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. Nice read Olly, thanks.
    I like the lad and it could be worth starting him for sure. Thing is Rafa obviously feels there is a problem there, be it following instructions or whatever. We aren’t privy to what the problem is so can only surmise or go on rag gossip but if we go up and he is retained then we’ll know what Rafa thinks then. Hope the lad gets another shot though and would be interested to see him MF position where he did well at Acon. Nice to know Rafa watched him play in those games, especially as time will be limited with all the Championship prep he has to do for us throughout a busy period in the league.

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  2. no banana skin today hopefully, take a lesson from last nights result, never under estimate the opposition .

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  3. kimtoon:
    Nice read Olly, thanks.
    I like the lad and it could be worth starting him for sure. Thing is Rafa obviously feels there is a problem there, be it following instructions or whatever. We aren’t privy to what the problem is so can only surmise or go on rag gossip but if we go up and he is retained then we’ll know what Rafa thinks then. Hope the lad gets another shot though and would be interested to see him MF position where he did well at Acon. Nice to know Rafa watched him play in those games, especially as time will be limited with all the Championship prep he has to do for us throughout a busy period in the league.

    Thanks mate, appreciate it! Yeh Mbemba’s a funny one, but I loved his statement yesterday – very much sounds like he’s going to fight until he finds a way back into Rafa’s plans, wether that be at CB or CM!

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  4. A win today really does put us in a brilliant position. I see Huddersfield really falling by the way side now. They might get 85 points.

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  5. Hard to say Stu as they have had set backs before and always seem to bounce back. They had a real off night last night but City played out their skins all over the pitch. Great result for us and hopefully we can take advantage especially as they still have that game in hand.

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  6. A win for the Toon today and I really can’t see Huddersfield getting in our way. Taking nothing for granted though but the games are ebbing away in our favour.

    Olly/Andy – one article a day would be a better idea and provide a better flow for the posters. It’s not like you have to stick with one subject in it.

    Nice to see the Mbemba quote. I’m a fan of his and think he could do much better than Lascelles or Colback. However Rafa’s the man!
    I remember an interview he did when he first arrived and talked about 2011 when he didn’t know where his food would come from that day. He also said that when he was finished with football he wanted to become an electrician! Good steady job he said.
    I had to laugh as the Toon were in the process of making him a multi millionaire. Maybe the signs were there then that he’s a very simple soul and doesn’t quite understand situations around him and that’s possibly why Rafa can’t quite trust him.

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  7. I think he will have a better chance in the PL if we get promoted. There I think Lascelles would get turned inside out by forwards like Aguero and there is less direct balls to head away. Yedlin-Mbemba-Clark-Dummett or a new LB would be a young, quick defence in the PL. Able to play the ball out and with players quick enough to get back. I like Lascelles a lot but I think he might struggle with forwards running at him in the PL.

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  8. DJG:
    I think he will have a better chance in the PL if we get promoted. There I think Lascelles would get turned inside out by forwards like Aguero and there is less direct balls to head away. Yedlin-Mbemba-Clark-Dummett or a new LB would be a young, quick defence in the PL. Able to play the ball out and with players quick enough to get back. I like Lascelles a lot but I think he might struggle with forwards running at him in the PL.

    Mbemba looked good for us in the PL games he played,

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  9. DJG – think you’re spot on there. Lascelles is dreadful if somebody just runs at him and he’s a very slow turner. I’d like a new LB though, Dummett’s fine this season and very steady but we need more attacking impetus from there. Luke Shaw anyone?

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  10. georgio
    Yeah I agree. Lascelles is not slow over 25 meters but he is turned easily and it’s a nightmare when a decent forward takes him on with the ball on the deck. He can head the ball away all day long if the other team play long ball but it’s not like that in the PL. He needs to work on that side of his game in the next few months if he’s going to keep his place in the PL,in my opinion.

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  11. Can’t leave this tab open as it just freezes on going back to it, have to keep closing tab and reopening to comment if I leave it more than a few minutes. Anyone else have this problem ? not happening on other tabs that are open .

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  12. No Shelvey then… Reckon Diame will be a decent replacement and fancying Murphy scoring too.

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  13. Shelvey is sick. At least MBemba made the bench. By the way, that is a really strong bench and any of them really could have made the first team.

    I am not sure about the predictions for MBemba to get more playing time in the PL. He can’t get in the team when there are 46 games, I can’t see more when there are only 38 unless Rafa has a major rethink. More likely to cash in if we can get our money back. Same with Mitro.

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  14. Arsenal falling apart. I said way before they went on this run that their players were over-rated and that for being the 7th richest club in the world they were buying comparative **** – even Ozil can get bullied in the PL and is sometimes a luxury.

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  15. Shame about Shelvey being sick, could be costly, don’t think we look as potent without him.

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  16. Leeds – Brighton today after Reading-Wednesday yesterday. I have said before that people forget some of our rivals have to play each other when predicting wins and points totals for them. There is also some weird assumption that other teams are just better than they are and will have100% records going forward when there are always bumps in the road in football.

    I have no idea what will happen today with an untested midfield. If pushed, a 1-1 draw.

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  17. I am not necessarily talking about on here when discussing knee jerk. I think there was a Chronicle poll after Fulham that said only 33% of fans expected automatic promotion. Of course, that could happen but we are still in the drivers seat and that was typical football fan knee jerk.

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  18. Radio link is not cutting out today like it has in recent weeks.

    Big day for the Mackems.

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  19. Thanks again Kim. And I know I haven’t missed much Eric, I am reading the live commentary 🙂

    It will make me a happy day as long as the result is what we wanted. 🙂

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  20. Dubai Toon:
    Just got in and missed most of the first half… how have we played so far?

    Flat as a pancake in truth mate , disallowed goal Ritchie offside apparently .

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  21. Cheers Kim. Let’s hope we can improve in second half. We cannot afford to lose this one with Huddersfield losing last night.

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  22. funrafa:
    Sky Johnny Phillips said it should have been a goal, no offside.

    look forward to watching it later to see who’s right radio comms or Sky. This is the same ref who denied us 2 pens v Fulham by the way, though it was the lino who flagged for os.

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  23. Dubai Toon:
    Cheers Kim. Let’s hope we can improve in second half. We cannot afford to lose this one with Huddersfield losing last night.

    agree mate, these are the ones we have to win, they have that game in hand too.

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  24. kimtoon: look forward to watching it later to see who’s right radio comms or Sky. This is the same ref who denied us 2 pens v Fulham by the way, though it was the lino who flagged for os.
    Me too. But in the end I accept Ref’s decision, right or wrong. If it is wrong, I believe Karma will bring justice sooner or later. 🙂

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  25. My software scan is warning me that the security certificate for this website is not valid. Why is that?

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  26. GeordieTwo:
    My software scan is warning me that the security certificate for this website is not valid. Why is that?

    g2, I get that all the time as do a few others, just click ok mate

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  27. I hope that dodgy ref decision isn’t going to cost us another game… sounds poor so far

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  28. Dubai Toon:
    I hope that dodgy ref decision isn’t going to cost us another game… sounds poor so far

    He wrecked us v Fulham start of season so wouldn’t surprise me

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  29. kimtoon: He wrecked us v Fulham start of season so wouldn’t surprise me

    I know, that’s what’s in my mind at the moment.

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  30. funrafa:
    I think Rafa should have given Murphy a little bit more time. Hope I am wrong.

    Wondering if he’s more an impact sub, then again 442 would of been fruitful I reckon

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  31. so long as we don’t lose it cause we’ve had the better of it. their keepers kept them in it possibly along with the officials 🙄

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  32. Yeah I’ll take a point, it’s one more point away from third place but I still see as points lost here.

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  33. Dubai Toon:
    Yeah I’ll take a point, it’s one more point away from third place but I still see as points lost here.

    Agree defo 2 dropped there like, bit disappointing. That offside better be right

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  34. So the ref screws us again… a point is better than nowt I guess but not happy with that. I can see Brighton going top tonight.

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  35. The toon havent really played football for weeks now. Flat as a pancake,too reliant on shelvey and gayle.

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  36. If Shelvey and Gayle don’t play we are average. Sounds like we need the international break and it would be nice if Leeds beat Brighton.
    Leicester win again, Palace win, if Swans beat Bournemouth that’s another two points behind for the mackems. Oh dear.

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  37. kimtoon: Wondering if he’s more an impact sub, then again 442 would of been fruitful I reckon

    Rafa’s never used double forwards in this situation. Double forwards to him is like a gamble. We were tied and looked a better side, he wouldn’t be that desperate.

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  38. Disappointing. Brighton have a tough game at Leeds though.

    Bad run of results – DLD – and we are still top. Need a second wind after the break to seal it.

    Draws not good enough for Mackems now especially against the team with the worst away record in the league. Now this one would be the “great escape” if they can possibly do it. As good as Leicester and West Ham when Tevez dragged them back after the Pardew death spiral.

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  39. You know, Jack Wilshere was supposed to be the next big thing. Look who is keeping him out of the Bournemouth starting 11 – DAN GOSLING.

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  40. Just tuned in to the Leeds v. Brighton game in time for the goal. Great header. Looks like it’s been a good game from the last few minutes.

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