Rafa Talks About Last Minute Arrivals – Slimani And Dubruvka

At his press conference today Rafa talked about the two late arrivals in the last few hours of the January transfer window.

We got two good players in – striker Islam Slimani and goalkeeper Dubravka and they should help strengthen the spine of the team.

And we’re pretty sure that a big target this summer will be a top central creative midfielder.

The positive news is the two players arriving on Wednesday night, as well as Kenedy, were wanted by Rafa.

Islam Slimani – training at Benton

Here’s what Rafa said about striker Slimani:

“We were looking for something different. Obviously, in attack, we needed to change something, to be sure we could increase competition and have different solutions.”

“He knows the Premier League is a strong lad and has a very good scoring record in Portugal.”

“Slimani has a small thigh problem but it is not as big as people said – he has been training and will have a fitness test tomorrow.”

We are hoping Slimani and Kenedy can transform Newcastle in the last third of the pitch, so we are a lot more menacing and can even start scoring goals.

Rafa has also wanted a senior goalkeeper in since last summer, and he finally got him – 29 year-old Martin Dubravka the Slovakian International from Sparta Prague.

This is what Rafa said about the 29-year-old:

“To find a keeper is January that’s playing, and bring him here, is not easy because nobody wants to sell the top scorer or the keeper!”

“He’s good in terms of playing with his feet, he’s agile, he has personality and very good English.”

“A lot of positives.”

“Dubravka has been training normally but he has not been here long. All the keepers will have the chance to compete”

We are almost certain that Darlow will keep his place for Sunday’s game, but he will know he will need to be in top form to keep his place for our next game – at home To Manchester United a week on Sunday.

It could be a few games before Dubravka makes his debut for Newcastle.

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Comments welcome.

149 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #1

    If he’s having a fitness test then I reckon that translates to, if fit he’s playing.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Anyway Friday night and more socialising, later chaps.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #3

    “Newcastle United have extended an investigation following allegations of bullying and racism at the club.
    An inquiry was launched after claims were made against the side’s U23 coach Peter Beardsley in January.
    Chief executive Lee Charnley is leading a wider investigation into language and culture at all levels of the club.”
    So the club is going to investigate itself. That should get to the bottom of things then. Not. Internal investigations never work. They are biased from the get go. If you want the truth bring in an outside agency to have a look. And don’t just ask “so Peter are you innocent of all charges?”
    Peter: “yes I am.”
    Well that’s it sorted then. Peter says he’s innocent.
    Another Ashley joke.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #4

    Real answer to allegations. Find out the truth by interviewing everybody. If Beardsley is guilty give him a good fonging then sack him.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #5

    It’s something for Charnley to do though. Wander around in the club and get in the way of everybody else.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #6

    Charnley: “Rafa do you know anything about these allegations?”
    Rafa: “Lee get out of my way and stay in your office. Oh, and get me a café con lecce before you do please.”

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #7

    Rafa: ” has anyone seen Chumpley with my café?”

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #8

    How will we do against Palace? I like our chances. We have played well away recently. We have 3 good new players. Palace has injury problems. And Lee is getting that café con lecce for Rafa. It looks promising.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #9

    I’m quietly going for the record here now. I’m not sure what the record is anymore but this is my big chance. Just ease in a few more comments…….

  • OneAlanShearer

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #10

    Slimani will decide if he’s got to play was the quote from rafa I read.
    I hope he bags a hattrick.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #11

    Easy does it. Just another dozen or so. Lot’s to talk about. New players, rejuvenated Rafa. Beautiful.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #12

    Doh!!! OneAlan!!!!

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #13

    The Slim One will be fine. He’s a cut above our other strikers. But think good service lads. Get him the ball and get oot of his way as he charges straight to the old onion bag. Why is it always an old onion bag by the way? Can we not afford a new onion bag?

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #14

    I guess we did spend all that money on those loan players and we did loan out six to cut our wage bill. So of course we can’t afford a new onion bag…..

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #15

    We should have done it this way: every time the team loses we take 10K pounds off Chumpley’s wage. Imagine what he would owe us by now. And Ashley would be so pleased.

  • ben.g

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #16

    All right people. Positive about palace on Sunday.
    Think rafa will start with gale up front and astu on the left. Then if 0-0 at 60 mins bring on slimani and kennady.
    Although if slimani is fully fit that he starts, fingers crossed!!!!

  • ben.g

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #17

    I always think of charnley as boxing with his hands tied behind his back cos of Ashley

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #18

    Bullying and racism…well nothing new to this blog then!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #19

    At least Rafa seems happy enough about this window

  • Mag52

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #20

    OK, my team for Palace:

    Darlow – has kept the goals against down pretty well since taking over from Elliot
    Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett,
    Shelvey, Diarme – the form player at the moment
    Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy – can he perform as he did v Burnley ?
    Gayle/Slimani – hopefully the latter.
    HWTL – IRWT.

  • Mag :P

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #21

    Bore off jesper.

    Same old with you.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #22

    Essex Geordi Bill previous thread #10
    So, what are we looking at? The Boro’s results when they were last in the Prem. How about talking football!

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #23


    I knew a lad about 30 years ago who could read ASCII in binary format like that. He was a good COBOL programmer. Bit of a nerd though.

    (That’s what it is dig-n-dig).

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #24

    Geordie 2 #4
    It’s easy taking cheap shots .
    I have never met Peter Beardsley personally , but you ain’t fit to wipe his fcuking arse

  • Average_Contents

    Feb 2, 2018 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #25


    I’ve asked the question (he was on nights last night so only just spoken) and the father in law will ask him for me.

    Father in law reckons he isn’t with that consortium anymore, he’s back home to do something with Roy Evans apparently mate.

    As soon as I mentioned someone thinks they seen him in Newcastle he said he wouldn’t be involved he doesn’t think.

    Don’t know if he’ll ask him about why he was up there if indeed it was him.

    Catcha later

  • Premiership Manager

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #26

    Hopefully Slimani will be fit for at least 1/2 a game if needed as Rafa will be reluctant to risk him until fully match fit.

    Rafa needs to have a total rethink on tactics, draws and being robbed by a goal regardless of how well we have played will not cut it against the bottom half teams. They have to start turning the screw and putting the opposition under severe pressure.

    I can’t understand why with youth, pace and trickery we have in our wingers and forwards why he doesn’t play 4-3-3

    Taking the back 4 out of the equation, (they’ll take care of themselves), we could field Merinio, Diame and Shelvey in midfield and Kennedy, Perez and Murphy up front, leaving Richie as back up for the midfield and Atusu as a forward.

    The movement and pace of Kennedy, Perez and Murphy would cause big problems for most teams and would create more opportunities and goals than any of the forward formations we have used when either Gayle or Joselu have played. It’s not different to how Man City play when Aguero is out, playing Sane, Sterling and Silva.

    We’d also have Shelvey, Daime and Merino all who can hit a ball following up any loose balls and picking the passes. It’s sink or swim and we need a result and given the impact Joselu and Gayle carry a lot of responsibility for not creating or scoring goals, throwing away a number of opportunities it’s questionable as to whether they should be on the bench.

    Slimani would fit in perfect particularly if the wide me run the line and pick him out with crosses as he’s phenomenal in the air but also good with his feet. If Shelvey and Kennedy feed him crosses we could see some cracking goals

  • Online Guy

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #27

    The Russian linesman got that wrong ..just because Hunt celebrates as though the ball crossed the line don’t mean it crossed the line…

    Still, Hurst scored a 4th ..not sure what would have happened if the 3rd had not been given.

    Well done England ………

    What’s that Kitty ? I’m late…? Christ ! I was dreaming….

  • Tsunki

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #28

    Bullying and racism is it now, Jesper?

    Dry your eyes, Hamlet.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #29

    And Francis Lee is a diver.

  • toon kk

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #30

    I wonder if Rafa will pick Slimani over Joselu?

  • cyprus

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #31

    I’d include Merino in that line up, keep Shelvey benched. Despite the fact that Merino wasn’t stand out, he gets involved, wants the ball. He has good control, is, overall, a better player than Shelvey. The latter has the Hollywood pass, true, and is a fighter. I had doubts about him, but I think he can help the team, as a sub.

    Like I said after the game, a big positive is that we outplayed the best of the also runs. With a deadlier CF, we should’ve breezed that game. I was encouraged by that game, despite the fact that it’s the 11th game where we dropped points. Rafa needs to work on that, if we’re to work on the 1 goal margin, as he seems to favour.

    Summary: lots of points up for grabs, we are still fighting, a couple signings which could come good.

    Rafa: take on the big guns, we don’t have the luxury to lose honourably. Look at Swansea, Bournemouth results.

  • beermonkey

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #32

    toon kk

    after joselu’s last disaster he better

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #33

    Or what Tsunki…will you make inappropriate remarks or some name calling 😉

    …dry your eyes! Jesus

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #34

    Oh and another thing. You lot can vis a vis me this and vis a vis me that but I still say Rafa is a true gentleman. He’s stuck with us through very little thick and a lot of thin and he manages to keep calm while working for an idiot. And another idiot (Chumpley) who’s only good for fetching el café. And yet we’re still above the drop zone. Harrumph! And well said ben.g by the way.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #35

    I don’t think we’ll see The Hose Bag start another match for us. It was that bad lads. He was reeky. I’m still smelling it from over here. Have no fear lads, things are looking up with Slimani et al (I realize we didn’t bring in an Al but you know what I mean)…..

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #36

    GT…Rafa signed Joselu and has been playing him regardless the past 6 months…

    …what happens if Slimani continues his “current” form? Rafa seems to be very consistent in using the players he has bought! In my opinion anyway mate 🙂

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #37

    If Markaccus was on here he could come up with a good Roman saying for us right now. Something about vidi vici veni (I think it means I’ll meet you at Vicki’s place for some wine or something).

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #38

    No, it’s over for The Hose Bag jesper. He’s done himself in now. He can sit with Chumpley in his office. Rafa signed him but now he realizes what a mistake that was. Slimani will come into form fairly quickly as long as he gets some service from the midfield. We’ve got to stop this nonsensical hoofball where we give back the ball over and over again. I would like to see all 3 new players start against Palace if fit. Remember vidi vici veni lads (if you like wine).

  • firebug666

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #39

    Don’t know how many have seen this but it a good read, Talk about Stavely, Chanley having no power whatsoever, and Bishop attending all the press conferences to keep an eye on Rafa who is always guarded with what he says.


  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 2, 2018 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #40

    I always loved Beardsley as a player digndig. I even watched him as a young’un over here when he played briefly for the Whitecaps. Got his autograph as well. Still have it. As far as a coach though I think it’s a different story. Many statements about him from young players over the last few years. Anyway he deserves a fair hearing as everyone does but if found guilty he should be gone for the good of the club.


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