Benitez Thinking Of Making Changes Against Bournemouth

Rafa wants to bring in three players in the January transfer window to strengthen the side.

They are a left back a number 10 and a striker – and it’s clear from the last few appearances that Ayoze Perez and Joselu are both struggling up front.

And we do have alternatives that Rafa can try – Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic are both fit, and one of them may get a chance against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon in a game we need to win.

In the last couple of games, we have offered very little threat up front, and it may be time for Rafa to change things around a little bit.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – deserves a chance up front

We still don’t know if Mikel Merino can play on Saturday because of his injured back – but it’s unlikely.

Mikel could play in the number 10 position, and either Mitro or Dwight Gayle can play up front.

Since Joselu is being used as a target man, the better option could be to bring in Aleksandar Mitrovic from the cold and give him a start?

Rafa will have looked at the game on Monday night that was a poor game to watch, and we didn’t look like we would concede a goal until that mistake after 74 minutes.

We also didn’t look like we could score a goal although Perez had a decent shot well saved by the goalkeeper early in the second half.

Rafa is a manager who tends to use his squad during the season, but with so few games at the moment he hasn’t been forced to rest players.

But it could be time on Saturday to change things around up front, and Ciaran Clark could get a chance in the back four against the Cherries.

What do you think?

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Comments welcome.

65 comments so far

  • clinath@ed

    Nov 2, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Been thinking about this for a while, my apologies if I screw it up during the typing…But, do you think the new owners see us as potentially one of the the EPL teams that could compete in a European league?
    There has been talk for years about the BIG clubs around Europe breaking away/Creating a separate SUPER league, qualification based on Club value etc etc….
    Any one want to expand on this, or am I just waffling??

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #2

    Who are you kidding Jib…you never skip my posts

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #3

    Tooninc…I am not sure I agree there mate…

    A player is an investment that can either turn a profit or it can be a bad investment…

    New tires are nothing but an outlay …it won’t sway either way!

    Bad analogy if you ask me mate 😉

  • cyprus

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #4

    If this fellow plays he must know that he has more than ten minutes to prove his point. A run of five games, and not as a sub. This will help him settle, he won’t do anything silly and he’ll confirm his international class.

    Or not. But we haven’t given him a proper chance. On discipline, look at Shelvey getting more chances, and succeeding on that front. On football, Joselu (hasn’t really scored, to be fair) Gayle have been given plenty of opportunities.

    Let’s cut him some slack, he’s an Nufc player. And don’t groan when he misses a chance. He’ll reward you by scoring the next 😉

  • lochinvar

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #5

    You’re spot on. I’ve also thought this is a possibility and ultimately the European Super League will be run on the lines of F1 Racing. A core of mega brands such as Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull translate to Juventus, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid etc with a next level of clubs to make up the numbers. Eventually the circus will tour the globe and you can expect selected games to be played in China, USA and the Middle East in front of 125,000 fan stadiums.
    It’s not rocket science for the organisers to recognise that NUFC has in fact more potential than say Man City and that possibly we and Spurs are identified as the next generation of super clubs.
    Check out Golf, Tennis ,Motor Racing and in part. American Football. There’s a new age coming.

  • Jib

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #6

    Rafa really “gets” NUFC like SBR did.

    What it means to the City and it’s
    entanglement in the fabric of the region.

    If we could achieve ownership that “get”
    it too it would be great

    That’s why if these rumours are true
    I hope Rafa is involved on the proprietary
    side as well

  • Jib

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #7

    Matt Ritchie hopefully will up his game against
    his old club on Saturday , but another player with
    something to prove is Christian Atsu.
    He was loaned by Chelsea to Bournemouth for
    a full season and the Cherries didn’t give him
    one second of first team footy

  • yorkymag

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #8

    There is not a chance mitro will play
    He won’t even be in the squad ,Rafa has given up on him.
    He has had chance after chance and has shown he is not able to fit in .
    To slow not able to bring others in and please get of Joselu back he is not the greatest but his link up play and passing as well as the number of headers he wins are a cut above mitro

  • EllaGuru

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #9

    @ yorkymag

    Did you watch the game on Monday night? Joselu’s hold-up play, link-up play and passing were all poor. The ball did not stick when we got it up to him, and invariably resulted in us turning over possession cheaply.
    I am all for giving the lad a chance (which he has had over the last number of games), but there must come a stage where someone else is given a chance (Mitro) again.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #10

    If we had a proper owner we could be where spurs are. We were so for ahead of them 15 years ago. Now we are light years behind them.

    They are now truly in the elite bracket and can give anyone a good game.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #11

    I’m hoping that he starts, the crowd will be behind him and after two dour performances a change is needed. What I can’t abide is that he needs to be given a chance. It’s said like he’s never been given one before. People are saying Shelvey has been forgiven, how do we know what Mitros reaction was when he was bollicked. Shelvey says he tried to hide after his sending off and issued travelling apologies. We don’t know how he reacted or what was said. Especially after he announced he didn’t even think it was a sending off.

  • yorkymag

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #12

    I was there at the game
    Hence my comments
    I am not sure tv does him justice as so much of his work is off the ball

  • hibbit

    Nov 2, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #13

    i’m sure its more than Rafa doesn’t trust him
    i think the problem is far bigger than trust when he’s on the pitch for Mitro to not even make the bench is a serious slap on the face from Rafa

  • EllaGuru

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #14

    @ yorkymag
    Unfortunately, the most important job of a targetman type forward such as Joselu is to hold-up, link-up and bring others into the game. He was completely unable to do this on Monday.

    I agree that he did a lot of closing down, however this in my opinion is not enough to warrant a start this weekend.

  • martoon

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #15

    I’m hoping at the press conference Rafa will get asked about Mitro – which will give us an insight into his future. I really hope Mitro had an injury niggle or personal problem rather than Rafa has given up on him!

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #16

    On this super league.

    What happens to the Champions league and Europa Cup or what ever it’s called.

    Will super league teams be able to play in home Cup competitions?

    Will teams be promoted and relegated or is it just a case same teams year in year out.

    I hope it doesn’t happen, this country already struggles at grass roots, I think it would be a bad idea led by greed and not the love of the game which all such decisions should be based.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #17

    I think Hibbit has a point and I fear if Rafa makes the mistake of playing Joselu once again against Bournemouth (even though he doesn’t deserve a recall) then Gayle is next in line…

    This love-in with this 4-2-3-1/4-4-1-1 is doing my head in!

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #18

    Would English clubs make more money than they already do from TV.

    I wouldn’t give up the FA Cup for a sweaty night in Asia!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #19

    Martoon…people tend to get more stubborn with age…I have an old man and he’s not getting easier as years pass by (stubborn as they come)

  • TyneMouth

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #20

    There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear’

    I think it’s safe to say that something is happening here, and there is a major lack of clarity.

    There will be an end game, obviously. MA wants out, that seems realistic, believable, and probable, regardless of why he wants to scarper. Personally, who gives a sh.. why he wants out! Good Riddance!

    There is a very reasonable possibility that Amanda is simply a stalking horse, (or mare) and that there is a serious player(s) keeping a low profile.

    Rafa is so relaxed, (which is positive) he must know more than what he states. The suspicion could be that he is involved behind the scenes, it could be his ‘revenge’ for the way he was let down in the Summer, just a thought.

    ‘Something is happening’ is for sure!

    Buckle up!

    …and enjoy the ride…

  • martoon

    Nov 2, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #21

    Jesper @19 – I don’t think it is an age thing with Rafa – I’m pretty sure, from memory, he froze out a couple of players when at Liverpool as well although I can’t remember who?

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #22

    What is the reference behind this ongoing use of :poop: emoji?

  • clinath@ed

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #23

    Martoon…was in Alonso, when he was chasing Barry?

  • cyprus

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #24

    This superleague was created and we were then involved in the secret negotiations. It was to be called the premier league or something.

    This time we are not involved.

    So quash any discussions it we’ll be playing in the also-runs league… Rich clubs getting even greedier.

  • cyprus

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #25


  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #26

    It’s lost on everyone else as well it seems!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #27

    For a serial winker like yourself I would have thought you knew what a smileypooemoji was 😉

  • clinath@ed

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #28

    Cyprus…why can we not be invited? We have a manager that sits at the top table, one of the biggest grounds and home support in Europe, a One-City club…all we need now is a mega-rich owner who is also greedy…..

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #29

    Jail…if you paid attention to what people wrote you would see I use two forms of smiley…

    …have no use for the whole catalog of emojies that I don’t even think WordPress support!

    But it would actually be nice to know if those how frequently use it knows what it means

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #30
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #31

    If it’s relevant to any of us that is…


    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #32

    Does Mitro deserve another chance? Under Rafa he has proved very little. Personally Id give him some time on the pitch instead of Joselu but I think its very unlikely to happen

    The comparison to Shelvey is an odd one though, Shelvey has proven to be a great player for us and it very much impacts the team when hes not in it same cant be said for Mitro

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #33

    There you go Jesper. Everything you need to know about the smileypooemoji and more 😀

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #34

    Ron..,I did actually look it up seeing as more and more were using it but there weren’t really a pattern…

    …it seemed it was just something a few people were posting…without a purpose really!

    So I thought I would ask

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #35



  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #37

    Well I think Shire just proved my point with the conflicting emojies…

    I’ll put this down to something not being relevant to the average blogger…

    Please continue

  • hibbit

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #38


    you got your ear to the ground because i’m hearing only 2 groups in the running to buy the club

    the others have now dropped out ??

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #39

    hibbit…I still have my £35 offer does that mean I am the front runner?

    …do you have an emoji for that one Jail

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 2, 2017 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #40

    Hibbit I’ve heard a couple of groups were fabricated to try and attract more interest.

    Shows how desperate mike is for a sale. He’s pushing big time for it to happen.


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