Rafa To Make Big Changes In Newcastle Squad This Summer

There are a number of reports out today about three players who have hardly played for Newcastle this season and who were signed by Rafa Benitez in the summer.

Those players are Grant Hanley, Achraf Lazaar and Daryl Murphy who did get an outing on Monday at Blackburn and he could get more playing time this season, especially if Aleksandar Mitrovic is sold – which new seems possible if not probable.

Jesus Gamez hasn’t played too much either this season, although he’s been injured a lot of the time.

Rafa Benitez – big change sin squad this summer

Rafa built up a squad in the summer that he wanted to be capable of getting Newcastle an immediate return to the Premier League and if we can achieve promotion then they will have done the job.

Rafa is a very ambitious manager who has achieved great things in the past and we are expecting  this summer for the Newcastle squad to be changed  significantly to prepare for life back in the big time – the Premier League.

And it could be that a few of the players who have hardly played this season are some of the players who are jettisoned.

For their own careers if they are not going to get a game at Newcastle, it’s best they leave the club.

Rafa will bring in some top players in the summer that could cost some big money, so that he can build a squad that can compete next season in the top half of the Premier League.

That would be his (low) target for Newcastle next season.

Rafa will have to make decisions on players returning from loan such as Tim Krul, Siem de Jong, Emmanuel Riviere, Henri Saivet, Kevin Mbabu, Haris Vuckic and Sammy Ameobi and they could all leave the club.

They could leave unless they have been starring on loan for their clubs this season.

Players on LoanLoan PeriodClub
Florian ThauvinSeasonMarseille
Siem de JongSeasonPSV
Kevin MbabuSeasonBSC Young Boys
Henri SaivetSeasonSt. Etienne
Tim KrulSeasonAjax
Adam ArmstrongJanuaryBarnsley
Emmanuel RiviereSeasonCA Osasuna
Jamie SterryJanuaryCoventry City
Haris VuckicJanuaryBradford City
Sammy AmeobiJanuaryBolton Wanderers

There were some big changes made in the squad last summer and we would expect the same thing to happen this summer – always assuming Newcastle can get promoted.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

86 comments so far

  • RUNAWAY777

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #1

    If we dont get out this league this year there will be changes in the summer why even talk about that now we need to finnish this season 1st or 2nd then think about new players for f..k .

  • AncientC

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #2

    On Mitrovic asking to take a penalty: Is that really grounds for stating he has an attitude problem. I remember an out of form Torres shirking a penalty for Chelsea – which is what I would call a real attitude problem for a striker.

    What passes for being a trouble maker these days, wouldn’t get a 2nd glance, during the days when Shearer, Ian Wright, Fowler et al., were all playing.

  • martoon

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #3

    RUNAWAY777 @1 – I can’t agree, a well managed club will be planning NOW for next Summer.

  • Goofy

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #4

    Sunderland are after Tyrone “Mings” He’ll fit right in there 😀

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #5

    If Sunlun lose Jermaine Defoe to Wet Spam they’ll be cattled.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #6

    Mitro form is up and down brilliant against Preston cup and league – did well when he came on against Sheff Wed but woeful against Blackburn at home.
    Could it be more than just a attitude problem or a arm around the shoulder.

    Could it be that RAFA and some of the players do not like the adulation that Mitro gets during and after games – take the two Preston games when the crowd got right behind Mito who responds to the crowd and creating a brilliant atmosphere.

    Mitro is far from the best player but hell he arouses and excites the fans when he is playing which is a far cry from the rest who are more consistent play better but hell they do not excite the crowd like Mitro

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #7

    NUFC reserves playing Bradford at the mo’ Rob Elliot in goal.

  • LGFUAD21

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #8


    A well run club will be preparing for 2 scenarios come this summer as well as highlighting what we might need beyond that.

  • LGFUAD21

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #9

    Mitro will always struggle in football where managers change regularly.

    Some will embrace his passion and channel it. Others prefer diplomacy and I think Rafa falls into the latter category.

    I’d be sad to see another character and promising young player leave without reaching his potential (this club seems to do that to players) but if he does we must bring in top class replacement.

  • posada

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #10

    Which players have done better under Rafa.
    Why is he not getting the best out of Mitro.
    Well for a start we don’t play with genuine wingers.
    Ritchie has no pace and needs to link up with others to get into positions.
    Goufran is hopeless.
    No crosses how will Mitro thrive.
    Only one forward played anyway.

    We beat QPR 6-0. It was almost as if Rafa did not like it cos it was not part of his master plan. The team was changed straight away.

    Hull cup game. We go 1 up in extra time against 10 men.
    Tactic. Sit back. Result a team struggling to score equalised straight away.

    The penalties demonstrated a complete lack of preparation.

    Wigan away. We score. Tactic. Sit back and let them play.
    Result, we won as they were poor at finnishing which is why they are at the bottom.

    Rafa for me is holding back this team.

    I’ll say it again. Where is the big squad rotation now.
    Anybody want to tell me.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #11

    I don’t doubt your right but there a time and place and at this time i think we should just be looking to get out of this league

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #12

    we are obviously in the minority but I tend to agree with you. The level of football being served up is a carbon copy of the last few years.
    My only defense of Rafa is that the players producing this tripe are the ones who have been around a long time, goofs, Anita, Colback, Dummett.
    This is still not his team.

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #13


    You’ve convinced me !

    Rafa’s shite

    You sir are a genius.

    We must get shot of the Spanish fool and appoint you.
    When you apply to Lee Charnley don’t forget to mention all the hours you’ve loggd on FIFA

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #14

    Do you think the level of football/entertainment has improved since Rafa’s appointment?

    I would say the level of application and organisation has improved dramatically but we still play some very average stuff.

  • posada

    Jan 4, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #15

    Are we in the minority.
    On this blog yes.
    But at games I’m not so sure.

    It’s not Rafa’s team ? well you could almost make a team out the signings he’s made that don’t play.

  • posada

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #16

    That’s just a personal attack not backed up by any facts.

    Go on answer the question. Where is your big squad rotation now ?

    We sat back against Wigan / Fact or fiction.

    We don’t play with genuine wingers ? Fact or fiction.

    We blew it against Hull and the pens were poor ? Fact or fiction.

    Rafa’s a control freak who won’t let these players play.
    His tactics the last 8 games have been poor.
    he’s been done now by half a dozen managers with not even 1/4 the resources he has.

    His substitutions. Regularly criticised on here by many.

    Go on then answer the question. Where is your big squad rotation now.

  • JamesToon

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #17


    thoroughly enjoyed the football most of the time this season. When we’re at it, i love watching us, when its games like against wednesday it can be frustrating

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #18

    Breaking news from Sky

    West Ham have made a bid for Jermaine Defoe of £6million !


  • U.S Magpie

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #19

    Rafa has every right not to trust Mitro, he has one ok’ish game and then two games were the only time you see him is when he is getting talked to by the ref. As I said two month’s ago I feel Rafa does not rate him, I for one don’t rate him at all, I was hoping that he was the answer for our target man but he just is to slow and to bulky, yes bulky for making defenders know he is there but even the smallest forward makes defenders know they are there, its called pace and putting the ball in the net. I don’t care about next season, I do hope that Rafa gets in at least two players in the Jan Transfer window, one for the middle someone very, very opposite to colback and another forward as we seem to be putting all this on Gayle and that’s bullshit. Oh and I don’t understand why Goofy has turned into goofy from last season, but maybe a winger to take over his role.

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #20

    I enjoy watching Rafa’s teams (most of the time) much more than since probably SBR and very rarely under Hoots and Pardew.

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #21

    Really? I have enjoyed the RESULTS. This is my opinion and nothing more but it often feels we perform well for about 15 mins of every game and score a goal or two. Then revert back to passing the opposition to sleep.
    For the record, I am in no way suggesting that Rafa is not taking us forward. It just feels like if Pards or any other manager made some of the decisions he has made they would have been slaughtered.
    He is by no means perfect


    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #22

    Personally I’d say all players barring Mitro and Perez have improved I don’t rate Goofy, Dummett or Anita but they have been very good this season not sure how u could argue with that

    As for style I much prefer how we play now to how we did and once we get to the PL am sure it’ll get even better. We control games now and build attacks that’s a huge difference to players which is no doubt hard to cope with

    U seem to want to get rid of Rafa though? Surely that’s not what u want as that’s insane imo and as for holding the squad back howay


    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #23

    Also ur criticism of the team and tactics seem purely to get Mitro in the team

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #24

    I was going to make the same point about Anita, Goofs and Dummett. In the squad rotation they were performing well enough to keep the others out, however they have slipped back a bit and should be dropped.

  • U.S Magpie

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #25

    I think people need to understand one thing and one thing only, Newcastle United although yes like all of us can be frustrating this season. But like all teams in the Premiership and through out the Premier history, when teams played Man U you always wanted to beat them, not just bragging rights for the winning team but also banter for every team supported in the Premiership. Newcastle have the same role in the Championship, all these teams when they play us will do everything they can to get that win, Newcastle are playing a cup final every time we step on the pitch, hopefully our players can take that pressure but I am not convinced with a few of them.

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #26

    Defoe was born 2 miles from the Boleyn Ground and spent the first 5 years of his senior career at West Ham – I think Slaven will get his man – this will screw up Sunlun’s season royally !

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #27

    Surely 6 mil is nowhere near enough to even make them think about it. He is the only reason they are still in the prem

  • mad-serb

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #28

    U.S Magpie

    Go count the amount of goals we scored this season which because of pace, I bet you they are less than 10 probably closer to 5.

    We play passing football that threads the ball through to players or strikes from outside the box, couple of headers from corners and some set pieces. Gayle does not have that great pace, he is quick but not lightning and his goals are mostly down to his positioning not his pace.

    As for big target men, think the big man Ibra at man utd is not all that bad considering he is probably the slowest in the premier league.

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #29

    Sorry Jib,
    Just saw that it was rejected. The offer will have to be upped significantly to even tempt them. 10-12 mil should do it

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #30

    WHOA WHOA WHOA, have you just compared Mitro to Zlatan?????????????


    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #31

    I wouldn’t say they’d slipped tbh they are just limited. As for being dropped maybe but we aren’t falling apart as a team they are still working hard and doing what is asked of them

    Yedlin is a better RB no question in my mind but Anita doesn’t leave a gap as often. Lazaar is hopefully building up strength and will see more game time in the second half of the season phasing Dummett out. On the wings we are just light imo and Atsu doesn’t baby sit the LB which is what we need when Dummett plays so it’s all understandable…plus we are doing well tbf so there’s not much need to force change

  • RonVanDam

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #32

    I don’t know why some bloggers treat Rafa as a flawless genius who cannot do any wrong. I’m still waiting for his summer signings – Hanley, lazaar, sels, Murphy, Gomez to shine. We are half way into the season and these players are hardly getting game time, also add 7 losses to it.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up in playoffs just to make our way to the PL by end of season

    The other thing that pisses me off is a lot of you want Sunderland to get relegated. For the development of football in the north east, regardless of rivalry, we need them in the PL along with Middlesbrough. To me, Sunderland fans have shown more class in the last few years then we have. Stop being short sighted and appreciate what football can do for your region and all the clubs involved.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #33

    Posada thou shalt not criticise Rafa no matter how valid the tactical points made are. Given this is a poor league and the price of our team, how many teams have we hammered when in ‘control’. Remember Sunderland at home villa away last season Fulham away. There are lots of examples. And people say it’s not his team? What? How many more players do we need? If u ask valid questions as I have done from early in his tenure, you will just get told that he won in Europe. I like Rafa but he is certainly not beyond criticism in terms of his defensiveness, stubborness, and tactical inflexibility. But some geordies are so desperate for a hero that they are only beginning to ask a question or two now.

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #34

    I hope you are right. I think our other weaknesses have been highlighted more in shelveys absence. Both dummett and Anita are very blunt in an attacking sense and without jonjos passing we are exactly where we were this time last year when teams park the bus. That’s why I think the change should be forced, to give us more options when going forward.

  • reilly

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #36

    the melt down on wearside would be epic. 😆

  • posada

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #37


    Our style of play ? It’s not been good the last 8 games apart from the home game against Birmingham.

    We control games ? Sorry but we don’t. Shef Wed at home and Forest at home. They were not in control at all.

    I’d say you probably don’t get to games. Not being critical of that you could be anywhere in the world, but if you were at games you’d appreciate that.

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #38

    I find it incredible and foolish that some bloggers are actually questioning Rafa’s abilities at Newcastle.
    These are the people who get us supporters a bad name.
    Do you think he has been very lucky to win titles and trophies all over Europe?
    We are privileged to have him in the knowledge that he actually wants to build the club to greatness! He isn’t here just for the money like all the others since SBR! He’s a multi millionaire already! But be aware, that enables him to walk away if the support isn’t with him and he considers us as part of the projec!

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #39

    I heard a comment on an Italian Radio sports station regarding Lazaar .
    One of the coaches at NUFC (I didn’t catch which one) said he is over -exuberant .

    The phrase he used translates as – “he wants to beat the world and cannot even crack a nut “

  • posada

    Jan 4, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #40


    I have not had enough of Rafa, but I have had enough of this blind following as if he is a Mesiah.

    Some points being made on here now reflect that, which I think is good.

    Also. This blogs not reflective of the views I get from supporters at games.

    Why do some love Rafa. Well this is a factor. He is the first proper manager we have had for years. The first one to actually stand up to the owner rather than being a yes man.

    My fear. Rafa treats NUFC as a bit of an indulgence. He gets here the control and support he simply did not get at Real, even liverpool.


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