These Were Newcastle’s Best Two Players Yesterday – Two Monumental Performances


It was a game and result that Newcastle fans dream about – beating a top football club at home at St. James’ Park in front of a sold-out 52,300 fans.

And we also got our credit for winning the game and out-fighting the more famous Manchester United players.

Rafa worked all week with our players putting together a game plan to win the game and combat the many expensive stars who play in red.

And it all worked beautifully and first of all, we have to say every single one of our players played their hearts out yesterday and did their job.

We were proud of every single one of them – let’s be clear about that.

Martin Dubravka – fantastic debut for Newcastle – well done

Martin Dubravka made his debut in goal for Newcastle in that white-hot atmosphere and showed he is not only a top-class goalkeeper but cool and decisiveness under pressure.

He was magnificent all game long and if this lad plays like this for the rest of the season – that alone can save us from relegation.

Martin is top of our poll with 45% of the vote.

He will also be motivated to play well because he wants a permanent transfer to play for Newcastle United in the Premier League.

And he is closely followed in the voting by Jonjo Shelvey with 42% and Jonjo showed what a great player he can be when he’s in the mood.

And he controlled himself superbly during the game and he was here, there and everywhere during those final 15 minutes of the game; that’s when it was all hands to the pump for our players.

Jonjo Shelvey holds off Alexis Sanchez 

This is one of the best ever games Jonjo has played for Newcastle in the two years he’s been at the club and we hope he can keep that passion and top form up for the next 11 games.

Mikel Merino will soon be 100% fit again and the Spanish U21 International will be challenging for Jonjo’s position in central midfield.

All our players deserved kudos after their performance yesterday and Dubravka and Shelvey were our best two players in the poll.

They were both simply magnificent.

And Shelvey is worth only £12M?

Who Was The Man Of The Match Against Manchester United?

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177 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #1

    Rafa has done well to keep the team fit usually by now we have about 9 or 10 injured and are playing people out of position all over the pitch

    5
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #2

    Best thing about Jonjo yesterday – his aggression, which he controlled and unleashed at the appropriate moments. We know he can pass, we know he has the ability to make space in a congested midfield, but his tackling yesterday was immense.

    Best thing about Dubravka – I can’t get that time he claimed a left wing cross out of my mind. Looked like he was about 10 feet higher than the players around him and he never looked like dropping the ball. Dominant.

    35
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #3

    chico

    Don’t tell Ashley!

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #4

    LCBP

    Probably down to a better training pitch which is of course down to Rafa.

    Had to laugh at Conte’s decree that players shouldn’t smile during training.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #5

    Jib,
    I sort of get that but how many lo g term injuries did we get last year compared to this season. Lascelles, Dummet and Lejuene who was lucky not to be crippled by supposedly one of the best players in the world.

    5
  • jayphoto

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #6

    @Jail – personally think Lejeune is a much better player than Clark who I think gets found out at bit at this level.. honest player and gives a 100% mind so not knocking what hes done for us, I really can see us going with a back 3 in away games which could see Clark compete with dummett for left hand side CB. I think the big plus of Kenedy in particular, but also Slimani is the flexibility in tactics we have now where rafa can fluidly change our shape in game without making a substitution as Dummett can easily move to LB, kenedy can play anywhere on the left, Yedlin similarly can play anywhere on the right, Diame can as comfortably slot infront of the back 4 as he can go in behind the striker, perez, Atsu and Murphy can go right, left or centre AM and merino can play as a CB, a CM or even an AM. I think this squad gives rafa the chance to use his tactical brain which seperates him from the lower half of the table managers and should see us scrape home. Juvenile theoretic thinking suggests that if we can beat man utd at home really we should win all our home games.. if anything it should remove that nervousness

    13
  • chicousa

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #7

    Ron,
    No credit to Ashley. All credit to Rafa and his staff for finding Dubravka and moving the fat owner to cut the deal!

    15
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #8

    Maybe Dubravka has just been unlucky and always played behind a better keeper yet due to personal reasons been happy to stay where he is. I have always said and still firmy believe that Steve Harper, given the dross we had to endure in Kirkland, James, Robinson etc would have been England’s number one if he’d moved to a Villa or Everton type club instead of being Shay Givens understudy.

    16
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #9

    Jay, you’re right about the tactical flexibility, it’s a big bonus for us now. Not sure about being able to beat all teams at home because we beat Man U – most won’t be open and attack-minded like Jose’s team were, which gives us less space to attack into. The confidence factor is potentially big, though and if Slimani can start converting a few early chances, confidence will increase again.

    4
  • jayphoto

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #10

    Injuries is probably down to Rafa not playing players who have tired or are in that so called ‘red zone’.
    Hes rotated every position really aside from the CBs and goalkeeper for fitness reasons (and the CBs are probably the only position where fitness isn’t quite as important as cover less ground)
    In previous seasons we’ve had Pardews never change a winning team philosophy, followed by McClaren trying to go a whole season playing as few players as he could…probably all stems from that 11 purples idea, rafa is really the first coach we’ve had that’s spent the money across a squad rather than an 11

    9
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #11

    chico

    Rafa wanted to bring in a more commanding GK last summer. If only he’d got his way!

    2
  • jayphoto

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #12

    @Robleenio – yea was half joking about beating every team at home! Ive got a horrible feeling Wagner has Benitez’ number when it comes to head to head, even the game we beat them last year they played us off the park.
    Theres definitely been a home monkey on our back though, if the fans get behind the side like they did yesterday the players will raise their game, you could see the effect yesterday it had on Shelvey especially! He was relishing every challenge being cheered, similarly Gayle seemed revved up to the 9s.. it created an electricity

    5
  • chicousa

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #13

    Repost of some information given by Ron Knee on previous thread

    “According to sources in Prague, the terms of his loan are that United paid around a £1.7million loan fee to take him from Sparta Prague until the end of the season with an option to make it a permanent deal for around £3.5million at the end of the campaign.”

    2
  • jayphoto

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #14

    @Jail – Dubravka from what ive read even started this season nightmareish… its all about attributes though and where they fit.. distribution is possibly more important in PL than in the Czech league? The scouting staff have obviously seen something and if he continues to do well, to pluck a 29 year old keeper from the Czech league to premier league star is Hollywood level talent spotting!
    Different players suit different places.. Mats Sels went from looking a world beater in the champions league to giving us heart attacks against Bristol City..

    8
  • chicousa

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #15

    Re: Dubravka loan / option to buy

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #16

    Jay,
    That “purple” policy is as baffling as seeing one of those Nissan cube cars.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #17

    About the playing at home syndrome. People have to understand that we have the youngest team in the PL and possibly in the Championship. I wish people would give them a break when taking this in.

    15
  • Tsunki

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #18

    As baffling as seeing someone has bought one of those cube cars.

    2
  • Tsunki

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #19

    I think the purple policy was hatched when that guy Kafka was in charge of finance.

    2
  • jayphoto

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #20

    @Jail – good point actually… do we have any players over 30? Diame is 30 but is he our oldest? Not sure if Gamez is in the first team squad these days?
    I guess the upside of having such a young squad is we’ll probably be better next year before transfers are even taken into account…

    4
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #21

    Tsunki,
    It can only be due to ill fitting garages or they’re huge fans of sponge bob.

    5
  • jayphoto

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #22

    don’t even joke about those Nissan Cubes because my Mrs nearly bought me one once because I mentioned I liked the shape of the Kia Soul….

    2
  • Tsunki

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #23

    It’s on e win, a mighty one yes but a single result, but if the lads can carry this on in similar if not as colossal style and we stay up, I will be more than delighted to eat my words about them being a championship squad. I might need quite a large helping of custard to go with my pie 🙂

    5
  • Tsunki

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #24

    Jay that post gave me the same jolt as remembering when my lad broke his wrist at footy.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #25

    Phew! Better sit down and have a cup of sugary tea……

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #26

    Ashley banning the flag display..
    Talk about shutting the stable door after the horse bolted ya portly party pooper!
    In hindsight, they should have put a few choice words / home truths in amongst it! Make the ban worth it..

    4
  • G

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #27

    With regard to the thread, I had a really tough time picking my vote for MOM yesterday. There were only 3 players I didn’t consider (Yedlin, Perez, & Gayle) none of whom actually had a bad game, they just didn’t shine as bright as the rest of the team. In the end I was torn between Shelvey, Dubravka and Diame. In the end I went with Dubravka, swinging the vote by virtue of it being his debut. What a match.

    12
  • Tsunki

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #28

    Jay was it like here’sone.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #29

    Sorry about the kids English.

    I expect the only person to get in and out of that thing to be made of plasticine. 🙂

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #30

    sitc,
    Have you listened to that latest podcast with Caulkin etc. I thought that Steve Wraith who I was not the biggest fan of came across very well. If Rafa goes and the fat man is still here I can see SD getting some seriously bad flak.

    2
  • Geordie-john

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #31

    Well done to all of the team, Staff and Rafa. You kept the belief going and it certainly paid off yesterday. Martin Dubravka was phenomenal and kept the defence in check during corners and free kicks which is something that I thought Darlow was lacking at times ( Not taking anything away from Mr Darlow )
    I normally have a moan about Big Mo Diame but he has played out of his skin the last 2 games and I must praise him for this along with KEEP IT UP MO !
    Everyone yesterday made a big improvement as a team with no real mistakes apart from Joselu tracking one or two times when he came on but that was short lived.
    All in all Brilliant !

    6
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #32

    sitc,
    I thought it very poignant that when reading back on the posts Jib described the Gallowgate flags as sneakily smuggling in and unfurling that banner (s). He also said what did he expect NUFC to do?. Ashley is not NUFC, he is the owner on paper, he has got absolutely Sweet Fanny Adams to do with the heart and soul of our club!!!

    17
  • sing in the corner

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #33

    Jail
    In that scenario…enough is enough for me. I will join in with any protest initiative going if Rafa decides there is no prospect of taking us further and leaves…and Ashley doesn’t convince me he is selling. I draw the line at not going to games and supporting the lads in black n white..
    But vocal protests, tee shirts / signs, demos, sit ins…. tunnelling under SD shops … standing on a crate at the Monument reciting anti Ashley anecdotes…. .thats a different matter.
    🙂

    3
  • Jib

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #34

    Luis Enrique being eyed up by Abramovic
    to succeed Conté

    0
  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #35

    Was told by someone at the game yesterday that Slimani has picked up another injury during training and could be out for 6 weeks.

    I personally think that’s bollox because if that were true I’d be sending him back to Leicester.

    Just wondering if anyone else had heard owt

    3
  • Jib

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #36

    Wor Flags (Gallowgate flags seems to heve been hi-jacked)
    had an agreement with NUFC to show
    staff each one before it could be displayed.

    They broke that agreement.

    If you think Ashley even knew about it you are
    delusional.

    2
  • sing in the corner

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #37

    Yeah Jail, listened to the podcast the other day in 3 sections. Enjoyed it thoroughly, once you cut through the usual platitudes. Rafa always comes across really well too. The fact that there are more and more people alluding to Ashley’s shocking tenure is a very positive thing, that’s what I was on about to you the other day.
    Billionaire sociopaths like MA are hard to shift, they live in another dimension almost to the guys / fans on the street. We can’t get at them really. But the media and the wider public opinion can. It’s a groundswell that is building slowly but surely.
    Mind you having said that… Did you see that bloke who bumped into him in Central London Pret a manger?? Nice chat? Christ man, spot him, nip outside and put your carrier over your heed, Gan back in and stick one on him!!!
    😉

    5
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #38

    Shire

    Wouldn’t surprise me if that’s true, but the fact he’s here might be enough to gee up our other “strikers”

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #39

    sitc,
    Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that as he will be gone by the summer but I think he has a 3% approval rate now compared to before where a section of fans thought he had the right idea. I believe bills son joined one of those weird set of monks and became a Flagellant rather than own up to his sins 😮

    2
  • Bobbybee

    Feb 12, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #40

    You all need to sit down or grab something to stabilise yourself. Talksport are actually giving us some credit. 🙂 This has to be an all time first.

    4
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