Mikel Merino’s late winner ensured it was a good weekend for the Newcastle United fans here in the Transfer Tavern, who were delighted to see Rafa Benitez’s men move up to sixth in the Premier League table.
Despite a rocky start to life back in the top tier, our punters clad in black and white have been absolutely delighted with work done by Benitez on Tyneside, as he leads a largely unheralded group of players to what looks like being a strong campaign.
Indeed, every player under his stead at the moment is playing out of his skin and the work ethic shown by his players has absolutely delighted the Geordie contingent in our bar. Still, comments included in the Chronicle’s live blog (08:50) made by journalist Chris Waugh have proven rather interesting.
Providing an update on Chancel Mbemba, he shared some insight in regard to the defender’s status at St. James’ Park right now. Though the DR Congo international was deployed as left-back earlier in the season, Waugh reveals that Benitez does not fully trust the 23-year-old, who has now been left out three matchday squads on the bounce.
Mbemba certainly is a popular figure amongst the Toon Army who frequent in their droves, though it’s easy to see why he’s currently on the fringes. While few would doubt his talent and physical abilities, the defender can sometimes prove to be a bit rash, not a trait you’ll find often in a Benitez-coached team.