Goalscorer – We Must Continue To Work Hard – We’re Playing Well


It was an excellent weekend for Newcastle, and at the moment we are 5 points clear of 3rd bottom Stoke who play at home to Manchester City tonight.

And we have the lowest goal difference of all bottom 12 clubs so with 8 games to play we are effectively 6 points above the drop zone.

But we must keep winning and have an excellent chance to get our third successive home win on March 31st when we play Huddersfield Town.

Matt Ritchie – after scoring Newcastle’s 3rd goal on Saturday

Two years ago we were on 25 points after 30 games played, and in 2009 we were on 29 points at the same stage of the season – when Alan Shearer came in to manage Newcastle.

In 2009 we finished with 34 points, and two years ago we got a decent 37 points.

Matt Ritchie scored his second goal of the season and in successive home games.

But Matt is not getting carried away after we have picked up 7 points from our previous four games.

This is some of what Matt has said on NufcTV:

We need to take one step at a time. We’ve had a few good results, we need to continue to work hard, do what we have been doing.”

“Performances are coming together as a whole now and we’re performing really well as a team.”

“We need to continue to work as we have been, concentrate on that and hopefully we can keep picking up points.”

Our next game is another crucial home game against Huddersfield on March 31st, and it will likely be a lot more difficult than yesterday’s game.

It looks like the lads will be off to Spain later this week for four days in the sun where they can get some warm weather training in.

Comments welcome.


63 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #1

    Jib,
    Out of all those players you listed McLaren only had any influence on Shelvey and Townsend. All the rest were down to Graham Carr.

    3
  • Jib

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #2

    Jail
    So what

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #3

    Jib,
    Your post suggested that McLaren wasted nearly 80M pounds on players. He didn’t. He bought Shelvey who is one of our best players and Townsend who would have been one of our best players.

    2
  • Jib

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #4

    Jail
    The players were bought during McClaren’s
    tenure , the minutiae of who found them is
    not germane to the point I made.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #5

    Jib,
    It’s very relevant to the point. The system of a coaching only role was devised by Mike Ashley, on who’s advice gawd only knows. But he can’t really complain about the waste when it was his idea in the first place.

    2
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #6

    Jail, Jib – I said this on a previous post, so I’ll summarise here. Rafa’s contract is up for renewal (ends July 2019), Ashley has said he wants to open negotiations, but Rafa won’t do that till we’re safe, at the earliest, probably he sees the Summer as the time to begin.

    He’ll want concrete clauses in his contract giving him better control of budgets and transfer policy, rather than the empty words Ashley has bandied around previously. If he gets those, there’s no reason not to sign as he’ll be able to take his ‘project’ to the next level. If he doesn’t get those, he’ll see no reason to stick around IMO as, like previously mentioned, he won’t want to be fighting relegation battles every season. He may see his contract out till next year.

    Therefore, potentially we could end up with a situation where Ashley is still the owner but has far less of a toxic influence on the playing side of the club, at least. The commercials will, sadly, stay under his control even in this situation, you would imagine.

    If Rafa stays with better control as in the above scenario, then signings such as Kenedy for £20M are not impossible, even with Ashley still in place.

    3
  • Jib

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #7

    Jail for Ashley
    McLaren bought Shelvey who is one of our best players
    and Townsend who would have been one of our best players

    So you are saying McClaren was a good manager ?

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #8

    Bambams, totally agree about the effort made by Gayle to catch up with play and show for Perez. That assist and the one for Ritchie vs Man U showed how his pace and ability has defences scared so they are drawn to him, leaving space for others to capitalise. These two assists alone make me happy he was not sold last year, even if he hasn’t scored as many as we hoped this season. Relegation-saving contributions, IMO

    10
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #9

    Not at all Jib, I’m just saying it wasn’t him that spunked 80M pounds on players.

    2
  • Magtoonpie

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #10

    The squad we had before relegation could have us a top ten side with Rafa. Rafa seems to give players a will to keep fighting which that side was lacking. At the end some had no loyalty but I think more would have stayed if Rafa had a bit longer. If he would have been in a few games previous we would probably have missed the drop though. Shelvey was definitely a steal and townsend at the time as well, CP palace has a good squad at the moment but you can see it comes down to how the pieces are played.

    3
  • posada

    Mar 12, 2018 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #11

    Gayle competed well for the high balls in a relative sort of way.
    At least he made an attempt and it caused them an issue.
    Could in part be due to their poor CB partnership.

    Unlike the pundits the bookies have to put their money where their mouth is.
    4/1 for relegation on Sat morning. 12/1 on Sat evening.

    3
  • posada

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #12

    On Jibs list of signings.

    Wini – made a profit of about 10M.
    Thauvin – dreadful. I think we got 8M back.
    Mbemba – not good, although he does contribute something and we would get some of it back.
    Mitro – was very worried he was a complete right off. Scoring goals even in Championship means we will get back at least 15M probably more.
    Shelvey – was not fit when we signed him. Had fallen out with his club. Now worth at least the money we paid for him and makes a big contribution.
    Townsend – again not fit when we signed him and had to be rehabilitated by Rafa. We did get our money back.

    So, we have probably broken even. Might take a while for all that money to be collected in as with the Big Siss money.

    2
  • posada

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #13

    I honestly think GC was on some sort of commission that acted like a perverse incentive.
    If he thought we could make money on a player he would want them in even if they did not fit in to our style of play, the Prem or the managers wishes.

    That is the only thing that explains Thauvin.

    3
  • Magtoonpie

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #14

    Thauvin is good in France but PL is a brutal league, plus he was acting a baby all homesick so that had to do why he didn’t succeed.

    4
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #15

    The whole system was a farce. Players being sold the idea of an instant move if they got noticed. How on earth can a team function with players like that in the dressing room.

    1
  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #17

    Robleno #6
    If the club seeks ambition, then it can only come under new ownership. Suggest you take your head out of your arse regarding Ashley. As far as NUFC goes , Ashley does shoestring, not ambition, his 12yr tenure confirms that. Ashley only wanted Rafa to get us back in the Prem, once he achieved that Ashley has tried crowbaring Rafa out of the club, Ashley doing his best not to back Rafa and forcing him to walk. Ashley knows that backing Rafa’s ambition may involve smashing a few club transfer records, that’s why we witnessed the ultimate humiliation of Rafa practically begging Ashley to strengthen the squad in the Jan window while staring relegation in the face. I would hardly call bringing in a crock when your main priority is a striker as backing the manager I would call it a severe Bitch Slapping. If Rafa walks and Ashley stays, then it’s another YES MAN and business as usual.

    3
  • Magtoonpie

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #18

    We are probably not keeping Kenedy as if Chelsea willing to sell it will be for a sum we can’t afford and by that I mean Ashley won’t spend. Hopefully MA sells and leaves quietly under the veil of the WC this summer.

    1
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #19

    The scenarios come summer should we survive and currently we look a very good bet to are:

    Ashley remains – club makes about £50m profit – that’s what Rafa will have to work with in addition to player sales. I think we’ll see Mitro move on and if he carries on scoring at the rate he is and gets a couple at the WC then he will go for £20-25m, Mbemba will probably follow and I could only see us getting around £5m for him, Colback about £3m if he finally puts his big boy pants on and can manage moving away from home permanently, Saivet, Haidara, Lazaar, Sels together could probably scrape another few million together.

    Those sales would possibly cover the signings of Dubravka and Kenedy. Then for me priority would be a ST and a no10 with the £50-55m remaining. Though we’d also need to replace Mbemba if he did leave.

    Scernario 2 – as above but with Staveley’s group coming in and she’s on record saying they’d invest an extra £50m into the playing squad in the first season.

    Scenario 3 – new skin enters the takeover picture – ???????????

    On Gayle, that sprint put to bed any lingering doubts about is hamstrings. Looks to be getting back to full fitness.

    Perez on that break too had an extra bit of oomph. I’ve commented before about his curious trait of most of the time being fairly limited on pace and then every so often he looks to have another gear – odd.

    2
  • Jib

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #20

    dig
    Your view of the world if your view of NUFC
    is anything to go by is very simplistic.

    2
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #21

    Ashley has no say on how Rafa spends, Rafa has said as much, I remember him saying in an interview “I can buy 3 x £10m playeers or one for £30m (not exact quotation figures)”. Ashley simply won’t personally invest any more money, whatever the club makes it can spend how Rafa sees fit – he has full control.

    We only got loans in Jan because there was little to nothing left to spend given our recent history – whether that’s foolhardy on MAs part risking his investment and the club is another matter (most would say yes, he lets the bad blood between him and the fans cloud his judgement on his no more investment policy.).

    If that isn’t true and MA is imposing some kind of cap on transfer fees then for sure we’ll see it this summer as our record should undoubtedly be broken and it’s the first relatively ‘normal’ window Rafa will be in charge of with us in which the squad is fairly settled, we’re reasserted in the PL, there’s no emergencies and a reasonable kitty.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #22

    I simply cannot see how Rafa and Ashley can work together. Like dig n dig says, it has been proved beyond any shadow of doubt that there is no intention of success on Ashleys behalf. I was quite adamant that Rafa would have his team in place to stop Ashley screwing him but Ashley called his bluff. I think Rafa could have easily done him for constructive dismissal in the summer but Ashley risked losing everything on account of the managers relationship with the fans. He does seem to get a buzz from relegation scraps the way a degenerate gambler does on seeing his 33-1 shot romp home from the back. Despicable man.

    4
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #23

    dig-n-dig22, not sure that response was called for, but hey-ho. Ashley has gone on record saying he wants to open negotiations on a new contract for Rafa. For Rafa’s part, presumably he will only sign on his terms, so if he signs a new contract we can assume it’s with clauses guaranteeing his ambition will be matched by the club’s. Rafa’s a professional, he’ll put to one side whatever has gone on in the past if he can see a clear way forward, his respect for NUFC and the fans are clear to see and will be uppermost in his mind, not personal gripes with a guy he speaks to twice a year.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #24

    I think we’ll see Mikey pay a large chunk of his debt back to himself this summer.

    0
  • DaraghL

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #25

    Jail –

    Genuine query. I often see it stated that X was a Carr signing and Y was a McClaren/Pardew signing. What makes you sure who Carr signed? Is your presumption that if he was English it’s not Carr?

    0
  • Tsunki

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #26

    I see Kenedy made it onto Garth Crooks illustrious team of the week. Probably forgot he isn’t playing for his home club atm.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #27

    Robleenio,
    We all thought there’d be clauses that prevented him from being screwed the last time.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #28

    Daraghl
    I read that because of our dire situation McLaren was allowed to influence the purchase of two English players.

    1
  • hibbit

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #29

    when it’s confirmed that it’s Premiership football for us next season Ashley will be gone and i think it will happen very quickly and out of sight of press and public

    1
  • nut meg

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #31

    Nice to see a few people recognising Gayle’s terrific sprint in that classic counter attacking goal. I only seen it on my phone and couldn’t be sure but he must’ve been well inside our box when the ball broke to Perez.

    2
  • magpie6699

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #32

    Much of our improvement seems to relate to the team spirit, balance and to players returning from injury or returning to form. We missed Dummett, and Lascelles when he was out for a short spell, also possibly Lejeune who seems to be adapting well. But there were some games not so long ago when Matt Ritchie was awful and didn’t deserve to be in the team, Shelvey messed up a lot and as for Diame – has he been on Popeye Spinach? How did Slo-Mo become the Beast from the North-East? He is our defensive midfield bully at the moment and frees up our other midfielders and forwards as well as taking pressure off the defence. Dubravka seems confident – despite his total cock-up of a throw-out! Just to show he’s human, I guess. I know Perez can be frustrating but he works his socks off for 90+ minutes and can be a good “out” for the defence. I wonder how many assists he has? Great run and pass to help set up the second goal and Gayle also worked tirelessly and effectively. Even Hoss when he came on did some good stuff to help see out the game.
    I was at Southampton a couple of seasons ago when we were hammered 4-0 and we were lucky to get nil! We hadn’t beaten them in previous 7 attempts so nice to get a bit of retribution. And wasn’t Tadic a right whinger rather than a winger!

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #33

    Jail, I’m not sure it was stated there was anything in writing. It looked that way during the Summer after relegation when Rafa remodelled the entire squad, but after that there was a meeting in May between Rafa and Ashley, when the fat one made a statement saying Rafa could have “all the funds the club generates”, but this was the verbal agreement I referenced earlier. I think Rafa will look for something more concrete this time, such as clarification / definition of his role and responsibilities.

    Hail “Ashley has no say on how Rafa spends” – I don’t think that’s true. Rafa identifies the targets, takes them to Chumpley who then reports to Justin Barnes, Ashley’s number 2. Between them, they agree max budget and we then bid low. Rafa will want to change this process to make it more favourable for him, and this could well be the sticking point in the contract negotiations.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #34

    hibbit,
    I’m not too sure. I think his greed will scupper any deals, I think he has an unrealistic idea of what he thinks we’re worth due to his mismanagement. If he hadn’t of messed up so much 250M would have been a nice little return on top of his free advertising.

    1
  • Jib

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #35

    Tsunki
    Garth Crooks 183 games for Spurs
    None
    zero
    zilch
    for Chelsea

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #36

    Oh dear,
    Looks like Jib has got serious comprehension issues again 😮

    6
  • RobLeenio

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #37

    Hibbit, do you think there is an agreement in place pending confirmation of our PL status for next season? Certainly, the silence has been deafening following that public spat at the start of the year. I’ve been wondering myself if there have been moves going on in the background and it did even cross my mind that the Ashley and Staveley statements and interviews could have been very carefully stage-managed to stop the speculation which was rampant at the time and give the parties some space to finalise the deal.

    I’ve also told myself to get a grip and stop being delusional, but there’s just something niggling at the back of my mind that won;t go away….

    3
  • toonincheek

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #38

    Gayle’s sprint for our second goal was impressive.
    It must have seemed to him that he wasn’t going to
    get the ball – Kenedy seeming to be in a better position –
    so his run was to draw other defenders and create
    more space.

    When he got the ball – still cool enough to spot the
    options and choose the right one.

    3
  • toonincheek

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #39

    Kenedy has done well enough for us, but really not enough
    to warrant serious consideration for Chelski’s first team.

    Plus – if the guy wants to stay, that counts for a lot.
    Maybe the best option for Chelski is to sell him to us for a
    lowish price but with a hefty sell-on clause.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 12, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #40

    magpie6699,
    Like I said earlier we were unlucky that the takeover circus pretty much coincided with Lascelles injury and that last minute Bmouth defeat knocked the stuffing out of us. When you start to lose games no matter who you are you start to lose confidence. Dummet has obviously been a big miss and that injury to Lejuene didn’t help either. The two quality additions in January have a knock on effect, it’s no coincidence that Ritchie has stepped up since the arrival of Kenedy and the Dubravkas display against Man U says it all.

    2

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