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Newcastle Suffer Shock 1-0 Defeat At Craven Cottage

9:55 pm, Friday, August 5th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 230 Comments

Newcastle started life in the Championship with a stunning and unexpected 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage tonight and the goal that beat us was another poor one with 6ft 6ins striker Matt Smith heading the ball home unchallenged after 45 minutes from a corner.

So it was another goal conceded from a set play.

Up to that point the game had been fairly even after Newcastle had started the game well but with Fulham coming into the game and with both sides claiming a penalty.

Newcastle’s claim looked after 35 minutes like a cast iron certainty as Matt Ritchie’s cross was clearly handled and it looked intentional but referee Simon Hooper waved play on.

matt smith

Matt Smith heads home the winner unchallenged after 45 minutes

On 26 minutes Newcastle could have given away a penalty after Grant Hanley got in a late and clumsy challenge in the box, but the referee waved play on.

In the second half Newcastle came out with more vigor and we had some decent chances but we couldn’t put the ball away and after four minutes of added time the result we didn’t was upon us – a defeat in our very first game.

In the second half it was winger Matt Ritchie who looked the most likely to score.

To an extent it was the same old failings – poor defending and not being to put away our chances – and it seems just like last year at this time we need to bring in an experienced striker.

And it’s a big concern if we keep conceding these sloppy goals from set plays and we conceded two of them last Saturday against Vitesse.

But we knew Fulham with new manager Slavisa Jokanovic would be good because of what he did for Watford two years ago when he took over in October and had them automatically promoted in May.

The last time we started in the Championship we were also 1-0 down at half-time at West Brom but we came back to draw the game 1-1.

We should have had at least a draw tonight with the chances – but when you don;t take them and you let in sloppy goals – well – you lose.

It’s certainly not the result we wanted or expected and there will be some big publicity about Newcastle losing the first game.

But the positive is that the summer bubble has been burst and we now know it really is going to be tough in the Championship this season – in case we didn’t believe that before.

But we cannot panic – we still have 45 games to go.


After the game Rafa Benitez made this comment:

“We have to improve, this game can be a wake-up call for all of us.”

And we can see three more players arriving on Tyneside before the end of August after this poor start, whether or not we lose any more of our current players.

It’s now going to be a long eight days before our next game when we play Huddersfield Town at home – who are another improved team this season.


Fulham: Button, Odoi, Kalas, Madl, Malone (Ream, 85), Cairney, Tunnicliffe (Parker, 68), McDonald, Ayite, Aluko, Smith (Christensen, 68). Subs not used: Joronen, Stearman, Edun, Woodrow.

Newcastle: Sels; Janmaat, Hanley, Lascelles, Dummett; Colback (Aarons, 61), Hayden (Shelvey, 77); Anita, Perez (Armstrong, 70), Ritchie; Gayle. Subs not used: Darlow, Gamez, Sterry, Mbemba. Goal: Smith 45 Bookings: Hanley 68, Dummett 75, Janmaat 90

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

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Tags: Championship · Match Reports · Newcastle News · Poll

230 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 9:57 PM


    Sorry mate lascelles was pants and made the biggest error which cost us the goal.

  • 2 Sir Eric // Aug 5, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    Ritchie looked good. Should have scored on that chance.

    Get Ayoze off set pieces.

    Really missed Mitro tonight with the way the match was going, he is much better with his back to goal. Which makes me wonder why we were making Ayoze play like that..

    Hopefully we will still sign a striker and a winger. Looking forward to a better performance in the next match.

  • 3 ShirebrookToon // Aug 5, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    Never mind. 45 games to go

  • 4 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 5, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    My god. At 7pm tonight most bloggers had us winning the league. Now they’re saying we’re shite and writing us off.

  • 5 lukes26 // Aug 5, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    Daryl Janmaat 7 some decent crosses, no partnership with anita
    Grant Hanley 6 looked a little slow
    Jamaal Lascelles (c), 5 at fault for goal
    Paul Dummett; 6 couple decent challenges …one horrible one. too many punts forward
    Isaac Hayden, 5 for me his movement and defensive positioning were poor. had some decent touches though
    Jack Colback; 5 not his day, too many overly ambitious passes
    Vurnon Anita, 5 abyssmal first half, decent second Ayoze Perez, 5 good positioning, horrible touches
    Matt Ritchie; 8 unlucky not to score, catalyst of most decent attacks
    Dwight Gayle 4 the invisible man..did very little other than having some hold up play

  • 6 WWSBRD // Aug 5, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    I think we will win the league

  • 7 toon22 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    We had chances but didnt take them,once they went 1 up they defended and we couldnt break em down.
    We need a big target man striker,Mitro is too hot headed and will get slaughtered with the new rules.
    The defense will come good we actually looked ok.
    Colbacks not as good as Anita in the middle.

  • 8 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    This has to be the team next week:


    Perez needs to improve, he was so poor. Not sure on the LM position, Aarons seems to raw at this stage so I’d say Anita. He wasn’t as bad when he played there. Really looking forward to Diame, we’ll finally have some strength up there.

  • 9 Back Door Man // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Predictions ……. OOT

    Anyway, I threw the chicken bones for martoon’s prediction game and declared we’d win ALL our games and get maximum points.  We now know that BDM’s is not on track to be the blog’s ‘daddy’ oracle.

    I saw nowt on show tonight to support the  generally held view (me included) that we’re going to ‘storm’ the division.  Let’s just hope it was just a stutter.

  • 10 Sir Eric // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Other than the crucial mistake for the goal, I thought Lascelles was decent? Won just about every header.

  • 11 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Fulham played without their 2 best players of last season. Dembele and McCormack.

    Still early days but time to bring in some quality or keep tiote and sissoko

  • 12 Ron Knee // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    I think we will be much better next week.

  • 13 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Typical Perez performance. Ineffective.

  • 14 martoon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Very disappointing result but as BandB set this afternoon let’s not have a nervous breakdown about it – very early days yet!

  • 15 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Well that was predictably unpredictable NUFC. We looked utterly toothless going forward, and pore to an error or caught out of position at the back.

    Whilst I think Colback has good attributes, you can’t ask him to be the guy spraying passes in a defensive midfield pairing. A ginger Pirlo he is not. Having said that, Shelvey was poor once on.

    Gayle had some nice touches, but mainly on the halfway line where Fulham allowed him to, didn’t threaten at all.

    Lascelles at fault for the goal, Hanley made some poor clearances and a few errors that we got away with, but add Mbemba and Clark to those 4 and I’m still happy with that as a Championship defence.

    Mitro’s suspension looks far more costly after that.

    Still, early days, we don’t often win on the opening day and there is still players to come in and Rafa says more signings to come. A wake up call for all those who thought we would walk it mind, particularly given Fulham are a short price to be in the bottom half.

  • 16 toon22 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    You think maybe Rafa wants a new striker and is making a point to those with the cash?

  • 17 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    I’m off to the John Smiths to see next week’s opponents against Brentford tomorrow.

  • 18 Ravensd // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    If you were listening on the radio, you would never know gayle was on the pitch. Definitely need to start diame or shelvey next week. Way too defensive to start, and was disappointed to see so many long balls flying in towards gayle who is all of 5’8

  • 19 ShirebrookToon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    We lacked power upfront we needed Diame in the no10 role Perez was get knocked about and looked like he was in la la land at times

  • 20 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:03 PM


    Agreed with you mate, Perez almost always flatters to deceive.

    Early days though, still think we’ll win the league but I’ll maintain want I’ve always said, it ain’t going to be easy

  • 21 WWSBRD // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    Decent team though I’d switch Shelvey and Diame and have Sissoko in for Anita

  • 22 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    I expected much more from Anita. Very disappointing performance.

  • 23 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    Not happy with that. We aren’t strong enough going forward. I was impressed with Ritchie and Janmaat. Hayden seems to be good at retaining the ball and will be a good squad player. Anita was poor in the first half, but had a much better second half. Perez and Gayle were awful. Dummett and Colback are our weak links. Hanley isn’t a starter. We need Mbemba in who can run forward with the ball.We must sign a left back, attacking midfielder, winger and a fast striker. Or, play Riviere as he’s better than Gayle.

  • 24 lukes26 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    lets be honest ..Aarons has never convinced for a full 90 minute game…with the exception of preseason a couple summers back… only flashes

  • 25 gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club) // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    toon22 – we had chances!?!? we had about 2 actual chances in the second half, that was it.

    Don’t simply pretend something happened which didn’t!

    Lascelles was also caught out worse in the second half when Matt Smith knocked the ball down for someone else. I thought he was ok but made several poor errors. Hanley was just as poor as Lascelles I thought.

    I just hope utility back up players like Anita and Colback aren’t first teamers.

  • 26 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    Typical Newcastle away from home really!

    I thought we would be all over Fulham from kick off but we allowed them to stroll through the midfield

    Benitez will get it right but he will need to realise that we cant ease into away games we need to try get an early goal

    Colback was dire though Shelvey should have started instead of him

    Still need a left winger , left back , no 10 and a striker before I feel 100% confident that are in with a shout

    Someone like Sakho from West Ham would be ideal up front although did he fail a medical at West Brom?

  • 27 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    If the season was based on one game, Ritchie a shoo in for player of the year. It isn’t though, we will bounce back and I think we all know all of them have more to them than tonight showing.

    Ritchie impressed. Arma looked okay, given what he came on to. Perez and Gayle were disappointing, but I think both would benefit from Mitro. We played a bit too direct for Gayle, and both players suffered because of it.

  • 28 ShirebrookToon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    It’s ok lads Fulham have got to come to St James’ now lol

  • 29 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    We didn’t deserve to lose that, but we didn’t create enough chances. Diame and Sissoko will improve us. Knockeart is needed. We could do with Danny Ings and Santon as well.

  • 30 Belfast // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    Two Hanleys?? Howay!

    Stewards enquiry!

  • 31 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    We need a left wing back. Santon used to create chances and was good in the ball. Dummett just kicks it forward and fouls.

  • 32 ShirebrookToon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Rafa looks pissed off!

  • 33 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Anita, Hayden and Colback are too similar. It’s bad enough when we play two of those types.

  • 34 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Exactly, 4 players are needed. We need pace. I’d sign:


  • 35 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    I said before the game we looked lightweight in attack. I’d hoped the movement and pace would counter that, but we didn’t play in a way that suited what either Perez or Gayle.

    Aarons was effing lazy when he came on. He had only been on a couple of minutes and he was sauntering back to cover their wide players and giving them space to keep the ball. Could argue he hadn’t quite got up to the pace at that stage, but still. He did cause problems going forward mind, and should have done far better with his chance.

  • 36 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    lilo really you thought shelvey was poor?
    he passed the ball forward more in 3 moves than we did all game lol
    thats his game we looked much better when he was on imo

  • 37 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Sir Eric@10

    “Apart from….the goal” What!! Lascelles was head and shoulders the worst player on the park (ref apart). If it wasn’t for his inability to do his job, the useless NUFC would have got something against a dreadful Fulham. But we didn’t. Why was that? Centre forward scores with an unmarked header from a corner. Step forward centre half and hang your head in shame for incompetence. No other player was so culpable for a critical error at a critical time, therefore Lascelles was the worst player on show – saying something, by the way!

  • 38 Bri // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Got to say i’m not convinced with Perez. Doesn’t seem to have improved since the day we signed him.

  • 39 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    That’s the last thing I wanted to hear. McClown backing us.

  • 40 ShirebrookToon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:12 PM


    Agree there mate. We did look better when Shelvey was on the pitch

  • 41 clinath@ed // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    The choice of the holding two dictated how we’d play…too defensive from the off.
    Not enough creativity to give Gayle and Perez anything to work with.
    It’s a fact that in this league everyone can beat everyone else, we just had a hard lesson in it.

  • 42 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Shelvey, by the way, contributed more in 15 minutes than the rest of the bunch did in 95.

  • 43 gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club) // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    Would rather Ings than Sakho, I don’t rate Sakho highly. But I don’t think striker is top priority.

    Attacking Mid/ Winger needed most I think, I’d also prefer Haidara over Dummett I think- he’s far better on the ball.

    Anyone know why Mbemba wasn’t playing? He looked leagues ahead of any of our other CBs last season.

    The one thing which annoyed me most was this lumping it up/ percentage balls either to Gayle’s head or down the channels. We saw so many of the latter at the beginning of the game and it was a little embarrassing to be honest- percentage balls are what less talented teams do, we should act like we are more talented than the opposition and believe that.

  • 44 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    Armstrong also contributed more to the play than Perez did in the same position he could hold the ball up and was riding challenges whereas Perez kept losing the ball and looking for free kicks

    Still major work to do although suspect we will win most of our home games but we need to get the finger out away from home !

  • 45 toon kk // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    Welcome to the championship, 100+ points, I don’t think so.
    It’s going to be Very tuff. While we can only get better, I hope. We need more new faces.

  • 46 ShirebrookToon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    Shelvey has got to start next game alongside Hayden. Diame in the hole with Ritchie and Aaron’s either side. I’d start Armstrong too over Gayle

  • 47 Sir Eric // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    I thought Shelvey was pretty decent. Had some nice sprayed passes that hit their targets and a nice through ball with the outside of the boot. Unlike Colback who was determined to hit the stands with every forward pass.

    –9 @37. yeah he was poor in that instance, but I would probably have Perez scored lower.

    Lots of room for improvement overall. I would expect a lot of teams to play in the manner that Fulham did today. We need to have a better approach towards it.

  • 48 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    It is clear we need another wide player, otherwise Anita wouldn’t have started there.

    Based on that it should also be clear that Rafa’s preferred 2 defensive midfielders where one can spray passes and open play (regista if you like the daft terms given to them) Colback and Hayden are not the pair. I think Colback was meant to be the deep lying playmaker today, and he doesn’t have that range.

    Shelvey probably does, but he was appalling when he came on, although he did thread a couple of clever passes that few others in the squad would see.

  • 49 lochinvar // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    Dummett slows us down and then passes backwards or sideways so there is little momentum going forward and allows defences to reset.
    Did no one think that standing on the toes of a 6’6″ player at a set piece might be a good idea ?
    Diame and Shelvey bossing midfield with some physicality might be a good idea as well

  • 50 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    Shelvey did ok when he came on. We need to stop playing Colback and Dummett, otherwise we won’t go up. Krul will be our number one when fit.

  • 51 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    well the problem is shelvey is a playmaker and not a defensive player thats why he didn’t shine playing in a holding 2 but with tiote next to him maybe in a 442
    he’s suffering from the formation imo maybe him as a more deeper middle of the 3 in a 4231 will let him dictate alot better especially with ritchie gayle perez as willing runners

  • 52 Spoof // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    So what have we learnt, Anita and Colback are still shyte, but more importantly Ritchie is very average on the left just as Townsend was but on the right he is some player, he with Arrows on the left with Shelvey alongside Hayden have got to be a must.

  • 53 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    He did thread cleverer passes (is cleverer a word?) and that is what he offers. He also played some shockers where there were better options and gave away a couple of stupid free kicks which allowed them to slow the game.

    In terms of passing ability, range and vision, he is ahead of anyone else, but his footballing intelligence does let him down.

    Still, would I prefer he occasionally made something happen, or watch Colback and Hayden play the same role. Shelvey and one or at the moment.

  • 54 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Dummett and Colback are the main reasons that we are in the Championship.

  • 55 even the stevens // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    We will win this league without a doubt in my mind, disappointed with the game today, however I feel it could be the best thing that could have happened! It will make the players aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park, that they are going to have to fight for every single goal and point. I think the way Fulham set up today is what we can expect in every single game moving forward.

  • 56 welshgeordie9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    Guys Guys Guys, it’s the first game of the season, ffs, some are saying this player was rubbish, that player was rubbish, didn’t say that before the game did you, look at the end of the day Benitez has got to experiment with his players, he doesn’t know his first eleven, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but Benitez won’t know until he’s tried it, what we need is another Mitrovic type player and another winger.

  • 57 Spoof // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    How on earth can anyone criticize Dummett, he was without doubt the best defender we had tonight.

  • 58 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    Same old Same old
    Shite, Shite, Shite
    against a team that has lost their best players
    huffed and puffed but could still be playing until next week wouldn’t of scored
    Lack of movement off the ball
    Slow ponderous no interplay passing froward mind you we are GOOD at going sideways and backwards
    lump it long to dwarfs – Armstrong, Gayle, Aarons up front second half when will they learn – first half Perez and Gayle
    cannot take free kicks
    cannot defend free kicks and corners
    beaten by a better team – wanted it more – better movement off the ball – lucky to get away with a 1-0

    might be a blessing in disguise because if we play like that we will be nearer the bottom than the top.

    Gonna be a long long season and sadly if we do not change you can kiss promotion out the window

    Goal- where was the marking, where was the players on the post for the corner.

    More annoyed, angry, disappointed than many a game last season

    Sels 5 – doesn’t give me confidence
    Daryl Janmaat 8 had a decent game – wanted it unlike some of the others
    Grant Hanley 4 slow and ponderous – got away with two mishits/clearences
    Jamaal Lascelles 3 fault for goal passing heading poor
    Paul Dummett; 4 slow dived in to much – could of easily bee sent off
    Isaac Hayden,4 didn’t see much of him – looked lightweight
    Jack Colback; 3 piss poor good at fouling giving away needless free kicks
    Vurnon Anita, 4 poor cannot say much else
    Matt Ritchie; 8 Man of the match for the TOON least he like Janmaat tried to get things going
    Dwight Gayle 3 did nowt huffed and puffed
    Perez 5 – decent movement but took th wrong option to many times

    Armstrong 3 nah not for me
    Aarons 4 nowt to say except missed/scuffed shot
    Shelley 3 looks like he does not want to be there

  • 59 ashleysmate // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    Hi guys…we are such a big club (potentially) and that’s why the press love to build us up…and then shoot us down
    I would be grateful to just get promotion…champions or otherwise
    We aren’t nailed on certaintys…50yrs of supporting them has taught me that
    Let’s enjoy the the journey with Rafa.. Remain level headed.. And…don’t believe the hype to

  • 60 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    re Shelvey: your comments just don’t make sense. Either he was rubbish, or he played better passes than the rest of the bunch could have dreamt of. It can’t be both!

  • 61 jimmysmith // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    That starting 11 would have looked much less like a Championship one with Krul, Mbemba, Sissoko, Tiote, Diame, Gamez, Mitrovic and even Clark in it. That back five screamed Championship, as did central mid, and Gayle leading the line not looking too auspicious. It’s the first game of the season and away, but even so I think Newcastle will have just become a little more resolute about the possibility of holding onto Tiote and Sissoko.

  • 62 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Sell Colback and Dummett and keep Tiote and Saviet. Saviet can play on the wing so we must keep him and give him a chance.

  • 63 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    I’d agree with your post @51, although Benitez historically has used a deep playmaker and a grafter in the 4231. Tiote must be gone though – or at least not in the picture. Shelvey still has to do a job for the team, and his ridiculous challenges were unhelpful at best. I don’t want to single him out mind, he wasn’t any worse than others, and at least has vision.

    C3. Can do better and must try harder would be my assessment of tonight.

  • 64 Munster Mag // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Wow, some very worrying signs out there.
    1. Rafa set us up defensively ( his biggest weakness IMO) with the two defensive midf and Anita, another defensive player, on the right wing. Poor decision from him.
    2. I would be quite concerned about the attitude of some of our players….eg Aarons, Haydens frustration and even Jammal after the game….he just seemed a bit young and dim….that may be unfair, I dunno
    3. We looked over confident
    4. We didn’t close down with structure ….Rafa mate, this is a key part of the game now!
    5. We are diminutive. I have been saying for a while that rafa needs a big pacy striker because I don’t think he rates the mobility of Mitro….it may now be a struggle to get one.

    Sorry but lets be honest here. If Rafa Benitez was an unknown manager and we were evaluating him now, having spent all that money, none of us would be impressed.

    Finally, Sels wont be our main keeper IMO.
    Oh, and Janmaat is poor. We just seem to pass the ball backwards so much.

    This is rafa’s coaching – you could see him twice shouting at our player on the ball to pass it backwards, when there was little pressure on. To me that wasn’t a positive sign of where he is going.

    on a positive, I thought gayle shows real potential as does Ritchie, if rafa plays him in the right position. it may be time to go abroad to find attacking talent and a bit more power. Very very disappointing and many reasons to be worried.

  • 65 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    Janmaat and Ritchie were our best players.

  • 66 Toon Tang // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    Winbar theorem…

  • 67 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    Charlie @58
    Most of your ratings are plausible, but as to subs: how you cannot see that the other two contributed absolutely zero, zero, and Shelvey showed himself to be a class above any other NUFC midfielder, escapes me. Are we seeing the same match?

  • 68 Geordiedownunder // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    I got up at 4.30 am to watch that performance….. And the worst thing? when it finished No pubs open.

  • 69 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Course it does. He gave away stupid fouls and played some shocking passes. He did thread a couple, maybe 3 good passes. I’m not saying he was better or worse than others, I’d say he was more effective in the role he was charged with than Colback. Doesn’t mean he played well though, it is more a damning statement of Colback in the deep lying playmaker role.

    It was slow and ponderous at times. They lacked urgency and more importantly ideas. We need a bit more through the middle, as most have said all summer. I guess the idea is that Diame gives us that, but I don’t view him as creative.

  • 70 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Sels – 6 – little to do, came for a few crosses well, always looks hesitant with the ball at his feet like he’s on the edge of making a mistake

    Janmaat – 6 – same old, plenty of runs forward mostly fruitless, slow to recover defensive position and almost cost us dearly with his slack back pass. Looked better with Ritchie ahead.

    Lascelles – 5 – lost his man for their goal and similarly lost the same man on the back post when he should’ve scored but tried to knock it down. Was solid apart from those 2 moments, but moments are the difference. Dealt with Smith well when he was near.

    Hanley – 6 – Solid debut, 1 miskick in the box that he got away with. Other than that nothing much to report.

    Dummet – 6 – As ever rarely beaten and when he was he recovered well. One rash tackle and no improvement on the ball evident.

    Colback – 4 – Just doesn’t do anything other than give away petty free-kicks and when caught on the ball because he lacks any speed goes to ground because he lacks any strength and prays the ref blows up and gives him a free-kick.

    Hayden – 6 – good athleticism shown, few well timed sliding tackles. Has the mobility necessary to get around the pitch as a DM.

    Anita – 5 – first half the worst player on the pitch. Treat the ball like a hot potato and just continually got rid without looking, giving it away. 2nd half much better, provided the cross for Ritchie’s chance and carried the ball better when moved centrally.

    Ritchie 7

    Meh, cba!

    Bring back Carroll!

    Bring in Brady!

    Don’t sell Tiote!

    Start our only playmaker and a damn good one, Shelvey! Last 15 looked so much more fluid and methodical with him dictating proceedings.

    8 days ’til our 1st home match. Hopefully (what more can we have after that then hope?). a much better performance. Diame will give us a spark and physicality in the final third.

  • 71 Spoof // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Lascellas was to blame for the goal, Hanley was lucky not to concede a penalty, Janmaat made a suicidal back pass which we were lucky to escape from, yet people are saying drop Dummett, ffs give me strength !!!!!!!

  • 72 Belfast // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Toon tang I was going to mention the major winbar factor last night but decided against it 🙂

  • 73 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    lilo i disagree he was looking for the ball and sprayed the passes about he does have the petulant streak without doubt but i think that builds up with him not playing he should be starting for me and as i said a further forward playmaker maybe with diame behind him who can bomb on into space
    hayden put in a few good challenges but wasn’t great with the ball but tbh we bypassed the midfield far to much anyways until shelvey came on
    all in all i think rafa learn’t alot from that game

  • 74 lochinvar // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Only 3 points off the top of the League – onwards and upwards

  • 75 El Sleeve // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    We still have Mitrovic, Diame and Clark to come in, but our bluntness in attack is alarming

  • 76 Toon Tang // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Its taken us down again Belfast lad.

    I went draw on the poll to try and do my bit towards evening it out but it just got too much for me mucker.

    We need more heads

  • 77 El Sleeve // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    And please start Tiote!

  • 78 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:36 PM


    Are we allowed to be critical of rafa today? He set us up to not lose and it backfired in my opinion

    Spoof – I thought dummett was our best defender, and as predicted lascelles will be this seasons scapegoat because ppl have built him up as if he’s the next John Terry, he’s a decent prospect and nothing more.

    Question for everyone, will Gayle score a lot as teams will sit deep, something I said in preseason that he’ll struggle, wonder what ppl think as we played a side with one of the worst defensive records last season

  • 79 only one bobby robson // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Not good we are supposedly best team in premier league 1st Anita janmatt Perez = terrible should have sold them as they think they are better than what they really are! We also look like a midget team! You need brash and brawn in championship! Lascelles should never have been made captain to young! I know I’m going to get shit for this but I would have giving it to colback and he shouldn’t have been taken off?

  • 80 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    No point in selling Tiote for £1m. We may as well keep him and sell Colback for £5m. It’s probably good that we got beat today. Rafa will sign 4-5 players instead of 2 or 3.

  • 81 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    tang i was with you brother!
    i thought exactly the same lol it’s gone far far beyond a coincidence

  • 82 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    On the shelvey debate, it looks great spraying the ball around but did he create anything other than the odd Hollywood pass? It looks good but just how affective is it?

    I personally think he did alright when he came on but didn’t create anything which is ultimately his job

  • 83 gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club) // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    I hadn’t thought of that- where the hell was Tiote?

    Not sure why he and Mbemba were left out!

  • 84 Belfast // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    I voted for a draw myself mate old habits as they say. 🙂

    I see Santon failed his medical at West ham now, not having much luck is he ? lol

  • 85 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Tiote should be starting and in my opinion He should be skipper with mitro as no9

  • 86 Munster Mag // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Guys I honestly wonder about some of the football understanding on this site. Shelvey was NOT good. Yes, he made some passes, but his taclking and attitude ( more importantly) were poor for a guy looking to make an impression on his boss. There are reasons to be optimistic, but if we keep having to get the chequebook out, what does it say about our managers ability to make the most of what he has. We know rafa can generally defend and show teams how to cover back but we had littke creativity in there, and he chose two defensive midfielders and we spent half the game going sideways and backwards. I didn’t like what I saw from some of the players, and we lacked aggression, creativity, and worryingly, know how and leadership on the pitch. If we get the next two attacking signings wrong, we may have issues. BTW I don’t think Diame will be the answer as a creative force, good player though he is.

  • 87 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    ourtoon tbf they did use a few extra illegal parts to not concede this game 🙂

  • 88 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Dummett’s overall performance was shocking. He is out his depth in this league. The right winger kept slashing rings round him.

  • 89 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Think on..he was brought on at 80 mins (or so) when the match was lost unless something positive happened. He, alone, played positive passes and also, I agree, got stuck in illegally. But he got stuck in – what the divil were the other wimps playing at for the 95 minutes they had? Play fair, man, he was trying – what on earth were the other invisibles doing while they were on the park?Who did anything positive at all in the whole 95 mins (Ritchie- possibly- apart)? Give me Shelvey’s attitude any day. How pathetic the rest of the team were. Do you not agree – the rest of the team were pathetic? (Remember Fulham’s finishing position last year)

  • 90 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    As I said to 9, I thought Shelvey was more effective than Colback in the role. I just don’t think that is saying much. Hayden was distinctly average. He is a kid, and hardly started last season at Hull. He has time.

    Shelvey needs to learn when to play the defence splitting passes and when to keep it simple. He can do it which makes it more frustrating. I think he will be key to how we set up this season, but he has to also adjust his game. He is the only one with the passing range for the way Benitez usually plays. For me, that means that Benitez probably knows the issues with him, which is why he didn’t start. I have no doubt he will be trying to drill it into him in training.

    I am probably being a bit harsh, as he came on when we were behind, and clearly needed to create something so the tendency is to try and force it. Not always the right thing though.

    Early days though, I went for 1-1, with a different referee, it could have been. Not that I think any of the penalty shouts were penalties mind.

  • 91 jimmysmith // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    I think we do have a very strong squad for the Championship.




    …………Sissoko……De Jong……Ritchie…

    Is a starting side I’d have far more faith in. I don’t believe that was near our best 11, and expect to see some changes, although Lascelles and Colback will most likely remain.


  • 92 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    We rather have Shelvey in the team than Colback.

  • 93 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    We were missing Marveaux today and Abeid. We need a player who can thread the ball through. A Shaqiri type.

  • 94 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    To create doesn’t mean just making the final pass. It’s finding the players who are in position to make the final pass. Moving the ball and yourself in a strategic way to open up gaps for others to exploit.

    Jesus, how can you not see Shelvey is much better at than any of our CMs and our attacks much more cohesive with him on?

  • 95 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    ourtoon i know ya don’t like his hollywood passes but the speed of him getting the ball to it being in the box is pretty special and is wat we don’t have anywhere else imo

  • 96 chicousa // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Poor defending on set plays, continues. Rafa and staff need to sort that out and quickly.
    Missed Mitro out there! We need to match our opponents physicality.

  • 97 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    I don’t disagree. Read my post @90. I possibly am being harsh on Shelvey as he had to try something, but sometimes less is more. Certainly giving idiotic fouls way does’t help. I wasn’t overly enamoured by Hayden, but he is young and will grow into it. Colback can’t play that role, and Shelvey should be ahead of him there.

    For me, only Ritchie played to a decent level. Possibly Janmaat, but he was still unconvincing defensively. Sels did nothing wrong but had little to do. After that, underwhelming at best.

  • 98 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    Hail Wor Ashley

    I didn’t say he wasn’t a better option in terms of picking passes it’s the rest of his game that let’s him down, he needs to be carried in midfield. It’s pleasing know the eye to see him spray the ball around but it’s ugly to watch him without the ball and the limited work he does. Sometimes he needs to learn that a short pass is better than a Hollywood ball….but he’ll always go Hollywood because he thinks he’s stevie g

  • 99 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Just the weight and placement of his passes, always intentionally either pinged into feet with pace and accuracy so the receiver has more time before being closed down or in front of a players stride with a nice weight so it’s easier to control and get out of feet. Small details count.

    Yeah he might fluff the odd one, but least he tries to make things happen – a playmaker if you will.

  • 100 toon kk // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Tbf it’s only the first game of the season so I can’t really comment too much, but going off that performance we look a shadow of the team last time we played in the championship.

  • 101 SuperShearer // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    Uh oh, who lets Kets out of the padded cell? You know we got relegated right buddy? Shaquri type? Think he’s literally out of our league now. And Janjuzi… really? And Marveaux has gone, move on dude, he has.

  • 102 2_goal_tino // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    So I was just talking to a Fulham fan on the tube and he said “I can’t believe it, I haven’t seen a Fulham performance like that in years.’ And that is the key thing about this season, how we react to every team upping their game against us.

    On an aside, the most noticeable thing for me being at the game was just how short our team were. Anita, Ritchie, Colback, Gayle, Perez are all 5ft nothing. Throwing on Aarons and Armstrong doesn’t help. Focusing our attacks going down the wings is worthless if there is no one who can get on the end of it. Mitro can’t come back soon enough! Fulham deserved the win but we still should have got a draw – Ritchie had to score that chance! Hayden our MOTM.

    Onwards and upwards – good to have a wake up call early on.

  • 103 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:49 PM


    I agree the speed of the ball in the box is good but I honestly don’t think he is affective enough as an all round midfielder. On the ball he can be very good to damp right awful. His decision making let’s him down sometimes, but off the ball he needs to work harder for a central role.

    Would he be better behind the striker so he doesn’t have to work as hard in terms of getting back? Possibly, but in my opinion He doesn’t control the midfield for us and neither do the others but they at least offer graft and protection.

    He can be much better than he is, Swansea fans saw through the Hollywood passes 24 months down the line…..will we ever?

  • 104 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    lilo tbh i think you have been a bit harsh lol if he had started and we hadn’t scored or he hadn’t done much then yes but for me he looked a bit of class that we needed and he should have been on earlier at least

    on a side note i so hope west ham go down i know its unlikely but for them to get that stadium at the totally unbelievable price really narks me and to see it half empty would give me great joy

  • 105 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    We desperately need that type of player though. Someone with a footballing brain. Maybe Siem De Jong will come good this season.

  • 106 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Our Toon

    Nah, he played about equal simple passes to forward passes tonight, so don’t know what you were watching. Plenty of times he offloaded simply and then tried to move into better space.

    As for off the ball. He’s never going to be the most mobile, neither are many playmakers. Can’t all be Cabaye types, who was equally petulant and often naughty in the tackle (most saw it as a plus for him) I might add, just had a better engine to get up and down, something Shelvey has been working on during the summer.

  • 107 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    We do need Shelvey’s passing ability because we don’t have another player even close to having his range and vision. We also need him to think, learn when to do it, learn to work for the team and when to make challenges. He, like every other central midfielder we have, is a player who has problems – some of which were highlighted tonight – but he has something different to his game.

  • 108 ashleysmate // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    Er..Tiote wants away and Mitro is too inexperienced for this level (that’s why he want playing??? And is on a 4 match ban. Yeah?!!!
    Cmon guys….let’s not look like sour grapes to the rest of the world after just 1 defeat
    Everything is great in hindsight it’s a disappointment but not the end of the world…you should have been there 50yrs ago when a warm pie and an oxo was a luxury
    Keep the faith,, be positive… And stop whinging…. I know these guys are on good money but there still young men….give them a chance for God’s sake.. Onwards and upwards and into infinity

  • 109 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    We could lose the first 10 games and still win the league.

  • 110 only one bobby robson // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    Have to say they are some really good comments on here tonight hey it’s the first game we just need to know that we’re able to mix it up that’s what you have to do Colback Ritchie mbemba gayle mitro I think they will be key players this season

  • 111 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    ourtoon tbf he was immense for swansea until the troubles with the manager i think he is actually mentally weak so is 1 of them players that need love to perform so could be an issue but i feel he will show wat kind of player he is this season and he’ll be huge to us going up
    just a hunch but i think he’s that kind of player kind of like a troubled genius if ya like obviously not that dramatic but once he’s on it he’ll prove alot of people wrong

  • 112 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:58 PM

    Like I say, he would start in that role ahead of Colback for me, if that is how we are setting up, but he needs to mature a bit and develop the other aspects of his game. He’s is still young, but from what I can see has built his career on his ‘hollywood’ passes hitting there mark occasionally. It looks like because he knows he can do that he has neglected other parts of his game. He has the passing range and vision that would be ideal for a deep lying midfielder in a Rafa side from the past, so for him not to start would suggest Rafa has issues, and if they aren’t the same as my thoughts on him, I’d bet they are fairly close.

    Anyway, we have got far too into Shelvey. He is far from the reason we lost tonight. We were toothless, ponderous and lacklustre for the main part. We will come up against lots of organised sides, many with better lineups than Fulham. We need a bit more from each player, and Mitro back (imo). Perez and Gayle, physically, can’t cope with an organised and deep lying defence which is what we will often face.

  • 113 nufc786 // Aug 5, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Benitez said: “We knew and we said before that it would be like this. When the players are on the pitch they have to realise this could happen.

    “We conceded that goal and we have worked on this during the week. We have to react and we have to get better.

    “We didn’t play at the level we were expecting. We were not keeping the ball in attack. We didn’t win the second balls. We have to improve and this game is a wake-up call for everyone.

    “You could see when we were losing 1-0 we had anxiety, we had to manage the ball much better and play with the ideas we wanted to do.

    “We didn’t concentrate like we have to especially when you are losing you need to be calm and do things much better.

    “I know the competition, the team, the expectations were there that we would come and win but we said they were a good team and we had to be ready – we weren’t.”

    Newcastle are still looking for more players to add to the squad before the end of the transfer window and they could still lose a couple.

    But rather than focus on what further additions he could make, Benitez believes the team he sent out at Fulham should have been capable of doing the job.

    Benitez said: “More than signings we have to keep working, we need something a little bit more and especially in terms of working we have to realise we will be working more; we have to.

    “Some of the players knew what it would be like, they have played at this level. We need to manage the situation better.

    “When you are bringing players in, and players are leaving, it is always difficult but we have to manage the situation better.”

    Newcastle could have had a couple of penalties on the night. Matt Ritchie saw a cross stopped by the arm of Ryan Tunnicliffe in the first half and the winger’s shot was blocked by the arms of Tomas Kalas after the restart.

    Benitez said: “The first one was clear, we have talked about that. It was clear. But it was not given and we had to carry on. I will not make an excuse.

  • 114 nufc786 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:00 PM

  • 115 only one bobby robson // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:01 PM

    If not il recall my five favourite players who I managed during my Newcastle tenure1 Gary speed 2 Alan shearer 3 Kieron dyer 4 Craig Bellamy 5 Laurent Robert

  • 116 The next Mike Williamson // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    If you play colback hayden and Anita in the same team you deserve to lose. that’s three negative side passers against fulham. playing 2 of them at the same time is barely acceptable and only when we play the top teams. 3 is a joke. an on form tiote could do the job of all three allowing us 2 extra players who actually move forward.

  • 117 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    It isn’t sour grapes. Most are saying Fulham deserved the win, or at least a draw. Sour grapes would be blaming all and sundry except ourselves. I think we do miss Mitro, 9 goals and 6 assists in his debut season for a relegated side? He would have made a huge difference tonight, but we can’t blame that on anyone but him. He made the rash challenge.

    Fulham deserved the 3 points, you could argue we should have had a penalty, but then I think they should as well.

    Its early, we will still be right up there at the end of the season and quite probably win the league. I had this one down as a draw, and whilst the defeat is disappointing, it is the fact we created very little and looked toothless going forward that upsets me the most.

  • 118 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    plus ourtoon did you not hear rafa having a go at ya? 🙂

  • 119 Our Toon // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Ahaha Manx I did mate lol

  • 120 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    The fact is we were cr*p.
    Discussing Shelvey is all very interesting but, in the context of a match in which he didn’t feature until about 80 minutes, rather misses the point. We were cr*p, that’s the point.

  • 121 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:07 PM

    I’m not sure the first one was a clear penalty for us. I do think that the clearest penalty was Hanley’s push on Aluko that wasn’t given. It is a worry that he talks of anxiety, and the pressure. Fulham are an okay side, one that is widely expected to struggle this season, although the organisation and discipline they played with tonight will probably allay those fears.

    Still, if we are struggling with the anxiety already, then that is a serious issue. There i an expectancy from the entire English footballing community we will win this division. Pressure will only grow, and the players need to deal with it.

  • 122 so-far-king-quick // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:07 PM

    Thing is watching the game i think generally we were encouraging and controlled the game well at times but we looked vulnerable and slow against the counter, think we need a winger and a cam/no.10 i rate perez but he didnt have the best game but to be honest we played a lot of long balls and alot of crosses into the box fair enough if a player like mitro is on the pitch but for players like gayle and perez they need it into feet or played through, we need to stay positive though long season ahead can only go upwards and onwards from here we didnt play utter cr@p tonight

  • 123 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    lilo well for me he needs players around him that understands him there was a few occasions last year that his 1 touch through balls were completely brilliant but wasted as it was usually mitro trying to get on the end of them so yeah i understand that side but we now have some willing runners for me he should be made the main man in the middle hopefully he’ll get a good LW to work with too

  • 124 magpie_in_ohio // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    Very much need strength in the beginning of the season. Ayoze was getting pushed off the ball much too easily. Shelley looked strong and comfortable. Much better option than Jack. Still need to score. I thought Ritchie played very well.

    Lots of optimism headed into the first game and quite a let down. Good thing there are many to go . Let the Rafalution continue.

  • 125 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    Agreed. I know we were discussing Shelvey, but read my last paragraph to Manx @112. Says about the same as yours, but less succinct!

  • 126 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    Hey, Ed : how about a vote:
    Tonight, we were cr*p. Yes or No.

  • 127 jeraziah // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    Its harsh to blame the new boys after one game. So I wont do that. But seriously… We need to ship Colback, Dummett, Anita to Gibraltar or something. Same gutless bullshit, not good enough. People blame Lascelles for the goal. Well, Dummett gets in his way and falls down. He is a donkey.

  • 128 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    I think Mitro was one of the few that benefittedfrom Shelvey. Remember the game against West Brom (I think). Shelvey’s early pass found Mitro who had moved away from his man in space and Mitro stroked it home. Mitro might not be quick, but there were plenty of times he had lost his man last season only for us to take too long to work the ball to him giving the defender the chance to recover.

    I’d start Shelvey, until a point where you can say he has proved he isn’t up to it. If he doesn’t cut it, then Rafa needs to look at a tactical rejig. Or take a huge gamble and try someone left field in the creative role from the kids. That would probably mean pushing Heaney’s development along far quicker than is ideal.

  • 129 so-far-king-quick // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    Dont get people slating shelvey, he was only on the pitch like 5-10 minutes its not really enough time to do alot but he managed to makr loads of solid passes mostly forwards and creative and i mean did nobody see that ball through for aarons picked him out beautifully but unfortunately with him being left footed his cross with his right wasnt that great but its a chance, dummett was solid aswell didnt mess about it with it sometimes you do just have to get it out

  • 130 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:20 PM

    Very difficult to decide what Ayoze is. He is clearly talented, but he isn’t an out and out striker – lacks pace, physicality, aerial prowess. He hasn’t looked like a winger. He is very weak in the no.10 role. Lots of good attributes that make him a jack of all, master of none at the moment.

    I’d like to see him work on his core strength, and develop an ability to retain possession under physical pressure. If he can do that, I could see him as a number 10, or even a deeper midfielder who can break lines and get in the box to get goals from there.

    He could be very good, but he is very much a work in progress. If he can find a role this season that he can make his own, it could be the making of him.

  • 131 Nufc-83 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    Didn’t get to watch the game as close as I normally do as was out with a large group l however this is what I seen:
    – hayden looked really good at cdm even people with me not interested in the game asked me who he was.
    – Anita looked so poor was losing the ball over And over again.
    – people who said dummett will be better with a good winger like Richie in front of him to hide his attacking deficiency are wrong.
    – we are not going to walk this league
    – Perez didn’t play as well as I thought and I’m a big fan.
    – clear handball in the first half we should have had a pen.

    That’s all for now

  • 132 manxpie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:23 PM

    lilo yeah that was the one time it came off lol but there were a few others where they were brilliant balls but not for mitro if that makes sense
    we were poor as a team tonight but that is understandable with such changes especially with not only hanley but lacelles playing in the right hand CB
    he didn’t look comfortable tbh
    it’ll get a lot better when the squad gels and soon enough i bet
    btw dummett was our best defender tonight so stop with the grief

  • 133 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Dummet doesn’t get in his way. Lascelles is behind Dummet. Dummet is rightly concentrating on his man. Lascelles had drifted too far off his own, and because of that Smith’s movement meant Lascelles had to run through several people. had Lascelles not been there, we had another defender just in front who would have been in the way.

    Benitez favours zonal (from memory) but we didn’t seem to set up like that, and Lascelles simply lost his man allowing a free header.

    I know Dummet is unpopular, but blaming him for that is ridiculous. He did little wrong all game. Unspectacular, but any danger rarely came from his man, or area.

  • 134 ashleysmate // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    9.. No not crap.. A true hardened, all weather supporter would never suggest that.. Still learning. Be patient for God’s sake. Apart from bad management/directorship?? in the past.. This has what has always let us down
    Support our team THROUGH THICK AND thin and give them a chance. There’s still 40+ games to go for God’s sake. stop being an inpatient pussy

  • 135 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Message to all posters who are “looking on the bright side” after tonight:
    I love NUFC; I hope and expect we will burn up this league: I think Lascelles has a wonderful attitude and applaud him being made Captain.

    But let’s face reality: Fulham are sh*te and beat us easily (thanks, ref); we were cr*p; Lascelles’ mistake cost us the game (he’s young, nobody sensible expects him to be the finished article). Do not make excuses (“First match of the season”!! What the F! How many matches had Fulham played before, then? Wasn’t it their first match of the season, too?)
    The only sensible comment I’ve read is from one of ours who was talking to a Fulham fan after the match – he’d never seen Fulham play like it. We will face every single game opposing that same attitude. What the devil was our attitude?
    In Rafa we trust! Absolutely! I bet he can’t get to sleep tonight – his – my – our- team were pure cr*p tonight.

    Ah well, onwards and sideways, as they say.

  • 136 Novocastrian66 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    Dummet is terrible. Not just on tonight’s performance, he is consistently rubbish. Everyone can have a poor game, he has one every week. He cannot pass, tackle, head or control the ball. He offers nothing going forward. He is one of the worst players I have ever seen play for our club. I would like him to do well but he isn’t good enough. We do not have a team full of quality but he easily is the worst and what concerns me is their isn’t any real alternative at left fullback.

  • 137 Munster Mag // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:29 PM

    I am possibly being hard on shelve but his silly tackles were not good enough. I keep forgetting he is young but he needs to learn. Colback will be dropped , but it was the managers decision to play two defensive midfielders and that was so predictable before the game. I thought we looked over confident and mentally weak once we knew we were in trouble. I thought we had improved the on-field leadership? Someone talked about one of the players mentioning anxiety – that would play into my thoughts that the team did not look like a mentally strong unit. Still its early days, but we need to improve about 30% minimum to make tracks here.

  • 138 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    I haven’t given Dummet grief! I’ve stuck up for him if anything!! There are 45 games left. I’d still back us to win at least half of those. It is a speed bump in the road, nothing more, and hopefully we will learn from it.

    Probably the oat worrying player for me was Gayle as an individual. He had some very nice touches, but he rarely threatened, or caused problems in danger areas.

    As for Mitro and Shelvey, they only started 2 or 3 games together. Mitro’s movement is better than he is given credit for, it is intelligent, but he isn’t quick, so unless it is spotted early by a teammate, he looks ponderous. I think Ritchie out wide will help that a lot.

    Ritchie was standout for me. Whichever flank he was on, he delivered into the box and asked questions.

  • 139 Nufc-83 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:32 PM

    Novo I give dummett more grief than most as he is a terrible all round footballer however he certainly is not terrible at tackling and heading. He is a very defensive player but Is solid.

  • 140 Munster Mag // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:33 PM

    Li, the problem with Perez is that English football may not suit him. There is a clear difference in what players can get away with in terms of physicality in this league and he could struggle. That was not a powerful team we were playing, by any stretch of the imagination. But they look well coached and had some quick players. Nobody has mentioned that they had 3 defenders playing together for the first time , and we barely laid a glove on them.

  • 141 nufc 11 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    tiote is made for this league. colback has been on a downward slide for a while. need to get tiote. Hayden and diame for next game.

  • 142 bettyswallocks // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    Ritchie looked good and seems very creative. Colback is shite as most of us realise and I have a strong feeling that Hayden could be very useful. He has a good touch and seems very comfortable on the ball. That’s the first time I’ve seen him and my instincts were telling me he will be more than ok when he settles in. Arma looked sharp and linked the play better than Gayle , Perez looked clumsy and a yard off the pace and him and Gayle won’t cut it as our two frontmen with no height or physical presence.

    We might as well give Tsunki a run out if it’s going to be a midget’s team.

  • 143 gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club) // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    Holy Flip – Kets is STILL talking about Marveaux and Abeid!! They’re not even at the club!

    Do they still have the potential to be better than Messi- that is what you said about Marveaux.

  • 144 Munster Mag // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    Lil, I reckon Gayle will be fine. I wasn’t thrilled when we signed him but I think he will do well. The who team lacked dynamism creativity and power and he will struggle without that. He is s strong guy for his size/weight.

  • 145 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    “He is one of the worst players I have ever seen play for our club.”

    Now, come on, a bit OTT. I think this is his level, or mid table sub back in the Prem, but one of the worst ever? Just in this millennium I can think of Cacapa, Fumaca, Gavilan, McClen, Robinson, Dalglish….. And probably loads more on top!

  • 146 Cyrus Varten // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    Point-by-point Breakdown of the Abysmal Performance

    Pretty much nails it.

  • 147 NUFC FOR SALE // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    I left the friendly on Saturday saying there was no way this team was going to walk this league and tonight backed that up.
    New Keeper…sh#te
    Perez…weak as p#ss

    We need 5..6 players more with pace and quality otherwise this season will go nowhere

    The team we had last time round was a million times better than this one

  • 148 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    “Arma looked sharp”??
    Get real, man.
    However good, great, fabulous, ordinary or naff Arma is, he did not look any good whatsoever at all as a goalscorer (his only role) in the tiny amount of time given to him. “Looked sharp”?? Give over.

  • 149 so-far-king-quick // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    Theres nout even wrong with dummett he had a good solid game tonight they rarely threatened down his side and he didnt mess about with it he just plays like an okd fashioned full back plays how he should he got rid when he needed to and passed when he could, as for no attacking threat were the 3-4 balls he put in the box lofted in by someone else wearing the sane shirt

  • 150 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:44 PM

    Perez has clear ability, but doesn’t have anything stand out which defines a role in the side. I’d like him to step back, and develop his core strength and probably his passing range.

    I think he could become a very good midfielder. I don’t agree with most who think he is a striker. He can finish, but Mitro got more goals last year than Perez has in a season for us, and was considered a flop, despite being younger than Perez when he joined. Mitro also got more assists.

    I agree on Arma. I thought he looked sharper and keener than both Perez and Gayle. I’d prefer we wait until Mitro is available to start him though, as at Coventry, Arma benefitted a lot form Fortune’s physical presence up front, with Arma making runs and moving off into the space Fortune created.

    Gayle definitely looked stringer than I expected. Some of his hold up play was far better than I’d expected. He did little other than that, and, like Arma and Perez, would probably benefit from running from deeper into space off someone else.

  • 151 bettyswallocks // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:44 PM

    Lilongwe….. I have to agree with you on Perez, he has scored some good instinctive goals but what is his natural position. He could prove to be an enigmatic, jack of all trades but master of none as you say. He was very poor tonight.

  • 152 so-far-king-quick // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    Nufc for sale
    How was the new keeper sh!ite he only let one goal in which he wasnt at fault for other then that he made no mistakes

  • 153 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    Would have put both my responses to you together, but was just replying to post directed at me while scrolling down, and failed to realise 2 were from you!

  • 154 Novocastrian66 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    Lilo: He is rubbish. Trawling out some other rubbish players, who probably did not make as many appearances as Dummett and we’re certainly not first choice players in their relevant positions, does not make Dummet a footballer. He is shit. He is not alone in that respect however there is competition in other areas. We do not have any alternative at left back, which is a worry. He should not be a shoe in as he isn’t good enough. A squad player? Perhaps. For me he is Northern League.

  • 155 Belfast // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    Lascelles was actually blocked by Dummett for their goal. He came out after the game and took full responsibility for it like. Looked a weird set up marking wise to me half zonal, half man marking. The big lad up front didn’t do anything apart from scoring to be honest.

    I wouldn’t be to concerned about the result wouldn’t surprise me if Norwich and Villa get beat as well.

    Whoever backed us to go unbeaten all season though ? You got a good sweat on lol

  • 156 jimmysmith // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    We have better players to slot in. This will not be the side in one month and different again in two, and we will also sign another couple who’ll figure also. All of those who played will be involved but some less so as the group and season beds in.

  • 157 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:48 PM

    If Perez is going to be the player many expect, this season is almost a now or never scenario. He should be better that this, if he has hopes of Barca or Real. We haven’t aided him by pushing him from pillar to post, but it also isn’t like he has nailed down a role.

  • 158 bettyswallocks // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    9…….. Arma did look sharp. He won the ball back against three defenders using strength , he looked to play one twos and was moving off the ball looking for space to run into. He also showed good passion and battling qualities. Still , what do I know?

  • 159 gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club) // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:50 PM

    @so-far-king-quick: did you see him spill that shot and his action on the ball?

  • 160 bettyswallocks // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:51 PM

    Lilongwe……. I think he’s a luxury player to have in a team of real skilful ball retainers. I honestly can’t see where he’ll fit in for us.

  • 161 jimmysmith // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:52 PM

    Perez is going to play a lot. He needs to be judged after a number games both home and away in this league. It is of little value to judge him on one away game in this league. We know he’s talented.

  • 162 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:53 PM

    I wasn’t arguing whether Dummet wasn’t a footballer. Just thought one of the worst you’ve ever seen was maybe over egging it! Although, granted, I have no idea your age or anything about you to suggest you watched any of them (although given the moniker Novocastrian I suspect you have a few decades of support behind you).

    I’ve played Northern league, he is certainly better than that. He is limited, absolutely no argument, could/should we have a better left back? Probably to should. Definitely to could. Is he good enough to do the job at this level and help us go back up? In my opinion, yes. I wouldn’t complain if we went out and signed better, but I think we need creativity in midfield more than we need a creative full back.

  • 163 swemag // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    This result was not shocking, the season is not over and our team is not shite. Give it a few games and we will get going.

    We will win this league.

  • 164 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:56 PM

    I agree. I don’t think there is an argument as to whether he is talented or not. It is where he fits that is in question!

    I do think he is more than that, but he really needs to find a position and develop the attributes for that. He seems down to earth, and committed to developing himself – otherwise by all accounts he wouldn’t be with us – so maybe he needs to do what he can for the team, and also put in extra shifts developing himself for the role he feels best or the coaches feel is his best.

  • 165 so-far-king-quick // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    He spilled one shot but it happens wouldnt call it a mistake its just one of them things happens when a ball is zipping into you at pace couls of been worse couls of went under him, he didnthave any nervy times on the ball and his distribution looked decent

  • 166 9 // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    Hi Betty @157.
    Credit for a sensible argument re Arma. Can you kindly tell me what his role is? I’m sorry, I thought he was a goalscorer. We can, surely, both agree on how a goalscorer should be judged. I’m saying nothing against his cameo tonight, except it does not warrant being singled out for praise, because he did nowt concerning:
    (a) scoring a goal;
    (b) creating a goal;
    (c) creating a goal-scoring opportunity.
    So, what the f*** was he “looking sharp” about?

    Cautionary note: I have nowt against the lad, I hope he scores a million goals for us, but he did nowt of note tonight. Not what counts (neither did anybody else, because we were cr*p)

  • 167 Bambams // Aug 5, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    We need to take off our rose tinted glasses.

    I would love Perez to become a great player…. But potential is only a short lived thing. I am not saying give up on him after one game but o said this last season if he is taking the place that another could do better – it needs to be looked at.

    We have no link at all from midfield to the forwards.

    This is the ‘Beardsley role’ we need.

    Hopefully a wake up call.

    Shelvey had a strop which is no good.


    I like Hanley. I think we can improve but we need a proper striker to suit Gayle

  • 168 bettyswallocks // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    Jimmysmith…… There’s no doubting Perez has a lot of ability but he’s not a number 9 as he gets outmuscled by big physical defenders, he’s not a winger either so unless he plays as a number ten what is his position. We have to hit the ground running or we’ll get left behind and he looks far from the finished article to me.

  • 169 jimmysmith // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    He’ll most likely need to play as both a winger and number 10. I doubt he’ll be given the chance to nail down one spot, because he’s capable in both roles, and because we’ll need him to cover both positions due to form and fitness issues. I’m not sure he get’s in the best 11, but he’ll figure plenty.

  • 170 Laurent Robert 32 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:04 AM

    Lilo, I agree with your assessment of Perez @130.

    He’s neither here nor there and doesn’t really have one stand-out quality – maybe his comfort on the ball.

    Holloway was right by saying he expects a whole lot more as he’s got some talent.

  • 171 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    Arma came on for Perez, so in the no.10 role. Gayle stayed as the primary striker. Yeah, Arma didn’t really get a look in goalscoring wise. He did look sharp, and more interested in scrapping for it, which was what I read into Betty’s comments.

    If we go back to the discussion on Shelvey, where you said he had limited time to impress or do something, you could argue that whilst Arma didn’t look like scoring in his 20minutes, nor did Gayle in his 90 or Perez in his 70. Again, I’d say none were good, but Arma looked more like he wanted to make something happen as Shelvey did.

  • 172 so-far-king-quick // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    I dont get all the get all the hate and slating for dummett ? From what i keep reading from you guys is majority think hes not creative and attacking enough but then the majority slate janmat for being to attacking its like what do yous want from your full back cause foe me i want my fullback to defend first and foremost and attack when the possibly arises could see from that game majority of counters came down the right hand side

  • 173 Laurent Robert 32 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Really like what Ritchie will bring to the team. Mitro will benefit from the good early crosses into the box. He was missed today.

  • 174 JamesToon // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:07 AM

    Cba to read most of the comments as I just know they’ll be a few meltdowns after 1 gsme.

    Charlie Taylor or Rico Henry are desperately needed. A creative mid and winger and striker are also desperately needed.

    Move on to Huddersfield, I would go with this:

    Janmaat, Mbemba, Lascelles, Gamez
    Diame, Hayden
    Ritchie, Shelvey, Aarons

  • 175 bettyswallocks // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:08 AM

    9………. As has often been discussed re. Arma he is a goal scorer a.l.a Michael Owen who likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender and have balls threaded through to him so he can use his pace to beat his man and shoot. Their defence had already shut up shop when he came on and he wasn’t played in with any quality passes to give him a goal scoring chance.

    My point was that his all round play looked better than I remember him when he was given the odd cameo role by Pardew. We know he can score if given the service but he looks stronger and more composed to my eye.

  • 176 9 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:09 AM

    Hi Lilo @170
    You’re spot on, mate: What the divil did the entire starting 11 achieve while they were on? We were cr*p.

  • 177 Laurent Robert 32 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:09 AM

    James, I know what you mean. Not a great start results wise but I’m still very calm and confident with the progression. No problem. It will improve.

  • 178 Novocastrian66 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:11 AM

    Lilo: I’m 50 and I have seen plenty rubbish playing for Newcastle United and he is down there with the worst.
    I don’t know why you are defending him. He’s garbage. He has to steady himself every time he attempts to pass the ball, even on his good foot. It should be second nature to him, it should be like breathing.
    He is one of the worst professional players I have ever seen. How he is making a living out of the game is beyond me.
    Obviously people see things in him that I do not. I wish they could enlighten me however they would be wasting their time. I would love to see the lad prove me wrong. Unfortunately, he won’t.

  • 179 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Yes, I think he will get used in a number of positions this year. Mainly because he is comfortable on the ball and talented. I do feel he needs to work outside of the squad training and games to really develop the attributes to make a position his own. Being good in several only gets you so far.

    Haven’t seen Holloway’s comments, I’d like to think that in amongst them he put in some laddish anecdote. Perez could be anything or nothing at the moment. It’s down to him, his attitude and whether he wants to work for it. He seems like he has his head screwed on and is willing to learn.

    If we had paid £2million for Mitro, and £13million for Perez, which one would fans view as incredible, and which one not so good? If we had paid the same for both, where do you think people would stand?

  • 180 9 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:14 AM

    Betty @174
    It’s largely a waste of your and my time arguing the toss over Arma tonight, but I would like to close by suggesting that we largely agree he never had a chance to do what he is supposed to do, tonight. So any credit to him must be strictly luke warm, as he didn’t do what he was put on to do. I’m certainly not blaming him, though, because he was put into a team performing cr*p.

  • 181 bettyswallocks // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:18 AM

    Our left hand side needs some attention as we’ve known for a while. Dummett is ok as a no nonsense defender but offers nothing consistent going forward and Aarons is quick and skilful but still a work in progress. He’s not going to play every game so we could really do with a shit hot left winger as Ritchie and Janmaat looked OK on the right.

  • 182 bettyswallocks // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:19 AM

    9……..OK as you wish.

  • 183 9 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    Nova @ 177.
    (By the way, I’m a good league older than thee)
    I don’t understand the focus on Dummett. He ain’t the greatest but, for sure, he certainlt ain’t the worst, as you claim. The more important point, however, relates to tonight’s performance. The team as a whole were cr*p, and singling out Dummet (or anybody else, apart from our captain who cost us the game) is quite pointless. Was he so much worse than the rest of the sh*t we produced tonight? Nobody else thinks so. I’m not sticking up for him (in my opinion he can hoof a ball with the best of them and……….err….that’s it) but no way was he worthy of being called out tonight.
    All the Best.

  • 184 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    I’d say partly cause I enjoy playing devils advocate and trying to view things from both sides!

    I was one of the few people to criticise Dummet after he played his first couple of 1st team games. I got shouted down roundly by most on here, barring the odd exception. I don’t think he is good, by any stretch. Particularly on the ball. In fact especially on the ball. That is a key part of a modern day full back. He can track, read the game, force an opponent into a safe area and can tackle. I’d prefer a full back who can do all that and contribute going forwards, or, at the very least know when and when not to play an early ball into the channel – and do it well.

    We haven’t had the luxury of a full back who can do that for a long time though (Domi? A young O.Bernard?), so ahead of the attacking intent, I’d prefer a capable defender, which, at this level, he is.

    I think Championship full back is his level. So, for a year I can live with it.

  • 185 jimmysmith // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    Arma wouldn’t have gotten onto the pitch had Mitrovic or De Jong been available. He’s most likely going to be a bit part player, or even sent out on loan should we sign another striker. It’s a long bow to expect much more from him, given his age and relative inexperience, and it being such a critical season. He’ll be the last name in the match day squad, when he makes it at all. Critiqueing his contribution over only the few minutes he was given, seems a bit pointless, unless he was brilliant, or woeful, which he wasn’t.

  • 186 nufc 11 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    Janazui could be a good singing for us? Matt Phillips was a miss great crosser of the ball. Nathan dyer from Swansea? Mark albrighton from Leicester? We desperately need a winger.

  • 187 Ketsbaia9 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    Armstrong will be sent out on loan. If we would’ve signed Raphael Guerriero last January, we wouldn’t even be in this league. 2 points cost us.

  • 188 nufc 11 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:29 AM

    Maybe Joel Campbell?

  • 189 jimmysmith // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:31 AM

    Gamez is the far more accomplished player, particularly on the ball. If he can play left back, I still expect him to claim it. Certainly he’ll be given the chance. Haidarra and Clark will also challenge and will both provide more going forward. It’s hard to see Dummett nailing down the spot. I agree he’s good defensively, and a valuable part of the squad, but it’s not likely to be enough to start for a team that needs to win.

  • 190 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    If Arma isn’t going to feature then yes, he should be out on loan. Not sure where mind. Wouldn’t want him below Championship level, but not sure who in the Championship he would suit. I think it would be interesting for his development to send him abroad, but not sure who the takers would be. Dutch or Belgian leagues are a probably a decent route.

    However, I liked what he did tonight, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen of him in the past. Yes, tonight was just 20 minutes, but he can only do what he can in the time afforded. If we don’t bring in a striker, I think tonight he looked more than capable of pushing Gayle and Perez. He is probably worth giving more of a chance to before Mitro comes back.

    If we do bring a striker in, then yes, get him straight out on loan.

  • 191 Novocastrian66 // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:35 AM

    Lilo; I had noticed that you like a debate. 🙂 He is rank. I think I will leave it there. Incidentally, I agree with just about every point you have made on tonight’s game. With the exception of Dummet. 🙂

  • 192 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:38 AM

    Haidara is the wild card. He looked very promising initially, but with each return from injury looks less and less like the player we signed. There is a big mental issue there now I think, he doesn’t seem to commit to challenges as much, which, whilst not good from a defensive point of view, is also likely to lead to further injuries.

    I think Gamez was bought to replace Janmaat, but as Janmaat didn’t leave, and has now said he is staying it leaves Gamez in a bit of a bad situation. He can and has played left back, but nowhere near as much as you would think from reading some of the media and blogs. He could well force Dummet out, and I do think he more than likely will over the course of the season.

  • 193 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:42 AM

    I like to try and be even handed, so try and look at both sides of it.

    I’m probably closer to your view of Dummet than those who think he is good, but one of the worst ever?? That is below the belt. I’ve never seen anybody worse than Fumaca. Not sure what SBR was thinking when he brought him in after Colchester and Barnsley had already sent him packing!!

  • 194 NewcastleMole // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:45 AM

    Im not gonna get caught up in the hysteria of losing the first game of the season.

    We lost because Fulham had a more physical team than ourselves, combined with our unsettled squad which is going to take time to click. A perfect example was Gayle & Perez – they just didnt have any understanding.

    The Spine looked very weak Mitro & Diame cant get in the team soon enough. Hell i would of played Tiote tonight. There’s 2 players left to bring in and im sure the requirements will be revised to include strong powerhouse. Deff need a Bull Terrier in the middle (not a Chihuahua like colback)

  • 195 manxpie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:45 AM

    novo so i take it you missed the great cover he made to clear the ball or the fact the only thing that past him was an unbelievable skill
    i see your 50 get ya eyes checked he played better than any defender on the pitch

  • 196 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:46 AM

    I can also be an argumentative pest, mind. But in the main, it is cause I like to look at both sides.

  • 197 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 12:51 AM

    The Fulham defence had never played together competitively. I think it was 3 of the 4 were new to the club.

    No need for hysteria, and I don’t think there has been. For the most part it has been fairly sensible individual analysis, with differing opinions. A long season, and we will only get better as Mitro, Diame and whoever else come in.

    We shouldn’t just gloss over a poor performance though, which this was, and if we are so heavily reliant (again) on a young centre forward like Mitro, then there are still gaps to be plugged in the squad, which I’m sure Rafa realises.

  • 198 Sazzer // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:03 AM

    Fulham also lost McCormack and Dembele this summer. And they scored 36 goals combine last season.

  • 199 SPRINGY // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:10 AM

    morning all
    disappointing display,pretty much what we saw last season which is the most disappointing thing….soft and clumsy at the back,toothless up front…trying to put it down to just being the first game,and not a lot of time to gel but im pretty shocked by that tonight,…
    ritchie man of the match for me with hayden quite impressive but the rest tonight made me nervous,control poor at times,seen a few challenges being pulled out of…worst player either anita.lascelles or perez…..need a quality striker, and a creative winger/playmaker.

  • 200 jimmysmith // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:13 AM

    Haidarra’s fitness is key I agree, because when he’s managed a run of games, which has been all too rarely, he’s improved to my mind. I was very disappointed the last time he got hurt, because it seemed to me he was becoming the good both ways left back we do need.

  • 201 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:21 AM

    I think that is unfair on Anita, Lascelles and Perez. Also overly kind to Hayden. Hayden has time on his side, so a free pass for now, but I didm’t think he impressed, maybe that was because of what was asked of him. Again, he has plenty of time.

    As for Anita, Lascelles and Perez. Ritchie impressed, then maybe Janmaat. After those two, I’d struggle to differentiate between the rest. Nobody was appalling, but none were good. Lascelles cost us the goal, but was no worse than others aside from that.

  • 202 SPRINGY // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:30 AM

    maybe the term worst player was wrong of me but i expected more of these players,therfore they disappointed me the most,that is why i pointed them out,as for hayden,thought he was impressive in patches maybe i should of explained my self better,..but been along night.

  • 203 Toon XI // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:42 AM

    If the season ended today…we would be relegated. 😉

  • 204 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM

    I think Lascelles and Perez have been put on a pedestal that hasn’t been earned yet. I like both, but they have been built up to players that they could be, but aren’t yet.

    Anita was Anita, prior to the introduction of Shelvey, he was the most likely to play a pass that broke the lines – sticking in memory are the two cross field balls, one to Perez where he was pushed, and the other to Ritchie who controlled it fantastically. Funtional, but not a winger. He also offered Anita cover. Everything I read said he had an excellent pre season, he had to start. Can’t blame his selection, but he isn’t a winger.

    Didn’t quite understand the switching of wings at half time mind. I thought Anita looked lost and far too central after we did that.

    Hayden did okay. Neat, tidy, comfortable on the ball. He isn’t a ball winner in the Tiote style. He is young, and probably hasn’t started more than 10 to 15 first team games yet, so he has plenty of growing to do still, and I think he will develop into a good player. Not alongside Colback in these tactics, or Tiote or Anita. Shelvey? Maybe. I think he needs someone that offers more than functionality which is all Colback offers.

  • 205 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:43 AM

    Offered Janmaat cover….

  • 206 beefman13 // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:45 AM


    This team would be a breath of fresh air after we stunk the gaff out tonight, no Colback no Anita totally ineffective and inconsistent, in fact I would get rid of the crab Colback asap.

  • 207 Toon XI // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:47 AM

    Mitro’s stupidity back in May is hurting us now.

  • 208 SPRINGY // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:50 AM

    what was your view on gayle?…always try to give new players time…and will give him time,but thought that was a poor debut….but keep going back to its not his fault coz not a lot off chances created….it was just disappointing….pick ourselves up,dust ourselves off and crack on again next week…hopefully better.

  • 209 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 6, 2016 at 1:59 AM

    I thought he did better in aspects of the game I didn’t think he would, and poorer in others. He looked much stronger and a far better at holding up play than I had anticipated of him – although that was always in areas where there was no danger, so you could argue that the defenders were allowing it to an extent. Early on he made some nice arced runs, only to see the pass overhit and/or in the air.

    It wasn’t an easy night for him, I think he will get us goals, but for the majority of this season, he won’t be a centre forward that can lead the line on his own.

    Opposition will be organised and will sit in their own half once we have possession. Fulham aren’t good, but they were organised and did that well, which limited the space for both Gayle and Perez. I think Mitro – or a more physical experienced alternative – would help both. They’d occupy defenders whilst Perez and Gayle come from deeper into the gaps created.

    Harsh to judge anyone on 1 game, but given our status, it will be difficult to get him in behind unless Shelvey gets on the ball quickly after an opposition attack.

  • 210 ToonMauritius // Aug 6, 2016 at 2:13 AM

    RAFA Lets go for Joel Campbell, konckaert, Abel Hernandez .

  • 211 JDdubai // Aug 6, 2016 at 3:14 AM

    Lascelles made a mistake, he is 22, it will happen. Unfortunetely it cost a goal today, he will learn.

    Perez, i think im in the minority here but i dont see where he will succeed for us, thought this last season. Cant play as a lone Cf which is what we do, not good wide, only chance is as a 10 but touch poor today, lost ghe ball most of the time, only think he can play with a big CF in front of him. Last season he played best when we went 442 with Mitro and him up front.

    Ritchei needs to stay RW, big mistake from Rafa moving it around just to get Anita in the team.

    If we only play 1 up front, not sure why Gayle got the 9 shirt, Mitro must play there when he returns meaning either Gayle moves wide or in the hole? Diame surely will play there though? We lacked a focal point today once again, no point having Ritchie whipping balls in if no-one to head them.


  • 212 county down magpie // Aug 6, 2016 at 4:28 AM

    I personally would have started today in much the same way we finished last season. Lascelles and Mbemba centre half pairing, Anita on the right and Tiote in the middle. That is a solid base which is what we need in this league. But let’s be honest here, we’ve had HOPEFULLY, an off day that we can recover from. Gayle is not suited to being a target man, Mitro will sort that. Ritchie played well and that’s about all the good I can say other than Arma’s wee cameo where I’m he done well. Tonight was the litmus test for us and we will see a change for the next match. Keep the faith lads, for those that don’t remember, it’s a long hard slog down here where we are the big scalp everyone is out for.

  • 213 beautifulmind // Aug 6, 2016 at 6:31 AM

    It was always going to take 5 or so games to get the performance levels up.
    I’d go for
    Janmat mbemba lasceles Dummet
    Sissoko tiote diame Ritchie
    Perez gayle

  • 214 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 6, 2016 at 6:42 AM

    We cannot play/compete in the championship playing 5 or six short arses/players with no muscle on the pitch

    Yesterday we had Colback, Anita, Perez, Gayle, Ritchie starting
    Aarons, Armstrong, coming on

    We are easily going to be bossed out-muscled

  • 215 Jib // Aug 6, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    Fifa has a lot to answer for.
    Too many on here when things don’t go right simply say get this player get that player.
    Unfortunately Rafa doesn’t have that luxury he has to work with what he’s got.
    The main problem was service to the front runners – the passing until Shelvey came on was poor and predictable.
    We lost away from home by one goal to a preventable set-piece – disappointing but not the end of theworld – if Big Al had been playing he would hav challenged Matt Smith for the ball as a matter of course.
    The referees in the Championship pride themselves on not catering to the prima donnas like their PL colleagues do , which makes for a lot more robust challenges.
    With a pinch of luck we could have got a point which would have been a great start.

  • 216 Ron Knee // Aug 6, 2016 at 6:53 AM

    I’m sure Benitez will make changes following last night’s fiasco. He knows the team is lightweight and is working on signing more players.

    Let’s hope Mbemba and Diamé are available next week.

  • 217 hibbitt // Aug 6, 2016 at 6:53 AM

    i dont see goals in Perez and Gayle
    its not going to be as easy a some think yesterday was a wake up call

  • 218 Jib // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    I think fiasco is really being overly dramatic.

    We looked ring rusty and in need of a couple more players operating at Ritchies level.

    Wake up call for all concerned.

  • 219 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:14 AM

    ‘Lightweight’ bloody understatement.
    looked like a bunch of 10 year olds kids playing against team of 18 year olds. Might not be as technically good footballers but bigger stronger easily knock players off the ball, win every aerial dual, outpaced our players, stronger in the tackle.

    RAFA has got to make a lot of changes and bring in stronger more physical players as we are easily going to get out fought.

    Got to change tactics when Mitro not there – hoofing long balls to PEREZ, Armstrong, Gayle – total waste of time.

    GOT TO GET NEW BIG MUSCULAR CENTRE FORWARD IN BEFORE NEXT WEEKEND as playing like we did the ball is going to come straight back

  • 220 Jib // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:17 AM

    M’Bemba (in front of the back 4)

  • 221 Jib // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:34 AM

  • 222 FinnBarr // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    Still have a long season to go…. One note the commentators brought up during the broadcast in the States was interesting. It was maybe around the 60 minute mark and they reported that for total number of touches, Gayle had one more that Sels at that time. Kinda troubling.

  • 223 Bobbybee // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    Can’t get my head around some of the comments from last night. 😉 We were awful, but relegated after one game? It didn’t work. Whatever Rafa had in mind, the players let him down. Long balls to small strikers? I can’t imagine that was in his orders.
    On any level, strikers are only as good as the service they get, whereas last night they got very little. Small, pacy strikers, like Gayle and Arma, need the ball played along the floor with their faces towards the goal, not balls played into them with their backs to goal – that’s for your bigger blokes. We played far too many long balls. Rafa will put that right. We’ll see a completely different performance on Saturday and probably a different line up. Anybody writing us off after one poor game needs to take up a different past time. When was our last win at Fulham? Years ago. Some grounds just have the hold over you.
    Before sending Arma out on loan, he needs a chance to prove himself. He showed more fight in 20 mins than most of the team in 90. Cameos are not the way to judge young players.
    The midfield was poor last night and failed to create many chances. Diame will bolster that and should start on Saturday.
    Summary was simply that we were poor all over the pitch. First game. Anybody who doesn’t think Rafa can fix that might as well call it a day and join Runnaway777. What an apt moniker! 😉

  • 224 Mister Tuff // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    Jib – you are such a clot :-
    “Jib // Aug 6, 2016 at 6:49 AM
    Fifa has a lot to answer for.
    Too many on here when things don’t go right simply say get this player get that player.
    Unfortunately Rafa doesn’t have that luxury he has to work with what he’s got…….”

    ” Has to work with what he’s got” —-eh eh.

    Not true he has just bought 8 players – his choices —————–duh.

  • 225 Mister Tuff // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    Our diminutive forwards need a big bloke to play off. They do not look as if they could score in a house of ill repute.
    Last night there was no penetration (jib – penetration is not a reference to love making but a term we use in football to describe getting through another teams defences).

  • 226 Mister Tuff // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    Please let’s not mask our result by saying Fulham played well. They were very poor – we were worse.

  • 227 Jib // Aug 6, 2016 at 7:59 AM

    Jokanovic got lucky – he set up his team to not lose against the fearsome NUFC – got an unexpected set piece goal and a blind ref.

  • 228 JDdubai // Aug 6, 2016 at 8:00 AM

    Think Rafa made a few mistakes yesterday with his selection to be honest.

    Ritchie should stay RW, cutting in with Janmaat overlapping.
    Anita is a CM or FB, nothing more.
    Colback AND Hayden isnt necessary, Hayden can do the holding, we need Shelvey or Diame or someone who can impact the final third next to him.
    Aarons needs to get his chance to start, give him 3 or 4 games as a starter and see what he can do – if he can last that many games….
    Mbemba with Lascelles from now on also.

    Think Perez will struggle, cant play as a lone CF, cant play wide so really the 10 position is his only option but yesterday his touch was poor as well as his decision making. Needs to really step up or he will lose his place to Diame. Still not convinced he has what it takes to succeed, maybe with a big CF next to him he can handle it but not behind another small CF.

    Next game Id go with:


    Really missing Mitro to be the focus and also to have someone on the end of Ritchie’s crosses – no point having a good crosser with no-one there to head it. Also questions where Gayle will play, now the no9 so youd think he would be a starter but may have to move wide left?

  • 229 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 6, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    I wouldn’t be pointing the finger at the players, saying that they “let Rafa down”, they just played to their level, pretty much. I thought the team selection was predictable, given what we had seen pre-season, but I still thought it looked lacklustre. And so it proved to be. For me the loudest wake-up call should be in Rafa’s ears.

  • 230 Vask // Aug 6, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    To be honest, as a first game of the season our performance wasn’t owa bad. The blatant hand ball in the first half was the crucial point. It’s easy to assume that in the face of such an unfair and one sided decision that the psychological momentum shifted.
    Of course it is easy to deal in what ifs but we get that shout and put the ball away we would have been given the confidence that the hype would be justified. We continued playing for the full 96mins and had two other poignant decisions against us.

    Let’s just hope that the bar for quality of refereeing hasn’t just been set.

    Let St james’ wall of sonic perfection blow Huddersfield out of the water.

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