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Newcastle Lose 2-1 At Mainz – First Defeat Of Preseason – Merino Makes Debut

Newcastle lost their first game of pre-season at Mainz in Germany when the home side ran out 2-1 winners with their winning goal coming with just 6 minutes to go in the blazing heat in Germany.

This game was not broadcast live in video.

Newcastle seems to have got off to a terrible start and were behind after only 5 minutes of this game when  Levin Oztunali easily beat Newcastle goalkeeper from 10 yards out and if was poor defending from the Magpies.

Mainz players celebrate goal

Newcastle were reported to have a lot of the ball in the first half, but just like last season we struggled in the final third of the pitch and couldn’t create many chances, and we did not play particularly well in that first 45 minutes.

The score was 1-0 at the break with Newcastle looking to be a little frustrated at the break in the high humidity in Germany.

At the start of the second half, Rafa made a bunch of changes and Chancel Mbemba, Rolando Aarons and Jesus Gamez replaced Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, and Paul Dummett.

On the hour mark, more changes from Newcastle as Rafa brought on Shelvey, Woodman, Hayden, Gayle, Perez, and Atsu and off came Diame, Darlow, Murphy, Mitrovic, Colback and De Jong.

And then on 65 minutes, Newcastle were level when Atsu’s cross wasn’t cleared, and Perez was in the fray, and the ball fell to Spanish full-back Gamez, and his 20-yard shot took a huge deflection, and it was 1-1.

On 72 minutes 20-year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodman made an excellent stop from Viktor Fischer – this lad already looks the part in the Newcastle goal.

With 11 minutes to go on came new signing Mikel Merino for his first appearance for the Magpies and the 6ft 2ins tall player came on at center-back replacing another new signing this summer – Florian Lejeune.

But then with just 6 minutes to go, Mainz, retook the lead when Viktor Fischer scored.

The game ended with Newcastle losing 2-1 – the first defeat in out four preseason games so far against the best opposition we have played.

It will be interesting to hear what Rafa says after this game because those at the game said he didn’t look too pleased on the touchline a number of times during this match.

These are only friendly games, but it’s always nice to win – it gets our players into that habit of winning – whatever it takes.

Newcastle: Darlow (Woodman 60); Yedlin (Manquillo 29), Clark (Mbemba 46), Lejeune (Merino 79), Dummett (Gamez 46); Ritchie (Aarons 46), Diame (Shelvey 60), Colback (Hayden 60), Murphy (Atsu 60); De Jong (Perez 60); Mitrovic (Gayle 60).

Attendance: 6,470 – not many there.

Comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #1

    So has Rafa signed Merino primarily to be a centre back? Or was this just a stop gap position for the final few minutes of this game? It’ll be interesting to see where he starts in future games.

  • toon kk

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #2

    Sounds like we didn’t disgrace ourselves just our usual style lacking a bit of quality.
    Tough season ahead. We need a proven striker or we’ll struggle .

  • RolandoOverhead

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #3

    From prev post.

    Agree Charlie.
    Must say that Lejeune is looking like a bit of a marauding cb, so long as he’s covered when he goes forward, I think he’s going to be a big plus for us in an attacking sense as well as defensively.
    Murphy’s goals grabbed the headlines, but I think Lejeune could prove to be Rafa’s most shrews piece of business so far this window imo.

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #4

    I’m excited about the prospects of goal cluster defending. Rafa teaching: “ok lads cluster now! No, not at midfield you idiots, in the net!!!!” Beautiful…..

  • RolandoOverhead

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #5

    OMG!!! AZ ALkmar’s #2 is called Kick Groot!
    Gotta by the lad for his name alone 😀

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #6

    Our biggest problem remains lack of money in a Prem fuelled by gigantic amounts of TV money. With Ashley at the helm I don’t see how we can get good enough fast enough to compete. It’s a season of hard slogging ahead I’m afraid……

  • Tenbytoon

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #7

    Didn’t get to see the game today as been spending day with the missus (zzzzzzzzz) any player ratings going

  • magspuggy

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #8

    So what have we learned from todays game ??.

    Sdj got more time to prove himself

    A run out for for the new lads and a chance for diame in midfield .

    Jack got another run out

    Mbemba waves a possible goodbye to fans at the final whistle..

    Murphys slower than milk turning in the eyes of some how do others rate him ??

    Are perez mitro and dwight enough to be our front line ??

  • toon kk

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #9

    We’ve had a cutting edge in front of goal problem since Remy left, Gayle did a great job in the championship, I’m sure he’ll get us goals this coming season but he needs help.
    Rafa needs to change this back and sideways style of football it’s getting us no where.

  • geordiemark

    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #10

    the club doesn’t sign at least 5 top quality players it will be a long hard slog, I can see rafa walking out soon and when he does the fans will give to Ashley what he deserves

  • sing in the corner

    Jul 29, 2017 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #11

    Relax guys, preseason kick about, Rafa’s chance to try different combinations and anything else he wants to have a look at, against reasonable opposition. Teams at different stages of preparation possibly. Building fitness for the start of the season.
    Bobby has it about right pointing out results are meaningless, and the performance is difficult to properly assess when you’re giving everyone game time.
    I know this point is obvious to most…but as you can read this afternoon, not to everyone!

  • Mister Tuff

    Jul 29, 2017 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #12

    That was a right hodgepodge of a game and with only 2 friendlies left before Spurs very very, worrying.
    My pre season optimism is waning – whilst there is still time to get re-enforcements – at this juncture – Spurs could very well give us a right tonking.

  • sing in the corner

    Jul 29, 2017 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #13

    Come off it man

  • Olivers Toon

    Jul 29, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #14

    Didnt watch the match as I was at work (boooo) but looking at the starting lineup it appears Rafa was hoping to give people more minutes and more chances to impress him. Lets face it, Colback and Diame will not be our starting midfield pairing against Spurs! We can all agree on that 100%. I like De Jong but I do think that with him and Mitro up front we lack pace.
    I’m pleased with how we are going and i’m confident there will be 1 or 2 more signings to come. Its gonna be a tough season and our aim is only to stay up and then build. I think there are worst teams than us. Watford don’t look great, Swansea will likely struggle again, particularly with the Siggy drama. I dont think West Ham, Stoke or West Brom look any better than us. I actually think Huddesfield will stay up but Brighton might struggle.
    Looking forward to the new season.
    P.s What Newcastle players have people picked for their Fantasy football squad??!!

  • Moonraker15

    Jul 29, 2017 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #15

    Some bloggers are so predictable; we lose narrowly a pre-season friendly against a good side and it’s all doom any gloom and crisis again. Let’s trust in Rafa, the best manager we’ve ever had!

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 29, 2017 at 10:15 PM

    Comment #16

    Don’t forget the magic phrase lads: goalmouth cluster defending. Get some big lads, stand them along the goal line and just frustrate the bejesus out of Spurs….. Or just do whatever Rafa thinks is best……

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 29, 2017 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #17

    We will have to pull the old Thongs of Gloom out at some points this season lads. Just accept that.

  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 29, 2017 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #18

    I’m not concerned about the 2-1 loss. It doesn’t matter. But overall skill levels and squad depth do. How to get that without spending much money? I think Rafa is doing his best but there are limitations to this method…..


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