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Midfielder Reveals What Newcastle Need To Do This Season

Saturday was a special moment for Newcastle fans becasue it was the first time in just over fifteen years that Newcastle had been two goals down in a Premier League game and came back to win it.

The last time was when we beat Fulham 3-2 at Loftus Road with Sir Bobby Robson in charge back on 21st October 2003.

We were 2-0 down after just 8 minutes in that game, but an early goal from Robert and a second-half brace from Alan Shearer got us all 3 points.

Ki Sung-yueng – we knew we had to keep going in the second half

Sung-yueng Ki started in place of the injured Sean Longstaff on Saturday, and he said this in the Chronicle today:

“Nobody in the stadium was pleased that we were losing 2-0 but then we came back to score three goals and that’s not easy to do.”

“Everybody in the dressing room knew not to give up.” “We showed what we could do in the second half and we’re very pleased to win this game.”

“We all know what the atmosphere is like at St James’ Park especially when we are doing well.”

“Also, the fans didn’t give up either and after we scored the first goal they were right behind us.”

“When we scored the third one the atmosphere was crazy and I was very pleased for everybody.”

“The win was crucial for us.” “We could have easily given up and it could have been heads down.”

“In the dressing room said that if we got one goal that a second and third is possible.” “We’re very happy with the result.

“We’re not finished yet.

“We have to keep going until the last game of the season.”

Once we are safe, we don’t want to let-up as we did last season when we lost four successive games before beating Chelsea in the final match 3-0.

That was the first appearance by Ki since last December, and he needs more playing time to get fully match fit.

It may be that Rafa brings Shelvey into the starting eleven at Bournemouth on Saturday after he looked excellent in the closing 10 minutes of the game on Saturday,

But Ki, Shelvey, and Diame all need playing time, and they will get it before the end of the season with Longstaff out injured.

Isaac Hayden again looked a rejuvenated player on Saturday.

We hope we’re not going to lose him this summer, but it’s looking that way.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

61 comments so far

  • posada

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #2

    West Ham.
    They didn’t fancy giving Cardiff a game on a cold windy day in South Wales.
    Defrauding their supporters.
    Defrauding their manager.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #3

    posada logged into the wrong blog ?????

  • posada

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #4

    Someone mentioned Howard Webb.
    Remember his decision against Fulham.
    He disallowed a goal by Viduka for no reason at all.
    The previous week we had scored after committing a foul in the box.
    He had clearly seen this and must have spent the build up conditioning his mind to look for it.
    To the extent that he fooled himself. He thought he had seen the foul he was waiting for even though it never actually happened.
    It was a disgraceful decision and a complete balls up.
    Nothing said. It cost us millions and a year in the Championship.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #5

    West Brom will have further talks with former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic on Monday as the Championship club pursue a new head coach, following the dismissal of Darren Moore. (Telegraph)

    Maybe they’re thinking he’ll bring Mitro with him for a promotion push out of the Championship next season with Rondon at SJP.

  • posada

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #6

    No. Last week they were up for it against us.
    Noble tried to injure our recent record signing.
    Think they fancied they could bully us.
    The next week they go missing.
    Must have thought Cardiff could dish it out back.
    Hence, cowards.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #7

    Complete mismanagement by Ashley and his goons cost us a year in the Championship, not Howard Webb.

  • posada

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #8

    Yeah all true. But it was a very poor decision and he did try to be too clever.
    He fooled himself basically.
    If we had won that game we would have stayed up.
    Not sure what we would have stayed up for. Probably more of the same, but we would have stayed up.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #9


    Webb said Nolan had fouled Schwarzer
    Complete bollix

  • TomaKaThor

    Mar 11, 2019 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #10

    Came from behind twice this season to win, which is unlike Newcastle and both games where pretty recent, gives me a glimmer of hope which i havent had for a long time that maybe games arent over if we concede first.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #11

    I’d love to be able to see in to the future regarding Ashleys plans if he doesn’t manage to persuade Rafa to stay.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #12

    Any new manager coming in will be well briefed on our transfer policy and will have to be on board with it or he won’t get the job. Any manager worth his salt will know of our relegation battles because of that policy, If that manager is more than happy to have his players bought for him by an elderly scout and be in a continuous relegation battle then he is on to a hiding to nothing from the very start and he will relegate us in his first season.

  • martoon

    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #13

    Jail – yeah it’s hard to imagine the type of manager we could attract if Ashley maintains the current policy. The one thing we know is that Ashley is not stupid so I’m hoping (maybe naively) that Ashley knows he has to keep Rafa. Quite how he will do this I don’t know but maybe he has been building up a ‘war chest’ that he can use in contract negotiations and so promise club improvements and transfers.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #14

    Guardian – Pérez makes it a happy anniversary for Benítez
    It is Rafa Benítez’s third anniversary at St James’ Park. He has experienced relegation, promotion, survival and days like these. Newcastle came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 amid euphoric noise. Benítez ranked it with a promotion victory over Brighton and one against Manchester United last February. The memory of half-time, Istanbul, 2005, also follows Benítez and he said: “It was similar, because you have to give them something to believe.” Ayoze Pérez called half-time “quite strange, we were not so bad but were 2-0 down and missed a penalty”. Jordan Pickford felled Salomón Rondón but was not sent off. Lee Mason’s refereeing was idiosyncratic. Pickford saved Matt Ritchie’s penalty; Richarlison promptly made it 2-0 to Everton after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s opener. Rondón made it 2-1, then Pérez struck twice, including an offside winner, in a breathless finale. Michael Walker

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #15

    I think what was noticeable was that Cardiff pressed West Ham with plenty of pace they couldn’t handle Hoilett and Niasse whereas they were quite comfortable playing against Perez and Rondon they were also outnumbering our midfield in the first half!

    When we switched to 4231 we were all over them but couldn’t break them down similar to the Everton game the 352 didn’t work that well against teams who pack the middle!

  • Tsunki

    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #16

    To say the next manager would have to hit the ground running is an understatement. We’ve twice brought the new guy in with barely a dozen games to climb out of the drop zone, seems to be the way of the current regime, brinkmanship.

    Looking at Benitezs approach when he wasn’t getting the players he needed, looking back it was fully justified to consolidate with the players he did have, knowing a well drilled defenders e can be fashioned with skill from a championship or even League One side to concede as little as possible – knowing that if and when he does get his pivotal players, the system generated has built will be a bedrock for changing game approach to a more attacking style.

    Almiron seems to have proved that he knows exactly what player is required to unlock his squad and open up the potential that is locked down out of necessity. The directness, pace, quick thinking and vision of Almiron has made space for Perez which means he now operates with more time, on turn this has made space for Rondon now teams cannot afford to budget two men on him. Far from the nuggetry of epic level when it was suggested it would mean Shelvey was superfluous and figures for his sale were being thrashed out it appears Shelvey was actually embedded in this plan – a player with lightning pace from a standing start who regularly makes incisive runs, with a master of the pinpoint long ball (let’s not forget Shelveys skill is not just the pass but the pre-planned vision to make it instantly before receiving the ball himself) deep behind him. I’ve a mind to think that the enforcers like Longstaff, Hayden, Diame were always planned to be alongside Shelvey, Ki – depending on how the opposition set up – in order to command the midfield and pin even the best opposition down to safety first at the back and limit their approach from midfield, after all that is where the game is controlled and invariably decided.

    Perhaps Benitez was hoping that Atsu or even stop gap Kenedy might step up sufficiently to do this on some way but obviously that never happened. Perhaps we need to get rid of those two and get another lightning midfielder just in case? Whatever happens, keeping Rafa is essential. I’m not on board with the ludicrous idea that Benitez is regarded as a washed out has been who wouldn’t be entertained at any decent club or that said clubs would never finance him. I’m sure the professional world isn’t either. If Ashley really isn’t selling then maybe he should see the business sense in backing his manager in the style of the almiron purchase. Every manager signs duds, because he’s trading in imperfect machines called humans. But the ones who get it mostly right are worth their money that’s for sure.

    Apologies for the long post 😐

  • Just a fan

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #17

    Another good thing that may come due to this match is that that sunderland Muppet might never get between the sticks again for England .heres hoping.

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #18

    Think West Ham have struggled for consistency all season, big highs, big lows. Having seen the 2 games we played against them where they were by far the better side in both, I’d argue maybe their style is just suited for besting ours? Cardiff matched them up in formation and just went for a fight and west ham didn’t fancy that! Against us In both games Diop absolutely beasted Rondon in near every challenge. I also think it was probably one game too many for Hayden and Longstaff who both dropped below the standard they’d been setting previous (i know longstaff went off at half time) Maybe fatigue was creeping in? We’ve actually got the squad fit at the moment, with Diame, Shelvey, Ki, Muto, Kenedy and Dummett all fit to rotate slightly in games now

  • Tsunki

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #19

    I think it was fatigue against West ham. Rafa was criticised for not changing the squad but let’s face it most of the replacements weren’t really match fit either.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #20


    Yeah I wondered if maybe Muto might have been a good option against the big centre halfs? A little pace and movement to trouble them rather than Rondon who they seemed to have the beating of!

    Would like to see Rondon peel away to the smaller full backs as he seems to get attracted to battling the big man which doesn’t always work!

  • Tsunki

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #21

    Jay not sure they’re all fully fit for starting though, at least for a whole game. They’re getting there and the change up cameos on Saturday show they’re rating to get into it which is good. Hopefully our injury problems and fitness will resolve nicely for this run in.

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #22

    Personally, unless 1 or 2 jobs open up I think Rafa stays.. I’d be concerned slightly if the Everton or Wolves jobs came up… but thats both quite unlikely! Top 6 jobs aren’t going to take on Rafa, and similarly no1 in the top 6 looks set to move on… Rafas a 6m a year boss (plus a decent waged backroom staff) Theres not many clubs out of that top 6 that pay that, and theres only 4 or 5 clubs with the stature or investment that would interest him, and out of that, Wolves, Leicester and West Ham jobs won’t be available, who knows with Everton?
    Similar story in Italy and Spain, he’s not actually going to get a job in those leagues with the budget to compete.. maybe a german giant like Schalke? But Rafas all wrong for the bundesliga where bosses get less control and last 2 seasons as a norm…which leaves China>? Can’t see him going out there. I think with the emergence of the defence, the signing of Almiron etc I could see him taking a 1 year rolling contract purely because I don’t think the options out there will really be that much better than staying, he has an affinity with the fans and city and since Liverpool hes not really been appreciated anywhere hes gone and it obviously means alot to him

  • Tsunki

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #23

    If the big defenders have the beating of your big lad up front thats the time to switch to the little nippy guy, but we don’t have one of those really, not since Gayle got farmed out, he wasn’t the top product but he was the style.

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #24

    Speaking of Rondon, think we’re going to give Arsenal a bit of a game! Their centrehalves hate physicality and hate strikers who press high and their full backs leave acres in behind to counter attack into. I think our style might make for a decent encounter!
    Similarly on a linked note, they agreed to sign Almiron before Emery and pulled out of it, maybe the lad will wanna show them what they’re missing

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #25

    Guessing Muto has just really struggled to adapt? Which is odd because hes come across from Germany, not straight from Japan? He played up front in a 4-3-3 last season and really caused teams problems, similarly he caused Man Utd all sorts of problems earlier in the season, seems strange he doesn’t get minutes when Joselu does…(simply the worst striker ive seen at NUFC)….I know Rafa puts a lot of emphasis on communication, maybe thats whats holding him back? Thought i saw enough against Man Utd to have him ahead of Joselu tbh…

  • Tsunki

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #26

    I would have thought the Everton job was long ago deleted from Rafa’s list. I wouldn’t assume a “top six” club wouldn’t entertain him when they are sliding down the league and they’ve had enough of the bright young managerial stars of Europe. I think the only reason he would be chalked off their shopping list would be the Chelsea scenario where no matter how good he is, the fans would want him out because of perceived loyalty to rivals, or the Mourinho effect where the players down tools because they object to his authority. I also think there would be plenty of decent Spanish clubs who would consider him ideal.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #27

    I think you’re underestimating him. Spurs and Arsenal don’t win trophies and Rafa does, I don’t think either job would be entirely closed to him.

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #28

    @Tsunki/Jail – when you look case for case though at the top 6, those jobs just won’t be up asides maybe the Chelsea one and we know thats not happening. In spain, the Real madrid connection rules out Barca/Athleti, Sevilla give their manager no transfer say and heavily lean towards Attacking managers and Valencias financial problems mean he wouldn’t really be able to do any more than he could at Newcastle and his preference is in england. Maybe, just maybe a Sociedad or Betis ? Both have pretty difficult to work with presidents though.
    Don’t get me wrong, im not saying hes not good enough for a top 6 job! Hes absolute class, im more saying I just don’t think those jobs will be available and if hes not going to walk into a job and get 50m + to shape the team i can’t see him going

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #29

    Theres also no chance Spurs are sacking Pocch regardless,Im not even sure Levy cares about trophies that much?.. saw somewhere currently the buy out on his contract is about 30m…. nee chance levys paying that to get rid of a manager thats got and kept a team in the top 4 with zero investment.

  • jayphoto

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #30

    Similarly Arsenal are taking Monchi in the summer as technical director when him and emery have such a good working relationship! Arsenal backed emery over Sven and have replaced him with Emerys top choice of football director, sounds like their building for next few years

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #31

    Let’s hope fatty sees sense and keeps him.here.

  • martoon

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #32

    jayphoto @22 – I really can’t see Rafa taking the Everton job because of his Liverpool connections – both his loyalty and the fact the Everton fans hate him!
    Re Muto – I was surprised he didn’t even make the bench on Saturday!

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #33

    Jail, Jay has articulated the argument better than me although I know that you think I’m denigrating him. Im not, and want him to stay. But in short, if he wants to stay in England for his family, the big jobs are not open to him, unless spurs wobble. Leicester was the issue for me. Wolves will be happy as they are. I had said a club like galatasaray cud be a threat… Big club… Mad support…. Europe, etc.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #34

    “Don’t get me wrong, im not saying hes not good enough for a top 6 job! Hes absolute class, im more saying I just don’t think those jobs will be available…”

    Do you agree with the above from jayphoto, Munster?

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #35

    Rafa has plenty of reasons to stay here, if we can’t even get him 3 decent players for the wings etc he might put the academy push on hold for a season.?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #36

    I found Rafa’s comments about Muto very strange “I think he’s a striker”

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #37

    And because of the ensuing riots if given the Slurs job, eh Munster 😉

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #38

    I think Shelvey plays better when he has something to prove, therefore I will continue to pose the question about being passed his sell by date!

    Watching Ritchie really highlights that he is not a typical type of winger that can accelerate past a player, to whip in a cross from the byline. He is better off at LB crossing from deeper or cutting inside from the right wing. However, despite his energy he needs to be replaced.

    One more game against Bournemouth and then an International break (Boo). I hope Rafa works on a stronger midfield, as this is our weakness and has been for his whole tenure. Although for at least one more match, Fernandez will likely stand in for Schar and we will continue to play 541.

  • posada

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #39

    Ref Watch. Dermot Gallagher has looked at the Everton game.
    States clearly that the Pickford incident was a Pen and a red card. No attempt to defend the ref at all.
    Also, said the tackle on Almiron was quite possibly a red. It certainly was not a case of play on no foul, which is what was given.
    Where does all this leave Lee Mason ?
    It was an awful performance. Thing is it is the nature of his decisions. It’s as if he does not want to see the big moments in a game. Almost as if he is in some sort of trance and just does not want to believe what has happened. It would be dead easy to ref at the top level if no big decisions ever came up, but that’s impossible.
    The decision re Almiron was perhaps the worst. He did not want to give a foul as he would then have to make a hard decision, namely yellow or red. So he opts for just play on. Honestly you can read him like a book. He’s lost the plot.

  • posada

    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #40

    The last time I saw this from a ref was when Hadaira was fouled against Wigan.
    The ref was Mark Halsey.
    He had come back from illness and for a top ref was getting on a bit.

    Mark Halsey retired shortly after that game. He had probably gone on too long.
    If Lee Mason can do no better he should perhaps do the same or the powers that be should do it for him.


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