Newcastle United briefing: Rafa Benitez faces the media ahead of West Ham, Emmanuel Riviere exit

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez will face the media today ahead of tomorrow's home game against West Ham United.

Newcastle United take on Slaven Bilic's side at St James's Park looking for their first points of the new Premier League season.

Benitez's team go into the game on the back of three successive defeats.

One of the few positives to come from Wednesday night's Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest was the performance of Rolando Aarons.

And Aarons has spoken to the Gazette about his comeback game.

Here's your daily briefing:

Rolando Aarons

Rolando Aarons


It was injury-hit Aarons first appearance at St James's Park for more than a year.

The winger scored one goal and set up another for Aleksandar Mitrovic against the Championship club.

"It was quite emotional, really," said the 21-year-old.

"I haven’t played a game in 12 months competitively, and I love score here and I love scoring goals. It was good."

Aarons also spoke about his hopes for the season.

Stay or go

Mitrovic started against Forest, but the striker could yet leave United in this summer's transfer window.

An Italian club has had a loan bid for the 22-year-old rejected by Newcastle.

Speaking to the Gazette earlier this month, Mitrovic said: “I’m focused. We’ll see what happens.

"But, at the moment, I’m focused to try to do the best I can every training session and every game and to do the best with every chance I get.”

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Riviere today signed for French club Metz.

The move brought an end to the striker's forgettable three-year stay at United.

Riviere has signed a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 club.

Newcastle defender Stuart Findlay, 21, has joined Kilmarnock on loan until January.

No-go on Reina?

Benitez still hopes to bring a goalkeeper to the club this summer.

But the odds on a reunion with Napoli's Pepe Reina at St James's Park have receded.

Meanwhile, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has had his say on Newcastle's summer spending ahead of the game.

"They are not happy with the transfers, but they spent more money than we have spent in this transfer window, if we are talking about net money " said Bilic.

"OK, they maybe needed more to improve, because they came up from the Championship.

"It is a big club, they were all buzzing. They won the league and now it was 'now we are going to rule the world' or whatever.

"Maybe they tried. I think they tried. What I think happened is they tried, but maybe they were unable to get those targets that they wanted. Like we did last year, for example."


Isaac Hayden has given an insight into Benitez's management at Newcastle.

The midfielder said: “To be honest, the manager has been fantastic.

“We’ve got a young group and he hasn’t dug anybody out individually.

“He’s made it more of a team thing, and he’s been fantastic for everybody, especially the young lads, but also the whole team.

“It’s just about making sure that whoever gets on the pitch, whatever time that is, whether it’s for three minutes or 90, that they do themselves justice and do the fans justice too."