Newcastle’s Forgotten Player – Our Man Of The Match At Huddersfield

Huddersfield’s new signing from Montpellier – Steve Mounie – is excellent in the air which is one reason why Rafa paired Ciaran Clark together in central defense.

And Cancel Mbemba ended up in the unfamiliar role of left-back, but the DR Congo International got stuck in well and had a good game, and his positioning was also quite good.

So good that he ended up as our best player at the John Smith’s Stadium yesterday in the 1-0 loss.

Chancel Mbemba got 27% and with 22% of the vote in second place was Mikel Merino, who deputized for Jonjo Shelvey and played well although the young 21-year-old still has a lot to learn.

And Mikel will become a much better player this season under Rafa Benitez because he has what it takes in both skills and attitude.

Third in the voting was Matt Ritchie who put in another 100% complete performance for the side.

Matt was also unlucky to see the Terrier’s goalkeeper make a fantastic save from his right footed shot after 16 minutes that looked like it was going into the goal just inside the post.

Other players who looked good for Newcastle included new signing Joselu who looked energetic up front compared to the disappointing Dwight Gayle and center-back Ciaran Clark also had another good game.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player At Huddersfield?

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Comments welcome.

332 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Well, that’s my quota for now.

    Ed, can you turn the a/c on now?

  • hibbit

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #2

    the championship is one of the hardest leagues in the world especially if your trying to get out of it !!!

  • Ben Afri

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #3

    Thanks @BenbulbenMag and Hibbit and Belfast

  • Toonces

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #4

    Mbemba did rather well on Sunday and last week also.

    A friend of mine from Congo talked about how well Mbemba has done for their national team playing defensive midfield.

    We need a little steel in that part of the pitch. Maybe Mbemba should get a proper look there.

  • jayphoto

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #5

    Didn’t think Mbemba did that well tbh.. he did as well as can be expected but we suffered down the left as a result of his unfamiliarity with the position.
    Marino impressed me, needs to adapt the speed but always looked forward and never copped out and played it easy or aimlessly into the channels.
    Worth remembering me were without 4 first team starters yesterday in Yedlin, LeJeune, Dummett and shelvey aswell as Gayle being only half fit.
    If we add a goalkeeper and striker as expected that side will be 6 players different to what might be first choice in September…

  • Toonces

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #6

    In regards to our reported interest in Nuhu at Young Boys. I hear they have another young defender who looks like he can do the business. Name is Mbabu. Heard they bought him for just about 1M. Probably would now be too expensive for a club like ours. Too bad.

  • Ben Afri

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #7

    Anyway, back to footy…

    I almost hate myself for saying this after he almost single handedly got us the goals last season, but does anybody (I’m feeling guilty about this) think that Gayle is incapable of pitching up at this level? I thought so last year but I wanted to reserve judgement at the time.
    Also, and I know his name divides many on here, but does anyone think that Mitro should at least be second choice behind Joselu, who made a really good impact this weekend? This is provided we don’t get any more strikers.
    I just think that Gayle really is out of his depth here because strikers at this level don’t just make their name on goals alone…but being able to brink the rest of the team in…something that Joselu seemed to do almost imediately. I think he has goals in him. As for Mitro, yes he may struggle for goals but at least (in my opinion) he can hold up the ball. I think he makes a better number 10 than anyone we have at the club currently, with Joselu playing number 9.
    Wishful thinking us playing with two strikers, I know…

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Ibiza,, I hope you don’t blame us, it isn’t our fault.
    We don’t have anything to do with how the club is run, we just get behind the team the best we can. When the most loyal fans in the country get blamed for the way a club is, then football is finished.
    Newcastle United is more than a football club. It’s a beacon for the north east. It’s about saying this is us and we’re proud to be from the north east. It’s sticking the fingers up at the bias shown towards London and the south in everything else, from jobs to financing the infrastructure.
    This is OUR football club and we’ll support it through thick and thin and I will never, ever apologise for that.
    Somebody on here the other day said people on the other side of the globe will never understand that – not me by the way – and to an extent he’s right. Football is a religion here. I know it’s an old cliché but it’s true. Like I say, it’s, about telling the rest of the country something in the best way we can.
    For others outside the area, a lot of them relate to that. Working class people who love the fact that our loyalty is above and beyond the call of duty. It’s difficult to explain, but it really is more than a football club. Nobody travelling miles to watch us can be called a glory hunter, can they?
    Far from it, but something draws them here.
    The fans are the lifeblood of the club mate and always will be, so yes, I do get annoyed when we get called by fans who don’t go to games.
    But it’s not about ME. I’m just one of 50k, like once I was one of ten thousand. I use the term me because I’m there and can only speak for myself. Like I CAN speak for those who sit around me, because we discuss this and I know how they feel as well.
    Football is an addiction in a way,albeit a nice one. We get angry. We get frustrated. We say we’ll never go again – but we do.
    I won’t apologise for it either. I wear my loyalty to my club like a badge of honour mate, I wish people could get that. We don’t go to support Ashley. Nobody I know likes Ashley, we prefer to ignore him as best we can, like we ignored all the other money grabbers who owned the club before him.
    It’s those eleven men on the pitch that matter. Nothing else. And if we were in the Conference, we’d still go. I wish people would try to understand that more.


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  • jayphoto

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #9

    come to think about it, Murphy will probably be ahead of Atsu once upto speed too… its possible that come September the only players that started yesterday that will be first choice will be Clark, Hayden and Ritchie.. possibly Perez.. but think he needs to show a lot more

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #10

    Good to see Mbemba back in contention!

  • optimistic prime

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #11


    I never said it was the fans fault, no where ever have I said that.

    WHAT I said was you’re a narcissist who says the only fans who’s opinions count are the ones in the ground which you’ve said many many times. Which smells as bad as Ashley’s PR.

    If you don’t care about my opinion or other why are you always whingeing and bleating on about them in 1000 word posts?

  • Ben Afri

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #12


    I actually do think Mbemba did pretty well considering he is not a left back. I hear you though…he was caught out of position a few times…but his cutting out of crosses and his tackles actually gives me more faith in him if he is to be played in his actual position…In my opinion he should be third choice CB

  • jayphoto

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #13

    Ben Afri – I think Gayle can do it at this level… but not as a lone striker, only as a 2.
    Would love us to try man citys formation of 3-1-4-2.. be way too offensive and risky for Benitez though but is it me or do Gayle and Mitro just look like their attributes would compliment each other perfectly? Not a big mitro fan, especially as a lone striker but his hold up play, flick ons and knock downs are good, Gayle is good at running into channels and in behind and a good finisher, Mitro is a bit of a wrecking ball…
    Even in a leciester style 4-4-2 it could work… I know playing 2 up top is a risk but Perez offered bugger all defensively anyway.. last few seasons Burnley and Leicester have made a 4-4-2 work, burnley stayed up with one of the weakest teams to avoid relegation ive ever seen.
    The 4-2-3-1 Benitez likes works well with flying full backs.. but when yedlin is out and literally no options on the left, the system is a bit of a bust.. think its going to be time for Benitez to play the system that suits the players rather than forcing players to suit the system…

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #14

    Op, I’m entitled to my opinion and don’t care what you think pal. I was talking about those who blame the fans, not those who can’t go to games, so what exactly was your point?
    I clearly and distinctly – nothing unambiguous about it – was talking to those who once again started saying it’s our fault. I said NOTHING about those who can’t go. So, again, what is your point.
    You haven’ t answered any of the points I raised, so I still don’t know wtf you were talking about, if it wasn’t about fans who slag off those who bother their arse to spend their money to follow the team.
    Again, I wasn’t talking about me, I stated the 50k who turn up, not me.
    You want to discuss it, I’m all ears, but I’ve put my points and you won’t answer them. So I take it it’s just a personal attack, because my defending the 50k best fans in the country has somehow offended you. Go back and read it. I use the term ‘we’ not ‘I’.

  • lochinvar

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #15

    Burnley have signed striker Chris Wood from Leeds United for a club record transfer fee, thought to be about £15m The 25-year-old scored 44 goals in 88 appearances after joining the Championship side from Leicester City in July 2015.

    And where is Charnley today, still in Italy or sharing the Hob Nobs with the Ground staff to check on how the grass is growing……under his feet no doubt but we need action man,action, Leap to it.

  • hellodjo

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #16

    Ben Afri i’d of started Joselu vs Huddersfield, called it before the game that Gayle isn’t right at the moment and the game showed that, don’t think he can be our main striker in the prem with the system we’re looking to play. Would of been interesting to see how the game would of gone had we started with Joselu, he offers so much more

  • Nufc-83

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #17

    I would agree with Jay in that Gayle cant play an isolated role up top. 442 or even having the wingers press higher up will bring out the bets in him. At the moment there is no doubt we need a big guy playing that central role.

    Bobby can you stop writing 1000 word essays there boring as hell.

    Essex bill Geordie I think you need to remove your black and white glasses. We were not as good as spurs until Shelvey went off at all but we were limiting them to half chances generally but creating nothing ourselves. Huddersfield dominated us in the first half and we picked up a bit in the second but overall we were the weaker team.

  • Ben Afri

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #18


    You make a good point. I think I’m most likely writing him off too soon. But I think you’re right if he played the number 9 role and either Mitro or Joselu playing the hold up role…so no, you’re certainly not alone in your thinking.

  • Average_Contents

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #19


    Our manager should just get on with it and stfu eh?

    That fat slug can say what he wants in a scripted interview. An interview basically full of guff and straw man arguments.

    That’s ok though, he can do no wrong.

    The first world class manager we’ve had in years who says it like it is instead of the endless list of “I’ll bend over and say what you want” men and he’s being told to zip it by none other than our resident super volcano.

    What a first class bullhead you are.

    27.6 on the Richter scale.

  • Ben Afri

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #20


    I completely agree there. I was surprised Rafa chose Gayle as the lone striker again. As the sole striker, I’d agree that it should either be Joselu (preferably) or Mitro. And as jayphoto suggested, Gayle in the mix but only if we play with two strikers.

  • Krul To Be Kind

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #21

    I’m usually positive but from what I seen yesterday and what it lacked stinks of internal problems and I’d lean to agreeing with Bobby on this that the outspoken team criticism from wor Rafa is not the brightest thing he’s ever done… This may have worked at his previous clubs but won’t work here. Where it has worked in the past for him the fans quickly forget when the results reflect the improvements. We all know what Ashley is capable off and he won’t give in, the difference is Rafa has worked with him for year, he’s screwed us over for 10 or so which means we know absolutely what he is capable off compared to Rafa… I just think if we don’t get anymore in which is a distinct possibility then the atmosphere being created with public outcries of a poor team coming from the manager could have an absolutely toxic and irreparable affect on our season.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #22

    I have never said my opinion is more important than other fans’ either. That’s just another one of those myths that develop when people who can’t put across a decent argument use so many times people begin to believe it’s true. Like the one that says I said I was the best fan in the world. Utter bollox, voiced by those who can’t construct a proper discussion.
    Can’t remember who it was, some Nazi – possibly Goerbells – said something along the lines of ‘if you tell a lie often enough, the fools will eventually believe it’.
    Never said once. What I have said, and believe it because it’s true, is that match going fans are a different breed to armchair fans, maybe that’s what you meant? I stand by that statement, why would I not?
    Match going fans make long journeys often, even when the games are on TV. It’s about being part of something. It’s an addiction in a way, a love in another. Some people prefer to sit at home watching, their choice. Just as our choice is to go and offer our support. Like I say, a different breed. There is a difference whether that butt hurts people or not. That applies to fans across the world, not just here.

  • Tsunki

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #23

    Ha ha bobby’s posts are an epic without copying and pasting the whole page lol.

    Just one little observation, bobby – not a good idea to say you don’t care what someone thinks and then write an exhaustive manifesto on the subject 😀 lacks conviction imho lol

  • Reilly

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #24

    is rafa above criticism now like.Because he made a reet pigs ear of sunday,plus he would have money now if he didnt waste it last summer on the likes of hanley and sels.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #25

    It can’t have had a good effect on morale when Rafa has told 12 or so players that they no longer have a future and to train with the reserves till they are sold?! Some of those players are on better wages than the ones who are playing!!

    I feel for Rafa the club and certain players have let him down big time some of whom were his signings and others were already at the club !

    This already has a similar feeling to when Mclaren was manager we didn’t get the right players in and looked unprepared once the games started and it looks the same our players don’t even look that fit either!

  • lochinvar

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #26

    From Football Italia
    Newcastle United have reportedly been rejected by Stevan Jovetic but are preparing a €14m bid for Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet.
    According to Corriere della Sera, Jovetic knocked back offers from Newcastle and Sevilla as he would prefer to stay at Inter.
    However, the newspaper notes “he could end up at Valencia”, who are close to signing the forward’s teammate Geoffrey Kondogbia.
    Gazzetta dello Sport, meanwhile, corroborates claims that Magpies scouts were at Marassi on Sunday to watch Praet help Samp beat Benevento 2-1.
    The attacking midfielder, 23, has been a regular player for the Blucerchiati since arriving from Anderlecht last summer.
    Rafa Benitez’s side are in desperate need of reinforcements after losing both of their opening Premier League matches.

    You can say that again

    However, the newspaper notes “he could end up at Valencia”, who are close to signing the forward’s teammate Geoffrey Kondogbia.

    Gazzetta dello Sport, meanwhile, corroborates claims that Magpies scouts were at Marassi on Sunday to watch Praet help Samp beat Benevento 2-1.

    The attacking midfielder, 23, has been a regular player for the Blucerchiati since arriving from Anderlecht last summer.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #27

    83, don’t read them then you clown, nobody asked you to. Don’t tell me what to write on an open blog. I don’t tell anybody else, I simply discuss it.

    AC, you crawl out the woodwork with another well constructed post about football I see? Ha ha ha! Same old same old.
    Read what I wrote, I did not say Rafa has to take anything. I said he needs to go and kick Ashley’s door in and sort it out man to man, and stop dissing his players. Two separate issues. Anybody with any football nous – so I’ll excuse you and explain it AGAIN – knows that football is a confidence game. Telling your players they’re not good enough? Really? Good management? Not at all and he should know better.
    His problem is with Ashley, as is all of ours. He’s the only one who can even try and get through to him, but doing it through the press won’t work.
    Tell you what, go read what I put instead of just turning up talking crap as you always do. I explain it in clear English. It’s nothing like what you say. Did jail text you because he was struggling to answer? Oh bless. Human Centipede strikes again. 🙂
    We all know what needs to be done and only Rafa can do it, but I doubt Ashley reads the sports press so he needs to do it face to face. Which is a million miles away from your stupid claim as to what I said. No good complaining to us, we already know it, he needs to say it to Ashley. What else do you suggest then? Jail couldn’t answer, he’s probably trying to get Niall and Biffa to answer for him. Getting you to try is no good is it? 🙂 You’re just as clueless.

  • optimistic prime

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #28


    The point I was making was that dispite your arrogant attitude towards fans that don’t go to ground, your season ticket money counts for next to nothing compared to the TV money despite what you believe.

    So when your on your high horse spouting abuse towards fans who don’t go you don’t take into account the sky subscribers who through watching the match via TV seeing the adverts that are subsidising the Epl are actually contributing more than people who go to the match.

    You seem to forget the club gets no match day revenue from ads in the ground or from refreshments, yet you believe or seem to believe if you aren’t in the stadium you can’t contribute.

    The other point was how you regard others posts and dismiss them at a glance due to your belief of what you perceive right or wrong. As you’ve showed by not even reading my posts you’re ranting about.

  • Nufc-83

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #29

    Boring Boring Bobby – new chant that lads

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #30

    We need to instruct Ed on a max cap on letters used in a post…Jesus people!

    …nobody is reading this!

  • hibbit

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #31

    optimistic prime /Bobbybee
    just agree to disagree its gone on to long. the both of you just keep repeating the same point over and over again just leave it neither is going to concede the rest of us are bored silly with the repetition

  • Spotlight Kid

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #32

    Chancel was the only worthy winner, if only for his perfect interception at the end of the first half. It is indicative of NUFC’s wastefulness and lack of vision that this excellent 22 year old (I’ll repeat, 22 year old) has been pushed to the verge of leaving the club. He is one of the few signings that are worthy of a long term deal, and a part of the club’s long term plans (even if Rafa isn’t convinced). Class player (unlike Sels & Gamez) and streets ahead of Yedlin, Lascelles and Dummett. Give him the armband now.

  • Nufc-83

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #33

    Spotlight I really don’t see Mbemba as captain material but think he should not be allowed to leave as he can play in a lot of positions (I still think CDM suits him the most and would like to see him get a good run alongside shelvey).

  • magspuggy

    Aug 21, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #34

    If the ref had got his job right that game would have been a totally differant story.
    The high boot with studs showing to mbembas head imho should have been a red card but not even a yellow was shown.
    Clark getting stood on was at least as bad as the one jonjo got sent of for last week.

    There goal was not elliots fault you could blame the defence for giving him space time after time but most keepers would struggle to stop a shot that well placed.

    We need a win in the cup to lift the squad and then stick it right up the hammers @ home to get the first 3 points needed..

  • Nufc-83

    Aug 21, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #35

    I hope people are also starting to realise that a No10 is our key position that needs to be filled.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Aug 21, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #36

    Took the precaution of copying this just in case the bus moved, which it did. And after written for what is for me a long screed I’ll keep re-posting till the bus stops.

    With time reflect over the first two games, I believe it isn’t such a bad start as a lot of us are thinking.

    Yes we lost both of them but in each one we were effectively playing against 12 men. The ref gave us very little in either of them yet was handing out fouls and cards against us like it was Xmas for the other teams.

    Sheer bad luck and one act of idiocy lost us the first one, poor finishing lost us the second (also refer to my second comment). We could and should have probably got at least 2 points from those games.

    Last seasons champions are only 3 points above us at the moment, beat WH and we could go above them plus a few other teams.

    I thought we were at least as good as Spurs until the Shelvey moment, and we were better than Huddersfield overall in that game,

    Given that we have lost key players and Rafa had to improvise against Huddersfield it wasn’t a bad showing. Better (as many have already said) substitutions would probably have changed the course of the Huddersfield one but that’s water under the bridge now.

    Wednesday will probably see some players like DeJong and Sterry (if he’s fit) getting a run out and a good win could help kick start our season.

    I hope HT is in the reserve teams for the next few matches so he can get his head in gear.


  • bladeuser

    Aug 21, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #37

    ? What makes the 50k the best fans in the country

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Aug 21, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #38

    Should have had a smiley face not a ?

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 21, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #39


    no one is above criticism, but Rafa apparently has a 75% success rate on transfers which is outstanding. yes he’ll screw up now and again, he said he was getting a squad to get us out of the championship which he duly obliged at the first attempt. No one claimed anything other than hanley was bought for insurance purposes and was very prudent at the time as previousy we were seriously understaffed and unprepared, especially in central defense.

    There has obviously been a massive disconnect between ashley and rafa and a moving of the goal posts and I know who I’d rather believe all day long. It is what it is, the fat man won’t sell at a fair price, or back his manager either. Classic Mexican stand off and as always, we the fans suffer.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 21, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #40

    I’m already done Hibbett. It is rude not to address a post aimed at you though.
    Most match going fans also have sky, so the point is moot. For every penny you give to sky, you also contribute to other clubs though. Sky sports, total contribution to NUFC is about a pound a month at best. As most on here steal the broadcast anyway, the point is actually pointless.
    Going to games isn’t all about the money either. Jesus wept. I seriously wonder sometimes, I honestly do.
    Tsunki, another part of the human Centipede. I don’t care what they say, it doesn’t bother me as you should be aware, I simply reply to them because – Der – it’s a blog.
    A blog isn’t just for you spouting crap about other people, this one is about football. Newcastle in fact. My posts are about football, unless I’m answering idiots like you who struggle to discuss football so try attacking people instead. You ain’t even good at that. 🙂

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