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Rafa – This Player Still Has To Show Us What He Can Do

Dwight Gayle’s performances this year have been good, and he’s not only started scoring some goals for us, but in the last two homes games, he’s had an assist in both games – brilliant assists too.

Rafa Benitez had mentioned in January how he was pleased with the attitude of the striker and that \he was doing well in training.

Dwight has looked good, and one thing we’ve noticed is that he works his socks off for the side.

Rafa believes maybe the uptick in Dwight’s form is due to extra competition up front since Slimani arrived, even though Islam has been injured.

Islam Slimani – still has to show us what he can do

This is what Rafa has said about how the arrival of Slimani has affected Gayle – as reported in the Chronicle today:.

“He’s fine, he’s doing well,” “Joselu has not been playing too much at the moment, but whenever he is on the bench he is positive too.”

“Joselu plays 10 or 15 minutes at the end of games, he is giving us control and something different.”

“The competition now is quite good. And Islam Slimani, when he comes back to fitness, will have to compete with them.”

“Islam has confidence in himself, which is positive, but he has to show us this in the training sessions and with his country.”

“Then we will see what happens against Huddersfield.”

Rafa is a great believer in having as much competition as possible for first-team positions.

It seems to be working, and hopefully, we can get our third successive home win against the Terriers on Saturday.

If we do win, it will be only the second time this season we have won two games in a row.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

80 comments so far

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #1

    Am I the only one who thinks whoever agreed the loan deal for slim shandy was on a back-hander?

    Looks to me like his “slight” problem is a lot worse than that, so, i wonder is it the player saying “It’s still tight” to get a decent pay day? His agent who tells him to say that? Our medical team?

    Something smells of that loan move – and i hope I’m proved wrong.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #2

    I’m well aware that Veltman is out of his mind from chewing chat all day long but what is it that you’re smoking?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #3

    Dubai Mickey,
    I think unfortunately shit happens sometimes.

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #4

    I’m aware of that Jail, but I get the feeling we’ve been done up like a Craster kipper here.

    (btw, no “e” in Micky)

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #5

    Micky, there are some interesting Slimani comments from Rafa in the Chronicle today which essentially state that Slimani is confident in himself but that he has to demonstrate that with his country and in training. I wondered if that meant that as far as Rafa is concerned, he’s now fit but has to prove he’s worth a place in the team. Ahead of Gayle and Joselu.

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #6

    I agree Rob, but why would you “buy” (loans have payments) a player who is either a) injured and not bothered about it or b) isn’t good enough to automatically go ahead of the guys you have?

    As I said, I reckon there’s a rabbit away but hope I’m proved wrong.

  • Belfast

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #7

    Nope. It was simply Silmani or nobody else in the end and we decided to roll the dice. We should have signed a striker in the first week not the last hour.

  • Belfast

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #8

    He might have been really desperate to play and has made the initial injury worse himself. You just don’t know. He could still play a vital role in the last few games though.

  • toonincheek

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #9


    Thanks for choosing the “what are you smoking” option
    rather than the “You are a Mackem” option.

  • lesh

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #10

    Maybe Slimani was presented to Rafa as a fait accompli aand given a choice of take him or get nobody.

  • hibbit

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #11

    makes me think Rafa was given Silmani on a him or nowt bases !!
    Rafa just doesn’t seem that impressed with the guy,i thought Rafa would have been trying to big him up to get him playing and scoring but its as if Rafa is just not that bothered i just don’t get it
    is he not a Rafa signing ????

  • Thump

    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #12

    Seems to me that Rafa might be doubting Slimani’s commitment. Not suggesting he’s feigning injury, but perhaps Rafa thinks he’s not as injured as he believes. Perhaps he’s just trying to rev the lad up.

    Similar to what SBR did when he arrived – all injured players to come in and have a chat with him about their recovery plans.

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 27, 2018 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #13

    Thump, I concur.

  • Jib

    Mar 27, 2018 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #14

    You have to look at Islam Slimani’s
    timeline to get the full picture.

    In August 2016 to great fanfare and excitement
    all round , Ranieri signs him from Sporting Lisbon
    – the top goalscorer in Portugal joining the PL champions !!!

    Unbelievably less than 6 months later
    in Feb 2017 Leicester sack Claudio
    and appoint the arsehole Craig Shakespeare
    who completely blanks Slimani.

    Shakespeare lasts until last October and the next
    available window Slimani’s offmans.

    No wonder his confidence needs nurturing !

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 27, 2018 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #15

    This is worth a watch.


  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 27, 2018 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #16

    Well, you never know. sometime in the future he might turn out to be a great signing for us but we need him to be a good signing for us now.

    If he gets a hat trick Saturday for us then we all might be a little happier about his arrival.

    Hope Ritchie is fit to play otherwise he won’t be scoring the goals needed to make my prediction of top scorer with 14 goals happen.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 27, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #17

    94 Hours 20 Minutes to ko.

    We’re getting there.

  • Thump

    Mar 27, 2018 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #18

    @Jib: Shakespeare definitely knocked his confidence, just needs a bit of a kick up the backside I think.

  • martoon

    Mar 27, 2018 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #19

    Anybody know how many Huddersfield players have been away on international duty? Just thinking not as many as us which could give them an advantage!

  • Jib

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #20

    3 Aussies
    only as far as Scandinavia

  • Jib

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #21

    1 Aussie
    2 Danes
    the Danes aren’t great
    woof woof

  • martoon

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #22

    Cheers Jib – I suspected as much which means the majority of them have had 2 weeks to prepare whereas a few of ours will have a couple of days!

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #23

    So did nobody find that youtube video at #15 amusing? Really?

  • Jib

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #24

    I’ve sent it to loads of mates
    Sorry I didn’t realise you wanted your ego stroked

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #25

    Stroke away, Jib.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #26

    I’m actually disappointed that you think I am doubling up as the bland and imo utterly pointless poster Jane.

  • Belfast

    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #27

    So you got that annoyed with the whole Pokat shenanigans you decided to become a cross dressing poster and call yourself Jane?

    I only wish Ian Toon was here to witness this.

  • Jib

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #28

    I wouldn’t be surprised if
    Jail is Jeff from Benwell
    as well – he seems to find
    his old posts with great alacrity.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #29

    not really our concern but FIFA yet alone the FA should be all over West Ham like a rash – more dodgy than Del Boy


  • martoon

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #30


  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #31

    Slimani on and booked

  • 9

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #32

    The only time to judge the lad is EITHER at the end of the season OR if he has already scored the goal(s) that keep us up. Do we know who is paying his wages all the time he is unfit for selection?

  • 9

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #33

    Came on at 63 mins, booked at 68 mins! Crikey!

  • Jib

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #34

    Perhaps a touch of frustration there

  • Jib

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #35


    the Slimani game

  • 9

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #36

    Jib, very considerate of you. I hope you may be right!

  • bettyswallocks

    Mar 27, 2018 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #37

    Pain in the …. The link @15 was hilarious.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 27, 2018 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #38

    Cheers betty. Thought I was the only one to have a chortle.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 27, 2018 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #39

    Ha ha, Jeff In Benwell, racist, linguist and Clockwork Oranges biggest fan accuses me of being the racist, linguist and Clockwork Oranges former biggest fan of being Jeff From Benwell.
    The mind boggles

  • 9

    Mar 27, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #40

    Jib, Thanks for the link to the match. Unfortunately, I cottoned on to it just as the final whistle went, so learned nowt. Did you by chance see anything of our lad?


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