It’s Frustrating But Really Good Stuff About To Happen At Newcastle

Rafa Benitez could well surprise us a lot this summer with the extent of the changes he is willing to make in the Newcastle squad, as he prepares for life back in the Premier League with Newcastle United.

Mike Ashley will give him as much money as possible so Rafa can create a strong squad, but some of the money will come from selling existing players who have no future at the club.

And Rafa will have been careful to have looked at the up-and-coming players in the Championship and we may be able to get one or two deals for players who can make the jump to the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager – upbeat

Yes, it’s been a really tough season this term and there have been multiple frustrations for fans over the last seven games (only 9 points) when we have dropped a massive 12 points.

We just need to get promoted to settle things down a little bit.

And then the smaller clubs in the Premier League should be no match for us in the summer in terms of attracting  players.

A huge revitalized club with a world-class manager in place and sold-out crowds at St. James’ Park in England’s second  division.

We will set a modern day record of over 51,000 average attendance this season in England’s second division.

The smaller clubs in the Premier League and there are a lot of them these days – like Middlesbrough, Swansea, Hull, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Watford and West Brom to name just eight – should be no match for Newcastle.

They don’t have the history of a Newcastle United or the huge and famous fan support base that’s on Tyneside.

That’s the truth – not a boast.

And Rafa’s clear ambitions for Newcastle are that he wants to win trophies while he is on Tyneside – that’s one of the main reasons he stayed with us – to return Newcastle back to greatness.

So any of our targets looking at the new Newcastle UNited will see many advantages of joining the club  now that we will be back in the Premier League.

Players we have been linked with this year include James McCarthy, Andros Townsend, Tom Cairney, Ryan Shawcross, Harry Maguire and Charlie Taylor amongst others,  who we have no clue about at the moment.

It’s going to be an exciting summer coming up and a really exciting season to see how we match up with the top PL sides next season.

I can feel it already.


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234 comments so far

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 16, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #1

    I must say, Ed, I find it remarkably valiant that in spite of your ill health you continue to provide all these hundreds, if not thousands, of fans with a platform on which we can discuss our beloved Newcastle United.

    Not once do you complain and you’re forever optimistic, an absolute example for all to look up to. I’ve followed and commented on your blog for 5 or 6 years now, and what a pleasure it’s been! My go to place for all things Newcastle.

    Best of wishes with your treatment, be strong.


  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 16, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #2

    geordie mark

    if Rafas system hasn’t worked why are we 2nd and being top nearly all season.

    If we out of the top 6 maybe.

  • AncientC

    Apr 16, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #3

    ‘Ex-Newcastle coach Steve Stone believes the club could sell this season’s leading scorer Dwight Gayle, 27, in order to raise funds for the summer transfer window.’

    Parting shot I hope. If the right offer came in though…

  • sparky55

    Apr 16, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #4

    I guess what Geordie Mark is saying is that the system hasn’t been that successful during the business end of the season and having been so dominant along with Brighton all season we are now at risk of been caught by Huddersfield who do change their system even though they don’t have a squad anywhere near as big as ours.

    IMO with our squad being so large we have the ability to change the system to suit certain opposition and certain situations…but all we’ve done all season is utilise the whole squad and played the same way week in week out.

    Maybe we’re struggling because we’re a bit predictable.

    …but having said all that in Rafa I do trust even though I do wonder sometimes why he doesn’t try something different now and again.

  • toontaff2

    Apr 16, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #5

    I hope that fat barsteward of a Leeds fan got a good kicking! Big lad, mental, from up behind me, ran down the steps in the Gallowgate, to get him!
    After the game, watched police dragging him down towards the paddy wagon and being surrounded. A few shots were taken!
    This season, have noticed the ball boys and stewards all seem much slower to react to anything. Surely, that clown should not have made the pitch?

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Apr 16, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #6

    Rafa is by far the best we’re going to get. Ashley & Charnley won’t ever find the next Pochettino or Tuchel, they’ll stick to people with EPL experience or success in the past, and the only ones available with experience are usually the out of work ones. If we didn’t get Benitez most fans second choice would have been Moyes and he is a dinosaur now.

    The trouble with Benitez is he won’t change his formation & this is how great managers usually fall behind. Napolean said you need to change your tactics every few years or your enemy will know how to beat you. Rafa alongside Mourinho revolutionised football with their 4-2-3-1 style, but since then newer systems have came in thanks to Pochetttino, Klopp & Conte & now all the English dinosaur managers are playing 3 at the back (which Pardew invented of course) & the likes of Mourinho who is sticking to his guns are falling behind. I worry that Benitez will also struggle. That said, he’s always going to be better than the majority of managers.

  • Fostino

    Apr 16, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #7

    Watching and hoping crystal palace would fail recently but townsand. ..Zaha. ..have been very good. Fat Sam doing well in fairness. He sorted out the Defence first in the jan window…mcclaren take note.

  • JamesToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #8

    The next mike Williamson

    I genuinely don’t get this thing with “rafa’s style” etc. He’s known to be a tactician, he’ll stick with the 4-2-3-1 and sticks with his philosophies of being organised and disciplined, defensively solid then being balanced. He’s one of the most tactically flexible managers in the world imo, something a lot of the “up and coming” managers are not, fine example being David Wagner/Jaap Stam not being able to beat us. It’s all very well having a nice passing philosophy keeping possession but if you can’t turn it into consistent results or win the games where you won’t be able to play your usual possession football then what’s the point, that in my opinion is the beauty of Benitez, we can play short passing possession nice football and hammer teams like we saw in the first half the season, we can also sit back and counter attack with direct football against harder teams or ones that dominate possession. It hasn’t always worked of course, at times he has been too cautious, but we’re 2nd in the league, and rafa’s tactics will only suit the prem more as we should get better players and will have more space to play in.

    Formation is just the way the players start up on the pitch, it’s the tactics that may need to be sometimes altered etc.

  • hibbit

    Apr 16, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #9

    i get all this love for Chris Hughton

    but let’s be realistic about this chris had exactly the same type of stuttering season we are having this season, last season and fell at the last hurdle,
    He’s been at brighton since 20/12/14 so this is definitely his team ,he’s had a long time to build for this promotion but still had his fair share of hiccups along the way
    I’m sure Chris would tell you all this is not an easy league to get out of
    one other thing Chris is by far one the most experienced championship managers

    just my thoughts !!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #10

    So Brighton who we’ve beaten twice, who have not had points deducted against Nottingham Forest, who have been awarded half a dozen more penalties than us and still haven’t scored as many goals, deserve the league more than us?

  • JamesToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #11


    exactly a lot of people are forgetting, that, unlike benitez who pretty much built our squad over night, hughton has had his team for 2 years

  • sparky55

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #12

    “Deserving’s got nowt to do with it…Man U didn’t deserve to win every title they did, but they ground out the results unlike anyone else in their time.

    Chris Houghton have been better than us at getting the results simply because they’re currently 4 points better off than us…so you have to give credit to them for doing that but do they deserve to win the title???

    Answer…Probably yes…they’ve played some good stuff and got some great wins on the road and have nowhere near the budget we have…so IMO yes they do despite losing to us twice because despite losing to us twice they’re still 4 points better of than us so they’ve done much better than us outside the two games we’ve played against each other.

    Well done Chris…you deserve it!

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #13

    @James Toon

    I’ve still got faith in Rafa and I hope he stays long enough to build us into a steady top 8 team. I just don’t think he’s in the worlds top 10 managers anymore. My only other concern about Rafa is that although he buys a lot of young players in, he rarely if ever plays them. But if we become a top 6 team I can live with that.

    You mentioned Wagner couldn’t beat us. He does have a team of players that cost about 10% of our team and were my favourites to go down. It’s like laughing at Hull because they couldn’t beat Chelsea. Anyway, if Benitez were to leave, I would love to see Wagner take over or maybe even Jaap Stam.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #14

    They’ve done four points better than us, not really “much” better, not sure how their rub of the green went either but we’d have murdered Forest that night with eleven men, where on earth did five minutes come from the other night. Our budget came from sales rather than our kindly owner.

  • Munster Mag

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #15

    Jail, you’re being ridiculous now. Brighton have done better than us. And our budget dwarfs other teams. People said rafa rotation would give us fresher players at the end of the season. Wrong. That Rafa was tactically best and would work teams out over two games. Incorrect. We badly need to win v Ipswich. It’s getting uncomfortable.

  • lesh

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #16


    I think Brighton’s and Huddersfield’ve had far more rub of the green than us. They’ve both benefitted from some dubious decisions and timekeeping whereas we’ve tended to suffer through poor match officiating.

    But, It’s water under the bridge and all we’ve got to do is aim for and win all 12 points available to us – just hammer at the opposition while ensuring our defence stays fully focussed on its job until the final whistle’s blown.

    Oh, and it might help if Rafa were to demonstrate (ala Fergy) that he’s watching the time and that it’s not being double counted between the ref and the official timekeeper.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #17

    I said they have, just said they haven’t done much better.

  • JamesToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #18


    Wouldn’t go as far as hull, he’s really developed huddersfield into a decent team, yeah ofc him, Stam or even better Eddie Howe could be potential successors one day I’d hope, but not anytime soon hopefully

  • JamesToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #19

    And yeah I’d say there are definitely 10/15 managers proven to be better than him in the world obviously, but you just have to look at the trophies he’s won.

    At the moment out of all the prem managers, the only ones who are better than Benitez I’d say are Pochettino, Mourinho, Guardiola, Conte, then its very debateable as to whether Wenger, Klopp and Koeman are

  • JamesToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #20

    Brighton do deserve the title simply because they have grinder out more results where we have lost them, but make no bones they have had their fair share of luck and refereeing decisions, whereas we could potentially have had another 3/4 points if it wasn’t for ridiculous refereeing decisions (forest away springs to mind)

  • Vask

    Apr 16, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #21

    Aye, I agree forest was ridiculous. But the precedent was set first day of the season against fulham when there was a blatant penalty ignored for us at 0-0 since then the refs have seemed to see us as fair game for poor decisions. Not forgetting Burton at home a few weeks ago. Stupid ref made me hoarse from the abuse I had to send his way.

  • toon22

    Apr 16, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #22

    Some of the decisions from refs this season have gone from baffling to near criminal.
    Its obvious someones decided we aint getting the rub of the green,its not been unluck for it to have happened for a full season.
    What other teams had to put up with it this season ?

  • Moonraker15

    Apr 16, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #23

    Some fans don’t accept that Rafa is the only reason we are getting promoted (apart from Charnley who appointed him) !
    Faced with losing 4 big players he rebuilt the team with the sole purpose of getting out of this league and we all know how hard it is! Don’t compare with the last promotion because even Hoots admits it was stronger than his present team and ours. Rafa is in the top 6 managers in the PL never mind this one. Expectations are greater for us and other teams make it their cup final when they play us. If Leeds played with the intensity shown against us, every week, they would be in the top 2!
    Let’s just appreciate where we are and look forward to next season – with Rafa !

  • JamesToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #24


    Exactly, thats also been a factor this season, we’ve been the team to beat this season, everyone wants to come to SJP and get something, frustrate the crowd etc

  • sparky55

    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #25

    This rub of the green thing is a bit ridiculous really…we’ve had just as many lucky moments as we’ve had bad referee decisions and as the old saying goes it evens itself over the season.

    We may not deserve to win the title but certainly deserve our top two slot but may yet be denied that unless we play the rest of the season like we did on Friday night.

  • Fostino

    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #26

    Players that could potentially move to toon this summer.

    Townsand. .maguire..McCartney. .sigurdson..jenkinson..Carroll. .sturridge. ….Chambers. ..c. Taylor …

    What 3 would you pick???

  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #27

    What we need to do is forget about what Brighton (flying rats) and Terriers (Ankle biters) are doing. Forget about who we could, should and wouldn’t sign etc. Forget about the refs been a bag of w@nk in this league. We can’t change non of that sh1t so let’s concentrate on these last 4 fcuking games and getting maximum points.

    Let’s get concentrate on getting behind the lads and getting the fcuking job done ffs!

    Brighton can have the title for me. They’ll struggle next season.

    Fcuk the lot of em.


  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #28


    Statistically it doesn’t even out over the season. That’s just another lazy cliche.

    Brighton certainly have had the better calls and Huddersfield increasingly are getting favourable calls.

    We’ve had some absolutely horrendous officiating to bear, this season, though the 5 mins extra time the other night was fair, the penalty call on Mbemba was wrong.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #29

    Look at West Brom’s line-up. Robson-KAnu, Fletcher, Brunt, Livermore, Jonny Evans.

    Horrendous and that’s from a fully-fit squad. Pulis has earned his corn there.

    They’re 8th in the PL!

    Don’t buy that the gulf between the PL and Championship has grown in the last 10 years. The gulf between the top 6 and the rest certainly has, but the rest in the PL are much of a muchness aside from the abject Sunderland.

    If anything a well-run club has a much better chance of establish themselves now and should we make it not many have better foundations outside those currently top tier clubs.

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #30

    Shire rook
    I wish you’d just say what you mean! 🙂
    Gonna rename you SFT!

  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #31

    Call me whatever you want mate so long as it’s not Cnut lol.

    I live life in catchphrase, say what you see.

    No point beating round the bush

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #32

    You got a ticket for Preston at home mate? You are in for a treat if it’s owt like the mood v dirty Leeds!

  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #33

    No mate, working so can’t make it,

    Barnsley sold out so that’s me done for this season. Membership or season ticket next season for me so I don’t miss out 🙂

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #34

    Good man!
    Liverpool are making heavy weather of this. Pulis blueprint on show. Could be watching Stoke.
    Fat Sam doing what he does with Palace.
    Now all we need is Rafa to mundanely do his European Cup routine at the toon!

  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #35

    Unless someone has a spare ticket for me on here for Barnsley game 🙂

  • magspuggy

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #36

    When you think back to last season and the squad they all said was too good to get relegated ( yeah right)
    To be sitting looking at who we should buy for our new premier squads is an awesome achievement.

  • ron burgundy

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #37

    The best thing Penfold could appoint , is a sharp stick to his butt

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #38

    There’s a facebook page called newcastle face value tickets, try your luck on there.

  • lesh

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #39


    And assuming Rafa wants to sell Gayle. Were he sold at Ashley’s behest and over his head, then Rafa’ll be gone

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 16, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #40

    Rafa’s the best manager we’ve ever had. His CV says it all. His last job was Real Madrid and his removal was purely political. As for those on here who think they know better than him, grow up. Ever thought he might change it if it wasn’t working? Despite the moans and groans, we’re on target for what we set out to do – get promoted. So it is working and changing is risky. Reality is nothing like Football Manager or FIFA – NOTHING. It’s embarrassing to listen to some ‘experts’ on here. Rafa assembled this team to play his way and we’ve been top two all season. We’ll never be good enough for some people, but they live on the planet Zargon somewhere. Every single game we’ve lost has been down to individual errors. Mistakes made by Championship players eh, who’d’ve thought it? It happens, get over it. All that matters is we go up, nothing else. He inherited a club in turmoil and has transformed it. Show some respect for what he’s done. Everybody around me, where I sit in the ground, is happy with this season. No coincidence that.

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