Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea: Rafa’s rampant Mags sign off in style with a stunning win at St James’

WHAT A DAY. The final game of the season and one to remember, with the boys securing our place in the top 10 with an outstanding performance, full of everything we’ve loved about this team this season – desire, spirit, energy and passion.

It was a brilliant atmosphere, a top class display and a perfect end to a season where we have well and truly exceeded expectations. Benitez has worked wonders, but the job those players have done has been nothing short of sensational too. Everyone has played their part – fans included(and just look at this display in the Gallowgate today).

Yes we’ve been tearing our hair out at times and bemoaning the lack of quality or final product within our ranks, but one thing you have never been able to question this season is their fight, togetherness and commitment to the cause.

Now to the game itself. I wasn’t sure whether we’d see a Chelsea side gunning to keep their top four hopes alive or one who’d be sulking from their midweek slip up and focused on staying fit for the FA Cup final and World Cup above all esle. It’s safe to say it was the latter! They were an embarrassment really, putting in an absolutely pitiful performance given they had to win today – but we took full advantage and for every bit they were poor, we were brilliant.

From the off we were first to every ball. We out-passed them, out-jumped them, out-muscled them, out-ran them and out-played them in every single department. The 3-0 scoreline does not flatter us one bit, but we needed it, with our emphatic win making sure we finished 10th – above Palace, Bournemouth and West Ham who all won today:

Diame a colossus in midfield yet AGAIN, Shelvey pulling the strings (how hasn’t Southgate called him up yet?!), Lejeune with one of his best displays in black and white (a player looking better and better with every game), Dubravka with another home clean sheet and TWO vital stops, Lascelles leading by example once again and Perez alive in the box once again to take his tally to 10 for the season. The list could go on – they were all absolutely excellent today.

A 3-0 over Chelsea with what many have called a ‘Championship’ team says so much about Rafa’s capabilities at this club. Yet another reminder to Mike Ashley that the Spaniard is a priceless asset to Newcastle United and someone we (and he!) simply can not afford to lose this summer.

The players deserve huge credit for their hard work, ability to follow Rafa’s instructions and commitment to the cause, but it’s Benitez who is the glue that holds us together. A world-class coach, the perfect ambassador for our great club & an all-round class act.

This summed up by him giving the soon-to-be released Massaido Haidara a warm embrace on the sideline just as Justin Lockwood introduced him back onto the field before the lap of honour. He also went over to shake the groundsman’s hands at the end and made an effort to interact with the player’s kids during the lap of the pitch. It’s the little things like this that make him such a special manager and one who’s a perfect fit for us here on Tyneside.

I love this group of lads and I love the man who is striving to bring greatness back to our beloved football club.

Let’s pray that the right decisions are made this summer to maintain momentum and allow Rafa to keep us moving in the right direction, but for now, let’s just enjoy a superb end to an up and down season.

Newcastle. UNITED.

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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.

99 thoughts on “Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea: Rafa’s rampant Mags sign off in style with a stunning win at St James’

  1. Of course we should try to advance on all levels Stuart but the academy takes a long time and are we moving training grounds?

    Some of the relegated teams have the shiniest new facilities.


  2. Eric Sykes: Stuart: read. I said the cost of a Jacob Murphy EVERY YEAR to fix the infrastructure.

    It wouldn’t cost that much every year. No where near. If it did cost an extra £12m every year then only the top, top clubs would have built new training grounds.


  3. Last season Rfa even changed the design and plans for the new training ground only to find out the only thing Jabba would give the go ahead for is a lick of paint! Staggering!


  4. Stuart79:
    Last season Rfa even changed the design and plans for the new training ground only to find out the only thing Jabba would give the go ahead for is a lick of paint! Staggering!

    We are not even arguing on this one Stuart mate. We should fix it and it wont take that much money.


  5. My main point was that Rafa’s options in the PL are much more limited than peope are saying because the other teams on our level also have massive problems.


  6. I mean, they have some very good attackers, flair players and what they need is some structure and someone to buy defenders. I wonder who might fit that bill? Someone who has experience and will not be intimidated by a big club. I wonder who that could be? Ancelotti. Or Rafa 🙂


  7. Arsenal or Everton should give him the job. People think maybe not Everton but managers and players don’t tend to be too bothered where they work.


  8. Olly: I am surprised that John Cross even knows who Shelvey is. He is interviewed every Friday on Keys and Gray on BEin Sports and all he talks about is Arsenal. Him and Keysey have their usual mutual arse-licking “banter” with Cross on his laptop and the camera pointing straight up his nose. It is embarrassing and he I embarrassing.


  9. It is so strange that they are not considering Shelvey because he seems ideally suited to international football which is much slower than the PL and where they stand off the midfielders more. Whenever Jonjo is given time at NUFC he picks teams apart. It is when he is harried and pressed that he sometimes is not as effective.

    I suppose they will take Wilshere who will get injured in training. I have watched him a lot and he has been terrible as a number 10 or box to box because he is too slow. He is OK as a deep lying midfielder, but still can’t tackle and the international Refs won’t let him off as easily as the British Refs because of his “name”. Plus Captain Henderson plays that position.


  10. Stuart79:
    Arsenal or Everton should give him the job. People think maybe not Everton but managers and players don’t tend to be too bothered where they work.

    I agree that it would be good for either of these teams but I am not sure it would be good for Rafa. Arsenal have put in a whole new hierarchy to oversee transfers and Everton now have 2 people doing that job. Steve Walsh, who came from Leicester, and now one of the Chairman’s Pals who looks like he will take over after the perceived (and apparent) failures in the transfer market where they bought a drunk potato to replace Lukaku. They have spent 250 million since Moshiri took over and have nothing to show for it. The word is that Allardyce and Kenwright are out, and probably Walsh so they are a club in flux. But they do have money.


  11. I still don’t get not taking Shelvey. Take him as backup to Henderson, simple.

    Henderson is not the most robust of players and has an iffy injury record. But I suppose we will have Lallana and Wilshere as well and hope that they hold up, even though Wilshere is pretty sh!t in most games anyway.


  12. Martin Samuel is a fat idiot (its about Shelvey)

    As usual he is building up an England Manager before a tournament. He will be the first to turn and berate him when Southgate fails.

    As far as Shelvey is concerned he states that his pass completion rate is ONLY about 75%. That is a bloody miracle considering what he tries and that he is not always passing sideways and backwards like most England midfielders.

    As for goals and assists, he could do better. But we play on the counter and we need a decent striker. Maybe his stats would be better if he played with Jamie Vardy or Harry Kane, Martin?


  13. Most pundits will never champion our players for England unless they have NE links. If Rafa feels Jon jo is good enough for England then Gareth really ought to consider him , it’s not like Pards saying it, this is a WC coach who knows what he’s talking about.


  14. If Southgate doesn’t think he’s mobile enough and can be easily marked then that’s fair enough. He’s paid to make them decisions. However some of Shelvey’s best games have been against the top teams. He bossed the game against Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs in recent weeks and considering he’s playing in a team of limited ability where there isn’t always a pass on his passing accuracy is reasonably good. Comparing him to Henderson or Delph who play in teams who always have more than 55% possession is pathetic and lazy. Samuel mentioned Livermore and him being of the right character. This is a guy who admitted taking drugs and during a recent England trip was distruptive and got into a bit of a scrape. The hypocrisy is what pisses me off.


    Posted this yesterday but did not comment.

    On the Stats Lescalles does not make it but Shelvey should definitely make it to the squad.

    It will be interesting to see the shape of the team. I prefer 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1
    Either way my team would be
    Pope, Smalling Maguire Trippier & Bertrand; Dier & Livermoor; Stirling Lingard and Alli; with Kane up front.
    The rest of the squad would be Pickford, Butland; Tarkowski keane Young Walker and Alexander-Arnold; Henderson Shelvey & loftus-Cheek; Vardy and rashford.


  16. Prem, Southgate has said he will play 3 at the back. In principle I like that as it gives us the chance to play 2 up front and still have 3 in the middle. We also have excellent wing backs so I reckon Southgate has probably got it right. However, we definitely need to get Sterling into the team so where does he play? As a number ten?Lingaard also is playing well and is he still ahead of Alli in this formation?


  17. That’s why I have the extra defender in the squad.
    Going three at the back, many want to see Walker at the right rather than a recognised CB. That then means we have to drop somebody further up. Neither Kane nor Vardy play with a strike partner at club level and asking them to change now would be folly. So Kane plays with Vardy as back-up. I think, on the stats Alli is our best Attacking central midfielder so I would play Stirling and Lingard either side. That means dropping Dier as Livermore’s stats are better.


  18. I would go with 3-5-2 as below:

    Stones/Jones/Walker (Centre backs)
    Alexander-Arnold/Rose (Wing Backs)
    Dier/Alli/Henderson (Centre mids)

    The likes of Lingaard, Vardy and Rashford would be good substitution options when were inevitably chasing games.


  19. I see reports say Joe hart won’t be selected. How this is even a story i don’t know. The guy is sat on the bench and when he gets a go he keeps dropping clangers!


  20. When does the World Cup start? Cannot believe that Shelvey and Lascelles are not included, but hey ho…

    If Wilshere gets injured can Southgate call up a replacement once the team is in Russia?


  21. Silly season has started in earnest.. we will have 12 goalies if the press are to believed ??. We will be linked with at least 1000 players and probably get 1 loan player on deadline day. ??


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