Rafa’s Simple Advice For Young Star And All His Players

There’s been some speculation in Spain that Mikel Merino may want to leave Newcastle this summer because he now cannot get much playing time at Newcastle.

The local papers are reporting that while Mikel may be frustrated, he has no plans to leave the club this summer.

And Rafa has given the young Spanish star some excellent advice on the reality of the situation.

When you have a good team that means having (very) good players on the bench.

How a team is doing can be measured by the strength of their bench, and for Rafa, it’s all about competition for places.

Mikel Merino – must fight for his place

And that competition will only get more intense assuming Rafa stays on Tyneside, which we think he will.

Athletico Bilbao were interested in signing Merino in January, and the Basque club are likely to come back for Merino in the summer.

This is what Rafa has said about Merino’s situation:

“It’s not just the injury now, which is fine.” “He’s not playing so much because the others are doing well.”

“He has to compete and make sure he gets back in the side.”

“Always, we want to sign the best players, and, when we have the best players here, then someone has to be on the bench.”

“If you want to improve as a team, then you have to have good players on the bench.”

The competition for places next season should be really intense, and it’s going to be interesting to see how many players Rafa will bring in this summer.

Very interesting in fact.

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Comments welcome.

24 comments so far

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #1

    Ibiza New in last couple of seasons I think. To stop clubs playing fast and free with their finances

  • TyneMouth

    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #3

    Talking of dodgy transfer deals, whatever happened to the HMRC investigation?

    It’s all gone a bit quiet, maybe it’s because the West Ham part of the action is uncovering a very complicated turn of events.

    The Porn Brokers have been rather naughty, I suspect.

    All rather slippery…

  • TyneMouth

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #4

    ‘Slippery’ indeed, more “slippery than greased bear sh!t” as my Granny used to say, not…

  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #5

    Thanks Rob. Just did some digging and found this…

    “There are also limits on wage bills with the annual increase over £52m pegged to £4m a year.

    The lower divisions of the Football League have their own FFP system with wages spending linked to overall revenue.

    In League One the wage bill is limited to just 60 per cent of the club’s turnover and in League Two it is 55 per cent.”

    Seems a bit of an odd one to me. Let’s say a club wanted to reward their current players and tie them down to longer larger contracts, instead of spending their cash on new players. Why on Earth not? But hey, if they’re the rules…Mind, that does give us over £300,000pcm increase room each season. Not sure this’ll impact us too much, not with Ashley at the helm anyway.

  • posada

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #6

    Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 6, 2018 at 8:06 AM
    Comment #66

    Carr seemed to be working to a certain remit alright ! Anyone from Mondial kickbacks must have been lovely!!


    Is that what I was hinting at ? Sorry, I couldn’t possibly comment. lol.
    That’s what the fella used to say often in that comedy Yes Minister.
    Sadly for us Mike Ashley thought it was a documentary on how to run an organisation.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #7

    Did anybody notice that over the last week or two we have not been lucky enough to join in Walter Mitty’s fantastic adventures in the Big Apple with his B-list celebrity mates. And if that wasn’t enough, there hasn’t been a peep from our very own hilarious gay Geordie.

    Strange that the latter of the two should thrill the Blog with a post at about 5pm last night and the former in the small hours this morning. What a strange coincidence.

    You would have thought that a poster who vehemently denies being a multiple would avoid so blatantly announcing the return to the Blog after a lengthy absence of both his personae within the space of a few hours. Either he is not very bright at all or he tried to wait to reintroduce no. 2 but succumbed to the midnight alcopops.

    Prepare yourselves for more flights of fancy and general hilarity

  • posada

    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #8

    It was like this. He wanted to buy players for 3-5 million and sell them for 20.
    Carr had some success ie Cabaye. Ashley thought great give them all 8 year contracts and they will keep doing it. But, they couldn’t.

    Is Ashley really a gambler. Well he did not show it, otherwise they could have been buying 20 million pound players and selling them for 60/70 million.
    Liverpool did it with a few players. Even Everton did it with Lukaku.

    Thing is to attract 20 million pound players you need this:-

    1) Some ambition and an idea you might win something.
    2) Not just this idea of a stepping stone to better things.
    3) A top coach and coaching of the highest order. ( now have that )
    4) Top facilities for training. ( rafa had to insist on improvements when he came )

    They wanted to trade in players as a comodity. They forgot that you also need to be a football club. ( check out SBRs definition of that )

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #9

    Got to say I’m impressed with the attitude of Dubravka regards transfer talks.
    We’ve seen in the past how sometimes a new contract can coincide with a slight dip in form, probably and understandably brought on by complacency. Nothing massive, more like a sigh of relief. It fits in with human nature in general.
    He’s clearly aware of this and refuses to even discuss it until he knows the job is done, despite making it clear he only has eyes for one club. It’s that sort of attention to detail that makes him the keeper he is I reckon. That’s just the right attitude we need, in a keeper especially.
    Discussions at this stage could easily take his eye off the ball – no pun intended – so he’s putting it all off until our safety is guaranteed. Love it.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #10

    “They forgot that you also need to be a football club”
    In a nutshell posada.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #11

    What a signing Dubravka has been. What a find. I really wanted Reina here. But I think this chap is better, hungrier and younger. His attitude is spot on and it rubs off on his teammates. Still can’t believe how cheap his transfer fee is and how no one pounced before we did. He makes all our other keepers look average at best.

    Rafa is slowly building a strong team full of hardworkers with a never quit attitude. A team full of winners which hopefully will soon in a few years lead to us winning some silverware.

  • beermonkey

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #12


    from dubravka debut you could see her was the missing bit at the back
    he talks and organises something our other keepers don’t do this has helped the defence a lot
    for the 4 mill it will cost us it seems a no brainer to sign him

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #13

    @pain in the blog
    Of all the stupid multiple accusations that we have to put up with daily on this blog, this one has to have the most tenuous link of the lot. From a neutral POV you seem to have just decided that the two people you dislike must be the same person (or that if they are the same person it will assist and justify your vendetta) and then sat around for weeks hoping to find a link. And the best ‘blatant’ proof you have come up with is the fact they posted 7 hours apart!!! Even the Daily Mail usually has more conclusive evidence than this. Back to the drawing board Columbo.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #14

    We’ll find out how genuine Staveley was very soon I reckon. I think we’re safe already, but obviously not mathematically safe. Every game we win now, or the teams below us lose, takes us that one step closer to being uncatchable.
    If she’s for real, the moment we are safe, should be a signal for her to make her move. It wouldn’t make sense for her to dither around and allow any other interested parties to gazump her.
    The club’s for sale. A guaranteed PL club that will remain a PL club as long as the owners – whoever they are – speculates correctly. All the ‘what if’s’ will be gone. No need to attach any strings to any deal.
    So come on Amanda, get your purse out and make the knacka an offer he can’t refuse.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #15

    On derby games,as we’ve got two this weekend,

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #16

    If investors are waiting until we’re safe, then perhaps a win against Leicester (coupled with likely losses for Southampton & Stoke) could start the bidding process again.

  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #17

    I think after all the miss-information given out during the last takeover fiasco there will be zero publicity until we wake up one morning and see the deal is done.

  • hibbit

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #18


    one day soon i hope !!!

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #19

    Try again should I? Derby games. I think this notion that a real Derby has to be between two clubs from the same city nonsense. I think it’s the complete opposite.
    For me a real full of fire and passion derby has to be between clubs from cities or towns close, but no the same city. Us v Mackems, Derby v Forest, Liverpool v Manure etc.
    The problem with Liverpool v Everton is that the same family can support both teams. OK, that’s rivalry, but it lacks the real passion and – dare I say it – downright hatred – that divides us from them. Derby v Forest is the same. Ten miles apart but chalk and cheese.
    If you’ve ever been to Joker Park or the Stadium of Shyte, you’ll get what I mean! It ain’t friendly. 🙂 Even without the violence that was guaranteed back in the day, that hatred is still palpable. Can you really hate your brother that much? Just for one day? Not for me. I could never dislike my brother like I do some unwashed mackem.
    Naw, give me our rivalry any day.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Just had a sad thought. Being 60, will I ever experience another Derby game again? How long before they regroup and climb back up through the tables? Could be at least a decade – look at Leeds, Forest, Coventry… Teams that always played in the top tier in the past, but been missing some time now.
    Oh well, promise not to lose any sleep over it! 🙂

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #21

    I’ve heard scousers say the same thing Bobby. London derbies generally aren’t that intense either as they all work together and live together, and it’s harder to hate and believe lies about people who you know. There are exceptions however. Glasgow being one.

  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #22

    Celtic Rangers has nothing to do with football, it’s all about religion.

    Sooner the world is full of atheists the better.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #23

    Next Mike at #13

    You’re entitled to your opinion, mate. As am I.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 6, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #24

    Mike Williams, lies? What? They don’t have six fingers and toes and don’t marry their sister? Sorry mate, I can’t believe that. 🙂 🙂


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