Newcastle Reported Close To Two Good Signings

The Express are reporting today that Newcastle are close to two new signings, but we wonder if this is old news form Rafa’s press conference on Tuesday?

Newcastle won their first game in the FA Cup for five years last night at St. James’ Park against Birmingham, with a good 3-1 win with Rafa being bold and starting three youngsters – Dan Barlasar, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni and Stuart Findlay.

All three made their debuts last night.

Rafa Benitez and Gianfranco Zola last night

It all paid off with what in the end was an easy win, but when the visitors scored to make it 2-1 with 20 minutes to go Newcastle hung on a bit near the end, before Matt Ritchie got his second goal in stoppage time.

We are supposed to be close to signing both Andros Townsend and James McCarthy according to recent reports and the Express has further fueled those rumors with a report out this morning saying Rafa has said we are close to two really good signings.

But Rafa doesn’t exactly say that.

This is what Rafa said last night as reported in the Express, when asked if Newcastle are close to completing some deals:

“That’s a tricky question.” “January is always difficult, because not many of the good players playing in top sides are available.”

“I like to sign young players, to develop them and improve them and also sign the players that we need.”

“People think that I like to sign older players but that is not the case, our team is below the average age in this division.”

“We have some options and a couple of them could be really good.”

We really do hope Newcastle are close to a couple of good signings – we need a couple of new players coming into our squad as we push for automatic promotion back to the big time – the Premier League – this season.

Howay The Lads!!

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player Against Birmingham?

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Comments welcome.

60 comments so far

  • Mag52

    Jan 19, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #1


    You’re absolutely right, and that’s the point I was making.
    By ‘cover’ I meant a player as good as Shelvey, who would be interchangeable with him throughout the season. Competition for places is the secret of the success of most of the top teams.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jan 19, 2017 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #2

    We need more creativity. As witnessed in Shelvey’s absence, without him we look lost. We need creative players that can pick a pass and run at defenders. I can’t think of any player we have that runs at defenders except for Atsu and he hardly starts.


    Jan 19, 2017 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #3

    i doubt a player who is of similar ability as shelvey would be willing to be interchangable as they will more then likely be first name on the team sheet wherever they are plying now…..ideally we need a young player just cutting his teeth to learn from shelvey,watch how he plays,learn and add his own style….start gettin 5,10,20 mins a game coming on for shelvey in games then if shelvey is injured or suspended can step in….maybe rafa is thinkin barlaser is that type of player he’s young,grew into the game last night,he may even get more time on the bench….just a thought.

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #4

    not the best game i’ve ever been to but certainly one of the most enjoyable 38 thousand + last night all in good voice where else would you get that other than the toon

    i know Sels is the new whipping boy on here but he had a fair game last night the defence was the problem for the goal
    Gouffran work rate last night and ability on and of the ball was outstanding honestly never thought he had it in him always thought he was bit of a journeyman
    El-Mhanni i have seen him play before and there’s no doubt he has talent nice to see him step up will still need time but a very good start
    Shelvey thank god hes back the beating hart of our team all in all a very good nights work

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #5

    one other thing the RUMOR at the game was townsend and cairney……….. no idea if its true but i would take that

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #6

    Goufran was playing up front but I would say not a out and out striker as he worked his socks off up-front and forward midfield. also was very good with – El Mhanni talking to him and encouraging him.

    From watching last night Goufran would be a ample replacement upfront – had great movement last night pulled the Birmingham defence all-over the place quick to see the pass coming from Shelvey – i.e. first run for penalty and his goal.

    If we could get I would try to sign a creative midfield player – hard to find – because when Shelvey is out the team – we lack creativity.

    Mind you Barlaser tried last night to bring the ball forward and find a defence splitting pass – going to be a decent player.

    If we want a winger Townsend – yes – but me I would take a punt on Wildschuld at Wigan – led Dummett a merry dance down there.

    my report on last night – plus

    just got in from match

    Enjoyed game and result

    Started slowly except Tiote giving away a free kick first minute.
    Game changed with Shelvey’s superb pas to set up the penalty for first goal from then on we were in charge until midway through second half sat deeper and deeper letting Birmingham have more of the ball.
    There goal came from lack of concentration poor marking.

    Shelvey Ritchie and Goufran were outstanding but
    I am giving young Stuart Finlay MOM for a debut I thought he was outstanding at the back tackled, headed and comfortable on the ball.
    Also Dan Barlaser had a good debut.

    Merit marks
    Self – 5 like Dracula hates crosses stuck on the line time and time again
    as Birmingham worked on his weakness with crosses into the box – not at fault for the goal tho’ crap defending
    Yedlin -7 great going forward defending so-so
    Hanley – 7 good game but went to sleep for their goal
    Finlay – 9 My MOM great debut – makings of a excellent player can defend and PASS
    Lazar – 6 good going forward nearly scored but not the strongest in the tackle
    Shelvey – 9 Class oozed class tonight – passing was sublime at times
    Tiote – 7 stared slowly grew into the game until ran out of puff – put some crunching tackles in but over does the touches on the ball and gets dispossessed
    Barlaser – 8 started slowly but as the game went on grew in confidence and wanted the ball got involved in a lot of moves and carried/passed the ball forward – kid going to be a canny player
    Ritchie – 9 best game in a TOON shirt for a long long time
    Goufran – 9 good game led the line well full of running – intelligent runs in and behind there defence along with his usually tackling in midfield – Took his goal well
    El – Mhanni – 7 full of running got up and down the wing but tends to overdo the tricks – did ok

    subs Colback – 5 did OK coming on – actually passed the ball forward
    Hayden – 6 played as a full back at times and looked very good in that position
    Perez 5 – full of running got into some great positions but took the wrong option to many times

  • toontaff2

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #7

    9/11 for BINGO! Went for the 3 young guns and thought they all did well. Hanley and Findlay did well considering it was their first game together. Thought Haidara would start but Lazaar did well. Gouffy was very good as a lone striker and Ritchie was back on song. Shelvey’s passing in the first half was outstanding.
    Great to see some of our youngsters handle the pressure and step up.

  • beermonkey

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #8


    do you think any of the youngsters will get any more game time

  • toontaff2

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #9

    Great that it was hard to pick MoM Ritchie, Shelvey, Gouffy and the 3 debutants all candidates.
    Maybe Tiote could be in SoccerAM’s teckers/megnuts ensemble, this week -showing his full repertoire – maybe he was on the pink champagne??

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #10

    i honestly dont know but i dont think they did there chances any harm last night !!

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #11

    Twenty more league games, we have to win at least half of them!

    Nine of those games are against teams we have already beaten, away in their own backyards, most of their squad won’t have seen SJP except on TV.

    We have the best away success of any team in the UK this season, there is no reason to doubt that will continue.

    Because we are NUFC there will always be negative reporting in the media. The reasons are historic, and inevitable.

    However, we all remember the ‘Entertainers’ and SBR’s teams, when we were alot of football fans second favorite team.

    Take a deep breath, it could be a memorable and historical next four-months, hang on to your hats, HOWAY!!!

  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #12

    According to the Latino press there was disagreement between Ashley and Rafa but it was quite amicable .

    Apparently Tom Cairney was being pushed by Mike who said he was ready to pay £20 million for him.

    Benitez response was to say he hoped he wasn’t working for a new Florentino Perez.

    Ashley took the admonishment in good part.

    Before people pooh-pooh the stories remember most of Rafa’s staff are latino and probably still talk to journos in Italy and Spain.

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #13

    Thoroughly enjoyed the game last night. Even with three debutante – who all played above themselves – only by easing off did we let Birmingham back into it, and only then for a short period.
    Shelvey? What can I say? Looked like he’d never been away. Had one shot in the first half with the outside of his boot that started out heading for the corner flag, before turning back incredibly and had the keeper scrambling to try and save it. What a shot. Wasn’t even shown on MOTD. Bizarre. (maybe the corner flag is poetic licence, but you get my srift) 🙂 He ran the show last night and his ball for The Gouff to get the penalty was Sublime, better than it looked on TV from behind it where I was in the Galloway.
    The kids didn’t let themselves down. Findley was solid at the back apart from a couple of very minor errors.
    Maybe after that performance we might see The Gouff playing in the No10 role in the near future.
    All in all a good all round performance, capped off by my brother getting 10/1 for 3-1. Last gasp earner eh? 🙂

  • expatmag

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #14

    JIB @12

    As usual, total bollocks. Another episode from your fantasy island annual

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #15


    Re. A Jonjo clone, is there a good genetically advanced clinic on Tyneside. 🙂

    Charlie I asked you last night if the 4 x 9 was a wee bit of Geordy bias, more than happy if they really were that good.

  • Wayayman

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #16

    Charlie in the Gallowgate,

    Thanks for your match report, not just this one but all of the game that you attend. Really makes a difference to those of us who can’t get to the games. Great to hear a fan’s perspective who obviously reads a game well

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #17

    As for the supposed Ashley/Rafa acrimony, does anyone really think there wouldn’t be a little bit of argumentative behaviour at times. I’d be amazed if they didn’t have the occasional ‘discussion’ over players and signings.

    A sign of normality imo.

  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #19
  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #20

    And that’s just a couple of Spanish ones .
    Would you like some Portuguese and Italian ones as well ?

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #21

    Jib @ 12

    If what you say has any substance, please include the facts related to the story.

    Where did you read this report?
    Who wrote it?
    Where was it published?
    Where did this conversation take place?
    Who else witnessed this event?
    Is there really a Santa Claus?

    I could go on, but I hope you get my drift.
    If what you posted is factual, then it’s very pertinent information. If it’s a figment of your imagination, then it’s unhelpful, unnecessary and erroneous.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #22

    Oh go on then Jib. You’ve twisted my arm mate. I’m sure there’s others on the blog that would like to have a gander aswell

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #23

    Jib, you really must stop writing for these overseas papers just to prove your point. I do wonder how you get them printed so quickly though. 🙂

  • pwawdevil

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #24

    Talking about competition / a replacement for Shelvey (when he’s injured or suspended), Swansea look like a cert to be relegated this season and I’d love to see us go in for Sigurdsson over the summer. Leaves us a bit exposed for the rest of this season but Gylfi and Jonjo are used to playing together and they have similar playing styles.

  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #25

    If this blog were a newspaper

    Ed would be the cigar chewing proprietor

    I would be the Editor ( of course )

    Bobbybee would be the guy with the contacts in the football world

    BandB would be Marjory Proops

    Tsunki would be the rather effeminate Theatre critic

    Expatmag would be the boring births deaths and marriages guy

    Ron Knee would be the journalistic equivalent of whispering Bob Harris

    Jail would be the maintenance man with journalistic ambitions who keeps dropping major bollocks.

    Mr Tuff would be the dim tea boy who we have to employ to show we don’t discriminate

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #26

    Jib@18 & 19

    Let me just whisper this:-

    So you are now suggesting there WAS some disagreement between Rafa and Ashley – which you earlier ridiculed?

  • kilbane

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #27

    We keep signing big names. Where’s Fraser Forster now? We have quality winners -Aarons, Longstaff, etc. We have defenders and midfielders as we saw from the game and even strikers (Tobey and Arma). When will we start giving them chances to play in the first team? We complain that players are overpriced. Why not develop our players and overprice them like we did with Carol? We need to look inwards. If they can’t get games in the championship, they have no hope in the Premiership.


  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #28

    Yeah but nothing like Neil (2+2=7) Moxley suggested.

    He’s clearly heard a whisper 3rd hand and put his own Midland’s club bias on his spin.

    A rank bad , shit-stirring hack.

    So still deserving of much ridicule.


    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #29

    Rafa is all about rebuilding bridges with the local press (after Ashley black listed them) but he allows the real story of his disagreement with Ashley to be leaked to minor journalists in a different country rather than them? Hmm

    Also Ashley pushing to spend 20 mill on a 25 year old none international who has (am guessing I admit) next to no PL experience? Yeah am just not buying it Ashley is all about the cheap we all know this

  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #30

    WWSBRD – Yeah am just not buying it

    Frankly my dear


    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #31

    Heard There will be a full game highlights uploaded on the newcastle site. is it true?

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #32

    Kildale. Rafa has plans for these kids. What he did say right from the very start was that he intended to use experienced players to get us promoted. He said it was unfair to pile such expectancy onto inexperienced kids.
    As a big Arma fan I was disappointed. I think he’s the most natural finisher I have seen us produce ever. That said, Rafa is, being proven right. There’s no reason these young lads can’t break through into the PL. If they’re good enough, they will make it. I have every confidence Arma will be a full England international one day soon. Relegation came at a bad time for them, but Rafa is building from the ground up. We will be producing more of our own stars, but that really must wait until the older lads get us back where we need to be. Needs must, but he wanted them getting games he couldn’t guarantee them this season. It’s frustrating, but time is on their side mate and Rafa will bring most back next season to start integrateing them into first team action. The fact that we’re top is proving his strategy was well thought out – as much as I’d love to see Arma playing for us now.

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #33

    the london press are valuing Tom Cairney at 10/12m
    only sky putting a 20 m value on him !!


    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #34

    Tbf Fulham quoted us 20 mill prior to the window thats where that value has stemmed from…Fulham may of changed their minds though but I have no idea how reliable the London press are or their connections with Fulham

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #35

    Jib, thank you for that job, I like the sound of it. I’ll take it. What sort of company car do I get? My Renault Captur is nice, but…
    Not sure on the BandB job though. ‘Jump off the Tyne Bridge…’ might get the paper in trouble! That advice might only apply to me though… 🙂

  • Wayayman

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #36

    JIB I think you’d be Lee Ryder. Someone out of his depth but doesn’t have the intelligence to realise it so just witters on regardless of the facts.

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #37

    spot on bobby only one aim this season promotion
    with Rafa the rest will grow naturally

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #38

    Kilbane, sorry mate. Spellcheck sticking it’s nose in again.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #39

    After last night it would appear we are in the box seat regarding transfers, we have the money to pay up front but do not need to be forced into paying over the odds.

    I would like to see a quality player brought in that would compliment playing with Shelvey, perhaps a #10. So that when they both played we could challenge any PL team in a cup match and also so there is an alternative source of creativity when one is missing.

    The potential transfer of Townsend appears to me to be perhaps instead of Atsu, I am not sure which I would prefer. Although the former would be cheaper(?) and being British allows for greater scope for foreign transfers in the summer.

    Always taken with a pinch of salt, is Jib suggesting Cairney is not wanted by Rafa? Perhaps the Gaffa has correctly concluded we can develop our own bright young thing and save the expense.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #40


    Is that with a hint of compassion?!!


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