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Newcastle Still Struggling To Score Goals – Gayle And Mitrovic Aren’t

We are struggling up front again this season, much like we did last season, and Newcastle have scored just 4 goals in our first 6 Premier League games.

Last season we scored one goal a game – 38 in the Premier League – and this was one area Rafa wanted to strengthen in the summer.

We brought in Salomon Rondon and Yoshimori Muto, but both are still settling into the Newcastle team.

Salomon has not been match-fit, and Muto has been struggling with the physicality of the Premier League.

To get Salomon to the club on loan, we had to send Dwight Gayle the other way on loan for the season.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – after a 1-1 draw at home to Watford

And it’s hardly a surprise that he has already scored 5 goals in 9 league games and is third top scorer in the Championship.

He has more goals than Newcastle have scored in the Premier League.

If Dwight can keep fit, we would fully expect him to be topping the goalscoring charts next May and help West Brom come straight back up.

Rafa Benitez hardly used Aleksandar Mitrovic at Newcastle because Mitro’s style of play just didn’t fit with the type of striker Rafa wanted in his 4-2-3-1 formation.

And subsequently, Mitro didn’t score many goals for us – only 17 Newcastle goals in 72 appearances – a lot of them sub appearances.

But he’s on fire at Fulham and while on loan last season he scored 12 goals in 17 Championship games and helped them get promoted.

And Fulham are off to a reasonable start and Mitrovic has 5 goals in six Premier League appearances so far this season – he has scored more than half of Fulham’s 8 goals in the PL.

Mitrovic is  the second top scorer in the Premier League.

And he has more Premier League goals than Newcastle have scored this season.

So one question could be why didn’t Rafa adapt and play to Mitro’s strength, which Fulham have done and are getting the rewards.

With Mitro in excellent goalscoring form, one consolation for Newcastle is we should get the full £27M for him.

But Fulham will still think that’s a bargain when strikers who can score goals regularly in the Premier league usually cost a lot more than £27M.

And to make things even worse, Newcastle currently cannot afford to pay £27M for any player with Mike Ashley as the owner.

There’s something wrong somewhere.

Comments welcome.

147 comments so far

  • Bambams

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #1

    Still doom and gloom eh

    Could be worse, we still have Rafa at the minute.

    Three points against Leceister and we will all be smiling again.

    Well maybe not everyone

  • hibbit

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #2

    Munster Mag what was that all about last night ????

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #3

    Bambams, nah – no doom and gloom here fella.

    Though I’m not too confident of 3 points vs Leicester, either….

  • Belfast

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #4

    He should have been replaced with a 25-30 million quid striker. The goalscoring problem was so bloody predictable and it wasn’t addressed at all.

  • crawfordm

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #5

    Belfast – totally agree but Ashleys advisers know best. They say the make the bids (Plea is the last one ) but we know the score.
    Having read Keegans dit about the hanging up and non return of phone calls, its obvious Ashley treats his so called minions with utter contempt. The man is an obnoxious cancerous shit who im afraid we cannot shift. HWTL.

  • lochinvar

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #6

    At this rate we won’t need to sell Gayle as we’ll have a ready made Championship level goal scorer on our books available to play at that level again. Meanwhile newly promoted WBA will have to make do with Rondon or buy Joselu both with Premier League experience.

    Ok – not sensible thinking but just to make the point as to how badly Ashley has failed to find Rafa’s targets.

  • toon kk

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #7

    We all know we should have bought a top prolific striker, not sure how many goals he would score anyway tbh, he wouldn’t get the service in our defensive set up.
    It was bad management letting Mitrovic and Gayle go, whether that was down to Rafa Charnless or Ashley.
    Our first priority is changing the way we play before we fall to far behind. Boring football if ive ever seen it.

  • RobLeenio

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #8

    toon kk, “Our first priority is changing the way we play before we fall to far behind. Boring football if ive ever seen it.”

    This isn’t figure skating, you don’t get points for artistic merit. The priority for choosing our tactics is not how attractive the football is, but how effective it is at earning points.

    If Rafa thinks a new tactical set-up vs Leicester and Man U will gain us more points, he will change the tactics. He won’t do it just to please you I hope.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #9

    toon kk,
    The football has been shite for a long time now, it hasn’t happened since Rafa got here.

  • toon kk

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #10

    Can’t argue with that.

  • c-dog

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #11

    Player quality doesn’t exist for us to play any other way. Manager not backed. Signings poor. Rafa knows best. He’ll get us results. Enough, I’m not sure.

  • toon kk

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #12

    Not sure what figure skating has to do with football.
    But I do know goals mean points. And you’ll find there’s many more than me would like to see us at least give it ago. Sitting back for 90 minutes isn’t working either.

  • c-dog

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #13

    Toonkk if we open up we are going to concede. Our defense does well because we protect at the expense of attacking.

    Look at the center halves we’ve signed during Rafas time.

    Fernandez – greatly contributed to swanseas relegation
    Clark – greatly contributed to villas relegation
    Schar – greatly contributed to deportivos relegation

    Lejeune the exception.

    And do our full come off much better previous seasons? I’ll safe you the time, no…

  • Our Toon

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #14

    Toon kk

    I keep reading we need a striker or goalscorer, the ones that have left are scoring, Mitro is 4 off his debut season with us and that’s after 6 games. Pretty much sums up the point a minority have been saying

    We had a young forward who had bags of potential, now he’s showing it in a side that plays to his strengths. Good luck to him and Gayle but a goalscorer wouldn’t thrive here no matter what we spent

  • Graeme

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #15

    Jail @ 9 – absolutely spot on.
    We don’t have the players Rafa wanted to be able to play the way he would like to. He’s stuck with what we have and is trying to do what he can, with what we’ve got!! Yet again!!!

  • Our Toon

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #16

    C Dog

    The defenders you mentioned didn’t greatly contribute to relegations for previous clubs. The squads they played for greatly contributed towards relegation

    I believe we went down with Colo, Taylor, Williamson and dummett to name a few, we also can back up with them and stayed in the league with them still being the defensive lynch pins. If we could achieve more than 40% possession against teams then they would find it harder to score against us and we’d score more. Without the ball we can’t score, and with the ball the opposition will always create something as it’s been shown in every game we’ve played in

  • Our Toon

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #17

    Tbf it’s not even opening up, it’s being a little more adventurous, take the handbrake off a little more (10%)

  • Toonces

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #18

    I think Rafa missed with Mitro, with how he used (or didn’t) him and then selling him.

    As a young striker he could have still be used regularly off the bench when we needed to chase a goal or change the game againt a tired defense. So long as he played meaningful minutes it would have been ok for the time being.

    Gayle is one of those players: too good for the Champo but just not quite good enough to contribute consistently in the Prem. But we’ll need him next season should we go down. So a loan this season is just about right. Sell him next summer if we stay up.

  • c-dog

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #19

    They absolutely greatly contributed. As much as anyone in the squad. Clement tried playing some possession and more attacking football at Swansea with the players he had at his disposal, swansea lost games. Fernandez a defender who contributed to to the goals they conceded which lost them games. He was sacked Carvahal came in shut up shop, protected the defense and played the Portuguese counter and gave them a chance at survival. Ultimately failed but he gave them a chance.

  • Our Toon

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #20


    Completely agree, I still think Gayle was a very good signing though as we needed him at the time and he done a cracking job in assisting us in coming straight back up.

    If anything I hope he continues to bang them in as it’ll add to his value at the end of the season if we survive or as you say he’ll be ready made to fire us back up

    The PL is to buy a step for him, not sure if it’s a mental thing for him though

  • lochinvar

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #21

    At least one rugby club has ambitions to develop next generation training facilities. Always thought NUFC and the Falcons could build some purpose built world class complex at Bullocksteads, trading Benton in with the Universities to give them more accessible town based facilities. Hark back to the days of Sir John Halls Club Newcastle ambitions.

    Ambition – Ashley can’t spell it yet alone understand what its about.

    Wasps have moved a step closer to building a new permanent training base in the West Midlands.
    The Premiership club, who relocated to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena in 2014, hope to establish a new training ground in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire,Members of Old Leamingtonians RFC have agreed a majority vote in favour of the club setting up home the

  • Toonces

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #22

    OT fully agree Gayle was a great signing for us in the champo. Earned his shot when we got promoted, but just can’t seem to replicate it at this level. No regrets for buying him. No regrets if we move him on should we stay up.

  • Our Toon

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #23

    Clement was naive, he tried changing from the normal identity Swansea had and if anything they were let down by the likes of Bony more than the defence.

    They scored 28 goals which was joint least, they conceded 56 which was only bettered by 2 teams outside the top 10. They conceded less than Leicester and 5 more than arsenal who finished 6th

    Goals win matches, Swansea what down because Tammy tap in didn’t deliver and same with bony not because of the defence

  • c-dog

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #24

    Defensive improvement to the impact of carvahal, correct

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #25

    Rafa being charged with bringing the game into disrepute by complaining about referee’s, Zaha and sending off’s.

    bloody joking

  • toon kk

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #26

    Our toon
    I agree it’s not that I think we should just attack 24/7 but there’s a compromise.
    When Carol was here we played to his strengths, we could have done the same with Mitrovic as Fulham are doing.

    We all know MA let Rafa and all the fans down. I just don’t think Rafa is making the most of what we’ve had and now got.
    Many can’t see past the “Rafa is world class ” doesn’t make him perfect.

  • c-dog

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #27

    Rafa got it wrong on Mitrovic, that can’t be disputed. But what have in attack(Rondon, Joselu, Kenedy, Perez, Muto and Ritchie) is arguably as bad as anyone in the league.

  • Munster Mag

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #28

    It’s debatable whether Rafa can be called a world class manager. World class is pep and klopp. These are the top tier now. Rafa is v good but the top tier of clubs won’t go for him now. That’s why I said arsenal wudnt entertain him in the summer

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #29

    Aug 7, 2018 at 9:31 PM
    Comment #124
    What’s the bet that Gayle & Mitro combined score more goals this season than NUFC total?

    Looks like you won’t have to combine their scores as I predicted, they will each do it on their own.

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #30


    Rafa got it wrong with all the players you list as well then. The only one he didn’t sign is Perez

  • hibbit

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #31

    Munster Mag what was that all about last night ????/

  • Pain in the Blog

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #32

    Charlie #25

    Sounds crazy that Rafa was just responding to what Zaha had said – Rafa gets charged, Zaha gets away with it. Different rules for managers and players. Disgraceful.

    Having said that, the managers were all warned at the beginning of the season not to talk publicly about referees. Rafa knew the rule and broke it. Looks like he’ll have to face the music. He can afford the fine and probably felt it was worth it.

  • hibbit

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #33

    you think he got it wrong with Ritchie ??

  • c-dog

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #34

    The other players were 4/5th choices as a result of not being backed. Completely Ashley’s doing. Only the ignorant on here made a case any of these guys would offer much. And Rafa alluded to the signings, and squad, being not good enough many times. Essentially we had to sell dead wood to bring in players but with the money Ashley made available we could only replace them with more deadwood. The club hierarchy is a shambles which resulted in the squad being a shambles. A good manager is about all we have.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #35

    Think it’s unfair to Gayle to say he isn’t up to prem level. Fair enough he for some reason didn’t finish as many chances as he did for us in the championship which could be attributed to a mental thing but he offered a lot to our team. I often criticised him for missing easy chances but always have credited him for what he did offer. We are seeing now this season what effect he has on others and the team.

    Before the summer and during the summer I was clear that he should be kept on, not as a first choice but for competition and as second/third choice. I actually think he developed considerably a lot during his time with us, although he didn’t hit the goal scoring heights of the championship season I still feel his overall performances were better last year from the second half of the season.

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #36

    is it possible that nufc were just used to bump Plae’s value up.
    it seems he had a choice of 3 clubs but chose the german club over spuds and us.
    if there is no bidding war, Nice don’t get the price , and he didn’t want to sign a new contract.

    seems pretty straight forward to me.


  • ronaldo aarons

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #37

    Was listening to talksport earlier and no word of a lie, Adrian Durham actually said that ‘Rafa could not be criticised’ straight away I thought to posters on the blog lol 😀

    It was about mitro and how Chelsea are sniffing around him, some fans called him poor mans Diego Costa.

    It’s not news though, Chelsea have always been following him since his time in Belgrade and even when we signed him.

  • hibbit

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #38

    Munster Mag

    Sep 25, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #28
    It’s debatable whether Rafa can be called a world class manager. World class is pep and klopp. These are the top tier now. Rafa is v good but the top tier of clubs won’t go for him now. That’s why I said arsenal wudnt entertain him in the summer

    pep and klopp. world class spenders would like to what they could /would do with a squad like our’s
    you avoiding me Munster ??

  • ronaldo aarons

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #39

    Someone needs to fess up, which one of you are Adrian Durham!!

  • Our Toon

    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #40

    I’m glad we didn’t get Jorgensen, he was a first choice and looks god awful so happy to have dodged that 18m bullet

    Every manager will make mistakes in the transfer market though, rafa is no different. Even mourinho and fergie have got it wrong big time.


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