Home Games Now Starting To Be Big Problem At Newcastle

The away games last season were the big problem for Newcastle, but this season it’s the home games that are problematic and we have already lost a whopping six league games this season and four of those have been at home.

It’s something that is starting to become a concern after we were well beaten by a good-looking Sheffield Wednesday side on Boxing Day.

On the night we were simply outplayed by the Owls – and that has to be worrying for the Geordie fans and for manager Rafa Benitez, who even seemed a little shocked after the game.

Rafa Benitez – home results a problem for the manager

It’s something that Rafa Benitez will have to use his vast experience to fix, if we are going to get promoted back to the Premier League this season.

In 12 away games Newcastle have taken a massive 28 points with 9 wins and a draw – 6 points more then the next best away side – Brighton.

But at home Brighton have the best record with 29 points from their 12 home games (9 wins and 2 draws) whereas Newcastle have only the 8th best home record and in our 11 home games we have only 7 wins but four defeats.


The whole financial situation and summer transfer window were geared to Newcastle being down below for only one season and it would be another disaster for the club if we cannot get promoted back to the Premier League in May.

Relegation was the nightmare scenario last season and not getting promoted is the nightmare scenario this season.

Here’s where we stand at the moment in second place in the league to Chris Hughton’s Brighton.

4Sheffield Wednesday461581

We are half way through the season and we are tracking very well with how we did seven years ago under Chris Hughton and Rafa’s Newcastle are just one point behind the team’s performance seven years ago, even after the defeat on Boxing Day.


But the big difference this time around is the number of  defeats we have suffered – six in all in the league and four of those at home.

That’s a big contrast to seven years ago when we had only four defeats all season long and none – zippo – at St. James’ Park.

It’s certainly not the time to panic, but our results have certainly tailed off since we lost at home to second bottom Blackburn on 26th November to end that nine game winning streak in all competitions.

We have now lost four of the last seven games including the League Cup quarter-final at Hull City.

So we have to somehow turn things around quickly and especially at home when we will meet  Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Forest and the game against Blackburn away on Monday night sees us up against two clubs who have already beaten us in the last calendar month, so we must try to start another (long) winning streak in those two games – anything less will be disppointing.

Here are the games coming up through January:

December 2016
Newcastle v Nottingham Forest	Fri 30 Dec	19:45	
January 2017
Blackburn  v Newcastle	        Mon 2 Jan	15:00		
Birmingham v Newcastle 	        Sat 7 Jan	15:00 FA Cup		
Brentford v Newcastle 	        Mon 16 Jan	19:45		
Newcastle v Rotherham United	Sat 21 Jan	15:00		
Brighton  v Newcastle 	        Sat 28 Jan	15:00

It’s extremely important that we beat Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Comments welcome.

81 comments so far

  • BandB

    Dec 28, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Benitez said just a few days ago that one of the problems with improving the squad with better players than the ones he has is that the wages required to attract them might create disharmony in the dressing room.
    While he undoubtably would like to attract better players, he has already run one reason to think that might not happen in this window up the flagpole.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #2

    The next 4 league games are all against bottom half sides – should be winning all of them. I bet Rotherham, Blackburn, Brentford and Forest would love to have a Colback, or Dummett, o r a Hanley or Murphy in their starting line-up.
    And the Brummie cup game should be used to give squad players a run-out, maybe Sels, Hanley, Mbemba , Lazaar, Haidara, Tiote, Murphy, – see how that goes down – haha!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #3

    Where did he say that, I must have missed it, gotba link?

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Until recently I didn’t realise wages was such an issue with players.
    But with a story about Gayle getting a slap for boasting about his £35k per week at Jamaal Lascelles’ 23rd birthday and Jonjo calling opposition players “peasants” for their small earnings you have to believe , it is so.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #5

    I don’t think it’s the forwards we should be looking at – it is our Midfield.

    We only have Shelvey who is productive – has the vision to pick a pass.
    The rest huff and puff with little or no creativity

    And Full-backs – If we are going to persist in playing narrow then we need attacking full-backs who can overlap and get a cross/pass over/in.

    To me – I would play two up front at home as we had loads of possession but little cutting edge – we hug and puff passing the ball sideways looking for a opening which does not come because we play so slow ponderous football we are ay to close down.

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #6

    Talking of wages.

    Liverpool would allow the fiery little midfielder Lucas Leiva to go to Inter Milan until summer if they pay his rather considerable wages £80,000 pw. (£1.84 million for 24 weeks)

    Aleksandar Mitrovic is on the highest wages at NUFC £37,000 pw (£888,000)

    Surely a half season swap – Mitro for Lucas at a net £1million for the Toon would be in everyones interest.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #7

    A poster earlier was saying about appointing blame for this season at Rafa, blame for what, where is this disaster mentality coming from, we are two pints off the top of the league and should be one ahead, who have Brighton got if Knockeart gets crocked or the thirty odd year old Murray gets knackered.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #8

    Mag 52

    You really need to up your game with the naff insults and constant name calling. Sorry if I’m getting to you. You could just try ignoring me and stay in your pre-historic little bubble.

    I will look out for your next dismal comment about Rafa and reminder how inferior he is to your one true love.

    But let’s face it, you know it, I know it, you are a crushing bore, out of touch and have absolutely nothing worthwhile to contribute. Most of all you just seem to enjoy depressing the hell out of people. Boring old fart is very apt for you. Age gives some people sagacity. That boat sailed in your case.

    Some people like Jib would appear to have pre-existing conditions, so elicit a certain deal of sympathy for their anti social behaviour, but you just suck the life out of any possible joy going. Bet you were a hoot at Christmas.

  • giimps

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #9

    While 37k is a lot in the championship, Premier league wages are astronomical in comparison, i take it that our big earners are all gone as im sure i read Captn Colo was on 80k and Barton was on £70k.
    Its a very good effort to reduce the wage bill to where it is now with the quality of players we have (or at least some of them)
    We may have a little problem competing with PL teams for our incoming transfers unless Rafa can sneak them in under the radar, it all depends on the players agents i suppose, how much info is leaked in the hope of a better deal for themselves and their player.

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #10

    According to the French media Benitez is really keen on Ruben Loftus- Cheek on loan and we could see him at Benton as early as next week.
    After the success of Isaac Hayden you can see Rafa’s logic.

  • BandB

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #11


    It was the interview he gave on Friday.
    I didn’t see a single outlet that used it in full. It’s worth the effort of piecing it together. Ed ran parts of it.
    In it, Rafa outlines the principles guiding the coming window. He is making it very clear that he thinks the present squad is strong enough to win promotion and that it will be added to only if a pretty narrow range of conditions are met.
    He doesn’t appear to be thinking about next season. I think it was the same day new contacts for Anita and Gouffran were floated.
    I agree with him. The present squad is calculated to be just about strong enough to hit the target if nowt goes wrong.
    I’m just not sure that’s a huge change of policy.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #12


    I think people are getting slightly worried though because apart from the Birmingham game we are not playing well at all and haven’t for a while teams have figured out how to play against us just they dont have the quality to break us down but Wednesday did and we looked average without Shelvey!

    Rafa will know this though and I think we will see a totally different mindset against Forrest and then hopefully we will get the required quality at left wing, no 10 and creative midfield that we desperately need!

    You are right about Brighton though a couple of injuries and they will be struggling people also forget teams are not putting in the same effort against them as they do when they play the Toon or Villa have watched a few games of theirs and they have been allowed to walk all over teams who chucked the kitchen sink at us

  • Toonfan8

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #13

    if you want Lucas Leiva here, you know nothing about football, he wasnt good at his best, not now…he is past it

  • mad-serb

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #14

    Jail for Ashley

    Totally agree, what most people on here was doing is criticizing Rafa´s game plan, tactics and team selection for the SW game and pointing out how ineffective we look which having Shelvey in the team.

    But at no point were we blaming him for anything for the season. If you would asked most people in the beginning of the season including Rafa that we would be 6 points clear of 3rd placing and in a automatic promotion spot I believe everyone would have taken that in a heart beat.

    Some people take things to far on one game, the same that said we are doomed after the first 2 games of the season.

    Constructive criticism on a game or 2 here and there where we believed he could have done something else is part of what fans discuss on a daily basis. as for the overall picture I am delighted where we are. And with 4 winnable games coming up even 9 points puts us in a very strong position of getting promoted which is the overall goal.

  • Toonfan8

    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #15

    Yes we can talk and talk, how good we are, we are 6pts ahead of Reading after half season…wow thats something to celebrate, oh my god, how we decreased our ambitions. We arent ambitious as a fans, how can be the fat man…

  • lochinvar

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #16

    Don’t think we should be hoping that other teams such as Brighton suffer player injuries to impact on their performance or results. After all same applies to us. More important is our own performances not that of others.
    Our loss of Shelvey is self inflicted. The acid test will be for the team to win the next three league games without him and restore some distance between us and third place.
    If we can strengthen the squad then thats a bonus.
    Just need to restore the momentum that we had before and pull away from the pack.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #17

    Shelvey is on 80k a week by accounts. Which is probably about as much as the entire Burton Albion first team squad.

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #18

    Toonfan8 // Jib
    if you want Lucas Leiva here, you know nothing about football.

    Read what BandB says

    He could do a job in the Championship for six months which is all Rafa is focusing on.

    This is the real world of grinding out results in the 2nd tier sonny.

    Go back to your FIFA manager.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #19

    What you have to remember as well that it is Rafa’s first season in the Championship and so far he has been out thought four times in 23 games, the Fulham game was down to that heroic Serb of ours not giving us the chance to change things at all and the Forest game was a travesty, Matz Sels and poor finishing cost us the points at Villa. Now Rafa has the luxury of having seen all these teams, it might go the other way and now every manager having sussed Rafa out might see us have a second half implosion, I know which managers tactical awareness my money is going on if the odds drop from 33/1 on for automatic promotion

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #20

    On Shelvey
    The Mail and The Express say £80,000 pw
    The Star and The Sun say £50,000 pw
    Take your pick
    Whatever it’s a lot !

  • mad-serb

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #21


    Just some info to help you understand the championship and how easy it has been for premiere league teams that got relegated and then walked the league:

    since 1999-2000 season so the last 17 seasons

    0 times have all 3 relegated teams been promoted the next season.
    3 times has 2 teams gone straight back up
    6 times only one got promotion the next year and last but no least.
    7 times has all 3 teams not made it back to premiere league the next season.

    Like the stats say walk in the park.

  • BandB

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #22

    You can see from the interview that Benitez advances all sorts of reasons why signing Premiership level players now would be difficult and, he suggests, possibly even undesirable.
    Our market for now, he says, is Championship players and he doesn’t see too many better than those he already has.
    We could speculate that he is loathe to go asking for money at this stage and might think he has a better chance of getting at least some of the players he really wants in the summer.
    For those hoping and believing we are crying out for at least a couple of players now, you could at least argue that the bitter pill is being coated in the soundest footballing reasons these days.
    Small mercies.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #23


    I seen an interview as well with Benitez talking about 20 million for a young player? Wonder who was he talking about Tielemans, Will Hughes etc

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #24

    At what age did you stop believing in Santa, did a very cruel older cousin spoil it for you at a relatively young age?

  • BandB

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #25


    I think it was a broad-brush reference to a lot of the players we are being linked with in the press.

  • BandB

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #26


    Oddly, you seem to have just started.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #27

    At what point do you think it will become obvious that (a) Rafa has been lied to or (b) he has been lying to us.

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #28

    I said it last night but it bears repeating.

    Watching Wijnaldum playing and IMO struggling for Liverpool makes me think he was have been dreadful for us in the physical challenge that is the Championship.

    And Sissoko – well – no chance .

    So perhaps the the encumbent manager with his experience of many different Leagues and divisions throughout Europe may be right in keeping his powder dry in January.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #29

    It was a broadbrush reference to say we’ll not be held to ransom over players just as the wanting to keep Sissoko was to get the highest amount for him.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #30

    Newcastle have a brutal wage bill by Championship standards, a Premiership wage bill. In effect to try and guarantee as best as possible an immediate return. What Rafa has been saying about not being in an ideal position to bring top players in now seems entirely reasonable. If he is still saying it in the off season once we are back, God willing, then we should be concerned, up in arms, but what at all would indicate he will be saying it.

  • BandB

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #31


    I’m out after the Santa crack. Same thing happened a couple of days ago. I came here to draw attention to a very frank interview Rafa gave.
    Not to bandy words, for which I will inevitably be carefully blamed all day.

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #32

    was = would

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #33

    I think he knows with the glaring weaknesses in the squad that it would be pure folly not to bring in a couple of players next week.

  • hibbit

    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #34

    got to say the blackburn game was by far our worst performance

    championship teams aren’t the push over alot on here thought they would be what they lack in skill they make up for tenacity and guts playing at st james in front of 50 thousand is the highlight of there season possibly there career

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #35

    From the 28th Sept v Norwich until 26th November v Blackburn we won 9 games in succession.
    On Boxing day we lost to a gutsy Sheffield Wednesday by the odd goal after winning the previous 3 games.

    The only difference in our squad is Shelvey is suspended for another 4 games.

    Yet you say

    “With the glaring weaknesses in the squad it would be pure folly not to bring in a couple of players next week.”


    Is that what the chaps at SJP were saying ?

    I think the guys you chinwag with at the game must be as thick as you.

  • hibbit

    Dec 28, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #36

    jib we do have 2 glaring holes that desperately need plugging

    we need a shelvy replacement
    and a number 10 that can score

  • Jib

    Dec 28, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #37

    Loftus -Cheek has barely figured under Costa but someone at Chelsea previous to the Italian obviously rated him – we already have Christian Atsu from them – he’s got to be worth a look .

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 28, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #38

    It is quite popular opinion that we need a definite replacement for Shelvey or another option at least and that LW needs someone to freshen things up.

  • lochinvar

    Dec 28, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #39

    “Republic of Ireland midfielder Daryl Horgan says he would have to consider an offer from Newcastle if one materialised.”

    Energetic player in a lower league but worth adding to the squad ?

  • Belfast

    Dec 28, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #40

    Must win these next two games.

    And the player we should sign is Tom Cairney from Fulham. Young player who runs games in this division and can play at a higher level imo


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