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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

  • Tsunki

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #41

    Disappointed my 4-0 prediction didn’t come in today but i wasn’t far wrong 🙂 in fact it looks a bit conservative now ha ha – exactly as I thought, bit of winding up time to start and then……. under starters orders….aaand off!

    No surprise Perez’s game creeps up now he’s no longer having to dig scraps out of three defenders – Miggys pace and scope is freeing up the last third. Canny clever feller this Benitez, eh? And this is just a test run. I think things can only get better….song starting in my head now 😀

    Big question – is Mike Ashley wondering whether to put the feelers out for Longstaff as a nice little earner, or cash in on Shelvey and allow Longstaffs points to stack up?

    2
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #42

    Jib
    Not at first but when I saw it again and again at half time from different angles he went through Almiron with studs up into his calf – if Almiron foot was planted could of easily been a leg breaker

    3
  • cyprus

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #43

    Charlie

    Good report, as always. I’d have given everyone a point more, mind.

    I really can’t think of a player who didn’t play well. How many attempts did we have? 30+?

    Man I haven’t enjoyed a football game of ours this much for a while. Thanks lads. Special welcome to you Almiron. Excellent performance.

    More of the same. Please.

    5
  • Tsunki

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #44

    On the Smith red card – it was so blatantly studs up, opportunity – scuppering and right out in the open it virtually embarrassed the ref into making a decision he had no way of backing out of. That’s what it took to get our first red in half a DECADE! I also had a Ben Arfa cringe moment when it happened. I’m disgusted that there was an obvious instruction to nobble the new boys threat with the same remit as DeJongs brutal assault. And Smith’s protests of innocence deserved a punch in the mouth or at least a good slap to the back of the heed.

    6
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #45

    Great 3pts
    Well done lads,
    Have a great weekend all

    3
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #46

    Chico it would be illogical to support anyone else mate
    Out of curiosity why you choose the toon?

    5
  • 9

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #47

    With Longstaff and Almiron we are so much more potent than in the first half of the season, so relegation not a worry “going forward”. 12th, would you say? Or better?

    1
  • martoon

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #48

    Obviously we won but I think I can say I enjoyed watching us the most of any game this season. We really played some good stuff and really should have had a hat-full of goal buts let’s not be greedy we won. In the first 10 minutes we couldn’t get the ball and they played some nice passing football but with no end product. In fact I can’t remember Dubravka making a save just catching some crosses.
    Yes Huddersfield were down to 10 but we still had to beat them. Obviously Almiron will not play like that every game but he makes our front 3 look dangerous – when was the last time we could say that?

    2
  • magpie6699

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #49

    In slow-mo on screens at half-time at the match it looked like it should have been THREE red cards it was so dirty and dangerous! That’s two records gone this season! Beaten Citeh AND had a player sent off against us!
    Shame we couldn’t get at least 2 more goals but Huddersfield are truly a very poor team. Pleased for Miggy, Perez and Rondon – all played well. I’ve said before I’m wary of over-praising local lads just because they are “one of our own” BUT I have to say that Longstaff was superb. I love the way that he makes time for himself and does the right thing so simply. He has a good engine too.

    2
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #50

    Jib
    If you go on ‘reddit’ – soccer you can watch the goals and the red card

    0
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #51

    Cyprus
    Stats
    29 shots – 12 on target

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #52

    Charlie in the Gallowgate
    I’ve seen them over and over
    I just wanted your take on it

    0
  • martoon

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #53

    Also we’re all in raptures over our brilliant win and there are still posters sniping at each other – whether you like it or not this is why the blog in not as popular as it used to be!

    8
  • lochinvar

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #54

    Smiths tackle was brutal and you have to think premeditated to take Almiron out of the attach to help Huddersfield’s defence. There’s a photo on the BBC web site showing it shin high and studs full on. The ref was onto it quickly and efficiently so for once we’ve benefited from professional officiating.

    Seven points from the games against City, Wolves and Huddersfield is a good return but then again should have been a full house of nine due to poor officiating at Wolves.

    3
  • jane

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #55

    “That’s two records gone this season! Beaten Citeh”

    you may have meant this but we hadn’t won after losing at half time for a long time.

    0
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #56

    Cyprus
    The reason I didn’t give them another point was the first ten – fifteen minutes we were awful
    Couldn’t get near there players and when we did couldn’t string two passes together
    Still on their holiday workout in Spain
    Yet saying that we came closest to scoring

    2
  • chicousa

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #57

    Genjikai
    Because I’m logical and as you truthfully stated it would be illogical to support any other team! 😉

    Actually I’ve visited Newcastle and loved the city and the people there! And I want to count myself among the greatest and longest suffering fans, when after many decades of not winning anything, we finally start bagging some silverware! 😀

    12
  • GeordieinOhio

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #58

    Genjikaifrom earlier post…

    Im a Geordie from Crammy been in Ohio for over ten years now….I miss match days, greggs sausage rolls, steak bakes and stotties ….uggghhhhh now I am hungry ….any chance of an S.O.S care package lol

    9
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #59

    Care package onroute, they used to do a caramel square but sadly i cant find it in any anymore.
    Chico ana stupid question obvs you would support the toon its a no brainer.
    Once a geordie always a geordie.

    5
  • Bambams

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #60

    Well I have just watched the disappointing Wales v England match, so pleased we won today to soften the blow.

    We keep hearing about how Rugby has V.A.R spot on, well I wish the South African Ref had the chance to use it more.

    Wales forward passes constantly and i dont recall one line out that was thrown straight.

    Eddy got it wrong today, well done to Wales though – good second half.

    Now there is two hour wait for MOTD !

    0
  • Dagwoodz

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #61

    Another Yank toon supporter here, though I’ve been working overseas for a few years now. In my experience, there are a few pockets of Toon supporters in the states that actually get together for matches. Ran into 3-4 of them a few years ago in Baltimore. There’s a pub down by the pier that shows all of the matches, so they gather there to cheer on the lads.

    6
  • Nostradamus the Geordie

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #62

    Well Chico, we are represented more in the states than those damn Mackems, today was a good day, Tuesday I hope for the same, Woods and Barnes are a damn handful though.
    Hope Tuesday is Migs day, he was so unlucky today but showed he has some good shooting boots on him, know’s where the target is.

    5
  • Mag52

    Feb 23, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #63

    Well done to Rafa and the lads.
    Good, and much needed, win, and an impressive debut for Almiron.
    Oddly enough, I’ve a feeling we could have won by a bigger margin had Huddersfield played the 90 minutes with eleven men.

    3
  • Lascelles sells sea shells by the sea shore

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #64

    Lads I set off road the game today but missed my boat and thought f*@k it I’m going over anyway on the next boat, finally got here about half 5, 2 hours too late but I wanted to join in the celebrations.

    Me and a pal are now down wetherspoons ‘the quayside’, the bar man recommended flares for a couple of late 30 somethings to have a laugh, can anyone confirm or deny if this is the case?

    Sorry it’s not football related but this is the only place I could hope for a quick answer!

    Well done the lads today, watched on a stream whilst crossing the south of Scotland that barely had electricity never mind 4g!

    4
  • Pottsclock

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #65

    Longstaff, Longstaff, Longstaff. He’s going to be a superstar.

    2
  • kc2012

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #66

    Seeing a lot of Sheff Wednesday fans saying Achraf Lazaar was outstanding for them Today on his debut. I was quite excited about him when we signed him because he looked brilliant at Palermo.

    Fair play to the lad for sticking to it, I hope he does really well for them.

    3
  • Aces-of-Eights

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #67

    Loved watching game today. Long time since we created loads clear chances although hudds are the crappest team in lge this season.
    Almiron 100 times the player atsu is and million times the player kenedy is. When kenedy came on he didnt look like trying hard to impress just playing safe casual passes jogging around not demanding ball and looking to make things happen. Sooner we get rid the better.
    Another thought if rafa was allowed to spend like he wanted would longstaff have made his breakthrough this season? Its like having a 20mill plus midfielder for free

    2
  • kc2012

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #68

    Aces

    I thought Kenedy looked quite decent myself. Did what he had to do in a game that was already won and nearly scored a cracker. With him it’s clearly a confidence thing because you don’t just go from being as good as he was last season to being as bad as he has been most of this season, he will want to be impressing Chelsea or other clubs. We won’t sign him for next season obviously but Today I thought he looked better in the time he was on.

    3
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #69

    With more now in the final third, and playing 3 centre backs, pairing Shelvey and Ki becomes very possible, and that could well give us our best 11, even though they may have to wait and battle for their chance.

    I think in the offseason we need an upgrade on Joselu, and to look at our wingbacks. 2 or 3 good signings in those positions and also a back to form Kenedy on my wishlist.

    2
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #70

    Lascelles if you want a rave gan to digi best sound system i toon!

    3
  • Munster Mag

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #71

    Lascelles have a great night in the toon! Have a broon for me

    1
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #72

    Lascelles empress used to be good till it got shut down for drug dealing.
    They used to sell vapour shots that you sucked up through a straw. One was called zombie brain. Used to blow your brain .

    2
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #73

    Wouldn’t be nufcblog with a bit of baiting, sniping and male member measuring after a very good and important win 😀

    What I was thinking about Hayden, other than the early part of last season, he had a little 3/4 game run with merino but other than that I don’t recall him getting a run of games. Very hard to play well leading to many suggesting he is not prem league quality. Now that he has and very much seems to have come to grips with the league, is he starting to fulfil his potential that we all thought we had when he signed?

    It’s a shame he won’t be here next season as he is a great professional and showing improvement but he certainly deserves to be let go if that’s what he wants.

    2
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #74

    Cannuck mag made an interesting point during the match.
    Miggy was a Rafa 1st choice signing, imagine what team we would have if Rafa had his way and got his first choices.
    Never mind in Rafa we trust, just wish ashley would trust him more.
    We could easily be competing at the top of this league under Rafa if he was given his way.

    6
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #75

    Hayden has become more integral which he’ll be very happy about, players want to play, and he and his partner a year along in the parenting and so their attitudes to things may have changed sufficiently to allow Rafa to convince him to stay. Ki, Shelvey, Hayden and Longstaff is a good midfield 4, and maybe even hold onto Diame for added cover in there. I have hopes that we can keep him.

    2
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #76

    Rolando, the blogs sometimes is like having a barney with your better half. You gan to kip wake up next day and its all forgotten. Just let go.
    If it continues into the next day ya na your in trouble ….

    3
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #77

    Nicky, in theory the competition we have for places in midfield should allow us to be able to spend else where in the summer.
    If we dont need to recruit midfield then more money for 2 proper strikers.
    I feel rondons done enough to sign him.
    Hopefully in the same league as almiron.
    Our front 3 linked up so well together the day.
    Even with 11 men hudders would of struggled.

    3
  • martoon

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #78

    Lascelles – if you like 70’s music then Flares is the place for you!

    1
  • Genjikai

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #79

    And chico your crazy you. Im a local so im born into being a toon fan theres no other way, had it me whole life the ups and downs of the toon.
    You on the other hand chose to be a geordie a toon fan. Hats off mate crazy man, welcome to the geordie clan.

    4
  • chicousa

    Feb 23, 2019 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #80

    Nostradamus the Geordie @62

    Nobody in North America is depraved enough to support Sunderland! I think there may actually be health laws here preventing contact with Makems! 😉

    BTW: glad I recalled your blog name correctly earlier when I referenced a few Toon fans over here in North America! I should have remembered Chancel as well as “Ohio”. Also asi-fish is another Geordie expat I think currently living in Florida.

    4


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