Tag Archives: Benitez

Newcastle have option to sign this star in summer, Benitez must activate the clause

Newcastle have option to sign this star in summer, Benitez must activate the clause – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Newcastle signed Martin Dubravka on loan last month and the 29-year-old has had a debut to remember against Manchester United.

According to reports, the Magpies have an option to sign the player permanently for a nominal fee at the end of this season.

Apparently, the Premier League outfit paid around £1.7million to loan the player for the remainder of this season. Newcastle have an option to make it a permanent deal for around £3.5million at the end of the campaign.

Dubravka impressed the Newcastle fans with his heroic display last week and the fans will be delighted with the revelation.

If the January signing continues to put in more performances like the one against United, Newcastle could land a major bargain.

The likes of Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot have failed to impress Rafa Benitez this season and Dubravka is likely to start for the Magpies between now and the end of the season. It will be interesting to see whether he can keep up this level of performance and help Newcastle beat the drop this season.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez brilliantly trolls Manchester United

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez was caught on tape at his witty best following his side’s shock victory over Manchester United yesterday afternoon.

Matchup

The two sides went head to head at St. James’ Park, with Jose Mourinho’s visitors having put their disappointing loss to Tottenham last week behind them with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield last time out.

Newcastle, meanwhile, had slipped into the Premier League relegation zone ahead of kick-off yesterday, with the Magpies having picked up draws in their last two outings with Burnley and Crystal Palace respectively.

Shock

The visiting Red Devils understandably headed into the clash as heavy favourites, and took control of the majority of possession from the off.

However, Newcastle made it clear from early on that they would not allow the aura of their opponents to intimidate them, with Rafael Benitez’s men working like dogs when out of possession and making every tackle count.

And, after holding United at bay for the opening 45 minutes, Newcastle were rewarded for their valiant efforts shortly after the hour mark, when Chris Smalling’s ridiculous dive near the halfway-line saw the hosts awarded a free-kick.

The ball was subsequently lofted in towards the edge of Man United’s area, before a flicked header landed at the feet of Dwight Gayle.

From here, Gayle proceeded to expertly lay the ball off into the space behind him, where Matt Ritchie arrived in perfect time to slam home a quality finish into the bottom-left corner of David De Gea’s goal.

Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial were both guilty of fluffing guilt-edged chances for the visitors on ‘one of those days’ for United, with Newcastle in the end holding on for a potentially-crucial 3 points.

Benitez banter

Following the full-time whistle, Jose Mourinho’s praise for Newcastle’s ‘animals’ quickly garnered widespread attention, with the Portuguese tactician having proven uncharacteristically magnanimous in defeat.

However, one aspect of the post-match interviews which slipped relatively under the radar revolved around a comment made by Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, at the expense of Manchester United.

A recap of the exchange, as well as the soundclip itself, are linked below:

Virgil Van Dijk can’t hold back a smile when finding out about Man United’s loss

Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey criticised after Man United win

Jose Mourinho offers surprising backing to Newcastle boss Benitez

Respect

Jose Mourinho has offered his backing to Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez, despite the two having a difficult relationship in the past.

Mourinho’s side take on the Magpies this weekend, and the United boss made it very clear he thinks the club are doing well, and are not his pick to drop back down to the Championship come the end of the season, despite being in the relegation battle.

Mourinho said: “They’re a good team, they have a very good transfer window with Kenedy and [Islam] Slimani – two players I know well and who can improve their team. Rafael Benitez knows how to get points.

They are a big club. I believe. I am not the person to say why they have struggled for years because what I know from the club is an incredible army of fans and a city which lives for the club.

“They’ve normally had good players, normally good managers. I can remember many of them, some of the best ones in the country and Benitez is another example. It’s difficult to understand. 

“If you’re asking me if Newcastle will be in then Championship next season, I  say no way.”

League position

Of course, both United and Newcastle have very different aims come the end of the season, and while Mourinho will want to make sure his side gets into the top four, the aim for Newcastle is to avoid relegation.

Benitez and the fans may be unhappy with the amount of money Mike Ashley spent in the transfer window, but the club know they have to try their hardest to remain in the Premier League.

United meanwhile are aware the Premier League title looks like going to Pep Guardiola and their neighbours Manchester City, but know they still have a hope of winning the FA Cup and indeed the Champions League.