Newcastle Can Be Successful This Season – Players Anxious To Prove Themselves


One 0f the reasons we still think Newcastle will have a decent season and finish in the top ten is for a number of reasons.

Our squad is probably better than we think it is and that’s been shown over the last two games when new players like Mikel Merino, Javier Manquillo and Joselu have all looked good.

And there is real competition for most positions in the side, and even Jonjo Shelvey will have a challenge on his hands to get his place in the side with young Mikel Merino looking so good.

Rafa could also play Jonjo in the number 10 position so both midfield players along with Isaac Hayden – all excellent players technically – could be in the starting line-up.

Maybe the biggest reason for success is what we saw Rafa do when he came into the club a year last March, and after four games he had us playing like a top six side with 12 points from our last six games.

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

We have a stronger squad than last season and hopefully owner Mike Ashley will allow Rafa to bring in maybe three new players in January.

Another reason for potential success is that our players from last year, who have now been with Rafa for over a year and know what he expects,  are determined to prove they are good enough to play in the Premier League.

Ayoze Perez has talked about this today as reported in the Northern Echo:

“People haven’t really been talking about the players that were here last season, but that is normal when the window is open,” 

“There are always a lot of rumours about what is or isn’t going to happen, and you have to deal with that.”

“There was talk about what players might come in, but we know the team we have and we know how strong we can be.”

“We still have to do a lot of work, and we can improve a lot, but we know how good we are. This dressing room has a lot of ambition, and we all have the desire to win games.”

“That is going to be important right the way through the season.”

“We have players here who went through relegation, and we want to put that right and show what we can do in the Premier League.” “We had to go into the Championship and had a tough year.”

“Nobody feels good when you get relegated, but we worked very hard to get back into this league. Now we are here, we want to show everyone that we deserve to be here.”

“We have to keep that mentality because it is going to be a long, tough season. We have to keep going in the same way we have been in the last two games.”

“We have two wins a row, but the most important thing is that we are still working on what we have to do,” “We know the mentality we have to have, and that is important.”

“The results are going to give us some confidence, and now we are playing at home in front of our fans, which is always great. “

“We will see what happens then.”

So Rafa has assembled a squad that is hungry to do well this season, coupled with competition in almost every position in the side and that augers well for Newcastle.

If we keep playing like we have over the last two games, we will win more games than we will lose this season.

We’ll all know better by the end of the year, but whatever league position we are in on January 1st, we hope Rafa is allowed to strengthen the squad in the next transfer window.

If he isn’t then the manager could still walk this summer, and that would be a real tragedy for both the Newcastle United Football Club and for our faithful fans around the world.

We hope that doesn’t happen and it’s one reason we expect to do a lot better than most pundits think we’ll do this season.

Hope so!

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



You can share this articleShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePin on PinterestDigg thisShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

162 comments so far

  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 12, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #1

    Not being funny Ed but if this squad is stronger than last season, how come we lost to both Huddersfield and Forrest this season but beat them both last season.

    1
  • Jack Root

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #2

    Welsh
    In turn. How come we outclassed WHU who then comfortably beat H’fd? It takes time to bed new players into a preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Simpler response- that’s football.

    On Sunday playing 4-2-3-1 as a formation it was a masterpiece of flexibility, but when played poorly it can be slow and cumbersome. As it was in the H’fd game.

    If the midfield bands are forced back and compressed into a 4-5-1, the striker can be left isolated with very little support. The full-backs, key to modern attacking football, can also be trapped behind their midfield line. We didn’t turn up.

    14
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #3

    I’d think it’s a given that our squad is stronger than it was last season. We’ve added the likes of Lejeune, Merino, Joselu and Murphy and trimmed the deadwood.

    Is it strong enough? Depends who you ask and for what your expectations are this season but it is definitely stronger relative to last season.

    11
  • hellodjo

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #4

    Very silly to say how come x beat y and y beat z etc etc. Personally I think the first 2 games Gayle starting upfront alone was a big issue, that said obviously Shelvey sending off prevented us from getting a result against Tottenham but every since Joselu came on against Huddersfield we’ve had the ability to threaten in every game, target man is key to our game. Would of been interesting if Joselu got the start instead of Gayle in that game who knows, but yeah that’s football win some lose some bad performances and good performances happen for whatever reason.

    The forest game was basically zero players from starting 11, not too fussed about it to be honest the priority is premier league survival and we look solid and set for mid table judging from our performances. You don’t need a 15 goal striker to survive in the prem you need organisation, team work, work rate and ultimately good defence, once you study where teams finished last year and see how many goals their top GS got you realise this.

    Squad is obviously stronger than last season and the season we were in the prem beforehand, Merino, Joselu, Lejeune in particular plus the development of younger players coming to the fore

    9
  • Jack Root

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #5

    Welsh – On the Toon. There was a collective commitment to do well. Players and fans alike.
    Clement summed it up succinctly “we were second best in duels, tactics and first and second balls” – well something like that.
    Clement was the only Swan, who impressed me- unusually frank and honest for a football manager. I thought Joselu had scored with the header- so Fabianski did well.
    Pleased we had no interest in Clucas- wasn’t sure about Merino and rigours of Premiership but he rode a number of serious challenges.

    12
  • Munster Mag

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #6

    Tried to comment a few times but mobile dumped my efforts. Gotta say I was really impressed on saturday, not just with the compact defence and player honesty, but some of the passing on show was very good too. I think the criticism of Perez is way OTT . He looked wrecked at the end and really put in a lot of effort which is more than plenty have done in the past.

    9
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #7

    Munster

    He’s shite mate, he runs around but he’s shite. That may be enough to play No 10 in your book but many would disagree.

    1
  • AncientC

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #8

    Jack Root, the team wasn’t set up as a 4-2-3-1 on Sunday. The 4 across midfield were operating parallel to each other.

    0
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #9

    AncientC…that’s because our 4-2-3-1 is more of a 4-4-1-1 when it comes to it…4-2-3-1 just sounds more exotic 😉

    3
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #10

    Didn’t Huddersfield beat us last season too?

    0
  • toontaff2

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #11

    Who impressed Munster on Saturday, like?

    0
  • Chancel be a fine thing

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #12

    the next Mike
    Yes, beat us at home; we beat them away.

    1
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #13

    Munster…SDJ wasn’t great in the #10 spot, neither was Diame and Perez is inconsistent…one might think it has to do with the formation, but surely that’s just a coincidence 🙂

    …but I am all for trying a few more players in that loveable formation of ours…because adjusting the formation is ludicrous I’ve been told

    2
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #14

    Munster…but I agree with you on Perez…he gets too much stick on here…but what can you do 😉

    3
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #15

    Ron…if you are about how was the game last night? I missed it…life happened I think 😀

    0
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #16

    Jesper

    You love a bit of formation tinkering mate 😛

    No 10 is number 10 whether it’s a 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1 or in a 4-4-2 diamond – the man just isn’t good enough to play there.

    3
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #17

    I think 7th place is up for grabs this year. Koeman is only good and building defences and he’s lost their goalscorer so I think they’ll not be as good as usual. And I’m not sure how good Southampton will be with a new manager although they usually choose good ones.

    1
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #18

    The sarcasm is beneath you though mate. You’ve made the case for changing our formation after back-to-back PL victories which makes no sense at all mate.

    2
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #19

    Ruddy…I am not a conservative person and I definitely doesn’t mind tweaking stuff if I think it will make the product better…

    0
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #20

    *don’t mind

    0
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #21

    Ruddy…the sarcasm is there because that is what I get in return for other poster…it was not directed at you mate. I thought we had a constructive conversation last night…other comments after that (from others) were less than constructive

    0
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #22

    Jesper

    The case you’ve made will undoubtedly weaken our defence which is the platform from which we’ve earned these victories. If we played a 4-4-2 diamond or 3 at the back or something like that we’d have left our full-backs exposed which is insanity in my mind.

    You keep talking about how it will ‘make the product better’ but you don’t actually explain how…

    2
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #23

    Ah Jesper I thought you were aiming it at me 😛 All is well then!

    I’ve always been able to have good chats with you about football, tactics, player selection (and music too!) so I know we can have constructive chats.

    0
  • hibbit

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #24

    jesperfuglsang

    Rafa’s not going to change his system / set up
    he’s happy with the way its going the players look happy playing it
    why on earth would he change it especially on the back of 2 very good wins with a very difficult game coming up

    as far as a number 10 go’s we don’t have one , we all know Rafa wanted one but the clowns above mucked it up all he can do is use the players in the squad he has

    26
  • toontaff2

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #25

    Another episode of Formations, Finances and Fights.
    Starring Jester, Jeremy and Bladeuser.

    13
  • toontaff2

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #26

    Hibbit, the stiffs were basically playing the same system, last night and as the commentators pointed out, this means hey old be able to fit into the first team system, easily, if needed.

    0
  • toontaff2

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #27

    they would = hey old!

    0
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #28

    Toontaff

    I didn’t catch the u-23s last night but I heard that Shelvey was playing in a more advanced position last night – could this be in preparation for him slotting into the No 10 role against Stoke do you think?

    0
  • toontaff2

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #29

    I doubt Rafa will change the system, throughout this season, no matter how many formations are discussed!

    0
  • BenArfa the magician

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #30

    No way is Rafa going to drop his golden boy Perez no matter how he plays. Watching the reserves last night Rolando had a mare but Fernandez looks a very tidy little player.

    1
  • toontaff2

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #31

    I didn’t think Shelvey played well enough to warrant a start on Saturday. He was deeper first half, but was everywhere but deep, second half, meaning the no.10 for Norwich ran the show – we could easily have lost, last night. Aarons looked poor, too. Fernandes (half time for Aarons) and Roberts were very good.

    0
  • Chancel be a fine thing

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #32

    On Perez, I find him a bit frustrating; all too often I find myself groaning as one of his little flick and turns doesn’t come off and we lose possession. Like a few on here, I would like to see someone else (not Diame) tried in that position. Sometimes when his flicks and turns come off, he looks good; and he scores/gets in scoring positions quite often. Another skill he has is bringing the ball under control with his shin/knee while running at pace. He did it in the Swansea game when he got through on goal. I used to think he got lucky, but have seen him do this quite a few times. Other positives are his work rate, and there was that pass to set up Mitrovic. He seems to be a Rafa favourite, maybe everything he tries comes off in training, maybe he’s a very nice young man. In the world of football egos, an inoffensive personality can go a long way.

    5
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #33

    Thanks for the updates lad. Yeah I heard Shelvey didn’t seem interested, so with that in mind I’d look to keep Merino and Hayden in the centre of the park.

    The No 10 conundrum is an issue that needs resolved. I’d still start Shelvey due to his quality, and he’s much more physical than Perez and we’ll need that against Stoke.

    I don’t subscribe to the idea of moving Richie to No 10 just yet either as I’ve not seen enough from Murphy to suggest he’s ready for a regular starting spot though.

    2
  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #34

    Catchy in Norway

    I am a fool, a pedant, ignorant and arrogant to boot. I can also laugh at myself!
    I bear you no grudge and have not singled you out from any historical comments.
    I hope you can move on from my insulting feedback with no malice.

    1
  • hibbit

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #35

    we all know Rafa wont change the system so if he doesn’t play Perez in that position who would you play there ?????????????????????

    1
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #36

    Ruddy…I cannot fathom how a 4-3-3 will weaken our defense…it will take pressure of it and strengthen our offence. At the same time we will be able to deal with the Achilles heal of our formation…the #10 spot.

    It will also enable us to play Hayden, Merino and Shelvey together were they are best…in my opinion.

    0
  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #37

    Perhaps “not interested” was a little too strong, Shelvey looked like it was a little beneath him to be in the U23s.

    0
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #38

    hibbit…the argument of adjusting the formation is not raise on the back of two wins…it was there last season and when we lost to Spurs and Huddersfield…it will be there again when we lose once more!

    Why do you keep saying Rafa won’t adjust the formation? I can find you an interview where he says otherwise…unless you have a direct quote or something please stop saying stuff like it’s a fact. It great you don’t think he’ll adjust the formation or think he should…not sure why you keep addressing me with that notion?

    I am well aware of your opinion!

    0
  • hibbit

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #39

    Lindisfarne
    ” not interested ” was the perfect description from his part in the game i watched

    1
  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #40

    Jesper

    Playing 4-3-3 means that you lose the covering support of wingers tracking back. Richie does a lot of work support his fullback as well as going forward. I assume in a 4-3-3 you’d be playing the likes of Atsu or Richie in much more advanced positions which would limit their ability to track back.

    Undoubtedly it would give us more going forward but it isn’t the most prudent use of the players at our disposal, especially when you could shift Shelvey into No 10, drop Perez and keep Hayden and Merino in CM playing the same system and starting all 3 of them.

    0
1 2 3 5

You must log in to post a comment.