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The new class


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Eight games in (and I know we haven't had the game time to properly assess them; Yedlin, Lazaar, Gamez, Murphy.) what are your thougths on the new boys?

 

For me

 

Atsu looks tricksy, but selfish. I'd not be surprised if he was another LuaLua type. All fart nee shite.

 

Clark is Paul Dummett. Not that there's anything wrong with that in this league.

 

Diame is powerful, clever on the ball, and committed. Everything Sissoko should have been. Needs more game time and needs the players around him to get used to what he can add to the team.

 

Gamez, in the brief glimpses of him I've caught, looks classy but needs to quickly get up to Championship speed.

 

Gayle, I'm worried he'll get frustrated with the rotations, but when he's on the pitch we've a goal threat. He's working hard across their back line to disrupt and annoy the defenders and he's picking up nice little pockets of space. Love to see him, Mitro and Perez on the pitch at the same time though.

 

Hanley looks exactly what I thought he'd be, a big old Championship bruiser. Likely to give away a penalty or two, but unlikely to give up much ground to the big lumps that Championship sides favour up front.

 

Hayden is a very promising player. Definitely one I'd want to keep hold of when we go up. Last game he started stretching his play a bit, and joined Shelvey in trying to find the runs of the fullbacks with searching balls.

 

Lazaar hasn't featured yet.

 

Murphy hasn't featured yet.

 

Ritchie is a gem. Lovely control, quick feet, a variety of quality final balls and (that apparently rarest of commodities for a left winger) heart. He'll be so important for us this season and for next too.

 

Sels is taking time to settle, but with each clean sheet he grows in confidence and assurance. I wish he'd catch a ball, but that's not the continental way I suppose. Not sure which of our 'keepers I'd have as 1st choice if they're all fit and at the club now.

 

Yedlin, hasn't played much but has unbelievable pace, seems to be enjoying his time at Newcastle too. Only being kept out of the side by Vurnon Anita which brings me onto my next question for you;

 

Which old players have been Rafa'd?

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:lol:

 

The Fish in his element here.

 

 

I'm undecided on many of these in part because it's hard to actually watch the games in this league, and in part because it's still pretty early. The ones I'm sure about are:

 

Ritchie - brilliant signing, delighted he's here. Concerned about him getting injured as I don't know who would come in to replace him, but all of this points to him being a solid addition.

 

Gayle - Is scoring and playing well. Another good addition.

 

Gamez - looks good enough when we play him but am a little surprised we still aren't really doing so... hoping he doesn't turn into another one of those inexplicable transfers who never gets used and then goes on loan back to the team he came from...

 

Sels - hard to argue with the number of clean sheets he's had so far, albeit he's not exactly being regularly troubled.

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He has aye but he still makes hard work of some things, I'm being picky as far as this season goes but I still don't see him as a really viable PL keeper. Obviously I hope I'm wrong though. I think your point about his punching is probably right and it can be a bonus to our quick counter attacks in this division, I think it's more of a weakness in the PL where it's probably more likely to fall to an opposition player who has better positioning, again it may be irrelevant as he may well have improved (as Krul did last time we were down) or he might not even be 1st choice by then.

Edited by Howay
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The punching thing is just the continental fashion, I'm not sure it can/will be coached out of him given he's been doing it presumably from childhood. Does De Gea catch stuff now? I've no idea.

 

Don't the clean sheets as much to the comparative quality of our defenders and their attacks? I don't remember him making too many top class saves so far.

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i haven't seen many full games so far, and at least one of those was on periscope!

 

but from what little i have to go on, i've been most impressed by hayden and ritchie.

 

not convinced by sels, clark or hanley. 

 

gayle looks decent at this level. debatable whether he'd do it in the PL (my palace mates down here think probably not). not sure about him on the pitch alongside mitrovich and perez. i'd rather play two of those three. mitrovich plus 1, basically. 

 

but it's all about rafa the gaffer, tbf

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The punching thing is just the continental fashion, I'm not sure it can/will be coached out of him given he's been doing it presumably from childhood. Does De Gea catch stuff now? I've no idea.

 

Don't the clean sheets as much to the comparative quality of our defenders and their attacks? I don't remember him making too many top class saves so far.

Co's no fucker can get anywhere near out goal:)

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More and more keepers are punching these days because of the way the balls move in the air.  There's a fear if you try and catch the ball and it moves, then you just tap it out to the onrushing forward.  The save he made against Derby last week is a perfect example of this.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it and it's just something we, as fans, need to get used to.  I do have a bit of a worry with some of the crosses he's come out and flapped at though.  There's nothing wrong with punching but flapping is never a good technique.  I suspect this is just down to confidence though after the first couple of games and I think you can certainly see improvement.

 

Of the others, Ritchie looks far and away our best player now.   He's been an excellent replacement for Townsend.  I do think Hayden could be the real future star though.  He's looked solid from his first game and just seems to be getting better and better.  By the sounds of it he was starting to spray balls all around the park on Tuesday.  Along with Ritchie he'd be one of the first names on my team sheet now.

 

Gayle looks like a quality finisher and I think he will flourish if he gets the opportunity to play with Mitro (or Murphy).  I don't think he will ever shine as a lone forward though, especially not if we go up.

 

Diame has looked so far like he's trying to get up to full fitness.  But he's looking better and better every game and I think he'll provide a lot of drive from midfield.  I'd like to see him play a little deeper though.  I remember him playing for West Ham there and he was a monster.  Either way though, I think he will do a very good job this season and beyond.

 

I don't really think we've seen enough of the rest of them to make a real decision.  And Clarke in particular can't have been full of confidence when he arrived.  That goal on Tuesday will probably have done him the world of good.  I really want to see more of Gamez.  It seems a little strange how little he has been used so far.  At the moment he seems happy enough with things (he's very positive on Twitter towards the team) but you can't imagine that will continue indefinitely.  And exactly how Rafa will use him is a bit of a mystery to me.  Rafa seems to love Anita and he is doing really well as a defensive rightback and we now have Yedlin to play the attacking role.  On the left the situation is mirrored with Dummett and Lazaar.  Obviously I'd love to see the back of Dummett but it doesn't look likely so far.  So when and where does Gamez play?

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Can't see him being happy with that.  He's only early 30's isn't he?

Depends how it was sold to him, if Rafa has told him he "needs" his character and leadership on and off the pitch, but his game time may be limited because of the rigors of the league, I'd believe a 30yr old left back would be ok with that. Especially if the reports of his character are true?

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Depends how it was sold to him, if Rafa has told him he "needs" his character and leadership on and off the pitch, but his game time may be limited because of the rigors of the league, I'd believe a 30yr old left back would be ok with that. Especially if the reports of his character are true?

Surely a 30 yr old is going to want to play?  Ok he might be happy if he's not in the team every week but he's only started one game so far against Cheltenham and a few minutes in the next game.  He looked fine in both of those games so I find it odd that he's not even been in the last two squads.  Also if he's got eyes he must see how bad Dummett is and he's getting a game ahead of him.

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Surely a 30 yr old is going to want to play?  Ok he might be happy if he's not in the team every week but he's only started one game so far against Cheltenham and a few minutes in the next game.  He looked fine in both of those games so I find it odd that he's not even been in the last two squads.  Also if he's got eyes he must see how bad Dummett is and he's getting a game ahead of him.

That's surely just Rafa not thinking Gamez is up to speed yet? The little I've seen he looks classy, but not yet ready for Championship football. With Benitez all but confirming that Lazaar is going to start in the cup on Tuesday i'd not be surprised if Gamez plays against Wolves, but saying that Clark and Dummett are doing ok at this level, so why rock the boat?

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Sels has definitely grown in confidence. And the last five games, where he's had very little to do (albeit he has made a couple of very good saves when called upon), will have helped.

 

But he really does look dodgy half the time a ball is crossed into the box. Let's be honest, we'd have Krul and Elliot over him.

 

But I recall Elliot's performances were pretty suspect at first too, so willing to give him time to prove me wrong. And I'd actually be surprised if Elliot does displace him as soon as he's fit again.

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That's surely just Rafa not thinking Gamez is up to speed yet? The little I've seen he looks classy, but not yet ready for Championship football. With Benitez all but confirming that Lazaar is going to start in the cup on Tuesday i'd not be surprised if Gamez plays against Wolves, but saying that Clark and Dummett are doing ok at this level, so why rock the boat?

Maybe, how long does it take to get up to speed though, and how is he going to do it without any game time?  I'm all for giving players time and not throwing them straight in and expecting them to be up to speed but I'd expect him to get minutes here and there.

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