Rafa Benitez will be furious about the fiasco surrounding the Ghana FA and Christian Atsu.

The winger was injured against Bournemouth and forced off the pitch in the final stages, Rafa saying the winger ‘felt something’.

However, the United boss indicated that he thought it wasn’t too serious and that with the club’s medical staff monitoring Atsu, he should hopefully be ok for the next game at Manchester United.

With Ghana already knocked out of the World Cup, it looked an even easier decision for Christian Atsu to stay on Tyneside and ensure he recovered under the watchful eye of the club’s medical staff.

Instead, the media in Ghana revealed that the winger had turned up there on Monday, ahead of the meaningless fame on Sunday against World Cup finals qualifier Egypt.

The media indicating that pressure had been exerted on the Newcastle player to travel, having missed the last call-up with a knock.

Football fans and newspapers not impressed, when despite his injury Christian Atsu started both the game before (Liverpool) the October internationals and the one (Southampton) afterwards.

The travel there and back to Ghana was bad enough, along with the fact Newcastle’s medical staff weren’t able to monitor his injury.

However, things have got a whole lot worse, with what appeared to be a relatively minor problem now becoming a major one, as the Ghana FA have confirmed that Christian Atsu ‘suffered a thigh muscle tear’ in training, as he desperately tried to make the Egypt match.

With consecutive defeats and Jacob Murphy looking nowhere near good enough at the moment to step in, this is a further, unnecessary, problem for Rafa Benitez to deal with.

Ghana FA announcement:

“Tests have revealed that Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan won’t play in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Egypt.

“Team doctor says scans show Gyan suffered at thigh strain following his injury in Black Stars training two days ago.

“Tests have revealed that winger Christian Atsu will not play for Ghana in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Egypt.

“Team doctor says the scans show Atsu suffered a thigh muscle tear (in training).”



  • Paul Patterson

    I partly blame the player, if he wasn’t right before travel then he should’ve stood up and said ‘No, I’m not coming!’.
    Too much priority is put on international call ups (and it’s even less important for friendlies) for no benefit for the clubs they represent.
    I’m guessing the conversation between manager and player would’ve been different if it had been Alex Ferguson. He would have told the player to pick his country or his club, baring in mind if he picked his country he’d be out of the club.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Lesson to be learned by atsu. Remember hes never been in this position before hes never really had to consider the club as hes never really played regular. Hes still inexperienced at this level for club/international issues.

  • Steve Pearce

    Any manager should have the right to bar players from international duty, especially for meaningless friendlies .

  • gallowgate26

    Well Aarons has said he’s not happy at lack of game time, plus we have a £12m winger on the bench. Atsu has not played as well in the last few games, I would go with Aarons personally. Please not Perez, he’s too slow.

    • Mike Adam

      Aarons is another player Rafa needs to play, but will he? Probably not since he hasn’t even made the bench.

  • Wor Lass

    It`s disappointing to see, on various posts today, so many negative comments about international football. Yes, there are lots of issues with it and some games seem meaningless to many but we`re the big boys (or used to be!). They`re not meaningless to the smaller nations – players and public alike. I enjoyed last night`s game and was pleased to see some younger players stake their claims and give the team`s image a bit of a boost. What a lot of people might not consider is the status that Atsu has in Ghana – he`s an icon there and so important to the morale of the team and the country. If it looks like he`s turned his back on his homeland that can have massive repercussions for him and, possibly, his family. Remember the Columbian player Andres Escobar was shot just for scoring an own goal when playing against the USA. There`s a lot that needs putting right with internationals but our problems run considerably deeper than that.

  • S.G.M.

    Graham, You didn’t blame Ashley!! W.T.F.

    • Wor Lass

      No need, mate. He`s a given no matter what the situation!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Here we go, as predicted when we start to pick up injuries to 1st teamers the cupboards bare for replacements, the obvious choice would be Murphy but a game against the Mancs could kill him off.
    stick Aarons on

  • Soldier

    Newcastle paid £12m for a winger in the summer, use him.

    • HarryHype59

      Alas, so far he has looked poor! Which begs the question why was he signed?

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Hes young needs a season or two. People forget atsu took almost a year to start looking like something. Playing for Toon as a new young lad at a club like Newcastle can be difficult. Hes got something just needs to find his feet and confidence. Ive every faith Murphy will come good.

        I look at it this way. Murphy and Aarons now have an opportunity.

        • HarryHype59

          If he had cost a million I would have agreed with you! However, for £12m, Newcastle needed a player who could make an instant impact! We don’t have the luxury of Spurs,City and Chelsea team, littered with quality players!

          The fee paid for Murphy is similar to that of Shelvey, Ritchie and Townsend!

  • Taz

    The bloke need some t have a long hard look at himself…. He’s ok but nothing more, going away with an injury for fk all or trying to get better for the club that pays him Should be a no brainier…… Wnaker. Have to spell it like that!!!!!! Ykw

  • Stephen Paylor

    Aarons is the answer