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Newcastle United vs Aston Villa 20/02/2017


NUFC v AVFC  

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Thought we looked  much better when Mitrovic replaced the obviously not match fit Gayle. Good hold up play, caused their CB's no end of problems and  was able to bring Diame more into the game. Because Gayle's game is all about movement and he wasn't moving, Jedinak could focus on Mo and as such Diame wasn't able to find the space. When Mitrovic came on and players began running off him Jedinak's influence Wayned and Diame began to use the ball more effectively. For all they looked dangerous in the early stages they never really tested Darlow until the second half when we were very much in charge. Yedlin was class, and with Gayle looking likely to miss another few games his threat from the wing could be vital for Mitrovic.

 

Villa were full of beans and application, right up to the point Gouffran smashed the ball home, after that, the vast majority of them looked whipped. Not being dramatic, but if they don't sort their shit out soon they might ​get dragged into the relegation. They're currently 6pts clear of the drop but they've got Huddersfield, Derby and Shef Wed in the next 5 games, plus Bristol City (Tammy Abraham). They might even give up points to Rotherham.. Which will be hilarious.

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Spending £50m on 5 players isn't going to get you much better than what we have.

Prefer 2 or 3 £20m players.

Villa have spent 45 million on strikers this season and are currently looking nervously below them into what used to be called division 3. Say what you want about Ashley, Carr and what went before Rafa but we need a few rabbits out of the continental hat again this summer if we do go up. Whether Rafa stays or not it would appear that we may well be going down that road again, think we'd be lucky to see 60 mill in transfer fees + wages. The other thing is looking at the likes of Hull and Bournemouth it is certainly possible to get a foot hold in the premier league with the squad that got you promoted. Which is what I think we'll be doing rather than launching an large scale assault on the transfer market.

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Atsu looked dangerous when he came on, despite the game almost being over. One run and whipped ball into the corridor of uncertainty by the six yard box was asking to be finished. He should start every game at home. Gouffran got the goal and he can do a decent containing role away from home but it's way too negative starting him all the time when you have a genuine winger with pace who can create chances on the bench. That's my main criticism of Rafa, that and starting colback all the time, though he had one of his better games yesterday.

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Spending £50m on 5 players isn't going to get you much better than what we have.

 

Prefer 2 or 3 £20m players.

I said at least £50m

 

I also think a couple of players In late 20s/early 30s are vital. Keegan knew the value of top flight experience in the mix. Rafa will want this too, I'm sure, but will Ashley budge?

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We were awful at the start but when Mitro came on the ball started to stick in the final third a bit more and that combined with the rest of the team waking up gave us a platform to attack.  After we scored I thought it was the best football we'd played in ages and some of it was really enjoyable to watch.  I even thought Colback had a decent game.

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If you think back to last time we went up, I can only remember Tiote and Ben Arfa being added. Mind you, our squad was much stronger then.

 

It all depends on how much Ashley is prepared to back Rafa. Will he be nervous of repeating same mistakes that led to our previous two relegations? If he's given the chance, I think Rafa will overhaul this squad. We need at least one centre back, a left back, a quality holding midfielder, a left winger and probably another striker too.

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The squad we had when we're promoted last time probably was stronger. You had the likes of Nolan and Barton with PL experience, then the likes of Enrique, Jonas and Colo, who became solid players after slow starts, and Carroll, who suppose was that year's Gayle.

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Dummet, colback, gouffran, diame/perez and I'm sorry to say probably also lascelles 

 

 

I'm sorry to say but these will all be in Rafa's squad next season, trust me. These are his go-to men, regardless of how poor they are he still plays them, he'll also look at them and say they've all got Premier League experience. I fully agree they aren't good enough but anyone who thinks Rafa will get rid is wrong. He LOVES them.

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I think I might be the only one who thinks that this team doesnt need as big an overhaul as people think. Yes we'll need additions but more evolution than revolution. Definitely a LB, a Defensive midfielder, a number 10 and winger but i think i most other places were alright.

I think it's an enormous risk for any team to have a massive overhaul after promotion.  Clubs get promoted not just on the basis of ability but on the team that they build and the momentum they achieve.  If you change the whole team then there's a good chance you'll destroy all of that (Watford after their promotion would be the one successful exception to this that I can think of).  What we need is a two or three real top quality additions in key areas.  That will cost a lot of money and it remains to be seen whether the fat man will provide that money. 

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I'm sorry to say but these will all be in Rafa's squad next season, trust me. These are his go-to men, regardless of how poor they are he still plays them, he'll also look at them and say they've all got Premier League experience. I fully agree they aren't good enough but anyone who thinks Rafa will get rid is wrong. He LOVES them.

 

Happy to have them all in the squad next season but I don't think there's any basis for thinking Rafa loves them so much that he wouldn't rather replace them in the first team if he has the chance. Rafa's selections can only be judged on this season really and I'd say Dumett, Colback, Gouffran and Diame have all generally done their jobs well enough when they've played this season, and have all contributed to getting us to the top of the league. I'm not sure there's any case for saying any of them were worse choices than any fit and available alternatives. Perez has been disappointing for best part of 2 seasons now but he's still young and definitely has ability. I have found him frustrating most of the time this season but I'd give him more time and keep him involved as a second fiddle, to see if he can live up to his potential.

 

I'm with DK - I'd be very worried about a major overhaul, especially when we seem to have such an tremendous collective attitude in this squad, something which can take a team a long way and which we've lacked for years. Not to mention the fact that by the time we start next season this lot will have had the benefit of 18 months of proper coaching and getting to understand Rafa's systems. I'd like to see 3 high quality additions - probably centre mid, centre forward and winger. I'd hope to see a similar margin of improvement to what we saw when Robert and Bellamy made to what was previously a fairly average but solid team (I'm not saying our current team is as good as that one was btw). 

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We really need to be a bit deeper/more assured at the back and have a bit more creativity in the side. The aim for first season back is pretty much survival and if we can be a bit more solid defensively and rely less on one player for creativity I'd be confident of that.

Rafas always seems to get results even when he has some right clips in his team, just one look at some of the players in his Liverpool side shows that. I think he knows we need creativity and was clearly frustrated we didn't add any in the January window.

From a personal stand point I'd love to see us get a CM or two so we don't have to witness Colback in the PL again.

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there was a canny overhaul this season and we've done alright. 

 

agree that the likes of dummet, colback, anita and gouffran can stay as squad players, but i'd be worried if any of those were automatic starters next season, like they have been this season, as they've all shown they're not up to it in PL level. 

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The overhaul this season was completely necessary because of the malaise the club has been in for years.  We needed to strip out the bad attitudes that were only interested in themselves and build and actual team.  It's a completely different situation to dismantling a team that has just got promoted. 

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of course, i'm just saying that introducing 4-5 new players into the starting lineup doesn't necessarily mean you lose cohesion. 

 

there's something to be said about retaining the team spirit. i wouldn't replace the entire starting 11, but there are gaping holes in that lineup that will be exposed in the top flight. i'm pretty sure rafa knows this. 

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I've heard from a few people that Lazaar has apparently been building up a bit and trying to adapt to the country, if there's any truth in that I think it's possible he was brought in with an eye on being our left back in the PL with Dummett tasked with playing the bulk of the games in the Championship so we weren't just hoying a young, foreign full back in at the deep end.

 

If so I suppose that's a 'new' player in a way, if he is up to task I'd be more than happy with Yedlin and him at full back. I think if that was the case we could go out and spend good money on a centre back and have a capable enough defence for first season back.

Then I think the left wing and 'number 10' roles would need looked at. So 3 quality players would do it imo. Obviously it's not what the fans really want as we'd see Colback and co still starting a fair number of games but I reckon Rafa could get survival with that (as well as having the Jan window to improve) then look to move up the table the following summer.

Again it's all contingent on fat boy going along with it.

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I'm sorry to say but these will all be in Rafa's squad next season, trust me. These are his go-to men, regardless of how poor they are he still plays them, he'll also look at them and say they've all got Premier League experience. I fully agree they aren't good enough but anyone who thinks Rafa will get rid is wrong. He LOVES them.

 

Nah, I don't think he loves them like you say, tbh.  He would get rid of each one of them if given the chance.  No way he would bring any of them with him to a top club in Europe. But for now, in this league and perhaps next season if we go up, they may be useful to the club.

 

Like you, I'm frustrated with Goufran as it seems he's been missing for months.  But for Rafa, he probably fills a role on the defensive end. I would like to see more of Atsu, but other than him, there really isn't anyone else that I can say the same for. 

 

There really isn't anyone who can fill in for Colback right now accept Anita and Hayden. I prefer Hayden, but he and Anita are not healthy right now.  So there you have it.  Crap players who are barely just good enough to get by with in THIS league.

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