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Manager Faces Selection Dilemma For Terriers Game


The Newcastle manager has almost everybody fit for the game today against the Terriers at St.James’ Park.

Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey and Ki are all fit again and pushing for a start in central midfield.

And Paul Dummett is fit and hoping to get back into the side at left-back, but he has competition from new arrival Antonio Barreca.

And Rafa will have to decide if he starts Miguel Almiron or brings him on as an impact sub on the second half.

It’s a nice problem for Rafa to have and we do still have 12 vital games to play in the Premier League before mid-May so it’s good to have almost a fully fit squad available.

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

Here’s what Rafa has said today:

“We have Diame who is a really good worker and we have Jonjo who can give you these really good long passes. The difficult thing for me now is to pick the right ones for the right games.”

“It is better to have this problem that to have just two midfielders. It will give us something different.”

“Jonjo being fit is very good and he will increase the competition in the middle of the pitch. It’s very good.”

“We have to analyse these things – we play 4-3-3, sometimes 4-1-4-1, sometimes 5-3-1-1 sometimes, 5-4-1.”

“When we play with five at the back with the wing-backs high it’s 3-4-3 so we have different ways to approach the games in terms of systems.”

“It’s different if you have Messi, you have different decisions to make but we are a team that can adjust depending on what players we have.”

“We are a team who can adapt, who can adjust. We try to do the best for the team.”

“The crowd can see this in another way.”

“It might be that Almiron is not playing then he comes off the bench and scores the winning goal.”

We would definitely take that today – anything to get the win against the bottom club Huddersfield, who haven’t won since November.

We are hoping there are no big shocks today, but we admit to being just a little bit apprehensive.

The goal is to survive this season, (yet again!) but if we can get a winning streak put together, we will start climbing the league table as we did last year.

Maybe we could even finish in 10th pace or higher with a good run-in to the season?

Hope so.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Huddersfield Town?

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Comments welcome.


42 comments so far

  • Munster Mag

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #1

    I can’t see rafa doing another cautious Fulham approach so hopefully get after them early and impose ourselves.

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #2

    The Chronic is reporting an interview Rafa gave to the
    prestigious footy paper Marca in Murcia last week.

    This is it – use translate and make your own minds up

    https://www.marca.com/futbol/premier-league/2019/02/23/5c70815be2704e9e088b45d1.html

    0
  • geordietom

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #3

    we are supposed to be linked with a player from brazil who plays for Hoffenheim …

    JOELINTON ??? never heard of him …

    0
  • davetoon

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #4

    Such a massive game today. I’m never been so confident before that we would win a game. The competition for places can only help to hedge against any possible complacency

    2
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #5

    6 goals and 6 assists for Hoffenheim in 21 games this season

    0
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #6

    Team selection
    No problem – start with the same team as the last few weeks
    Been balanced played decent football and ease Alimron in after a hour
    Not confident today tho followed Toon for too many years and seen many a slip up when expected to win- to many
    Taken us for a draw – man of little faith!!

    7
  • davetoon

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #7

    I’d assume that Joelinton is a backup if we can’t negotiate a deal with Rondon given his soon to be free agency.

    1
  • geordietom

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #8

    jib …

    did you see how much they want for him 60 mill…

    dont think so …

    0
  • geordietom

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #9

    hope ASHLEY gets his fat fingers out of his arse and gets Rondon sorted …

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #10

    davetoon
    I’m never been so confident before that we would win a game.

    That’s very reminiscent of remarks made by Man City fans
    before playing us the other Monday night
    🙁

    4
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #11

    TOm
    transfermarkt price him at €13.5m

    0
  • jane

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #12

    market value of Almiron on transfermarkt is £13.50m

    https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/miguel-almiron/profil/spieler/272999

    1
  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #13

    Good link that Jib (to the Spanish site), cheers.

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #14

    Would love to see Almiron start today, but if Rafa decides to keep him on the bench and continue with the same 11 or bring players in who have been are returning to the fold, I would have no problem with that. Honestly, I’ve paid so little attention to NUFC recently, that I don’t really know who is fit, but I would definitely pick Ki if he is available, and lets keep Longstaff in and developing. The season is about staying up, but if we can also bring Longstaff on further he could be important net season, and hopefully many after.

    A big game today, and it would be great to see us start strongly, a win here would be a great result – the Fulham and Cardiff results were great for us, and 3 points today will really put us in a strong (relative) position.

    Read a few threads recently and I’ve seen the talk of posters allegedly leaving because of the infighting. I can’t imagine that is really a big factor. I don’t post a lot anymore cause I’ve had far more important things going on. The bickering can be annoying, but if you put lots of people together anywhere you’re going to get it. Don’t like it, scroll passed it. Everyone on here contributes in their own way.

    3
  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #15

    And to follow on from Lilongwe Geordie’s last para above, remember, you’ll never be too important or too rich to just be nice to other people.

    1
  • geordietom

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #16

    jib … #11

    thats more ASHLEY’S price mate …

    0
  • Posh_Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #17

    I’ve been reading the blog since it started. What 12 years ago? I think I’ve posted once.

    The bickering on here is hilarious at times and no reign at others. I just scan past to the football related posts.

    I’d start Almirion keep the rest the same and dun Shelvy on after 60mins when legs are tired and there is more space for his passes.

    5
  • Posh_Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #18

    Boring* not no reign.

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #19

    What’s the deal with Sorenson at Blackpool? He has barely played, is there a reason aside from ability – fitness, Blackpool’s off field issues etc? Or is it purely the manager doesn’t deem him up to starting at this stage? 32 minutes across 5 or 6 games isn’t exactly beneficial to his development.

    4
  • geordietom

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #20

    i dont think Rafa would let the lads get over confident … go out do the simple things … dont get to cocky … defend from the front … as long as we get the three points i’ll be happy as i’m sure everyone on here will be …

    0
  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #21

    “” Each owner manages his club as he wants. Newcastle has everything to be there, in the top 8, but it is not happening. I hope it is done in the future””

    Ball firmly in the owners court

    1
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #22

    Posh,
    Nice to see you post! Who would you leave out for Almiron? Would you switch formation or drop someone who is close to being like for like? Is Shelvey fit? I honestly am not sure where Shelvey fits if all our central midfield players are available. We started to play far better and with more control higher up the pitch when he got injured.

    1
  • DaveD1000

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #23

    Lil
    they are talking of pulling him from there

    0
  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #24

    Apparently S-O-R-E-N-S-E-N, to give him his correct title, is behind two other players in the pecking order.

    Unbelievable Jeff

    4
  • simon376

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #25

    What Are your thoughts on the interview Jib? I think he would like to stay but all depends on what Ashley does to help him

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #26

    Lindi,
    The ball has been in the owners court since day one. He was badly advised and trusted the wrong people initially, but I liked the initial theory of the 5 year plan. Just a shame Ashley trusted and employed the wrong people to implement it. I think from then on he has had no interest in really progressing anything.

    There have been chances for him to attempt a fresh start and try to push forward, but each time he has either proved to be at best, disinterested, at worst vindictive. Any brief glimpse of change has been short lived and cosmetic.

    He has another chance to show a change of heart between now and the expiry of Rafa’s contract. Hoping he does is more of a Hail Mary than having any rational thought behind it. The ball is in his court, but if we really want any change we probably need to get our own ball and start playing our own game.

    1
  • davetoon

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #27

    @Jib I’m the most pessimistic fan around but I still think we will win comfortably. I’ll be gitted if we don’t win

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #28

    DaveD,
    Can we do that? It would be unusual these days for us to be able to take him back outside of a transfer window without serious extenuating circumstances. Unless the loan wasn’t an agreement to the season’s end, then I doubt we could bring him back because they aren’t playing him!

    Lindi,
    Behind 2 others? That’s disappointing, hopefully he just needs a bit of time to settle and he will start to earn his place in training and take any chances in the team that he gets.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #29

    I hope to gawd Almiron starts, not least because I’ve put him in my fantasy team and expect him to assist all Rondon’s three goals, score and get tripped for Ritchie’s pen.
    Jiblets,
    I’ll spare what I think of yours and your sidekick O’Baldrick’s double standards on your comment to Tuff as it’s matchday.

    1
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #30

    Jail,
    Haha, I think he probably will start – I’m not convinced the rest of your prediction will happen, but I’d love it if it does!! I reckon we will win 2-0 today. Would love to see Longstaff and Almiron both get off the mark today!

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #31

    Lilongwe,
    I’ve gone with my heart over my head today and stuck Ritchie, Almiron and Rondon in, it’s more likely to be a tight affair like last season but here’s hoping for a corker. Should have gone Lascelles, Schar and Dubs would be more points rewarding.

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #32

    Jail,
    I’d have gone Schaar, Almiron and Rondon. But hey, if you can’t follow your heart playing fantasy football then when can you! I know what you mean by it probably being a tight affair but I think if we can get off to a strong start then we can win fairly comfortably. They offer little threat and are poor at the back. I’d be very disappointed if our back 3 (if we go with that) have problems containing them.

    Difficult to comment too much on Almiron as I’ve seen very little of him, but he seems like a player who likes to run at the spaces and back line. If Huddersfield come and set up to defend, it may negate him a bit. Someone who has seen more of him may be able to tell me I’m wrong and he can unpick tight defences as well. I hope he can! I’m looking forward to the roar of the crowd when he does get a chance to run full flow with the ball though! I think we have all missed that in recent years!

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #33

    Jail for Ashley
    Jiblets,
    I’ll spare what I think of you as it’s matchday.

    PHEW
    What a relief !!!!!

    6
  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #34

    We ain’t Man City or Liverpool, we can’t afford to let 20 Million sit on the bench, let the 5 – 10 odd Mills sit.

    Today war of the animals, Magpies V Terriers.

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #35

    Simon
    Rafa’s comments were typically Spanish.

    My contract has over months to go yet
    There are much more pressing issues

    By the way we are in exactly the same points
    situation as last season and then we finished 10th

    1
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #36

    On Rafa, I am fairly confident that he would like to stay. I think he knows what he has at Newcastle, and that is probably the biggest club/club with biggest potential that he could realistically expect to manage in the Premier League nowadays. But he will want/need to know that he has the backing and assurances that he will be allowed to grow and develop the club further in all aspects, and at a faster rate than he has been afforded so far.

    He is pragmatic and realistic to know that he isn’t going to get everything he wants, but I think if he can get assurances, I’d imagine written, on the points he believes to be key and crucial, then he will let others wants slide.

    At the minute it is 2 stubborn men playing a game of brinkmanship, waiting for the other to blink. I expect both to concede ground eventually and Rafa to stay.

    0
  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #37

    Optimistic,
    Can we afford to let the 5-10 mill players sit on the bench??

    0
  • simon376

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #38

    Interesting Jib, I still have a feeling he will renew but won’t be happy.

    Let’s hope we can get close to a repeat of last season

    0
  • frankie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #39

    Whilst I can understand some thinking he’ll stick with same 11 but I really think Almiron should start in Atsu’s place. I would think Hayden will be replaced but by whom, Ki, Shelvey or Diame are all debatable options.

    0
  • geordietom

    Feb 23, 2019 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #40

    i think what JIB is trying to say …

    as the spanish put it MANANA ( MAN YA NA ) …

    its the spanish way everything is tomorrow …

    0

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