Rafa On Why He Had To Start Gayle – Mitrovic To Be Sold In January?

Dwight Gayle scored 23 goals for us last season in the Championship, and he is one reason we were immediately promoted back to the Premier League.

Dwight had never done too well when playing in the Premier League – but he is still a natural goalscorer – probably the best one we have in the squad.

So it wasn’t all that surprising when Rafa switched formation to 4-4-2 on Saturday against Bournemouth and played Joselu and Gayle together up front.

And in the first half, Dwight scored a perfectly good goal that was disallowed for offside, and he should have scored when he had a clear header six yards out – also in the first half.

Dwight Gayle – in action on Saturday

So Dwight does give us a goal threat, and he is very motivated to open his account for the season.

This is what Rafa Benitez has said about why he started Dwight up front:

“He was training well,”

“I was trying to find different ways to approach the game and attack.”

“In the end, we lost. But you have to say they were working hard.”

It’s getting too obvious with Joselu not doing well that Rafa is so reticent to play Mitro up front and he could even try Mitro and Gayle in a 4-4-2 formation.

Rafa had a perfect opportunity on Saturday to do just that but brought on forwards Perez and Murphy in the second half – and Mitrovic didn’t get on at all.

We could still play Dwight Gayle up front – maybe in the number 10 position – since Rafa is almost certain to return to a 4-2-3-1 formation at Old Trafford in our next game.

We have to hope the team is robust and “compact” in that game – the last thing we need now is a big defeat.

But if Rafa refuses to play Mitro before the end of the year we might as well sell him and use the funds to help bring in a couple of strikers in January.

If he wouldn’t play the Serbian in the second half on Saturday – when will he play him?

Even Dwight Gayle could be sold in January if we get a decent offer for him and can replace him.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • RUNAWAY777

    Nov 7, 2017 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #1

    First half yes they worked there socks off with no killer punch second half they backed off and let them back in they need to stay focused for 90 + mins not think they done enough 1..0 or a draw morning toontaff2 nice and crispy down the coast for jog.

  • lesh

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #2


    Geordie porgie pudding and pie

    Kissed the boys and made them cry!

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #3

    Do you not think that RAFA surprised Howe by playing 4-2-2 which Bournemouth could not get to grips with until half time when they changed their formation to accomodate our 4-2-2

  • Our Toon

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #4


    It looked like the same formation to me with joselu playing as the no10. Hence removing him for Perez

  • Our Toon

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #5

    I think 2nd half Bournemouth gave it a go, they attacked rather than sit back and concede which was always likely to happen if they carried on like the 1st half

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #6

    bit daft some people sying rafa won’t play mitro and ohers as they don’t speak spanish.
    Rafa speaks better English than many people I know.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #7

    Our Toon

    I was not sure what the formation was 4-2-2 on paper 4-4-1-1 maybe but it looked like no one was playing up front as Gayle at his best plays on the shoulder of the last man but on Saturday looked more withdrawn playing alongside Joselu in a deeper 4-2-2 if you get my drift

  • Jib

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #8


    alongside Joselu in a deeper 4-2-2 if you get my drift

    we’ll never win with 8 outfielders


  • 9

    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #9

    I’m surprised Mitro is still at the club. It was obvious last season Rafa doesn’t rate him. I think it’s a bit excessive though, Rafa, to keep ignoring him when the forwards you choose ahead of him are so useless at doing the only thing they’re paid for. But, for sure, he’s on the way out and it cannot be said he hasn’t previously had chances.Barn door and banjo spring to mind. Bring back Andy!


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