Here’s What Our Three New Players Can Bring To The Team

The first thing Kenedy, Slimani, and Dubravka will bring to the squad is increased competition and hopefully, the effect of that will be other players starting to play well to try to get a first-team place.

Jacob Murphy didn’t start last night but he did well when he came on in the second half – and maybe Murphy will start at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The major loan signing is Islam Slimani and if he can take half the good chances to score then as Newcastle’s new center forward then he will score lots of goals for Newcastle in the remaining games of the season.

He seems to have everything, he’s powerful, skillful, good in the air, and a hard worker so why he failed at Leicester City is a bit of a mystery.

Martin Dubravka – delighted to sign for Newcastle United

In 46 games for Leicester he scored 13 goals and had 7 assists – which isn’t terrible but he can do much better at Newcastle.

When the Algerian recovers from his slight thigh injury he will probably walk straight into the side and that’s likely to be against Manchester United at home on February 11th – a game we can win!

We saw last night how good and skillful and classy Kenedy is on that left wing.

He’s a great signing for us and now we know what we missed in the first half of the season by failing on August 31st to get him in on loan.

Kenedy can create goals and he can also score them and it’s good that Rafa is using him on the left wing where he can do the most damage.

Kenedy is a lad we’d like to see sign for Newcastle in the future – but he could be good enough to make it at Chelsea.

He’s a great lad and seems to already love it at Newcastle.

Rafa has wanted an experienced and all around goalkeeper in the side last summer – a goalie who is in command of the box.

He finally got the man he was after when Sparta Prague and Slovakian (I think I’ve finally got the right country) International Martin Dubravka was signed on loan last night.

It’s expected that the 29-year-old will sign permanently for us for around £4M in the summer but he has to earn that contract this season,.

That will put pressure on both Karl Darlow and Rob Elliott but maybe Darlow will keep his place on Sunday at Crystal Palace as he gets acclimatized to things at Newcastle.

If Karl players a stormer in London on Sunday he will keep his place and he knows that.

So again bringing in Dubravka will hopefully have Karl play at his very best for the Magpies.

Given where we were on Tuesday night, Newcastle pulled the frying pan out of the fire (that’s an old saying) and did well in those circumstances to get Slimani and Dubravka on loan so late in the window.

But why wait until the last minute and why not bother looking until more than halfway through the window?

Only owner Mike Ashley can answer that one and it will not be a satisfactory answer.

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238 comments so far

  • hibbit

    Feb 1, 2018 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #1

    sorry didn’t realise pots had moved on so quickly
    Munster Mag
    so you think it’s acceptable the way catchy goes goes on, the criticism he continually throws at match going fans for their support of rafa and the team well sorry i don’t

    catchy doesn’t post he preaches and if you don’t belong to his little group your wrong,
    no give and take on his behalf

    Munster Mag i notice your not asking catchy to calm down, that in its self tell it’s own story

  • hibbit

    Feb 1, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #2


  • Slank

    Feb 1, 2018 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #3


    ‘..He seems to have everything, he’s powerful, skillful, good in the air, and a hard worker so why he failed at….is a bit of a mystery

    At first I thought you meant Mitrovich.

    Do you think the bloke who does the Fulham blog will start with the same sentence but replace Leicester with Newcastle ?

  • Rob1971

    Feb 1, 2018 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #4

    Exactly Hibbit, Munster is it fine for Catchy to call the fans who are backing Rafa, is it fine for him to call us deluded Rafa clappers, but we aren’t allowed to question why he comes on every day slagging the fans and Rafa? every post whether its to do with the match, transfers etc is a dig at Rafa, he has written the 3 new signings of and that is before 2 of them have even played for us

  • Rob1971

    Feb 1, 2018 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #5

    Also Munster how can catchy be defended against a post stating I will blame Ashley when he picks the team? so Ashley has no blame to any of the 2 previous relegations, the poor transfer windows which has left us with a weak squad?

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #7

    Diame has been our most consistent player this season along with lascelles. Rest of them have a couple of great games, and then blow hot and cold.

    Diames performance the last 2 months have been rock solid. 1st choice in midfield at the moment. Where was this diame all the while?

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #8


    No it’s only when his footballing twin come to us that we saw a real quality Diame.

    Wonder what the original one is doing? 🙂

  • Toonces

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #9

    catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #16

    when have i wrote our new players off? i think you read something i don’t write, I even gave examples LR and Ginola left wingers in the right positions.

    and far from it being me hating on Rafa, more me very very frustrated with the man.

    catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #4

    edit delete..

    “its going to be very interesting in the coming weeks reading how you all try and explain why are 3 new signings are not working,”

    This reads like you are writing off the new signings 🙂

  • Rob1971

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #10

    Exactly Toonces, “our 3 new players not working” sounds exactly like he has written them off, the man wants nufc to fail for his own anti rafa stance

  • magic hat

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #11

    This new diame lad we’ve signed is way better than the old diame and the other guy like him before think he was called sissoko. Long live the new diame, He even had a couple of hollwood passes last night. The guy was a beast.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #12


    i think you will find that in Rafa we have a manager that many and i mean 97% as it was pointed out find no fault with him, and I should just shut up and move along.

    Well for me , Rafa is not NUFC Shearer is not NUFC no single person is, this is a club like every other club where players and managers come and go, sure some are treated better than others, but every player and manager has an expiry date.

    Rafa is a great man, i think for the fans and communication he is up there with the very best, he comes across as a very knowledgable and kind person, giving his time freely for some good causes, as an ambassador for the club he would be phenomenal.

    Now as a football fan, i love it for the attacking side of the game, there is nothing better than that feel good factor when we score, esp in the ground, and this is where my respect for Rafa starts to waver, while i fully accept that we have to also defend as well as attack, i find that Rafas focus is more towards the defensive side of the game, and while a game lasts 90 mins, Like Pardew Rafas team springs to life around 70 mins, which then leads to questions for me, now i fully accept going toe to toe with city or spurs would end in a loss and maybe a heavy one at that, the fact that in the last 20 mins we go at them and quiet often scare them. So why if we can do it for 20 mins against top opposition, why can we not be more even to 14 other teams in the league? why throw away 70 mins of a game and hope they don’t score, or sometimes even get of to a flyer only to try and sit back and defend that 1 goal. we surrender possession to almost every team we play against and sit deep, meaning we are one bad pass away from conceding.

    as far as our players are concerned, i’m at a loss as to why only with Rafa players are happy to sit on the bench i mean in every other club players love to be the main man in that position and call it their own,

    RB he sometimes plays yedlin or manquillio
    LB has been a whole host of players at least 4 different players
    his 2 dmc players switch from Merino shelvey Diame Hayden Saviet
    his RW has been ritchie Murphy manquillio Atsu
    LW has been Ritchie Atsu Murphy Kennedy Perez
    no 10 has been perez gayle Atsu Diame Saviet
    CF Mitro Joselu Perez Gayle

    now naming all those i could not tell you who is out no1 player in any position, well CB, if fit Lascelles is always a starter.

    i don’t like most of his subs, i don’t understand the logic behind them, now if they planned out even half of the time i would give him the benefit of doubt, but ironically it was Joselu last week being one the only time it has worked, nearly every other time reading this blog or the mag, most question why he has made that sub when say ritchie has not been in the game at all, murphy looking our best threat, he sub murphy, last night both perez and Joselu were useless but stayed on the pitch until the 84th minute.

    reading today that Joselu dosnt practice penalties because we don’t get many, that’s irresponsible if you ask me, isn’t it his job to prepare for these situations?.

    in every other team in the league i think the fans of the clubs can pick the starting line ups within one player, we change four or five pretty much every game, that’s not good but our fans just joke about it.

    with great players even you or i could coach them, our squad is not the best but it’s not the worst too, i think our players would benefit from knowing their roles inside out, Lb as LB and only this position until he needs a rest, same with all the positions, footballers are athletes who can play more than once a week.

  • Markaccus

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #13

    For anyone who remembers the Pardew days, yoi should know you are wasting your time.

    I stopped all interaction years agi because there was no middle ground.

    We are talking about someone who is now playing victim, after a very open blog history of ridiculing others who had different opinions, using the following bully tactics :

    Questioning the inteligence of bloggers, often changing thier names to something silly

    Questioning the sexuality of others (as if it made a difference) who did not share his stance

    Expressing a wish to do violence on others because they did not agree. Always worth a chuckle, that one.

    There is no getting through to someone loke that.

  • Markaccus

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #14

    You * ago*

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #15


    well it’s meant to read that these players will fail because they are not played in the right positions and will start to be Rafad just like pardew did with our better players.

  • Markaccus

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #16

    Like *

    Cold hands and phone screen keyboard are not a good pairing

  • posada

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #17

    I don’t have a problem with Catchy.
    He’s an agitator. They say extreme things for affect.
    It promotes thought.
    Sometimes when everyone else has been fooled they are the akward voice that says hang on wait a minute.
    Have to say I don’t understand why some folks read it really closely and then have 400 word exchages with him.
    I don’t like him that much.

  • Geordie-john

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #18

    My hopes as to what these 3 new loan’s can bring to NUFC.

    W I N S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and that’s nowt to do with local solicitors for accidents !

  • posada

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #19

    Somebody said Kenedy is a star turn for us and just another player at Chelsea.
    Back in the day football was very different.
    If you wanted to see Mathews play you had to go to watch when Blackpool played your club. Each club had its star or two stars. Milburn, Finney etc.

    I caught the tail end of that in the 70s.

    Now 40 million pound players sit on the bench. They train all week then don’t play. I wonder how Supermac, Frank Worthington, Mick Channon or also Keegan would have felt about that.

    For me the top six sometimes sign players just to stop the bottom 12 from being able to compete. Personally I think some aspects of the game are just rotten.

  • Chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #20

    Just been playing VAR, and I agree with Charlie. Definitely offside and would have been disallowed with VAR. Also never a corner to begin with. Ref was newish to this level and seems was not familiar with the team specific rules, hence the fool gave us a penalty. Obviously was informed at half time and got with the program second half.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #21


    You continue to perpetuate the myth that Rafa is beyond criticism. Can you please name one person who has specifically ever said or claimed that, just one will do.

    The predictable ground hog day that you and Catchy share of Rafa bashing and trashing on a daily basis is very waring and tiresome. You must even bore yourself at times.

    You try to make it sound as if you’re being rational and not as barking and extreme as Catchy, but there’s always the same utterly boring caveat you just can’t help throwing in there every single b- – – – y time !! It’s as if you think repeating the same thing ad nauseum will sway people’s opinion eventually. WRONG!!! I think many people are more behind Rafa than ever now.

  • chicousa

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #22

    Some draws feel like a victory (Liverpool Home) and some feel a kick to the groin (Swansea, Brighton and last night!)

    On the loans: relatively happy with the incomming. Time will tell if it is enough to avoid the drop. The #10 spot is still a big miss.

    I will miss Mitrovic, though he has not been playing much at all this season. But he is a funny, mental character and I enjoyed seeing him scrap out there when he did play the odd 20 or 10 minutes. Wish him well at Fulham, who should win promotion based on their squad! We’ll see. But hope the big Serbian does well there!

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #23


    i would not say agitator,

    i like to say what i think, i think to many on here seem to fall in line like sheep to the more vocal like jail,

    you see it at work at school everywhere, Alfa’s taking the lead and the Betas aiming to please and get noticed, so they all have this gang mentality.

    the problems arise when your trying to argue your point and then people like Rob come in with 5 replies and changing your words.

    I love when they all have a go about Shteve, i never heard any of them say they wanted to get Rafa. and i would love someone to go back and pick out 5 of my posts where i defended Shteve the way these are defending Rafa, i simply didn’t do it, and i think they will find that by November i said something needed to be done or we would be relegated.
    but hey history is great, esp when it is rewritten with new facts.

    people should be held to the same standards, and lets face it Rafa has the same boss as Shteve and pardew, why should one get special treatment and a huge salary

  • Markaccus

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #24

    I think these new signings are going to work out fine

    In fact, I, uh, was also thinking about our agreement about my staying on another season. And if these new signings do work out, I want to transmit my application to the Academy this year.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #25


    honestly, why ? what is it you like about him.

    i get you don’t me, that’s fair enough, i accept it,

    but what is it about negative football that you like? i was reading some of your posts about Pardew the other day trying to figure you out, because you have done a 180 from your stance with pardew on the same issues.

    the likes of Lesh and many others defended pardew the way they defend Rafa,

    but you where of the first to turn on P45

  • hibbit

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #26

    catchy in norway

    you’re using the results of that survey to back your opinion, when in fact the results of the survey concluded that 97% of the fans backed RAFA ,
    it did Not say 97% of the fans do not find any faults with RAFA’S decisions as your implyingbut you choose to ignore this

  • martoon

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #27

    Catchy I don’t see anything wrong with changing the team around. If Rafa did what you suggest the players in the team would lose their edge having no competition and players not in the team would give up trying!

  • Markaccus

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #28


    Happy birthday for the other day, mate

    I missed it on facebook.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #29

    I mistakenly thought last nights kick off was at 8pm and missed the first 15 mins plus the squad list, so it took a while to get up to speed. At first I thought Kenedy was playing right wing, as he must have momentarily swapped with Atsu, but I did also wonder if he was playing #10 as Perez was not visible for a good 10-15 minute spell. When everything eventually became clear, it was also apparent that the forwards were really not at the races and the new lad was a shining light.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #30


    there is more than just 2 that question Rafa, but i honestly believe it’s easier for the fans like you to have a go at me than say what you really think.

    you can not be happy with the front 2, or Joselu taking the pen, and logically it was Rafa who started them let them stay on allowed him to teake the pen.

    i promise i had nothing todo with that decision or decisions, but someone needs to answer why

  • Markaccus

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #31

    Rafa has been left scraping the barrel for signings under Ashley. The one and only critisism i have of Rafa, is that he seems to have been easily taken in by the fat mans tricks. It may or may not be the case. It’s made him look like a mug (i am not saying he is, though). He is still excellent at getting everything out of the available tools, and we are lucky to have him around imo. If there is any small chance we can stay up, he is clearly the man to do it.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #32


    no, you can say what you like, i have not seen anything like that, i was told today on here that 97% of fans were happy,

    so your fact should be aimed at whoever said it to me.

  • L Toon

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #33

    An extract from inside the Rafalution on Mitrovic

    Benitez’s Newcastle were a democracy – and not everyone would have appreciated what that meant. Talent was not always the most important currency for Benitez to trade in.
    The case of Aleksander Mitrovic consistently fascinated. He was the striker signed by Newcastle as a rough diamond – the club convinced by his tendency to emerge as a match-winner in big games. They had watched him playing for Anderlecht against Borussia Dortmund and arsenal in the champion’s league and noted his aggression, aerial ability and movement.
    Background checks had revealed worrying signs of ill-discipline – his tendency to put on weight, his inability to control his emotions on the field – but there was a feeling that he could be controlled. Benitez looked like the perfect man to mould him into a striker of serious potential but a moment of madness – on the day when Newcastle unified behind the Spaniard – was to have serious ramifications for the Serbian.
    Mitrovic had scored one and laid on another as Newcastle tore apart Tottenham on the final day of the 2015/16 premier league season, but then lunged in on Kyle Walker. It was a straight red card offence – a foul that left no room for leniency. It meant that Newcastle had to play out the rest of the game with 10 men, while Mitrovic would face a three-game suspension for the first matches of the championship season the following campaign.
    Playing for other managers, Mitrovic might have found absolution early in the season. After all, the Serbian was seen by many opposition managers in the Championship as potentially Newcastle’s greatest second-tier weapon.
    But Benitez re-drew his entire plan for the early season based around a different set of strikers because of that. Mitrovic’s inability to stay on the pitch in that final game of the season had cost him. That message – that small margins matter for strikers – was one that Mitrovic sometimes failed to heed, and was one of the main reasons why he struggled to find his way into the team.
    There was a genuine warmth from the striker towards Benitez. “He is liked by the players – I have learned a lot from him,” Mitrovic said of the manager. And he was one of the few who regularly breached the line between dressing room and dug-out.
    After Newcastle beat Norwwich, Mitrovic grabbed Benitez and hoisted him in the air. After promotion was achieved, it was Mitrovic who was the only person to spray Champagne over the manager. Benitez didn’t mind. He was not the same man who had been been accused of being distant by Steven Gerrard when the pair worked together at Anfield.
    Benitez became frustrated by the continual talk that emanated from Mitrovic’s agents about potential moves away. He knew that Mitrovic was happy and settled in Newcastle where his partner, Kristina, had given birth to his son, Luka. But there were people working around the forward who were prepared to move him on – both during the summer break and the January transfer window. In the latter, moves to Portugal and Italy were lined up for Mitrovic. Benitez flatly ruled them out.
    Benitez would stick up for Mitrovic when he felt that the player was being judged by reputation. But the eagle-eyed observers noted that when Benitez picked a team to do a tactically disciplined job at Huddersfield in the March of that season, it was Daryl Murphy who he went for. Mitrovic ended the season with a smile but it was a learning curve.
    I agree that mitrovic should be given a chance but understand why Rafa doesn’t trust him.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #34


    9 million for a CB is not scraping the barrel
    11 million for Murphy is not scraping the barrel
    11 million for Ritchie is not scraping the barrel
    and no one had a gun at his head and said you must buy Manquillio and joselu for 5 mill each. that was just wasting money

  • L Toon

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #35

    Gutted about last night, should have been home and hosed by half time but again for about the millionth time this season just aren’t clinical and ruthless enough to KILL THE BL**DY GAME OFF. Yes Joselu is excrement we all know it but what do you expect for 4.8 million. Messi? He tries his damnedest and still gets the same dogs abuse as that muppet sissulko who couldn’t have cared less had he tried. Weve had enough chances to beat Bournemouth, Brighton, Swansea and burnely at home but unfortunately our strikers can’t hit a cow’s gluteus maximus with a Banjo. Take into account lejeune giving away the penalty at Southampton, Darlows errors against Everton and Leicester and perez missing from 6 yards at Huddersfield. How many points is that? You can have the best game plans and tactics in the world but as long as you have no one to consistently put the ball in the back of the net you’re going to stuggle. Burnley sit in 7th place 11 points above us, had lard arse invested in a top centre forward and offset it by selling mitrovic we would now be sat in 7th. I think we can all agree on that. Weve have been in every single game this season bar 3 but as stated aren’t clinical and ruthless enough. Can Gayle score goals at premier league level? Absolutely he’s proved it. Can Gayle score goals consistently at premier league level? Not in a million years. Considering Ritchie and gale are supposed to be two of our better players they’ve both been incredibly inconsistent, so when you’re better players aren’t performing what does that say for the rest of the team? And there’s the problem. The players can play in the premier league but lack the ability and consistency to do it week in, week out. We were always going to have to buy better that’s just the nature of being in the premier league; unfortunately lard arse filed rafa’s plan in the I couldn’t care less file. Rafa got two of his wanted players in the summer, Merino and lejeune, even though they took 6 weeks and two months to bring in. Lejeune is still adapting and been injured most of the season likewise with Merino but huge potential there. Atsu didn’t set the championship alight but 6 million was a good price in this market and would add good depth. Murphy was bought on the recommendations of scout steve nickson but after a slow start is slowly getting up to speed but again big potential there. Big money can be made on all those players. Manquillo and Joselu weren’t plans c & d or even n & o but y & z. If it wasn’t wages or fees that were the problem it was both. Yes Benitez is making mistakes but he’s doing so trying to find solutions to what is a whole host of problems.

  • posada

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #36

    Something not right there. Played poorly.
    Body language all wrong. When subbed he could not wait to get off.
    If you see the Kenedy shot again that hit the post don’t follow the ball with your eyes all the way to the post. As it’s in mid air look at Atsu. All the players round him are alert, in an active pose and on their toes looking at the ball. He’s standing flat footed like he is waiting for a bus.
    Any forward player in that situation would try to anticipate it coming off the keeper, post or whatever.

    Bad attitude ? If so why ?
    Lack of confidence. If so why was he picked over Murphy.
    Easy I know with hindsight. Only thing is Murph scored a good goal against City.
    His confidence is on the up.

  • posada

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #37

    I agree. Your an Alfa.

  • toon kk

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #38

    He certainly needs to practice his penalties

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #39

    there is one thing saying that Joselu and manquillio were not even plan z, but to give them so much playing time is the puzzler.

    Mbemba has done great at LB every time he played their.

    and even if Rafa didn’t trust Mitrovics agents, in his own words he was happy at the club, so why play plan z when plan c is available.

    Rafa must rate both Manquillio and Joselu, he gives them loads of game time.

  • DaveD1000

    Feb 1, 2018 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #40

    Posada is founder member of

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