The Newcastle team v Chelsea has just been confirmed.

Rafa Benitez has rung the changes once again.

After making five changes for the West Brom match, the United boss has made three this time.

Manquillo in for Yedlin, Gayle for Joselu, Diame for Hayden.

Manquillo replacing Yedlin isn’t a massive shock as the right-back has struggled recently with his defending, Gayle for Joselu as a lone striker isn’t surprising either.

Playing Diame ahead of Shelvey (and Hayden) is a massive call though!

This is who Rafa Benitez starts with:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Lejeune, Mbemba, Ritchie, Merino, Diame, Murphy, Perez, Gayle

and the Subs:

Elliot, Yedlin, Shelvey, Hayden, Aarons,  Mitrovic, Joselu

Compare Rafa’s side to the the one chosen by fans HERE.

Chelsea v Newcastle Match Betting:

Chelsea win 2/9Draw 11/2Newcastle win 16/1

NUFC to win2-0 100/1Ciaran Clark to score first goal 50/1Chelsea not to score a goal 8/1

All Chelsea v Newcastle betting HERE

New customers to BetVictor qualify for up to a £40 welcome bonus in free bets.



  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The Madness of Rafael continues,
    Jonjo on the bench replaced by SloMo
    no signs of Hayden either

  • Paul Patterson

    Nice to see we’re starting with eight men..

  • Rich Lawson

    Madness not playing Shelvey from the start,Diamme again,ffs ?

    • billofengland

      Absolutely bob on. Big Big mistake,

  • Mike Adam

    His team selections are truely unbelieveable! Picking Slomo is simply horrid!!! Then he waits far too long to make substitutions. Let’s see how it plays out today, but I do not see it going well.

    • nufcslf

      Good prediction for the half time score.

  • Mrkgw

    Absolutely remarkable. Diame? Manquillo? Perez? Mitro must well be thinking thats it for me now – if he hadnt already before. How stubborn can you get from Rafa.

    • 1957

      Will Shelvey be beginning to think his time is up?

      • billofengland

        Good point

      • Mrkgw

        Yes, probably. Rafas selections are definitely questionable and I have to wonder whether he is pushing his luck in the hope that he gets the push. To leave out Shelvey, Mitro and Aarons is plain wrong. Personally, I think Elliott is a better keeper than Darlow as well,

  • Soldier

    Plot & lost it springs to mind

  • hetonmag

    The manager is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn’t it wouldn’t matter what team he picked he will get grief, unless it’s the team that suits some of the people on this forum.

    • Soldier

      you my friend are a complete & utter idiot

      • hetonmag

        Everyone is allowed an opinion even an utter idiot like yourself.

    • ash1001

      Not some, hetonmag. the complaints are mostly about SloMo been in, we are not that bad at judging, he should be keeping Colback company, in fact would prefer Colback to him.

    • Damon Horner

      Even then if we lose it will be down to the tactics or a new found scapegoat.

    • nufcslf

      All he had to do is start the same 11 that finished well against West Brom, mainly because anybody that has only coached a youth football match was working.

  • dfsgfdg

    it seem out Rafa has lost the plot with this team selection
    the gameplay is already completely out of his hands . Today 10 games without win might be start of a relegation struggle imo

  • 1957

    Hoss out for Gayle a step forward, but not starting Shelvey again…Can anyone seriously explain to me what SloMo offers the team to be included at Shelvey or Hayden’s (or any other player’s) expense. Shelvey can pass a ball Mo can’t, Hayden runs about and tackles, Mo doesn’t.

    Is Benitez trying to give Chelsea help to win?, if any of the last three head coaches had done this there would be demands for them to be sacked.
    Give your head a shake Rafa, you’ve lost the plot.

    • Mike Adam

      Nothing that anyone including Rafa can say justifies the selection of Slomo!!! He offers absolutely nothing!

      • nufcslf

        And proving again so far in this match.

  • magpiefifer

    Yes,the squad lacks the quality we need in the EPL,BUT,why include Diame ahead of Shelvey and Hayden!?
    I feel a thumping coming our way!!!

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Joke selection from a manager who’s fast running out of credibility in my eyes .. you keep hearing the tag “world class” whenever he’s mentioned but his tactics and team selections do anything but justify that title .. if Pardew or Souness had consistently chosen teams Raffa has and failed to react to obvious deficiencies in certain players we would justifiably be asking questions.. Raffa however seems to float above any criticism in large sections of our support.. we all know Ashley hasn’t fully backed him BUT the money he has had to sound and the use of players he has inherited deserve to be questioned just as they would under any other manager ever!
    To pick Perez and Gayle is giving the Chelsea defence a day of rest, to pick Diame is unbelievable and insulting to every other midfielder at the club .. Raffa can’t possibly believe this team is the best we can put on the park and if he does he is anything but a world class manager!

    • 1957

      He’s anything but a ‘world class’ manager.

  • ash1001

    If I could work out Rafa’s mind, winning the lottery would be easy. Slo Mo, IN how in the hell does that work, and no Shelvey,

    • ash1001

      Sad to say but think its going to be Barca for me, cannot stand another thumping, Rafa think again on your team selection, pick those that care.

  • Dillon Tovak

    Hayden for Diame, Shelvey for Perez, Merino pushed forward and Aaron’s in for Murphy. If I were Rafa anyway.

    • 1957

      That makes more sense than what he’s done, but some on here would point out that’s why your not a world class manager. I’ve just about given up on him

  • Soldier

    He`s left the best player on the bench

    • Dillon Tovak

      Joselu?

      • Soldier

        he`ll be a great MISS today

        • Dillon Tovak

          Indeed hahahha

  • goggsy

    Come the end of the season is guess there will not be too many points picked up in games where Perez and Diame have both started.Hope this is one,but very much doubt,for a manager who doesn’t like taking risks,feels like he’s written this one off before the kick off,here’s hoping for a Christmas miracle.

  • lukegte

    This is going to be awful. Diame, honestly. Is Rafa trying to lose games to get Ashley to panic and sell up faster? I was really looking forward to watching Merino and Shelvey together today. Aarons should be on the pitch too. Can’t blame Rafa for the defensive line up. But I can not wait for Lascelles to come back! I hope he pushes Clark out to full back when the skipper returns. The fullbacks have been awful this season.

  • Leazes Ender

    Some people might just be surprised by the outcome of this match…. there is a name for these people…. morons!#

    #PAYYOURTAXBETVICTOR

    • Mike Adam

      Really? What will happen? Tell us, please! Since we are morons.

      • Leazes Ender

        Its another way of saying there isn’t going to be a surprise today.

        • Mike Adam

          I apologize, I misunderstood what you meant.

          • Leazes Ender

            idiot

          • Mike Adam

            Small boys call names!!! Look in the mirror.

    • Damon Horner

      If you know the outcome you could place bets on BetVictor.

  • Damon Horner

    Only reason to pick Diame over Shelvey is during the counter attacking situations he can drive forward with the ball, Shelvey can pick a great pass but there has to be a well placed receiver.

    Expect a 4-2-3-1 setup intent on frustrating the opposition. We aren’t going to outpass and outplay them.

    • 1957

      A wonderful theory but he doesn’t drive forward with the ball.

  • Kev-82

    Is Clark left back as Mbemba seems to be in the middle?

    • Kev-82

      Seems Ritchie is playing as a left back or wing back, must be a 5-4-1

  • Kev-82

    Get in lads, now lets not collapse like we did at Old Trafford.

    • 1957

      Great play by Murphy to put pressure on the keeper

  • Natturner26

    I’m a big Mitro fan but just have to say Gayle is 10x better than Joselu. We have two decent strike options and a third option of playing them up front together. Hope all the points we drop this season due to Joselu doesn’t sink us. He shouldn’t even be on the bench. How could he ever help by coming in?

    • 1957

      In goalscoring positions in the box I would back Gayle most times, Hoss wouldn’t have scored

  • 1957

    We look a mess defensively, no one marking Hazzard for the equaliser

    • Pozz Mozz

      Tosser

  • Kev-82

    Surely 1 of Lejeune or Mbemba should have cut that out.

    • Dillon Tovak

      Or even Darlow. Someone!
      Another cross, another goal.

      • Mike Adam

        Have you ever played keeper? The pace of that cross was way too much for Darlow to get to! The defenders should have done better. Mbemba was either pushed, or he just went down too easily in front of Morata. Bith defenders were on the ground when the ball went in why? We desparately need our captain back!!!

        • Dillon Tovak

          Yeah I have.
          I’m not slating him, just saying that any cross that makes it that far into the box could have been intercepted by someone. Including the keeper.

    • 1957

      They should have, but the biggest problem was Ritchie playing at wing back, doing his best but he’s struggling.

      • Kev-82

        Yeah it’s not a position that suits him.

  • 1957

    Is SloMo on the pitch?

  • Kev-82

    Even Merino is having a shocker, he’s given the ball away more than anyone.

  • Natturner26

    My biggest problem with Rafa is: in all my years watching Newcastle I never went into a match with a bigger feeling of imminent inevitable loss. We have had weaker squads in the Ashley era but you always felt they had a shot at three points; against the weaker teams three points were often expected even when we were flirting with relegation. With this Rafa team a win feels lucky even against a team like Crystal Palace.

  • Mike Adam

    Slomo and Murphy must come off!!!!

  • Mike Adam

    Mitro, Aarons, and Shelvey must come on now in the 60th minute!!!!

  • Mike Adam

    Oh of course, Hayden coming on for Perez. I guess we are trying to keep it at a one goal loss! Great world class managing!!!

    • Natturner26

      Losing first sub Hayden for Perez at 60 minutes. It’d be completely astounding if it wasn’t a typical Rafa move.

    • Jezza

      Goal difference could be crucial in our relegation battle.

      • Mike Adam

        So would a point!!! That would be pretty pathetic to play with that mentality one goal down with 30 minutes left!!!!!

  • Dillon Tovak

    Our players bounce off the 5 foot colossus that is Hazard.

  • Mike Adam

    They have no clue what to do going forward!!!!!!!

  • Mike Adam

    71st minute, nothing Rafa???????

  • Mike Adam

    Maybe you can bring Horselu on in the 85th!

  • Mike Adam

    Yeah, after this goal, maybe he will make some changes!

  • Mike Adam

    Rafa you are nowhere near “world class” anymore!!!

    • Jezza

      Well maybe we’ll get Joe Kinnear back before long. Is that what you want?

      • Mike Adam

        Rafa apologist, keep following blindly!!!

        • Jezza

          I’d rather be a Rafa apologist than an Ashley apologist.

          • 1957

            Personally I’d rather they would both go, if I was involved in the takeover I would want to trust Benitez to spend my money in the transfer market

          • 1957

            Or to make best use of the playing resources he has

          • Jezza

            Personally I will not make that judgement until such times as Rafa has been given sufficient funds by NUFC to spend on transfers. Rafa may have bought badly but that’s only because he’s had so little to spend. Put it this way, you walk onto a car forecourt with a budget of 5 grand you’re not going to be driving off in a Ferrari are you.

          • Mike Adam

            More excuses! Coach and play the players we have! Use all of them!

          • Jezza

            Have you got anything valid to say or are you just going to keep repeating the word “excuses”?

          • ash1001

            Jezza, your point seems to be all about money or in your opinion the lack of it, just listen to the other side for a second – Most on here are definitely not SloMo fans but Rafa picks him over Shelvey, he played Joselu for weeks over Mitro, WHY because Rafa is the boss, he is so stubborn its getting ridiculous now.

          • Jezza

            A lot of people are banging on about Mitro but he was awful last season. People seem to have forgotten him being out thought, out muscled and out paced by average third division defenders for the full 90 minutes in the FA Cup at Oxford. It’s all about money because that’s precisely why we’re in this position. Our manager should not behaving to choose between Mitro and Joselu, he should have better players to work with.

          • 1957

            The point people are making is we don’t know if Mitrovic has improved because Benitez won’t give him the chance, you talk about last season, its gone and means nothing in the here and now

          • Mike Adam

            Yes, without playing time, not even the great Rafa knows for sure.

          • Jezza

            Going by that logic we might as well bring back Riviere. Maybe he has improved too and his previous shambolic performances in a Newcastle shirt are also “gone and means nothing in the here and now”.

          • Mike Adam

            What a ridiculous statement, Mitro is here now! Your example makes zero sense. Don’t you get it, he is only 23, and he has scored goals many places in his young career. Aderlecht, Champions League, was our 2nd leading scorer his first season with us, and scoring a bunch of goals for his country. Our manager will not even give him a chance, or Aarons, and now Shelvey is in the Rafa dog house. But he continues to bring back the Slomo’s and Perez’s(who I used to like, but he is just taken off the ball too easily, too often) and Manquillo’s, and again who would start a hack like Horselu for 13 straight?

          • Jezza

            I’m still waiting for your answer on who in your view should replace Rafa. Are you going to answer that question or are you just full of hot air?

          • Mike Adam

            Really, you bring up one game, last year. You have forgotten that the numbers are that he is our best goal scorer in the “Premier League” and he only just turned 23! Rafa has been starting a player in Horselu who has a whopping 35 goals in 8 seasons.

          • Jezza

            Mitro is not the answer to our striking problems. People are only starting to think he is out of pure desperation after three months of watching Joselu.

          • Mike Adam

            But you do not know without him getting a run out. You cannot say that he can’t score goals for us when he hasn’t even been given a chance this year. A year by the way that he is scoring many goals for his country and looking very good doing it.

          • hetonmag

            Don’t respond to him Jezza he hasn’t come up with a new manager’s name yet.

          • Jezza

            Do you really believe we would have beaten Chelsea today if we had put out a different team? I will wait with baited breath for you to come back to me with the word “excuses” again.

          • Mike Adam

            Probably not, but when you do not even try to go after the game at 1 -2, what does that say to fans? . . . . and to the players for that matter. I think you are right, his mentality was to not concede any more. But again, in my opinion, shame on Rafa for not going after the point at a goal down!!!

          • Mike Adam

            Nobody here is an Ashley apologist, we want our manager to use “ALL” of the players at his disposal. We had a chance to nick a point here and our manager did not even try!!!

  • nufcslf

    So what does this selection/performance offer other than every chance of another home loss on the cards in the next match. Absolutely nothing to build on. Very sad.

    • Mike Adam

      Nothing to build on because the manager will not allow it. We could have built on the end of the West Brom game and started those 11.

      • nufcslf

        Couldn’t agree more. Mind boggles.

      • Jezza

        There is a big difference between a West Brom side who haven’t won for over three months and all conquering Chelsea. Horses for courses.

        • Mike Adam

          It is about playing our best players! Slomo, Perez, Murphy Ritchie at left back, not working. To have Mitro, Aarons, and Shelvey on the bench and not give them a run out somewhere around the 70th minute is just a losing mentality. Stop complaining about money and spending and use the players at your disposal!!!

          • Jezza

            Our “best players” are just not good enough for this level. It doesn’t matter who Rafa picks we are on a hiding to nothing because our squad is so weak right the way through. That is purely down to Fatso restricting our summer spending to a paltry £11.5 milliion net to prepare a Championship squad for the Premiership. That level of “investment” was never going to be enough. By blaming Rafa for our performances this season you are picking on the wrong person.

          • Mike Adam

            Another excuse, all of the players have not been given a chance, so how can you know???? You cannot it is impossible.

          • Jezza

            Do you think the club did enough in the summer transfer window?

            Do you you think our first team squad is good enough to compete in the Premiership?

            Since you have started a one man sack Rafa campaign, who do you think we could realistically get who would do a better job with these players?

          • Mike Adam

            Stop crying about spending. There is nothing that can be done about what was spent or not spent! The point is we need to get enough points with the players we have to avoid another relegation!

          • Jezza

            I will not stop “crying about spending” because that’s precisely why we’re in this position, Why don’t you answer the perfectly reasonable questions I asked you rather than just argue the toss.

          • Mike Adam

            They are irrelevant! We have the players we have until January and maybe beyond, manage them. What other manager in the league would have started Horselu in 13 straight? We do not know for sure, but I would bet not many at all.

          • Jezza

            My questions are not irrelevant. Your own comment makes that clear. If Rafa is purely to blame for where we are then tell me who could we realistically get who could do a better job with these players?

          • Clarko

            Firstly I want to state that I do not want Benitez sacked, I think that’s ridiculous. However he is to blame for whatever happens this season, despite your constant argument of Newcastle having an “£11.5 million net” spend, Newcastle have spent €42.30m this season and sold no one of importance, net spend is an irrelevant point, the team has had a perfectly acceptable amount of investment to be competitive and the team is being competitive, we’re 12th.

            Benitez has bought the team and he picks the team, he is responsible for whatever happens this season. That being said we should all be prepared for a relegation battle, we should be in a relegation battle, we’re a newly promoted team, we are exactly where we should be, you suffer from delusions of grandeur, you come on here complaining about an irrelevant net spend, saying how “weak” the squad is after the team has lost to the Premier League Champions while putting in a respectable performance. It’s just delusion.

          • Mike Adam

            It is not a case of placing blame because the owner, manager, and players who are playing all share it. The players who don’t get a chance cannot do better because they don’t get on the pitch. There is a great difference between the top six and the rest of the league! We need points any place we can get them, especially against the other 13 teams not in the top six.

          • Jezza

            I’m still waiting for you to answer my question:

            Who could we realistically get who could do a better job than Rafa?

            Stop ducking the question and give me a straight answer.

          • 1957

            Mitrovic for example might have made us no better, but he might have improved us, we’ll never no because Benitez won’t play him. I wouldn’t shed tears if the world class tactical genius left tomorrow, anywhere else he would be close to the sack

          • Mike Adam

            Exactly, that is the point! Well said mate.

          • Jezza

            Who would you realistically like to see replace Rafa?

          • 1957

            Quite honestly I think just about anyone could do a better job of using the resources at hand than Benitez.

          • Jezza

            Such as Joe Kinnear then? Because that’s who we’re looking at now Pardew has gone to West Brom.

          • HTL

            Are you for real?, whats the matter? we have had some under par performances, (imho because of the lack of quality and depth of the squad)
            The manager can only work with what he has, he is not a magician,
            To replace him would be madness, when we were promoted we knew it would be a challenge to stay in the premier league. and the manager and team are trying their best, If we are not good enough to avoid relegation it wont be for the lack of trying it will be because we are one of the worst 3 teams in the division.

          • Mike Adam

            But he is not working with what he has! That is the point some of us are making. I do not want Rafa sacked as Jezza has accused me of. I want him to use all of the players at his disposal! He is also making very questionable decisions when it comes to substitutes. Yesterday, not making any offensive substitutions at 2 – 1 down!!! Subbing Hayden for Perez in the 71st minute when you have Mitro, Aarons, and Shelvey on the bench. It is not magic!!!

          • hetonmag

            Mate you are banging your head against a brick wall as soon as the going gets tough sack the manager it’s pathetic one name has already been put forward we should have got Pardew back my god are these people for [email protected]@@in real.

  • Kev-82

    Massive question on Rafa today on playing Ritchie at left back. It’s completely back fired. Also Puzzled how Diame got the nod ahead of Shelvey who came on and changed the game on Tuesday. 2 decisions that appear to have cost us today.

    • Jezza

      Rafa was reduced to playing Ritchie at left back today because Fatso wouldn’t allow him the funds to buy a specialist left back in the summer when we lost Dummett to a long term injury.

      • Kev-82

        We’ve not had a left back since 1st game of the season, yet that’s the first time I’ve seen Ritchie playing there. If he wanted to play 5 at the back then Yedlin should have kept his place and Manquillo at LB or just stuck to 4 at the back with Mbemba LB and Hayden & Shelvey at DM to support defence.

        • Jezza

          That’s precisely my point. We should have signed a replacement for Dummett. If Fatso had made the funds available in the summer we wouldn’t be having this discussion now.

          • nufcslf

            This does and will keep going back to fatty’s running of the club. Like it or lump, it is cused across the board until he is no more.

      • Mike Adam

        Bull !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excuses

        • Jezza

          You are the one makling excuses for Fatso. Don’t worry Rafa will be gone soon and we’ll have Joe Kinnear back and then you will be happy.

          • Mike Adam

            Rafa got it all wrong today, again! He refuses to give some players a chance! Along with a few key injuries!

          • Jezza

            Do really think we have got the quality of players in our squad to beat Chelsea away?

    • 1957

      It the usual flawed selections we see each game, Benitez decision to continue to use failing players beggars belief. He’s no world class manager

  • Mrkgw

    Sorry everyone, but I’m not happy with Rafas performance today. The initial selection posed questions with Diame not worthy of a starting place, nor Perez in truth either. 2-1 down and the game was there for Shelvey and Mitro to come in have a go but what does our esteemed Manager do. He waits, he dithers. And bang, 3-1 before he makes his move. Into the last ten minutes. Chance for Mitro? Nope, he puts in the out of form Yedlin – a defender for heavens sake. If Mitro is a disruptive influence Rafa – please tell us. Otherwise, we can only assume that he doesnt like or trust the lad. But for me, chief culprit today was Rafa – his counterpart in Conte and his Chelsea side taught him a footballing lesson.

    • Mitros gotta start

      No mitro…no shelvey…no aarons…..no clue
      Clueless by rafa today…..he needs to take a lot of the blame for today…..he is as much to blame as the useless donkeys he picked!

  • Leicester Mag

    Did we stand a chance today with our strongest line up – almost certainly not. Did the selection change that ? Without doubt making this an almost nailed on certainty. That’s the problem currently we are dying without trying something new. No new ideas, profound negativity from Rafa. Had any of the previous 3 clowns served this dogs dinner of team sheet they’d have been slaughtered.

    • Mike Adam

      Well said! Defeatest attitude, “dying without trying” that is the crime Rafa is guilty of!!!

    • nufcslf

      All far too easy and it is a worry how predictable it was. I didn’t even react that much even going 1 up knowing what was coming. Needs this take over and a fresh start or is that too much to ask as well.

      • Dillon Tovak

        I agree about the reaction to us scoring.

  • Natturner26

    Away to Chelsea after a midweek game: Rafa tries a new formation and leaves out the players who can be effective against stronger opposition: Shelvey and Mitro. I can see how in some ways Rafa has been good for Newcastle, but I have a growing feeling that if he stays much longer we are going down with Rafa at the helm again.

    • Jezza

      We will go down a lot quicker if Rafa goes. It’s only because of Rafa we’re not already in the bottom three. In fact it’s only because of Rafa that we got back into the Premiership in the first place.

      • Natturner26

        He spent Premiership money after going down to buy a bunch of Championship players, many who he never played only to be stuck with, and then got massively lucky to win the league. Two teams tanked at the end of the season. He blew his multi-year budget in the year he shouldn’t have needed it. Our club was boring to watch even in the year they were supposed to be miles above the opposition.

        • Dillon Tovak

          You’re right, let’s turn on him.
          Who shall we go for? Pep?

          • Natturner26

            Dumb comment. There are plenty of available managers. I am one of the crazy few who wishes we got Pardew back. Our expectations were too high then. His managerial statistics are very impressive compared to any other manager we’ve had in recent memory.

          • Dillon Tovak

            Is that a joke?

          • Jezza

            The person who made the comment is a joke.

          • Jezza

            Yes Pardew’s “managerial statistics are very impressive” after having accumulated the lowest points total of any league team in the entire four divisions in the calendar year of 2016.

        • HarryHype59

          He is working within hand behind his back, due to the fat man treating us like an SD budget sports shop! However, he hasn’t helped the situation buying quantity over quality !

          Too many of his buys such as Hanley, Lazaar, Sels, Murphy, Manky, Lejuerne and Drosselu no better and even worse than players already here!

        • Jezza

          Rafa never had a budget when we went down. He made a £40 million profit.

          • Natturner26

            He spent over 56 million pounds on players last season. In the Championship. That isn’t a budget?

          • Jezza

            No it’s not a budget, not when he had to sell over £90 million worth of Premiership players to spend that £50 million.

  • Dillon Tovak

    So many people on here are pretty ridiculous.
    Before a ball was kicked with the squad Rafa was allowed to assemble, how did you think we’d do this year? Lose a lot. Be pretty poor.

    Now it’s actually happening it’s ALL RAFA’S fault?
    Why because he didn’t pick a slightly less bad player over another rubbish player?

    Well if you’re that blinkered and short sighted, blame it on Rafa. Claim he’s past his sell by date or lost it (both things I’ve read today) and then enjoy the clueless dimwit that replaces him.

    • Jezza

      Excellent comment.

    • Mrkgw

      Did you watch the game Dillon?

      • Dillon Tovak

        Yeah.

        • Mrkgw

          The selections were baffling. Bringing on a defender when we were chasing the game. Aarons, Mitro were on the bench at the time. The only surprise was that Rafa didnt call upon his favoured Joselu. Don’t get me wrong, I like Rafa and would be gutted were he to leave. Nevertheless, his status amongst the faithful doesnt absolve him of the odd bit of criticism.

    • Leicester Mag

      Not sure anyone is saying it is all Rafa’s fault. there are though decisions that are difficult to understand. The continuing selection of what many see as the poorest of the poor. Ultimately this unfolding car crash lies at the door of Ashley no doubt. It’s like lining a middleweight boxer against a heavyweight. My concern is at present Rafa sends the middleweight out without gloves. sack him? No! Question nothing he does, no either.

      All said where the anger really needs to be aimed is Ashley. He has to leave and if he stays every effort needs to be made to change his mind. Come January and nothing changes all hell needs to break loose.

      • Mike Adam

        Sure it is ultimately Ashley’s fault, but we have the players we have and they need to be managed and some need to be given a chance. We will never know what some of them “could” do unless they are given a chance! Also, some should not even make the squad!

      • Dillon Tovak

        Well that’s a perfectly formed argument that I have no issues with.
        That’s not my point, I’m feeling the same way, but on here and the chronicle there is a bit of a turn with people losing faith with Rafa and even insulting him.
        I honestly believe as exasperated as we feel currently, Rafa is feeling it more. It’s his job and reputation on the line.

        • GToon

          Its the simple straightforward choices ppl find hard to grasp. Diame or Hayden. Diame or shelvey. Who on earth wud put Diame in?

          • Mike Adam

            Nobody would.

    • nufcslf

      He was given a very weak squad to work with by the fat one not spending any money which it was to be expected , but Rafa has always been very stubborn with his choice of players at every club he has been at. It has cost him his job in the past, but it didn’t take a world class manager to see how the 11 on the football finished against West Brom to think that it might not be a bad way to start the next match no matter who it is against. He picks the team and has to believe in it, doesn’t mean the paying customer has to agree with it.

      • Mike Adam

        Well said, Rafa does nothing to instill confidence in his players.

  • ash1001

    Rafa does have a lot to answer for, some of his selections are very strange, we might not be managers but we do have football knowledge, most know that SloMo, Perez, and Joselu bring nothing to the table, yet Rafa continues to pick them. OK some make lack of spending as the excuse, well its not going to get any easier. and team selections and format are not helping, that’s down to Rafa. It is time that Rafa had a hard look at himself, not the best by any means but Colback is better than SloMo, but Rafa does not want to know. My point is that Rafa is not playing fair by all the members of his squad.
    Will not mention the season DeJong is having in Holland, or Thauvin in France,

    We need a Kevin Nolan style Character so ruffle a few feathers in the club.

    • Mrkgw

      Agreed, I’d have De Jong in the side over Diame. Or, as you mention even Colback. Things really are that bad!

    • Dillon Tovak

      This is precisely my point of people have completely lost focus when they are arguing bringing Colback back in instead of Diame or Mitrovic in for Joselu is going to change a thing.
      Or De Jong would make a difference.
      It’s laughable.
      What would make a change is investment in the playing staff.

      • GToon

        Mitro is better than Joselu and colback is better than Diame and wud allow shelvey to play further forward. Poor from Rafa today.

    • Jezza

      Bringback Colback, Dear God. You are talking about a player who was an absolute liability in the Championship. What ever next? Maybe we should bring back Nile Ranger and Riviere to solve our striking problem.

      • GToon

        Colback is better than Diame.

        • Jezza

          Well Colback may be just slightly less horrendously bad than Diame but he is not the answer to our problems. Neither of those two players are anywhere near Premiership standard.

          • GToon

            True but colback allows shelvey to push forward. Diame just creates havoc. When he went off I told my son we’d just subbed their best player. Not quite true but u know what I mean.

  • GToon

    There was a passage of play today where Diame passed the ball to one of their players. They attacked and the ball went into the air. They had lost they ball but Diame headed it back to them. How can any side do well with a cretin like that in its ranks? That’s not to mention his inability to pass to a teammate or track back. I am 50 now and I can’t think of a worse player in his position at the moment. Yet he gets picked!!!

    • Mxpx

      Well there is jack colback ! I’m in full agreement diame’s useless though !