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Rafa Has Selection Dilemma – Who Will Miss Out In Midfield?

Local lad Sean Longstaff has started Newcastle’s last seven games, and he’s likely to start again on Monday night at Wolves even though experienced South Koren International Ki Sung-yueng is now fit.

Ki returned from the Asian Cup with a hamstring problem, but that’s now cleared up.

And Jonjo Shelvey is itching to play again, but Rafa is holding him back to ensure that troublesome thigh injury of his has finally healed.

But Rafa admitted he will have tough selection problems now that all but Shelvey and Elliot are available for the Monday night game.

Isaac Hayden – may be the odd man out

Sean has been a fabulous find this season for the club, and he immediately impressed in preseason training.

Playing lately against the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham he held his own at the very least and looked impressive.

Like any good player he hardly ever gives the ball away and seems to have lots of time on the ball.

He’s an excellent prospect who may just be able to keep his place through the rest of this season, even with Ki and Shelvey fit.

This is what Rafa Benitez said about Sean yesterday:

“They are all training well,” “I’m happy with Sean, – he’s been doing well.”

“The midfield is a difficult decision for me this week. But not just this one, just to pick the team and the squad.”

We will be putting out our predicted team for the Wolves hame soon but at the moment are thinking that Sean Longstaff could start alongside Mo Diame in midfield.

That would put Isaac Hayden on the bench, and by his own admission, he has no future on Tyneside.

So with Longstaff, Diame, Ki and Shelvey (eventually) fighting for the starting central midfield positions – Hayden may be the one left out.

We should quickly add the lad’s been great for us over the last couple of months – and very professional in his outlook in what must be a difficult personal situation for him.

We just wish he would stay with us.

What do you think?

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7 comments so far

  • magscar

    Feb 9, 2019 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #1


    I realise it’s way past the curfew for music related posts but as it’s not a match day … You mentioned CSN “Our House” late last night /earlier this morning not sure if you realised that it was written by Nash about his Laurel Canyon home with the Joni Mitchell i.e. Joanie you referred to.

  • one fine day

    Feb 9, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #2

    Anyone who hasn’t seen and has a spare hour or so over the weekend
    Well worth a watch
    Ian wright on true Geordie .
    Never judge a book is all I can say .
    Clearly has been advised on Newcastle by shearer 🙂 since his daft outbursts on pardew and Andre mariner
    Tells of Jennas being owned by Alan on MOTD too and rio comes in for some stick .
    Comes across as a very humble guy who is true to his roots .

  • lesh

    Feb 9, 2019 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #3


    Mmmm, I thought I’d mentioned Joni M and Laurel Canyon as Graham Nash’s intro to and context Our House. I must be cracking up!

  • lesh

    Feb 9, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #4


    I heard about the Ernst and Young work on NUFC’s contribution to the economy etc, some time back and yes, it’s been done to let the world know just how valuable the club is to the city and its environment. Doesn’t it show the club and therfore Ashley as being sooo altruistic when he’s had so much criticism.

    The timing of the press release? Coincidence? Oh yes, I’m sure

  • magscar

    Feb 9, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #5


    probably that auto correct!! as without looking back it came up as Joanie so i thought you hadn’t made connection. Sorry if it came across as a bit smart…. just thought you would have been interested if you hadn’t already known

  • Nufc 4ever

    Feb 9, 2019 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #6

    Well I am hoping Almiron is the business we are all exited to see what he can do. We break the transfer record and it’s all great. My opinion Bournemouth have three or four 20 million and over. When we bought Sheared 15 million that was a world record now 20 is average shows how fatman has taken us to think we are on the up. Give Rafa the money Everton spent over the last 2 years and we could have been up there giving them all a game and have more than 28% of the ball 20 million unfortunately is not much in this game. He sells wiljandom and Sissoko for big money and tries to replace them with tat. Please go soon

  • simon376

    Feb 9, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #7

    Nice listening to Pep, only been so successful and won everywhere because with good teams and good players, they are the ones out there not the manager. Does that mean for all the ones who keep saying he would do a better job with us, no chance as players not good enough and he isn’t a master tactician? Maybe he is just modest


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