The Newcastle Board – A Study In Incompetence

If Rafa Benitez can save us now from relegation then it will qualify as a real miracle – the second of his career after what happened in Istanbul in 2005 – with the distressing news tonight that Rob Elliot has sustained a knee injury playing for Ireland and the injury looks a bad one.

People at Newcastle will say we were just unlucky, but we could see this coming ever since Tim Krul was injured back in October and Rob was the only experienced goalkeeper available – and therefore what would happen if he was injured – and he has a history of thigh injuries.

lee charnley and mike ashley

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley

Once again the Newcastle Board made no attempt to bring in a an experienced goalkeeper with only Karl Darlow and 18 year-old Freddie Woodman available if Rob was to be injured.

An easy solution after Tim was injured was to sign up former goalkeeper Steven Harper who was a free agent, but Sunderland have signed him up – so he’s not available.

Management is  responsible for planning plan for things that may happen and if you believe in Murphy’s Law – then if something bad can happen it will – and at the worst possible time.

And that’s what seems to be what has happened with Rob Elliot – but we don’t yet know the extent of the injury – but it didn’t look good as he was stretched off tonight.

The Board have spent £82M in transfer fees this season, yet we don’t have a fit left back and still don’t have a Premier League goalscorer after they refused to sign Charlie Austin either last summer or in January.

They appointed Steve McClaren in the summer only days after he had been fired by Derby County and that followed the disastrous appointment of John Carver – both of whom were nowhere near good enough to manage Newcastle – and the results proved that.

So you don’t have to look too far to know why Newcastle are second bottom of the league without a recognized left-back available for several weeks and a goalkeeper – Karl Darlow – who will come in with just one Premier League appearance to his name for the final eight critical games of the season.

As we said earlier – if Rafa can save us now – this will be a bone fide miracle – a real miracle.

And to finish on a positive note – which is difficult – it’s a great opportunity for Karl Darlow to be a hero for Newcastle this season and he will certainly get lots and lots of support from the fans.

What’s Newcastle’s Plan In Case Rob Elliot Injured?

Comments welcome.

37 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 29, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #1

    So no left back and Janmaat struggling this is potentially what we can field who will be fully fit:

    Darlow GK
    Mbemba RB
    Taylor CB
    Lascalles CB
    Anita LB

    Just focus on all 4 of the defenders to defend and not pass the half way line and let the midfield and attackers attack meaning no one getting caught out of position

  • AncientC

    Mar 29, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #2

    Ed’s link at the bottom of the article. lol – I think that was aimed at somebody in particular.

  • Jib

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa reckons the defence is no big deal just a matter of organisation.
    Goalies get injured that’s why you have at least 3 on the books.
    Darlow is OK.
    It’s down the other end that matters most.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #4

    Looking at that picture of those two smiling buffoons. What a decision if it was your last bullet!

  • Toon Tang

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #5

    Magic bullet Jail?

    “Back and to the left… Back and to the left”

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #6

    Darlow and Saylor in a defence together? Look like brothers, Brothers Grim, very grim. What a pair of disasters waiting to happen.

  • martoon

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #7

    Toon Tang @28 from last topic – I agree with you about Lallana – how Hoddle thinks he was a candidate for the MoM is beyond me.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #8

    Stoke have lost Butland in very similar and unnecessary circumstances and have the Mackems, Swansea and Palace to play .
    Now we loose Elliot and have Swansea and Palace to play as well.
    Voodoo ?

  • magicmac

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #9

    Lets be honest we really dont deserve to have a great manager like Rafa, and we deserve to go down as we have a bunch of clowns running our club, and it wont ever get any better under that scumbag Ashely, and his loyal little yes men on the so called football board, you usually get what you deserve in life, and for sure a great football club like Newcastle United, dont deserve these load of toe rags running our great club. Howay the lads.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #10

    That rounds off a perfect evening. A picture of those Toby jugs grinning stupidly and being stupid and acting stupid like..stupid…things.

  • Graeme

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #11

    Just don’t let Taylor outside the 18 yard box. By the time he thinks – Oh, Danger – the ball is in our net!! Not fit to plug holes!!

  • Tsunki

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #12

    After an interesting thought mining process about Miller tonight I thought he summed himself up well. Lousy crossing, poor runs and not great awareness. Plus he seems to have lost that engine.

    Danny Roses mackem stint didn’t for him any favours. Woys multi subs also stopped us scoring.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #13


  • jimmysmith

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #14

    Right, so we can safely say that the Milner sale was in fact a catalyst for the departure of Keegan, who was ultimately furious that he didn’t get the funds to go in another direction and that in fact the opposite was true in that other key players were being shopped around in the final moments of that very same window. Keegan walks, constructive dismissal case ensues.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #15

    I think there will be a hasty scribbling of team sheets this week. Welcome to Newcastle United.

  • Ravostag

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #16

    We seem to be writing Karl Darlow off? The bloke has over one hundred league appearances to his name, the majority in the Championship, surely then he is hardly inexperienced? If he is not that good then why on earth did we sign him???

  • giimps

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #17

    just when we thought things were bad enough, the fickle finger of fate throws us another curveball…..time will tell if it has any impact on our season…..Rafa working on the defence may (hopefully ) negate the need for a world class goalkeeper (not that I’m saying Elliott is world class, but he’s been very good since he came in) having an attacking threat will push the opposition back ,Siem keeping the ball going forward with pace down the wings and a striker or 3 in the box might just get us more goals in the last 8 games than we have scored in the 30 games we have played so far…..if not, clean sheets means we only need to score a goal a game or.every other game and wel stay up…….I’m not sure if we will, Darlow has been courted for over 3 seasons and been on our books for 1.75 so somebody has seen something about him, he’s English so it wasn’t Carr and he may just be a shouter …..I’m sure Benitez plays zonal marking though so that shouldn’t matter for most of the set plays, just hope he is a sweeper keeper to allow us to press higher up the pitch with Mbember and Lascalles in the middle……does anyone know if Haidara or Mbabu are available for the fullback positions, if not play 3 CB Aaron’s and Toonsend wing backs siem, Gini and Tiote/Saivet as midfield enforcers with Mitrovic and Cisse up top……..go for it with all guns blazing and for gods sake keep sissoko away

  • Moonraker15

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    Comment #18

    Wtf are you guys going on about the Milner sale for? Jesus H Christ you are living in the past; he’s been gone years!
    It is ironic though that on the day Rara says the board have given him everything he needs, he ain’t hot a goalie or a left back! Crisis? What crisis? Only at NUFC

  • Moonraker15

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #19


  • Jib

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #20

    To the tune of Jim Reeves “Welcome to my world”

    “Welcome to our blog
    Won’t you come on in
    Full of whining wimps
    With their whinging din”

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #21

    Milner, whether now on the decline or not, although I doubt it at only 30, and immensely fit and professional, has had an almost exemplary EPL career, particularly in the period beginning in the season before his sale to Villa up to now. A 7/10 player Premier League performer, week in, week out, anywhere across the midfield and offering just the sort of stability and consistency we’ve lacked for as long as I can remember.

  • Moonraker15

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    Comment #22

    It’s true, we need to have faith in Darlow. He’s probably a better keeper than Elliott if truth be known. It would be typical if we survived with Darlow and Lascelles in the team ! How many clean sheets has Elliott had ? Lol

  • stuart no9

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    Comment #23

    Ravo , playing in the championship is a differant world from the prem . the prem has class strikers that will give who ever comes in as keeper a day to forget, they will know he is a rookie and they will just pepper his goal , its not looking good at all

  • lesh

    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #24


    You asked how we could have such bad luck.

    Didn’t Ashley say we had to make our own? Fine, but and with our so called board making it….. what more do we expect.

  • Moonraker15

    Mar 29, 2016 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #25

    Welcome to the blog and your question of why we signed Darlow! That’s interesting cos all our signings are normally good ones ! Hahahaha

  • Jib

    Mar 29, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #26

    He’s fit as hell , trains real hard and is a big physical specimen with vey little skill.Another Obertan who got lucky.

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 29, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #27

    Yes, as I said “immensely fit and professional”, and technically good enough to play 250 league games for Villa, an excellent City side and now Liverpool, as well as 60 full England caps. Obertan isn’t half the player, obviously. If he ever got lucky at all. he earned it through hard graft.

  • Jib

    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #28

    Very similar career path to Gareth Barry
    400+games for Villa 100+ for Man City nearly 60 caps for England and bang average

  • jayphoto

    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #29

    Elliot has done brilliantly and is unfortunate but Darlow technically speaking is a better goalkeeper. Elliot is exceptionally brave but his positioning And decision making aren’t the best. Great reactions but i find he saves stuff he shouldn’t get near but lets stuff past him he should do better with.
    Our season won’t be decided by darlow or elliot. Its the other 10 i worry about

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #30

    I’d have loved to have had those two players on our books over the last 8 years. Both top and proven EPL midfielders, in place of some of the genuinely bang average ones we’ve had. Colback is better described as bang average by comparison to either, so is Anita, for example.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #31

    I think it’s game over for us with elliot injury. No one is there to single handedly keep us in the game anymore.

    I have no faith in darlow and he’s a poor keeper. We are going down.

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:50 AM

    Comment #32

    Darlow, like Elliot might surprise us, but you’d imagine he’s more likely to struggle under the immense pressure he’ll face. We really have not made our own luck though have we. We gambled on a young and incomplete group of players, and have been caught out.

  • Santon03

    Mar 30, 2016 at 4:54 AM

    Comment #33

    let’s not start blame game again, nobody can see this coming, 2 gk out injured in friendlies.
    need to be stronger, not acting like a little b1tch looking for someone to blame, sh1t happens!

    Look at Donnarumma, he just turned 17. He was 3rd choice from 3 gk behind Abbiati and Lopez.

  • Derek

    Mar 30, 2016 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #34

    Relegation is definitely not a certainty. Remember we survived last season with John Carver as manager, Anita and Colback in CM, and Williamson as CB.

    I daresay we have a greater chance of survival this season, even with Darlow in goal.

    We just need to recognise it’s the players performance that counts as the number 1 influence to our survival. If they give 100% and the fans give 100% support to the players, we can stay up. Rafa is not the be all and end all, just a good source of instruction and inspiration.

  • John Akomfrah

    Mar 30, 2016 at 5:37 AM

    Comment #35

    bookies rarely get it wrong

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 30, 2016 at 6:15 AM

    Comment #36

    Yep, time for Darlow to step up, hopefully our top scouting network have got it right this time.

  • Blofal

    Mar 30, 2016 at 7:00 AM

    Comment #37

    Darlow is a good keeper. He was good for Forest. He just needs some confidence. We need to get behind him and do our part as fans.


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