With Newcastle in desperate straits with only eight games remaining, anything is worth a try but…

Like every Newcastle boss in recent years, Rafa Benitez has now been asked the immortal question.

When considering his options for these last eight games, the Chronicle asked Rafa if he would consider giving Gabriel Obertan and/or Sylvain Marveaux a chance.

The answer of course is no, no and no.

However, of course Rafa Beitez can’t say that, he simply came out with a stock answer of everybody is working hard and not ruling anybody out etc etc.

He can hardly answer ‘Are you joking?’…

Gabriel Obertan has started 15 Premier League matches in the last four years and Sylvain Marveaux 13 in the last five years. Neither of them are the answer (if the question is should they be playing for Newcastle?) and never have been.

A more pertinent question for journalists to ask, would be what’s the story with January signings Henri Saivet and Seydou Doumbia?

Both are off on international duty for their respective countries but Saivet hasn’t featured for Newcastle since 6 February, only playing 147 minutes of Premier League football since he arrived.

Whilst with Newcastle desperate for goals, Seydou Doumbia has only managed 29 minutes on the pitch and wasn’t even in the squad for Sunday’s derby. The parallels with the Facundo Ferreyra farce are transparent.

Either Rafa Benitez’ judgement is badly off, or Newcastle made two disastrous signings in January, considering just how desperate the squad was for extra goals and better quality options in defence.

Rafa Benitez asked about possibility of using Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux:

“Yes, for sure, they are working hard.

“They are listening to us and trying to do what we are asking them.

“I think you can see the commitment from everybody.

“We can’t complain about anybody because they are working hard and they are ready.

“And even when they have little things going on they are ready to train and impress.”