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Rafa Talks About His Well-Drilled Side – Praises Another Player

One of the good things that has happened since Miguel Almiron has arrived at Newcastle is that the other forwards now know they must raise their game if they are to get into the starting line-up.

New signings not only make the squad better becasue they are better players than we have (usually), but they also help to raise the standards of the other players in those positions.

An excellent example of that is how Ayoze Perez seems to have lifted his play to a new level since early February,

We hope he can keep it up, but another player that Rafa wants to praise is Christian Atsu.

Miguel Almiron and Christian Atsu in training

We know Atsu has the skill and that he works really hard in training and in games.

And he seems determined to become a better player under Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.

This is what Rafa said in the Chronicle when asked if Almiron has lifted the Newcastle side:

“Obviously when you see out on the pitch, yes.”

“I want to give credit to Atsu, though. Atsu was on the bench, but he came on and was quite good, and gave an impact to the team.”

“But Atsu is different to Almiron.”

“Almiron has more pace over long distances, and he can make these sprints and run in behind the defenders to make more space for others.”

“I think he’s a different kind of player, but the understanding is quite good between the three of them. (Almiron, Perez and Rondon)”

“Also, I think the team as a team is more solid, because if you take Almiron out and you put in Muto, or you put in Atsu, then still the team was doing well.”

“I think now all the players know what they have to do.”

“And, when you put players in different places, it doesn’t make too much difference because they all know what each one has to do.”

Christian Atsu has made 26 appearances for Newcastle this season – with half of them being starts.

It looks like Rafa has the team well-drilled and as he says each player knows that he has to do when he’s playing for Newcastle.

Once the International break is over, we have Arsenal at the Emirates – a tough game, but we can still take something out of the match.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


6 comments so far

  • JohnJ

    Mar 21, 2019 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #1

    I’m hoping for another point at Arsenal!

    Three popints would be wonderful but I’d settle for one at this stage…..

    Feeling more positive that we’re going to be OK now!

    Haway the Lads 🙂

  • Ben Afri

    Mar 21, 2019 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #2

    Interesting piece on Sir John Hall and his time trying to get Sir Bobby into the club immediately after KK’s first departure, as well as the Sir Bobby fiasco:

    “It was a shame what some of the players did to him,” Sir John exclusively told The Everything is Black and White Podcast,

    “In some ways, he lost the dressing room because of some young players who treated him with disrespect and it caused a lot of problems for him and the club.

    “I’ll never forgive those players – I look at them today, pontificating on television, they’ve probably learned their lessons but they were young people earning good salaries thinking who is this old man trying to teach us football.

    “But Bobby knew everything. He was a fanatic for the game. He lived for it. It was in the blood. It was just disappointing when it all went wrong.”


    “Bobby was on a two-year contract – one year gone, and they thought that after another year van Gaal would come but actually, he left Ajax in the middle of Bobby’s contract, and so they were afraid of losing him.

    “They decided to bring him but didn’t tell Bobby they were going to push him upstairs.

    “Joe Melling had heard this. So we flew out to see Bobby and Elise – a lovely house they had in Barcelona.

    “It was a lovely sunny day as we sat in the garden and he says ‘no, they won’t do that’ and I said ‘that’s what is going to happen’.

    “Elise wanted to come back – so we did a deal with them, quietly. He said he’d come.

    “I went back to Marbella, and I thought I’d ring him up the Saturday night to make the arrangement for him to come over but I could tell in his voice that he had changed his mind.

    “He said ‘No, I can’t leave them. It would be wrong for me to leave them, I’m an honorable man’.

    “I said: ‘fine, it’s disappointing but fine’.

    “And I think in his heart he felt Barcelona wouldn’t do that to him – months later, he was upstairs.

    “He went to PSV, it was two years later when we got him.”

  • Jib

    Mar 21, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #3

    “I’ll never forgive those players – I look at them today, pontificating on television”
    If Germaine Jenas is one of them he should hang his head in shame.

  • Jib

    Mar 21, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #4

    Jermaine even

  • Ben Afri

    Mar 21, 2019 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #5


  • DaveD1000

    Mar 21, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #6

    Jermaine Genius in his own mind. I could never understand why Saint Bobby kept playing the useless buggar


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