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Rafa – It Was A Great Day For Almiron And Our Fans


Rafa Benitez was pleased with the overall performance and the commitment of his players in the 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield today.

Maybe the only thing we could have done better is to score more goals, but we hit the woodwork quite a few times.

The Terriers were reduced to 10 men after only 20 minutes when Tommy Smith was sent off for a rash tackle on Almiron.

Newcastle created a lot of chances today, and if we can get another good striker in over the summer, we will be a much better side next season.

The star players today were Sean Longstaff in the middle of the park and new boy Almiron who must have been pleased with his debut performance at St. James’ Park.

Rafa Benitez on the touchline today

This is some of what Rafa said after the game:

“We did well so I was pleased with the performance of the players.”

“It was difficult for them with 10 men but they still had chances. We had a lot of chances and we hit the post or bar three or four times.”

He (Almiron) did what we expected of him. He linked well with the other forwards. It was a great day for him and the fans.

“He’s very dynamic and he has good movement behind the defenders and between the lines.”

“It’s now important to settle down in the Premier League and understand the mentality of the PL.”

“If he can stay at the same level and score a goal, it will be better.”

“Longstaff did very well. He has the support of the players around him and the fans. He did very well.

“Everyone was expecting we could win but maybe not that we could play so well and create so many chances.”

“Now we must carry on. Every game is a final for us and we must play with the same intensity against Burnley.”

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Comments welcome.


142 comments so far

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #1

    Genjikai – from a few posts back…

    Originally from South Shields but I’ve lived in the States for over a decade now, mainly between Connecticut and Massachusetts. Other than watching games at SJP, I really miss Greggs pasties and Dicksons saveloy dips. I could murder two or three of them right now actually!

    9
  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #2

    Haven’t found many Toon supporters over here. There was a dad wearing a Newcastle beanie hat at my eldest son’s school when I lived in Salem, MA and he was from the Beamish area originally, but I haven’t seen anyone other evidence of fellow Mags in my neck of the woods. There’s a pub down in New Haven, CT that has Premier League get-togethers, but it seems mainly the ‘big’ teams like Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, etc. I might try heading down there one weekend to see if there’s more of our lads over here.

    5
  • jane

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #3

    i’d like to see Almiron’s chip over the keeper that hit the post again, didn’t know if he sliced it?

    1
  • Nufc-83

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #4

    Never sliced it just slightly misplaced

    2
  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #5

    Where has Cathy gone, where has Cathy gone, far,far away, far,far,away. It amazing that the Norwegian dipshit never shows up after a win.
    100% a fcuking Mackey.

    15
  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #6

    Mackem, damn spell checker

    3
  • kc2012

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #7

    The top betting sites are offering odds of 1/1000000000 that Catchy forgets his Nufcblog login details after our win Today.

    Might stick half a quid on it

    8
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #8

    Palace beating Leicester at the King Power

    1
  • beefman13

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #9

    Like your first pint on holiday, refreshing.

    2
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #10

    COME ON YOUR SHEEP SHAGGERS

    Ha ha ha

    0
  • geordietom

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #11

    ok we beat 10 men today… you can only beat whats in front of you …in the past we have slipped up in games like today … so yeah very good 3 points … Almiron gonna be a favourite at wor club … Longstaff very very good performance for a kid and he’s one of ours … so 3 points in the bag … get Rafa signed up on a contract which benefits him and the club to take us upward and onwards …

    that tackle on MIggy bit of deja vue … with the DeJong tackle on ben arfa …. i thought knar not again but he picked himself up very good player glad he’s ours …

    4
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #12

    “Arctoa’s” always excellent match report to the Guardian’s letters.

    “Spring sunshine, flying wingers, and chances galore. What a day!

    Rafa Benitez kept faith with Martin Dubravka between the sticks, and named an unchanged back five in front of him. Miguel Almiron made his first start in place of Christian Atsu, while Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden retained their spots in midfield ahead of Ki Sungyueng and Mo Diame. Jonjo Shelvey, back in full training, wasn’t risked.

    Complacency haunted the early exchanges, with Newcastle in particular unable to string a couple of passes together. It wasn’t long before Benitez was pacing the technical area in frustration, but he needn’t have bothered. While Huddersfield had all the possession, they did nothing of note with it.

    The home side woke up on the ten-minute mark – First, a Matt Ritchie corner eventually broke for Salomon Rondon, who had a couple of thwarted attempts at goal. Soon after, there was a double chance on the break; Hayden put Almiron clear through with an excellent pass between the lines, but his attempted lob drifted agonisingly towards the near post. Rondon’s snapshot from the rebound was deflected wide.

    Huddersfield were visibly wilting under Newcastle’s pressure on the counter, which led to the unthinkable on twenty minutes – a numerical advantage. It’s been five years since the last top-flight red card in our favour, but Tommy Smith was given his marching orders for an over-the-ball lunge at Almiron. Ayoze Perez was clattered seconds earlier in a challenge that itself could’ve seen a card brandished, but it went unpunished.

    The rest of the first half was one-way traffic, with Almiron impressive as the source and end-point of our attacking intent. He had a glorious chance to open his account on the half-hour mark, but his snapshot was just cleared off the line after squirming clean through Jonas Lossl. Despite a litany of further chances falling our way, Huddersfield somehow made it to half-time with their clean sheet intact.

    We picked up where we left off on the restart, laying siege to Lossl’s goal. Thankfully for us it only took a couple of minutes for a breach to be made, with Rondon finally hitting the target after some neat play between Florian Lejeune and DeAndre Yedlin. The sense of relief was palpable on the pitch and in the stands, and that new-found freedom quickly saw the lead doubled on 52 minutes – Perez firing home after a deft flick from Rondon.

    After quarter of an hour that felt more like a training exercise than a competitive fixture, a yellow-carded Ritchie was replaced by Kenedy on 67 minutes. In contrast to recent sulking cameos he looked like a player with something to prove, and his introduction inspired a fresh wave of energy for Newcastle. He cracked an outrageous volley on the 70-minute mark that required an outstanding fingertip save onto the bar from Lossl, and the woodwork was rattled again five minutes later, this time via Longstaff.

    Almiron was granted a standing ovation with ten minutes to go, replaced by Atsu. The new man’s contribution had everything but the goal and he brought out the best in Perez and Rondon, who had another all-action display – if they can retain this form through to the end of the season, we’ll surely – hopefully – be looking good for survival.

    There was just enough time for Joselu to replace Rondon before the final whistle took us up to 14th in the table, two points behind a Burnley side that we face on Tuesday. A positive result would finally put some daylight between ourselves and the relegation places, but that will be easier said than done – Burnley aren’t the pushovers they were.

    Finally, commiserations to Huddersfield supporters. For all their passing and ball retention they played into our counter-attacking hands, and it could easily have been five or six on the day. We were aided by playing against ten men for over an hour, but even before Smith’s dismissal they looked toothless up front and shaky on the turn.

    I’ve an odd affinity with the sides that came up from the Championship with Newcastle a couple of years ago – relegation looks inevitable for Huddersfield this time around, but with any luck they’ll be back.”

    8
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #13

    Congrats to Wales beating the best team in Europe

    2
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #14

    Massive 3 points today.

    1
  • lesh

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #15

    Genjikai

    If you’re asking Jibjan for an opinion, you might as well forget expecting an original thought in response – you might as well ask Google yourself!

    Look out for disjointed layouts and varying linguistic styles from him/her too – sure signs of copying from external sources.

    Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the foul language and abusive comments – they get worse as the drink goes down.

    6
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #16

    ho hum

    2
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #17

    sigh

    2
  • yogz69

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #18

    Congrats to Nicky the ball tosser for having the longest post I’ve ever seen on here

    7
  • beermonkey

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #19

    yogz

    seen longer

    0
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #20

    Yogz it was a good read i enjoyed it forgot i was on the blog must stop smoking so much…

    4
  • jane

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #21

    lesh as just a fan has said to Mr Tuff please don’t involve me in your feud with Jib.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #22

    I thought the sheep shaggers got humped in Sheffield???

    4
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #23

    Jails tulip post has got to be up there

    2
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #24

    Chancel, head of the usa branch of geordies its up to you to spread the word

    3
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #25

    Chancel has the prem got a big following in usa? Whats it like compared to MLS?

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #26

    Shit I’ve just realised
    That’s the first red awarded against an opponent
    for nearly FIVE YEARS.
    wow

    4
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #27

    Jane
    You do realise Lesh and Mr Tuff are one
    and the same ?
    For what it’s worth
    Yawn yawn
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    1
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #28

    Chancel,
    Your right about greggs this month ave had a corn beef pastie urge.
    Been getting secret ones when my lass has been at work.
    Usually a stake bake guy aswell but the cornbeef pasties have been like a crack addiction.

    6
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #29

    Jail

    Lost to the sheep shaggers, get over it.

    1
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #30

    Great win today – this Almiron kid looks canny.

    Started slowly first ten minutes could not get near Huddersfield – chasing shadows – yet created the best chance.
    Game changed when Smith got sent off for a awful challenge.

    Thought Longstaffe was outstanding and edged MOM from Almiron and Perez and LeJuene.

    Almiron got blistering pace and when he passes the ball keeps moving finding space and linked up well with Perez – making the pair of them a constant thorn in Udders defence with their running and movement

    Schar and Lejuene outstanding at the back.

    Dubravka 7 – had nothing much to do but took every high ball today with comfort
    Ritchie 7 – making left half his own but it looked like he did not want to pass to Almiron. Needs to keep his cool tackle second half could of easily ended in a red
    LeJuene 8 – Excellent all game and set up the goals with two brilliant passes
    Lascalles 7 – had one of his easiest games for the Toon – good in the air where and put in a great sliding tackle
    Schar 8 – another class act on the ball and seemed to have a understanding with LeJuene passed many a ball between each other today and they started most of our attacks from the back
    Yedlin 7 – Better game this week than last few – mind you did not have much to do defending – but very good going forward
    Hayden 7 – didn’t notice him in the game but that is usually a good sign
    Longstaffe 9 – superb game – broke up play passed it long passed it short brilliant cross for Rondon who missed a sitter of a header from it. Hit the bar with long range curler.
    Perez 8 – Excellent game – deserved his goal – always on the alert – with Almiron caused their defence problems all game
    Almiron 8.5 – Brilliant home debut always on the move on and off the ball blistering pace can pick a pass and put in some decent crosses – unlucky not to score when hitting the post – great standing ovation went subbed – what the Toon have missed for a long time. Lucky didn’t have his leg broken with a horrendous tackle from Smith
    Rondon 8 – Missed a sitting end of first half but made up for it beginning second half with a neat finish. Had a good game hit the post – bossed their defence a real bull of a player and with help now from Almiron going to score a lot more goals.

    Atsu 5 – Again gets the ball needs to go at their defence but turns back on himself and goes back inside
    Kenedy 6 – looked like he wanted to be part of the game today – hit the bar with a thunderbolt.
    Joselu – not on long enough.

    Rafa 8 – got everything right today from line up to subs
    Friend 7 – got most decisions right if not a bit lenient on their roughing up of Almiron first half.

    All in all good day – roll on Tuesday

    13
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #31

    This double double doubles is getting out if hand, i cant keep up, can we all agree to stick to one persona please.
    Good therapy for multiple personality disorder put them on a blog. Let all yourselves talk and answer to yourselves.

    5
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #32

    Looking forward to Tuesday day night, bring it on.

    1
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #33

    I reckon jail is Ashley, both sound like they thick as …………….

    2
  • jane

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #34

    “Longstaffe 9 – superb game – broke up play passed it long passed it short brilliant cross for Rondon who missed a sitter of a header from it. Hit the bar with long range curler.”

    the level he is at after only a few games is absolutely outstanding.

    4
  • chicousa

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #35

    Genjikai
    I’m a fan out in California. A yank at that. NY Mag is a Geordie living in NY. There is a fan down in Arizona too, think he used to be named NostradamusTheGeordie or something like that…? For every one fan on the blog I’m sure there are dozens of other fans! A big, loony North America Toon army!

    10
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #36

    Love you really Jail

    Ha ha ha

    0
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #38

    Ive went almiron mom (a welcome to the toon performance that) but again longstaff superb.
    Longstaff is a gem, cant wait for him to develop further. We seen a little more of his attacking side. Hopefully abit of frankie lampard will come out of him. The older and the more he plays the more of his shooting game will come out. Confidence.
    We wouldn’t even be able to sign a player like him.

    3
  • jane

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #39

    Leicester 1 Palace 4

    nice for Roy Hodgson on surpassing Bobby Robson’s record. Puel could be next Manager to go.

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #40

    Charlie in the Gallowgate
    Do you think Tommy Smith
    deserved his red ?

    0

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