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Rafa’s Short-Term Plans For Our Two New Signings

Newcastle fans will be able to hear again from new signing Miguel Almiron when he is introduced to the media today.

Miguel trained with the team yesterday, and Diame, Dummett, and Ki were also training and will be available for selection on Monday night at Wolves.

We’re not sure whether Jonjo Shelvey will be ready, but he is very close to full fitness.

So the injury situation is now looking a lot better than it has been over the last couple of months, and we also have Yoshinori Muto back from the Asian Cup.

Ki and Almiron in training yesterday

Rafa almost has the full squad to choose from including our two new signings Barecca and Almiron.

These last 13 games of the season are going to be crucial for Newcastle’s future and for the future of Rafa on Tyneside.

This is what the manager has said in the Shields Gazette today:

“For sure, it will be good for the new players to have time with us on the training ground,”

“I think time is important so that players can train together, understand each other, and build relationships.”

“I think time is important so that players can train together, understand each other, and build relationships.”

“So I think it will be a good opportunity for us to explain to the new players what we are expecting from them.”

“But, also, it gives the new players the chance to adapt to the team as well, and also our players time to adapt to them.”

New signing Antonio Barreca came off the bench at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, and he could even start the game on Monday night at Wolves.

It will be interesting to see what team Rafa starts at Molineux with almost everybody now available.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #1

    In my opinion the damage has been done with the relationship between Rafa and Ashley. He’s sat at a table and been blatantly lied to far too many times. He knows that even if he gets a cast iron contract promising this and that and other it will be stalled upon, excuses made, builders letting us down etc. He might also get a set budget to spend as he sees fit but at the end of the day, unless he negotiates with the agent himself he’s having to send Churnley in to get the nod from Mikey to finalise where upon more excuses are made. Ashley doesn’t want him anywhere near the club. Al.iron might still fetch 40M+ if he comes good and that’s one of the reasons he was bought, appeasing Rafa wasn’t the top priority.

  • jimmygscot

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #2

    Well that money grabbing mercenary would have to add his tuppence (sorry £16m ) worth. Owen just get to f…

  • toon22

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #3

    Our new record signing hasn’t even cost the money we got for Mitro

    Unless MA sells Rafa will leave

    We’re going to be looking for the next victim for MA and co to mug off

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #4

    Against Wolves the left WB position will be filled with who can do a job on Mat Doherty. Rafa will most likely go with Ritchie for experience, unless he changes formation an goes with 4 at the back and Dummett playing LB.

    Rafa has always slowly introduced players, both new and returning from injury. I do not expect Rafa to change the starting line up, looking to just get through the away match and focus on the home match against Hudds, on their return from intense warm weather training in Espania.

  • ToonRich

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #5

    19th riches club and we cant even provide our record signing his own numbered training top!!!

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #6

    There’s a big focus on Almiron in the press and among the fans. Barreca has barely been discussed in comparison and yet he may well prove to be a more reliable and consistent improvement to the team.

    I don’t mean that to disparage Almiron, simply alluding to the fact that flair players have a tendency to drift in and out of games and Miggy will likely be no different. A good wing-back, however, is always involved.

    I’m looking forward to having a more dynamic option on the left flank than Ritchie, Dummett and Manquillo and I think we’ll see some big benefits from Barreca, going forward especially.

  • Malta Mag

    Feb 7, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #7

    I’m the eternal optimist but let’s look at facts. We’ve bought a player from the American League who without doubt has talent but is still untested and yet you’d think we’d signed Lionel Messi. Ashley has then sanctioned a loan deal for a left back who couldn’t get in the Monaco first eleven and we’re pissing our pants???? Of course we’re hoping that these two have something but let’s not get carried away just yet.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #8

    Malta Mag – the new guys are an upgrade on what we had before, look very capable and will improve a squad which already proved itself capable of competing with the League’s best.

    What did you hope for from the window?

    Not sure anyone is getting carried away, but I’m excited to see these guys play.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #9


    Pace and precision is what we can look forward to from Almiron

  • ToonRich

    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #10

    @Malta Mag,
    “Ashley has then sanctioned a loan deal for a left back who couldn’t get in the Monaco first eleven and we’re pissing our pants????”

    He was in the Monaco side until Henry took over. Before that he was a regular I believe. Monaco must have seen something in him, they still bought him even though he’d had a disrupted season with injuries!!

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Calling the deal a ‘loan’ doesn’t quite cover it either, it’s a loan with an option to buy, so we get to see how he goes then make a decision to take up the option. Sound business in my eyes.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 7, 2019 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #12

    A loan to buy is too good to be true, the selling club must be desperate to get rid for any number of reasons to sanction such a deal.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 7, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #13

    I’m sure the owners of Carroll, Cabaye, Debuchy and Sissoko wished they could have had a try before you buy option.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 7, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #14

    When was that taken RobLeenio?

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #15

    Jail, couldn’t say, someone posted it on my work slack channel, thought it was a decent goal and wanted to share. It’s the acceleration which is impressive to me, though the finish is pretty good too.

    If he gets a run on a defender, not many will stick with him.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #16

    I say the acceleration is most impressive as that can’t be faked or fluked, whereas a guy shooting could miss 9 out of 10 but the 10th is a Worldie.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 7, 2019 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #17

    Almiron should take a look at Kenedy as a warning towards what he can expect. Partly due to indecision but Kenedy has to deal with 3 men immediately surrounding him. The new guy will have use his speed to avoid being swamped, but should create space for others.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 7, 2019 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #18

    Barreca looks rapid aswell mate.
    In his short cameo he had i know he didnt get a touch but he looked quick. Cant wait for him and yedas to be bombing down the wings.

  • hibbit

    Feb 7, 2019 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #19

    not seen enough of either of these 2 players to make any kind of decision on them
    just hoping that the appraisals folk are making on here are correct,got to be honest not a big fan of the dennis wise scouting method 😉

  • G

    Feb 7, 2019 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #20
  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 7, 2019 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #21

    From all the rumors in the last few months most of them started on here, here’s one, we will not sign Almiron. Hope people remember that one, why we sent the head of recruitment over here and he did nothing, that’s number two.

    So it seems a lot of rumors get killed, as for the takeover, is it dead only a few people know.

    If I was looking to spend 300 million on a club and having that type of money means I know what I’m doing, then it only makes sense to make sure the club I’m purchasing is still in the top flight of English football.

    I am optimistic that this still may be on the table and once safe the possible new owners we purchase our club.

  • martoon

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #22

    G – a little harsh on Yedlin as he has made a couple of goals that I can remember. However to be fair if I was playing against us I would probably target him although playing a back 5 certainly protects him.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #23

    Lots of posts I want to respond to. Hope I don’t get told off 😉

    Optimistic Magpie who knows on that one? It’s gone very quiet but that could just be because all the details are ironed out and a deal is waiting on some kind of trigger like assured Premiership football next season as you say.

    Or it could mean the deal is dead. We cannot know yet 🙁

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #24

    Hibbit agreed videos can be flattering. Reckon I would have a highlights reel if anyone bothered to make one.

    However as I said pace cannot be faked and Miggy seems to have that in spades. How he applies that is key.

  • Jib

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #25

    I have read few comments about Miggy saying he is one of those rare players who is equally fast with the ball at his feet as without

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #26

    Genjikai agreed. For a team to have genuine pace on one flank is useful. To have it on both is frightening. Barreca could be the cream to Yedlin’s coffee and I hope that works out.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #27

    And then finally on that article G. What a pile of bullhockey. It’s written based on stats by a guy who evidently hasn’t watched any football all season

    If catchy isn’t on the byline he must be the ghost writer.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #28

    Jib yeah I’ve heard that too. He seems to be less of a Keith Gillespie and more of a David Ginola when taking players on.

    Should get the crowd on its feet….

  • hibbit

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #29


    i’m not writing either of these guys off, but these best of videos are compiled to project a certain image 1 minutes football from a full season can easily be manipulated to project a certain kind of very flattering message.
    even the hos could be made to look good under the right editor.

  • Jib

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #30

    The fossa that made the Berlin comment

  • Jib

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #32

    The Baloon that made the Yedlin comments

  • AncientC

    Feb 7, 2019 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #33

    It would make sense for a buyer to wait until the club is safe, but that could also lead to more complications.

    If Ashley (or more accurately the bank) is financing this season’s relegation battle push, then sure as hell, Ashley will want his share of the season’s spoils & prize money—likely paying more of his loan back to himself. That would leave the coffers dry and the club needing another loan if its to push on. Another complication could be the form of Almiron; say Almiron flops, the potential owner(s) wouldn’t want to be paying the full rate for the player as an asset. I would also question if Ashley would drive the price up to an extortionate rate if Almiron comes in and sets the league on fire. I can just imagine Ashley wanting to be generously reimbursed for Almiron’s value rocketing.

    Ashley calling in a loan to buy Almiron is one of life’s little mysteries—similar to ‘onerous’ payments sitting beside players wages in the accounts. Whatever the real reason is, knowing Ashley, it will be of benefit to only one person.

    How difficult would it have been to arrange an installment plan for Almiron if required? Surely the club could have paid an installment and the rest in the summer… if hard pushed.

    It doesn’t seem to me that much has changed. Ashley usually will allow the club to buy some players if the club is in trouble during the winter transfer window—normally leading to a lack of gunpowder for the following summer’s transfer window. The only difference now is, the relegation battle spend has been banked mostly on 1 player instead of 3/4… not forgetting the bank loan which will no doubt hang over the club like a cloud for a few more transfer windows (if Ashley stays).

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 7, 2019 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #34

    Barreca, from what I’ve read, is not so good at defending, but good going forward and a good ‘technical’ player. I’m not so sure about the pace, I imagine he’s Dummett fast rather than Yedlin fast. But I like the addition of another ‘footballer’ to the team.
    I look forward to seeing him and Almiron’s in the team and I would like to see Longstaff and Ki together in the middle. With this team I think we could play some nice attacking football. I like Yedlin, but only because of his speed, which is second to none IMO, he has excellent acceleration and top speed, such a shame he is not a ‘footballer’.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 7, 2019 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #35

    Now we have someone who’s really optimistic I’m thinking I should change my name.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 7, 2019 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #36


    What happens at the start of next season when Ashleys still here and there’s still a pitiful transfer budget?

    See I’m not optimistic, pessimistic panda has more of a ring..

  • Lascelles sells sea shells by the sea shore

    Feb 7, 2019 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #37


    Dummett fast is very fast, I don’t know why people refer to him being slow… Granted he can be slow when the balls at his feet which is a given with most ‘defensive’ players but without the ball there wouldn’t be an abundance of players faster than him in the premier League, certainly not many fullbacks anyway… I’ll never forget watching Dummett keep pace with Anthony Martial a couple of seasons ago, not many players can keep up with him, and given Dummett has hammy issues regularly, this is usually an issue for quick runners imo. Happy to be proved wrong, for the record I’m a fan of Dummett, he is a no frills player that does the basics very well but could do with more going forward if I had any criticism for him

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 7, 2019 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #38

    Lascelles, I agree that Dummett is fast, top speed fast rather than acceleration, that was my comparison with Barreca.
    I like Dummett as a defender, but he strangles our football along with Lascelles, Yedlin, Diame, Atsu; all of whom are not ‘footballers’ IMO.


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