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Almiron Talks About Rafa, Premier League And St. James’ Park – Grateful For Kind Welcome

It’s been a whirlwind week for Miguel Almiron who held a press conference today for the media.

He’s finally been able to get into full training with Rafa and his new teammates and already thinks he’s done some good work already on the training field.

Miguel is very happy at the welcome he has received from the Newcastle fans – but he’s seen nothing yet.

Not sure if Rafa will start him on Monday night at Wolves but maybe he can play initially on the left wing in place of Atsu?

Miguel Almiron – in training yesterday

Here’s some of what he has said today – speaking in Spanish:

“It’s been a hectic week. I’ve had lots of things to sort out but I feel more settled,”

“I’m very, very happy I can train daily. I’ve put in some decent work already on the training ground, which is something I needed.”

“I feel good physically. I’m in good shape. Our pre-season had started with Atlanta [in January] so I got some physical stuff done then, so I’m good, thank you.”

“I think it’s a similar situation to when I made the decision to go to Atlanta,” Almiron replied when asked if Benitez’s presence at St James’ Park played an influence in him joining the Magpies.

“It was a no brainer when Tata Martino said he wanted me at Atlanta. It was the same when I heard of the interest from Rafa Benitez.”

“We all know what a great manager he is, a great person he is, and there was no hesitation about wanting to play for him and the club.”

“It’ll be quite tough. There are big differences in the two leagues,” “The tempo is different – it’s higher tempo and more pressing.”

“It’s a more difficult league, but with the help of my team-mates it’s something I feel I’ll cope with it, and my manager will help me as well.”

“I think it’ll be absolutely great to play here (St. James’ Park); the feeling will be magnificent,”

“I’m really grateful for the way I’ve been welcomed already. I’ve felt the support, kindness and good feelings already.”

“I felt the fans give that to individuals and the whole teams as well. I really can’t wait until I can play for the side here at home as a player.”

The two players we have signed seem happy to be at Newcastle and very keen to improve under the guidance of manager Rafa Benitez.

Now to start off with the two new players with a win on Monday.

Comments welcome.

68 comments so far

  • Jib

    Feb 7, 2019 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Been drinking Cacique (Venezuelan dark rum) tonight
    in honour of Salomon’s first hattrick for the club next

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #2

    Lad seems to have his head screwed on right at least saying the right things. Hopefully Rafa can get him doing the right things too.

    G2 my education must have missed out Vogon poetry. I’m all agog.

  • Dingo†®

    Feb 7, 2019 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #3

    ill be on Cuba-Libre Jib – celebrating OLG’s leaking of the club sale documents on twitter

  • Dingo†®

    Feb 7, 2019 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #4

    I live in Portland Oregon now so seen a bit of MA (Miguel Almiron not the Massive Arsehole who runs our club) in the league the last 2 yrs. I hoping he hits the ground running.I think he will come good. Makes me think though , looking at the fixtures coming up, why on earth we didn’t buy another purple as we can seal safety with the points on offer against shitty teams over the next 4 games.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 7, 2019 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #5

    The kid’ll get clattered. Ayoze gets clattered, hits the deck and gets back up to get clattered again. Admittedly he’s not always straight back up, but he gets back up and gets stuck in and that’s exactly what Almiron needs to do. To be honest, at 20 million, in this market, I’m not expecting a whole lot, but if he’s better than what we have then it’s a step in the right direction. It’s pace, assists and goals that are sorely needed. I wonder if Rafa can get Perez, Muto, Almiron, and Rondon on the pitch at the same time because there are goals in those 4 and workrate.

    …..Yedlin…..(Ki or Shelvey)…….Barreca.

    Too open I guess, but that’s a dangerous looking attacking 11.

  • carltoon

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #6

    Ha ha me in the taxi with Jib.. nooo

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #7

    I wonder if Rafa will consider not playing Rondon, or similar, at some point once Almiron is settled. Depending on the opposition, we could play Perez and Miggy in a front two taking it in turns to drop back. Or a 433 with agile forwards moving the ball quickly up the field.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:58 PM

    Comment #8

    Very interested to see what happens to Ritchie and indeed similarly Dummett, but Ritchie in particular. Ritchie has clear modest abilities at this level, a lack of real pace, low assists, too few goals and not a lot of creativity in open play, against that he also has proper attributes, he’s hard running, extremely tenacious, will die for the shirt, does the simple stuff well, does the dirty work tirelessly, and he’s very good at set pieces. Neither gets into the starting 11 now for mine if all players are fit and available, but they both undoubtedly remain a valuable asset to the club and side.

  • carltoon

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #9

    I think Wolves have some fantastic players and a very good manager who has been backed by ambitious owners. It’s going to be a hard match would take a draw now.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #10

    With respect, when Perez gets blown on, he goes down and stays down. I’ve never seen him get straight back up and tackle back. One tackle and he’s down until he gets treatment and frankly, I’m fed up of it – as are the fans that are around me. And believe me, they’re far more vociferous than I am.
    I never give our players stick at the game, except in humour. I’ll never boo our players – ever – but Perez is one of those, players who’ll go down for virtually no reason and stay down. I like a player who gets fouled and leaps back up to chase the guy who took the ball off him – like Ritchie. The ref won’t change his mind the longer you lie there. All you’re doing is leaving your teammates to cover for you.
    If he’s hurt, fair do’s, but if you don’t get a free kick from a tackle immediately, you just ain’t getting one. Get up and go get the ball back.
    There are great mumblings of discontent re Perez lately where I sit in the ground. And I can see why.
    From what little I’ve seen of Almiron he rides a tackle well. That can be the difference between an attack breaking down and one that carries a threat. I like that. When Ritchie gets clobbered, they player who clobbered him better get rid of the ball before Ritchie gets near him!
    Whatever happened to that young kid who took the PL by storm that first season? All that potential. That star in the making?
    I put it down to a lack of competition, dunno about anybody else. He had Diame for a while until Rafa played him further back, and then he had, nobody to push him. So I don’t blame the kid really, everybody needs competition, I just think he’s become complacent.
    So I think Almiron arriving and probably taking his place could be the making or breaking of Perez. I hope so. He had so much potential when he arrived I expected him to be like Alli now tbh. He just stopped progressing.
    They both speak Spanish. Are of a similar age. Could be great friends. Please, give us that shining star back. Stop the fingers in the ears nonsense and get back to the player we know you can be.

  • carltoon

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #11

    Apparently the body they brought up from the plane wreck is Salas. Condolences to his family and Cardiff City. At least is family will now have closure.

  • Dondatta13

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #12

    Looks like it was Salas body recovered from the stricken plane at the bottom of the English Channel. May God rest his sole.

  • carltoon

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:18 AM

    Comment #13

    Perez certainly seems to play better when he thinks the fans are giving him grief. He always needs a kick up the backsides.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #14


    Since you were interested the other day, I ran the numbers through the model and the prediction was 34 points to survive this season

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #15

    Don’t think match day fans are the most objective frankly, God bless ’em of course. They spend the entire 90 plus minutes of a match either murmuring with discontent, howling with derision, or roaring with sudden spurts of unbridled adrenaline, and a large percentage of them are drunk. 🙂

  • carltoon

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #16

    Oh that’s good. Gives us a better chance of survival. As that seems to be our only aim. Thank you. Ya dead clever like.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #17


    Thanks for the compliment – it’s more than likely complete tosh (and I assure you, I’m not clever)

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:55 AM

    Comment #18

    Personally I’d do more business with Atlanta and offer Perez and cash in exchange for Martinez. He plays with Rondon at international level and already knows Almiron. Hopefully he’ll hear good things from his two mates who are already playing for us and want to sign.

    Not sure how much Atlanta would want for him though. I reckon Perez would do a great job in the MLS too 🙂

  • Toonces

    Feb 8, 2019 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #19

    Martinez is an interesting case as he has certainly scored for fun in MLS. My concern with him is that he did two terms in Europe at Young Boys and Torino and didn’t have too much success. He was younger then, and is not old now, but even after moving to Atlanta and MLS, and the success he has had there, he hasn’t caught the attention outside MLS that Almiron has.

  • Toonces

    Feb 8, 2019 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #20

    And the next business that I would want to do with Atlanta is to get their owner to buy out Ashley! If only.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 8, 2019 at 1:52 AM

    Comment #21


    That’s easier said than done………

  • Online Guy

    Feb 8, 2019 at 1:56 AM

    Comment #22

    Ashley used to shop in the cheap French league ..now it’s the even cheaper MLS ..although 20 million is about right for potential for a current international and possibly the highest transfer fee paid into any North American club. Its still peanuts in English football circles.

    We are rejoicing over small beer.

    Good player though.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 8, 2019 at 1:58 AM

    Comment #23


    You having a pop at one of our finest creative writers !

    No matter if it’s a Chuck Norris theme at moment he brings a Joy to the blog.

    I doubt he is using Chuck Norris gags as he is so creative and inventive he won’t need to.

    Lighten up .

  • Online Guy

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #24

    Where’s Wor Bob ?

    Gone fishing ?

  • NY Mag

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:02 AM

    Comment #25


    I know we got lots of players from the French league – but buying one player from the MLS doesn’t exactly indicate a pattern……only time will tell

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:10 AM

    Comment #26

    I’d like to think this was more Geordie Two’s inspiration.

    “I’ve wrestled with alligators,
    I’ve tussled with a whale.
    I done handcuffed lightning
    And thrown thunder in jail.
    You know I’m bad.
    Just last week, I murdered a rock,
    Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
    I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”

    ? Muhammad Ali

  • Sav

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:13 AM

    Comment #27

    In fairness to Perez, in all my years supporting Newcastle there’s been a tendency to have the one ‘flair player’ and think that’s it, box ticked, job done. It has rarely been an attitude or a signature style and we’ve never had 11 who are ‘comfortable on the ball’. Recently, it has been Shelvey who is looked to for the ‘killer pass’ and the bit of composure but most often there’s no-one anticipating the pass and moving to receive it. Perez is decent on the ball and imaginative with it and lets hope he and Almiron get at least a fair chance to establish a rapport on the pitch for better times ahead.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:17 AM

    Comment #28

    Nicky, seriously? FYI I don’t drink mate and the lads around me might have a pint but I’ve never seen one of them drunk.
    What you say might have been true in the 70s or 80s – I used to drink back then and admit to turning up pissed – but if you’re pissed now you don’t get in mate. Times have changed..
    Most match going fans are the most Knowledgeable and aware fans you can find. They give up their time and money to attend games in all weather and regardless of how shit we are.
    I always enjoy the banter and serious discussions re players and tactics you get at games. They know their football. They love their football. For some of us match going fans football is our life. You couldn’t be further from the truth re the lads around me if you tried.

  • lesh

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:19 AM

    Comment #29

    We know that Rafa’s got the lads going to Spain and the trip ‘ll include a friendly against CSKA Moscow at the 3,500-capacity Pinatar Arena near Murcia.

    Ah ha! So it seems Jib and Jane have been in Spain after all – games don’t arrange themselves do they.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:35 AM

    Comment #30

    I was just messing about really with that one Bobby. I know you don’t drink, just as I know you’re a fine poster and even better fan. We disagree about Perez, but that’s ok, I’m sure you don’t mind. I like to defend and support him on here cos I think he gets more stick than he deserves and less praise than he should. I think he’s an asset. You aren’t such a big fan of his I know, and by all means have at it.

  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:51 AM

    Comment #31

    Full piece from The Telegraph by Luke Edwards:-

    Miguel Almiron: ‘Do not judge me on my YouTube highlights, judge me when I start playing’

    iguel Almiron looks like a choir boy, with his cherubic features and mischievous smile, but the baby-face masks a steely determination that will serve Newcastle United’s record signing well in the difficult months ahead.

    Newcastle expects much from the 24-year-old Paraguay international, whose two years with Atlanta United turned him into Major League Soccer’s most expensive export at £21 million. He does not appear to fully realise it yet, but he is a young man who has taken on a heavy burden in this football daft city.

    At first glance, Almiron’s shoulders do not look broad enough. He is, as first impressions go, not long a man, weighing no more than 10 stone with his kit and boots on. Slender to the point of skinny. Appearances can be deceptive.

    Almiron, by his own admission is “no angel” and those who worked closest with him in the USA insist there is far more to him than a few flicks and tricks when he has the ball at his feet. There is toughness behind the wide-eyed innocence, but he will be tested like never before on Tyneside.

    “Football’s not just about skill and ability,” said Almiron, who was the most expensive signing of a rather subdued January transfer window for Premier League clubs.

    “Especially in this league when the tempo is so high. It’s about working hard and to succeed, you’ve got to put a real shift in. Don’t judge me on my YouTube highlights, judge me when I start playing.

    “I try not to think about the pressure of being the record signing or pay attention to it. As players of this club, Newcastle United, which has so much history, that is pressure in itself in terms of wanting to do well.

    “We know what the fans demand of us, but it doesn’t concern me overly. First and foremost, I see it as an honour to be the record signing and an honour to be a Paraguayan representing my country in the Premier League. Like every player who comes to England, I want to go on and achieve big things.”

    Confident, but also humble. Almiron does not make any wild promises or bold predictions. There is no hint of arrogance.

    “It’s going to be quite tough adapting to the Premier League after playing in MLS,” he added. “There are big differences in the two leagues.

    “The tempo is different – it’s higher and there is more pressing, It’s a more difficult league, but it’s something I feel I’ll overcome. My team-mates and manager will help me.

    “In terms of the pressure and price tag, I don’t pay too much attention to that – my focus is to learn. As for being a target [for defenders], I’m aware it’s a physical league, and that’s something I can prepare for in training.”

    Almiron, who has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal, worth a basic £60,000-a-week before bonuses, breaks into a smile at the end of every answer. He is polite and attentive, although not confident enough to answer in English, preferring to speak through a translator.

    But he understands the theme of the questions and is adamant he is ready to start helping his new team immediately, even though he has not played a competitive game since the start of December.

    “I don’t for one minute consider myself to to be an idol or a hero,” Almiron replies when asked about expectation levels. “What I want to try and do is do my best for this club and help out my team-mates by doing what I can out there on the field.

    “When I found out about Newcastle’s interest, I spoke to my team-mates, my advisors and my agent.

    “They came over here in advance had a look at the city and sent back good reports, same from team-mates at Atlanta and those reports have been proved true. I’ve had a warm welcome since I arrived here.”

    On his right arm, Almiron has a tattoo: “It’s a passage from the Bible…I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,” he explains.

    “But I’m not an angel, though I try to go every so often to church to put right my sins. I’ve felt the support, kindness and good feelings [in Newcastle] already. I felt they give that to individuals and the whole team as well. I really can’t wait to get started.”

  • NY Mag

    Feb 8, 2019 at 2:57 AM

    Comment #32


    That’s a mouthful for a Friday morning…..translated as – let me get the f**k in there

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 8, 2019 at 3:06 AM

    Comment #33

    The truth about Perez is he’s turned making it look like he’s involved whilst doing nothing into an art form. You notice these things if you watch a player. Maybe not so easy when the camera is following the play, but being there makes it possible to watch a player off the ball.
    He jogs into space and approaches the player on the ball but seldom makes a genuine effort to tackle. Getting stuck in is not how I would ever describe him. Certainly not this last two seasons.
    The job of a No10 is to link midfield with attack and his goals and assists stats can’t make good reading. We carry him most games and occasionally he comes up with a goal. One in six or seven games?
    No wonder Rafa has been desperate to get a real No10 for so long. Just shameful the knacka has took so long about it.
    I can’t imagine for one moment he’s brought Almiron in, a genuine No10 who links up the play, scores and assists for fun, to put him on the wing so he can continue with Perez. What would be the point?
    I see Almiron as a direct replacement for Perez who can now, fight it out with Rondon, as he’s always claimed to be a striker. He has to be better than Joselu I’ll give him that but he won’t be replacing Rondon any time soon. Rondon is a shining star in our side. Top work rate and a great ability to bring a ball under control from over his shoulder. Anybody who’s played the game knows how difficult that is, whilst he makes it look easy.
    He holds the ball up for players to join him and run beyond him. Almiron looks like that player. He does it with his head up as well, looking for options, not with his head down hoping to just go past everybody and then falling to the ground expecting a, foul when he gets tackled fairly.
    I can’t wait to see him in that No24 shirt. Tiote’s old number wasn’t it, or is my nighttime medication taking over? 🙂 Big shirt to fill, but I’ve no doubt he’ll do it proud. RIP Cheick – a player who always got stuck in for sure.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 8, 2019 at 3:31 AM

    Comment #34

    Nicky, thank you for setting that out mate, no offence taken.
    It’s not that I don’t rate Perez, I’ve seem him perform at a much higher rate so I think he’s wasting his talent.
    Remember when he first arrived? He was a different player. Confident and capable. He went past people with his head up, passing at the right moment when needed. He scored goals. He linked the play so well. He’s no longer that player. He’s become lazy and complacent and I want that old Perez back. I don’t like this Perez who sulks and lays on the floor as if he’s dying from a tackle. For one, it’s not the Newcastle way. We’ve never been a team that rolls around pretending to be injured. The fans don’t like that. I hate it. I hate it from other teams let alone ours. Jesus, imagine if one of your teammates had done that in a Sunday morning league – we’d have given him a kick up the arse. 🙂
    He’s so much better than he’s showing lately and it’s bugging me. Ditto Kenedy. Where’s the Kenedy from last season gone? Have we been sent his twin brother? The useless one?
    That said, I have repeatedly said I put it down to a lack of competition in Perez’s case. Maybe now he has to fight for his place, because Almiron is direct competition, maybe now he’ll get himself back to how he was.
    I think he gets, stick for exactly that reason – we know he can be a great player. We’ve seen that player. He came with so much potential that simply hasn’t come to fruition. I’m frustrated with him because I know there’s a player in there. Rolling around every time he gets tackled is starting to grate on people. All we want is the Perez that came here to come back and show what he’s capable of. Hopefully Almiron will bring that out of him or sadly, I see him being sold.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 8, 2019 at 3:53 AM

    Comment #35

    And on that note – shit, it’s 3.45 in the morning ffs. 🙂 Er hello!, You’ve got to be somewhere in the morning you old fool. (, Don’t worry, I talk to myself often. 🙂 )
    Better get my head down I suppose and at least pretend to sleep even if I can’t.
    Later chaps. Cheers Nicky, there’s a lesson there for some on here. You can disagree without getting nasty with each other. Now there’s a novelty indeed! 🙂 G’night all.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 8, 2019 at 4:03 AM

    Comment #36

    I think in what’s been a tough and thankless season for our attackers the only forward to outshine Perez has been Rondon, with his greater physical presence and experience, and because we quite literally play to his strengths. I’ve argued that our counterattacking game means Perez often finds himself outnumbered and isolated in tight spaces and getting knocked about, but he keeps plugging away and still comes up with some very eye-catching pieces of skill and he’s done it for 5 struggling seasons for us down the bottom of the EPL. Granted he doesn’t score enough goals, but I think he very likely would if we were a better proposition as a unit going forward. Rafa keeps picking him, just as the three previous managers did, which surely indicates he’s valued. I’m hoping he and Almiron click and complement each other, there’s a lot of talent between them, and that we see more goals flying in and a bit more entertainment. Likewise, I’m hoping Barrecca can give us a bit more impetus going forward.

  • Jib

    Feb 8, 2019 at 6:59 AM

    Comment #37

    I thought the season in the championship cured the whiney
    side of Perez’s game.He got nowt off of refs and stopped
    his futile appeals
    When he appeals now 99% of the time it’s justified

  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:00 AM

    Comment #38

    I agree completely with Bobby re Perez as I have previously stated. He promised so much and has just not progressed despite numerous opportunities to do so. The odd flash of brilliance is not enough at this level. To play number ten means the attacks are centred around you so consistency and ball retention is required on a regular basis. He is just too frustrating and wasteful in possession , how many more chances does he want to put a run of good form together?

  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:01 AM

    Comment #39

    Jib…… How many times have you seen a PL ref influenced by a player’s appeal?

  • Bambams

    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #40

    Anyone else posted this, I looked back over this thread but not previous ones.

    Charnley having questions put to hom by a supporter

    Check out @for_supporters’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/for_supporters/status/1093633605262295040?s=09


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