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Rafa Benitez Unwilling To Risk Young Players In First Team Too Early



Our 19-year-old Danish striker Elias Sorensen has been catching the eye recently with all the goals he’s been scoring for the Newcastle U23 side.

But Rafa is not going to move the teenager into the first team squad too quickly, and that’s for the Dane’s own good.

Rafa in his management career has seen many youngsters introduced the first team far too early and he is wary of asking too much of good young players.

Since we cannot score goals for toffee – Newcastle fans have been saying it could do no harm to give the 19-year-od a try-out in the first team – after all, he looks a natural goalscorer.

Elias Sorensen – looks like a natural goalscorer

This is what Benitez told the Chronicle:

“We have been watching him and I had a conversation with Ben Dawson only yesterday.” “We have spoken about it.”

“Everybody wants to see young players coming through into the Academy and into the first team.”

“When the team is in the Premier League it is more difficult.

“When the team is at the bottom of the Premier League it is even more difficult for them.”

“You can put them into a difficult position.” “Do they have the character and personality to go straight into a team that isn’t winning?”

“It is more difficult for the young players.” “We keep an eye on them and time will tell us when they are ready.”

“If we have to give them a chance we will.”

“But now is the time to let them develop, let them get more experience and hopefully the first team will be in a comfortable position and allow us to give us more chances in the future.”

“Yeah (players have made their debuts too early).” “I have a lot of examples, some at different teams.”

“You don’t do it.” “Especially when you are in a top side because everybody is expecting you to be the new Alan Shearer.”

“When everybody is expecting that you have no chance.” “It is really important for the players and for us.”

“We have to give confidence to them but also trust the manager because we are watching on them.

“We’ll be really pleased to be bringing in players from the Academy.

“We want them to play and win in the first team.

“At this moment it is the time to give them some experience.”

We will trust in Rafa’s vast experience as to when top youngsters like Sorensen will get their chance at Newcastle.

But one policy of the Newcastle club is to attempt to bring good young players through the ranks.

That’s so we are not like some of the top clubs who seem to buy all their players for top dollar.

Comments welcome.


177 comments so far

  • Jib

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #1
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #2

    If they are good enough then age shouldn’t really matter all that much. They can’t do any worse than Perez that’s for sure

    11
  • Jib

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa STILL wearing shorts !!!!!!

    3
  • toon22

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #4

    I’d back Rafa to know what’s best for our young players

    10
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #5

    At least get them into the match day squads, just how old is old enough?

    5
  • hibbit

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #6

    our toon
    i was at the boro game the other night and Sorensen had a shocker.
    i know it was only game but on that performance not one of the under 23 team is ready to step up

    2
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #7

    I remember AC being thought of as to young and according to many not good enough, he soon proved them wrong!

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 31, 2018 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #8

    Munster,
    We’re struggling because we’re a shambles. The players had to just about to go on strike. The manager had to go public with his grievances to try and get funds. Players were brought in late and all but one from relegated clubs. We have one LB, our RB should be back up to a guy who our PL status could afford. Our main permanent CF cost 5M pound. Must I go on, it is solely your opinion that the squad has been improved.

    16
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #9

    Hibbit

    Kids will be inconsistent, they can also be something different and with full commitment and heart which can yield the unexpected.

    I’m not advocating starting any of them but I would prefer to have Sorenson on the bench ahead of Perez who should just sit at home in all honesty. Fernandez as a no10 wouldn’t be a bad option or even longstaff in place Diame.

    Think I’ve just talked myself into maybe giving them more of a chance haha, I look at Davies from Everton as an example of an unknown but good youngster who bought something different, what you won’t get from kids is consistency…..That’s lacking from senior players as it is anyway

    6
  • Jib

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #10

    Jail for Ashley
    Munster it is solely your opinion that the squad has been improved.

    Not true

    Rafa has said it several times.

    3
  • hibbit

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #11

    Andy was 20 and it was in the championship

    3
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #12

    Jail

    On the CF one we did sell one for 27m, not everything is Ashley’s fault, I’d say its 80 or 90% Ashley’s fault but rafa has made some seriously strange decisions both in the market and in timing of subs / formation / like for like changes etc

    8
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #13

    Hibbit

    Did he not have a run in the team when we got relegated? For some reason I remember he got a goal or goals in the season we went down. His initial experience with us was in the PL

    2
  • toon22

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #14

    Let’s blame Rafa for MAs greed

    Who would you have bought with the missing 100 million (ish)

    It’s usually an accountancy argument at the toon,and nowt to do with football

    2
  • toon22

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #15

    The teams a shambles right now
    Bringing in a kid would probably destroy them

    1
  • hibbit

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #16

    Our Toon
    he did mate more often the not of the bench 2008–09

    Carroll made his first appearance for Newcastle in the 2008–09 season on 20 October, coming on as a substitute for Shola Ameobi at home to Manchester City. Carroll scored his first competitive goal for Newcastle on his first ever home start with a header against West Ham United in a 2–2 draw on 10 January 2009. He signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract on 12 March 2009, in theory keeping him at Newcastle until 2012.

    2009–10
    Following Newcastle’s relegation, and the departures of first-team strikers, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins, Carroll was paired with Shola Ameobi in attack for Newcastle at the start of the new season.[18] His first league goal in the Championship came on 16 September 2009 against Blackpool with a header.[19] By 2010, Carroll was playing almost every match, in a new strike partnership with Peter Løvenkrands. This partnership accounted for more than half of the club’s goals in 2010. Carroll finished the season as Newcastle’s top scorer, with 19 goals in all competitions,

    2
  • Jib

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #17

    Andy Carroll became the 89th Newcastle player to score in the Premier League, four days after his 20th birthday and on his first start for the club.
    It was vs West Ham in a 2 -2 draw at SJP Jan 2009 (the relegation season).
    The seventh Tyneside-born name on that scoring list, joining messrs Clark, Beardsley, Watson, Elliott, Shearer and Chopra.

    1
  • Jib

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #18

    Snap

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #19

    Jib,
    He could hardly come out and say we haven’t improved now can he?
    Our Toon,
    Rafa, unlike Jovanovic did not want to set a team up around Rafa, Fulham are now getting humped regularly despite spending over 100M pounds. Do you think we’d be in this state if Rafa had of been allowed to spend what a: Ashley agreed to when they “shared Rafa’s vision and b:The money that Ashley is sitting on that he could reasonably give to the club.

    5
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #20

    EGB,
    I think you were perhaps manipulating the truth there to suit your agenda 😮

    2
  • Munster Mag

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #21

    Jail he lost a striker to West Bromwich and chose rondon instead. He signed a Korean world cup captain and a Japanese International striker. He kept Kennedy and the goalie. He got two centre halves, both with international experience. And you say we are worse? We’re not. But we can’t seem to attack. That’s a coach issue and a player issue. You’d think we list jonjo

    1
  • hibbit

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #22

    Jail for Ashley
    selective memory, EGB often suffers from it,

    2
  • beermonkey

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #23

    is andy caroll still playing for west ham

    1
  • Munster Mag

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #24

    Lost jonjo

    1
  • lesh

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #25

    Essex, Dubai

    For all the letter to Chi’s welcome, it doesn’t say a lot.

    It doesn’t cover the way Ashley’s screwed the club but appears to require only him clearing the fit and proper test each year. It refers to sustainable investment but Ashley’d argue that the club spends what he thinks it can afford without going into debt.

    The requirement that the club engage better with fans is subjective and the letter is a rushed and meaningless as the club’s FF minutes.

    However, I’d like to think that Chi’s got the bit between her teeth and she’ll pursue this one – I hope!

    Our Toon

    Rafa a mouth piece of the regime? Don’t be daft man, he’s trying to build bridges with Ashley and what’s more, it’s not the time to be making what would be seen as an anti Ashley statement urging fans to boycott games.

    And….

    As far a flogging Lascelles is concerned, as we’re apparently well off for central defenders, then the obvious one to go is one we can afford to lose – Clarke.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #26

    I know EGB does follow the youth teams so not aimed at him.
    How many times has the likes of Jesper insisted that Sterry be played, he can’t even be ar$ed to watch some of our PL games. How on earth does he know anything about Sterry?

    2
  • hibbit

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #27

    Munster
    by all accounts Rafa didn’t want Ki but because he was free Charnley went ahead with the deal

    6
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #28

    Jail

    Fulham are naive in the set up but they played the same way in the championship, they’ve not changed anything to suit Mitro. It’s not like Serbia set up the same way is it?

    I don’t think we’d be in this state if rafa was allowed to spend but I also think he’s wasted the little money he’s had which is expected if spending in bargain basement these days.

    The squad isn’t as bad as what we’ve got back in points return though either

    5
  • lesh

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #29

    Essex

    Yes some of the under 23’s have talent and are playing well at that level.

    No doubt they’ve got Prem.potential but the only time to give them game time is when the first team’s playing with confidence so the kids aren’t under pressure and pick up on the confidence. Play them with players who are down in the confidence department and that’ll rub off on em, piling pressure on them. That’d be counterproductive.

    0
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #30

    Hibbit

    Yes I couldn’t be certain if he did play that relegation season or not but it makes sense he was mainly used from the bench. Food for thought with a couple of kids we have now though

    1
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #31

    Lesh

    You could be right about building bridges with Ashley but wouldn’t it be better to do this behind closed doors and signing a new deal?

    1
  • Jib

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #32

    hibbit
    Munster
    by all accounts Rafa didn’t want Ki but because he was free
    Charnley went ahead with the deal

    Oh so you are privy to what Rafa and Charnley talk about !
    Is this the same source that guaranteed a sale last season ?

    7
  • hibbit

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #33

    Our Toon
    i agree if like Andy they are used sparingly it could be a good idea,
    but we don’t have anyone near the quality Andy was at the time

    0
  • Belfast

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #34

    Yeah Andy Carroll was our fifth choice striker that season a think and only got a chance in the championship because we had nobody else basically.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 31, 2018 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #35

    Our Toon,
    Rafa is a proven top flight manager, asking him to turn every bargain in to player, valued at the very least 15M is asking too much of anyone.

    2
  • Toon&oot

    Oct 31, 2018 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #36

    I think JAIL makes a good point in regard to the squad not improving. Yes international players have been brought in but look at the quality and price. Were they top of Rafa’s shopping list, think not. Players that performed last year have yet to reach the same level this season. Other teams have spent big which doesn’t always work but I would rather have real investment rather than bargain basement. Granted Fernandez looks decent but players such as Diame, Murphy, Atsu, Kenedy and Perez among others need to step up. If we have improved as a squad they need to start showing it.

    4
  • Munster Mag

    Oct 31, 2018 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #37

    Jail we have a better base of players than last year and only lost one player of note. But we are miles worse than from Feb onwards. Peole now see Rafa is not the last word as manager. As some of us have been saying a lot longer. Either way, I want him here until the end of the season, funded. Unless things get worse.

    3
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #38

    Jail

    I don’t expect him to work wonders with what he’s got but we aren’t even performing on par with the little quality we do have. I’m perplexed why we insist on a no10 when we don’t have a real option for that position

    In terms of identity (passing game / hoofball) we don’t have a style of play and more often than not run out of ideas in the attacking 3rd.

    At better clubs with more resources it’s not an issue for rafa as the quality is better and they make better decisions / pull a rabbit out the hat. We aren’t blessed with that so maybe it’s something that needs to be worked on more in training, rather than compact and defensive shape from attack all the way to defence!!

    2
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 31, 2018 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #39

    Jail

    EGB,
    I think you were perhaps manipulating the truth there to suit your agenda

    Agenda, what ??????

    Hibbit

    Jail for Ashley
    selective memory, EGB often suffers from it,

    Ha, any memory at my age is welcome!

    6
  • Our Toon

    Oct 31, 2018 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #40

    I don’t personally think the squad has improved but rafa has the only say on who leaves apparently so rafa isn’t absolved of blame completely in my opinion

    He certainly got one of his main targets in Rondon though, a player we chased all summer. I just hope Rondon delivers the goods, I think if fully fit he will and I think he’s a good signing on loan for us

    2
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