Newcastle’s Task At Old Trafford Is Very Tough – But Not Impossible – Here’s Why

Manchester United have some injury concerns for the game against Newcastle on Saturday and do we.

Mikel Merino, Paul Dummett, and Christian Atsu will not make the game, and captain Jamaal Lascelles is extremely doubtful.

But Ciaran Clark came through playing for Ireland against Denmark in their two playoff games which they lost 5-1 on aggregate.

Denmark were much the better team in Dublin and won 5-1 with a masterclass performance given by Christian Eriksen who scored a wonderful hat-trick and looked world-class.

He also seems to be very modest and a team player, and that’s always good to see these days.

But what a player this man is – just think if he was part of the Newcastle side.

OK – end of dream – but it was a good one!

Rafa and Jose – hello, how are you?

Back to Newcastle.

It was great to see Martin O’Neill take off Ciaran Clark after 70 minutes in Tuesday’s game, so he will likely start for Newcastle on Saturday and partner the impressive Florian Lejeune in central defense.

If we get anything at all out of this game, we will have to be close to our very best.

It will also help if the Red Devils have an off day – that’s called being lucky – and we need some of that after what happened against Bournemouth.

Rafa has also had two weeks to prepare for this game and then we will have another week to prepare for the game against Watford.

Including the Watford game at home – which is becoming a vital game for us to win – we have 10 games in just 37 days.

Let’s hope our injured players are back by then.

The Chronicle has pointed out that we have won only 3 times at Old Trafford since the war….

But there are two ways to look at that – one is we have little chance of winning the game – which is the usual reaction.

But the other way is to say we are due a win, and we’re sure Rafa will have our lads thinking they can win this game on Saturday.

That’s only if we play well and follow the game plan almost to perfection.

So while it would be a shock to win the game, it’s certainly possible if we play really well and have Lady Luck on our side.

Where was she against Bournemouth?

Not many of our fans think we can win this game – only 15%.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Manchester United?

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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

74 comments so far

  • Lindisfarne

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #1


  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #2

    I can’t get anything either about the other bidders!!

    You got anything Sparky?????

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #3


  • Lindisfarne

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #4

    Todays press conference will be interesting, both in terms of which players are available and the manager setting the agenda for the press to discuss. Mourinho will no doubt mention something about his better win ratio between the managers, or being in charge of a CL side.

  • Veltman

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #5

    I wonder what carl is up to.Hope he isn’t jumped in to smoking or drinking.

  • JohnJ

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #6

    I usually say a win or a draw for Newcastle but sadly this time I’ve put down a loss – I hope I’m wrong!

  • martoon

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #7

    JohnJ @6 – I have to agree it is really difficult to be optimistic especially with injuries to key players at the moment. It is going to be a tough watch but you never know Rafa might show a stroke of genius.

    Incidentally that photo above must be old – Rafa has most of his hair and Mourinho has dark hair 😎

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #8

    Would it have been a breach of contract if Rafa could have proved Ashley broke his promises as KK did.

  • martoon

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #9

    Jail pretty sure it would – I posted this before the ‘bus moved’
    toonincheek @9 Even if there was I’m pretty sure he could have afforded it if he had really wanted to leave. Also I’m pretty sure his lawyers could have built a good case for Constructive Dismissal but thank goodness it never came to that!

  • Slank

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #10


    Is it because there have been no names mentioned in the media, not even a rumour, about who the other bidder is that there isn’t one ?

    The alternative view is that there is another bidder who keeps shtum to such an extent that there have been no rumours, unlike Ms S and PCP ?

    If someone is doing Due Diligence I’m presuming that they have visited St James Park during daylight hours and by some miracle nobody has noticed and nobody has blabbed.

  • posada

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #11

    Yes, I trust my source.
    It also fits in with what I am seeing.
    Handy Mandy. ( Handy for MA that is)
    Turns up at St James Park.
    It’s announced she is going to be there before the game.
    Gets photographed by everyone and his dog.
    Maximum publicity, rah rah rah.
    I’m gonna buy NUFC, so if you are a Russian, Chinese or any other type of big shot you had better be quick.
    Still nothing.
    Normal service will shortly be resumed. Snafu.

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #12

    I think it’s fairly obvious that the reason there was very little spend in the last window , was Barnes getting the club’s balance sheet looking healthy to prepare for a possible sale.

    My thoughts are that Rafa has been instrumental in Ashley’s decision to sell the club. Rafa immediately picked up on the importance of a successful football club to our city, and was obviously aware before he came that we are a sleeping giant , due to the passion and commitment of the support.

    I think Rafa was even more impressed when he arrived in town to feel the infectious passion for NUFC. Being a passionate man himself , I think Rafa has explained the need for serious and regular investment in the club if we have any intentions of being competetive. I think he also told Ashley that if the serious investment isn’t forthcoming then he’s off.

    Ashley will have weighed up his options and realised without Rafa and minimum investment the club could well be relegation fodder again and devalue as a going concern. In his own words Ashley said he can not and will not compete financially with Man. City so has decided to get out whilst we’re still in the PL.

    To summarise I think Rafa told him to put up or F..k off , so let’s hope it works. Rafa seems relaxed about it and I’m sure that’s the reason he stayed. He has a dream and a vision for our club and he definitely knew Ashley wasn’t the right owner to fulfill that dream.

  • estechco

    Nov 16, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #13

    Lesh (Re: your recent posts) – I tend to use Ghostery as a Chrome plug-in on the desktop and as a standalone browser on Android and don’t have too much issue with this blog. It’s conceivable there is something equivalent for Win 10 mobile.

    The other thing you can do (although I am less confident, having never had such a phone), is locate the “hosts” file and add entries to block the most obvious ad based servers. My desktop has a list of 50-100, which does the trick superbly well. More info below

  • cyprus

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #14

    On previous:

    Looks like shearer thinks we’ll be fighting it at the bottom of the table. Fair enough.

    Thought we were over the injuries woes through Rafa’s innovative approach.

    Ritchie’s is not really a rallying cry. More, sound advice.

  • posada

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #15

    Too much is made of this due diligence thing.
    Lawyers for corporate deals have ways to do this.
    You make an offer based on the state of the company as it stands and as it is described by the present owner.
    You also have a contract that says if anything unseen or not obvious comes to light the financial consequences are met by the previous owners.
    Nufc should not be that complicated. Some companies are taken over who took over another company in 1992 who in turn had taken over another company in 77. Claims and law suits can emerge years later.
    They can also both agree to put money aside with some sort of honest broker as the old saying is possession is 9 tenths of the law.
    Shire/Hibbit what do your sources make of that or do they just like to chuck this due diligence sound bite about.

  • martoon

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #16

    posada @11 – A similar thought has crossed my mind but then the woman runs a multi-million pound investment company – why on earth would she be Ashley’s patsy? More likely either acting on behalf or a decoy for one of her clients the real buyer

  • Slank

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #17


    I’m surprised that the name of the prospective new owner, that Ms S is supposed to represent, has not been leaked by now unless of course she doesn’t represent anybody other than our current owner.

  • Spoof

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #18


    If your right and Amanda Staveley’s presence at the Liverpool match was some sort of publicity stunt arranged by Ashley then what would Staveley get from pulling that stunt, she’s hardly in a position where she needs to basically sell herself for financial gain, and being in the business which she is in would a publicity stunt like this benefit her standing, I really don’t get why she would do such a thing, what good could it possibly do her, all it could do is harm her and her credibility, would other business people take her seriously or would they be skeptical due to pulling such a stunt, sorry mate but I really can’t see the logic of your thoughts.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #19

    I think that’s a bloody accurate summary.

  • Slank

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #20


    I guess it depends upon how much Ashley is willing to pay her to turn up at St James Park.

    If she is acting on behalf of another who wishes to remain nameless (for now) wouldn’t it be more professional to meet Ashley in private than turn up in front of 52000 ?

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #21

    Rafa knows to challenge for top six will need serious investments . He will expect to be able to achieve this as a minimum objective , as he is not a man interested in just making up the numbers. The fact he is still here should tell us that progress on the pitch will be coming our way. This man is the best thing that has happened to our club for a long time.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #22

    OP from earlier…I have no clue what to answer you…

    …you’re playing a guessing game here and assuming a whole lot of things you’re not providing any substantiated answers to…

    I can’t say if Rafa was lied to or if Ashley misled Rafa in bad faith. I can say it that happened and Rafa is still here knowing this then I have lost some respect for a manager I highly regarded as a of principals!

    Ashley I have respect for what ever happened! That ship has sailed a long time ago, but it doesn’t I’ll pin anything on him regardless of what I know!

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #23

    Why thank-you Jail.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #24

    *doesn’t mean

  • Slank

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #25


    My thoughts too.

    If a prospective owner wanted to buy Newcastle United surely they or their representative would go straight to the horses mouth, namely Ashley.

    My son has a pal whose father has a flourishing sports clothing business in Australia. Ashley contacted the father, whilst he was visiting the UK, and sent his helicopter to pick him up and take him to his house on Bishops Avenue to talk business.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #26

    Lesh…try an google Opera mini for Windows 10 phone. The browser blocks adverts

  • expatmag

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #27


    The one major thing which shoots down your sources conspiracy theory is that Rafa knows Staveley very well and if he discovered the merest hint of a collusion to dupe so many people in order to flush out bidders, he would have packed his bags and moved on weeks ago.

    The simple reason why other bidders have not been identified yet is probably because their attendance at SJP for a game has probably not been as high profile as AS was.

    Forthermore, Amanda Staveley nor any representative of hers has made a single word of official statement stating her interest in buying the club or representing someone who does.

    Everything stated has been pure speculation by press and so called ITKs who geerally know little more than the average fan on the street.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #28

    How do you know that Stavely hasn’t met personally with Rafa and just wanted to soak up the atmosphere of a big game.

  • Mindshaft

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #29

    Think the idea that Stavely was instrumental in some Ashley conspiracy is a bit far fetched – some on here are starting to sound like flat earth theorists

    Windows mobiles have been dropped by Microsoft as they can’t get enough companies to develop apps – guess you’re only option is to upgrade to android or iOS phone at your next upgrade cycle

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #30

    I think our three resident ITK’s know a lot more than your average fan on the street.

  • expatmag

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #31


    Possibly……but yet to be proven therefore I will reserve my definite opiniins until later.

  • posada

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #32

    What would Handy Mandy get out of it.
    Ever heard the expression there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
    On this web site alone Ed has done about 20 articles with her picture as the lead.
    Also, ego. Some folks just love being the centre of attention.
    Does not make her a bad person. Actors and pop stars live their entire lives craving it.

    Be honest. How many of you had heard of her before this kicked off.
    PCP manage other folks money. It does them no harm this free advertising.
    Careful about believing what you want to believe.

  • toonincheek

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #33


    Ignoring the complications of having to prove that
    promises were made (and assuming there would
    be nothing in writing) then Yes, that would probably
    amount to breach of contract.

    My point is that I don’t think MA lied. I reckon he
    misled Rafa but that’s different.

    I recall Rafa saying MA “knew what he said” and
    that he hoped MA kept his promises. Signs of a
    strained relationship but NOT IMO a breach of

    Just to remind you – I recall Rafa had a get-out
    clause at the end of his first (part) season, but
    NOT in the new contract he signed after relegation.
    I asked if you had different information.

  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #34

    The suggestion that the clubs’ books should be easy to check out maybe a bit wrong.
    If the club have been fiddling the tax man/misrepresenting wages – the accounts will have to have been “doctored” to cater for this.
    Another point – due diligence – supposedly just recently finished – but we knew via reports on here that bids were going to be made before certain dates – the blog info was before due diligence was supposedly terminated. seems like putting the cart before the horse.

    As suggested earlier perhaps the press really don’t know what is happening and have no inside info at all.
    Without doubt change is afoot. Sooner we get rid of Mr Tubbs the better.

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #35
  • expatmag

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #36


    I highly doubt she would need to conform to such underhand tactics especially when she appears to be a class above and already heading a company worth so much successfully.

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #37

    Jesper………. Completely off topic I know, but was wondering if you have managed to alleviate the seagull problem over there?

  • expatmag

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #38


    G’day mate. How are you?

    Never ceases to amaze me how some people miss exactly what is there in front of them and try to manipulate conspiracy theories…

  • Slank

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #39


    It’s Slank !

    I never mentioned Ms S meeting Rafa. Don’t know what your question is suggesting.

  • expatmag

    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #40

    Posado @22

    You still dont answer the Rafa/Staveley relationship and meeting after the game v Liverpool which would totally throw your sources argument into the bin


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