web analytics

Ben Dawson Talks At Length About The U23 Squad – Rafa Wants To See Improvements

The U23s began their season with a 1-1 draw at West Brom on Monday after they came back from being 1-0 down at the break.

Callum Roberts scored the goal, and he is trying to score more goals and get more assists to get the attention of Rafa Benitez.

And there’s a derby game against Sunderland next Monday, and that’s being keenly looked forward to, as is any game against Sunderland at any age level.

I remember way back in the olden days of 1960 playing for Newcastle schoolboys against Sunderland at St. James’ Park in April of that year and we won that game – think it was 2-1.

On Good Friday the next year at Hunters Moor, I played for Newcastle Juniors (U-18) in a 2-1 win over Sunderland – with a young Jimmy Montgomery in the opposing goal.

Anyway, enough of those distant memories – back to the important stuff.

On Monday night the U23 team weren’t at the races in the first half but came back well in the second half.

That inconsistency is present with younger players, and they have to learn how to concentrate and play 100% over the full game.

Ben Dawson – Newcastle U23 coach

Our U-23 coach Ben Dawson has been talking on the Newcastle website, and this is some of what he had to say:

“We valued time on the pitch and time as a group [during pre-season], trying to get a new group of players settled in,”

“We’re aware we might lose one or two from that group once the loan window shuts at the end of the month.”

“So we’ve had to get all those new lads and the younger lads who didn’t get an opportunity last year to step up this year and get up to speed – hence the more time spent on the training pitch this pre-season.”

“The first game’s always a difficult one. I look back to Stoke away last year, when we started the game really well and then allowed them to come back into it, and it was a reversal of that this year,”

“But that’s U-23s football – you don’t get a 90-minute performance, they’re still young lads, they’re still learning, and part of that is the inconsistency that comes with that.”

“But there’s plenty there that we’re happy with, and there are bits we want to work on, and I think the lads are mature enough to recognize it.”

“We had a little bit more energy and a bit more intensity in the second half.”

“In the first half, we were a yard off, and that can often be the case when you’ve just had pre-season and then you come into a competitive game.”

“Credit to them – they came out with lots of energy and we couldn’t match that.”

“We sorted a few things out at halftime – among ourselves more than anything else – just to say: ‘Let’s get 10 yards higher up the pitch, get them on the back foot and put them under the pressure they’ve put us under.’”

“I thought in the second half we created loads of chances but we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”

“That’s  frustrating, especially when we got the one early on at the start of the second half.

“It was a frustrating afternoon, but I’m pleased that we responded the way we did at the start of the second half.”

A few of the U23 squad will be going out on loan, as Ben suggests in his comments.

The best way to develop the younger players is to give them football at other clubs so they can get first-team playing time and the experience on and off the pitch that comes with that.

The U23 level is one area that Rafa Benitez wants to see an improvement in, and Ben Dawson is tasked with that responsibility.

It’s a terrific coaching opportunity for Ben.

Comments welcome.

43 comments so far

  • RobLeenio

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #1

    I like the sound of this guy, an intelligent head on sensible shoulders. I know nothing about him, so decided to look him up – short bio on the link below


    If anyone has anything more to add, I’d appreciate it, but he does look like a capable guy and serious student of the game. Much like Rafa.

  • toon22

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #2

    Jibs reaction is enough to tell you they dont want organized opposition to MAs plans
    He wants us to believe hes going to sell so we quietly accept his greed

    Dont believe either

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #3


    There was a time some people would have taken the Bin laden group and maybe still would to see the back of Ashley lol !!! Yes I think my scruples could take a back seat to anyone looking to usurp the fat man.

    On this subject, I really hope Beardo isn’t coming back as it’s so embarrassing. Great player but no success as a coach for a long time now, not withstanding the bullying allegations.

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #4

    The U23’s game sounds like the Senior game
    all over again except they managed to get a point.

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #5

    I can see why the club and Rafa who realise
    Pedro’s limitations want to ease him out gently.
    After all he is a club icon and it’s better for all
    if he just quietly slips away.

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #6
  • RobLeenio

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #7

    Rotonda, I think Beardsley is done with NUFC. It seems to me they’ve put him on gardening leave and are allowing his current contract to run down rather than firing him with the resulting media storm and blemish on his character.

    After all, I think the consensus is that he acted foolishly and naively with certain players rather than maliciously. Perhaps a product of a different era, rather than a bad person per se.

    Handling it this way would allow him to remain a club legend, rather than become a pariah across the sport.

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #8

    from previous
    Does the Ashley support really bother you ?
    I just tend to think it’s the Home counties millionaires club
    circling the wagons – predictable and almost laughable.

  • Just a fan

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #9

    I retired about five years ago and started watching the under 23s/ reserves on and off and they used to play some good football.it can’t be an easy job when you are constantly losing players on loan or to the first team.i believe seven went to rangers one season if my memory serves me correctly

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #10

    Rob @7

    Spot on! Pedro’s not very bright but he is not evil. Let’s let him down gently.

  • RobLeenio

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #11
  • Veltman

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #12

    Jail – good afternoon, it’s afternoon here.
    I usually post and walk out to work on the maids,guards etc…

    Got a feeling though, when the day arrive you and I “Click well”, not sure when,the mountains and the sky will be rocking 😉 .
    And that leaves Jib heading to the mud.
    Make of what you want with it.

  • posada

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #13

    If we find ourselves bottom after six games with just a point would that not scupper any possible sale of the club.
    You can’t work miracles from January on.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #14


    Can I please have a pint of what you’re on?

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #15

    Achraf Lazaar off to Genoa

    The best way to get from their training
    ground (Stadio Pio Xll) to the ground at
    Stadio Luigi Ferraris is on the A10
    unfortunately the Morandi bridge is out.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #16

    Pedro may be stupid but if he addressed black players in the way it was suggested he should be chucked and stuff the legend status.

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #17

    I don’t think for a second that Pedro is racist.

    I think the banter in the 90’s between white and black players
    while not meant to convey racism would raise a few eyebrows now.

    Beardsley is guilty of no more than not keeping up with the times.

  • AncientC

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #18

    I don’t think Terry, Tommy, Peter, et al *is* (not are) going to enjoy reading the most recent set of polls. Somebody is 2 points ahead, and during an unprecedented amount of propaganda & smears. This is canyon stuff, peak is all yet to come.

    I am going to say no more on the matter. When I am ignoring you in future, do yourself a favour and pay attention to the polls.

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #19

    According to Shire there’s a lot of polls live
    in Nottingham


  • A Pain in the Blog

    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #20

    Munster @16,

    So you prefer to punish than educate? I think that Peter Beardsley will now realise – and hopefully admit – that he crossed the line from ‘banter’ to casual and intolerable racism.

    If he accepts that he deserves to lose his job working with young black lads then, as Jib and Rob have said, we should agree but let him retain his status as an iconic NUFC player.

  • Wayayman

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #21

    JIB @15, what sort of prick makes a comment like that, you insensitive arsewipe.

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #22

    Aww baby I didn’t know you was so sensitive honey
    You must have an awful time at SJP with all those
    howwid wuffians shouting and bawling and stuff.

    That is of course if you’ve ever been to a footy
    match in your life you phoney.

    I know Genoa like the back of my hand
    I merely linked 2 news stories together
    you soft tart

  • lesh

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #23


    Try something new today……

    Do something constructive, do something useful, give some pleasure…

    You could start by keeping the personal sleights you aim at other posters to yourself, spew your bile elsewhere and the biggest ask of all, try doing something constructive and go away.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #24

    Sredni Vashtar

    Thanks for posting your eponymous tale this morning, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have not read Saki since I was about Conradin’s age. I have now downloaded The Complete Saki.

    The analogy with NUFC was inspired.


  • TyneMouth

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #25

    Jib @ #22

    “I know Genoa like the back of my hand”

    That statement implies that you have spent quite some time there.

    Most people who had lived in a city that was the centre of a catastrophic accident would be primarily concerned about the wellbeing of friends and acquaintances, rather than posting a very cheap ‘joke’

    Perhaps in your endeavours to know Genoa ‘like the back of your hand’ you couldn’t find the time to make any friendships, it figures…

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #26

    Try something new today……

    And the winner of the Derek Llambias stunning irony
    prize is ……………………………………………

  • Veltman

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #27

    And Jail was saying???
    Will he buy the Ferrari without arranging the 10k for Veltman???

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #28

    Hint 1
    It’s a port
    Hint 2
    If you live in Tynemouth look out
    of the window – do you see those big floaty
    things ?

    Also if you thought my post was meant as a joke
    try a bit of introspection.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #29

    Jib when did I say that? I don’t live in Nottingham either 😆

  • Graeme

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #30
  • toon22

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #31

    I thought trying to defend MAs actions was as low as you could get
    Seems i was wrong

    Its all the same to you as your job here is to distract people from acting against your employer,its movwd from pretending were getting sold to vile insults hoping to cause a different argument
    Anything is ok so long as we dont find ways to act against MA isnt it

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #32

    In other institutions and situations he’d be hammered and he’s no 80 yr old Alf garnett. He should have a far less stupid outlook than he appears to have. It’s as well this is not a media topic or we’d be feeling more heat. We wud look better as a club if we dealt with the issue one way or the other and either exonerated him or not.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #33

    Ha Ha Jiblets has forgotten more than I know, what a shame that he has forgotten all the relevant things like our ’69 Fairs cup win, our Europa league semi final and all those players like Ronaldo, Figo, Romario, Bellamy, Jenas and Milner that SBR bought off the shelf. Warra plonker 😀

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #34

    I meant ’68 cup win 😮

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #35

    ha ha ha prat

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #36

    toon 22

  • Jib

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #37

    Munster Mag
    He should have a far less stupid outlook than he appears to have.
    you do admit it’s down to ignorance not malice.
    He’s not very good a coaching that’s why he has to go

    If people just lost their jobs for having a stupid outlook
    Jail would be f@cked

  • TyneMouth

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #38

    Jib @ #28

    You are indeed a sanctimonious, sad, little twerp..

    If your response is to recommend I try a bit of ‘Introspection’ I would suggest ; ‘Physician, heal thyself’

    It would appear that instead of introspection, your intellectual diet is based copious quantities of ‘introversion’ which goes someway to explain your total lack of empathy.

    Did I mention sanctimonious…

  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #39

    Booohooo boooohoooo.
    ” I know Genoa like the back of my hand boohooo. I’ll have you know I was a cabin boy in the Navy and we sailed to Genoa all the time. Booohooo booohooo. When “in port” I would pop up to the University and do a few lectures and on my way there post a few letters So I weally do know the place – Genoa – capital of China. Hello sailor! Booohoo booohooo.”

    Jib – you must win the “worra plonka” and blockhead awards.

  • toon22

    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #40

    Maybe the away fans could protest outside of every tat shop before the game
    Or we can look forward to the fat man trousering all his greedy hands can grasp

    Oh yeh wait were being sold/were going to sign Bale in Jan/add random vile coment to argue about….the usual


You must log in to post a comment.