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Benitez On The Players Who Have Improved This Season

Several Newcastle players have improved this season after a full term in the Premier League.

And they will be that much better next season after the experience they have gained this term in what has been an up-and-down season for the Magpies.

One of them is Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles who is now said to be wanted by both Everton and Chelsea this summer, and we covered Jamaal in an earlier article today.

But there are others who have had good seasons in the famous black and white shirt of Newcastle.

Mohamed Diame – has been  a revelation this year

One player who has shocked us is Mohamed Diame who has been a revelation in the holding midfield position this year.

Since Mo has just one year left on his contract at Newcastle, we expect Rafa to offer him a new deal in the summer to stay at the club.

Here’s what Rafa has said in the Chronicle about players who have improved at Newcastle:

“I will say there is still plenty of room for improvement for some of them.”

“But sometimes people will not agree and say they are not good enough.”

“But that doesn’t mean they are not progressing. Jamaal has been one of them.”

“Lejeune, who we didn’t know in the Premier League context has also been quite good.”

“Yedlin is someone who has improved, Dummett is very consistent and he is clever, so he is learning a lot.”

“Diame has been playing as a midfielder and everybody has said he is amazing.” 

“We knew about the potential of Jonjo and he has improved a lot.”

“Ayoze, for example, is doing things that nobody else can do in the team. He makes mistakes sometimes but he is doing a lot of good things.”

“The others, Ritchie is one that has settled down, we know Gayle can do this and that, but if you want to name one for me it could be Jamaal.

“His progression could be a good reference.”

It will be interesting to see if these players continue to improve on Tyneside – we think they will – as long as Rafa stays.

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Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #1

    OK 20 minutes
    Ha ha ha

  • Tsunki

    May 13, 2018 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #2

    Ancient – curious comment about Jesper and “people”. What shoe is on what foot? When jesper is on i sense only pity really that he’s turned into this paranoid whiny bloke who keeps chirping on about being victimised. Shame really i used to find him quite personable.

  • Tsunki

    May 13, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #3

    He’s right about Lascelles – he is the pivotal point on which the teams confidence has been built. Together with Lejeune getting belatedly into his game after the Kane debacle, and getting a proper bossing keeper in, it has allowed the other members of the squad to do less mucking in and more individual contribution.

  • lochinvar

    May 13, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #4

    At no point under Ashley’s control has Newcastle United been able to say the club is on the verge of realising its potential.
    Until now.

    Under Rafa and with a core of great players such as Lascalles, Shelvey and Diame poised to become icons with the club and dominate the Premiership there is magic in the air – if Ashley can only just see it. If he lifts the blinkers from his eyes and sets his people free the club can earn a place at the top six table.

    SJP can be expanded, new dynamic players signed, a new Academy and Training facility can be created and the City itself which is earning a global recognition for excellence can maximise it’s potential highlighted by having a ” best club in the world” to showcase out talents.
    Is Ashley a visionary or a street trader ? – his call, lets hope that his ego is not in the way of being man enough to say – I have a dream.

    On the eve of the Sir Bobby Robson film what better time than now …

  • JohnJ

    May 13, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #5

    I firmly believe that had Lascelles been fully fit and playing in all our 38 Premier League games that we would have finished around seventh place in the league! He’s a vital cog in our team!

  • Bobbybee

    May 13, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #6

    Merry match day lads – albeit the last one. 🙁
    So, any credence to this £80m budget for Rafa?
    If true, happy days. Not many clubs will receive that amount to spend, apart from the sugar daddy clubs. I reckon Rafa will snap his hand off at that. He can do a lot of improving with £80m and his own coaching ability. Just hope it’s right.

  • Lindisfarne

    May 13, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #7

    Just as a counter balance to the general ‘our defence is brilliant’ and I know not every game can be clean sheet. But particularly in this current run of loses, I have been disappointed in the goals given away as the players have flapped desperately.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #8

    Transfer window opens on 17 May, Rafa say’s he wants some early signings, so we will see just how much Ashley intends to support him pretty soon and how much cash he is prepared to chuck in.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #9

    the players have flapped desperately.

    No they haven’t

    Rafa’s teams don’t flap

    Best stick to criticising personalities and leave
    the footy to others.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #10

    How long to KO Jib?

  • DaveD1000

    May 13, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #11

    if EGB doesnt know we are fracked

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #12

    3 hrs 49

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 13, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #13

    Lejuenes could be our star next season. I’ve been very impressed the rate he’s improving. Must be great playing for Benitez if you’re a defender.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #14

    I think that’s why the talks are taking some time
    With an early window you have 2 problems for the club
    1 the accounts aren’t signed off until June
    2 the largest tranche of PL money is paid in June
    This means if Rafa wants early signings Ashley is
    going to have to bridge NUFC for a couple of months.
    So the warchest top up will be taking up their thoughts

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #15


    Sorry don’t see what you are getting at, fracked in what way.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #16

    Any one know if the bus has stopped, apart from team news of course.

  • Bianconeri

    May 13, 2018 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #17

    Funny how things pan out.Lascalles has been tremendous but would he have been in the team if Lejeune hadn’t been injured.
    Diame was really poor early doors,but after the punch up has been outstanding.
    All in all Rafa has them playing as a team and it shows.
    I fancy a win today by odd goal
    Lejeune with the winner

  • DaveD1000

    May 13, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #18

    would be a good end to the season for Shelvey to get the winner

  • Tsunki

    May 13, 2018 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #19

    I don’t think there was any danger of lascelles not walking back into the team. It was always Clarks suspect concentration that marked him out.

  • AncientC

    May 13, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #20

    Tsunki @2, Jesper has always been fairly polite and good to communicate with. Maybe you shouldn’t henpeck if you don’t like the dry sarcasm he throws back.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 13, 2018 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #21

    I’ll eat my undercrackers if Joselu gets a hatrick to finish top scorer.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #22

    I thought rough tough rig
    workers went commando

  • NezzaNUFC

    May 13, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #23

    1- Season is not over so limitations with finance is at the stand still until season is over and finance is acquired.

    2 – Rafa contract will be dealt with again after the season is over along with talks about the club, Ashley works this way.

    3 – For once the media could be right concerning the 82 million as Newcastle have proved to made a profit already even before the TV rights.

    4 – Newcastle revenue per match showing on Sky sports is that ‘per match revenue’ which is already been received per match (obviously)

    5 – this would be the last straw with Fans vs Ashley as we all know he openly stated Rafa can have every single penny Newcastle has made, so to go against this we lose Rafa in the process.

  • NezzaNUFC

    May 13, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #24

    6 – where are the Rafa haters gone?

    Seem to gone missing once we became safe!

    Bladeuser especially!

  • ronaldo aarons

    May 13, 2018 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #25

    How hard is it to pick our player of the season?? For me it’s lascelles down to his consistency over the full season and the difference he makes when he is absent.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 13, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #26

    Atlantic cod season strangely coincided with our up turn in form.

  • ronaldo aarons

    May 13, 2018 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #27

    I like rafas comments on Perez too. He has improved in the number 10 position and will continue to do so. I posted a link yesterday to tsunki about Kenedy and it was the game v man Utd. Couldnt help but notice Perez in many o the clips. Looked a natural #10 tbf coming deep, keeping possession, linking play and good touches and movement.

  • AncientC

    May 13, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #28

    The Arsenal game today should be an interesting one with it being Wenger’s final game. It almost seems written in the script for Huddersfield to spoil the party lol.

  • ronaldo aarons

    May 13, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #29

    Think we were suppose to hVe scouts at galatasary again watching Garry Rodrigues, read it somewhere. Assisted 2 goals and by all account played well again. Looks to be a good player that can carry the ball with pace and end product.

  • Bianconeri

    May 13, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #30

    Das Boot and Kevin Gameiro rumours starting again.
    Carroll,and Austin will follow 🙂

    I reckon Rafa will have a gem in sights

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 13, 2018 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #31

    Perez is actually really good when he plays against the bigger teams as he gets a bit more space to play its when teams mark him out the game and are quite physical where he struggles! Although if we get some better quality around him up front it might make playing against those types of teams easier

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #32

    My guess for today


    Yedlin Lascelles LeJeune Dummett

    Shelvey Diame Merino

    Richie Perez Murphy

    2-1 to us.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #33


    Atlantic Cod Season, didn’t know there was one. 🙂

  • lesh

    May 13, 2018 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #34


    Ffs man, what’s all this tripe about the club not knowing how much money’ll be available for transfers until the accounts are signed off in June? Although it appears that the clubs finances are managed by SD persons so god knows how Ashley’ll have them do it.

    Ashley should know approximately how much has been received from staged payments give or take a few single figure millions and it’ll know approximately how much more’s to come. In that situation, there’s no reason why players shouldn’t be bought and paid for by instalments as most other clubs do. Paying cash up front may help clinch a deal, but it is disadvantageous in that doing so reduces the club’s liquidity.

    To summarise, the approximate amount of money available for transfers should be a known but how it’s sold to Rafa is the key. Ashley’s preferred line is that a transfer budget includes fees for players and agents as well as players’ wages for the duration of their contract is prudent but hardly practicable where there is so much income available by being successful.

    As long as Rafa is given a sensible and realistic budget which covers fees only along with income received from player sales and the resultant reductions in their wage costs, he’ll know what he’s got to work with. Subject to Ashley not moving the goal posts mid window. There lies the biggest problem and the sooner Ashley sells up the better.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #35

    1 Hour 17 Minutes to KO

  • lesh

    May 13, 2018 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #36


    The way the Mag.presented the £80m was ‘promised UP TO £80m’.

    It means nothing Bobby. So Ashley sanctions say £10m and decides that’s the end of it, he’s kept his side of the bargain. More ambiguity I’m afraid.

    Assuming Ashley has said up to £80m, I’d be happier if he were to confidentially guarantee Rafa a minimum and maximum spend. However, Ashley has form as a liar!

  • lesh

    May 13, 2018 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #37


    You’ve said you’ve got problems with your back and I wonder if you know of an reliable insurance company that offers travel cover at a reasonable price and doesn’t rely on its small print to wriggle out of paying for treatment or repatriation in and from the EU?

    I’m sure others are able to offer advice based on their experience and any constructive suggestions’d be appreciated.

    In anticipation, ta muchly

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #38

    Team sheet imminent

  • ShirebrookToon

    May 13, 2018 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #39

    Well done Jib for mentioning the obvious 😆 😉 😛

  • ShirebrookToon

    May 13, 2018 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #40

    Lovely weather in the toon today


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