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Rafa Benitez – We Weren’t Expecting That – Fans Stunned

7:27 pm, Saturday, August 13th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 137 Comments

This was not in the script for Newcastle this season.

And after the last two pathetic seasons – when our players have looked pathetic and embarrassing at times – we have started this season worse than we did the last two – with two successive defeats and another lethargic display from far too many of Newcastle’s highly paid players.

This time it was against Huddersfield Town at home, who probably couldn’t believe their luck in winning today at St. James’ Park and starting the season with two 2-1 wins and now they are 6 points above Newcastle.

huddersfield celebrate after seocnd winceleb-large_trans++czdhLElrxQyOTueuclaCjd6tS3swphtK_Nu6PIasPR4

Huddersfield players celebrate famous win against a poor Newcastle side

Maybe the Newcastle club is just cursed?

Whatever it is – this is all extremely embarrassing.

Certainly in the long 9 years we have run this blog, we have had one single decent season in 2011-2012 and far too many of them have been poor and (very) painful ones – it’s just not worth the effort.

Rafa Benitez needs to sort this thing out quickly, and we cannot have players like Jonjo Shelvey as one example, wearing the back and white shirt when he doesn’t seem to care.

Drop him and some others for Wednesday’s game against Reading – another defeat in that home game will be building an even deeper hole for us.

It’s never been easy to play for Newcastle and it seems a lot of our new players are finding that out rather quickly.

And the current situation seems a bit like when Benitez first came in last March – he needs to look for players who are big enough to wear the shirt.

This is what a shocked Rafa said after the game today:

“We weren’t expecting that kind of display.” “We knew Huddersfield would be difficult to break down, but we didn’t play at a level we wanted to. We improved in the second half but we’re really disappointed.”

“It’s good that we have an immediate opportunity to bounce back,” “I don’t think you can call these first two results a reality check.” “We knew how difficult this division would be and the players just need to show a little more confidence.”

From what we have seen so far, there are too many of our players who seem not big enough to wear the shirt – they need to stop messing around and start to play some decent football.

And soon too.

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Tags: Championship · Jonjo Shelvey · Newcastle News · Other News · Poll

137 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    What’s that noise, it’s only Munster at 61 on the previous thread!

  • 2 Belfast // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:35 PM

    Was that what all the noise was ?? Ah right.

  • 3 Belfast // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:37 PM

    Forrestieri seems to have effectively went on strike today.

  • 4 sparky55 // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Team needs time to settle…lots of new players and Rafa will work out the best combo soon enough. When Keane took over at sunderland at the end of August in 2006 they were in the bottom three and they ended up getting promoted…so let’s not throw in the towel just yet eh Lads FFS

  • 5 Mister Tuff // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    What are all those bangs and booms – is it the percussion instruments/bass line to a song which Munster uses whilst he practices the King Percy Dance Routine.
    “Yo get down and do dem funky moves”.

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    We need to make Brighton a silly money offer for Knockeart and try to bring in a big target man. It’s all very well saying we’re missing Mitro but if this is the shyte we’re going to play when he’s missing then we need back up for him. It’s still early and we have to remember we’re a team with eight changes that simply had to be brought in.

  • 7 Belfast // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    Toonkk Middleborough 4231 and promoted last season?

  • 8 Jail for Ashley // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    Reading this place afternoon you’d think there were some ready to give Rafa his P45 and get on the dog and bone to Stuart Pearce 😮

  • 9 Belfast // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:48 PM

    Yer right Sparky but I dare you to come on at 3.30 on a Saturday afternoon and explain it.

  • 10 JP...from The Rock // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    From what I heard on the radio we were awful again. A verry worying result after all we’ve been through already. If Rafa can’t get it right then who in the hell can!? We really are cursed aren’t we. What we cannot do is go nuts in panic. We need to remain calm somehow.

    But these players need a real kick up the arse! I think many were scared by a packed St James’ instead of being inspired to play better. Do we seem to put pressure on all of our players? If so shouldn’t they be taking it in and embracing the atmosphere and passion instead of crumbling under pressure.

    Whatever it is a cause for concern but it is evident we need much more creativity and confidence in our play and pronto. I am still sure Rafa will get it right but this is not what any of us were expecting.

  • 11 sparky55 // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    Jail…it’s more than likely their age mate…they’ve not been through the grinder anywhere near long enough to understand what can happen. This is by no means the start we wanted but by no means the end either…we’ll be right up there cometh the hour…no doubt about that

  • 12 Jail for Ashley // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:54 PM

    It’s about time we had a trip to Wembley anyway 😀

  • 13 sparky55 // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Belfast…fat fingers and a shite phone means I’ll never be able to keep up with the tide of neanderthal musing and abuse. Only any good when I’m back home on the computer! 🙂

  • 14 sparky55 // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    Jail…for a concert mebees 🙂 🙂

  • 15 ilovetoon8788 // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    If by the end of game 12 and we are not in the top 3, we can forget about automatic Ormiston) promotion.

  • 16 ilovetoon8788 // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:57 PM

    Automatic promotion.*

  • 17 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    Just got in from match…

    Great Atmosphere at the start, suns out loads of flags noise – match kicks off ten minutes into the game place has gone dead – no wonder watching another another same old shite huff-puff performance. Plenty of ball but create SWEET FA

    Nothing has changed – playing poorer teams but they all know how to play `the TOON.

    How many times today did we get down the wings then final ball a floated cross to our midget attack
    Opposition sit back let us have the ball let us pass side to side backwards side to side backwards then HOOF it to our midget attack.
    Ball goes back to TOON sideways backwards sideways then capitalise on us making a mistake counter attack at pace stick the ball in the net – 1-0 to the opposition.

    Different managers same tactics – bloody awful.

    Here’s my marks for today for what they are worth.

    Sels…4 does not give me any confidence

    Dummet 5 – least he tried but end product poor.
    Lascalles 3 – bloody nervous wreck – poor throughout
    MBemba 5 – did OK but mistake for their winner.
    Jannmaat 6 good going forward – final ball poor

    Anita 4 – Another poor showing.
    Shelvey 6 – Ok but a lazy twat – faded badly second half head went down when they scored second.
    Hayden 4 – looked lost easily knocked off the ball
    Diame 4 – dissapointed in him looked like Ameobi in disguise.
    Gayle 4 – poor, little movement off the ball which means midfield slowing ball down pass side ways.
    Aarons 2 – absolute waste of space.

    Ritchie 7 – My MOM for second half showing – things started to happen when he came on.
    Armstrong 3 – not on long but sadly not good enough
    Perez 2 – gone to the dogs – Barcelona gone to his HEED..

    Play like we did against Reading then sadly another defeat

  • 18 SpartanChris // Aug 13, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    To be honest Ed I thought Shelvey played well – better than Hayden, Anita, Diame or Aarons

  • 19 sparky55 // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    ilovetoon…complete bollox mate…loads of late runs from nowhere have gotten teams promoted from the championship

  • 20 Jail for Ashley // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Not impressed then 😮

  • 21 sparky55 // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t win a game in August but I still think we’ll go up.

  • 22 nufc786 // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:12 PM

    Anyone think we should buy Rickie Lambert?

  • 23 welshgeordie9 // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    The squad is full of hobbits, who will get knocked off the ball easily by other championship teams.

  • 24 welshgeordie9 // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    And against reading darlow needs to start.

  • 25 toon kk // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Also a different squad of players.
    One up front does not suit our current squad.

  • 26 bettyswallocks // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    I’m sure there’s still a lot more buying and selling to be done before the window shuts. At least Rafa must now realise he needs some creativity in midfield. It’s annoying that Mitro missed the opening games , his presence up front would have made a difference.

  • 27 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:20 PM

    Not at all
    Load of crap
    Be nearer the bottom if we keep playing liked we did
    Cannot keep clean sheets
    Cannot score
    To many mistakes which prove costly
    3 mistakes 3 goals
    Jail it was poor and that is putting it mildly

  • 28 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Just got on the train heading home. Why’s Ed blamimg Shelvey? Rafa is responsible.

  • 29 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    We’ve just been relegated under Rafa. He’s had months to prepare us.

  • 30 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    First off, haven’t watched a single game so can’t judge.

    Second, the copy paste predictions of position first 120 points was a tad unrealistic. Maybe my prediction of playoffs and a win is more possible.

    Third: Rafa this Rafa that must be checked. The guy needs to perform. For starters he must use his contacts to bring in some really exciting starlets. We have a championship level team, let’s outspend the rest, now. These players are not good enough. Buy, buy, but.

    Fourth, release many of these losers. We released much better in HBA and the guy who called shearer a sxxxxe manager.

  • 31 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    I haven’t see one decent signing today except Ritchie. And Rafa put Aarons on before Ritchie. I hope all those bloggers who backed Aarons now see why he can’t hold down a place.

  • 32 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    Gayle should be called “puff of wind”.

  • 33 GeordieTwo // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Go back to 4-4-2 Rafa. Keep it simple. Play the experienced players. Forget Aarons, Arma and Perez for now except late in matches. Use a side like
    Anita Mbemba Hanley Gamez
    Colback Tiote Diame Ritchie
    It’s actually quite shocking to realize we’re still short of quality and experience at several positions. This was about all I could come up with until Mitro is back.

  • 34 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Did Ed watch the game? Has he got a stream? Shelvey was shite but so many were worse.

  • 35 GeordieTwo // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Sounds like Ritchie was carrying a knock B&B.

  • 36 GeordieTwo // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    Why did they bring Gamez to the club if they’re not going to play him? What is the problem there? Is he injured or not bothering to get fit or what? Surely he should be in the side. I don’t understand playing lesser players….

  • 37 Toon XI // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    Rafa needs to have the names removed from the back of the jerseys. Send a message to these tw@ts.

  • 38 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    If Janmaat tries to rouse the crowd one more time with his arms … Has he thought of performing on the pitch? Play good football? Try that Janmaat. That’s what will rouse the crowd. The crowd were top drawer. Janmaat and his team mates killed the atmosphere. Hard to believe it possible.

  • 39 martoon // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    I think Mitro getting suspended for the first 4 games is really hurting us. He would have made such a difference today when we were playing high balls into the box.

  • 40 GeordieTwo // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    If we’re already afraid of putting our senior experienced players out there, what are they doing at the club? I can make allowances for young’uns like Aarons and Perez having a difficult start in this division but the older players should be ashamed if they can’t get out there and produce.

  • 41 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    Just reading Rafa’s words there. Listen Rafa. There is no quality in that side except for Ritchie. What are you talking about? I watched Huddersgield at the John Smiths last week. They have better players all over the park and they have heart, commitment and organisation. Over to you big man.

  • 42 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Mitro is shit.

  • 43 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    If Mitro was any good we would not have been relegated.

  • 44 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    If Ritchie was carrying a knock why was he even on the bench? And how come he played so well when he came on? It beggars belief.

  • 45 Toon XI // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:46 PM

    Ritchie must be having second thoughts after joining this sad lot of teammates.

  • 46 OneAlanShearer // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    We need to sort the left side put. We need talent and experience. Anita should not be starting. Arguably lascelles as well. Dummett. Gayle.

    We need creativity in midfield, pace and power down the left and up front.

  • 47 jazzyp // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:49 PM

    Just got back from a very long angry drive home back down the A1 from the game. Had plenty of time to dwell on the match, And I have nothing positive what so ever to say regarding that shambolic display today .

    Respect to the Gallowgate flag initiative, Looked class from the Platinum. Plenty of noise to kick start the game, Then deafening silence for most of the first half. We were easily out sung throughout the match.
    Booed off at half time and at the final whistle and rightly so because that my friends was as shambolic as it gets.

    Again we have nothing going forward and passed sideways and backwards more than i care to remember.
    Long punts up field in hope which either went sailing straight into the keepers arms or was easily shepherd out by there defenders.

    My worry is I do not see how things are going to change. Yeah 2 games in but should the same failings of last season not have been addressed by now

  • 48 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    This is our chance for an overhaul. We’ve made some expensive purchases who just haven’t been up to it: shelvey, mitro, Thauvin, Anita, SDJ, the list is endless. Rafa, you god you, bring in some quality. There’s time.

  • 49 James RS // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:53 PM

    Not keen on goalkeeper Sels either, any of the other 3 keepers Krul, Eliot or Darlow would have been better… Their positioning,shot stopping , organising and taking corners is better in my opinion

  • 50 James RS // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:54 PM

    Sels out and Mitro in would make a difference

  • 51 davis_toons // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    We do not want to do a Chelsea of last season. I believe we will know in another 8 games how the team is like..

    I have trust in Rafa. We’ll have to get the proper players in.

    Krul (C)
    (Ritchie)- Sissoko- Shelvey**

    *Lascelles (kiv)

    (“He’s very intelligent and very good physically as well, he has good strength. I think Newcastle is a good opportunity for him.” – AW on Hayden)

    **Ryo Miyaichi, 23, 183 (good to have; would easily chip in a few goals)

  • 52 GeordieTwo // Aug 13, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Let’s give Mitro a chance in this division before we write him off! Come off it, the man hasn’t even played yet. He may not be Shearer but he can bring goals to the side in this division. As for Ritchie from what I heard he had a slight knock or he would have started. I’m not making any excuses about Gamez. He should be out there or he should be gone if he’s fit. I just can’t believe this. Having to play Anita on the wing at this stage of the season is ridiculous as well.

  • 53 Toon XI // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    If we don’t take at least three points by this time next weekend then I would argue it is enough of a sample size to say we are not strong enough for promotion. I hope we won’t have to test that theory.

  • 54 lochinvar // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    Dummett seems to be the master of the left footed sideways or backwards tap pass which slows the whole pace of building an attack down and let’s opposition get 10 men behind the ball. More incisive forward passes and getting beyond the opposition midfield opens up options in front of the back four and some inside passes to run onto wouldn’t go a miss ….. you wonder where the passion and enthusiasm to play football has gone …coached out of the players by Macclaren and Pardew . Rafa take the players to the beach, have some fun and set our people free ….please !

  • 55 Harley // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    Just back from match.

    Sels- not sure what he’s done to get in over Darlow.

    Janmaat- not looking his best.

    Lascelles – still not the player who looked immense towards the end of last season.

    Mbemba – looked good

    Dummet- every time he got the ball the move came to nothing.

    Shelvey – looked back to his best again, faded as the match wore on though.

    Hayden – looks like he’s still learning, was caught out so many times.

    Anita – how he is starting games is beyond me. Has not one quality that is required at this level.

    Diame- disastrous debut, hardly had a kick.

    Aaron’s- most disappointing player on the pitch. Looks a shadow of the player that was terrorising defences not long ago.

    Gayle- powder puff presence, nowhere near as fast as made out, lucky with the penalty, totally ineffective.

    We desperately need mitrovic back and if sissoko and tiote are still at the club then they should start.

    Ritchie along with Shelvey the only players who looked good enough.

  • 56 Toon Tang // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    Ooohh, is it time for our close-up on channel 5.

  • 57 jazzyp // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:04 PM


    Ask yourself why we have still not addressed the left back spot yet, And keep playing a Cb there who incidently got skinned again as he did in the first match.
    What exactly does Anita do in a game ??.
    I don’t know what’s happened to Perez but i wish Barca had got there wish cos he’s dog sh@te.

    Hopefully league 1 will be easier next season

  • 58 Munster Mag // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    Jail is that the best you can do? Really? The negatives i said about rafa, which you poured scorn on, have worked out even worse than i feared. Some day you too might show some footballing insight and foresight. Not holding my breath though.

  • 59 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    Thanks to you guys who get to see the games and report on them.

  • 60 Munster Mag // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:07 PM

    Where do we go from here? More signings and rafa has to alter his philosophy a little. A few more (!) signings and a good win and we can start again. But the defensiveness has to be altered. Quickly.

  • 61 jazzyp // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:10 PM


    I was told not to worry when we lost Townsend, Because we had replaced him with Richie…….Take your head for a shake lads he’s not even in the same league.

    I was given crap on here because i said Gayle was an uninspiring signing. Please tell me after pre season and the first two games what the f@ck Gayle has done…….Reminds me so much of Cisse cos his first touch is none existent, Knocked off the ball far to easily. And as you rightly said, Not half as quick as we were led to believe

  • 62 martoon // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie @42 @43 @44 – Those 3 posts show how little you know about football. If a footballer is carrying a knock he can’t always manage a full 90 minutes so put them on the bench in case they are needed – very common in football.
    Mitrovic is not shit, yes he is not a prolific goal scorer but he is good in the air and a good battler which is exactly what we need against championship defences.

  • 63 davis_toons // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    *Shelvey was in the team because he was too expensive to be drop.

  • 64 Back Door Man // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Cor Blimey!  Déjà vu. We could all just recycle our posts from last season to sum up what’s happening now, some already are and I might be tempted to join them later.

    I remind myself it takes a bit of time to meld in a ‘new’ team … I’m not sure those ‘toy town’ friendlies really helped … so I’m prepared to be disappointed for

  • 65 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:15 PM

    Mitro isn’t shit at all. He’s young and inexperienced and new to English football, and despite this and not always being a regular starter in the side scored 9 goals and carried out his primary function of leading the line well, rattling centre backs, winning his share of 50 50’s, holding the ball up, bringing others in to game, and getting on the end of crosses, at time thrillingly. We desperately need that now, and his personality, much more than we could have imagined.

    It’s astonishing for a Newcastle side to play consecutive matches without an aerial threat in the box, and conceivable that we’ll have a mountain climb by the time he returns, thanks to his rash sending off. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, although I’ve brought this up a few times previously, Rivierre the better option to start if Mitrovic is unavailable, and also about as good an understudy as we are likely ever to get in the Championship, but really Gayle on his own up top, with a big attacking mid player like Diame trying to get up alongside him as often as possible doesn’t look like it has any legs, and a bit desperate.

  • 66 Back Door Man // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:15 PM

    … a couple more weeks.

  • 67 jazzyp // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    How many games does it take to realise we need a left back that isn’t gonna get skinned every game. How many games does it take to realise we have no creativity in the squad ??
    If this was Percy or Mclaren you would be skinning the blokes alive

    The football was worse than last season, We have no bleeding idea how to break a team down, And lets not forget we were playing Huddersfield…….Let me repeat that Huddersfield

  • 68 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    On Mitro, I admit that despite being disappointing thus far, I have time for. I feel he needs a Bellamy close by, like that guy resurrected Shearer’s barren little spell.

    But we do need to buy some game changers, surely Rafa sees that. He says the defeats aren’t a reality check but I’m sure he knows it’s exactly what they are.

  • 69 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    You’re talking shite.

  • 70 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    I predicted we ‘d get beat 1-0 last week. Nobody else did. That’s how much I know about football.

    I was at the John S

  • 71 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Should have kept Cisse for one last season rather than bought Gayle, offered Obertan a one year deal, kept Collocini for one last hurrah alongside Mbemba, and should keep Tiote and Sissoko now, and Dummett should have been replaced, although I think he will.

  • 72 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Wor lass is talking to me and pressed her hand on my phone to get my attention.

  • 73 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    What have we bought to replace the likes of Gini? A palace sub, a lower team’s starlet, a washed out player, a relegated team’s player. Not too inspiring or scary for any opponents.

    Bring in new blood, release players, with severance pay to make room. Realise that Aarons et al can’t promote us.

  • 74 welshgeordie9 // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    Don’t worry Gents, at least we not in the relegation zone……………….yet.

  • 75 KevinLee // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Don’t fking use Lascelles again!!!!!

  • 76 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Who’s doing the recruiting? Is it still Carr or master of all crafts Rafa?

  • 77 jazzyp // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:31 PM


    Aarons was rightly replaced at half time. Another player shot of ideas. I lost count of how many times he lost the ball

  • 78 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:31 PM

    I was at the John Smiths last week. I watched Huddersfield last season. I warned about Aaron Mooy, Elias Ketchunga and Jack Payne last week. I knew Huddersfield would be a handful today. I said NUFC are a relegated team who have spent less than they’ve recouped. I’ve said Roloando Aarons isn’t good enough. He’s shown nothing for far too long. Have you? What have you said?

  • 79 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    Like I said, thanks for the eye witness reports. Hope you get to see better football next time.

  • 80 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:35 PM

    Were you at the game today?

  • 81 Harley // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:37 PM


    Honestly Ritchie looked more than capable of filling Townsends shoes. I think he’s our only hope at present until mitro back.

    Gayle has been non existent but I feel he’ll flourish alongside mitro.

    Why we didn’t buy a cheap target man for a stand in for mitro I’ll never know.

  • 82 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Rafa is in charge of recruitment. Big fail for me. This is not good enough.

  • 83 cyprus // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    And thanks Blackley too. And the others who see the games and offer an opinion.

  • 84 Yo-yo // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    Mitro will prove you wrong BlaBr.

  • 85 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    I missed the Arnhem game. I read all the good reports of Hayden. I’ve seen him twice now. Once on tv and again today. He looks bloody bang average.

  • 86 The next Mike Williamson // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:40 PM

    Weve got more defensive midfielders than attacking midfielders, wingers and strikers combined. Thauvin should have been kept until we had someone better brought in. A bit skill and creativity is exactly what were lacking.

  • 87 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:42 PM

    And Martoon
    Remember when loads on here were telling me last season that Mitro and Perez would be banging in the goals? And I was saying you’re having a laugh? Well I was right. And Perez was shit then and is shit now. Pathetic.

  • 88 davis_toons // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    Aarons isn’t good enough. Thats true.

    Wayne Routledge is even better with intelligent runs and other side of the game. Apart from pace and stamina.

  • 89 The next Mike Williamson // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Imagine ritchie and mitrovic get injured. Weve absolutely nobody to score or create. Gayle is mediocre, perez doesnt have a position, and aarons and arma need a year on loan.

    we need about 4 attacking players. Foerstieri, a foreign left winger who can unlock defences, and two up and coming ones on the cheap.

  • 90 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    If Makro had made these signings and had us putting in these performances, he’d have been slated. At least Makro can say he didn’t have control.

  • 91 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    Gayle = puff of wind
    Diame = Dear me

  • 92 BandB // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    Earlier this week Rafa said he thought signing Knockeart was going to be tough. Very difficult.
    He also said that at this stage it would be be “normal” for a club to think about alternative targets.
    We should remind ourselves of how often this club has pursued players right to the point where we “can’t get them over the line.” We then declare a fringe player “ready” to fill the vacant situation by offering them a new contract.
    Rafa is not in sole control of transfers. He works with Charnley. Obviously Rafa has to trust him to be on the same page.
    I would watch that space. The season is young and things could look very different within a few weeks…….very.

  • 93 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    Aarons needs a year on loan? He’s been on and around the block for ages and just been given a five year contract by Rafa. He’s done nothing at all to deserve it.

  • 94 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    I can’t see how things will look very different. If you think so, please tell us where exactly you’re hanging your hat? We’ve made crap signings and sold our better players from a relegated team. Rafa needs to get his finger out and sign quality.

  • 95 Thump // Aug 13, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    The biggest issue today is that we played the wings quite a lot, putting in crosses to Gayle who was crowded out or put high and wide. I don’t remember any attacks coming through the middle, and absolutely none of which that went to feet. I lost count of the amount of times I saw Gayle running into space only to have the ball cut back to a wide man and a cross to a now empty space.

    Defensively we were dire. Ritchie and Janmaat spent the entire second half combatting for the same spot on the pitch (to Janmaat’s chagrin), which left a midfielder and Lascelle’s and Mbemba sat back trying to hold the fort. Bizarre to see a line of 7 men in perfect formation with the oppositions defensive line, with two men at the back thinking “sod.”

  • 96 Mister Tuff // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Watching the Championship programme on Channel 5 – wow – one or two very tidy teams – currently several better than us without a doubt.

    With all the knobbers still in their jobs at SJP – it is to be hoped that they do not pull any stunts on Rafa like they did to KK.

    We need players – couple of forwards – big man and winger. Also some creative player otherwise we are Tom Ducked.
    Reality has struck home.

  • 97 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    We still have a few significant players to come into the mix and a further signing or two. Krul, Sissoko, Mitrovic, Tiote, Galloway hopefully and De Jong. This season obviously hasn’t settled down, but after two losses it now must and we need to get these players available and competing for places.

  • 98 toon kk // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Why is so many saying our squad isn’t good enough? Before the season kicked off many had us as a quality premier league side (for some reason, not sure why) but we are more likely to be in a relegation battle than to be promoted going off our poor players.

  • 99 funguswatty // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    It’s two games in to a long season give Rafa time to get them gelling as his team not one he inherited that has had a losing mentally for years

  • 100 lesh // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    I wonder, given the number of new players, whether they felt the effects of playing in front of 52,000 in a ground far bigger than they’ve been used to? Could they feel pressurised by the expectations of fans? Might they need some psychological help to help them cope with life at SJP?

    And, given his success over the years, could the fact that Rafa’s got too much on his plate? A lot of his success has been in times when his responsibility was coaching and it might just be that Rafa’s not been able to fully focus on and coach as much as he’d like to.

    Today was yet another disappointing result but it’s early days yet……. I hope – as does everyone else who supports Newcastle United.

  • 101 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Showdown now brewing ominously between Sissoko, Benitez, and possibly the club, who might just fancy the 35 million quid, if push came to shove. But that’d be chump change should we fail to go up, and with Sissoko doubtless more resolved than ever to get out of Dodge after those two games. Benitez now has his work cut out.

  • 102 nufc786 // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    On the Anita debate I think he started at RW today was because of Janmaat’s tendency to bomb forward. Rafa must of thought Anita will be more defensive which will all the right hand side to be secure and prevent a counter attack.

    Moving to Aarons, Benitez must of thought adding him would add more balance to the team and also it could possibly help the young lad’s confidence infront of 50,000 geordies as well as keep ritchie fresh for wednesdays game

  • 103 davis_toons // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Aarons is an “average” young player which can be easily sold and as a manager with not much resources of wingers at hands and “cheap” contracts is easily renew. 5 years?Thats not a problem.

    Sissoko is the man that needs to be tied down. Pay him what he deserve and it will be fine.

  • 104 lesh // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    It appears that the players we’ve signed of late just haven’t got the character needed to succeed at the Club.

    Has anyone any insight into the current player recruitment process? Has Rafa got his own trusty lieutenants in the field scouting and assessing potential recruits? Or, and more worryingly, is Carr guiding Rafa?

  • 105 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Spot on. Three quality players a minimum. I can’t say enough how bad I think we are. Except for Ritchie, there’s simply not a good enough player amongst them. Diame was dreadful. Hanley was dropped. Hayden has been shite. Gamez hasn’t been good enough to figure. The keeper hasn’t helped us. Rafa, what are you doing?

  • 106 jane // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    bring back Gabriel Obertan.

  • 107 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    I forgot to mention the puff of wind by the name of Gayle.

  • 108 Jail for Ashley // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    Megson looks like he’s swallowed a bag of weed and do we want another player in the dressing room who’s prepared to go on strike to force a move.

  • 109 toon kk // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    There’s definitely a strange loosing mentality at our club, not sure why? Maybe pressure. Even better signings seem to go back over.

  • 110 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    St James’s has always been an unnerving place to play your football when you’re on your uppers. Growing and palpable angst, and it’s rearing its distressed head early in the piece this season. If only for this reason alone, a good start was most important.

    I wonder if Rafa is finding out a few things about the task at hand a little too late, i.e. the two sides of the crowd, the realities of losing established players and the problems of finding adequate replacements once relegated.

  • 111 lesh // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:23 PM


    You wonder why Perez’s gone off the boil. Maybe he’s discovered the delights of female company.

  • 112 OneAlanShearer // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    We are 3 players short. As per every season under Ashley.

    We need a left back, left winger and big powerful accurate striker.

  • 113 BandB // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    The only thing I can predict with any certainty is exactly the tack you are going to take over Rafa, Blackers.
    Thankfully, some things are still utterly transparent.

  • 114 BandB // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    He’s going to be this season’s “Old Man Carr” isn’t he?

  • 115 Toonces // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    I think we need to look at Loan opportunities to boost the talent in the side to a higher level. We can’t buy on permanent transfer basis PL level talent as we are in the championship but we could probably get a couple loans in that their parent clubs would be happy to see develop for a season under Rafa. Priority is to get promoted back to the PL, not worry that a few loans might push down a few of our younger players that are not ready yet. Galloway is a good start. I don’t know other candidates but with Rafa’s network certainly he must know a few.

  • 116 welshgeordie9 // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Never mind bring back Obertan, at this rate bring back Pardew.

  • 117 JamesToon // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    We will recover our form I’m sure of it. Maybe these losses can be blessings in disguise, in Rafa we trust.

  • 118 Toon Tang // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    I bet McClaren is buzzing his shredded wheat off.

  • 119 welshgeordie9 // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Anyone watching match of the day. What the hell does lineker look like, Can’t see Jeff Stelling doing that.

    Ha ha ha

  • 120 Bri // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    What form? We haven’t shown any form with these new recruits as yet.

  • 121 John Tudor // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    dear me same old same old no effort no speed no nothing

  • 122 El Sleeve // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    I really don’t understand why we signed a new No. 1 keeper. I thought Darlow and Woodman would be fine until Elliot came back. Sels has looked awful these first two games.

  • 123 Munster Mag // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Tuff you are some hypocrite. You have said exactly what i said in terms of players. Reality has indeed struck home. Except i opined about rafa’s predeliction ( look it up) for defensive whilst no doubt you were talking about pardews silly dance weeks ago. Remember sunderland game? Villa ? Norwich? Fulham? When will guys like you learn about the game rather than pick silly fights?? Rafa has to wake up. The jury is out re whether he has the capacity to change. Is he living on a past reputation of greatness? I still trust him but he is doing exactly as i feared, on!y worse. We will come through it though,i think.

  • 124 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Wrong. Rafa is here to stay for a very long time for me. He’s helped us into this mess. He’s had a long time to get it right. Not like Moyesie. So Rafa now needs to sort it out. This is two games in. It’s a long season. My eyes are on Rafa. I’m not going to blow smoke up his arse. If he’s making bad decisions, I’m going to call him out.

    I mean what was Anita doing playing on the left wing? What is Janmaat doing in the team? Is Clark worse than him? If so, what does that say about Clark? Why were we putting in high balls to Gayle? What was the idea of playing Diame so high? He was so ill at ease there. Where do I stop?

  • 125 getoutofworeclub // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    I don’t. No why most fans say on here that we need a striker. Cos it won’t make a difference when u r playing 1 up front I was at the match the day and Gail got no service what’s so ever that formaiton has never worked for us and never will it’s not the players it’s the system we need to play 442 it’s simply dummet and Anita need to be dropped we need a lb a lw and one more striker and if we play 442 we will smash this league as much as I love Rafa he plays this system all the time but the my worrie if we Carrie on playing this system we will not go back up intact I can see us going down so he has to change it just hope he does

  • 126 El Sleeve // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    My Liverpool mate has reminded me that Benitez teams don’t just attack, they have to control the game, so no Keegan-style gung ho attitude forthcoming unfortunately

  • 127 davis_toons // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    If we are bring back Shola, Obertan, we might as well bring back Leon Best.

    Good and big enough to trap a ball, created play, work hard enough to score goals and good positional sense and can finish.

  • 128 Toon Tang // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Sterling hair looks like he’s wearing one of them velodrome aerodynamic helmet things.

  • 129 Toon Tang // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    Agent McNair

  • 130 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 13, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    Didn’t see the game but it sounds like it was a piss-poor second game of the season. (how many losses required before I am allowed to call it a piss-poor “start to the season”, by the way?) Ritchie obviously looks like the only shining light in an otherwise sadly predictable bunch of poor/pedestrian signings. Thought Gayle might have been better to be fair, but it should have been a warning that Pardew didn’t play him. Seems to offer no fret at all. Diame seems to have been worful. Funny about that.

  • 131 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 11:07 PM

    I heard it on the radio and it didn’t sound piss poor as much as Benitez hasn’t sorted it out yet, and may have made one two poor decisions in the transfer market. Its early, but that argument is underdone because we can only afford a handful of losses and losing the first two makes promotion that much harder, but still this group, if kept together, with a left back and left winger drafted in under Benitez should have more than enough, but all games now have become critical, particularly at home, beginning this Wednesday night v Reading.

  • 132 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    The only thing Newcastle are good at these days is killing a cracking atmosphere. I can’t tell you how much Janmaat boils my piss with his orchestrating the crowd when the crowd’s not the problem, it’s him. He needs to kick the ball to excite them not wave his arms at the crowd.

  • 133 JAMSHA // Aug 13, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    Whats The Fantasy League Code Guys? Coz This Code 157085-73868 Says Invalid

  • 134 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 13, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    You heard it on the radio. You didn’t see it. We’ve got no quality except Ritchie. Never mind a left back and a winger. What about someone who can put the ball in the net?

  • 135 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Why swap Cisse for Gayle for example, when we already have similar in Perez and Armstrong, and no competition for Mitrovic, who we knew would be missing for the first four. Surely Cisse should have been kept, even if only to lead the line in Mitro’s absence.

  • 136 BandB // Aug 13, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Of course you’ll call him out Blackley. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
    You are just the man to be unstinting in ensuring a share of the blame is never deflected from anyone.

  • 137 jimmysmith // Aug 13, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    I still think we have a lot of good players, certainly at this level, unfortunately they haven’t been on the pitch at the same time, in the right positions, and possibly in the right formation yet.

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