Forgotten man Chancel Mbemba sends powerful message to NUFC fans as we assess his 2 years on Tyneside

Forgotten man Chancel Mbemba is refusing to give up on his Newcastle United career, as he sends powerful message to the fans, signalling his intentions to fight his way back into Rafa Benitez’s plans.


The 22 year-old took to social media yesterday to post a heartfelt and defiant message to the NUFC fans via his Instagram and Twitter accounts:

“Despite my minimal playing time this season I am here and not giving up.

“I continue to train ardently and seriously and I will not give up until I find my place in the team.

“My wish is to come back stronger than ever and satisfy you, my fans, as I was able to do last season in the Premier League.”

It is great to see a talented young player fighting for his place at Newcastle, refusing to give up when others may have sulked and accept their fate.

It is worth noting that the picture used in his Instagram post (see above) shows him kissing the Newcastle United badge. Considering the centre-back has made just 8 appearances all season for Newcastle, it showed a touch of class from the determined Mbemba.

Signed from Anderlecht in the summer of 2015, the £8m centre-back made an impressive start to life at St.James’ Park under Steve McClaren. He showed considerable athleticism and appeared comfortable on the ball, quickly adapting to the demands of English football & the Premier League. He was one of Newcastle’s stand out players that season, made all the more admirable as a defender in such a struggling team.

Newcastle fans were therefore grateful to see the Congolese defender remain at the club following relegation. While Mbemba started six of the first seven league games this season, he has since fallen out of favour with Rafa Benitez.

It is understood that September’s home defeat to Wolves was the turning point. The Chronicle reported that it was in this game Benitez lost patience with the defender, who showed an apparent inability to follow instructions and Rafa’s precise tactical plan. After a nervy start he scored an own-goal to gift Wolves the lead and in truth, never recovered.

Since that disastrous afternoon at SJP earlier in the season, the 22 year-old has started just one league game, being the 1-0 home defeat to Blackburn in November – Mbemba’s last appearance to date!

In yesterday’s pre-match presser, Benitez was asked about Mbemba’s availability, who could be recalled to the side to face Birmingham today after Ciaran Clark was ruled out through injury:

“He has been training well, yes,” Benitez replied when asked if Mbemba had a chance of starting against Birmingham.

“When he came back from the Africa Cup of Nations he missed a couple of games because he had some little problems and the team was doing well.

“Hanley was training really well. When you have to pick the 18 players, sometimes you say: ‘I don’t need another one.’

“You pick a midfielder or a full-back or a striker.

“Now he’s training well. I’m happy with that. We will see if we need him or not.

“If the others are doing well and the team is strong in defence, you don’t want to change too many.

“Then, when you have to put players in the squad, you have to pick players you will need during the game.”

Mbemba impressed on international duty in January’s African Cup of Nations, playing in a central-midfield role for DR Congo. Benitez commented on this yesterday, admitting he is “an option” in the defensive-midfield role going forward:

“He played in a 4-3-3 as a holding-midfielder for one game and two as a midfielder inside.

“I was watching the games. He was fine.

“The tempo of the games was not the best, but he was fine. He’s an option.

Time will tell if Mbemba can force his way back into Benitez’s plans, but yesterday’s announcement provided a powerful statement that the talented defender won’t go down without a fight – & good luck to him!


About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

87 thoughts on “Forgotten man Chancel Mbemba sends powerful message to NUFC fans as we assess his 2 years on Tyneside

  1. We stay top… whew. Still would like to see Hughton come up directly…


  2. Well all I can say is that’s a game closer to PL,but thought we could have made more of it,that’s three games without a win


  3. So a pretty sh!t result for us at Brum turns out to be an OK result given what other teams have done. There is pressure on every team, not just us. Will people be able to sleep at night over the international break now?

    And as for the Rugby. I don’t follow it much but I read in a couple of papers that this might be the best England team ever. I knew then what the result would be in Ireland. Call it fatalism, but I knew.


  4. And I will tell you who will be sh!tting themselves now. Yes the Mackems, but also BRIGHTON. Last year they were almost certs for the automatic promotion slot only to be pipped by Boro on goal difference on the last day. With a couple of bad results they must be feeling like it is de ja vu all over again.


  5. And think about the teams that are challenging us. None except Brighton were supposed to be there. Not even Leeds, because they have been a mess for so long and sack managers at the drop of a hat.

    No, the teams that were supposed to be up there were Villa, Norwich and Derby. The teams that had money and ambition and spent.

    These new pretenders like Huddersfield were not supposed to be there. I am sure they will be happy with playoffs and so will their fans. If you think we have vertigo just think about Huddersfield fans whose team cost about the same as Shelvey’s left leg.


  6. Well overall a good set of results for us. 1 more point clear of third and now a little gap between us and Brighton. Onwards and upwards I guess, but again we were shafted by the same ref that shafted us vs Fulham at the start of the season.

    A little concerning how badly we are playing over the last few games though. 1 goal in 3 games is poor for a team that are top scorers in the league.

    Another 2 goals for Woods too, so I guess no golden boot for Gayle. ?


  7. DT: Gayle is a streaky player and so is Shelvey to an extent. I am sure they will come good for a few games and Gayle will probably get another hattrick at some point. I am still confident we will be Champions even with this drop in form.

    I also agree with everybody else that this is not a PL team but it was never meant to be. We will sell some of our mediocre players for what we paid for them and move on. We will need at least 4 or 5 15-20 million pound players to compete. It cannot be half measures on the cheap again.

    But I am getting ahead of myself…


  8. great results for us over the weekend. Shame we couldnt press on after our 3 tough games but nobodies gained any ground.
    games are ticking away but we need to take advantage of our next home games to make it a little easier

    Leeds looked good against a poor Brighton


  9. Never knock an away point. We’re also in a better position than we were this time last week and now there’s only 8 games to go. Our next two games are at home again Burton and Wigan and if we can’t pick up 6 points then we don’t deserve to bloody go up!


  10. Why couldnt we play in the legendary black and white stripes yesterday ? The toon away strip is minging.
    Enjoy the Championship while we can because the Premier League will be a season long of disappointment, this group haven’t the skill nor aggresion to last 5 minutes. Charnley has a massive job on his hands nextvseason, the bloke is kn a hiding to nothing, and can only lose. Stuck between Ashley and Benitez, he really has his work cut out.
    Pity that our full backs offer absolutely nothing as an attacking force, and our midfield laboured and predictable.


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