Newcastle Roundup: Player Focus and Rafa Benitez

Top of the EPL after week 18. 4 points clear of the boys at the Etihad

Indeed, Christmas came early for the club & Liverpool supporters. What a ride it has been; 15 wins, no losses and the team is just hitting top gear. Did I mention our best ever start to a season? Am sorry (NOT) for getting carried away. It has been a joy to watch Fabinho, Shaqiri, Keita catch up and intensify the battle for places; Allison’s assurance in goal and best of all, a defence that has conceded the least amount of goals in the Premier League. What a time to be a fan of The Mighty Reds.

Before I lose my head in thoughts, it is the last game of the first half of the season. And it is Newcastle at Anfield. So some persons may go, it is just Newcastle. But the Magpies have been a bit of a bogey for our teams in the past. Even with their mixed fortunes, over the last five games (1 win, 2 draws and 2 losses), they are capable of attempting a surprise. In order to prevent that, a certain Salomon Rondon has to be held at Bay…

SALOMON RONDON: The Man In Stripes That Must be stopped

Salomon Rondon joined Newcastle in the summer of 2018 on loan from West Bromwich Albion and opened his league account on 10th November 2018, helping the Magpies defeat Bournemouth 2–1. Since then, he has scored 3 more and assisted 2 in 13 appearances. Not coincidentally, Newcastle’s ascent up the bottom half of the table coincided with his return from his brief spell on the sidelines with an injury picked up in the game against Crystal Palace, earlier in September.

Our centre halves will do well to be aware of his positioning and not lose concentration, so as to not receive any boxing day surprises.

RAFA BENITEZ; The Man We Hate to Hate

Need I say more? It is Rafa, who most fans still see as one of their own. He is also a master tactician and quite competitive; so we best believe that he will not be very festive in his approach. But we forgive him in advance. Hopefully, we’ll get the 3points anyway.

Have yourselves a very, merry Christmas from all of us at FOAR. YNWA!!!

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