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Rafa’s Strange Comments About Forgotten Star

We have often talked about how Chancel Mbemba hasn’t had much of a chance since Rafa Benitez came to Newcastle.

And yet when Chancel comes into the side, as he did last August when Paul Dummett was injured, he has played very well.

In that case, it was at left-back, but he can play anywhere across the back four with center-back his preferred position.

Chancel can even play as the g=holding midfielder so he is a versatile defender.

Chancel loves it at Newcastle, but he hasn’t played much this season – only 10 times and only 13 times in the Championship last season.

Chancel Mbemba – last in action at Chelsea in FA Cup in January

Yes in his first year on Tyneside during our relegation season he was a star player and played 35 times.

In his press conference on Friday for the important game tomorrow night at Everton, Rafa said this about the former Anderlecht defender:

“He was training on Friday – and training well.”

“But the problem sometimes is, when the team are winning and you already have, in this case, four players in this position, it’s not easy for everyone in these times.”

“With five games left maybe he will have a chance. We will see. He’s training well.”

“Now is maybe the time that some players need to prove themselves.”

“So maybe I will make some changes to make sure that some players are given a chance to impress the staff and then think about their future.”

“Some players are playing for their futures.”

It looks like Rafa may still rate Chancel, and that’s a surprise.

So we could see the 23-year-old get a game before the end of the season along with other players like Mikel Merino, Ciaran Clark, Isaac Hayden and Jacob Murphy who have not played much this year.

It will still be a surprise to us if Chancel is still at Newcastle come September.

But we hope he is.

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Comments welcome.

27 comments so far

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 22, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #1

    “The Magpies return to action on Monday with a trip to Goodison Park and a reunion with big Sham that’s live on Sky and kicks off at 8pm.

    “This will be the 100th competitive fixture that Rafa Benitez has taken charge of since his arrival in March 2016. He’s won 48 to date.” (Nufc.com)

  • Veltman

    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #2

    Aye Tsunki I was wrong.Don’t know why I said that and it’s not my place.Accept my sincere
    apology.Sometimes circumstances make you slip away you know ha ha.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #3

    You can check out Sam Allardyces team selection news on Trustpilot. 😀

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #4

    Nee bother veltman i think Jesper is labouring under new father fatigue poor lad.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #5

    Perhaps if you are a Mag and travel within smelling distance of wearside as you skim by the outskirts of the doomed country on the A19 say at the A690 roundabout, honk your horn three times in honour of the unwashed and their triumphant league progression. 🙂 Then all we need is someone to do a video and post it ha ha

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #6

    Strange that mbemba was overlooked by more than Benitez. I doubt it was his lack of ability that excluded him.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #7

    I honestly was thinking Mbemba would be our first choice defensive midfielder by now! Has all the tools to do the job there just not sure what has happened ! He is prone to the odd error which usually leads to a goal so maybe that is why Rafa only uses him as backup?

    He is probably a bit lightweight for what Rafa likes in a centre half he usually tends to have beasts playing at the back so they never get bullied (Skrtel , Hyppia , Lascalles , Lejuene etc)

    Could see Hayden being a decent centre back at some point in his career!

  • lochinvar

    Apr 22, 2018 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #8

    I wouldn’t change the team for Everton other than involving Slimani to offer more physicality than Gayle. But maybe Rafa wants our best team fit and raring to go when we play Spurs which might be a measure for him if where this teams performance level is at.
    I can see changes for WBA and Chelsea with subs being used a lot.

  • Sav

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #9

    Agree. We’ve noty seen him at Def.mid. as he plays for DRC. He can be pushed off as a centreback. Could he step in for Big Mo? I’d like him to get a shot before he is allowed to leave. Good player.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #10

    I can’t see Rafa doing anything to upset the dynamic right up to the end of the season. I reckon shop windowing fringe players will be distant second importance behind acheiving the highest possible league position as this will impact directly on future player investment. It will be more of the same but Slimani getting fitter surely means more game time, possibly a start soon as he genuinely adds value up front.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #11

    Achieving, sorry
    I before e…..

  • Pottsclock

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #12

    Lee @7. Agree
    I actually think that one of the strengths of Mbemba is his versatility to cover a number of positions. He is strong and has pace, but maybe lacks height for a centre back. But I have always liked him and thought he would make a great defensive midfielder by now except that maybe he does not have a tactical head…more of an athlete.
    If we get rid, we’re only going to have to replace him to ensure the cover at centre back

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #13

    Mbembas distribution and confidence on the ball would suggest he could understudy Mo Diame, something nobody would have suggested 6 months ago lol.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #14

    And the baggies aren’t exactly rolling over ATM so we can’t assume wholesale changes or experimenting and three points.

  • Veltman

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #15

    Thank you Tsunki,
    I usually don’t like posting after early morning but Perhaps you are right there about the poor lad.May be got bonded prematurely and now suffering from fatigue or something. Sometimes don’t know myself what he’s talking about ha ha.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #16

    He’ll come round one day veltman. Patience. Patience.


  • Veltman

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #17

    Ha ha , felt like I was just pulling your legs 😀

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #18

    23 is still young. Mbemba might still be on a good trajectory at Newcastle. As with Mitro, just because they aren’t regulars, doesn’t mean they aren’t earmarked for more involvement in the future, or considered valuable and necessary cover. He seems a player still developing the necessary maturity to consistently start at CB or DM. Perhaps his time for us is coming.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #19

    Tsunki…that is exactly what you are doing you goon…

    …it’s not humour when you are trying to get a few of your gender stereotypes out in the open disguised as “humour” or what most would call Lulz!

    …are you familiar with that expression?

    Pack it in and grow up!

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 22, 2018 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #20

    The Chronic on top form:

    “RIP Roy Bentley
    Tributes have been paid to the former NUFC player who has died aged 23.”

  • Jib

    Apr 22, 2018 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #21

    Bentley only played 48 games for us
    He was 93

  • Veltman

    Apr 22, 2018 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #22

    Again, all I know is I was pulling Tsunk’s legs.Don’t know about the Danish lad or anything else.Have a nice day.

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 22, 2018 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #23


    Only 70 years out!

  • Jib

    Apr 22, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #24

    Sorry Ron
    didn’t realize you were taking the piss

  • Basogeordie

    Apr 22, 2018 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #25

    I like Chancel but I think his problem is taking instruction, understanding it and sticking to it.

  • 9

    Apr 22, 2018 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #26

    Like others, I rate Mbemba, but it is blindingly obvious our manager doesn’t. Him and Mitro on their way in the summer, shame on both counts.

  • sphinxhunter

    Apr 23, 2018 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #27

    Mitro and Mbemba have to go for the sake of their own careers.
    …and NUFC have to start bringing their own under 23s through to be the back up for the first team. I read that the development squad are going to have a big clean out of non-performers – is NUFC really wanting to be a club that churns young talent without adding any value? (And maybe destroying some promising young kids through poor man-management!) Time for more consistent professionalism at the lower level to ensure the whole club benefits.


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