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

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Midfielder Tells Brutal Truth About Newcastle’s Start To Season

10:02 pm, Thursday, October 6th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 43 Comments

If Newcastle fans thought it would be a breeze in the Championship this season, that view was changed quickly  when after two games we have suffered two defeats at Fulham (1-0) and at home to Huddersfield (2-1).

After those two defeats Rafa was cool and collected and pointed to the things Newcastle could improve on.

Then we went five league games and one EFL Cup tie and won them all, until we surprisingly lost at home to Wolves 2-0 after we had smashed QPR on the road 6-0.


Jack Colback in action at Derby

After that surprise defeat Rafa was cool and collected and pointed to the things Newcastle could improve on.

Since then we have had four games and won three of them and the game we drew at Aston Villa, the home team scored in the last minute to equalize.

We also had the sensational 4-3 win at home against Norwich City when Newcastle scored two goals in the 5th and 6th minute of stoppage time to turn a defeat into another win.

The mood on Tyneside is certainly upbeat at the moment and our lads are starting to get a winning mentality together as Rafa starts to fine tune the team.

This is what Geordie lad Jack Colback has said about things at Newcastle this season:

“I think the mood is a lot more positive.” “It feels like people are pulling in the same direction more now.”

“The group we’ve got now here as players is very good and obviously the manager has tried to change things which he’s seen fit.”

“Once the fans got over the disappointment of relegation they just want to see the team winning and playing good football and we’re managing to do that a bit more in this league.”

“It’s been an OK start, not fantastic.” “We’ve lost games we shouldn’t have, but it’s made us and everyone else realise it’s not going to be easy.”

“I think everything is there now to get the club back in the Premier League and to push on.”

“I think maybe things weren’t ideal and there was a limit to how far the club could have gone, but I think people have realised that it can’t be like that any more.”

“Things seem to be getting done properly now. It’s a long-term goal of promotion and then to get the club back to where it needs to be but if we can do that, we can push on from there and see where we can go.”

“The big thing when Steve McClaren was here was possession – more than what it is with Rafa here. We played it well under Steve at times, just not enough.”

“This year the quality isn’t as high so you expect to get more of the ball, especially at home where teams just sit off us a bit more to try and catch us on the break because they know the quality we have.”

“We should be dominating the game more and we are – but we know what to do with the ball a bit more as well.”

We probably should have done better in the league in these first 11 games, given how we have performed, but we have thrown a number of points away.

Rafa Benitez has completely transformed the Newcastle squad over the summer and he’s also transforming the club too – all for the better.

We are currently 3rd top of the league and quite well positioned after 11 games.

5Sheffield Wednesday14124
6Bristol City14623

But we are hoping this new Newcastle team will keep improving this season as we play more and more games.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Jack Colback · Management · Newcastle News

43 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JAMSHA // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Just Hope Socceroos Beat Japan

  • 2 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    2-2 in Jeddah

  • 3 WWSBRD // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    That goal difference is quite a sight isnt it, it’ll only get better as well

  • 4 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:09 PM


  • 5 Average_Contents // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Perhaps you could do us a favour Jack lad. Actually two.

    Stop fouling opposition players in dangerous areas. Then doing the same. Then some more. Then a last one for good measure.

    Then stop throwing your arms up in disbelief and walk away shaking your head that you got duped into it again.

    Thanks in advance.

    The ball and bat.

  • 6 JAMSHA // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Wonder If Good Will Play For Nufc And Australia Ever Again

  • 7 bettyswallocks // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    Average…….. Why are you so angry and aggressive about life and other bloggers?

  • 8 Average_Contents // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:15 PM


    We’ve not had anything near a + in quite a few years so yeah it’s great.

    Obviously a lesser league helps with that but so does getting rid of the perennial hangers, sick notes and general sh1te players.

    Long may it continue.

  • 9 Average_Contents // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:17 PM



    Is that one of those trick questions.

    If it is then your way too evolved for me.

  • 10 bettyswallocks // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Average….. No honestly, I detect a lot of anger and aggression in your posts.

  • 11 Average_Contents // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Actually, I don’t think he realises he’s been duped into it.

    It’s just disbelief.

    Because surely if he realised he’d stop it.

  • 12 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    I think a well run self sufficient Newcastle under a quality manager like Benitez will rise quite quickly to the top eight, but that’s when the rubber will hit the road between Benitez and Ashley.

    Benitez will want the owner to invest more, to find the money to increase the size of the club to challenge the elite sides, and that is where Ashley may look at the numbers and baulk.

  • 13 Average_Contents // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:24 PM


    In that case I’d recommend getting that ‘feelings detector’ seen to.

    It’s obviously on the blink.

    Do you blink excessively betty?

  • 14 Belfast // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    It would be better if we had more points Wwsbrd. Listening to Manxpie is clearly melting yer head.

  • 15 lesh // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:29 PM


  • 16 Belfast // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Chaff – tick

  • 17 Average_Contents // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:30 PM


    That’ll probably happen the season we get promoted.

    At the moment there is a shared goal.

    If or when we go up, what’s that shared goal likely to be.

    Rafa won’t want just survival.

    Who knows what the slug wants or if he’ll succumb to the rafalution.

    I won’t be holding my breath that’s for sure.

  • 18 bettyswallocks // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    AC….. Maybe I m misinterpreting then. I’m not having a go, was curious that’s all.

  • 19 WWSBRD // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    Finally having a plan doesnt hurt either, Gayle has done his bit to as well

    The points will follow and pretty quickly between now and Jan mate dont worry

  • 20 Average_Contents // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    I’m off. Night.

  • 21 lesh // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:38 PM


    Ashley baulk af investing in the Club?

    Oh ye of little faith

    He’s got a lot on his plate SD wise and I think he’ll leave the running of the Club to Rafa and Charnley, aiming for self-sufficiency in the medium to long-term. Instinct tells me that if we go up, he’ll sanction a biggish spend to help Rafa consolidate our Prem status.
    Thereafter and as income increases, he’ll go along with strengthening plans to protect his investment with the increased revenues generated over time.

    I think, I hope, we hope!

  • 22 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    It’s more the magnitude of the spend that will be required to break into the top six that makes me think that is where a rift is most likely to occur. I don’t see Benitez hanging around for 7th to 8th. I’ve always felt Ashley wanted a successful club, but couldn’t bring himself to sanction the proper spend, thus the cutting of corners and opportunism. It would require a big injection of investment to match even Spurs and Liverpool.

  • 23 Mister Tuff // Oct 6, 2016 at 10:58 PM

    The potential for Mr Tubbs to do the dirty on Rafa when large sums of money are needed to upgrade the team – certainly exists – and is worthy of highlighting. However, time date now, there is no evidence that there will be any “Keegan like” events.
    But……………………you never know. Time as normal will provide the answer.

  • 24 Mister Tuff // Oct 6, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Reference was made earlier about a Yedlin interview in a Spanish speaking journal.
    The interview was reported in the Chronicle the previous day in English.
    Probably an English to Spanish translation therefore.

  • 25 lesh // Oct 6, 2016 at 11:09 PM


    Isn’t there a three year plan?

    Year one – promoted, two – consolidate and year three aim for the top eight or higher.

    After that, I can see a scenario where if the finances are sound and the plans being realistic, Ashley’ll back Rafa with spend.

    However, if progress in years two and three isn’t looking good, then yes, I can see Rafa bidding us goodbye for whatever reason – something you’ve suggested.

  • 26 expatmag // Oct 6, 2016 at 11:23 PM


    Ashley has always said that he will hang around until we win something.

    In this day and age, you have to invest big money to buy quality in order to win trophies.

    We have the manager capable of doing this. Question is will the owner back him to achieve his aims?

  • 27 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 6, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    I’m not saying Ashley’ll do the dirty. Just that Rafa is an elite manager who will naturally want to manage at an elite level, and so Ashley will inevitably face a watershed moment regarding the finances, and may well take a business decision that won’t match Rafa’s ambitions.

  • 28 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 6, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    I don’t think the question really is the here and now. We are so relatively bigger that the here and now should almost take care of itself. Obviously we still need to be well managed, but it’s the next stage that becomes that much more difficult and expensive, and precarious to navigate.

  • 29 Toon Tang // Oct 7, 2016 at 12:25 AM

    How soon is now?

  • 30 lesh // Oct 7, 2016 at 12:51 AM


    I fully agree with you and yes, a parting of the ways is a possibility if Ashley go along with Rafa.

  • 31 lesh // Oct 7, 2016 at 1:05 AM


    Isn’t Rafa on a three year contract? That makes three years hence a key point in the Club’s development.

  • 32 expatmag // Oct 7, 2016 at 2:57 AM

    Looking logically at the Rafa/Ashley situation, I think it is fairly obvious judging by what we have seen so far since Rafa arrived, that the following is pertinent:

    1..Ashley seems to have taken a back seat approach again, leaving everything regarding the running of the club to Rafa (football matters) and Charnley (administration).

    2…Rafa has admitted ge has an excellent working relationship with Charnley.

    3…Rafa has negotiated term directly with Ashley whereby he has total control over football matters from top to bottom. From this, I think it is safe to assume that the board has been disbanded with Charnley dealing with admin, Carr returning to full time scouting duties and Moncur purely an ambassador on home game days.

    4…Reading various articles about Montse Benetez whereby she considers England her home, the Wirral her life and their daughters reared in England are more English than Spanish. This appears to have a settling effect on Rafa where he can nanage in England and still spend more time with his family.

    5…Due to the situation in number 4 above, NUFC is probably the closest available club to his home where he has the potential (city stadium fans) to build a club back up to a competitive EPL level and possibly win things in the future. With the 2 Manchester and Liverpool clubs probably unavailable for a number of years, the only other clubs in comparison to us would be Leeds and they are even more of a basket case than we are.

    6…Ashley would be making business suicide if he went back to his old ways and Rafa left. Considering the high esteem he is held in currently, I would say that the fans woukd certainly hunt him down if the above happened. I think he has more urgent matters on his plate at present via Spirts Direct issues and the Rangers dispute. His best policy is to continue as he is at present and provide the money as and when required and leave the running of the club to Rafa and Charnley.

    With that, now would be a good time to offer Rafa an extension to his contract.

  • 33 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 7, 2016 at 5:54 AM

    Not really Expat. When the time comes Ashley could simply say to Rafa that he can’t risk the venture capital and they might then part company relatively amicably, and in truth he may not be able to risk that level of venture capital when the time comes. It will be large. No way are we catching Spurs and Liverpool sustainably. We’d have to run at a loss for at least 4 to 5 years. Hopefully there is a realistic plan in place to get there, and they have already reached an agreement in principle.

  • 34 Ron Knee // Oct 7, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    Apparently Nitro didn’t play last night:-

    “Our hero was an unused substitute in Chisinau, although his namesake Stefan Mitrovic did come off the bench in the second half.”

  • 35 The overrated Frenchman // Oct 7, 2016 at 6:53 AM

    There’s no doubt that Benitez has been a big PR win for Ashley, probably the best decision he’s made in terms of running the club as a business entity, which is what it is for him, of course. Everybody appears to have forgotten or forgiven that the people running the club today are just the same people who were at the helm for the relegation disaster, so you have to give the club 10/10 for the positive spin factor they have engendered.

  • 36 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 7, 2016 at 7:02 AM

    I’m a fan so I want Ashley to back the club to real success, but he’ll be risking his own money to achieve it, and I doubt his financial advisors will be telling him it’s a good bet. Rafa or not.

  • 37 The overrated Frenchman // Oct 7, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Ron Knee – without checking I can bet that the quote regarding Mitrovic comes from “Biffa” appears to have exactly the same blinkered prejudice against him as Benitez does, unfortunately.

  • 38 Average_Contents // Oct 7, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    Clearly you weren’t “watching” the internationals like the rest of the silent majority jizzum. YET another gaff.


    Moldova 0 Serbia 3
    Mitrovic on at 70 mins but no goal

    Wrong Mitrovic. Duh.

  • 39 Jib // Oct 7, 2016 at 7:51 AM


    Mr Tuff your explanation sounds more logical than mine – viz that Yedlin is a Spanish speaker .

  • 40 Jib // Oct 7, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    The overrated Frenchman

    The blinkered prejudice list against Mitrovic is getting longer !

    Slavoljub Muslin the Serbian head coach has joined it.

  • 41 expatmag // Oct 7, 2016 at 8:15 AM


    It would appear that relegation was actually a blessing. We got rid of the inept board, the inept manager and we have made huge profits on inept players. We have recruited well and made a substantial profit in the transfer market.

    We have appointed a REAL football manager who has/is changing the football/medical/academy/facilities side of things for the better and these improvements are starting to show particularly on the injury statistics front.

    We have some very good young players with a great deal of potential and quite a young squad with, funnily enough, quite a lot of experience.

    If/when we go up, many of the players curently at the club or out on loan, have experienced the EPL and judging by the last 6 games of Rafas reign in the PL last season, they performed above and beyond.

    We should not forget the likes of Leicester, Rostov in Russia, Atletico Madrid in Spain and dome others who surprised the bigger teams at home and abroad in recent seasons.

    With Rafa in charge, money may not be the major issue. The man is obviously highly intelligent and knows Rome wasnt built in a day.

    Of all the signings we need, first and foremost, we need to toe down Rafa and his coaching team to long and lucrative contracts. Then we can address other natters and Ashley can sit back and enjoy the ride

  • 42 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 7, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    mmm yes, unless Rafa asks for more money than Ashley fancies stumping up.

  • 43 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 7, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    I’m pretty sure Rafa isn’t here to do a Leicester, i.e. miracle, and probably not an Atletico, the poor mans Real Madrid, with a long established production line of an academy and recruitment program. Newcastle will need to spend to satisfy Rafa, I’m sure of that.

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