Rafa On Dwight Gayle Omission At Norwich


We don’t want to be too hard on Aleksandar Mitrovic, but he did miss two golden opportunities in the first half last night – first of all when he was clean through with the score at 1-0 and then with a header which goalkeeper Ruddy saved well.

It was the first of many fine saves from the once capped England International goalkeeper.

It’s also true to say that Mitro hasn’t exactly had the best of luck since both efforts last night were on target – and he is coming into some form as he gets more games under his belt.

Dwight Gayle – came on late last night

But with Dwight Gayle finally making a return to the side last night late on, he looked sharp enough and in the coming two home games against Aston Villa and Bristol City maybe we will see Dwight get a start.

Certainly after gifting Norwich two goals through mistakes from Jamaal Lascelles and goalkeeper Karl Darlow, the lads fought like their lives depended on it and finally got a point, but if we had taken more of our chances in the second half we could have won it.

This is what Rafa said after the game about why Dwight didn’t start the game last night:

“He was fit to start the game but Aleksandar Mitrovic has been playing well and we had him on the bench.”

“It’s great news that he is back because he gives us something different up front and I thought he did well when he came on.”

Dwight did do well and that hamstring should now be fully healed and hopefully he can stay fit for the rest of the season.

Jamaal Lascelles showed his great temperament and character last night by scoring the equalizer, when he volleyed home brilliantly from a narrow angle on 81 minutes and then after that we had a couple or three chances to win the game but it was not to be.

It was a great game last night from two teams who both wanted to win the game and credit goes to both sides,  including our lads who fought their hearts out for the cause.

You really cannot ask more than that from our players.

We do expect Dwight to start against Aston Villa on Monday night and Rafa will want to concentrate on defending and maybe some shooting practice during training before that game.

The good news is that we are still top of the league.

PlayerLeagueCupsTotal
Dwight Gayle23023
Mat Ritchie12416
Ayoze Perez8412
Yoan Gouffran527
Aleksandar Mitrovic426
Mo Diame336
Daryl Murphy516
Jonjo Shelvey505
Christian Atsu505
Ciaran Clark213
Jamaal Lascelles303
Isaac Hayden202
Grant Hanley101
Chancel Mbemba101
DeAndre Yedlin101

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22 comments so far

  • sirjasontoon

    Feb 15, 2017 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #1

    Not really worked out for Mitro shame as I had high hopes..thought he would score for fun in the championship and I can’t see him improving.

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  • Wayayman

    Feb 15, 2017 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #2

    Thing is with Mitro, we play the wrong style for his strengths. A bit like Shearer when Sir Bobby took over and told him that the defenders are seeing his shirt number too much -implying that he’s always got his back to goal. If we played a different way, Mitro could be fantastic for us. As it is, his woeful lack of pace is never going to be suited to the counter attacking way we get at a lot of teams. We shift the ball so quickly and he just can’t get in the danger areas often enough. When he does though, at least he usually hits the target. Gayle on the other hand has been a revelation. We play to his strengths as his movement off the ball is superb. He’d be an absolute mare for a defender to mark, unlike Mitro who can only get physical, and most Championship defenders lap that up.
    It’s entirely possible, given Rafa’s tactical fluidity that we’ll play a different way if promoted. Mitro might come into his own there so i hope we keep him if we go up.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 15, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #3

    Perez being voted as MOM, goodness whatever next.

    I haven’t a problem with that as I one one of the few that selected him for the bingo. Looks like he might be starting to live up to the initial hype from when he first came to us.

    Just keep it going now Ayoze!!

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  • MadisonToon

    Feb 15, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #4

    Wayayman

    Spot on. Mitro isn’t suited for counter-attacking but for balls into the box. He does really well in the air – he severely outmuscled the defender to even get the header that Ed is harshly criticizing him for not scoring from.

    I don’t understand why we haven’t had both Mitro and Gayle up top, it must not have worked well in training, but I think they could be fantastic partners with a target man in Mitro and a speedster to run off him in Gayle. Often times Mitro pulls the ball really well out of the air on his chest but doesn’t have somewhere to go with it and having both him and Gayle up top would give him the opporuntity to release Gayle (or drop to MF to send Gayle through). I really would have liked us to get through the cups a bit further so that our starters would have played and Rafa could have tested that out in a real game rather than deciding from training that it isn’t going to work. Oh well.

    I still have hope for Mitro but I see that patience is wearing very thin for many.

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  • Mag52

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #5

    You say practice needed defending and shooting Ed.
    For me the emphasis should be on the shooting. It must be disheartening for the defence to see so many opportunities going begging up the other end, opportunities to create a cushion of a couple of goals, at which time the whole team can relax a bit and the pressure is eased.
    The defenders can only rescue the points so often, and they have done so on so many occasions so far this season. It’s up to the attackers to capitalise on the chances created by getting that net bulging a bit more often. A CF one on one with the goalie has to put it away surely.

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  • MadisonToon

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #6

    Mag52

    In principle, I hear you. On paper, we are + 35 on goal differential (also in large part to our defense) while scoring almost 2/game with 60 goals scored in 31 matches, 8 goals higher than Brighton who are next best in the league. Yes, those numbers could be higher, but we’re not exactly struggling to score.

    Could we have more goals? Sure. Should Norwich have been shutout yesterday? Probably. I’d be all for finishing training, but I’m not convinced it needs to be prioritized.

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  • Australian Pie

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #7

    Mag

    A one on one, running at full pace, on weak foot with defenders closing, an on rushing keeper and 18 yards out?

    Not your typical easy one on one…

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  • hibbit

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #8

    how much time are folk on here prepared to give Mitro the kids not good enough never has been never will be
    club should have sold him when we had the chance
    i

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  • Australian Pie

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #9

    Is mitrovic good enough to be Newcastle number one striker? Nope. Has he shown enough to deserve a few seasons with us? Yes.

    If you think to how many years we gave other players without nearly as much potential

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  • Australian Pie

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #10

    He played quite well with his chances in the first half of the season and has had a dip in form which he seemed to improve a lot in last nights game. And for that everyone wants him kicked out of the team. Ridiculous.
    Gayle is our number one and we need a new striker next year, but let the lad keep trying with his opportunities.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #11

    On the Mitro debate…For a long time I’ve had a lot of patience for the lad.

    That patience was tested big time last week, despite him getting the goal.

    However, it is worth noting that earlier in the season, when he was getting a better run of games, his goals to minutes ratio was very good, not too far from Gayles (at the time).

    I see why Gayle has been favoured, but given what we know about Mitro, expecting him to have a rhythm with occasional games is not going to work.

    The big question over Mitro is how Rafa plans to use him going forward. If it’s the same as he has, then it’s probably best Mitro gets sold.

    For me he does have potential. I’m just not sure he’ll get the chance to realise it here. In the meantime, his reputation is taking somewhat of a battering. Although he doesn’t help himself at all in that respect.

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  • Ron Knee

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #12

    U23 highlights on NUFC TV.

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  • Krul To Be Kind

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #13

    I see Lee Clark has moved from Killie to Bury. I can’t help but think that he would be Rafa’s successor should the proverbial hit the fan. He would be an easy touch (carveresque) given his love of the club and fat chops at the top would lap that up but I hasten to add I don’t think Rafa the gaffa will walk in the summer, he’s on a good thing here with the love raining down on him every home game… I would say that’s a big draw to any manager that had won almost every available trophy in club world football at this stage of his career!

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  • lesh

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #14

    hibbit

    Sell Mitro?

    As he’s one of the Ashley-Carr super buys, bought young and a sell on profit’s expected of such as him, he’ll not be sold yet.

    Maybe he’ll be sold in a year or two when his form becomes such that he’ll command a fee of £100m plus.

    But then again, he might become another of Carr’s successes….. like Thauvin, Riviere and Cabella.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 15, 2017 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #15

    http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11689/10769236/sky-sports-predictor-aston-villas-five-per-cent-chance-at-newcastle

    NUFC Win = 75%
    Draw = 19%
    VILLA Win = 5%

    Anyone else half hoping for that 1% chance of a different type of result?

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  • giimps

    Feb 15, 2017 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #16

    Ibiza,
    More than likely match abandoned due to fog or players being abducted by aliens, possibly even abandoned due to all officials spontaneous combustion after a half time stare from Rafa

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  • cyprus

    Feb 15, 2017 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #17

    The old Mitro debate…

    All forwards, even the very best, miss sitters, and he hasn’t missed any of those. He’s getting chances, that’s what really counts.

    If you remember, Gayle was missing a few at the start, jokes were being made about his name and how he could be blown off the ball. Then he went on a rich scoring form and he became everyone’s superhero.

    The CF job is a tough one and there aren’t too many deadly ones out there.

    He’s only 22, learning his trade. There are good signs. Give him a break man

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 15, 2017 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #18

    giimps…Hmm…I would probably sacrifice 3 points to see players being abducted by aliens. Not so much for fog.

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  • cyprus

    Feb 15, 2017 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #19

    How many shots on goal did we have vs. wolves? Two? Three?

    Forwards need much more help.

    Barcelona, the mighty, found that out last night.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 15, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #20

    Cyrpus, 6 shots, 2 on target, 1 goal.

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  • giimps

    Feb 15, 2017 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #21

    At one time i honestly thought it would be the only way to get Shola and Tiote out of the club, thank heavens for lesser leagues with big bank balances

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  • dannitoon

    Feb 16, 2017 at 7:30 AM

    Comment #22

    You should write for the chronicle.. your headlines are on par with Ryders…..missed 2 golden opportunities…. id say 2 opportunities were well saved…. mitro did very well to create an opportunity out of the 1st chance

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