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Rafa Benitez Talks About Schar Injury – Sympathy For Almiron

Rafa Benitez has said that Fabian Scar, who left the game injured on Saturday after 69 minutes, is now a doubt for next Saturday’s game at Brighton.

Schar was in some discomfort in the second half and he was finally replaced by Argentine International Federico Fernandez.

Schar is suffering from a muscle problem although he could still make the team at Brighton if he can recover in time.

But Rafa may want to rest the talented Swiss International, so he is ready for our final two games of the season – at home to Liverpool and away at Craven Cottage against relegated Fulham – who have won their last two games.

Fabian Schar leaves the field injured on Saturday

This is what Rafa has said about Schar’s mystery injury, and later he also takes about Miguel Almiron who is probably out for the season with his hamstring injury – as reported in the Chronicle today:

“He (Schar) has a little problem in the gluteus.

“He was complaining yesterday and we saw him in the first half, but we were not very keen to make any substitutions at the beginning of the second half.”

“Because we knew that we had two or three little problems and in the end, it was like that.”

“It’s bad for them, but you never know.”

“We have other players and maybe they can try their best now.”

“It’s not easy for a player (like Almiron) who is doing well in another country at a massive club in front of 52,000 fans with this atmosphere.”

“And then to get injured and maybe lose the rest of the season.”

Miguel was in tears as he left the pitch for the last time this season – and he was obviously so keen to play in the final three games.

Fabian Schar and Miguel Almiron are two new players this season and two of our best players.

They will both be even better next season.

Slowly but surely Rafa has brought in or vastly improved players at Newcastle since he arrived three years ago.

Players like Ayoze Perez, Matt Ritchie, Mark Dubravka, Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Sean Longstaff, Ki Sung-yueng, and Paul Dummett.

Just think what Rafa can do with some decent transfer funds.

Comments welcome.

52 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #1


    The player that you say turns up for half a season has been truly pivotal in keeping us up. He is our top scorer, as well, without even playing in the outright CF position.

    I know he’s divided opinions, but I think he deserves at least some respect, for what he’s managed. Possibly, one of the reasons he may be wanting to go is related to why he’s been plugging his ears…

    Now, if he wants out, then, of course, he can go, as any of our players can and should, if they feel that way.

  • Zele

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #2

    The performances of Perez and Hayden since the turn of the year have been outstanding and will have been noted by other clubs.

    However, the improved performance of Perez is in direct correlation to the arrival of Almiron and having three forwards. Without the pace and trickery of Almiron and the strength of Rondon it is arguable whether Perez would be so successful in a different formation.

    Hayden has benefited enormously from the absence of Shelvey. Hayden has blossomed into an athletic robust box to box player having benefited from an extended run in the team. He had an excellent partnership with Longstaff, possibly improving Longstaff as a result and has continued with Ki and Diame. However, his family circumstances may dictate whether he stays or leaves and which club he ends up with.

  • lesh

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #3


    Your words a few threads back (‘Surely after all the mistakes and blunders, the Newcastle owner has made in twelve years at the helm at Newcastle, he’s not going to screw this one up’) were about the same as those you posted when Rafa signed up after the last relegation.

    Could Ashley screw things up again? Yup. Will he screw things up again? Probably.

  • magpie6699

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #4

    One thing about Perez is (for those who actually watch the matches) is that he always puts in a shift. He always runs for the team, tries to block defenders, put challenges in etc. Some games his touch is off, he makes wrong decisions and in short, has a stinker. But he never stops trying and when he is on form he is an outstanding asset to the team.

  • cyprus

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #5

    You’re right, of course. Now, imagine Perez surrounded by people who can hold the ball and make themselves available.

    Oftentimes, Perez finds himself surrounded by three four opponents, with zero available options. Hence, he loses the ball.

    Having said all the above, he can still improve and he has had his ups and downs. I’ve been frustrated by him too.

    But, he is a talented footballer with good skills. He’s the type of player one criticizes at his peril. He can prove you wrong in an instant.

  • hibbit

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #6

    any who thinks things will just continue in the same vane as before if/when Rafa leaves and some yes man appears definitely hasn’t been to a game for many a year,
    gates will drop by at least 20k, no matter what the armchair fans say do or think on here

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #7


    Letting yourself down there again badly. When the fat man finally sanctioned signing Almiron, Perez has gone from strength to strength. Just look at his stats since Almiron turned up and started creating the space for him. Almiron and Perez are 2 totally different kind of players.


    I was in Valencia recently and I know the set up around there very well, along with nearby Levante and Villareal.
    A new stadium has been planned for a while with Lim’s money, as well as a massive squad overhaul. If the fat man can’t get his head out of his proverbial and see the bigger picture, then Valencia could very well benefit from the return of the city’s messiah.

  • Zele

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #8


    The end of the season always heralds a mass of rumours, some based of fact but most based on journalistic speculation, agents wanting another pay day and players hoping for a new and improved contract.

    Perez – Retained possibly with an improved contract.
    Schar – Retained possibly with an improved contract.
    Shelver – Sold probably to West Ham.
    Dubravka – Retained possibly with an improved contract.
    Ritchie – Retained.
    Rondon – Bought.
    Kennedy – Returned to Chelsea.
    Hayden – No idea but like him to stay.
    Diame – No idea. Maybe a short contract extension as still has life left in him.
    Joselu – Sold as a new backup striker is bought.
    Clarke – Sold.

  • hibbit

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #9

    surely that must depend on who the manager is ????????????

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #10

    Perez and Hayden after a couple of seasons under Rafa are worth over 10 times what we paid for them possibly more!

    Lascalles is easy a 20 million defender as is Schar and Lejeuene when fit!

    Dubravka is the best keeper after the top 6 so he’s got to be worth a fair few bob!!

    Yes there have been a few duffers but has it been anymore wasteful than Carrs era ? We lost a lot of money on Riviere, Marveux etc

    Rafa has proven he can develop raw talent and make them worth a bit of money but he now needs the tools to progress the team will the penny actually drop with Ashley ?

  • Zele

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #11


    To a certain degree you are right.

    Nearly all managers nearly always think they know better than the managers they replace and with the consent (often foolishly) of the owner agree to wholesale changes in tactics, formations and players very often without any measurable and longstanding benefit.

    Rafa has now been able to refine his tactics to nearlyba well oiled unit as he now has the right players in the right positions ’round pegs in round holes’.

    A new manager can almost be guaranteed to dismantle it, sadly.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #12

    A new “manager”isn’t going to get a say in which players come and go it’s going to be Charnely , Barnes and Carr picking the squads again

  • geordietom

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #13

    any one know when the Fat One is back from his holiday ?

  • Zele

    Apr 22, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #14

    Lee Charnley Bunga Party,

    I don’t believe for one moment that Charnely, Barnes and Carr are picking the squads now or in the future.

    Rafa has said on record on a number of occasions that he selects who to buy and who to sell.

  • posada

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #15

    Just read your post about 96. Very interesting.
    Yeah we were dubbed the entertainers. Everyone’s second team.
    However, I do think that started to change a bit when we actually threatened to win the Prem.
    Perhaps more with players, ex players and the clubs themselves rather than supporters.

    As I say. We were threatening the established order.
    If we were to get a big shot owner now the top six and their associates would hate it.
    Why, because one of them would be likely to lose their position in the top six.
    Less Champions League options etc and a threat to their revenue.

    Granted much of it was perhaps sub-conscious as opposed to a specific intention.

    Just off the top of my head. Younger supporters may not appreciate this.
    They will have heard we lost a 12 point lead.
    Well, I do think Man U had games in hand when we had that lead. Not sure how many.
    In the entire second half of the season Man U only dropped 5 points against QPR and Southampton.
    These teams took no points off them – Liverpool, Blackburn, Spurs, Chelsea etc etc.
    If a team does that you will struggle to keep any sort of lead.

    We went for it and came up just short.
    The Toon will rise again !

  • Just a fan

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #16

    Lee Charley Bunga
    Didn’t spurs offer big bucks for Perez before Rafa was here.
    Get of my hero ,carr,s back. Lol
    He picked some stormers for peanuts.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #17


    It’s not happened under Benitez of course but it has happened under Ashley Barton confirmed they were up to tricks when he was here and then there was the stupid purple policy which meant when a purple was fit he had to play even if they were out of position!!! How is that not picking the team ?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #18

    @just a fan

    Carr did pick some stormed but he also picked up a lot of shite which wasn’t suitable for the premiership!! All of his signings came from the same Mondial talent agency which was very dodgy…..

  • posada

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #19

    On that theme. The Prem League is a franchise.
    The top six as things stand will never get relegated. They are the big hitters.
    Apart from Everton I think the rest of us have all spent some time in the Championship in the last ten years. We are all likely to again. We are all one bad season away from it.
    It feels like we are junior members of the club.

    Is that a factor in things. I think it may be. The referee ?
    Well, I never say anything disparaging about refs and I won’t change the habits of a life time. Not even for that complete Bulls Knacker Lee Mason.

  • Munster Mag

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #20

    With all due respect to rafa, if he makes a bad buy, people claim if wasn’t his choice, but charnleys, which is a bit ridiculous. As for Valencia, yes I’d be concerned about that. Hopefully rafa and Ashley can both compromise.

  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #21

    If Rafa leaves then there will be wholesale changes throughout the club.
    There could be a mass exodus of players depending on who is the next manager.
    Those that stay will find it hard to be as motivated or organised as Rafa is the daddy in these key areas.
    The new manager will be given the remit of buying younger players with sell on potential.
    The club might decide to take back control of buying and selling players.
    None of these scenarios are very appetising but we are all still only guessing as to what is actually occurring in the Fat Man’s head.

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #22

    With all due respect to Munster, what does he (Munster) want Rafa to “compromise” about?

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #23

    Just leaving this here while remembering most of the time this season he has played on the right side, not up front.

    Ayoze Perez has scored more Premier League goals than the following players this season:

    ?Leroy Sane
    ?Troy Deeney
    ?Wilfried Zaha
    ?Christian Eriksen
    ?Marko Arnautovic
    ?Gabriel Jesus
    ?Riyad Mahrez
    ?Dele Alli
    ?Bernardo Silva
    ?Mesut Ozil

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #24

    Oh and he’s top of all attackers for tackling, interceptions and recoveries.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #25

    Maybe Perez is just waiting on Rafa future but perhaps the first thought of leaving could have stemmed from the boo boys earlier in the season. Why not take the opportunity to leave on a high, while he is now in the top 10 for Newcastle premier league goalscorers.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #26

    Almiron has shown to be a very good player and could be exceptional once adapted to the league fully. But it’s too simplistic to say it’s down to him why Perez is playing well.

    Last year there was no rondon or almiron and Perez ended on a good run again, especially after the introduction of kenedy.

  • Zele

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #27

    All managers have at times bought well and not so well. The great Sir Alex bought some real duffers in his time. Even our saintly Sir Bobby had his fair share.

    Rafa is no exception. In his defence he tends not to persist with players who he has bought and have then failed to turn up, the keeper whose name I cannot remember is a good example.

    He is generally quite quick to cast judgement unless he has no other options. Joselu and Kenedy are two cases in point, replaced by Rondon and Almiron and never to be seen again hopefully.

  • L Toon

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #28

    Ciaran Kelly@CiaranKelly__

    Ayoze Perez wants to see #nufc compete and move onto the next level. Loves the club and city – sees it as a sleeping giant – but, like Benitez, he’s not going to settle for another relegation battle next season. Ambition has to come from the top. Not after a bigger pay packet.

  • posada

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #29

    Yip Perez has scored more goals than all those players.

    How many goals would he score if he played in that front three of Liverpool.
    I think 16 or 17.
    He could easily replace one of them or act as a very good reserve.
    This won’t have been missed by the big clubs.

    If that is true how much is he worth ?

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #30

    In other news, diame looks to be leaving after not looking like getting a 2 year deal he wants. With Hayden leaving and Shelveys future uncertain, it’s a bit of a gamble. We do need better than diame but he is good as stand in or bringing off the bench to close out matches like the past two matches v Leicester and Southampton have shown.

  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #31

    Perez wanting to see us compete, maybe he and Rafa use the same hymn sheet, and are pushing ashLIE in a positive way…. “If you don’t do as we expect you to, then we’ll both leave”.

    It’s a thought.

  • posada

    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #32

    I have been supportive of Perez even when things were not so rosy.
    Can’t remember exactly what I said. Something on the lines that he had little support and was always having to provide the deft touch in the final third while under extreme pressure. Never easy.
    Top players pose a threat and thereby create time and space for each other.
    No better example than the Liverpool attack at the moment.

  • Munster Mag

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #33

    Ron the whole situation is a compromise. A negotiation. If you don’t see that in the real world, then I’m not going to explain it to you. Luke edwards has already said there is ‘fault’ on both sides. Rafa may not get everything he wants. He has to weigh that up against his desire to stay and other options he may or may not have in England.

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #34


    What specific compromises do you want Rafa to make?

  • Zele

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #35

    ronaldo aarons,

    Yes it’s possibly too simplistic to say it’s down to Almiron why Perez is playing well but you can’t dismiss the coincidence of Almiron’s arrival with the upturn in form of Perez.

    It’s more likely that our front three pose a far greater threat to opposing defences than before not only because there is now three of them but their individual strengths complement each other and are not diluted.

    Rondon was always a handful but has now developed into a much more mobile forward and not the previous static centre forward waiting for the ball to be pinged towards him. On Saturday’s game his run and cross for Perez to score was a fine example. Also very late in the game he sprinted from almost the half way line to close down their keeper.

    Perez has always worked hard for the team but in the past has very often been out muscled and / or surrounded by opponents with no obvious person immediately to hand to pass to. With Rondon and Almiron on the field he is no longer the focus of attention of two or more opposition defenders.

    The same can be said of Almiron that his pace requires the opposition defenders to pay close attention to him leaving space for Perez and Rondon to exploit. Almiron, unlike Ritchie, can be almost guaranteed to get past his marker. What is surprising is that we haven’t won a penalty from his speed into the penalty area. In Almiron we have someone as good as Zara in winning penalties.

    There are probably a number of factors behind the improvement of Perez’s performances but perhaps more than anything else it’s been the arrival of Almiron, the final bit of the jigsaw.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #36

    Does anyone blame Churnley for Selz or Lazaar, an 80% success rate is perfectly decent. Your fair of balanced criticism would be a lot fairer if he had of been allowed his first choices. Like Ron Knee just said, what compromises should he accept, that half his players should be U25, what if the LB we really need just happens to be 27, does he then have to find another that fits the bracket knowing he’s not good enough and when he’s not good enough you can come out and offer your criticism about where the Barrecca money has gone and I bet he wished he had that money now. Like I said earlier, how can he negotiate with a man who’s idea of running a football club is the same as running a tat shop.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #37

    Almiron has made a hell of a difference
    He might not of scored but his biggest atribute is the speed we can get up the field now.
    With ball playing defenders and Almiron we can be in the oppositions defence in a flash not like the slow sideways passing and back to Dubravka who is not happy lumping it forward.

    Anyone like me miss the two games over Easter – rather have two games over Easter and get rid of one of the games over the Christmas New Year period

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #38

    Luke Edward’s has said there’s blame on both sides? Try get him to explain why though!

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #39

    Oh dear jail. I’m sorry, I can’t help it if you see things in a post that aren’t there. I did not, in any way shape or form, even suggest that Ashley and Rafa have ANY sort of relationship, let alone that they had a good one. 🙂 No wonder you argue with so many people, you’ve got someone in your head telling you things that are not there. 🙂 Go back – I know you love raking up the past – and find the place in that post where you reach that conclusion. Wow. There’s a name for that.
    So I was wrong about Arma. And? You want me to start on about how you didn’t know what a one trick pony was, or even a six pointer? Grow up eh. I wasn’t the only one wrong about Arma, so were the England management, who put a full page in the programme about his potential. We let him down really. Should’ve blooded him when he was really on fire. Still, I got it wrong. Not the first time, won’t be the last. And your point is? What had that got to do with my post where your little voice in your head invented words that weren’t there? Dear me jail, I can’t help that. Wonder what you’ll see in this that isn’t there? 🙂 Your problem is that when you can’t win a discussion because you’re wrong, you make things up. You do it with Munster all the time. I was simply saying, calm down, you’ll do yourself an injury, but you see all sorts of nonsense that simply isn’t there.
    So you carry on getting stressed about what you want. But don’t make things up about what your little voice tells you OK? Don’t accuse me of saying ANYTHING I haven’t ever again. In fact, don’t bother talking to me if you’re gonna do that because I can’t have a discussion with somebody who imagines things I haven’t said, can I? 🙂 That’s seriously wrong mate. How on earth your voice in your head convinced you I’d said anything about the relationship between Rafa and Ashley from that post I have no idea. How can we discuss anything if I don’t know which jail I’m talking to? 🙂 You, the one reading what’s actually there, or the one seeing something that isn’t?
    Just forget anything I ever say. Everybody else understood what I said, it was pretty straight forward. Nor, by the way, did I say I know better. I distinctly said I don’t know. Again, your little voice made that bit up. I’d see somebody about that if I was you. 🙂
    And just so there’s no mistake made, I’m saying all this with a smile on my face. You take it any way your little voice tells you to take it matey. 🙂

  • L Toon

    Apr 22, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #40


    Just on carr, after we finished 5th he recognised the need to kick on and urged moves for blaise matuidi and kevin gamiero and told the club to pay whatever ot takes to get raphael varane to newcastle. After remy’s goal had kept us up thst season we urgently needed a striker and the name riviere came up. Carr said he has neither the nous or abilty to hit the ground running, a more senior marksman is needed to to score the goals and urged a move for lacazette who was available for 16 million. Penfold bought riviere as he represented better value for money. Were were quoted just over 10 mill for shaw when he had just broken into the southampton first team but again the club baulked and bought haidara instead as agin he represented better value. Funnily rafa is having the same problem.

    Rafas demands are not unreasonable just asking for parity compared to the likes of west ham, everton, leicester and everton and wolves.


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