Concerns About Newcastle Are Unjustified

There’s been some concern about Newcastle since we lost two of our three games over the festive season and dropped six points which allowed other clubs to gain on us in the league.

Of the three games we played without Jonjo Shelvey, we played best at Blackburn Rovers on Monday afternoon, but just couldn’t put away the many chances we had and we also had two goals disallowed.

And Jason Steele in the home goal had a great game and that didn’t help us either.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles – there’s nothing to worry about

Captain Jamaal Lascelles is not concerned about the blip in form over Christmas and say there’s nothing to worry about.

This is waht he had this to say to the local press as reported in the Shields Gazette:

“There’s nothing to worry about,” “We lost our first two games at the start of the season, and we still managed to get over 50 points.”

“So this is the second half of the season. “We’ve started off with a little blip, but we’ll pick it back up and prepare for the next game like we always do.”

“I don’t think it matters what competition we play or team we play, we’re just going to go to St Andrew’s and try to win.” “It’s about getting momentum, because it breeds confidence.”

“We’ll be looking to go there and win.”

“We’re very disappointed,” “But we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it because we can take a lot of positive away from this game.”

“From start to finish, we controlled the game. We dictated the pace of the game and we stuck to our game plan.”

“We do need to be a bit more ruthless, but then again in other games we have been very ruthless. “So it’s nothing to worry about if you look at it overall.”

“We just needed to put our chances away,” “I think they had one shot on target, which was the free-kick, and we had a lot of chances and those two goals disallowed.”

“But we’re not complaining about that because they were the correct decisions from the referee. “We aren’t going to beat ourselves up about it.”

“Obviously, we’re disappointed they beat us twice this season, that’s not acceptable at all. “As players we need to learn how to control games better.”

“We’ve only drawn one game this season. We need to turn these sort of games into draws.”

The second defeat in three games allowed clubs like Huddersfield and Reading to gain points on us and also allowed Chris Hughton’s Brighton & Hove Albion to go two points clear of us in the league.

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But we have exactly the same number of points after 25 games that we had seven years ago under Chris Hughton and in that season we ended up with 102 points.


Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 4, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #1

    Nonsense Jamaal. It’s good to have another thing to worry about. You fellas keep inexplicably dropping points. It’s a good thing.

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #2

    There he stood in the box
    Looking class from his head to his socks
    I said Gayle what is this
    Are you going to blow the fans a kiss
    He said Lord – BLESS MY SOUL

    All Dwight Now
    It’s All Dwight Now

  • martoon

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #3

    It will be interesting to see the team Rafa picks for the cup next week – if Mitro doesn’t make this team then I think he is definitely toast!

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #4

    The way its went in the last month I would be happy for us to be knocked out of the FA cup at the first attempt I enjoyed our cup run earlier in the season but we are now wobbling we dont need anymore extra games !

    Watching Wilson last night is exactly how the lone striker needs to perform in the 4231 Rafa likes the boy has the lot in terms of hold up play and running the channels can see why we want him instead of Mitrovic ! Wouldn’t surprise me to see Gayle shifted out to the left if we got him

  • toontaff2

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #5

    RE: Mitro
    Sell. Not good enough and offers little when he does play. Blackburn at home was his big chance, but he was awful. He cannot get a sniff in the Championship, so why would he step up in the PL?
    Seems pre-occupied mauling the opposition, instead of playing the ball and misses too many sitters.
    RAFA was clearly not impressed in our cup game by his petulance when Ritchie was due to take our penalty.

  • toontaff2

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #6

    RE: Mitro
    Sell. Not good enough and offers little when he does play. Blackburn at home was his big chance, but he was awful. He cannot get a sniff in the Championship, so why would he step up in the PL?
    Seems pre-occupied mauling the opposition, instead of playing the ball and misses too many sitters.
    RAFA was clearly not impressed in our cup game by his petulance when Ritchie was due to take our penalty.

  • toontaff2

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #7


  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #8


    Yeah that was cringe worthy demanding the penalty like that would not have gone down well at all

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #9

    This guy is due to return but his figures are shoite !

  • toontaff2

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #10

    I think RAFA was less than impressed, which was a shame, given Mitro was on fire, that night!!
    Between the penalty carry on and then his poor showing at home to Blackburn maybe RAFA had already decided to sell him?
    A shame the lad cannot match his passion with some fiery displays on the pitch, scoring and holding up the ball linking play. I’m not sure he has the tools in the box, and clearly a screwdriver is needed, for his loose screw!

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #11

    How lucky are Sunlun

    It looks like 20th place is booked by Hull so there are in effect only 2 teams fighting relegation.

    I don’t think Palace and Allardyce are a good fit .

    Swansea although Clement has worked well at Bayern as Ancelotti’s assistant he was binned by Derby county a year ago next month

  • martoon

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #12

    Mitro gets quite a few references in this article:

  • martoon

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #13

    Actually it is only 2 – it seemed like more when I was reading the article!

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #14


    mitro played the home match v blackburn and was dire

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #15

    I wish you’d realised before posting !
    I waded right thru that lot

  • beefman13

    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #16

    We played really well against blackburn for the first 45 mins, let’s not forget Blackburn were depleted and looked awful as well, we are missing thar extra spark with Shelvey without doubt, we are having a blip, we will come through it and u still feel we will win the Championship comfortably, it’s such a poor come on Newcastle let’s get some activity going in the market.

  • martoon

    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #17

    Jib @15 – Sorry – I’ll consider myself rebuked 🙂

  • G

    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #18

    With current form, I am not overly concerned yet, however, I do feel a change of tactics is needed here, rather than playing a tactic built round one player whom isn’t available. On Mitro, he has goal scoring ability, but he is too much of a liability in my opinion, and the lack of effort or ability to follow instructions is an ongoing concern, whilst age is still on his side to sort his temperament out, I personally wouldn’t shed any tears if he was sold.

  • toonincheek

    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #19

    Jib –
    The verse is far too long to see it through.
    The chorus of:

    All Dwight Now
    It’s All Dwight Now

    is good.

    Trust you will give all due credit to expat?

  • WorJordi

    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #20

    Happy New Year Ed et al
    To be fair if any of us had been offered 2nd place going into January with 52 points on the table at the beginning of the season we’d have taken it
    It is a blip. A drop in form. Other teams will undoubtedly suffer the same at some time. If that is our worst time this season then all I can see is a Championship 1st place, PL here we come and Rafa having time and money to address the squad as a whole to prepare us for next season.
    Where I believe we will do ok. Stay up, a cup run and a top 10 finish to carry on the good work the season after.
    Then watch things happen !!!!

  • Toon Time

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #21

    We need a robust midfielder, how about Lee Cattermole?

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #22

    Pray silence

    A Martin Luther King moment

    I have a dream

    NUFC win the FA cup at Wembley 27 May 2017

    and in the Olympic Stadium Lyon
    16 May 2018.

    Lift the Europa League trophy

  • G

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #23

    I’m sceptical about that Jib, but for the record, I hope you are right, and I am wrong.

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #24

    I am looking forward to some real stick on this one! It’s not going to happen in January but I think we should go all out to sign Aaron Ramsey in summer. He is out of favour and being played out of position at Arsenal. He is also not going to move to one of the ‘big boys’. Play him in No 10 role

  • Jib

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #25

    He’ll be even more out favour after last night – ’twas he gave the pen away to Bournemouth .

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #26

    Yeah, I’ve heard he doesn’t get on with Sanchez either. I reckon he is moving on in summer. I would be disappointed if we weren’t interested. Goals and creativity, something we are desperately missing from our current No10s
    I will cry if he ends up at somewhere like palace or west brom

  • manxpie

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #27

    So mitro doesn’t play well in 1 start (the rest of the team was also dire by all accounts) in ages and deserves to get binned?
    He changed the game against Norwich against Sheffield wed we looked far more dangerous when he came on for a 10min cameo we scored 6 against qpr with him playing

    gayle didnt score and missed a sitter and didn’t have a great game should he be binned

    mitro isn’t even getting a fair let alone decent chance and against teams we should be smashing he should be getting at least a decent chance

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #28


    it think it’s his attitude. i had forgotten about the pathetic and embarrassing way he tried to take the ball off ritchie for the pen. maybe he’ a tool in training as well. who knows?

    he does miss sittters and has no pace. all the chest thumping and arm waving doesn’t cover over that. as an impact sub for last 20 mins yes absolutely, no problem.

  • sholasupporter

    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #29

    Couldn’t agree more, his ‘passion’ seems to cover up a multitude of weaknesses.
    I do however agree he should be getting more chances than he is currently afforded by Rafa. Especially considering the amount of chances Dozey Perez has had to make an impact

  • manxpie

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #30

    Rotonda he doesn’t even get that tho his hold up play is good and his heading ability is probably the best we have
    and every player misses sitters
    and there are plenty of strikers who don’t rely on pace.
    Perez has been shocking for ages and is as lightweight as they come and is getting chances sorry but this league is a slog and teams are full of bruisers and mitro can at least match some of the defenders where gayle could thrive even more ala norwhich

  • posada

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #31

    To all those who will not tolerate any criticism of Rafa Almighty.
    Where is your big squad rotation now.

    Where has it been for the last 8 league games.

    One good performance against Birmingham.

    Lucky against Shef Wed, Burton and Wigan.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #32

    I think because Rafa likes to “control” games we may never see 2 strikers play unless its a serious emergency !

    In his eyes we were in complete control against Blackburn so would have banked on us scoring a goal and winning 1 nil or he would have taken a nil draw whereas everyone else was screaming for us to get Atsu and Murphy on to put them under pressure more to get the goal!

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #33


    It does concern me that we have at least 30 or 40 million worth of players (in transfer fees) hardly playing or sometimes not even making the match day squad !

    A few of our players look knackered but we dont seem to have a left winger to play instead of Gouffran or a no 10 instead of Diame

    Really disappointed that Lazaar and Yedlin have never had game at the same time as well especially at home

  • mad-serb

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #34

    Rotonda heights

    I think you taking it a bit far mate. Yes it was wrong of him to try and get the ball for the penalty but he has is just trying to show what he can do with the limited chances he has been given.

    Not like our other centre forward is the saint of the year. He has done similar things, as did Shelvey although he scored that 30 yard goal but its easy to single Mitro out.
    Gayle is moaning more and more every game to the ref and having a dig at people.

    Mitro has been a lot more subdued and his silly tackles has not been there so far this season.

    I still say he is a better premier league striker than Gayle. When you don’t have the possession we have this year, next year in the premier league and have to defend more than you attack, then Gayle will look as average as he has looked in some games already this season. He cannot hold the ball up and will require a big center forward to help him out.

    Ask Chris Smalling who Mitro is, he know all to well

  • posada

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #35

    Control control control.
    We lost control and they scored.
    How many teams are you going to control for the full 90 minutes.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #36

    Wow! Arron Ramsey, that will be expensive.

  • toonincheek

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #37

    Mitro may have had a poor game against Blackburn
    As has been pointed out, same as a lot of players.

    I remember a fabulous goal scored by Mitro – rose way higher
    at the far post than he should have done and powered a header
    into the net.

    His other behaviour – the penalty, the indiscretions, no argument.

    Just saying that I would move on other “non”-performers before
    I would sell Mitro.

    But – if he doesn’t fit in with Rafa’s style of play, that’s the end of it.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #38

    Rather than trying to make the squad fit a system that requires an excellent #10 that we don’t have, why not play our best players in their best positions?
    We used to say Pardew tried to put square pegs in round holes and was not quick at changing when the situation required. Has Rafa been Pardewed?

    When teams are most likely to sit back and look to counter attack, this team may be a good option:

    ———–Mitro or Murphy

    However, Rafa will never even look at an alternative starting line up. How dangerous, both defensively and attacking, would it be to have Mitro AND Murphy up front?


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