Rafa Preparing To Strengthen Team In January

It seems that Newcastle may struggle again this season after we have picked up just one point in our first five games.

Last season. with much easier fixtures we had 9 points from five games after losing our first two games but winning the next three.

We beat West Ham, Swansea and Stoke, and the last two ended up relegated last May.

Rafa will want to strengthen the team come January and he and Steve Nickson – Head of Recruitment – have already had several meetings and players will be watched by our scouts through the end of this year.

Steve Nickson – Newcastle’s Head of Recruitment

Last January we brought in goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and left winger Kenedy on loan, and they made a massive difference to the team.

It’s going to be interesting to see whether owner Mike Ashley will give any money to Rafa in January for new players.

If he doesn’t, and Rafa has to scrape together two loan players coming in from the continent, he may decide he’s had enough of Ashley.

Rafa has said he could decide whether to leave Newcastle in April, and that’s a few months after the January transfer window closes.

But we should get some idea whether he will leave sooner than that depending on how much he’s supported by Ashley in January.

We’ll not be too surprised if January is like the last two winter transfer windows and Rafa is not helped by the owner.

Rafa will want to bring in a full-back, a number 10 and maybe another striker to complement and improve the current squad.

This could be Rafa’s final transfer window at Newcastle – and it will be Mike Ashley who has driven Rafa out of the club if the manager does decide to leave.

It will be difficult to blame Rafa if he does leave and join a more ambitious club than Newcastle are under Mike Ashley.

There are many of those in the Premier League these days.

You can only take so much before deciding nothing is ever going to change under Ashley – they haven’t for the last 11 years – even when we have a world-class manager in place.

Remember when Rafa came in (March 11, 2016) and fans said even Mike Ashley cannot screw this one up?

The owner may just achieve that unless he has a change of heart and starts to support the manager, but it may already be too late.

It will Ashley’s biggest mistake at Newcastle if Rafa leaves – and maybe his last.

What do you think will happen at the end of the season with Rafa?

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Comments welcome.

78 comments so far

  • Our Toon

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #1

    In rafa’s time with us can anyone point to what identity the team has, I’m just curious go know.

    we can’t seem to pass the ball around like most teams

    Get nosebleeds when we attack

    Can’t defend properly yet stick to that

    The only guarantee is rafa will make like for like changes on or after 70mins with no intention to change tactics, just personnel.

    I don’t get the lovefest, i see plenty of faults, in 3 / 4 seasons we can’t even pass the ball forward, we have no clue how to create chances

  • Toon&oot

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #2

    No change there then! Same old same as.

  • DubaiMicky

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #3

    Next 8 games? I’m saying 13 points.hope for 17, will live with 15.
    (No that wasn’t a typo).

  • Reilly

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #4

    Rafa has lost the dressing room.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #5

    Couple of things I noticed yesterday….
    Did anyone notice Yedlin and Dummett swap full back positions first half yesterday for ten minutes and after playing out from the back we have reverted to hoof ball

    No one came short or wide for Dubravka goal kick or free kick we just went and stood to the right side of the pitch either side of the half way line – awful to watch

    And another couple of facts we have had the least possession of any team in the Premiership
    And hoofed more long balls than any other team including Cardiff

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #6

    Our toon

    yes , our identity is ultra defensive, and pee off as many good players we have as possible.

    Passing style, to the other team as quick as we can. it’s like hot potato hot potato.

    If a player is have a good game, he is the first subbed, because he is obviously not following the script.

    and oh yes, come out and shift the blame to Ashley to hide his failings.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #7

    Remind me how good we were before Rafa came? I appear to have forgotten.

  • scout

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #8

    Rafa should leave, what’s the point working with this bunch of idiots.
    Completely pointless task, no money to spend and a threadbare squad.

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #9


    who sold all of our best players?

    all the other managers had no say.

    Rafa has full day over who GOES, he might it get who he wants, which makes even more curious as to why players like Mbabu, Florian ( was under contract), Mitrovic, Saviet,, Mbemba, Krul, D murphy
    everyone of them were better than his replacements.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #10

    We even had better players then, but I just recall struggling. Still, no matter Catchy, you remind us how great we were. When did we last finish in the top half?

  • RUNAWAY777

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #11

    Sick of hearing rafas getting ready to Strengthen in jan window what bins you looking in god it looks like west ham are upping there game up winning 2..0 at Everton hope they dont win or we will be 2nd bottom tonight lads.

  • cyprus

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #12

    I’ll be honest. I’m more concerned with what will happen to my team, Ed.

    It’s never been about one person. Never will be.

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #13


    tell me how we have a world class coach one more time and how UN lucky we are to have him..

    point to how we play, that suggests he is world class..

    just about every manager in the world can say if i had money to buy the players i want, i could do so much.

    but im really glad you have so little faith in our squad. and its only RAFA that keeps us afloat

  • Our Toon

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #14


    Its not about how we good or poor we were previous to rafa, we have no identity other than be in the game by defending for our lives and then hooe go pinch a goal.

    This is the most defensive we’ve been under any tenure of manager in the last 2 decades. We cant even pass the ball so it makes me wonder what we do in training other than be compact.

    Do we have rafa as manager of Tony pulis because I can’t tell the difference

  • Toon22 Blind as a bat

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #15

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:36 PM
    Comment #10
    We even had better players then, but I just recall struggling. Still, no matter Catchy, you remind us how great we were. When did we last finish in the top half?

    When did we last finish in the top half.

    Erm……… last season bobby, lol.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #16

    1..2 west ham

  • Our Toon

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #17

    Predictive text on phone, can’t be bothered to correct to the mistakes

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #18


    i cannot tell if we have P45 or a world class manager that has won countless major trophies.

  • Bambams

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #19

    We can sum all this crap up why we are where we are and why we might struggle this season…..

    ******We made a profit in the transfer window*******

  • Toon22 Blind as a bat

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #20

    Not being funny but if Rafa bought Ronaldo, Messi and Bale this season, he probably still would have played awful football, so to say he didnt have the funds is utter bollocks.

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #21


    you can answer that question about the player let go if you can..

    sorry that right.. ASHLEY picks the team and tactics

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #22

    LOOK at the quality in the team. Shelvey. Lascelles. Ritchie on his day. Lejeune, who’s injured. The rest?
    These are not the players he wanted. These are what he has to work with. We’re, five games in ffs. We’ve played Spurs, City, Chelsea and Arsenal. With injuries to contend with. Stfu and come back at the end of the season. We finished tenth last season. Whining about it now is beyond stupid.

  • Our Toon

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #23


    He had the quality at Madrid and got booted out for being dull and defensive, he even had an issue with Ronaldo. Plenty of teams below us in lower leagues don’t have the money but they play decent football and actually attempt to win games.

    Money buys you quality but you also need identity as well, without identify it’s pointless buying players.

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #24


    why did he get sacked from both real madrid and Milan? 2 great attacking teas filled with world class talent in less than 6 months. CRAP defensive FOOTBALL.

    its great to say he was at these clubs, but rather embarrassing to see the reasons why they got rid of him in such a short time

  • Our Toon

    Sep 16, 2018 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #25

    Mitro he didn’t fit his system, since making his debut no player in English football has scored more goals than the Serb. Maybe the quality has been there but he’s been to rigid to adjust to what he has

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #26

    Try speaking English divvy and I might try to answer. That makes as much sense as… Well, Catchy.
    You want Rafa out, we get it. Fortunately, what you want means nothing.
    You contribute NOTHING to the club, so your opinion is moot anyway.
    You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Give the man the money HE WAS PROMISED, then if he fails, you might have a point.
    Five games in ffs. Grow up. You sound like an entitled teenager.
    I hear we have 1.6 million twitter followers. Just think, if those ‘fans’ all joined the CLUB, that would be 50m more to spend.
    Have we got 1.6m members? No. Surprise.
    People like you whine all the time, but contribute eff all to the club. Jog on.

  • magpie6699

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #27

    I don’t get the “ultra-defensive” tag about yesterday’s game. In the first half we pushed Arsenal and had some decent moves and quite a bit of possession. After halftime we had lost Lascelles (cutting down our substitute opportunities as well) and conceded a goal to a freed-kick. THEN we went to pieces and they were suddenly full of confidence. Yes, personally I’d have brought Shelvey on instead of Kenedy and Rondon for Joselu. Was Rondon jet-lagged?

  • RUNAWAY777

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #28

    Almost time for my flight back to the toon for a few weeks before iam off again for the last part of the season abroad be working at home over the winter time my go to one game if any tickets are on sale .

  • toon22

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #29

    It’s never MAs fault

    Wonder how much we bid for Messi ?

    Think they will take 50 quid ?

  • toon22

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #31

    Until the problems gone were never going to compete

  • ash1001

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #32

    What’s the background of Steve Nickson, no nothing about the guy, has he got a decent track record. Was Murphy a Nickson recommendation.

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #33


    we might be 5 games into this season, but he has been in charge of 110 games, and my opinion has not been formed because of a poor start. against some good teams, its all those other games out of the 110 against the likes of Forest, Cardiff, bournmouth, Watford.
    WE set against them, like we are playing Liverpool. we never impose our game, we just defend against there game plan.

    I dont like his treatment of the players, we have lost good players due to his petty attitude,, not professional at all

  • Toon22 Blind as a bat

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #34

    5 games games, no wins, what happens if we don’t win any of the next 5 games, people would kick off if Pardew were still in charge.

    He got the club to finish 5th without having world class players, that season he played the right way, just like Rafa, Pardew wasn’t backed the following season.

    No fan wants Rafa out, ffs, just stop being so stubborn and be more adventurous, we haven’t got a bad squad, just things needs things adjusting.

    Not rocket science.

  • sing in the corner

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #35

    Our toon @1
    I previously credited you with more than coming out with stuff like ‘..we can’t even pass the ball..we have no clue how to create chances..’

    I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.

  • Jib

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #36

    Bobby are you for real ?
    Catchy knows stuff !!!
    If he tells you stuff shut up and listen right
    He’s never been in SJP in his nat but he has all the
    stats at his fingertips.

    How dare you argue with a guy who drives a digger
    in Norway who has never seen a live PL game !!!!

  • Toon22 Blind as a bat

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #37

    He needs to go bring back Pardew.

  • Bambams

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #38


    I respect others opinions and enjoy the discussions. This is just my thoughts/opinion about where we are at this time.

    When this club has went through 11 years under this owner and the managers we have had, it just shows the owners knowledge of football.

    JFK was given a chance, that in itself should be enough. But it gets better.

    Whenever we have had a happy period such as Hoots and promotion – he was sacked.

    FInished 5th with Pards – signed one player failed to kick on.

    Last season finished 10th – profit of £22 million. This shows our owners intent.

    Other than Shelv, Dubs and Lascelles which of our players would be regulars in other PL teams ?

    Fella I don’t agree with the defensive set up lately, I love entertainment on the pitch – but in my opinion if we left 20 yards behind our CB’s whilst playing the likes of who we have, I think we would get hammered.(bar Cardiff)

    Goal difference might play a part at the end of the season but could you imagine how the players confidence would be now if we had a go and received 5-1 defeats in each game.

    Rafa sets up defensive, it’s his style. We all admired how close KK came to winning silverware and SBR. Rafa plays like this and until another owner comes in with an open cheque book and entices pep or Jose to be our manager – I will be happy to have Rafa as my manager rather than JFK, P45due, Fat Sam or John ‘the best coach’s Carver.

    Lets see where we are in 10-12 games eh

    Cheers for the craic mate

  • RUNAWAY777

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #39

    .1…3 west ham ffs

  • Our Toon

    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #40


    Going forward we can’t pass the ball, have no ideas. We can’t string more than 2 or 3 passes forward, sideways, backwards and then hoofball. Do you we can pass forwards and do have ideas?


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