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This Strange Decision By Benitez Is Difficult To Understand

While Rafa has been the manager of Newcastle, Freddie Woodman has had only two short-term loan spells away from Newcastle.

He spent the second half of our promotion season on loan at Kilmarnock and then the second half of last season on loan at Aberdeen.

In those two loan spells, he amassed 23 first team appearances.

So that’s not much first-team experience in two and a half years, and now the 21-year-old will be staying at Newcastle at least through the end of the year.

Rafa Benitez talks to Freddie Woodman in training

Sometimes he has had to stay at Newcastle to be the third goalkeeper, but that isn’t the case right now with Newcastle having Dubravka, Darlow and Rob Elliott all fit and ready to play.

Freddie wants to go out on loan, and as an England U21 player, he was in some demand this summer.

But he hasn’t gone out on loan for whatever reason.

Local reports (one is in the Shields Gazette) suggests the lad is frustrated at his current situation, although he has a good working relationship with Rafa.

It will impact his England U21 career with most players on the team playing first team football somewhere.

Freddie has a contract at Newcastle that lasts until the summer of 2020 and where his future lies now is a good question.

Freddie refused to sign a one-year extension on his contract this summer so he may just stay for a couple of years and then become a free agent in the summer of 2020.

This is what Rafa has said about the situation:

“We don’t have anyone coming saying they want him now,”

“We had clubs before, but we told them that now is not the right time, so normally he has to stay.”

Several Championship clubs wanted him this summer, but nothing materialized.

And it looks like it was the club who turned down some advances for him to go out on loan.

Not sure what the thinking is behind that decision, but it’s not particularly good for Woodman’s career.

We’ll have to see what happens but he surely will be sent out on loan in January.

Maybe Rafa wants to coach him for half of the season, and he can learn from a top goalkeeper like Dubravka.

And then he can play first-team football on loan during the second half of the season?

Not sure what’s really going on here.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 7, 2018 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #1

    Was wondering the same thing, hibbit.

  • AncientC

    Sep 7, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #2

    Catching up on the blog is becoming eye-wateringly painful. I am going to gloss over Robleenio’s posts from now on. Does he ever stop giving people tips on how they should behave, or how they could be more communal on the blog. catchy and toon22 are adults and can moderate themselves.

    God forbid everybody on the blog should become like Robleenio. What a borefest that would be.

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #3

    PompousC, I’ll give you a little advice. If you have nowt constructive to say and don’t wish to participate in the conversation, don’t bother posting. All you ever do is snipe at other posters, you never have anything original to say on anything football or NUFC related.

    Why should you care how I address other posters? What I said to Catchy and toon22 was meant for them and meant in a friendly fashion, if they have a problem with it they can tell me. As you say, they are adults and can therefore look after themselves.

    Anyway, as G pointed out last time this is not the place for petty raking over historic gripes. Sadly it seems that you just can’t let things go. I can so that’s the end of it from me.

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #4

    On Woodman, he’s a capable young goalie with good prospects. Rafa will want to monitor him as he maybe sees him as a key part of his future plans, so half a season at NUFC and half a season on loan seems like a sensible plan.

    Without any direct quotes from the player, any ‘frustration’ he feels is likely just invented by a journo for a story on a slow news day.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #5

    Seems extraordinary that a loan couldn’t have been arranged for Woodman, especially with three senior goalkeepers in the 25 man who will all (rightfully) expect some game time.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #6

    *25 man list

  • lesh

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #7


    Rafa’s the consumate professional and stands head and shoulders above Ashley and his henchmen, in the honesty department.

    Bishop’s job is by definition based on image management and entails doing whatever’s considered necessary to gloss up his clients.

    Charnley’s probably an honest by nature but has to do and say whatever his masters voice, Ashley or Barnes dictate.

    Barnes? He’s renowned as being a hard-nosed, insensitive bully in the corporate world. But, Ashley announced Barnes was to be managing some SD set up I’m the USA and I wonder, nay hope, that Ashley’s realised that Barnes might be at the root of Rafa’s discontent and shipped him out?

    Ashley? A pathological liar who seems to lack any medium/ long term view or strategy for Newcastle United.

    Anyone who doesn’t see that group as being a toxic ingredient to any mix must be blind or naive.

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #8

    The overrated Frenchman – a loan could have been arranged to any number of Champo or Scot Prem teams, I’m sure. Good young keepers are a valuable commodity and Woodman would have been in high demand.

    I think it’s a deliberate policy to keep him here which he will be fully aware of and bought into.

  • lesh

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #9


    Why am I here ? We’ll, to engage in stimulating dialogue with some very clever people. Why are you here?

    And as far as Barnes’s concerned, he’s known for being a nasty piece of work – a solicitor or not!

  • lesh

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #10


    Whoa back bonny lad, Nit picking and bitching’s not like the AC of old.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #11

    Personally I find it highly improbable RobLeenio that he would have bought into an arrangement that sees him practically guaranteed of no first team football. How can him going out on loan be to anyone’s disadvantage?

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #12

    ToF, I think he’s on the cusp of the first team and Rafa wants him to train with the seniors when he can and keep a close eye on him, just like Sean Longstaff and Jamie Sterry. These three lads can make it at NUFC long term, but they need to get to know Rafa and vice versa, they can’t do that on loan at Leeds or St Mirren.

    Half a season is a justifiable price to pay if they get closer to the first team in that time.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 7, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #13

    Why have three keepers in the 25 man squad then?

  • AncientC

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #14

    lesh, how was I nitpicking? I was more pointing out nitpicking and stating that I would be glossing over it from now on.

    As for “bitching”, I will leave that to you. It is your modus operandi.

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #15


    sorry, but if almost everything you to me or about me is negative, how do I know what is meant to be a joke or funny?.

    A few on here i can talk with, even if they don’t share the same view as me, but accept people are different and want different things.

    you don’t talk to me, you talk down to me or kind of just dismiss everything i say regardless.

    Like i have said hundreds of times now, I could say white, and you and others will say black, out of what seems to me as spite.

    you will try and regulate what i say and think, but never here you actually defend me if someone goes over the top, or is totally wrong in what they say.

    for instance. I blame Lascelles for our 2nd goal v city. you follow his head and he tracked that ball from the second it left Walkers foot, I believe he had time to reacact, some numpty said that no, players are coached to leave it so the keeper can save it. not a word from any of you, even though that is ridiculous and wrong.

    ah well,

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #16

    woodman should be our no 2

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #17

    ToF, he just played against the Doncaster Rovers 1st 11 for the U23s, he’ll play again against a similar / better standard of opposition in the next round of the Checkatrade trophy.

    That’s as good a standard as he would have had on loan.

    While he’s here, Rafa can have a proper look at him and if he thinks he’s ready, he can sell Darlow and or Elliott in January and push Woodman up the list. Or send him out on loan.

    We should see this as a compliment for the lad rather than a negative – Rafa obviously rates the guy.

  • jezza442

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #18

    I agree on Woodman it looks like the gaffa rates the kid enough to keep him around and push for the first team, I think we should see this as a plus and congratulations to the young lad on his promotion.

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #19

    catchy, I was trying to talk down to you and I’m sorry if that’s how it came across.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t always go with the flow on here, I stuck up for Yedlin when he was called worse than sh!t after the Spurs match, I stick up for Joselu and I try to be reasonable when it comes to Ashley, though the damage he’s done to the club is undeniable.

    If I think you have a fair point, I’ll let you know. If I think you’re wrong, I’ll do the same but with respect. I hope I can expect the same?

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #20

    *wasn’t trying to talk down to you – sheesh….

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #21

    That all sounds like an unnecessarily convoluted scenario to me, and if “local reports suggesting the lad is frustrated at his current situation” are accurate it would moreover appear to be a strange decision as Ed has said. I hope we don’t finish up losing him by trying to be too clever by half. That’s me done on this topic anyway.

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #22

    “The rest is silence.”

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #23

    “an unnecessarily convoluted scenario” or standard youth player development?

  • Jib

    Sep 7, 2018 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #24

    Jeepers it doesn’t take much to confuse
    the simple folk of NUFCblogland
    Freddie was 21 last March therefore we have
    the benefit of an extra goalie in the squad thru
    the FA rules on under-age squad members
    A lot of the time Freddie will probably be the best
    U23 goalie in their league

  • ToonRich

    Sep 7, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #25

    I wish Rafa had taken the risk and play Freddie in the cup the other week. He is more than capable of deputising for Dubs.

  • Toonces

    Sep 7, 2018 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #27

    I have no evidence of this just my own speculation.

    I think Woodman is still here because Rafa wanted to move out one of Elliott and Darlow.

    Elliott has had a poor injury history and Darlow has not impressed – both stop shots ok but are shaky/flappy with a mistake in them and neither commands the 18 well. So no one came for them, leaving Woodman still here.

    Neither Darlow or Elliott deserve to be banished to the reserves so Woodman for now is in the youth setup given his age to keep him playing. As Jib points out Woodman is 21 and homegrown and doesn’t count against the squad so we can bring him back in to first team easily.

    Personally think darlow and elliott need to be told they are not going to get time ahead of woodman any longer. One of them needs to go in January.

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 7, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #28

    Toonces, yep – I’d personally ship Darlow out. He’s a better keeper than Elliott but would not be happy to be third choice behind Woodman and Dubravka

  • Jib

    Sep 7, 2018 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #29

    Elliott cost peanuts has a contract until June 2020
    and paid even less peanuts
    Darlow has a contract for the same length and is
    not a top earner, is a good instinctive shot – stopper
    his command of the back 4 is abysmal.
    Freddie is a free hit


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