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Rafa Benitez Trio Wins Poll As Best Of The Bunch

Our poll for the best three center-backs at Newcastle has yielded some interesting results. The winners of the poll are three players all brought to the club by Rafa Benitez. All the players cost a combined £17m.

Topping the list is the Swiss superstar Fabian Schar which is no surprise. Fabian won our first two Player of the Month polls for August and September. Since he came into the team in November of last season, he has been a revelation for Newcastle.

The 27-year-old is also one of the biggest bargains in Premier League history. Schar joined Newcastle for just £3m from Deportivo La Coruna in 2018.

Second on the list is a man we’ve seen far too little of over the past year and a half. Frenchman Florian Lejeune has been out all season with his second knee injury. He also only played 12 matches last season as he worked his way back from his first knee injury.

However, when Florian’s played, he’s shown his class and that is why he’s rated so highly by the Newcastle faithful. We hope to see the 28-year-old back on the pitch very soon. He could even make his return this month with Steve Bruce looking to rotate his squad with the heavy holiday fixture schedule.

Third on the list is the biggest surprise. Federico Fernandez has beaten out captain Jamaal Lascelles to round out our top three center-backs. The 30-year-old Argentine has never let Newcastle down.

He’s shown his value over the past month since he came into the team for the injured Fabian Schar. It speaks volumes for Fernandez that he’s kept Schar on the bench over the past two matches.

It’s interesting that this trio was all signed by Rafa Benitez. They’ve also never been together as a Newcastle back three in any match. Maybe Steve Bruce can correct that and get these three together on the pitch.

Who Are Newcastle's Best Three Center-Backs

  • Schar (32%, 927 )
  • Lejeune (28%, 800 )
  • Fernandez (21%, 611 )
  • Lascelles (14%, 391 )
  • Clark (4%, 117 )
  • Dummett (2%, 48 )

Total Voters: 984

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What Will Be The Result Of The Match At Sheffield United?

  • Draw (37%, 459 )
  • Win (36%, 443 )
  • Loss (27%, 336 )

Total Voters: 1,238

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61 comments so far

  • lesh

    Dec 4, 2019 at 1:50 AM

    Comment #1

    Three good and popular CBs who cost relatively little but now they’ve shown what they’ve got to offer, as sure as God made little apples they’d he sold if decent offers come in and there’s a profit to be made on any of ’em.

    We know how much Ashley likes to build a team around good players……….. and money!

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 4, 2019 at 2:26 AM

    Comment #2

    I’m with Toon22 in that I also smell something fishy in Ashley’s sudden interest in buying players at exorbitant prices. Since it was one of the major issues that Rafa didn’t want to buy into, it couldn’t have been a ploy to lure the gullible inside SJP. Then what was it all about? Managers have been implicated for taking money during transfers although they never got punished legally

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 4, 2019 at 2:29 AM

    Comment #3

    … Since in our case the owners are in total control of transfer activity, they could possibly be similarly implicated. Bottomline, since the entire business is largely unregulated, it will be virtually impossible to establish legal culpability.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Dec 4, 2019 at 4:04 AM

    Comment #4

    why would Ashley steal money from himself, and how could he hide it from BZGs accountants who will be just as talented as his own. this conspiracy smacks of flat earth theory to me. ‘we know the government lies to us a lot, therefore the world is flat, space doesnt exist, dinosaurs never existed.’ we know ashleys a greedy billionaire and a swine therefore hes stealing money from his own business that he could just legitimately take. ill take either conspiracy seriously when I see a motive. as far as I can see hes took the advertising for SD from the club which in itself is putting us at a disadvantage, but other than that I dont think weve purposefully paid 40m for joelinton in order to pocket 20m and I dont think we paid stavely kenyon and bzg to make fake bids just so we could avoid spending on players (even though we did spend a fair bit on both those windows). id say im 99.999999% certain.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Dec 4, 2019 at 4:09 AM

    Comment #5

    all six of them are better than what we had the mclaren/ pardew/ carver years, excluding the period coloccini played brilliantly. if we had this defence with the midfield and attack from the season we came 5th wed be challenging.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Dec 4, 2019 at 4:15 AM

    Comment #6

    Mmmm, does Bruce rejig it a little with matches now coming thick and fast til the New Year.

    At Sheffield United, how about….


    Not our best 11perhaps, but not a bad use of the squad.

  • DubaiMicky

    Dec 4, 2019 at 5:16 AM

    Comment #7

    TnMW, BZG never got to the true accounts, MA demanded £15m as a non-refundable down-payment for them to have access, wouldn’t sign anything in writing and BZG refused, as MA could walk away and they’ve lost their money.
    One thing that has been mentioned is the exorbitant “agent” fees – it was suggested very heavily that MA is the true recipient. Sorry, why did we pay £40m for Joelinton? And finally the amount of Companies that have a relationship with NUFC is ridiculous, the vast majority have links to, or are wholly owned, by MA, and the commercial terms that will extend way past the day he sells up, are onerous to say the least.

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 4, 2019 at 5:20 AM

    Comment #8

    My smelling something fishy is not a conspiracy theory; we need to understand in a very lightly regulated market virtually anything goes. That’s where the problem lies.

    Let’s say the head of a limited company makes an investment despite being cautioned about his dubious nature and the investment bombs. He/she needs to face serious questioning. Considering the prevalent football finance model treats buying players as strategic investment,

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 4, 2019 at 5:34 AM

    Comment #9

    … there appears to be a loophole that may allow a mala fide intent be masked as a case of honest mistake. I think, lack of regulations in pro football seems to allow that. Or is it really?legal experts of this forum should throw some light. A dumb investment mistake is not easily differentiated from shrewd siphoning of funds into personal accounts. I only was suggesting the stake holders need to smarten seeing Allerdyces going on a short visit to a cold storage and be up and about in a few days time. Rather than shrugging off all noises about implausible transfer fees, the stakeholders should unite for meaningful regulations.

  • martoon

    Dec 4, 2019 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #10

    I’m with TnMW on this – we know Ashley has revenue streams through the free advertising, catering company etc. but if he wanted to pay himself a lump sum why not just repay some more of his loan or do it via director salary/bonus payments like Hall & Shepherd used to rather than some dodgy back door method?

  • IrishRob

    Dec 4, 2019 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #11

    Shout out to my kitten Steven who is going to be without ball in about 30 mins. R.I.P to his testicles!

  • Jib

    Dec 4, 2019 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #12

    See if he has the balls to go through with it.

  • Mindshaft

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #13

    Highly unlikely we paid 40 million for linton , his value on transfermkt ore transfer was 20 million, there had been no official fee from the club – it’s more likely there’s some random add-ons such as an extra 5 million for being epl top scorer and 15 million extra if he scores hat trick in champions League final for the toon – both which will never happen.
    I doubt we paid more than 25 million although so far he hadn’t even shown value at that price – joselu actually did a better job

  • cyprus

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #14

    If the question were, who are the most reliable CBs, maybe Florian wouldn’t have been up there, as he’s definitely injury prone. Possibly Schar neither, his marauding runs often end in losing the ball. Still, two great players.

  • cyprus

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #15

    I’d put a minimum price tag of 30 on any one of them, even though I don’t think we’re a selling club, like, say, Southampton.

    But, if it means bringing in a top MF, do it. In January that should be our top target, not a CF.

  • cyprus

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #16

    The only cb I would take from other teams, in a dream line up is VD.

    Amazing that our very able, highly rated captain didn’t make the too three. Shows incredible depth.

  • Unused Substitute

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #17

    Martoon @10: Ashley may have decided not to charge the club for his services as a ploy to be popular. I don’t know for sure, I’m not a psychologist.

    I’m not sure that he siphoned money from suspect transfer dealings either. As no one can establish culpability in his Strawberry Place dealings. They stink nevertheless.

    I also wanted to ask how could he have paid off his loans from the suspect transfer dealings? Should he have asked Rogon to pay those amounts from their excess billing? And finally, why would he be interested to retire his loan considering that’s what will keep him in control of NUFC forever?

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #18

    You have to have desirable players to be a selling club.

    Unfortunately most club scouts aren’t as blinded to a players abilities like our fans are.

    Who in the last three seasons would any other team want?

    Very few of our players would strengthen other clubs squads.

    Even with 70% off they’re hard to shift, cant give Colback etc away.

  • geordietom

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #19

    irishrob …

    have to ask has Steven got a nut allergy…


  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #20

    There’ll be no que at the door for ASM Almiron Joelinton or any of our other players at the end of the season.

    Willems will probably sign for someone else after finishing top scorer.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #21

    lesh – Three good and popular CBs who cost relatively little but now they’ve shown what they’ve got to offer, as sure as God made little apples they’d he sold if decent offers come in and there’s a profit to be made on any of ’em.


    Ashley has NEVER sold one player for a ‘decent price’ purely to make a profit.

    We’ve sold our best players either a} after relegation when they wanted to leave or b} at prices considered at the time to be way over the odds ie., Carroll, Sissoko and Cabaye and the latter two were desperate to leave and the jury is out on AC’s motivation despite what he says.

    Of the current players Dubravka, Schar, Lascelles and Shelvey could all have been touted and sold for a ‘decent profit’ in the summer if what you and others say is true. But it isn’t.

    There isn’t ONE player I can think of who has been sold against his will purely to make a profit of a few million.

    Yes, the club’s policy is to buy young players who may improve in value – which club doesn’t??

    The simple fact is – and Leicester are the prime example – any club outside of the top 6 who produce a star player will not be able to keep them when the mega money clubs come calling. MA insists on long contracts so that we can demand the highest price when that happens.

    My point is that it is a total myth that we sell players as soon as their value rises – the above four players are highly unlikely to attract mega bids from the top 6 teams but would defo be of interest to the likes of Everton, Wolves, West Ham and Villa all of whom would give MA a decent profit.

    Apart from Shelvey, there isn’t a chance that would happen.

    Ashley sells at the drop of a profit opportunity is a total myth.

  • IrishRob

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #22

    Mindshaft why are you deliberately lying about his value on Transfermarkt? His value is not 20M its 31.5M and it does give a price at which we bought him from Hoffenheim its 39.6M


  • IrishRob

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #23

    Tom he will have by the time hes home!! Lol

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #24

    IrishRob “Shout out to my kitten Steven who is going to be without ball in about 30 mins. R.I.P to his testicles!”

    Can you send them over to the Tory Party HQ? There’s a so-called leader over there who never managed to grow a pair for himself. Even teeny tiny cat testes might allow him a bit more courage to face the Nation’s scary media.


  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #25

    Bills son

    Carrol claims he was sold against his will

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #26

    Milner said he didn’t want to leave

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #27

    The players who want to leave leave because of Ashley.

    Any professional sportsman wants to do the best as they can.

    Why would anyone want to be a club with zero ambition.

    Not every player can win a medal but knowing you wont even get a shot at a final can’t be very motivational.

    SJP the cemetery of football dreams

  • IrishRob

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #28

    Lol consider it dont Rob.

  • IrishRob

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #29


  • RobLeenio

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #30

    OP, do you think Dubravka wouldn’t attract a bid from West Ham who have something of a keeper crisis and regularly splash the cash.

    Lejeune when fit is one of the most cultured defenders in the League and would fit in at any of the Champions League clubs. Schaer also.

    You’d also find numerous clubs very interested in the Longstaffs, Hayden and Atsu.

    I bet Swansea would look to pay good money for Freddie Woodman if he helps them to promotion. Other clubs will be watching him closely too.

  • IrishRob

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #31

    Cyprus not trying to start fights but I think its deluded that you think only VVD is better than any CB we have, or more specifically that you wouldnt change any we have for anyone else except VVD, which means the same thing really.

    Every single CB we have is average at best. Not one of them would make the top 10 CB’s in the league literally not one of them.

    I could name AT LEAST 10 players that are far better than what we have. Our backline works because they work together and work hard, but individually most of them are average at best.

    Most of them are valued between 5-10M on transfermarkt, that should tell you all you need to know.

    This is our big problem at Newcastle we hype and exaggerate the talents of our players. This is why other supporters dont like us because we say crazy things like that. Another big reason why the rest of England thinks we live in a bubble regarding the strength of our team.

  • toon22

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #32




  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #33


    Dubs, you’re having a laugh?

    Atleast half the goals scored against us this season could be attributed to him.

    Lejeune is probably our most saleable asset when fit.

    If Hayden is so desirable where are the bids for the last two years whilst hes been up for sale?

    I’ll await the bids for Longstaff and Atsu, I wont hold my breath though.

    None of the players you mentioned have set the world alight.

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #34


    Sorry forgot Scharr.

    Looks good in a 3, however liable to fall asleep at set pieces and would be destroyed in a back 4.

    He wasn’t playing on the moon, plenty of other teams and scouts watched him before we signed him.

    His goals have blinded fans to his defending abilities.

  • IrishRob

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #35

    The ONLY thing I see that has actually improved under Bruce is our ability to defend corners. Which in fairness is massively better under Bruce, I used to be terrified of corners.

    I’m pretty certain we conceded the most or second most goals from corners and set pieces last season in the league.

    But even that improvement cant totally be put down to Bruce, for me the main reason we are so much better this season at defending corners and set pieces is Joelinton. A classic example of the good hes contributing to the team. But people dont wanna see those things, they would rather give him crap for not scoring.

    Tomorrow night, just watch how many times during the match he clears a corner or fk with a header, if you dont believe me.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #36


    Irrespective of whether or not AC and Milner wanted to stay (they would say that wouldn’t they) both fees were thought to be way over the top at the time.

    On ambition…

    Why did Bale, Modric, Suarez, Kante, Mahrez, McGuire to name but few go to other clubs??

    Money first, ambition second.

    As Robleenio has pointed out, there are more players than I mentioned at NUFC who could be trousered for profit if that was Ashley’s sole aim.

    I want Ashley out, but this myth that he sells at the drop of a profit is a total myth.

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #37


    I’m saying we don’t have many players we could sell at a profit.

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #38


    Would you say Ashley tries to build a team or squad?

    For me his actions, non maintenance of facilities, wheelie bins as ice baths.

    Where would you rather be?

    It’s easy to say it’s all about money but it isn’t really, as a player you want the best, best wages (obvs) but you’d want best facilities best doctors physios and the best environment to flourish.

    It’s very easy to paint modern footballers as greedy, can you tar them all with the same brush?

    They’re all as different as you and I but will all want a good healthy working environment which can bring out the best in them.

    Ashley gives non of that and that’s why the foundations of the club are on sand.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #39


    On bids…

    Most bids are made a) after an agent has touted other clubs that his player wants a move b) after the club tells an agent they are open to offers and lastly c) when a new star emerges and the big clubs make bids to try and prise them away.

    The lack of offers for NUFC players is far more likely down to a & b or the club placing a high fee on enquiries than there being no interest.

    Gayle is a classic example in the latter respect – if he was priced at less than £10M on staged payments he’d have a ton of interest. The club reportedly want £15M minimum.

    No club buys NUFC players on the cheap – that’s one thing Ashley has shown time and again, he was apparently brassed off Perez’s buy out clause was ‘only’ £30M.

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #40

    OP, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this, I think. We wouldn’t know if there had been bids on any of the players if they hadn’t been accepted, so that says one of two things:

    – There haven’t been any bids

    – If there have been bids they have been rejected

    I find it impossible to think that no team has bid on any of our better players. You say some of our defenders are better in a three, which is a fair point, but we’re not the only team to play with 3 CBs.

    Man U could even do with Lascelles alongside Harry Maguire to fill in and reorganise the defence when Maguire goes charging forward.

    I guess we’ll maybe see how the land lies next month anyway.


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