Extra task for Rafa
Fabio Pecchia and Rafa Benitez
Given the excitement caused by the recent press release confirming Rafa
Benitez was staying, the following sentence didn't attract much
"A further announcement regarding Benitez's coaching staff will be
made in due course".
However there does look to be at least one alteration to that coaching
staff, with news that Rafa's assistant Fabio Pecchia is set to leave
The 42 year-old Italian worked alongside Benitez at Napoli, Real Madrid and
Newcastle, but is now widely expected to take charge of Hellas Verona
following their demotion to Serie B.
Same old, same old
Interviewed by a radio station in his native Argentina last week, Fabricio
Coloccini has once again spoken of his desire to rejoin former club San
Echoing previous comments, Colo confirmed that he had a verbal offer from the
Buenos Aires club and wouldn't consider joining anyone else but needs to "respect
the people of Newcastle" (or at least the ones on Barrack Road still
The 34 year-old defender remains under contract at Gallowgate but hasn't
featured since the arrival of Rafa Benitez - officially sidelined with calf
This latest declaration of love for the club he played at in 2001 hasn't been
universally reciprocated by their fans though, especially those witnessing his
fading powers via Premier League matches on TV:
"Stay in Newcastle and eat fish & chips" is probably our
favourite response from them so far....
Colo's comments came as San Lorenzo faced Lanus in the final of the Argentine
Championship. Given that San Lorenzo were thumped 0-4 though, it sounds like
he's already signed for them....
King of the hill(s)
to Mark Allison aka Run Geordie Run for completing 1,000 miles of his
latest charity trek, leaving him 2,400 miles away from the finish
The 30th day of Mark's route from Portugal to Turkey found him once again
grappling with steep inclines through the Pyrenees - check RGR's twitter
here for some spectacularly scenic photos.
Mark's efforts - and that of his support crew - are aimed at raising funds for
the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Children's Foundation. All donations
massively appreciated online
Owls and Tykes confirmed
The composition of next season's Championship has now been finalised, after
the League One playoff final which saw Barnsley beat Millwall
3-1 at Wembley.
The Tykes gained their third victory this
season over the Lions and in so doing, secured a second Wembley success in as many
months after winning the Football League Trophy.
Magpies striker Ivan Toney
played the final game of his loan spell at the Oakwell club, coming off
the bench on 81 minutes when the scoring was over.
win for Hull City over Sheffield Wednesday at the National
Stadium on Saturday ensured promotion to the top flight for the Tigers and
means that Newcastle will travel to Hillsborough in 2016/17.
Steve Bruce's side returned to the Premier League after a one season absence,
but there was to be no farewell appearance for old boy Ryan Taylor, who
featured just four times in the league this season.
The line-up of all 24 teams in the
Championship next season is as follows:
||Preston North End
We'll be doing a daily preview of all 23 opponents on NUFC.com starting on Wednesday
France: Moussa Sissoko
Mon 30.05.2016 Cameroon (h) won 3-2
Midfielder Moussa appeared as a 65th minute substitute in this friendly
victory in Nantes.
Sat 04.06.2016 Scotland (h) Metz FR
Serbia: Aleksandar Mitrovic
Tue 31.05.2016 Israel (h) Novi Sad FR
Sun 05.06.2016 Russia (n) Monte Carlo FR
Wed 01.06.2016 Poland (a) Gdansk FR
Sat 04.06.2016 Austria (a) Vienna FR
DR Congo: Chancel Mbemba (tbc)
Thu 02.06.2016 Madagascar (a) Antananarivo ACNQ
Thu 02.06.2016 Portugal (Wembley) FR
Wales: Paul Dummett
Sun 05.06.2016 Sweden (a) Stockholm FR
Slovakia U21s: Lubo Satka
Wed 01.06.2016 Ukraine (h) Poprad FR
Sun 05.06.2016 England C (a) Sutton FR
England U19s: Freddie
Sat 04.06.2016 Mexico (a) Mexico City FR
Mon 06.06.2016 Mexico (a) Mexico City FR
Ex-Magpie player involvement in Euro 2016:
England: Fraser Forster, James Milner
France: Yohan Cabaye
Hungary: Tamas Kadar
Ireland: Shay Given
Northern Ireland: Shane Ferguson, Aaron Hughes
(Patrick van Aanholt and Luuk De Jong are also in the Dutch selection for their friendly
Starting them young
new series of football fun sessions for 2/3 and 3/4 year-old boys and girls
begins this Sunday (June 5th) at The Linskill Centre, North Shields, NE30
Footy Pupz courses take place on six consecutive Sunday mornings, with
the 2/3 year olds kicking off at 10am and the 3/4 year olds commencing at
Courses usually cost £38 but bookings received by Tuesday will qualify
for a discount rate of £30.
Both courses will be repeated on Saturdays from July 30th. Places can
be booked online here,
with more details available via the logo below, on facebook @ footypupz or by
ST price cut
Thanks to Andrew Murdy for photo
Newcastle United have confirmed that all season ticket prices for the 2016/17
season at St. James' Park will be reduced by ten per cent across the board.
The Club announced in February that it had reduced all junior season ticket
prices for next season by up to 54 per cent, as well as freezing adult season
Following relegation to the Championship and confirmation that manager Rafa
Benitez will remain at Newcastle United, a new ten per cent discount has now
been applied to reward supporters' loyalty.
Supporters on long-term price deals will receive a ten per cent reduction on
the prices sent to them in February and will receive refunds or reductions in
their monthly payments.
Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, said:
"With our future under Rafa now secured, we are delighted to announce
price reductions across the board for all supporters.
"Your loyalty through these challenging times has been magnificent and it
is right that we now reward you with savings for our 2016/17 Championship
The Club will now be writing to season ticket holders in the coming days and
weeks, detailing new prices and the process of how refunds and/or reductions
will be managed.
For supporters wanting to purchase a one-year season ticket:
For example, an adult in our category 2 seating, you'll be paying £520 for
your season ticket instead of £578 in 2015/16. Combined with the additional
four games, this brings the per-game price down from £30 to under £23.
Prices in the Family Area are £68 for under-18s and £329 for adults. This
means a per-game price of £3 for under-18s and just over £14 for adults.
Juniors across the board will see significant reductions from their 2015/16
Fans with an existing one-season, half-season and five-game season ticket will
be able to renew online, over the phone or via our Matchday Box Office from
Tuesday (31st May).
We will make applications forms and monthly direct debit forms available
online from Monday, 6th June.
In the meantime, all seats which were occupied during the 2015/16 season will
be reserved until Friday, 1st July to enable season ticket holders to keep
If the Club has not heard from 2015/16 season ticket holders by Wednesday,
15th June, a prompt will be issued giving all the information needed to renew.
Existing hospitality customers will also benefit from a ten per cent discount
and the Club will be in contact shortly to confirm new prices.
Local crime author and Toon fan Howard Linskey has penned a
new book featuring characters introduced in his successful 2015 release, "No
Set in the North East during the 1990s, "Behind Dead Eyes" contains
a mix of corpses, conspiracies and criminals familiar to readers of his
Thanks to publishers Penguin we have signed copies of "Behind Dead
Eyes" to give away and to be in with a chance of winning, just
identify this 1990's Magpie:
your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
(subject: Eyes). Closing date is Wednesday @ Noon - one entry per
person please - UK addresses only please.
Howard will be signing books at Waterstones in Durham on Friday from 1pm to 2pm
and at Waterstones in Newcastle on
Saturday, also from 1pm-2pm.
PS: We're unsure whether it's national or just at stores in the region,
but "Behind Dead Eyes" is currently on offer at Sainsburys for just £3.99.
Rams appoint old boy
Championship side Derby County have confirmed the arrival of Nigel
Pearson as their new first team manager, succeeding interim boss Darren
Former Magpies coach Pearson has been out of the game since being relieved of
his managerial post at Leicester City in June 2015.
The Rams were one of several Championship clubs with a vacancy; Aston Villa,
Blackburn, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Reading and Rotherham United also
currently looking for a new messiah.
From NUFC, Friday:
Newcastle United will travel to
Ireland in July for a week-long pre-season training camp.
The Magpies will be based in County Kildare from Saturday 9th to Saturday 16th
July, where they will step up their preparations for the 2016/17 Skybet
At this time there will be no fixtures during the training camp, however the
Club are in the advanced stages of finalising a number of friendlies for
elsewhere in the pre-season campaign.
United prepared for the
2009/10 Championship season by training at Carton House in Maynooth, County
Kildare before facing Shamrock Rovers in Dublin.
When they returned to Carton House for pre-season in 2010 however, no games in
Ireland were scheduled.
outlets in Belgium claim that Newcastle are to face Sporting Lokeren at
their Daknam Stadium as part of our pre-season preparations.
The game is claimed to be set for Saturday July 23rd with a kickoff of 5pm
local time - although there's no confirmation of the fixture from either club
United previously visited Lokeren for an Intertoto Cup tie back in July 2001,
running out 4-0 winners before beating the Belgians 1-0 on Tyneside a week
Sporting remain in the top flight of Belgian football and finished eleventh
last season. Their current manager Georges Leekens was in charge of Club Brugge
the last time we visited Belgium, in November 2012.
No strangers to the venue are our trio of ex Belgian League players Cheick
Tiote, Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic all having played there - Mitro
netting for Anderlecht in his last two visits.
News of possible pre-season opponents from the Chronicle includes visits to Premier League new boys Burnley
and League Two-bound Doncaster Rovers.
A home game against a team tbc leading up to the opening weekend of the Championship season
on August 6th has also been mentioned.
Proud sponsors of NUFC.com
Having opted not to debut next season's ensemble in the final game of last
season, official confirmation of what kit design Puma will provide Newcastle
with for their seventh season as official supplier is awaited.
These claimed designs are currently circulating online however, via the usual
kits online (including close ups)
On the anniversary of his Champions League Final victory with Liverpool, Rafa
Benitez has confirmed that he'll ignore the relegation break clause in his
Newcastle contract and remain at Gallowgate to honour the three year deal
agreed in March.
The 56 year-old Spaniard returned to Tyneside from his home on the Wirral on
Wednesday and was then unveiled (again) in a press conference at SJP.
That was open to all of the media, in contrast to the "preferred partners only" farce that Steve
McClaren endured upon his introduction almost a year ago.
"The first thing was for me is the fans, the stature of the Club and
the future. So I have seen all of these things together.
"I said in my press conference that I came here because of that and I
could see these things every day and especially the last game.
"There were a lot of positive things here from day one. Also my family is
in England and I wanted to stay here, so everything together means that I'm
really pleased and happy to be here.
"From day one, my relationship with Lee Charnley has been really good.
I'm very pleased working with him.
"When I was asking for something they were trying to give me what I
wanted and in this case when we were talking about the future they were quite
"The main thing for me is that I have assurances that we will have a
strong team - a winning team. If I am here again, I would say it's because I
am convinced we can go up next season.
"My family also told me - Rafa you have to stay.
"I needed a new challenge and a new project. I can see the possibilities
and the size of the club. It's massive....and I want to be part of that.
"I am convinced we can go up next season, we can stay for a long time in
the Premier League and win trophies.
"If I don't want to sell any players I don't need to sell any players. We have to start working - when I finish this press conference, I will
"The fans have been a major factor in my decision."
When asked about Chief Scout Graham Carr (who had reportedly met with
Benitez earlier in the day):
ďWhat I have is the
conviction that I can tell the fans that they donít need to be worried about
ďWe will try to bring the best players
possible, and we will try to have a very strong squad. I will take responsibility if we need to do it.
ďI have had different meetings with
different people, and I am quite happy. We will work hard and improve the team
as much as we want.
ďI donít have any problem (with
ďI donít want to talk about that,
because it is the first Press conference, but you will see that we can work
hard and we can improve the team and it will not be a problem.Ē
(As is often
the case, quotes come from various sources including the separate press
conferences staged for TV and newspapers).
Club statement, Wednesday:
Newcastle United are delighted
to confirm that Rafa Benitez will remain as Newcastle United manager, after
signing a new initial three-year contract.
On Wednesday afternoon the Spaniard put pen to paper on the deal which will
keep him on Tyneside until at least the summer of 2019.
Benitez will have day-to-day responsibility for all
football-related matters at the club.
The 56-year-old joined the Magpies in March, taking charge of the team for the
final ten games of the 2015/16 season.
Despite the club's eventual relegation, he led United to three victories and a
six-game unbeaten run, which culminated in a comprehensive 5-1 victory over
Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season.
Benitez said: "I am extremely pleased
to be staying at Newcastle United.
"The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me in my
decision to stay, as was my relationship with Lee Charnley and all the staff.
"This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can
see for Newcastle United."
Managing director Lee Charnley added: "When we brought Rafa to the club
in March, we knew he was a phenomenal manager and everything we have seen from
him since has only served to reinforce that.
"We are therefore delighted to have secured his services for the next
three years and I believe with Rafa as manager it gives us the best possible
chance of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking and
delivering success for this football club beyond that.
"It is clear that Rafa has connected deeply with the club's supporters
and we do not underestimate the role they have played in his decision to stay.
"He has captured the hearts and minds not just of the fans, but of
everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him at the club thus far.
"As a world-class manager we had no doubt in our minds as to the
importance of retaining him at Newcastle United."
A further announcement regarding Benitez's coaching staff will be made in due
All we can do is repeat part of our Spurs (h) waffle, which sums up things
nicely from our perspective:
If the price of keeping Benitez is relegation, then that certainly seems like
one that's worth paying for the long-suffering followers of this club, who
finally see something that they can believe in and have responded accordingly.
Include us in that.
Comparing this situation to Kevin Keegan's time in charge at the club is
valid, but rather than his first arrival as manager, our mind turns to the
Swindon home game and his "not like the brochure" line.
An upturn came after the manager asserted his position and stared down the
board - hopefully it's that element to be repeated this time.
will be televised
Almost as momentous as the Benitez news was a rare TV appearance
made by club MD Lee Charnley - for anyone who has never heard him speak
before, he hails from the Lancashire coast originally.
it online here (club website)
Charnley made other comments to the club
website that the Shields Gazette have helpfully transcribed:
ON HOW DELIGHTED HE IS THAT BENITEZ IS
"Iím absolutely delighted that Rafa
has committed to being the manager of Newcastle United. Itís taken us a
period of time, obviously, to get there. Weíve had a lot of talks and
discussions but weíve reached a point where we are both very, very happy,
very pleased to move forward and Iím delighted to secure one of what I
believe is the best managers in world.
"I think itís something clearly our fans will delighted to hear, the
staff, the players, but also the city.
WHAT MESSAGE DOES THIS SEND OUT?
"Iím not necessarily concerned
about what message it sends out to the footballing world but the message it
sends to our supporters is that weíve done everything we can to bring the
individual here who we think gives us the best possible chance of suvccess.
ON WHAT HE AND MIKE ASHLEY DID TO PERSUADE
BENITEZ TO STAY
"I donít think itís a case of the
conversations that have taken place over the last one or two weeks, I think it
goes back to the conversations that were first had prior to him joining the
club, the regular dialogue Iíve had with him.
"I enjoy a very good relationship with him and I believe the relationship
will go from strength to strength. I believe itís the efforts of all the
staff in all areas of the business, giving their all to him and his staff
members who came in and I think itís against that backdrop the conversations
we had at the end of the season when unfortunately we were relegated.
"I think he understands where this club wants to be and he appreciates
our desire is to get out of the Championship as quickly as we possible can. We
accept itís not going to be easy but our desire is to get out of the
division as quickly as we possibly can and then build this club.
ON WORKING WITH BENITEZ
"Heís been everything I expected
and if truth be told, more. When he was first identified as an individual we
would like to try and bring in it was very clear from the outset this was a
manager of the absolute highest calibre, one of the best managers in the
"Everything that Iíve seen from him Ė from his backroom staff who
have also been absolutely fantastic, what the other staff members who have
worked with him (have said), the views of the players Ė itís absolutely
clear that we have here one of the best managers in the world.
HOW MUCH FINANCIAL BACKING WILL BENITEZ
"Where we are is that our job is to
work together to ensure that we have a team and a squad that when the season
kicks off at the beginning of August we have given ourselves the best possible
chance of getting back into the Premier League at the first opportunity.
"I think his track record as manager,
what heís achieved prior to coming to Newcastle United, the conversations I
had before he came here and the conversations and relationship we have
developed since he came here, Iím in no doubt this is an individual who can
take us back to where we want to be.
ON THE ROLE OF THE FANS
"I think the way the supporters have
taken to Rafa has been absolutely fantastic. Itís clear that theyíve taken
him to their hearts and obviously that played a factor in us wanting to keep
"Certainly we donít underestimate the role the supporters have played
in trying to persuade Rafa that this was the best place for him.
"Rafa will have had a number of other options but I think a combination
of the love he feels from the supporters, the relationship he has with people
in the club, the support he knows he will get within the club, from within the
city, I think together with the supporters behind us it gives us the best
possible chance of achieving what we want to achieve.
ON NEW TICKET PRICES
"What we will be coming out with in
the coming days is some pricing for season tickets and corporate hospitality
packages for next season.
"What weíve tried to do with those prices is reward our most loyal
supporters and what we want is a full, loud and vibrant St Jamesís Park.
boys with new clubs:
Ben Pollock (Hartlepool
Former Magpies released this close season:
Craig Baxter (Gateshead)
Sylvain Distin (Bournemouth)
Ryan Donaldson (Cambridge United)
Jose Enrique (Liverpool)
James Marwood (Gateshead)
Matty Pattison (Gateshead)
Peter Ramage (Coventry City)
Jonathan Woodgate (smoggies)