Fans’ Previous Anxieties Carrying Over To This Season

The nerves of Newcastle fans are still raw from what happened last season in the Premier League and for that matter what has happened over the last four years of incompetent senior management at the club, which has finally ended up getting us relegated last May.

So when we do play badly this season and get a terrible result, as we all witnessed on Saturday, there tends to be an over-reaction – just like there was an over-reaction to the 6-0 win at QPR last Tuesday night.


Rafa Benitez – working hard to put a good team together

Newcastle fans want a great side again under Rafa Benitez and maybe we are not patient enough and that’s based on past experience at the club – frustrating past experience at the club.

We are not a great side today, but we are a decent side and hopefully one that will get better from learning from the mistakes made in games like last Saturday.

The side is also a lot younger than last season, as Rafa finally came in and had the courage and foresight to clear away the dead wood in one single transfer window – and there was a lot of it.

The positive thing is we do have a top manager in Rafa at the club, but even the 56 year-old needs time to get the players becoming more professional and it’s also a brand new team he’s put together in the summer.

Rafa’s already been working on their winning mentality of the lads and that has gone quite well as witnessed by six wins on the trot.

We are no longer wimps away from home with three road wins on the trot.

But it was also a bad defeat on Saturday, but we have to put these things in some perspective and success never comes easily – there are always bumps along the way.

We are hoping this is just a blip in the overall scheme of things, but the loss also focuses on just how well we have done over the last six games and there were some good performances in there.

What the lads need to do now is listen closely to Rafa and learn from Saturday’s mistakes and then put in a good professional performance tomorrow night against Wolves and hopefully get the win and move into the 4th round of the EFL Cup.

If we can do that then things should feel a whole lot better.

Then we have two huge league games coming up against Aston Villa and Norwich.

And who knows we could even win both of those.

Bottom line is we all need to get used to bumps along the way even when things are going well and it will happen again a few times this season – even if we do great.

They are just so hard to take!


Comments welcome.

36 comments so far

  • Slank

    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #1



    I would say that Perez’s best position is No 10 between the centreforward and the midfield. But to play him in that position may need a change of formation.

    For the cup game I would go 4-4-2 with the majority of players who played on Saturday. I would like to think that the performance on Saturday was a blip and the previous performances since our last defeat are more indicative of how the team perform. My team:

    Yedlin – Mbemba – Lascelles – Lazaar
    Atsu – Hayden – Shelvey – Gouffran
    Perez – Mitrovich

    The spine of the team should be Sels, Lascelles, Shelvey and Mitrovich. I have doubts about Mitrovich but feel he may blossom with players like Atsu, Yedlin and Lazaar bombing down the wings.

    The weakness as I see it is our right with Yedlin and Atsu playing together for the first time. Different on the left side with Gouffran supporting Lazaar.


    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #2

    Gayle has been scoring lately and Diame is important in terms of getting the play up the field, not really sure why ud drop either for Mitro prior to the game

    Ur right Perez is hampered by Dummett being behind him but if u work hard and play smart its not as big of an issue but Perez doesnt, he doesnt keep shape and he expects Dummett to be able to do things he cant (also that second goal had nothing to do with Dummett being poor that was all Perez)


    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #3

    Thats where Id play bim but he doesnt often excel there either, he needs to start playing to his potential or hes best position is going to be at another club

    Personally I expect to see Darlow, Colback and Hanley in the team tomorrow maybe Clark at LB with Lazaar on the bench


    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #4

    i only listened to the match so cant really say how i seen them play, but it came across on radio as half arsed,like it was expected to happen more then make it happen,from the start there were misplaced passes,loose control and just players not at it….barely heard ritchie name for the first half for example,sounded to me like to many players either didnt show up and perform or thought they just had to be on the pitch to win, that is a horrible attitude that we have seemed to have picked up for a while unfortunately….after 5 mins u had a sense it was going south…thought there might of been changes at half time if im honest.

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #5

    “Some individuals probably feel the pressure and responsibility too much,” said former Chelsea boss Mourinho.

    Maybe it’s the same for NUFC at home matches?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #6

    @Ron Knee

    It does seem like the players struggle to cope with the pressure of playing at home!

    Against QPR they looked like world beaters !


    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #7

    ron knee
    might be something in that mate,although we’ve won a few games at home,they haven’t been great,dominating performances.

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #8


    Two defeats out of three at home. It’s a possibility!


    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #9

    i think ritchie will miss out tomorrow,looked jaded sat,diame may well get another game,think he needs it to be honest to try and get a bit better form from him,colback,yedlin atsu goofy,hanley and clark may start,possibly lazaar at some stage,maybe a start.


    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #10

    if dummet starts then lazaar may play in front,if lazaar starts at left back,maybe goofy ahead of him to help out.

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #11


    Maybe success brings its own pressures?


    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #12

    theyve looked nervous at home a lot last season as well,only really the spurs result they didnt,but as we knew no pressure in that game.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #13

    @Ron Knee

    The games at home and away where we have done well have been when the other teams have come out and tried to outplay us Rafa can set up a team to stifle them and then we get the goals and shut up shop

    When we play teams who are going to make it difficult for us so our players have no room to breathe is where we drop points and its been like that at Newcastle for years to be fair!

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #14

    I wasn’t at the game but have taken the views of a few that were including a Wolves fan. I have read the post match analysis of Benitez in the chronicle which implies issues I have picked up on. Together with a study of the game stats which imply a lack of attacking flair and final pass delivery.

    The Wolves side had 5 changes from their Midweek game. From the off they were up for it. SJP was described as their away game of the season . Throughout they bullied , ran tirelessly and battered us. QTheir movement off the ball showed a hunger we didn’t come close too – they broke at pace and grew in confidence from early goalmouth action. As Benitez said we failed to adapt to the game plan of opposition and appeared flat footed from the outset. Was this implied criticism of a lack of leadership ?

    We need to improve home form as we struggle to break teams down, our passing was ponderous and careless– final third passing was particularly sloppy. We had 69% possession but lacked finish with 14 shots off target and only 3 on target – our forward play was fragmented. We wasted two very good chances. There was a complete absence of threat from Dummett and Pérez which enabled Wolves to concentrate on the perceived threat of Ritchie.

    Defensively – why was Mbemba looking to head a ball in the six yard box wasn’t it Sels ball? . Likewise the second goal following Perez’s lost possession why wasn’t Sels on the edge of the six yard box so as to narrow the shooting angle. Defensively we spent far too much time on the back foot and there appeared to be little leadership from Lascelles. We defended too deeply. Cold comfort that Wolves scored two goals through moments of madness.

    Benitez will privately view both goals as being gifted. Perez was a liability not only in an attacking sense but through his dislike of having to track opposition players. Arguably Perez gifted Wolves their second goal but the defence looked far too often in a state of disarray. Hanley and Murphy to be unleashed?

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #15

    The Toon are still in 3rd place which is good considering we are still in transition I mean look at Villa if we can beat them this weekend they could already be too many points behind us too catch us especially because they cant buy a win!

    Notice out of all of the teams in the hunt only us and Barnsley have not drawn a game yet! Could be the way it goes for us until we sort out breaking teams down !

  • Ron Knee

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #16


    Once that Spurs game got underway it was obvious we were going to beat them handsomely. Pressure off, as you say.


    I didn’t see the game, but I got the impression we were getting back into the match until the own goal. So far this season if we concede first, it’s game over.

  • JamesToon

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #17

    I’d go with this against wolves in the cup:
    Yedlin Hanley Clark Gamez
    Tiote Colback
    Atsu Gayle Lazaar

    Then this against villa
    Yedlin Mbemba Lascelles Lazaar
    Hayden Shelvey
    Ritchie Gayle Gouffran

    Reason being I’d go with that back 4 v villa is because they have a lot of pace in attack, Mbemba can keep up with the likes of kodjia and ayew, and so can the full backs

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #18

    I was at the match and this is my report from Saturday night after the game…

    Sorry RAFA you got it wrong today – arrogance got to him maybe whatever team I send out we will win
    Team – arrogance – Oh we will just turn up 3pts in the bag
    Supporters – arrogance – couple of beers wander up to the ground – easy there points

    Sorry a FUC*IN’ big reality check

    Second best from minute 1 to minute 96
    Cannot go into games in the championship with two midgets up front and lump the ball up to them


    missed Goufran today

    Anyway my merit marks

    Sels 3 – useless got lucky with block first half – like Dracula hates crosses – the physical side left far two big a space to his right for the second goal
    Dummett – 2 – got skinned time and time again – passing abject
    Mbemba – 1 – worst display in a TOON shirt
    Lascalles -5 – pick of our defenders
    Anita – 4 – did OK frustration got to him – rash tackle for sending of
    Ritchie-7 – Our best player but had to be taken off before sent off
    Shelvey – 2 -lazy thoughts of best player in the Championship got to him – needs to give his head a shake.
    Diame – 2 – headless chicken day – got the ball to many times then passed to the Wolves
    Hayden – 3 Shadow of the past games for the TOON
    Gayle – 2 – did nowt – ran around and whinged when tackled
    Perez – 2 ditto but give the ball away for second goal – mind you nobody came wanted the ball off him

    Supporters – 3 – sang at start but heeds went down – looked a lot of strangers there for the good times around me – out sung most of the match by Wolves supporters

    Rafa – 4 – did not think much of his team selection – would of played Goufran and Mitrovich from the start
    Goufran for his not stop running tackling
    Mitrovich for his presence – first half put cross after cross in but no good if you have midgets up front.
    Also did not understand his substitutions except for Ritchie.

    We do not pass and move quick enough to play two small players up front.


    a BIG wake up call

  • Markaccus

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #19

    The team was 2 players different from the one that beat Derby, away from home. Rafa had every right to expect it to win. He can’t legislate for every single player having a ‘mare.


    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #20

    Will it be a big wake up call everytime we lose a match?


    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #21

    cheers for your views mate,can feel an anger/disapointment in your views…hopefully this the wake up call,but not so sure.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #22

    Sing in the corner

    I would hope for a similar reaction too, after all Saturdays result seems to be down to one team thinking it was going to be was and the other determined to battle it out.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #23

    I thought Mitro would have started on Saturday as he seems to be the type of player that needs game time to get up to speed. The flip side being that if he does not score, or the team loses his confidence goes and he gives more fouls away.

  • magscar

    Sep 19, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #24


    Sorry have been busy with something.

    Anyway see what you are saying about Gayle and Diame and in theory that is fine but in games at home this season they have been snuffed out quite easily. Something not gelling between them and Shelvey and Ritchie.

    Both of them are struggling to get in behind and Diame isn’t as mobile nor as good as holding ball as he should be. OK he isn’t match fit yet but I still say he is better from a deeper role. I think he is up there to also give a bit of presence in air ( in absence of bigger forwards) but has come off second best everytime.

    Regardless of the reason for their ineffective display I think most on here who were at match would have preferred to have seen Mitro on at start or at least at beginning of second half ( or even Murphy) for some height against a tough organised Wolves back 4( this is becoming a given from the opposition). He could have left Gayle on but swapped him and Perez at least for a while and used Gayle’s pace coming in from wing. Atsu to come on (as he did) if still not working. Left side remains a problem without Goufran but there are other options than Perez.

    I am confident Rafa will get it right and these are hiccups but nevertheless it is very frustrating when so many players are underperforming at home.

    The crowd in general didn’t seem to be expecting us to steamroller them but were getting aggravated at the poor passing and movement all over the pitch making Wolves look better and grow in confidence. Some groans did began to be heard – some at Perez’s play and at Dummet and Mbemba’s distribution but not enough to have affected their confidence.

  • Ketsbaia9

    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #25

    Obertan’s started well for Anzhi. Scored at the weekend. Playing as a striker.


    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #26

    How many times have they started together at home this season mate?

    For me the key mistake was Rafa trying to keep Perez in the team not that he left out Mitro. He should of taken Perez off at HT and brought on a winger but it over now hopefully Rafa will realize his mistake with Perez on the left and never do it again. I dont think players are under performing at home though it was a bad day that it imo

    The crowd with respect arent a good way to judge what should happen in a game though and atmosphere wise they were out sung by Wolves fans,

  • posada

    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #27

    On Perez. I’ve said it on here before. When we don’t have the ball he jogs about like an old lady trying to catch a bus.
    Even if he is one of two up front he has to do more than that.
    I would like to see Murphy playing tomorrow.
    Strong enough to be a handful. Quick enough to work the channels.
    Gayle – Quick but not strong.
    Mitro – Strong but totally lacking mobility.
    You could play Murph with any of our other strikers, but you can’t say that about anyone else.
    Play Murph and Mitro and watch the sparks fly.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #28

    Hopefully that display and manner of defeat is a wake-up call.

    I don’t mind getting beat if we have a go – go down fighting/battling – not with a whimper like Huddersfield and Saturday.

    Both games went behind – still no upping the tempo having a go to get back into the game.
    I lost the plot Saturday 2-0 down Mbemba with no one near him could of carried the ball out of defence – no six yard pass to Diame I think passed it back to Mbemba who by then was closed down passed back to Sels who hoofs it air bound to towards Mitrovich.

    Then high ball to Mitrovich who didn’t seem to be bothered instead of heading/watching the ball has his eye on the defender – steps yard to his left blocks the defender and gives away a needless free kick.



    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #29

    Sorry mate but I just dont think its as bad as people are making out, if all our games we’d played so poorly then yeah but its a 1 off, multiple players had terrible games and Rafa got it wrong

    We will have more good than bad days though

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #30

    Wouldn’t surprise me if we win against Wolves and comfortably beat Villa and Norwich before struggling against Rotherham !!

  • magscar

    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #31


    They have started 3 games at home but not necessarily together. I am not suggesting that the crowd pick the team that would be silly but we are commenting on matches on here and only that. Perez isn’t the reason Diame and Gayle were lacklustre again on Sat.

    Those who post on here and have been at matches all seem to agree that Diame and Gayle are not working at present – it may be delivery but I think not.

    Now we don’t see training nor know individual fitness levels but there does seem to be a regular problem at home in our forwards beating well drilled uncompromising defences ( did we expect anything less?) and we have to learn quickly how to break them down.

    I can only imagine that Rafa is hoping that Perez and Gayle’s movement is the key to beating packed defences at home but it isn’t happening. That is why I mentioned delivery. Both Shelvey and Ritchie seem to be playing balls in that don’t find the forwards or they can’t hold up – whose fault? opinions may differ.

    There is time for this all to be resolved and we have players still to come in. We may get a look at Murphy tomorrow and he is reputedly more mobile than Mitro and used to League (I know this is a cup game but against Wolves again) so will see what he can bring.


    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #32

    Ive not seen many people saying Gayle or Diame arent working well tbh mate so I must of missed that. Most fans on here would say that they trust Rafa though and Diame and Gayle are his buys and hes playing them so am not sure he agrees they arent working

    They are both new signings who are still bedding in we cant expect them to fly in every game

    Regular problem at home in not beating defenses? 5 home games and we’ve failed to score in 1, admittedly not all those goals came from forwards but forwards arent going to score in every game mate again am not seeing a major issue here

  • Macas

    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #33

    We have very few options out wide, and if Ritchie is missing or has a bad game we will struggle. Too early to judge Atsu, but wasn’t overly impressed by what I saw. For me the recruitment focused too much on defensive options but we have very little attacking quality out wide. The fact that many fans were saying Gouffran should have kept his place is enough to prove that point. And if we are relying on Gouffran on the wing, then we really do have problems out there.

  • magscar

    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #34


    Worringly that starting team was bar Aarons for Perez the one that started against Huddersfield ( and not after a 6-0 away win). There is clearly something that needs to be sorted at home – away we are improving as a side.

    This what Rafa said after Huddersfield game

    “We weren’t expecting this kind of performance, we knew Huddersfield would be difficult to break down but we didn’t play at the level we wanted to. We improved a lot in the second half but it’s really disappointing.

    “I’ve seen the team doing well in training but we have to show the same things in the match, the quality, the personality and the character. We’ve not seen that today. We made too many mistakes and we need to show that character and quality to improve things.

    “The players on the pitch they were trying, they are good players. The players can do much better but we didn’t play at the level we were expecting. The only positive today was the fans, they were behind the players.”

    This isn’t a dig at Rafa and some of what he says is manager speak to press but there is truth in it but without criticism of individuals (that is for dressing room). It has to be recognised that we do currently have a problem at home not simply one off games and it needs solving and Rafa will do it.

    Btw for our 2 wins at Home Brighton played a lot more openly than either Huddersfield or Wolves but there were some scares and whilst I wasn’t at Reading game from reports it wasn’t as clear cut as scoreline suggested. We will get there but only by changing and improving – things won’t simply fall into place.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #35

    Mitro – Murphy
    Ritchie – Shelvey – Diame – Yedlin
    Lazaar – Clarke – Lascelles – Jesus

    Would be my pick, two solid centre forwards feeding off wingers, or knocking it back to a midfielder to crack it in.

  • Munster Mag

    Sep 19, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #36

    I think people looking for 442 are being optimistic as rafa seems very stuck on 4231. I would have a small concern that we may be over training the players and that will lead to flat performances like the other day. I am not a huge fan of constantly rotating teams. It used to annoy a lot of Liverpool fans and many used to say they were dropping points for that reason – lack of cohesion etc. .


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