Newcastle were easily beaten by SC Braga 4-0 tonight in our fourth friendly of the season and our first defeat.
It was a hot night in Portugal with the temperature a high 30 degrees centigrade – about 86 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of the game.
This was the end of the six-day training camp in Portugal and after the defense played well on Saturday night to get a 0-0 draw against Porto, SC Braga were just too good for Newcastle in the second half tonight.
Both Shelvey and Kenedy were not involved at all, and we looked fairly ordinary.
But we held our own in the first half and created a few chances, but we were nowhere to be seen in the second half – which is a little unusual for a Rafa Benitez side.
Action between SC Braga and Newcastle tonight
But it’s only a friendy in the preseason, and we are told the results don’t matter (but only when we lose!) and what the players need to do is learn from this game and get match fit.
And what Rafa is worried about with the squad is there’s a lack of depth and now we have almost exactly eight full days as of now – to strengthen the squad in this transfer window.
Mike Ashley cannot take any risks or gamble to save some money – because as Rafa has said – another relegation for Newcastle and we could be in really big trouble.
It was 0-0 at the half, but then in the second half, it was all Braga who ran away with the game with four goals.
Newcastle started the following side with the substitutions shown – so a few of our players did play the whole game.
Newcastle: Dubravka (Darlow 62); Yedlin (Joselu, 70), Lascelles (Schar, 46), Clark, Dummett; Diame, Hayden (Ki, 62); Ritchie (Roberts, 80), Perez (Longstaff, 80), Atsu (Murphy, 62); Gayle.
Subs not used: Elliot, Manquillo, Sterry, Yarney, Fernandez, Armstrong.
Only Roberts and Longstaff of the youngsters saw some playing time, and that was only in the final 10 minutes.
Dwight Gayle played the whole game, so maybe he is staying at Newcastle for next season?
Clark, Dummett, and Diame also played the full game with Matt Ritchie and Ayoze Perez getting a good 80 minutes under their belt.
Fabian Schar was the only change at the half, and he got a decent 45 minutes.
But this defeat shows Newcastle do not have the necessary strength in depth.
It will further help Rafa’s claims that we need four more players brought in by next Thursday at 5:00pm and Mike Ashley should not be gambling on Newcastle’s future by trying to save a few bucks.
Like he’s done in the past.
We need those players Rafa wants brought in and signed – and quickly too.
Rafa wants a center-back, left-back, an attacking midfielder, and another striker signed.
And none of this last minute stuff this time around – there has been plenty of time to get the players through the door this summer.
And finally, we see that West Ham have agreed to sign Lille’s 21-year-old Brazilian midfielders Thiago Maia for £20M – another player we couldn’t afford.
Somebody needs to ask Mike Ashley where has all the money gone – with Newcastle making a £25M profit so far this summer.
We are being outspent by almost every Premier League club and some Championship clubs too.