Player Takes Rafa’s Advice And Quickly Becomes A Revelation

Rafa Benitez has said many many times that how you train is how you play, and his training sessions are always serious, but he makes them interesting and fun at the same time.

When Mo Diame joined us for £4.5M from Hull 18 months ago fans thought he would be a good buy but it;’s only now that he is playing at his best.

Mo has been outstanding as the holding midfielder in the Newcastle side, and it’s given the team a lift in performances – if not in results.

And Diame, who has given up International football to prolong his Newcastle career, has simply taken the advice of his manager and has been working extra hard in training.

Mo Diame – after scoring on Sunday

Mo has been interviewed in the Shields Gazette and was asked what has changed:

“Nothing, just the work.” “I’ve been working hard to get back to the player I want to be. That’s it, just the work.” “Of course, it’s what I want to do and what I have to do.”

“If Newcastle signed me, it was to have this kind of performance, so it’s important to show I can stay at this level or give more.” “It’s always great to score goals, so yes, it’s a great feeling,”

“But it would be better if we won this game. “If I have to be honest, it’s a fair result, because I think in the second half they could’ve won this game. I think it’s a fair result.”

“Recently, we have had a lot of similar games that we are winning then after we draw at the end.” “It’s all about focus, staying together and keeping the shape of the team.”

“It’s hard. It’s going to be difficult to learn, but we know that. We have to keep going.”

“It’s (scoring goals) something I want to add to my game,” “It’s nice to have this feeling, and I hope I will score more.”

“It’s a point, and we need points to stay up,” “You always have to take it as a good point. If you take three points, it’s better. But I think it’s a point that will be important at the end.”

“We have 12 games, and we need to keep going and fighting. That’s it. Nothing else.”

“It’s a big game (Manchester United), a massive game,” We’re at home, and the fans will help us. “We need to put pressure on them and win this game.”

Mo deserves special credit for his efforts this season, and he certainly has looked some player in the last couple of months for Newcastle and over the last four games in particular.

We need more of our players reaching their top form like Mo has, and then we should be able to survive this season.

That’s the only goal Rafa Benitez has this season – to survive in the Premier League.

Sounds good to us.

Will Mike Ashley Be Successful And Sell Newcastle This Year?

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130 comments so far

  • mac the jaffrey

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #1

    Nobody knows what’s going to happen until at least when the TV money becomes clear next week. That may at least start to see some developments, or it may not until the summer.

    One things for sure, we’ll be the last to know anything definite. All the rest in the meantime is the media machine milking our emotions, hopes and ‘clicks’.

  • Pigott93

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #2

    Seems that fight with Lascelles has really given him a kick, would like for Rafa to try him and Shelvey in centre mid with Merino in the 10 position. Perez has been fairly poor there and that’s where he plays for Spain apparently

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #3

    Looks like we are just going to learn how to love him!!

  • lochinvar

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #4

    Diame deserves credit for turning his game and attitude around. He plays like the player we want him to be and threatens defences and occupies the opposition.
    I had heard that he’d bulked up in the gym but that’s often at the expense of mobility.
    Looks like the Fitness Coaches have had a word and got the balance right now – less bulk, leaner and meaner.
    Good for all concerned.
    Either that or he’s changed the recipe for the Goat Curry which so many like – needs to market that.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #5


    A lot of us have said that that combo would be worth trying but Rafa apparently doesn’t so suspect it won’t happen.

  • Jib

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #6

    I think Geordie 2 already loves him

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #7


    Whats not to love, oh hang on that reply will be a bit like what have the Romans done for us.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #8

    Team v Man U


  • Jib

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #9

    It is still mathematically possible for NUFC to get
    61 points.
    Europe beckons folk !!!

  • consettmags

    Feb 6, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #10

    In other news rumours that zaha will be out for 2 months with knee injury , every little helps .

  • beefman13

    Feb 6, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #11

    Lindisfarne, that team you put up for the man utd game looks ok to me apart from Hayden who just goes missing in games. that said get ready for Benitez to re introduce JOSELU and MERINO. I WOULD NOT BACK US WITH BAD MONEY.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #12

    I don’t think we’ll see Hoser start again this season. Too much at stake. Merino is a different story. It will depend on fitness and how he does in training. We are still woefully weak in attack unless Slimani really does a job for us. Here’s hoping.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #13

    The sale news is really non-news based on guesses which are meaningless. The interested parties will either arrive at an agreement in the summer or they won’t. And it all depends on staying up. Ashley knows this but was again willing to take a huge chance over the last two windows and because of that our squad isn’t really strong enough. I would feel more confident if our home form was better but it isn’t. It’s all hanging by a thread.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #14

    If Rafa can get more out of the squad and especially the loanees and players like Shelvey, Diame, Murphy, Ritchie, Gayle, and whichever keeper he chooses to play we have a decent chance of surviving but that’s about it. The summer will be critical to our future. If Ashley stays nothing will change, or possibly things will get even worse if Rafa leaves. A lot of bluffing going on from Ashley right now. I think he really does want to sell and get out of football altogether but time will tell.

  • lesh

    Feb 6, 2018 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #15

    Geordie 2

    Ashley’s supposedly budgeting for relegation by saving instead of spending on players to avoid the drop. It seems to be part of his plan not to sell the club – unless he gets a massive offer.

    I think your question ought to have read better with a ‘not ‘ in it –

    Will Mike Ashley Be Successful And Not Sell Newcastle This Year?

    That being the question would result in Ba massive Yes vote.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #16

    I’ve been crying my eyes out listening to the poor Chelsea fans on Talksport Drive, co hosted by Adrian ( the sh1t) Durham I can truly relate to their sorrow because they are struggling to reach where NUFC are at the moment. One fan said “Conti doesn’t want to manage, he just wants to buy expensive players”. he said he was concerned about the quality of the squad for the up coming CL game against BARCELONA, he is sick of BIG NAME managers coming and moving on after just 18 months, he said he would like a manager to sign a 7 yr contract so he could bring young Academy players through to the first team, he would like the manager to be involved in a couple of relegation battles during his 7 yr reign. I now realise we are the envy of the top 6 teams of the premiership and we haven’t had to spend a lot of money to achieve this. Maybe Ashley thinks that we are ungrateful and wants to sell up so he can buy Chelsea where he will be appreciated. Can any one on this blog give Chelsea some advice on what they are doing wrong?

  • GPPaweyyekna

    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #17

    Conte definitely wants to leave. He knew there would be raised eyebrows with the thought of signing Crouch. In my opinion

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #18


    I have been impressed by Hayden when he has slotted into the defence and I would like to see our midfield be more robust. I have put Shelvey in the #10 position but would like to see him slightly deeper than the likes of Perez, to offer protection to the midfield and creating a three across the middle of the park. If Shelvey were to replace Hayden, along side Diame, then Merino could play the #10 role. IMO 4231 is not working for us as it inevitably leads to the striker becoming isolated and we lack fluidity in attack, which was the major disappointment against C.Palace. If we play the same way again we have not a hope in hell in the up coming match.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #19

    I can fully understand where Chelsea fans are coming from, they’ve endured some hardship over the years and obviously regard us with envious eyes when they consider what they could have had. They’ve had to play in the same boring league year after year, against the same set of teams, they’ve even had to struggle to qualify for a daft Champions League whatever that’s all about ha ha just to play against some new faces, while we’ve been lapping up the competition of two leagues regularly, touring the length and breadth of England – “Have you ever seen a Blue in Brentford?” That a jibe they find hard to live down!

    Ticket prices have gone sky high and why? Expensive, fancy Dan managers who squander huge sums on superstar primadonnas. Extensive refitting of bigger and bigger trophy cabinets, they’ve even got a trophy room now of all things, to put all that pesky silverware in, then there’s the cleaning staff, polish, dusters they don’t come cheap and who pays? That’s right, the fans.

    And the football? Dull as dishwater, always in the top five year in year out same old same old, hardly ever getting knocked out of cups no excitement of nearly getting relegated no nail biting last days of the season. Not being able to complain about useless players, the best they can do is contemplate changing someone who is a good player for an even better one! Where’s the fun in that?

    Would NOT like to be in their shoes.

  • Jib

    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #20

    Sometimes your biting sarcasm comes across
    as the musings of an old saddo .
    Is your first name Victor ?

  • Jack Root

    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #21

    Munster Mag
    I recently read your exchanges on quality of Perez. I happen to agree with you and this was something I posted last September.

    I enjoy reading well thought out alternative viewpoint and don’t want them shut down by bully boy tactics.
    It’s amazing how many wrote off Kenedy before
    seeing him.

    Jack Root
    Sep 21, 2017 at 1:05 PM
    Comment #28
    Jimmy Smith
    From last night- In praise of Ayoze Pérez.

    Benitez is a cautious manager and like Dirk Kuyt before at Liverpool, it looks as if Pérez is a reflection of the manager’s strategic vision. Rafa’s managerial philosophy has already this season become more important than the style of individual players. From what I’ve observed there is a tactical leap forward with an even greater study of the opposition and defensive shape throughout, particularly when we’re not in possession.

    Perez’s chasing and harrying has played a big part, noticeably there is less talk of him lacking physicality. I read on here, someone making the point that you don’t judge a player by how far he runs! Well they need to get with the programme, Benitez clearly does. With 4-2-3-1 were looking to dominate the centre of midfield and being compact and quick at transitions. Many would see it as a beefing up of the midfield with an extra player. Servicing the wide players, wing backs( full backs) and front player.

    Usually/ historically a Benitez 2 in midfield has meant two players sharing the defensive midfield work but actual styles can vary. It’s more likely that the team will be formulated to exploit perceived opposition weaknesses. With hours spent on the training ground, working on drills in various pitch sectors. Fair to say, considering Shelvey, that deep lying midfielders could play creative roles and advanced midfielders could play defensive roles. Likely interchangeable given time. I suspect we’re going to see the very best of the tactical Benitez with players playing multiple roles.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #22


    Damn right mate, poor bug*ers can you imagine having to stand in a crowd as big as their’s with all that depression around you.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #23

    Hahaha. Well said Tsunki. Poor old Chelski. They just don’t get it do they? No real understanding of the underlying complexities of football. Now Ashley on the other hand has it all mastered. He has his club moving smoothly between divisions on a regular basis. Some competition but not too much. Bring in a good young player and then sell him at the right moment. That’s how you build the squad of the future. Keep everyone guessing including the manager. Will there be a transfer budget? No? Not this time? Possibly next summer? Possibly not? It’s all meant to motivate the club to achieve all the great things we have achieved recently. Beautiful.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #24

    The same applies to all the top clubs really. Man City, Spurs, ManU, they’ve all got it wrong. You build by subtraction. That’s the way forward. By going backward and then sideways. You build without money. You sneak around and then bluster and shout that the bid is poor and the group involved don’t really have any money. Now that’s a business genius at work.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #25

    No it isn’t Victor, jib – although at 4 hearts to 1 it would be appropriate. Do you still heart your own posts btw? 🙂

  • Munster Mag

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #26

    Jack, completely agree. Have said same before re Perez. If you watch how he closes down, he tries to use his brain and confuse the guy on the ball. Arsenal players used to be very good at it too.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #27

    That’s certainly what it looks like lesh @15. I wonder if that includes finding a cheaper manager who will work for a much smaller wage? Surely there are some of those about. Actually why don’t we go back to having a head coach like Carver? That worked really well after all.

  • Munster Mag

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #28

    Also, as you said, who said Kenedy looked crap? Hands up chaps. Boy do we need him and slimani.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #29

    Jack Root – there is the other side of the argument of course.

    He’s about all we’ve got atm.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #30

    Surely Barnes and friends will have us all sorted by next season? He is obviously a football expert like Ashley and many before him. Llambeezee was fabulous, as with Kinnear, Wise….. What a truly fabulous history of management skill sets we have.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #31

    It’s a good thing we’re concentrating on the domestic cups these days because I think we’re all just a tiny bit disappointed in our performances in the league. Just a smidgin. Tinier than that really. But it’s real, it’s there. That tiny disappointment. There’s nothing embarrassing about it, no. Not being able to win a single match at home for months. Not a real problem. Because we have the Ashley genius at work to save us. As I mentioned, buy a few SD shares and attend the AGM. Make your opinions known loud and clear.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #32

    West Ham approach Patrice Evra who’s a free agent

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #33

    Don’t recall anyone questioning Perez’s work rate or skill. His real issue is his lack of pace. He fits the system in that he will harry and chase, but I think that reduces him to being knackered when he does receive the ball and then being extremely wasteful by getting caught with it or playing poor passes.

    The difference with Kuyt is that he was an athlete and could maintain a level of performance in that role, Perez cannot.

    It’s such a shame as he has a lot of talent, excellent first touch and close control. In a slower paced league I think he would be a real star player.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #34

    But is there a young out of contract Patrice Evra type available for us? Keep in mind there will be a trial period with no wage whoever you are. I’m sure all the out of contract budding superstars are now asking for trials with us.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #35

    The free agent who would be of use to us would be Nasri. Could be a great option off the bench to help us unlock defences when at home and be that bit more clinical when we break. We’ve been let down time and time again by awful final balls, and he’s got a good one.

    His attitude is an issue though, think he’s always struggled with authority.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #36

    Well said Geremi. That sums Perez up nicely. A nice, tidy player who runs out of petrol by the 70th minute and doesn’t have any power whatsoever to break into the box. A peripheral player at best. I loved him when he first came to us but he hasn’t progressed at all.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #37


    That’s the thing. To be effective in the Premier League you have to have power or pace, mostly both. Perez has neither.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #38

    And Nasri’s still only 30. His main problem is his own attitude. Worth a shout though. Would we actually even try? I doubt it. Would still want a big wage.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #39

    I would imagine Nasri wouldn’t even give us a sniff for less than 100K a week.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 6, 2018 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #40

    Can anyone think of a player out of contract who would accept 50K or less a week but would have a decent impact? And don’t anybody mention Shefki Kuqi…..


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