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It Will Be Sad And Disappointing If This Player Leaves Newcastle

We really hate to see a good young player with enormous potential leave the club, but that seems what could happen this summer with Mikel Merino, who turned 22 last Friday.

Mikel made a great start to his career last August, but this year he could hardly get into the side with Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey in really top form.

Mikel is young but doesn’t seem to want to wait for another season at Newcastle; he wants first-team football to continue his development.

But he still played 25 times for Newcastle last season with one goal – so that’s not bad at all.

But news from Spain today that Real Sociedad want to sign the player this week and Marca is reporting this week could be decisive in Sociedad’s pursuit of the box to box midfielder.

Mikel Merino – playing for Spanish U21 side

We still don’t know how serious the clubs are in Spain and whether they have the money to sign the Spaniard, who cost us £7M from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

For instance, there was news in the last couple of days that Athletic Bilbao will not be bidding for the Spanish U21 International.

Rafael Benitez rates Mikel Merino highly and wants to keep him at the club.

Here is some of what the manager said about Merino late last season as reported today in the Shields Gazette:

“I think he was unlucky with that injury and also Jonjo and Diame were playing much better.”

“We have to understand that when you talk about players in the same position – we can say ‘Merino is really good, better than Shelvey’, but if we’ve had words about that, it means something is right, because both are good players.”

“But when one is so bad that nobody’s talking about him, something is wrong.”  “In this case, we are lucky enough to have Isaac Hayden, Mikel, Jonjo Shelvey and more (Mohamed Diame), because all of them can play.”

“When the team is playing well, I don’t think there’s a massive difference between one or the other one.”

“They are different in terms of characteristics, but the team could do well with one or the other one.”

Interesting comments and insights there from Rafa who will want to keep his compatriot on Tyneside.

There’s also a good chance the Spanish clubs after him will be unwilling to pay what Rafa wants for the player – maybe over £15M?

It will be high especially when Rafa does not want to sell one of his very best young players whose contract still has four years to run.

We have to have players leave the club this summer to cut down on the wage bill and make room in the squad for incoming players.

But not one of our best young players.

Comments welcome.

71 comments so far

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #41

    …don’t mind if Harry Kane takes the Golden Boot though. Hope he does tbh.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #42

    The only “in” crowd seem to be those who don’t tolerate mischievous troublemakers who liberally pad out their odd nufc related input with nitpicking and insults of other posters. And those that have come back under another guise to continue doing it despite being banned for racism and joking about disability and mental health. And it looks a lot like the “out” crowd are those that complain that they cannot just tolerate that.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #43

    Magscar are you one of those intimidated posters then that we hear a lot about?


  • magscar

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #44


    Thanks I don’t worry at all and am happy to be not cool, I was merely responding to Tsunki’s musing that how do we know people don’t cpme on Blog.

    I tink it all depends on viewpoints and I said years go that it was an intimidating place to come onto. Now it is better and there are several good posters not necessarily who I totally nor always agree with but are well capable of making their point without sneering dressed up a humour. or ripping others to shreds. One poster no longer posts and there are 4 others who immediately spring to mind who rarely do nowadays but if i could care to think a little more no doubt others would occur. Yeah better but still a lot of repetition without anything new but these are the worst weeks.

    I even enjoy the musical interludes including the recent Northern Soul one which I missed out on as you do when you are younger and focussed on your own genre’s. A few mates were into it but never persuaded me to follow but i did like the ” outlaw” vibe of it as not being mainstream.

  • AncientC

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #45

    Who would have thought poking fun at Jib for yet another one of his ‘similarities’ to Jeff would lead to End of the World cults, God/religion, and overly suspicious girls. That snowballed quickly.

    Magscar, you forgot to mention how I helped clear up the fact that you were not carl. Not that I did it as a favour, just called it as I saw it.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #46

    Here we go several posters no longer post because the blog is intimidating. Wow. What terror lays it’s icy
    hand on a man ha ha that prevents him from tapping his phone screen anonymously a few times? Rubbish. When anyone new comes on here they are usually welcomed. The only ones with something to fear are the ludicrous and the offensive.

    Look back five years and you’ll find a good three quarters of this posters are no longer here. Why? Because they get bored, run out of ideas, or die.

    I suspect your bad experience was derived from other causes 😉

  • Tsunki

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #47

    Apart from straying into the knocking of religious views I must say I was a little nudged astride by the concept of “suspicious girls” . Now that does sound intimidating. 🙂

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #48

    Tsunki, I’m with you on that one – Mike you need to explain the relevance of ‘overly suspicious girls’, unless you’re talking about my missus and her school friends.

    If so, I can assure you that describing them as ‘girls’ would be very much stretching the truth….


  • G

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #49

    I used to comment on pretty much everything, all of the time on here, however, I found it got tedious and made me as a blogger quite confrontational over arguments / disagreements. These days I pretty much read everything, but don’t bother to comment too much, and try not to get on the blog if I’ve had a few beers, as quite often something you think as of ‘tongue in cheek’ at the time, can really be pretty damned offensive. Maybe other bloggers should keep that in mind from time to time?

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #50

    tsunki, you have to admit there are one or two people who use this as a weapon. it’s not just that one comparison, if it was people would take it seriously (or not care most likely). there are a couple of people who seem to have realised calling someone a dupicate is the best way to annoy and they overuse it. these are similar to the kids you used to get at school who will needle one person with a knickname (something witty like big nose or whatever is the most obvious thing) or accusation (gay usually or sheep shagger) hoping other people will join in, or that the person will snap. mentally this is about the best chance these types have in an argument so they use it. it’s not the likes of you or jail or ancient that say this that is annoying as i could believe you’re right, its the ones who seem to come on purely to have a go at others and seem to randomly link anyone who disagrees with them together. their constant use of ‘duplicate’ doesn’t do you guys any favours. anyway… mitrovic. serbia to shock brazil.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #51

    JP, you’re not alone for sure, I want Kane to succeed for England, fail for Spurs and win the golden boot at every international tournament but not score during any of the qualifiers.

    That way, Shearer should keep all of his records, we could catch Spurs and we might win the odd World Cup.

    If he keeps on refusing to score in August, that could be a start….

  • magscar

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #52


    I am made of sterner stuff but do some times think should i post and often think “why bother” and simply don’t. Hence my frequent absences from posting.

    When I came on here as a relative regular ( having read from the start but posted very sporadically) I had to seriously defend my views to some of the In crowd to the extent I nearly gave up as I do have other things in my life BUT this is the best NUFC forum and I need to connect with other fans so I perservered.

    Nevertheless I had very liltle encouragment by anyone to continue but refused to be browbeaten so kept going. So in my personal experience as a fan of over 50 years with an individual viewpoint this is not always a welcoming place at all and it does take determination and confidence to press on.

    I am certainly not posting because of the encouragement or sense of welcome from likes of yourself . Rather than wittly try to reverse the arguement about you being in the out crowd try standing in other posters shoes for just one time – you never know you might just get what some others think.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #53


    “The only “in” crowd seem to be those who don’t tolerate mischievous troublemakers who liberally pad out their odd nufc related input with nitpicking and insults of other posters. And those that have come back under another guise to continue doing it despite being banned for racism and joking about disability and mental health. And it looks a lot like the “out” crowd are those that complain that they cannot just tolerate that.”

    Wow, just wow. 🙂

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #54

    Kane winning the Golden Boot would be great if only that it stops Mr Ego himself!

  • Tsunki

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #55

    Magscar – disagreement and polarised opinion is one thing. I for one would find no satisfaction in “bullying” another contributor off the blog for the sake of it. I wouldn’t want to be the reason someone with a genuine motive darent contribute.

  • magscar

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #56


    If you did help then I have seriously forgotten that but a belated thanks for that.

    My point was merely to show that in coming back on rather than being welcomed back by say a “stalwart” I was put down for actually saying it was a better place.

    We can’t quantify the “missing” posters but in my experience this is not a place to tread into if you are even slightly off what constitutes the mainstream and god forbid you should hold a view different to one of the colonisers of the Blog – it is an uphill battle with plenty of reasons to give up posting or indeed altogether.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #57

    What’s “wow” EGB? If you look it wasn’t me that invented either the “in” or the “out” crowd. Theres irony in there somewhere.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #58

    I was thinking after yesterday’s game I’d like to see Kane up there with Klose and fat Ronaldo as all-time top scorers, but then I thought I wouldn’t want him to overtake Lineker’s 10 WC goals.
    It was a funny hat-trick he got yesterday mind. You’d be hard pushed to find someone who scored an easier hat-trick than that.

  • magscar

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #59


    You may not want to ( and in my case you certainly weren’t a reason to give up – but didn’t help either) but you have a ready and oft sarcatic wit which can posters who may not share that particular talent can find off putting

    Here’s a thought – why don’t some of the more regular posters try and actively encourage others even though they disagree to post, It would be to the benefit of the Blog in more than one way.

  • DubaiMicky

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #60

    Time for a tune (kinda Northern Soul related too)…


    Now can we just get on?

  • DaveD1000

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #61

    My worry is…is it “in” to be “in” or shall I just stay a 93% happy rafa clapper outlaw? answers on a postcard please. On another note re Mitro threatening to not play for Newcastle again…..ggoglemeisters when was the last time?

  • JohnJ

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #62

    RobLeenio at 27 (reposted from previos thread)

    Thought I’d offer insights into “Geet Lush”

    I’ve lived and worked in this area (North Tyneside) since I was 12 years old and recall hearing former work mates at Wilsons Garage in Whitley Bay using the expression “Geet Lush” back in the early sixties (One was from North Shields and another was from Shiremoor)

    So as far as I’m concerned it’s long stanting Geordie Dialect and the meaning is “It’s Great or fantastic”.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #63

    JohnJ, yep I agree – as in well enshrined in the local dialect and therefore unable to be used as evidence that two posters are the same person.

    It’s weird to think that this whole conversation has stemmed from the fact I simply tried to point this out to PompousC in the first place, leading to accusations towards me around racism and not being from the area.

    This is exactly why posters feel this is an intimidating place to post sometimes.

    Good job I have broad shoulders / don’t give a toss….

    Anyway, apologies to all for hijacking the blog, but I do think this has been a useful conversation for the health and sanity of Ed’s venerable site.

  • magscar

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #64

    This was one of my early attempts to engage on here – not an Ashley apologist as some still insist on trotting out if anything less than “GET OUT OF OUR CLUB” is posted.


    Oct 29, 2013 at 3:20 PM
    Comment #12

    Following the club’s latest own goal I have written to the club via the Contact Us section on their website copy below.
    Sorry for such a long post but as this is my first post in over 2 years (although I follow the blog everyday) I hope you will allow me some latitude.
    I have become increasingly tired of the sniping and calling that has increased this and last season which apart from restating entrenched views does nothing to advance the arguement. I often skip some bloggers posts for this reason. No doubt others will do the same to this but hey ho.
    My view is a simple one based on what seem to be only a few viable options anyway
    Ashley sells up to someone who can take us forward
    He sells up to someone who can’t or won’t
    He stays for the forseeable future
    None of these outcomes are able to be affected by us fans without some unacceptable protests which may do as much damage to the club i.e. not turning up to as many games as needed until Owner capitulates. I do not want to enter into conversation on this as it would be redundant to do so as I think we all know that the majority of season ticket holders will not take this draconian step – nor would I have when I had mine.
    After supporting this club through thick and mostly thin for nearly 50 years I long ago reluctantly came to the inevitable conclusion that I and other fans could not directly change the ownership of the club until they are good and ready to go. This invariably means when they receive an offer that is acceptable at that time as we fans whilst backing the opposition against the current owners can do nothing to influence one being made.
    If we accept that, then that is not to say we have to simply sit back and support uncomplainingly. We need to strive to engage in whatever forums the club participates in and for example bombard their website etc with coherent views and not simply of the “get out of my club” variety which whilst making you feel better are simply ignored. Repeated coherently argued emails to their sites will have some effect if only to cause backlogs.
    Other posters may have better knowledge of how to actively engage with the club but my simple view is we have to start a dialogue not a row as to how the club can continuingly and consistently move forward. This is so even when Ashley’s stance seems to be wait until a suitable offer arrives but in the meantime do little more than keep the club ticking over. I do not believe it is possible to bully him out of the club whilst there is no viable offer which means he gets his money and what he feels is a reasonable profit from the sale. Would you? – as I certainly wouldn’t!!
    He went down the sale route last time we were relegated and couldn’t get an acceptable offer. Anyone who believes any owner would sell at his disadvantage even if he loved the club is naive.
    As for Time4change I am not sure of wha they actually want to happen but I can only paraphrase an old protest song which Ed and others of my generation will recall
    “marches alone won’t bring change”
    Please put all our energies into what can be achieved not raging against those with opposite or less strident views.
    By the way Mike doesn’t read this blog.

    Email to NUFC.CO.UK

    I note with amazement the Board’s reaction to the Evening Chronicle’s coverage of the recent fan’s march through Newcastle City Centre. Having called the newspaper’s coverage “disproportionate” they then proceed to ban all three titles indefinately and without seeking to engage in any discussion. What is proportionate about that? It is another media “own goal” and makes the club yet again a laughing stock. I do not support the march’s agenda but would love to see some tangible progress in the club’s owner’s dealing with fans. The current attempts at meeting with fans seems too agenda led by the club.
    I applaud Mr Ashley’s efforts to bring some financial stability to the club but am regularly made incredulous as a fan of nearly 50 years at the crazy decisions on football and media matters. Other owners of this club have made mistakes (and money) from this club but Mr Ashley has regularly surpassed all of them at least in terms of mistakes.
    Most fans have realistic views on the immediate potential of the club but feel let down by the lack of clear communication and sign of genuine ambition from the club. I accept Mr Ashley does not want to be involved in the day to day running of the Football Club and so appoints people to do so. If his judgement on his cuurent (and previous) appointments were reflected in his Sports Direct appointments then he wouild not have as successful a business as he enjoys amd may even be in administration.
    I do not believe for a second that Mr Ashley is seeking to punish the fans but as an astute businessman surely he can see that as the custodian( as well as current owner) of this historic club that he needs to engage on a surer footing by a proxy if he wishes ( Chris Mort did so very well a few years ago) than happens now. He has an asset which is underperforming and whilst we can’t financially compete with the Manchester clubs, Chelsea etc. Surely we can do better than the so called “smaller clubs” like Southampton, Swansea etc. who show a better understanding of the current state of the Premier League and show us the way forward.
    I also acknowledge that he genuinely wanted to sell the club following relegation (when he admitted he had made mistakes) but couldn’t then or now find a realistic buyer. However is the only way forward whilst he awaits a suitable offer to let the club stagnate by an unambitious “keep our heads above the relegation waters” approach in the transfer market.
    Can Mr Ashley state his intentions and ambitions for “our club” if necessary through the Sports Direct News channels if he doesn’t trust the press. Where are we on his original 5 year plan and what do the next 5 years hold? Please not more of the mediocre servings we have suffered so far and frankly do not deserve.
    Surely it is in everyone’s interests Owner, Board, Management, Coaches, Press Officer ‘s Players and not least us long suffering fans for a new partnership and understanding to arise between us all to ensure this club can be all it can be and not a shadow of one.
    It can only be started if not finished by you Mr Ashley .

    A few quibbles from 2 regular posters about SDN but nothing which made me feel I was in welcoming company.

    Oh and it seems not a lot has changed 🙁

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #65

    magscar, it seems like a well-thought out and written letter with a reasonable tone asking genuine questions and requesting better handling of the press and more consideration for the fans.

    Certainly can’t be considered to be pro-Ashley in any way.

  • Moonraker15

    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #66

    The term “lush” as in “brilliant” or “excellent” has become popular either the younger generation I notice being a bit of a fan of dialects and sayings. Geet (great) has always been common on Tyneside, so maybe “ geet lush” is emerging. Interesting comments about Geordie slang being common. I met some old guys in a Cyprus village who had retired there and they were all quite well off and the conversation was full of dialect slang being proudly used by all. Other Brits in the company didn’t have a clue what was being discussed. My point is these words we all know can only be used when we get together.

  • magscar

    Jun 25, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #67


    Thanks but it was nearly 5 years ago when I though rational debate was welcome on here even if it wasn’t vehement enough for most back then ( or even now).

    My point was that whilst I wasn’t reflecting the general chat on Blog at that time I felt it was a reasonable post but failed to attract any favourable reaction or support at all. There were just disputes over SDN (Sports Direct News now defunct) which I dealt with. Had no encouragement to continue whatsoever but did later and was then met with lots of opposition from those who held sway on Blog.

    Others have been less than encouraged to continue to post since then and I purely use the anecdote to back up my impression on a day I came in out of the sun for a catch up and then whiled a way an hour I had no intention of doing 🙂

    Still enough reasonable interesting and adult posters to make it worth checking in fortunately 🙂

  • Moonraker15

    Jun 25, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #68

    I fear Kane won’t win the golden boot unless he scores 2 or 3 versus Belgium and the next game as I fear that’s as far as this team is going in this World Cup! No quality in midfield!

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 25, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #69

    Moony, I’ve posted about this before, but the Geordie dialect can be traced back to Anglo Saxon England, in fact many ‘Geordie’ words are from the Angle dialect, which was left relatively untainted after the Norman invasion of 1066

    Therefore, ‘sneck’, ‘gouk’, ‘snicket’ and the use of the word ‘wife’ to describe all women are all ancient Angle words and Geordie is a fine example of a living version of the original English dialect, which has almost but not quite died out. It certainly hasn’t died out in the North East.

    The reason people think of our Ancient English language as being ‘coarse’ or ‘common’ is all to do with Norman propaganda and Southerners wanting to brown-nose their new Norman overlords.

    Certainly, the Geordie dialect is, in my opinion, something to be proud of and to be held up alongside better known ancient languages, such as Cornish and Welsh.

    It’s entirely possible, though I can’t say for sure, that ‘geet’ and ‘lush’ are both examples of the Angle language still thriving within the same Geordie dialect. If I was to bet on it, I’d say ‘geet’ most certainly is such an example, but ‘lush’ has been adopted from elsewhere and the phrase itself is perhaps more modern, maybe the last 60-100 years.

  • magscar

    Jun 25, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #70


    Old enough to remember it back in the 60’s – not sure if it is “Northern Soul” as it was a hit I recall but likes of Bobby might have a view.

    Was reminded the other day whilst the chat was ongoing of a track “Go Now” not by the Moodies but Betty Banks ( I think) which a mate played for me and I really liked her version but again not sure if that constituted NS athought I would stay out of it 😉

  • headtheball

    Jun 26, 2018 at 1:17 AM

    Comment #71

    JohnJ at 62
    Wilsons garage you say? What about your first love Janet?
    Long time no hear from your old ex RAF mate.
    I thought the mug shot was you with the guitar but you’ve got grey hair!
    Long time poster but more of a reader these days.
    Hope you are well.


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