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Rafa Gives Positive News On Dwight Gayle

Rafa Benitez has just completed his press conference for the Championship game at Wolverhampton Wanderers late tomorrow afternoon – and we need another win in the game to stay top of the Championship in what will be a very tough game.

Rafa has given an update on the injuries and he says everybody is very close now apart from Rolando Aarons and Vurnon Anita.

As far as Dwight Gayle is concerned he says he is now very very close and has completed some training sessions.

Rafa Benitez at his press conference

Some of Rafa’s comments are now being reported on the Newcastle United Twitter account and on Chronicle Live.

Here are some of Rafa’s comments in no particular order:

“Almost everybody is available now. Anita and Rolando are out but everybody else is pushing.”

“Dwight Gayle has completed some training sessions, so he’s very very close now.”

“When you play away, everybody wants to beat you. But we are ready, top and we are happy – but it’s difficult.”

“It’s important to just concentrate on one game at a time. The other teams will be pushing and pushing.”

“Hanley is doing well. He has experience in the Championship, he is perfect for that because he helps the team spirit.”

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Comments welcome.

46 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #1

    For the prices being quoted for McCarthy, it may be possible to get Daley Blind in the summer for around the same money. I am sure Blind would prefer to play DM instead of CB, and he would be great in beside Shelvey – he can tackle and help spray the ball around.

  • Belfast

    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #2

    Good news. I really hope Shelvey has his head screwed on tomorrow and doesn’t take the bait because he’s gonna get dogs abuse and probably kicked all over the park.

  • barkel

    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #3

    can’t imagine Blind being any cheaper and I would think there’s less of a chance he’d want to come play for us

  • AncientC

    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #4

    barkel, I didn’t say Blind would be any cheaper, but if you are talking £20 million, that wouldn’t be far away. Of course it would be more difficult to convince Blind to join, that is because he is a good player who would have options – exactly the type of players we should be targeting… as opposed to rummaging around in the leftovers bin.

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #5

    Blind is probably on way more wages than McCarthy, which makes it a bigger financial deal. Pure guess work by me though, and I’d happily take Blind over McCarthy. He’s certainly the caliber of player we need to be attracting. If we still have Rafa at the club we could see some real quality additions to the first team.

  • barkel

    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #6

    Sorry, didn’t read that right money wise .. Friday afternoon! I wouldn’t say McCarthy is in the leftovers bin, I rate him and think him and Shelvey would be a great midfield pairing. I think with McCarthy you know what you’re getting, Blind doesn’t seem to know if he’s a centre half/sweeper/dm

  • mad-serb

    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #7

    Afternoon guys

    Miles Starforth just tweeted Gayle not in the squad for tomorrow. So I guess he will be on the bench next week only

  • SharpEnough23

    Feb 10, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #8

    First match I’m going too in a few years, hopefully we get the win.
    Could only get a ticket in the home end though so I’m not sure how I’ll be able to control myself from celebrating when we score!

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 10, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #9

    Belfast @2
    Yeah I know what you mean about Shelvey.
    But judging by the way he reacted to a little rough stuff from Derby last week, I’m worried!
    He was very much on the edge for a while, and looking for retribution. The ref was crap, fortunately had blinkers on and followed the ball otherwise he would have been in more bother!

  • jayphoto

    Feb 10, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #10

    surprised the game isn’t on sky.. Got a feeling the Centre of the park might be a war zone on Saturday…
    Gayle being back is massive… pretty sure even the strongest of mitrovic supporters now see why Gayle is our #9 and how important he is!

  • JamesToon

    Feb 10, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #11


    The Wolves game is on sky ?

  • jayphoto

    Feb 10, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #12

    On McCarthy – surely he goes into the townsend folder? In January, he’d be worth the money as he’d probably guarantee promotion, but in the summer, his value is less because as a premier league club, with rafa at the helm, there are better options. Good shout on Blind, reckon we’ll see Rafa hit la liga and serie A for me though also he seems to understand the importance of a homegrown core.

  • jayphoto

    Feb 10, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #13

    @jamestoon – is it? sweet! ha didn’t even realise

  • Mag52

    Feb 10, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #14

    Don’t think we should risk Gayle tomorrow, so it has to be Murphy up front.
    This team needs some serious consideration, at least 24 hours, so I’ll make my declaration around this time tomorrow.

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 10, 2017 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #15

    Start with Murphy and if we’re losing/drawing bring on Gayle for 20-30 minutes at the end. Build up his match fitness again and give their tiring defence something to think about with his pace at the end of the game.

  • lesh

    Feb 10, 2017 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #16

    sing in the corner

    Wolves Manager’s told his players to forget about Shelvey’s temperament! I hope the ref’s alert to any attempts to wind him up to a sending off.

  • lochinvar

    Feb 10, 2017 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #17

    Like the optimism but Gayle isn’t even in the squad.
    Options are Murphy to start with Mitro last 20 minutes
    Mitro to start with Murphy on later on
    Both start ?

    Lets see what the Rafa Bingo experts come up with !

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 10, 2017 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #18

    Lochinvar – oops, missed that. If he’s not in the squad then I’d agree with what you said. Start with Murphy, finish with Mitro. Rafa would never start with two target men. If he doesn’t play Gayle along side a target man then he’s never going to play Mitro and Murphy together.

  • lochinvar

    Feb 10, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #19

    Chancel – I’ll go with that !
    Unless Rafa has other ideas …

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 10, 2017 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #20

    with gayle injured i don’t know why we don’t play goof up front with atsu coming in on the wing. goof when played as a genuine CF has impressed me more than Mitro and Murphy.

  • check the toastie

    Feb 10, 2017 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #21

    Daley Blind is shit, no pace, half a yard late on every tackle, no creativity at all, sooner have some faith in Hayden. Cloud cuckoo land idea, need pace and legs in PL, especially as its Shelveys weakness, he is no natural athlete the boy.

    But very dangerous with ball at feet. Great talent but needs to stay professional and fit.

    Should have got Nzonzi wen he was at Blackburn, proper player

  • Our Toon

    Feb 10, 2017 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #22

    Check toastie

    Blind is shite? Wow, some players don’t need to be athletes, blind is very good both on and off the ball, already has a pass in mind before the ball gets to him especially when played as a DM, reads the game really well and recycles possession. Hayden will never be good enough to lace Blinds boots nevermind in term of ability

    Shocking comment by you mate.

  • Our Toon

    Feb 10, 2017 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #23


    I’d go with mitro, has he even had 90mins of football in 2017? We need him to start getting into some sort of rhythm, as for gouffran not keen on him in any position, he’s done well as a grafter but one of the ones you blamed for missing a very good chance against qpr recently.

    I’d be happy to not see Gayle, even on the bench for the weekend. Rather he got up to speed with enough of a break as he could break down for longer

  • matt11_25

    Feb 10, 2017 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #24

    Mbemba Lascelles Clark & Hanley what a breath of fresh air having four capable CBs

  • LGFUAD21

    Feb 10, 2017 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #25

    I definitely think Mitro is harshly criticised.

    I’d say its neck and neck with him and Murphy and dont really care which starts.

    Murphy came into the team with a bang but has been anonymous recently. But still hasnt had a run long enough to properly judge.

    Mitro has not been given a proper chance. Take away all of his 8min cameos and he’s performed ok for a guy that is never able to gain match fitness.

    Mitro is a target. His hold up play is always decent but his finishing sometimes lacks. But you need a run and a rhythm to get that part of the game.

    I still think he could do a job for us. Big strikers are coming back. It’s not all about pace.

    Murphy is a better finisher and more mobile but Mitro is more imposing.

    When we aren’t countering or tearing teams apart I barely notice Gayle or Murphy. I do notice Mitro getting involved though. I think he actually suits our patient style a bit better.

    Gayle on the other hand is built for the quick tempo attacks. Give him 1 chance and he’ll score which is why he’s been nailed on as our main man this season.

    As for Gouffy. Again i think he’s had a good season but I’d like to see Ritchie and Atsu tomorrow.

    My preferred line up

    Yedders – Hanley – Clark – Dummet
    Hayden – Shelvey
    Ritchie – Diame – Atsu

    Ritchie can protect Yedders and Dummet can stick to what he does well giving Atsu free reign.

    I dont think Perez does enough and it’ll be a feisty game tomorrow. Diame handles the rough and tumble better.

  • LGFUAD21

    Feb 10, 2017 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #26

    For me Lascelles and Clark is still our best CB pair but give Hanely another shot and Lascelles that little bit more motivation.

  • chicousa

    Feb 10, 2017 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #27

    Goals and Assists average per 90 minutes played

    1.029 (20 goals in 1750 minutes)
    0.103 (2 assists)

    .501 (3 goals in 539 minutes)
    .501 (3 assists)

    .874 (2 goals in 206 minutes)
    .000 (0 assists)

    .255 (4 goals in 1412 minutes)
    .255 (4 assists)

    .192 (4 goals in 1876 minutes)
    .144 (3 assists)

    Just Some grist for the mill…. looking at stats per game or per appearance can be misleading when many of a players appearance have been for 5 or 10 minutes at the end of a game. Mitrovic’s assist rate is actually pretty good.

  • chicousa

    Feb 10, 2017 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #28

    Source of stats below:

    Does not include cup games

  • chicousa

    Feb 10, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #29

    I like your preferred lineup for tomorrow’s match!

  • check the toastie

    Feb 10, 2017 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #30

    Blind is slow and couldn’t lace a 45 year old Carrick boots he’s that bad. his inadequacies are covered by players in man utds team that actually have some talent.

    no coincidence there improvement has coincided with him being removed from the engine room.

    I repeat overrated shit.

  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 10, 2017 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #31

    Carrick is 35

  • Our Toon

    Feb 10, 2017 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #32


    Man utd were flying at the beginning of the season and blind was in the team. They went on a bad run when zlatan stopped scoring, in that good run blind got 3 assists against Leicester playing at LB.

    Carrick moving back into the squad and Mourinho changing the line up by including mkhytarin has sparked them back into life. Nothing to do with blind playing or not

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 10, 2017 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #33

    This used to be a great all things toon football blog.
    Have you ever managed to invent a memory? Something that you are sure happened but it turns out to be just a dream, or a trick of the mind. Soon the doubt follows; the structure of your own perception suddenly feels unstable.

  • lochinvar

    Feb 10, 2017 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #34

    Rafa bingo

    Yeldin– Hanley – Clark – Dummet
    Hayden – Shelvey
    Ritchie – Diame – Perez

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 10, 2017 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #35

    It’s somewhat like a declaration that all your players are available for transfer. What follows is that the very best get signed up leaving the dross behind.
    Apologies to the likes of Lilongwe, Belfast etc, who are a good read.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 10, 2017 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #36

    Shite house rat!!!

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 10, 2017 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #37

    The very personification.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 10, 2017 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #38

    Ian Toon,
    What with you being so far up your own crevice it probably hasn’t even occured to you that you and your mtiple personas, Jack Root, carl, sack Lambias and many others that have gone under the radar have got a hell of a lot to do with demise of this once very good blog.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 10, 2017 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #39

    I’ll post my winning bingo team tomorrow once I know for certain who’s available.

    On a more serious note, my lettuce purchasing has been vetoed by the missus.
    She says that cash will be available in the Summer when there is a better quality of of them and they’ll be cheaper and with a more favourable future sell on value.

    I’ve told her I need them now but she isn’t having of it saying we’ll have to make do with cabbage.

  • toontaff2

    Feb 10, 2017 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #40

    Sorry all , but when you get a line………..


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