Maybe One Newcastle Player Back From Injury For Brighton

There was some good news for Newcastle with Rafa Benitez saying that central midfielder Isaac Hayden will probably be available for the game against Brighton on Saturday afternoon at St. James’ Park.

Isaac has been out for a couple of games.

But Mikel Merino did return from injury last night along with Jonjo Shelvey who served his two-match ban for being sent off late in the home game against Everton.

But it seems that center-back Florian Lejeune is still not fit with a slight injury to his foot, which he picked up in training.

We hope that’s not the same foot that kept him out at the beginning of the season after he was severely tackled by Harry Kane in the first game.

But Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jesus Gamez are still not fit.

This is what Rafa has said about the injuries:

“Maybe Hayden will be available.” “Aleksandar Mitrovic no, Jesus Gamez no.”

“I think that maybe Hayden will have a chance.”

“Lejeune had a kick in the training session and has a problem with his foot.”

“I don’t think that he will be available.”

We wonder if Henri Saivet will come back into the squad on Saturday?

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Comments welcome.

160 comments so far

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #1

    Way aye man- I h are what your saying but we weren’t compact at all

    They split us open time and time again ,you have to stay with runners and work together (harder) to stay compact

    I can see what we were trying to do but we didn’t do it well (we were too deep)

    The idea behind it was logical but we went too far the wrong way (only in my opinion)

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #2

    I hear (sorry)

    Not I h are

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #3

    See previous.
    The way the team and Rafa were applauded off with the club’s name being chanted by the whole stadium on the way out will see a nice atmosphere on Saturday. So glad the match day whiners spend their time on here whining rather than bringing their negativity in to the ground. We’re in the clarts and need all the support we can give.

  • LGFUAD21

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #4

    Mixed thoughts in yesterday’s game.

    Let’s face it. City are probably one of the best in the world so to nearly nick a point isn’t bad. Likewise to only concede 1 isn’t bad.


    They hardly had their shoot for boots on. As the commentator said 1 key ingredient for an upset is missing chances and that was there.

    Think Rafa set the team up correctly. It’s nit like we weren’t going for it at the end. Merino a bit earlier might’ve helped.

    Tactically we were good but you could see the nerves in the players. Shelves and Diame keot misplacing passes that prevented us from breaking.

    In general I did t mind watching it too much though. I think I was almost watching it out of nerves for what the damage could be.

    Thought dummet looked good. Murphy again showed flashes. Hope he can continue developing and e has potential and is direct.

  • LGFUAD21

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #5

    Also yes.

    Don’t get pundits going on about anti football.

    It was anti football but that’s because of the gulf in class between top and bottom. If the league were much fairer we would’ve have this. Pundits should be pointing the finger st the fa not the teams.

    I can’t think of a single American sport where there is a class difference the size of what we saw yesterday.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #6

    Some health and safety boffin came up with a Swiss cheese theory. No matter how unlikely an accident may seem if you line up enough slices of Swiss cheese you’ll eventually get a series of holes that will line up and cause an accident. Last night we needed all the holes to line up to get anything. If that header near the end had of been a few inches the other way we may well have snatched an unlikely point.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #7

    The Swiss Cheese Model – nice to see some culture on here! 😆

  • Our Toon

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #8

    No issues with the result, happy with the last 60mins and a little disappointed with the opening 30mins. There’s a fine balance between being defensive and not even attempting to have a go. That first 30mins we had no intention of doing anything other than defend.

    The tactic worked but more down to them being poor in front of goal rather than us defending incredibly well.

    The biggest disappointment for me was Shelvey shooting from kick off and then we retreated into essentially 2 banks of 5. I have never seen a home team give up possession like that from kick off and probably will never see that again in my life time. Thats what I believe a select few were really annoyed at.

    Anyway the big games are coming up now. If we don’t get minimum 6 points then we can ultimately kiss the season goodbye.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #9

    I was disappointed in what I saw of Aarons, second half. Looked unfit/disinterested/afraid possibly all 3? Cannot fault any other player – efforts appreciated. There may well be underlying problems -injuries/fitness/court case, transfer listed,so hope Rolando can still have a future, but not sure, on what I saw.
    Maybe Diame/Saivet/Gayle are showing Jack how to react to being close to being moved on?

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #10

    Maybe Citeh’s attack had been Joselued 😆

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #11

    Just because their forwards are so good you tend to forget that they have 50M RB’s in the team as well.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #12

    Brighton, home, Saturday 3pm.
    Stoke, away, Monday 3pm.
    Luton Saturday 6th 3pm.
    Swansea Saturday 13th 3pm.
    Citeh away, 5-30 Saturday 20th, BT, live!!!
    Minimum 1 win, 2 draws, out of the 3 PL games before Citeh.
    Stop teams around us winning.
    Guess Luton game will be a shop window game. I did put a dream team up.
    Sterry Jesus Good Haidara
    Diame Colback
    Aarons Jesper Catchy (C)

    With the captain being rotated, naturally 😉

  • Dave

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #13

    First time post but long time reader and I was caller number 8 on Mick Lowes and Rafa on talk sport. You’d know I said couple of questions but only got one they cut me off before I finished . It was a good question on giving out 5 year deals. Anyway why are some people worrying about the Venkys. The new owners aren’t likely to be stark raving mad or off their rockers.
    They could bring in an casino manager with zero football knowledge to run the club. Or maybe hire a poison dwarf fresh off I’m a celebrity to be a DOF. I’m struggling here but you know what I mean. Things are getting better thought we were unlucky not to sneak a win in the last ten minutes and catchy and Munster would have stfu.

  • Our Toon

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #14

    They also lost there best defender after 8mins as Kompany went off injured.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #15

    And BT, if you think we were defensive at home, you’ve seen nowt yet 😆

  • Klatoon

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #16

    The pundits can do one. Everton employed worse tactics in their derby and got a lucky pen for a draw. Imagine the reaction if we had got the pen and Gayles late header had crept in off the post? The term tactical genius comes to mind.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #17

    Dave, Joe’s at a loose end, too 💡
    Fcuking great manager – was manager of the month, once!

  • simon376

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #18

    Toontaff, I thought the crowd were mostly positive last night and as you said sometimes you also have to pat the opposition on the back and say well done, quite a few in the east stand where I am did clap at some of their moves. I don’t think we will ever see a team in the premier league as good as they are again, unless of course they just get better.

    I’m never going to complain about yesterday, I thought as negative as we were and had to be, we did well and came so close to a draw. Let’s just make sure we can go out and beat the teams we are capable of beating while we await the takeover and then hopefully within about 5 years or so, come close to matching Man City

  • toonincheek

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #19

    What impressed me most about ManC’s performance
    was their quick high pressing.
    Our lads were given no time whatsoever – forced into
    quick/bad passes or losing the ball.

    Usually, when teams have that much quality, motivation
    to knuckle down and graft is missing.

    Damage limitation and, late on in the game, was the only
    way we were going to get anything. I think the majority
    of us realsie that.
    OK – so being on the defensive for the first half and most
    of the second may not be exciting for those watching, but
    it would have been worse still (for us) to play our best 11,
    really go for it and suffer a morale-crunching defeat.

    Bring on BHA on Saturday.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #20

    Mitro’s apparently wanting to leave and blaming Rafa. It will all come out, soon. Would have loved to see it work out, but looks like Rafa’s looking for players to show certain characteristics that he and Colback lack.
    Never mind, lads, Mikey’s offering you a 30% discount if you trade in your Wonga Mitro tops, 5% on your old Colback tops!

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #21

    Yeah Shelvey and Daime kept misplacing passes preventing us breaking
    But there was no-one to break with – just Aarons who looked like he couldn’t be bothered and Murphy when got the ball wanted to turn and pass back.

    Showed our intention after ten minutes Guidiola substituted Kompany for Jesus

    PS anyone see the Man City banner ‘Darras Hall is’ couldn’t read what was underneath – pretty pathetic should follow your local club instead of the money and who is top – any muppet can do that!!!

  • toon kk

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #22

    I can’t be too disappointed, after all we were never going to beat City. I’d rather forget the first pathetic 30 minutes, second half I was pleased with our confidence and intent we looked like a different team.
    A few decent additions including a quality striker should be just enough for us to survive.

  • Dave

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #23

    It was Total Sport I was on talk sport after. I’ve been trying to get Ashley out for years and the first demos outside the ground were only the start. Like to get to be the fan rep on new owners board when deal done. Look for your support and to meeting the investors on board as well.

  • Dave

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #24

    What’s all the talk by Pardew apologists on him not being appreciated because his home record was better than Rafa. Don’t let the truth get in the way the reality is he was complicit in everything with Ashley in a whopping cock up.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #25

    And Chas wonders why senior posters like the well renowned murvar were driven from the blog 😮

  • giimps

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #26

    Whether Rafa trusts Mitro or not, whether he rates him or not, it’s matterless,Mitros card has been marked by the referees association from Darn sarf, whenever he does anything ( jumps for a ball with arms raised, makes a tackle, shoulder charges a player, it has to be perfect or he risks a yellow/red , opposition players know this and if there is any contact, they roll on the floor screaming and holding their faces to try and gain an advantage.
    If he was English and playing for spurs, he would never be carded or sent off…..if Rafa can sell him , raise funds and get a player without the reputation we may just be better off ….IMHO

  • Tsunki

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #27

    One of the worst things about this blog is that it allows the most skewed minds to express their views with equal space and time as every other contributor, and as they tend to be an enthusiastic minority they can seem to come out in force enough to make it seem that a great deal of fans think likewise.

    Thankfully the “heart” system has more significance than a petty approval token – if you go back through the match time posts and look at the opposing views check out the hearts awarded by readers to each view.

    For example Bobbybee made a very good appraisal of the game and tactics and the general consent of the match day fans to the way Benitez set us up to play. <B 15 HEARTS

    More than all the hearts accumulated over many posts by catchy, Munster, bladeuser, toonkk, beefman and all the usual rabid idiots too blinded by their own view to analyse properly and unbiased.

    The reason is simple. These boobs are not really interested in football, have any knowledge of tactics, business, ability….no. they are simply ardent self-publicists hoping they will be have their blog Nostradamus moment and prove to the world that it was insane, not them.

    And they would love NUFC to fail to get that. Sad, isn’t it?

  • the ledge

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #28

    Tsunki……. Spot on with that post.

  • toonincheek

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #29


    What never ceases to amaze me is that so many posters
    are so unhappy with anything and everything NUFC that
    they will NEVER be happy in life supporting NUFC.

    It’s a frustrating business, supporting our Club, but if it
    leaves you as depressed as some posters seem to be,
    then for the good of their health, they should find anopther
    club or find something else to do.

  • the ledge

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #30

    Some of the clowns last night were moaning after 10 min against one of the best team in would just love to know what kick anyone gets out of going on a blog for Newcastle supporters to act the tool. They must have a sad life!

  • TyneMouth

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #31

    When the takeover is concluded, and we have loads of dosh, and a playing squad of superstars/mercenaries, there will be times in a season when we will be playing a newly promoted side who are struggling for Premiership survival.

    It will not be surprising if our opponents chose to play ultra defensively, in the hope of either a goalless draw, or if they only loosing by a single goal nicking a late equaliser. Same as last night, but with the roles reversed.

    Although it would be extremely frustrating to watch, you would have to applaud the single mindedness of your opponents. Especially if your team weren’t filling their boots!

    We played last night, against the Champions elect, in the middle of the Xmas week, in front of Sky’s cameras. Sky choose to feature this fixture simply because it was almost certain to be a goal fest. Well sorry to disappoint the mighty Sky, this was a critical game for NUFC.

    It was important for us to complete the match with dignity, not to concede a shed full of Goals, and approach the next two games with a reasonable degree of confidence.

    Remember, Man City have scored 60 goals in only 19 games before last night’s game, they scored 4 goals in each of their last three games, they hit our post twice, which is one less than we did against West Ham.

    When armchair ‘fans’ posting here last night, claim the match to be the worst performance by a Toon side they’ve seen, obviously weren’t at Wembley in May 1974. That was a performance to be ashamed of…

  • L Toon

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #32

    It wasnt pretty by any means but once again rafa had us with a chance of getting something from the game. Hes doing a good job managing the limitations of the team. Had rafa set us up to attack we would have been torn to shreds and then been pillored for that as well. We are a championship club playing in the premier league against arguably the best team in Europe. They will beat far better teams than us by 4 or 5 goals. You can have the best game plans and tactics in the world but no manager can compensate and legislate for his players making mistakes and were full of them. Its not what you do right but what you dont do wrong sometimes and with a bit more luck we couod of had another 7 + points on the board. HWTL

  • magpie6699

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #33

    No injuries
    No red cards
    Players rested
    No huge damage to our goal difference
    Could have stolen a point

    Move on.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #34

    Cenk Tosun gone to Everton £25m

  • martoon

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #35

    Yes it wasn’t great to watch last night especially on a freezing cold night. However to my mind there were two main objectives: 1 – don’t get hammered to dent our confidence and 2 – try and save players for the next 2 games which are vital to our season. I think we did that and if we had fluked a draw that would have been the icing on the cake.

  • DubaiMicky

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #36

    @magpie6699. Well said.

    Sums it all up.

  • Munster Mag

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #37

    Tsunki, not sure why I am responding as you won’t listen antwat but here goes… Obviously I understand the difference in ability and cost of the two teams., yes, attacking them from the start would have asked for trouble. But kicking the ball away at kick off and putting 10 behind the ball with zero interest in engaging the opposition? That was horrendous. We were on worldwide TV and being laughed at by a man utd player, not a city one. That first half / 30 mins was an abdication of what the game is about. You can defend well and still offer some form of threat. Yes I appreciate that we were in it till the end but should have been about 1-3 or 0-3. I would rather have lost 0-3, even allowing for end of season goal difference, and not have nufc advertised worldwide in that light. Another question, say we has 70 million extra worth of talent to play with, wud rafa have tried harder? Probably not. It doesn’t feel as bad now but it was a misery to watch and I hope we never see 30-45 mins like that again at St James. Jib said that rafa gave a tactical masterclass to Europe. I don’t think so.

  • martoon

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #38

    Also I have to say the City supporters gave their team good support but as I said to my wife I wonder how many of them would be there if they had our team?

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #39

    I’ve never seen an opening thirty minutes like that before though. Like a training exercise. We simply had nothing on the ball. I’m sure the idea was to drop back, soak it up, frustrate and counter attack in numbers and at pace, but really, we just couldn’t execute the counter attack at all, and that surely is down to the players on the pitch, specifically the wide players. It got better, but I can’t believe that first 30 went remotely to plan.

  • Munster Mag

    Dec 28, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #40

    Tynemouth, I wasn’t a fan until a few years later but I hope nufc are not tainted by what we showed last night. Nobody outside on newcastle and Liverpool even remember who contested that game.


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