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Midfielder Desperately In Need Of Game Time To Return To His Best

When Ki started the game on Saturday, it was his first game for Newcastle since he started the game in the 0-0 draw against Fulham on Saturday 22 December at St. James’ Park.

After that game, Ki had to report to the South Korean squad for the Asian Cup.

He returned from that tournament a month later on January 22nd injured.

He had picked up a hamstring injury after his first game, and that took a few weeks to clear up.

But Ki is now fit, and he will be needed in the remaining 8 games of the season with young midfield star Sean Longstaff out injured with a knee ligament injury.

Ki – has an opportunity to start again for Newcastle

The 30-year-old has now retired from International competition to concentrate on his Newcastle career, and he talked about his situation in the Chronicle today.

“I was out for two months and away from the pitch.”

“The injury occurred after the first game in the Asian Cup then I came back to training and got injured again.”

“So I had to come back to Newcastle which was very disappointing.”

“I never expected this and I was very depressed and disappointed.” “But this is the life of a footballer and you get injuries.”

“I couldn’t play until February and I was focused on getting back and waiting for my chance to play for Newcastle again.”

“I am not 100% fit yet but I will be better as I play more games.”

“I am just happy not to get injured and we won the game on my return.”

The South Korean midfielder joined Newcastle as a free agent when his Swansea contract expired last June 30.

Ki came on an initial two-year deal at St James’ Park, and he will be keen to extend that past June of next year.

This is an excellent opportunity for him to show Rafa what he can do for the Newcastle side.

Before he left for the Asian Cup last December, he was one of the starting central defenders.

Comments welcome.

84 comments so far

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #1

    I Actually prefer Ki to Shelvey but both change our style in different ways. Against Arsenal and Bournemouth we’ll be counter attacking into space behind their defences, id play Shelvey all day! Against teams that sit more, i like how Ki moves the ball on quickly and covers ground quicker, gets himself into space and available more etc

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #2

    Reckon we’ll see a return to a back 4 with Dummett fit which will probably see Schar or Lejeune drop out. Don’t see a place for Shelvey in a 3-4-2-1 as Lejeune and Schar effectively do the job he would do but in a back 4 id Definately be bringing Shelvey into the fold

  • Mindshaft

    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #3
  • lochinvar

    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #4

    Rafa stays at NUFC , hurrah !

    Zinedine Zidane is set to return as Real Madrid manager just 10 months after leaving the Spanish giants, according to European football expert Guillem Balague.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #5

    The FA are reviewing the referees report before deciding whether to take any action against Marco Silva. The Everton manager confronted Referee Lee Mason after the final whistle in Saturdays game at Newcastle United

    Separately Jordan Pickford has been admitted to a private clinic to undergo tests for Dropsy.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #6

    Mr Tuff I’ve told you –
    stick to Ladies Hockey

    The only chance England has of winning the 6 Nations
    is if the Irish beat the Welsh !!!

    (and we beat the sweaty socks of course)

  • Just a fan

    Mar 11, 2019 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Yes Rondon was pulled about a bit but the good thing was he just got on with it.
    He is clever enough to give it back a bit without actually giving fouls away.
    Wish Perez,whom I like, would take a leaf out of his book.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #8

    I’d hate to play Almiron at golf.
    His timing is unreal – the shot
    that the SMB spilled for Ayoze’s
    equaliser had hardly any back lift
    it was pure timing.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 11, 2019 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #9

    Sing in the corner, re the coaches and Rafa’s priorities, it’s an interesting debate isn’t it? The decision may not be all financial at the end of the day. He’s loyal to his coaching team, he needs to go to a club where there is room for all of them, that’s at least 4 staff he’d want to take along.

    There aren’t many clubs out there who would take a coaching team like that as a block, I wouldn’t think, so while they could all afford a limited sabbatical, is there any guarantee they could all afford to wait until there was a club they could all work for again? If not, they could all take roles at different teams, but I’m pretty sure Rafa wouldn’t want to see them scattered to the four winds.

    It just makes the whole process way more complicated when you start considering Rafa as head of a coaching team, rather than an individual and I’m pretty sure this is how Rafa sees himself.

    At the same time, Ashley would have to recruit replacements not just for Rafa but also for that larger team if he allows Rafa to walk. Again, recruiting one person is relatively straightforward, recruiting 5 quality personnel in a competitive market is an entirely different kettle of fish.

    Rafa staying at NUFC is the path of least resistance for all the people that matter in the decision. But then, we’re talking about NUFC and Ashley here, so who knows how logic applies.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 11, 2019 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #10

    Jib, it was also delivered while Almiron was sprinting flat out. It would have taken the World’s best keepers by surprise (Pickford ain’t that!)

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 11, 2019 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #11

    Ron knee, I answered your question a few threads back.

  • ben.g

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #12

    Rafa and his team are not mercanaries. And will not be hanging around us for a paycheck, I can guarantee you that.

  • Bambams

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #13


    Spot on, I think there would be no shortage of takers either.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #14


    On seeing the photo of Jason Pickford’s tackle on Rondon England Rugby Coach Eddie Jones said ” this is just the type of non nonsense (thick) tackler we need to shore up our defence. Let’s see if we can get him to change code.”

    A spokesman for RFU player safety disagreed saying, “Clearly Pickford’s tackling technique lacks finesse and his head should have been lower down and behind the players knees as he wrapped his arms around him” .

    When Lee Mason was asked about the incident he ran away.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #15

    Zidane to sign for Real for the rest of the season
    plus three years

  • ben.g

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #16

    Right there bambam.

    Plenty of footy clubs have taken notice of what Rafa has done with us.

    If anything, managing us have opened a few eyes around the world.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #17
  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #18

    I enjoyed Ronnie’s maximum

  • Optimistic Panda

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #19

    People are doing Rafa a disservice saying no top clubs or we’re the best he can get.

    I’m sure if he took over Everton he’d get them into the top 6, Spurs may actually be thinking about him after the thought of losing Poch.

    Rafa all but guarantees silverware when backed, theres 3 or 4 teams who are backed who could potentially break into the top 6 or better with Rafa in charge.

    Are we really the best he can do?

    If Ashley backed him I’d agree however so far he hasn’t, Rafa will have more and better options than a lot give him credit for!

  • Tsunki

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #20

    I’m.afraid the perception of Rafa’s worth among the amateur blog CV vetting service isn’t quite the same as the one the footballing fraternity have.

    Same critics and assessors who were selling shelvey hours before the last match.

  • lesh

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #21


  • Tsunki

    Mar 11, 2019 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #22

    I think what started the Shelvey downgrading was the appending of the term “Hollywood Pass” which implies that hes a lazy showboater who makes speculative but mostly fruitless long range lumps forward for entertainment purposes over product. That is completely unwarranted and pretty disrespectful from our own fans and enlightened blog critics I think.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #23

    I see Mike is back doing his favourite activity –
    throwing his weight about in the business world.

    Looking at him Bishop and Barnes
    I’m put in mind of a speech by Oliver Cromwell

    made to the Rump Parliament 366 years ago next month

    It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,
    which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue,
    and defiled by your practice of every vice.
    Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.
    Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell
    your country for a mess of pottage

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you?
    Is there one vice you do not possess?
    I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives,
    to depart immediately out of this place.
    Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone!
    In the name of God, go!

  • lesh

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #24

    Jib (I’ll try to finish this time!)

    An article in Saturday’s Grauniad discussed the posturing and stupidity of aspiring successors to the Maybot. One reference to Geoffrey Cox, her Attorney General referred to barristers and their training.

    The writer opined in regard to his [Cox’s] pronouncement of ‘sol-yoo-tion’ that ‘this is one of those affectations they teach you at legal eagle school along with thinly disguised greed and functional alcoholism.”

    How do your barrister pals pronounce solution – if and when they’re sober?

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #25

    Timing was never Lesh’s forté

  • toon22

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #26


    Everyone sick of your mate Mike
    Do us all a favour and ask him to do one


  • Munster Mag

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #27

    Panda at 9, u are totally missing the point myself and Jay photo are making.

  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #28

    not 9 but 19 you oaf.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #29

    Mr Tuff calling someone an oaf is priceless
    Ha ha ha
    At least you are less rude when you or your grand-daughter
    are posing as toon22

  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #30

    Jib – you need to withdraw your comment about my grand daughter pronto or WW3 will commence.
    I do not bring your family members into posts.

  • toon22

    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #31

    Hiya KBA

  • jane

    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #33


    1 N. Harker
    2 L. Cass
    3 O. Walters
    5 O. Bailey
    6 K. Watts
    4 M. Longstaff
    10 M. Sangare
    7 T. Allan
    11 R. Longelo-Mbule
    8 J. Young
    9 Y. Toure



  • jane

    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #34

    1 Southampton U23 18 +11 36
    2 Wolves U23 17 +22 34
    3 Reading U23 19 +9 34
    4 Newcastle Unit… 17 +13 31
    5 Aston Villa U23 18 +2 30

    Wolves playing Southampton

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #36

    I must have posted that as Jane
    Ha ha ha

  • Dondatta13

    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #37

    FA launches investigation into bullying allegations against former Newcastle youth coach Peter Beardsley


  • Munster Mag

    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #38

    Tuff did u enjoy watching France stuff Ireland in the rugby? 🙂

  • jane

    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #39

    0-2 down at half time. sound familiar!

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 11, 2019 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #40

    Ben.g if that comment was aimed at me I never meant that Rafa and his team were mercenaries just that he would take account of the requirements of his team and their long term prospects as a unit before making his decision.

    I hope that’s clear, I certainly meant no slur on the great man, just chewing the cud while I had five minutes to spare. In fact it was meant more in praise of his loyalty to those close to him than anything to do with money


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