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Benitez’ Strong Character Traits Permeate Down To Players

24 year-old Sammy Ameobi made another sub appearance for Newcastle on Saturday in the 1-0 win over Derby County that took us back to the top of the Championship, as we start our final push towards promotion back to the Premier League.

That’s job one for this season – the only thing that matters – and if we can achieve that then only good things lie down the road for Newcastle United under the great Rafa Benitez.

We’d be very surprised – make that  shocked – if owner Mike Ashley does not support his manager 100% in the summer, given that we get promoted.

Sammy Ameobi – in action against Rotherham United

Rafa is a world-class manager who has won three European titles but he is modest man and does not rest on his laurels at all – and always wants to win the next game.

He gives complete respect to all the clubs he plays, which is one reason he’s so admired in the game of football.

Rafa’s attitude and strong character traits filter down to the players and he’s making the Newcastle squad into winners this season, after last season we were worse than hopeless.


Rafa also believes the Championship is one of the toughest football leagues in the world.

Sammy Ameobi has been interviewed today in the Chronicle and he was asked what it’s like to play under the accomplished Spanish manager:

“He breathes football and he’s really intelligent.”

“You can see what he has achieved when you look at his CV.” “To get to learn under him, do things right under him and be part of this is exciting.”

“There’s a long way to go. You have to take every game as it comes and we can’t rest on our laurels.”

“We are always looking forward to the next game. Hopefully, we can get three points on the board.”

“I would have loved to have played in the FA Cup for Newcastle, but that’s the way it was.”

“I just have to work hard in training and do extra to keep fit.”  “Hopefully I can help the team in the league.”

Sammy has now played three games in the Championship for Newcastle, although with Christian Atsu coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations, he may find it more difficult to get games – although Rafa has been impressed with the local lad since he returned from his loan spell at Bolton.

Sammy’s contract at Newcastle runs out this June and he will be trying his very best to get an extension so he can stay at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • LGFUAD21

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #1

    Cannot understand the lack of game time for Atsu.

    I think he has been impressive most times he has appeared. Ritchie is now back into his best form again which will limit Atsu further but I dont get why he wasn’t given some games when Ritchie dropped off a bit.

    I’d like to see us sign him personally. Think he’s got a big future.

  • jayphoto

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #2

    Not all that sold on Atsu, flatters to deceive a bit for me, not sure we’ll make the deal permanent as tbh I can’t see him being good enough for the EPL.
    Shouldn’t be fooled by his AFCON performances either, because he was even better at the 2015 tournament, got goal of the tournament, team of the tournament and wasn’t far off player of the tournament.
    Think hes a useful player for us this year, similar as Sammy is, but neither are EPL standard even squad players for me

  • martoon

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #3

    I’d be tempted to alternate and start Atsu in home games and Gouffran in away games where we want to be more defensive – Ritchie switching sides to suit.

  • jayphoto

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #4

    @Martoon – I’d really like to see Ritchie in the #10 spot. Played there for Bournemouth at times, in this league at least I think he could offer more than some! Guess we’re too short out wide to do that though! Similarly, prefer perez wide left, seems more effective and is an excellent crosser. Diame looked better against Derby though, going by rafas selections I think #10 is Diames until the summer at least

  • martoon

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #5

    jayphoto @4 – Not a bad idea especially if Hayden & Colback are both injured and Diame has to stay alongside Shelvey. When Atsu is back we have Sammy and Gouffran as well so just about enough cover out wide. I’d also like to see Mbemba tried in the defensive mid as he plays there for his country but obviously Rafa doesn’t rate him.

  • Fostino

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #6

    time to freshen the team up for sat and rest some lads. id have the following

    yedlin lascalles clark dummet
    ritchie mbemba diame shelvey astu

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #7

    Playing no 10 – yeah not a bad shout as when he is out on the wing he has a tendency to drift inside all the time. I know it leaves space for overlapping full backs but if the full backs are not getting in the crosses then a bit of a waste of space out wide.
    One of the biggest problems we have is linking the defence to attack.
    Diame did a excellent job until Hayde went off then he dryfted back as a third centre half on Saturday leaving a huge space for the Derby Midfield attackers to run into

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 6, 2017 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #8

    I’d like to see Mbemba in a sweeper role, I reckon he’s got the tools in the locker to do this. Thought that Mbabu could could probably do it as well. We should keep both of them for next year in the EPL.

    Reckon we might see Sterry, Barlaser and Finlay figuring big time next year as well even if we do get some new signings in.

  • hibbit

    Feb 6, 2017 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #9

    Is Gayle fit ????????

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 6, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #10


    I think Gayle will be on the bench Saturday.

  • hibbit

    Feb 6, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #11

    is that just a hunch or have you heard something ??
    talk at the game was 2 more weeks but don’t know where it was coming from !!!!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 6, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #12


    From what I’ve read he was even a possibility for last weekend, I think Rafa might chance him off the bench rather than start him.

    But I don’t have any definite insider info. 🙂


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