Can Newcastle Get Back On Track On Good Friday?

It was a terrible result last Saturday at Sheffield Wednesday when we lost 2-1 and allowed Brighton to gain 3 points on us with their 2-1 win on Friday night at QPR.

If we don’t win the Championship this season it could well be down to that defeat, our 9th this season, but with five games to go  anything can happen, especially if we can win all five games.

But the game at home on Good Friday against Leeds United will be another tough one and if we have any chance of winning that game, the lads will have to play much better than they did at Hillsborough and that goes for the majority of our players.

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager in his office at Benton

We will have to rely on the immense skill and experience of Rafa Benitez to get the lads back on track and they shouldn’t think promotion is won yet.

There are still 15 points to play for and we need all 15 points.

If they read blogs that say it’s almost certain we will now be promoted they do so at their peril.


Let us know what you think.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Leeds United?

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Comments welcome.

24 comments so far

  • sparky55

    Apr 11, 2017 at 7:59 AM

    Comment #1

    We’ll be easier to defend against as a result of losing Gayle. He torments defences running along the line and in behind…something Mitro and Murphy don’t have in their respective lockers.

    With Mitro and Murphy you need a man next to them so we lose a man from midfield which is not preferable the way Rafa likes to run midfield.

    As soon as Mitro came on the pitch we were hoofing it up the park and therefore not in control of the ball which another Rafa priority. i appreciate it was late in the game and a measure of last resort but very tempting when you have two big lumps up front and a midfield that was’t working that day.

    That’s why we’ll see them together (Mitro and Murphy) and that’s why we’ll become less effective because it leaves Perez or Diame as the no 10 and a centre forward who is nowhere near as mobile or dangerous as Gayle.

    Methinks a few 0-0 draws on the cards in the last couple of games.

    I reckon Rafa will be concentrating on defending and getting points on the break but we know how dangerous that particular ploy is if you go 1-0 down don’t we Mr Pardew…Especially when no-one of note up front to knick you that goal.

    We’ll get there but it won’t be pretty and we probably won’t score more than four goals in the last 5 games.

  • sparky55

    Apr 11, 2017 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #2

    NOT see them together!

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 11, 2017 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #3

    Wonder how Leeds will approach this. By far the most effective way to play us at St James’ has turned out to be to sit back, frustrate then hit on the break. But Leeds will fancy their chances with the team they have. Will they play for a point since they have a 5 point advantage over 7th?
    Don’t think so. A win will just about seal them a playoff place.
    Might suit us if they go for it.

  • posada

    Apr 11, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #4

    We last played well at home in mid Feb against Villa.
    Gayle went off after half an hour.
    Before that the 4-0 win against Rotherham in mid January. No Gayle in the side.
    Personally I find the way we play with Gayle to be infuriating. We can’t put the passes together so end up knocking it long to him.
    We play Perez or Diame in a number 10 role and they contribute nearly zero.
    We have that ability to hit teams on the break with a Shelvey pass from deep, but you need more options than that.
    Also, at home teams can sit deep and leave no space in behind.
    Don’t really agree with Sparky. I think Murphy can trouble teams with his runs.
    Mitro and Murphy together would work.
    It could not be worse than playing with Diame or Perez in one of the attacking positions. In recent games they have been like a man off playing there.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Apr 11, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #5

    sparky@55. It’s interesting because you have helped to explain why FSW is such an ignoramus as as manager whilst attempting to do just the opposite.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 11, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #6

    Leeds will already have their team picked because Monk will already know RAFA’s tactics team –
    Come hell or high water he will go with 1 up front with Murphy.

    And if Ritchie is out with Gayle we might even go with none up front – pack the midfield with Perez being the front-ish man.

    Me would love love to see him change tactics and shock Leeds by playing Murphy and Mitrovich upfront – to be honest might as well because we play hoooooooofball anyway

    Playing well at home yes Villa for part of the game after that 15 minutes at the star of the Norwich game and at the end.

    game I most enjoyed this season at home was the Fulham team – give us a football lesson in how to pass and move instead of our static slow tippy tap sideways play

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Apr 11, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #7

    Yes Posada, but you can’t explain that to the cargo cult.

  • posada

    Apr 11, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #8

    Gayle will be out. Possibly Ritchie as well.
    Great managers find a way.
    My favourite of all time was Cloughie.
    What would something different look like.
    Well perhaps Ameobi on the left wing. Atsu on the right.
    Why not.
    But we all know it will be the same old same old.
    Only thing I can say is Shelvey. To make up for his defensive frailties I do think we end up being safety first in every other respect.

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 11, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #9

    At one point in the season we played gouffran up top did we not? As that option of a runner when Gayle was not available. A possibility?

  • Mag52

    Apr 11, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #10


    When he first arrived, he was stated to be a CF or winger if my memory serves me right.
    Because of his great engine he has been played in a number of roles, often to make up for our defensive frailties, but Rafa did put him up front once earlier in the season, and I think he had a good game.
    I think Gouff would relish the loan striker role at the weekend.

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 11, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #11


    I had a feeling I hadn’t dreamt it yeah. Couldn’t remember how he got on was all. Could be what we see on Friday at some point.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 11, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #12

    Lew – I was just thinking maybe Gouffran needs a go up front. His shooting boots need a bit of polish but when he gets forward he can get himself into good positions and pull off some decent attempts. ATM i don’t see we have much choice.

  • magspuggy

    Apr 11, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #13

    There’s no better time for mitro to prove himself.

    He cost a few bob and needs to either make it or be moved on.

    Murphy possibly wont be with us next season so we need a goal scorer or three.

    Ritchie’s goals have made a massive difference when gayles away but we need someone up front to score.

    Mitro has to start against Leeds for me.

  • JamesToon

    Apr 11, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #14


    Good posts as usual on the previous threads, I just think some people like to moan and will just never be happy

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 11, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #15


    You saying ” balance is needed” had me spitting my coffee out! You sir duly win hypocrite 2017 by some distance.

    Our toon

    If we have a good squad is that not because Rafa shrewdly recruited Ritchie, Gayle and Hayden after having to sell Wijni, Sissoko,Townsend, Janmatt, Cabella, Thauvin etc.

    Even then the guys he brought in were from lower placed premiership clubs. If we were failing with this supposedly best squad, ie like Villa, I could understand some ill feeling and resentment. Rafa can only beat what’s in front of him so why get on his back all the time.

    Frankly when you get an obnoxious, charmless oaf like TOF calling people a fat Spanish waiter and people d—kheads, it’s kind of a sad indictment of the quality of some people in society.

  • Our Toon

    Apr 11, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #16

    Lew and Mag

    Yep we played gouffran upfront against Brighton if memory serves me right, it was a disaster until rafa made changes quite late in the game

  • Tsunki

    Apr 11, 2017 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #17

    I think it would be best for ToF to just go back to La Tasca and tell that guy who served him that he didn’t like the way he served him. Get it off his chest so to speak.

  • AncientC

    Apr 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #18

    Using Aston Villa as the yardstick has long expired. If we came up against Villa right now, I would fear a drubbing. Not that I would want to switch places with Villa in the Championship table, but they are way ahead of us in the form table. It has just taken Bruce some time to get that side moving.

  • midweek weekend

    Apr 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #19

    personally i’m just glad this season is coming to an end and lucky for us huddlesfield are simply out of games one more win would probably secure promotion, the championship is just one big slog and at times its hard to watch. brighton can quite easily loose their next game so the title is not over yet but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter.

    promotion at all costs and everyone would of took 2nd at the start of the season now the proper rebuilding can start, we’ve had lots of players this season who have be decent servants but they will be moved on goufran comes to mind scores some goals but his time is sadly up. one thing for sure it will be a very different starting 11 next season i can guarantee that

    it’s also going to be quite refreshing to be back in the prem, being linked to actual quality players again, phase one was get out of the championship, phase two is too see how far rafa can take us, survival in the first year always come firsts but i genuinely believe we’ll do better than that

  • Our Toon

    Apr 11, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #20


    I stated yesterday that rafa made some shrewd signings such as Ritchie, Gayle, Diame, Hanley. All with experience at this level, you must have missed that comment.

    I also said after the window I felt far more confident than I did before and we should be performing far better than we are.

    I’m on his back because I haven’t changed my opinion on the shite served up, if pards or fat Sam served up that rubbish weekly you would be on here being critical of the hoofball tactics and the dull side to side abject passing without really doing anything.

    These are issues you’ve had in the past with other managers yet you have never criticised rafa since he’s been here. I’m just a bit baffled by the double standards, if any other manager with less of a record than rafa served up that dross most of the blog would be up in arms……theyd also be saying we’ve been underwhelming this season with what we have. Instead we have half arsed excuses weekly to excuse rafa.

    I just want there to be balance!!

  • AncientC

    Apr 11, 2017 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #21

    Getting promoted but at the same time carrying some worrying form, may be a blessing in disguise – that’s if it further prompts Ashley to allow the club to spend more.

    Had we cruised the last 10 games of the season, Ashley may have been tempted to put up a minimal outlay… the way things stand right now, the only way to break up the poor form being brought into the PL, is to spend on players.

  • Moonraker15

    Apr 11, 2017 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #22

    We will rise to the challenge and beat Leeds on friday night. I’ve got a feeling this could be Mitro’s time; I hope so anyway cos he obviously loves the Toon and he could shake up an arrogant Leeds manager.
    Just love this big games under floodlights. I think Leeds have tried to play a passing game from the back but without enough quality in midfield like us, but they will go up either in playoffs or next season automatic.

  • Moonraker15

    Apr 11, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #23

    I love the way under Rafa we bounce back after a setback. Under some managers you lose 5 or 6 on the trot but we have always come back and this is down to the manager.
    By the way did anyone notice Mcclaren trying to take credit for signing Shelvey when he was manager?haha

  • Moonraker15

    Apr 11, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #24

    What I hate about this league is the inconsistency, including ourselves. I think because there is no real top quality in the teams (with a few exceptions, Shelvey, Gayle, Ritchie, Knockeart, etc), if these guys don’t perform the teams bomb and are easily beaten.
    Can’t wait to get back in the Prem, even though it will be tough next season.


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