Rafa Talks About His Selection Problems

Chancel Mbemba seems to have been out of favor with Rafa Benitez this season and he has played very rarely after being a starter alongside Fabricio Coloccini in his first season on Tyneside last term, when he did very well.

Mbemba had a disastrous game in the 2-0 defeat against Wolves at St. James’ Park on 17th September, to end a six game winning streak.

And the DR Congo International has hardly played since then and has made just 8 appearances all season after playing 35 times in the Premier League last season.

Chancel Mbemba – out of favor this season

Rafa has talked about him toda,y as reported in the Chronicle:

“When he came back from Gabon he was a little bit stiff with a few problems.” “But this week he has been training better.”

“So the problem I have now is the competition between players.”

“They are doing well, and imagine we have 27 players, just two injuries, so 25 players have to compete for just 18 places.”

“We signed Hanley because we were looking for players with experience in the Championship.”

“He is a great professional, good for the team spirit, and when he has had to play he has done well.”

“We are happy with his contribution and hopefully he can do better between now and the end of the season.”

Grant Hanley has played well when he’s played for the first team and he could start today at Molineux in what is another crucial league game for the Magpies.

We’d be very surprised if Mbemba gets a start today.

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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 11, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #1

    At the Southend game where I was so impressed with Shelvey, I also thought that Mbemba would be one to shine this season. He was tidying up all of the loose balls in the defense and linking up the play between defense and Jonjo in midfield. Effectively a sweeper type of player, he’s certainly got the ability to step up to the first team both now and in the EPL, just needs to knuckle down and do it. I think he will!!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 11, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #2

    About a third of the blog don’t think we’ll win against Wolves, dissapointing!!

    Especially as we don’t seem to be doing draws this season.

  • Krul To Be Kind

    Feb 11, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #3

    Is today’s game being broadcast at all, anyone got any idea if a stream will be made available?

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 11, 2017 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #4

    Krul…It’s showing on Sky Sports, so there will definitely be lots of good quality streams.

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 11, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #5

    A Hand of God moment for Sanchez!

  • MadisonToon

    Feb 11, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #6

    Confirmed Rafa Bingo

    Yedlin Lascelles Hanley Dummett
    Hayden Shelvey
    Ritchie Diame Atsu

  • martoon

    Feb 11, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #7

    Confirmed Rafa Bingo

    Yedlin Lascelles Clark Dummett
    Hayden Shelvey
    Ritchie Diame Gouffran

  • lochinvar

    Feb 11, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #8

    Confirmed Rafa Bingo – same as earlier
    But think Hanley and Clark and Diame give us the physicality we need against teams such as Wolves on a wet afternoon in the Midlands.
    Mitro up front adds to that physicality for the team and needs to produce some goals or contribute to providing goals for those around him

    Yedlin Hanley Clark Dummett
    Hayden Shelvey
    Ritchie Diame Petez

  • lesh

    Feb 11, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #9

    What puts Rafa head and shoulders above his recent predecessors are the numbers 25 and 27. Only two injuries out for a little while longer.

    It’s clear that the lads are benefitting from a better fitness regime and want to play for Rafa whereas……

  • lochinvar

    Feb 11, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #10

    Motto ? Mitro


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