NUFC vs Birmingham City – Two In From The Cold?

It has been a while since Cheick Tiote or Daryl Murphy started a competitive game for Newcastle United, in fact their appearances have even been limited from the substitutes bench.

However, both players clearly have quality, with Tiote performing consistently well for Newcastle, for a number of years now, even representing the club in European competition.

With Rafa Benitez’s side on a three game losing run, albeit once on penalties and another in a game that was somewhat taken out of their control, could the Newcastle manager be tempted to turn to two players who have had very limited opportunities this season?

The short answer is – probably not, however, you never know with Rafa. He may feel that partnering Jonjo Shelvey with Tiote, could give the English playmaker even more freedom to express himself, knowing that Tiote, who is a natural ball winner, is behind him.

Furthermore, Tiote has never been shy about receiving possession, when the back four are in control of the ball. This would only help Rafa’s apparent desire to play football from the back. Although, it must be noted that this is not a trait that is unique to Tiote.



Isaac Hayden and Jack Colback also offer the same desire to relieve the Newcastle backline of possession.

Moving on to Murphy, who is possibly the more likely of the two to start. The Republic of Ireland hitman, is yet to see his Newcastle career really take off.

In his brief outings in a black and white shirt, Murphy has shown that he is strong, intelligent and good in the air. However, as with Tiote, these are also traits that he shares with his competitor for a place in the match-day, Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Murphy will have a chance at some point this season, I just doubt it will be against Birmingham this weekend.

The main question is, would you bring in Tiote or Murphy? It would certainly take a brave manager to do so, but that is exactly what Rafa Benitez is.

93 thoughts on “NUFC vs Birmingham City – Two In From The Cold?

  1. Would be perhaps unfair to pick a man of the match today because this was a good team performance. Nice to see Gayle get his hat trick. He’s been close to it several times this season. Also good to see Diame produce something like what we always thought he was capable of. Anita had an excellent game too, both in defence and going forward. At three nil ref took pity on Birmingham and gave them free kicks at every opportunity even when the kicks should have gone our way. Gayle was booked, presumably for diving, following a tackle that nearly cut him in half and left him hobbling. Well done the lads.

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  2. kimtoon:
    Ice, Scum will need to sign or loan a couple in January then or they will be gone .

    its hard to get two c/b in and get them to hit the ground running is asking a lot,imo they are gone mate

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  3. Watched the highlights on Uncle Eds. I know it is only the Championship but Shelvey is playing out of his skin and Wor Dwight is reminding me of Bellamy. Who sold us Gayle?

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  4. Special mention for Hayden and Anita from me. Hayden was all over it again linking defense to attack. He is a workhorse with quality and Anita is better than a lot give him credit for imo. Intelligent player.

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  5. Shamrock:
    Special mention for Hayden and Anita from me. Hayden was all over it again linking defense to attack. He is a workhorse with quality and Anita is better than a lot give him credit for imo. Intelligent player.

    Totally agree Sham, you know how much I rate Neets at RB, he gets very little credit. Diame also seems to finally be coming good. Love Haydens work rate too.

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  6. Sham. Agree one hundred percent on Anita. Just watch him closely and see how he is constantly reading the game and making himself available. In spite of being small he won quite a few headers yesterday and I think that is all down to his alertness and reading of the game.

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  7. Neets has worked hard on building his physical stamina from since he joined us, he said himself that the physicality of the PL shocked him not long after he arrived. He then set about making himself more able to contest the ball which by and large I think he’s achieved . He is very intelligent with his reading of the game too as Groucho says, I think people overlook his contribution and look only at his size sometimes. He shows up Janmaat and Debuchy’s limitations when it comes to defending. You don’t often see Neets leaving gaps at the back like those two did so often. When he does have an off game he gets jumped on far quicker than those two ever did imo.

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  8. Great to see people praising Big Vurn! Great win yesterday, back on track! There will a new thread going up at 12 today guys!

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  9. I think Alan Pardew should sign Steven Taylor. He would strengthen there defense. His free. He was released by Portland timber’s and got threw 4 month’s uninjured.

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  10. Newcastle interested in Pepe. I’m worried this has Carr written all over it. Playing well in the french league doesn’t mean jack shit in the PL.

    Graham Carr is crap at signing midfielder’s.

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