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Former Newcastle Coach – Rafa’s Made Some Fantastic Signings

Lee Clark has been interviewed today and he has talked at length about Rafa Benitez and how Newcastle owner Mike Ashley must not interfere with things and allow  Rafa to do the job he was hired for – to get Newcastle winning some trophies again after a drought of over 47 years.


To be fair to both the owner and Managing Director Lee Charnley that’s exactly what it looks like they are doing and they seem to be trying to help the manager.

Long may it continue.

rafa benitez closeup in cap

Rafa Benitez – let him do his thing – like making some fantatsic signings
Then Newcastle will be great again

And it seems the former Newcastle player and coach also likes the players Rafa is bringing into the cub this summer.

Newcastle have made six summer signings so far and every one looking good and the players want to come to Tyneside play for Newcastle.

This is what lee has said today:

“Rafa has put his stamp on it. We got a glimpse last season – ­individuals such as Andros Townsend and Moussa Sissoko .”

“Sissoko, in particular, went to the European Championships with a spring in his step and performed really well.”

“That’s because Rafa has come in and done what he has done.”

“Having said that, the club has made some fantastic signings so far. Dwight Gayle, Grant Hanley – but the one for me that stands out is Matt Ritchie.”

“I would have been pleased if we had signed him in the Premier League – so to have got him in the Championship is a real coup.”

Rafa did make Sissoko and Townsend into better players in the short time he coached them.

It’s just that the two of them just don’t realize that (or don’t want to realize that) and both will be off to other clubs this summer – with Andros already being the first out of the door at the end of June.

And to join Crystal Palace?

We also expect at least another four players to be coming into the club  to ensure the squad is big enough and good enough for the Championship.

And it now looks almost certain that we will be losing both Moussa Sissoko and Florian Thauvin – and maybe both will have left Newcastle by this coming Friday when we play our first league game at Fulham.

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • outside the box

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #1

    from previous post…
    jib @76…
    he is at training ground being assessed on mon …but dont expect him to be involved anytime soon

  • Jib

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #2

    Read last para
    Sissoko may be staying yet !
    Some bridge building with the fans to be done there if so.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #3

    I’m sure I’ve read this once already this morning!
    Talk about dragging it out

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #4

    Can’t see Sissoko been here by the time September rolls round


    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #5

    Tbf I couldn’t see Rafa being here when we were relegated

  • NewcastleMole

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #6

    Is there any chance we can part exchange colback for some one?

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #7


    But we’re all happy that he did. Would we feel the same if Sissoko stayed?

  • SUTTY1978

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #8

    JIB, just reading that link shows how ludicrous it would be for Real to have any interest in Sissoko, they are looking at maybe offloading the brilliant James Rodrigez as he’s not good enough for them but would look at bringing in the most inconsistent player from a relegated Premier League team! Sissoko wouldn’t make it to half time in his first game before he was subbed. He’s just nowhere near that level


    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #9

    if sissoko were to stay,we all would be waiting for a performance like he showed at the euros and if his heeds up his hoop we would never get it….more chance of hearing he wants to leave….again….he wont stop.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #10


    that would be good, althought tbf this may be his level, though he doesnt get in my 11 ahead of hayden and anita.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #11


    Very much agree with you on that mate 🙂

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #12


    My bad

    just saw the spanish and assumed wrongly. figured there must be some Italian in there as well with the ieri ending.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #13

    I’ve got a feeling that Goufran will score a fair few this season


    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #14

    Not everyone no because the popular thing to do these days is to hate Sissoko but the team is better off with him than without him and Rafa clearly rates him very highly


    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #15

    hope he does tbh,i liked him when he first came,didnt look like scoring but a really willing worker but over the last couple of seasons has went right off the boil and never really looked interested,if he’s got the bit between his teeth again he could be a decent player for us this season,if he doe’snt… he’ll be a waste of squad place.

  • SA Toon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #16

    Sissoko would be insane in the Championship, but he is temperamental and would almost certainly disrupt the team. Personally, I wish him well with a big name transfer. I would rather we get the cash and replace him with a player like Will Hughes who would give it all on the field. When we’re slugging it out on a rainy midweek evening at some little stadium in the middle of nowhere, I want players with some heart out there representing us!

  • tomellifred360

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #17

    Creating a Fantasy Football League if anyone is interested.


  • davis_toons

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #18

    exchange colback? i thought that he was a good squad player and putting in a shift for the club.

    He should be doing good at championship.

    What about Jonjo Shelvey? What can he do with his command of highest paid wages?

    For me, i cant wait to watch how Jonjo play. Of course, i hope that he will improve and do well but doesn’t seems like still..hope he can really concentrate on his game and justified his high wages.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #19


    Being played out of position didn’t help him either

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #20

    Why do all the posters claiming to have a balanced view on Rafa feel the need to belittle him and his achievements?


    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #21

    i dont hate sissoko as player i actually think on his game he’s a handful,not technically the best but his power and pace is a huge asset,but whether rafa,me,you or any other fans rate him if he does not want to play for us,it would be better off for everyone including him to sell him get money and invest in a replacement….unless he does a full reversal of attitude and commits, keeping him is a waste of time….good luck to him wherever he ends up….this will probably be the biggest pay day of his career,off the back of the euro’s.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #22

    Ivan Toney?

    Tello, Barca?


    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #23

    aye that would’nt of helped at all to be fair to him.


    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #24


    Why would you want rid of colback? Think he’ll be crucial this season. Player we must keep, really underrated.


    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #25

    Possibly but who knows? He has t wanted to be with us for years now but still manages to be our best player

    And he’s finally playing under a good manager maybe he will see what’s good about NUFC rather than the utter shambles he has seen since he signed


    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #26

    There’s a lot of choices for central mid this season, Anita, de Jong, colback, tiote, Hayden, shelvey,.

    Wouldn’t mind letting barlaser getting some experience. Think he’ll become great!

  • Our Toon

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #27


    Why do those who believe rafa can’t make any mistakes try to rewrite history and shoot down any talk of a slight tactical error?

    Works both ways!! He’s a class act but zonal marking doesn’t work better than man marking

  • SUTTY1978

    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #28

    Jail, I’ve been critical of some things. Don’t think there’s any harm in that. I haven’t rewritten history. What I can say is that Rafa is the man I want as manager, there is no one I would prefer more but it doesn’t mean that I can’t have any opinion on anything that contradicts that of Benitez. this blog would die out pretty quickly if everyone shared a singular opinion. What I have seen though is that everybody is 100% behind the manager, that doesn’t mean people can’t disagree with certain decisions, signings, tactics whatever. At the very least is should stimulate discussion, not be shot down as an attack on Benitez.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #29

    I believe in rafa, but I don’t believe in zonal marking. Evident in our last game, why was there no man on the back post for there first goal.
    But if there’s anybody who can make it work, it’s Rafa. Mind you it won’t happen over night.
    If u look at the stats & facts of rafa time at Liverpool, he conceded the least amount of goals from set pieces in the premiership.

  • Pat On The Heed

    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #30

    newcastle have been relegated???

  • SUTTY1978

    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #31

    Pat, no it was just a mistake, we’ve been re-instated with a 40 point head start for next seasons Premier League.

  • giimps

    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #32

    It will take time to get the zonal marking right, it will take time and possibly cost goals ,however, drilling and explaining will eventually cut the mistakes and hopefully ,because we’re in a “lesser ” league, it won’t cost us too many points.
    I’m hoping that because we will have more possession than most of our opposition, we won’t concede too many free kicks and corners for it to be a huge issue.
    the sissoko “should he stay or should he go” question for me is a no brainier, ask ourselves this, how many points has he gained us in the games he’s played for us in the time he’s been here?
    IMHO, for someone with his strength, pace and where he plays on the pitch he should be contributing more, he has zero awareness and is closer to obertan than Pogba, if we can sell and bring in a tortoise with a limp in his place ,the tortoise would probably offer you more if the ball was passed to him up the pitch somewhere,just by the fact he has a hard shell.
    If Rafa decides to play him every game as is quite possible , we are going to need somebody else to get assists and goals unless there is a complete 180* change in attitude and team/work ethic.
    Sell him and bring in someone who wants to be here with skill, heart, pace and the ability to read the game


    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #33

    off topic, for the techies out there,been looking at getting a better phone then i already have, nowt to expensive but been looking at moto g4 or samsung j5…do any of you use these phones or have clue which is the better?cheers.

  • SUTTY1978

    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #34

    Glimps, the thing with Sissoko is, that when he plays well, the team play well. Although he didn’t offer many goals and his actual assist tally wasn’t that high, he did get us up the pitch and pushed the opposition backwards.
    In addition he’s consistently created more chances than anyone else in the team.
    Whether you like the guy or not he’s been our best player, I think the issue that people have with him really is that he could have been even better for us but the same could be said of a number of allegedly talented players we’ve had down the years.


    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #35


    Get the Sony experia xa

    Mate at work has one it’s brilliant if wanted an upgrade on iphone

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #36

    Smartphones or any phones with Internet on it is a waste of money.


    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #37

    cheers, al have a look.

  • Spoof

    Jul 31, 2016 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #38

    So now we are near kick off time what lies ahead, more additions may be made and some may be sold but generally my gut instinct tells me that even with incomings we will start with a 4-2-3-1 and they will be
    Gamez Mbemba Lascellas Dummett
    Colback Shelvey
    Ritchie Perez Aarons

    Biggest concern is Colback and Shelvey as a pairing, could they dominate enough to allow the attacking four to strut there stuff, for me nope they couldn’t, as a result I think Aarons will lose out with Anita operating as a third DM which would leave Ritchie, Perez and Gayle as our only attack minded players, but what about Hayden, I can’t pick a player who I have never seen, I really do hope he solves a problem for us

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 31, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #39

    On the subject of sissoko. How many times on the right wing has he tracks back, helped the right back, & won possession back for us, this is something that goes completely unnoticed. If you consider if he didnt track back, the attacker could have put in a good cross, & we could have even conceded.

    The guy is a machine, & rafa ovbiously wants to keep him, but his attitude is stinkin & he’s open about wanting to leave newcastle.

    It’s anything but a no brainer.

  • giimps

    Jul 31, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #40

    It’s all about opinions, I don’t think he has contributed enough as an attacking player, granted, he does occasionally track back but mainly when he has ran into a dead end, the opposition have Sussed his no end product and swamped him or his cross/shot has been so woeful it’s turned into a pass to the opposition.
    I do admit though, if his head was in the right place, he had more options up front and looked up to find them and got the best out of his undoubted talents he could be an asset…..unfortunately, his head is away from here, is a headless chicken with power and pace, his passing is woefull and has no idea of reading the game IMHO


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