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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Poll – Can Newcastle Get First Win Against Reading?

9:12 am, Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 36 Comments

Newcastle play Reading at home tomorrow night and we hope we can break our duck and get our first win and first points on the board this season, after suffering two shock defeats in the first two games.

We are already 6 points off the pace and need to start winning some games this month.

rafa benitez smiling

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

75% thought we would win at Fulham and 85% thought we would win on Saturday at home to Huddersfield, but reality seems to be setting in following those losses.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Reading?

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Tags: Championship · Coaching · Management · Poll · Prayer

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    I’ve got to laugh at the people who have to laugh at the people who think we can get some top players to our club. This is when I’m not laughing at the people who do not go to SJP who are not laughing at the people who do go to SJP and feel moved to boo at the end of each half.

  • 2 msk21dec // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Adebayor is a free agent isnt he?

  • 3 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Sorry RAFA
    I’ve put us down for another defeat – move the ball pass and move to slowly
    Cannot defend/clean sheets – error strewn defenders
    Cannot score goals – no focal point, no movement upfront to many small lightweight players.

    Still think RAFA will get it right but it is going total time. PRIORITY – GOT to get in another big, strong goalscoring forward.

    I might take a punt playing Vukic up-front – scored two for U23’s on Monday – might be slow but big strong and knows where the net is at the moment

  • 4 Thump // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Let’s not go for Adebayor…

  • 5 Our Toon // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    The lack of creativity is truly shocking, the ball does need to be moved quicker and we need more physical presence throughout the squad.

    Janmaat, Mbemba, Hanley, Gamez
    Tiote, Hayden/Colback
    Ritchie, Diame, Sissoko

    The 2 positions I’m struggling with are who partners Tiote and who play upfront

  • 6 // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    The attakin winger we need and should have signed in January is Jean Paul boating great skill and scores goals if Rafa reads these check him out

  • 7 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Out Toon
    Armstrong/Perez/Gayle are the problem – to small and lightweight – would be alright in a team who have creative midfielders who can slip the pass ball through to them BUT we do not have that player/sorry we have Shelvey but has hardly shown up

  • 8 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    I’ve got to laugh at the people who say we can’t attract top players to our club, as they are the first to tell us our club has attracted a top manager in Rafa Benitez. And no doubt many of them used to say we could never attract a top manager.

    The trouble is the people who bought the crap players who played crap and got us relegated are still at the club overseeing the scouting and recruitment of more bargain buy players. It should be no great surprise that we appear to have bought a whole load more bargain buy, inferior players. No great surprise except for the fact that Rafa now surely controls recruitment even if he is working with the same incompetents.

    If we had offered really good money to entice a talismanic top striker to our great club, we might have been in business. We might have attracted more top players. Good players would be prepared to join an ambitious club if the money were right, especially a massive club like Newcastle. But our only statement of intent so far has been to sign up Rafa.

  • 9 DubaiMicky // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    It’s not a case of CAN we win, of course we CAN – in the same way we CAN lose, or we CAN draw. The question is, WILL we win, and I can’t see it unless Sissoko and Tote are playing, up front, no point in playing Perez, he just gets knocked off the ball, better for him to go on loan to Spain than stay here i think, he’s skillful, sure, but he doesn’t have the stature for the league.

  • 10 BeeGuy // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    IT will be few goals and fewer points until there is a mid-field that can move the ball up the pitch. There is no one on this squad showing they can both position themselves on the field and then deliver a pass to an open man.

  • 11 BandB // Aug 16, 2016 at 10:47 AM

  • 12 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Latest blog news: CanadaToon (short time fan, never been to SJP) tells TynesideToon (been through thick and thin, up and down for over 50 years) he’s a bad supporter because he boos.

  • 13 Ian Toon // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Blackley- Nobody worthy of the toon is laughing at anyone, but with the blog locked into internal turmoil we’ve got to move on with a different perspective. Jail is floundering because he can’t manage to replicate the simplicity but profound “Too good for Ashley”.

    For me the simple message from which everything stemmed – we were relegated because we had failed to invest. This allied to BandB’s hope homil is the way forward . It has wider more significant life usage but didn’t Bill Shankly say something about being more important than life itself.

    OPTA – Have released data of games to date which make good reading for Benitez and the toon . OK lies lies and statistics but maybe the stats suggest that it’s tweaking and not a massive overhaul of tactics that’s required. From our two games we’ve had the second most possession in the Championship, 85.2% pass success rate and have played more crosses than anyone else in the League. For me it suggests a more direct game with balls getting out of our half at pace.

    Against Hudd’fd we delivered 32 crosses. At Fulham it was 28. Ten came from Matt Ritchie in 45 minutes – 10 from Janmaat, who really replicated the need for an Anita type going forward. Benitez sees mileage In playing so many which suggests the need for another winger. Word of another ST plus Mitrovic’s return could get things moving.

    Sorry it’s not all good news and there is much work to be one to rectify what the stats are telling us. Were 19th on shots per game; 17th in time spent in the opposition last third. Hence creativity range of passing with a Cabaye type player worth his weight in gold. Shelvey is he mobile enough ? We need more creativity in midfield. Our current style of play( in pub discussion) has drawn sharp parallels with that of England. Possession alone doesn’t win football matches we need to be less pedestrian. On Saturday we made 663 passes to Huddersfield’s 357.

    A criticism of Benitez is that he is too cautious, defensive minded and something which was our downfall against Sunderland and Norwich in our spiral towards the Championship. Huddersfield had 35% of the possession on Saturday but had eight shots to United’s 13. Huddersfield were happy to shoot from outside the box which were not inclined to do.

    Food for thought but not despair.

  • 14 Ian Toon // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:16 AM


  • 15 toontaff2 // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    The big questions are:
    How many will be in early to wave the flags?
    At what time will the latest fire drill occur?
    Will Toontaff be feeling lonely after 82 minutes again- please stay, lads?!
    How loud will the boos be?

  • 16 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    The thing I’ve noticed is that a number of those who are saying booing is bad and will adversely affect the club are the same ones who were telling fans to boycott the club….. A touch contradictory.

    If you pay your money to go, you are well within your rights to praise or criticise in whichever manner you choose. In any other line of work you wouldn’t hold off criticism if you received poor service or an unsatisfactory return for your money. Why should over paid and pampered footballers be exempt?

    I don’t think I have ever booed at a game, although I may well have in the heat of the moment and just forgotten about it. But I certainly wouldn’t criticise any of those around me that did in the past, particularly having witnessed some of the garbage that I/we/they have had to put up with.

  • 17 Rafa Revolution // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Is this like Blog Big Brother:

    Who goes you decide!

  • 18 hibbitt // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    sick to death of these long distant fans being so judgemental of the fans that go to games what right have they got to judge
    booing. slow hand clapping. white hankies are part of the game and used worldwide
    not just nufc

  • 19 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    I have also just read that article in the Chronicle that details those stats. Ritchie’s signing (and the lack of any real creative player) indicated to me that a powerful striker would be key to our season. I know we have Mitro, but it did puzzle me that Gayle has, so far, been the only striker signed and his game is in no way suited to the type of service Ritchie will provide.

    It will be interesting to see who the new strikers are. According to a Ronny article we are still whittling down a list of targets, and there have been no bids for one, which is a little worrying. Can we assume Rafa didn’t think it would be a problem, when most of us did, and therefore it was a low priority?

  • 20 lochinvar // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    Ian Toon @13
    Some revealing stats.
    My perception is that we seem to struggle to shoot or make the space to shoot from the edge of the box with some wild shots from the likes of Dummet more in hope than skill.
    Fire power is needed – we may have it in Gayle and Mitro and Ritchie but need to play with more energy and create more space for them to delivery the goods.

  • 21 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Little puff of wind up top with DearMe behind him for support. Pathetic.

    Then Janmaat whose crossing is useless. People rave about Eden Hazard. Like Janmaat, he flatters to deceive.

    You’ve got to look at what a player produces to win games. Neither does anywhere near enough. Show Hazard the outside every time and he can’t cross with his left foot. I’m not convinced Hazard is a winger; he’d be better off learning to be an inside forward. And I’m not convinced Janmaat is a right back. The way he gesticulates at the fans, he’d be better off learning to be the conductor of an orchestra.

  • 22 Belfast // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Vote for a loss and beat the winbar.

  • 23 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    Rafa Rev
    I’ve often thought this blog reminds me of the Big Brother house for its antics.

  • 24 Ian Toon // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    LILO- Yes it seems that given the uncertainties of who stays and who goes ( sounds a bit like big brother!) that were playing a system without the right personnel. The next few weeks could make a massive difference to Gale’s and team performance generally. Hope Ritchie is fit to play a full part tomorrow but we desperately need left sided momentum.

  • 25 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    When one of my sons has played crap, I’ll simply say, “You were crap today”. When fans boo at half time or full time, they’re simply saying, “You were crap today”.

  • 26 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Football’s a funny old game. 50% down to luck and 50% down to skill, organisation etc. Even though Fulham and Huddersfield played better, with just a smidgeon better luck, we’d have won those two games.

  • 27 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Lil @16
    I agree with you there. Interesting observation about the boycotters too.

  • 28 Ian Toon // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Blackley- Eden Hazard is a wonderful player who underperformed last season. He’s a top top player and was always going to be – he played as a youngster at Lille with Cabaye.

  • 29 Ian Toon // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    lochinvar- Hopefully we’ll have a more balanced team soon with players playing in their natural positions and bolstered by signings .
    Dummet can’t live of the ManU game for ever. We lack natural momentum when he gets the ball. We do need someone to get onto crosses in the final third and generally hold the ball up. Surprised that with Mitrovic out for 4 games that it wasn’t addressed along with a LB sooner.

  • 30 hibbitt // Aug 16, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    toontaff2 @ 15
    its always been the same going back it time they used to watch the 10 minute flag when it come down of they went
    mind you in those days as many came in as went out

  • 31 AncientC // Aug 16, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    I thought this was a tad funny, looking back through a post I made when Benitez was being confirmed as arriving.

    AncientC // Mar 11, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    “I will not be instantly won over if Benitez arrives. He has been hit and miss throughout his management career, but when it is hit – admittedly, he normally wins silverware.

    He could be absolutely perfect for this club, or the complete wrong fit. I remember Dalglish coming in and trying to make the side difficult to beat, there is something about the club that does not seem to respond well to defensive, or if you prefer, ‘balanced’ tactics.

    Brendan Rodgers was the manager that I wanted, but fans generally know what is good for their club, so I will defer to the majority opinion on this one.”

    Hail Wor Ashley // Mar 11, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    “Ancient C

    The bloke was a very young manager then. I’d say he’s more than proved he learnt from his early experiences since then. Bore off you doom merchant with your claptrap like “the Real Madrid players couldn’t wait to get rid of him.”, how do you know? Got a personal line to Bale have ya’? Liverpool fans worship him. If failing is winning numerous trophies and consistently finishing in the top 6/7 – give me some of that failure!”

    And more recently…

    Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 13, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    “How do soothsayers propose we concentrate the minds of not just the players, but also Rafa? He sure needs it just as much, getting way too caught up in the mindset of some nebulous project instead of the immediacy of the situation.

    It’s already been said, but imagine Pardew or McClaren picking those teams and setting us up like that in the 2 games to date, there’d be hell on. Rafa seems to get a free pass as if it’s all part of some master plan to be slowly revealed as the season unfolds. Bollocks! Unfortunately it isn’t, he’s got it wrong on most counts so far this season.

    We’ve played a team that sold 38 goals of talent in comparison to their previous season and another with 12 new players.

    No excuses.”

    It’s interesting how those willing to dish out insults instead of debate, usually have some of the most fleeting ideas.

  • 32 firebug666 // Aug 16, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    Blackley @28

    You are right about luck being a big part of the game, it’s unfortunate that we same to attract only bad luck, had we been given that pen against Fulham it may have been a different game, instead the ref rules against us and the players heads went down.

    Likewise when Huddersfield score from what should have been a Newcastle free kick the game changed and players heads again dropped.

    Maybe we shall have some better luck in the next game, or maybe a Ref who actually knows what he is doing.

  • 33 firebug666 // Aug 16, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    seem to attract*

  • 34 jayphoto // Aug 16, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Possible that we’re waiting for the clubs current targets play at to make signings to allow players to leave? Not much business been done in the premier league yet!

    Throwing a rumour out there that a client told me this weekend. Newcastle have made enquiries about Biram Diouf at stoke city but stoke can’t sell a striker until they sign one as they have low numbers!

  • 35 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 16, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    I couldn’t decide how to vote, and in the end just didn’t. Really have no idea how it will go, mainly as I don’t know much about this Reading team. On our exposed form they only have to be decent to get something out of it, but we’ve got to have a win in us at some point, before long. Surely. Hopefully. Maybe.

  • 36 jayphoto // Aug 16, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Personally I’d play Arma tomorrow night in the #10. Its where he plays for Coventry and England. No choice but to keep Gayle up top as there are no options
    I’d go
    Janmaat Mbemba Lascelles Gamez
    Shelvey Diame
    Ritchie Arma Aarons

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