tee and with nothing to lose. Add to that a manager more experienced and accomplished at a more elegant level, a home side that also isn’t totally at ease with the league and the pressures involved in playing for Newcastle in this critical season and you are inevitably going to drop points.

    The heavy shirt was created by the club not managing to put enough quality on the pitch and in the dugout sufficiently often enough. This group is good enough, but is battling not just the league, but also a legacy of failure. It’s a tough ask, but the side is doing well.

    0
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #30

    I wouldn’t say Rafa is totally “Defensive” at Liverpool when Torres and Gerrard were fit they played some lovely stuff including spanking the Toon by a fair few goals !

    Have a few mates who are Liverpool fans and they did mention he sometimes had trouble with the lesser teams as he can be very cautious of the counter attack

    Also said that he always starts seasons slowly with the same problems every year and in the 2nd half of the season the football gets better so heres hoping it continues with us!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #31

    ToF,
    Does it matter if you’re a critic of Benitez,surely you want us to win on Friday, I’d much rather against a vastly weakened Forest side shtying themselves from the pasting we almost gave them and the celebrations they made than against a fully

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #32

    Vonfident Nrighton sode on their own ground.

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #33

    Anyone who suggests Rafa isn’t a defensive minded manager clearly hasn’t a clue.

    I’m not sure why when people say someone is a defensive manager it automatically seems to imply they are being critical….. The criticism isn’t in the defensive nature, it is in the inflexibility.

    It is why people are finally starting to realise that Conte is a much better manager than both Guardiola and Mourinho because he is far more flexible in how he manages games and sets up his sides.

    0
  • AndyMac

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #34

    As I’ve said elsewhere playing two limited CM’s is tantamount to gifting control to the opposition. It suggests we’re so concerned we’ll let goals in we’d rather focus on keeping it tight rather than go for the jugular ? One DM at home is OK but not two, it limits us tremendously

    0
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #35

    lilo

    no, but you are far being far too simplistic labelling him just a defensive coach. As a coach yourself you should realise and appreciate you can not always shoehorn and pigeon hole rafa into any single category, as he will often adapt different styles to the teams we play. Rafa’s football at Chelsea was very easy on the eye and he won a trophy there too.

    Pardew, allardyce and pulis are defensive coaches who have never won anything

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #36

    Hasn’t a clue is probably a bit much, but he is clearly defensive. That he has occasionally found partnerships that can attack in his sides does not take away from the fact he builds on a solid foundation when possible, rather than playing expansively.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #37

    lilo

    it’s a bit arrogant of you to tell others with differing opinions to you that they don’t have a clue. It kind of infers you know better than anyone else.

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:13 PM

    Comment #38

    Rotonda,
    You seem to imply that defensive can’t involve good football or be easy on the eye? Why do you think that? Again at Chelsea, Rafa built on defence. Easy on the eye and defensive aren’t things that are exclusive.

    The idea of negative football being the same as a team overseen by a defensive coach is something that just holds no actual merit. It is part of the modern day era of excitement now and short attention spans.

    You mention defensive coaches who didn’t win anything, I’m fairly certain that I could name a lot of attack minded coaches who have also won nothing. What does that mean? That their style is at fault, or that they just rent that great as managers?

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:13 PM

    Comment #39

    rent=aren’t

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  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Dec 29, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #40

    Newcastle when playing Shelvey as a deep lying playmaker and Diame or Perez in the hole, our preferred set up, is not defensive. It’s designed to break down and score goals against committed opposition who are set up to and prepared to defend for their lives, and hit us on the counter.

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