Newcastle 1 Fulham 3  – Saturday 11 March 3pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle:

Jack Lacey-Hatton:

“Shocking performance, just seemed like an off day.

“Fulham were brilliant in fairness.

“If only Rafa could have hooked 6/7 of them!”


“Awful and disappointing. 

“Won’t waste my breath on anything else.”

Leazes Park Ender:

“You have to say congratulations to Fulham on a brilliant away performance.

“We haven’t been at the races today whatsoever.

“Not a single player in a black and white shirt has performed.

“The manager needs to address this quickly before all the good work goes to waste.”

Jamie Smith:

“Absolutely dreadful.

“The run of high profile away games looks to have drained the legs as it was a tired showing.

“Atsu, Dummett and Anita all poor but Shelvey having an off day seemed to make our whole team cease to function, Tom Cairney putting him well in the shade.

“Good goal from Murphy, who probably should have started.

“Fortunately, I expect better from an away game next week but this shoddy home form must be addressed next season.

“I’m still confident that will be in the premier league, but not quite as much.”

Toon Bano:

“Well that was shocking.

“A result like that has been coming for months at home.

“Let’s just scrape over the line…please.”

Nat Seaton:

“Didn’t turn up!

“Beaten by a better organised and committed team who took their chances well.

“We deserved nowt from that performance.

“There is still plenty of work to be done to ensure we get  automatic promotion…”

Paul Patterson:

“Enough of this ‘Let the away side have the ball’ for long periods, it’s unbelievable how many times we’ve got away with it at St James’ this season.

“Well not today.

“It’s all well and good doing it away from home but this defeat has been long overdue to be honest.”

Jamie Swan

“Can’t say this is an extraordinary result as we have been so ordinary at home. Sadly, it could have been even worse.

“Fulham well worth three points and a thoroughly depressing result.

“Lads, if you think that you can now stroll it after those three supposed season defining away games, then you have had yet another wake up call.

“This was less of a wake up call and more like your kegs being pulled down in public, backside spanked with a cricket bat and an ice bucket hoyed over your head. YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE!

“Rafa was bigging FFC up before the match, and on this evidence rightly so, but too much respect given.

“No warning heeded and we contrive to play like a bunch of dinner ladies chasing a meatball rolling across the canteen floor.


“At SJP we must be BRAVER and get up and at teams from the first whistle!!

“Annoyed? Yep. Disappointed? Definitely. Panicking? Not yet, but this home form is now not a blip – it’s a big fat elephant in the room and needs addressing – pronto.”

Paul Lyon:

“I was looking forward to seeing Shelvey, Ritchie & Gayle in the line up today, I thought those three could conjure up enough to see us to three points, it wasn’t to be.

“None of our players were at their best, too many 5 & 6 out of 10s all over the pitch.

“Credit to Fulham, I thought they played well, but we just weren’t at the races today.

“Another run of good results comes to an end, still top of the leaguer though, lets hope another good run starts next week.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Fulham 3


Newcastle: Murphy 76

Fulham: Cairney 15, Sessegnon 51, 59

Possession was Fulham  62% Newcastle 38%

Total shots were  Fulham 11 Newcastle 11

Shots on target were Fulham 4 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Fulham 7 Newcastle 5

Referee: James Linington

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Clark (Gamez 64), Dummett, Colback, Ritchie, Shelvey, Atsu, Diame (Murphy 61), Gayle (Gouffran 74)

Unused Subs

Elliot, Hanley, Perez, Mitrovic

Crowd: 51,903

City Hall Gifts -

  • SH.ER

    I dare to say 80% of this squad is just dead , will not make it in the prem
    Not even sure a player like Ritchie can make the step for us LET ALONE some of the other idiots in the squad … ;(

    • Jezza

      Some of them are out of their depth in the Championship.

  • Carlo Ancelotti

    Oh dear

  • Ian Robson

    Ridiculous tactics, stupid team selection. Rafa must go. Carver is available.

    • Scottpaige


      • Ian Robson

        Hahaha yes sarcasm is the lowest form of wit – but it is still too complicated for some. Of course a knee-jerk reaction would be silly. Quite agree. As for Carver, good grief.

        • Leazesl Ender

          …. he doesn’t understand irony either….


    Bad day at the office. I could not rate any Fulham player less than 7 and I could not rate any Newcastle player above 4. What stops these players performing at SJP. I think it is going to be a lot tighter for the top 2 places than any of us expected. If only we had 9 away games left.

  • Steve Smith

    A case of the players thinking they’d done all the hard work against Brighton and Huddersfield, and assuming Fulham would just roll over.

  • Toon Army AZ

    What a let down after a ridiculously good week. Rafa has always said that the 7 April fixtures will be pivotal. It is shaping up to be so… Need to put this one behind us, work hard, and get 3 points next Saturday at Birmingham City.

  • GToon

    It’s results like this that make it all the easier to tell my kids there’s no way we will make a 450 mile round trip to watch that tripe. So how many home defeats does that make it? So basically any team from the top or the bottom of the league just has to turn up, we give them the ball, they have until 80 minutes to score as many goals as they can before we get a go. Sick of it. Totally sick of it. I’m starting not to buy into this rafalution stuff. I don’t remember any Newcastle side over the past 50 years simply allowing the opposition to have the ball like this lot do. It’s an absolute disgrace and I honestly believe it will cost them a place in the top two. And they deserve it. Being able to hit teams away from home means nothing to me. If we do go up that won’t happen and if we persist with those home tactics we will be 4 or 5 down by the 80th minute not just 2 or 3. This isn’t an overreaction either. A result like this has been on the cards for months. Anybody who looks at my posts may remember the one about a month ago that said we would beat Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading and then lose to Fulham. Well there you are.
    Next the three games:
    Birmingham – win
    Wigan – draw
    Burton – maybe scrape a win
    Tactics – the same
    Entertainment- limited
    Possession of the ball – limited

    • Ian Robson

      Absolutely agree with all that is said in this post. No entertainment in these tactics and in this squad. Just hope we manage to go up.

      • Damon Horner

        this is what life under Rafa is like, even when the fans were begging him to stay,he won’t thrill or entertain.

    • Scottpaige

      Ooooo well aren’t you the expert

      • GToon

        Hahahaha. No Scott I’m not an expert I’m just somebody who has supported this lot for 50 years and can spot the effect negative tactics have. Are you old enough to remember us under KK? Teams were up against it before the game even kicked off. This time round I keep an eye on the score for our home games fully expecting the opposition to a) score the first goal b) dominate early possession and c) probably get something from the game. The reason I think we win away games is because we hit teams on the break and we have players who are very good at doing just that. So do you want my prediction for our next home game? I hope I’m wrong but I expect Wigan to come and have a go, to create a few good chances in the first half, to enjoy more possession than they normally do away from home and maybe hang on for a draw. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Scottpaige

          Was only meant in fun

        • Horses Heed

          Spot on

  • Whickhamrobbie

    Terrible team performance ,terrible tactics ( yes thats you Rafa ) we need to stop all this Rafa Benitez love in stuff if this performance had had Parew ,Carver or McClaren in charge the message boards would be going beserk . We need to buck up or we WILL loose out .

    • Leazesl Ender

      Absolutely…. If it wasn’t for ‘smash and grab’ tactics away from home we would be in a lowly position…. we don’t seem to have any dominance at home!

    • Damon Horner

      The difference between Rafa and the other “managers” is I have full trust Rafa knows the problems and the identity of regular underperformers but as this is a transition season to get us out of the league and we’re acheiving that, then I feel it is a bit premature to be on his back.

      If we go up and and sit 17th with the same flaws then that’s a different story. Just let him get us up and see how the summer goes.

      • Jezza

        Rafa will be leaving in the summer.

  • Goobs

    Have to say that this has been coming. I thought we were awful today.In my opinion the substitution of Diame should have been a lot earlier. Full credit to Fulham though, they are a good side. I thought this would be a hard game before kick off, how wrong I was, Fulham won easy.

  • Leicester Mag

    Still minded to think the single most stupid tactic was the stunt pulled by our beloved chubby leader in not buying in the transfer window.

    • Leazesl Ender

      Put that down to Charnley not coming up with the goods in order to get his bonus for keeping wages low… its coming back to bite us!

      • Toon Wolf

        I wasn’t there today, however judging by the abysmal player scores, I fail to see how buying Townsend for an inflated fee would have changed the result today. Our home results are truly a cause for concern.

        • Leazesl Ender

          The abysmal ratings may have been better if any of the players actually touched the ball….

          A purchase in January would have given the club and fans a boost.

    • GToon

      Ashley’s ideal scenario is that we win the playoff final so we get an extra games tv revenue so not having Townsend who would have given us a totally different dimension going forward is right in his plans.

    • Jezza

      Yes, I said at the time that not buying anybody in January would condemn us to another season in the Championship.

  • ToonTom

    We are in genuine danger of becoming the highest points-earning team (I’m now estimating 94) to not get automatically promoted. Huddersfield and Brighton – unless they start stumbling – are looking good for 95-97 points if you check out their fixtures. Not panicking, but definitely worrying …

    • Damon Horner

      If Huddersfield get 95 points then they’d hit 2.4 points per game in their final 10 games and for me would fully deserve it if they did get that.

    • Jezza

      I am the most pessimistic Newcastle fan but even I thought we were a good bet to go up after the Huddersfield game. I thought we’d reached the point where we could only throw it away. Well it looks as if that could well happen now.

  • 1957

    After the Bristol City games a number of us questioned the sterile tactics employed at home and were labelled moaners, after the last three away games there were suggestions that letting the opposition have the majority of the ball wasn’t sustainable and we would be found out, we were told the system works, Rafa has got it spot on. Today the chickens came home to roost.

    We were taken apart by a fluid, attacking formation with quick technically proficient players who passed and moved and embarrassed our pedestrian players and fully deserved their victory and should have won by more. Our response was to hump the ball forward hoping Gayle could get in behind their defensive line. Fulham play in a style that is similar to the better EPL teams, if we get promoted and use these tactics a few more thrashing are on the agenda next season.

    My thoughts today went back to Joe Harvey’s days, we were poor away from home but at SJP had a good record. The team came out, with attacking players and an attacking formation and gave any team a good game…not under Rafa.

    • GToon

      I think they should introduce 10 minute season tickets that get you into the ground at 80 mins when we actually start trying to equalise or win the game. Forget the previous 80 minutes as that seems to be when the opposition have the ball.

  • DC1964

    To employ the same tactics at home as we do away is shocking. We are so slow and predictable in our build up at home, it’s just far too negative. Surely Rafa can see this is not working at SJP. We just invite teams to come and play. We can’t continue with this containment football at home but is there really a plan b?

    • Jezza

      Agreed, we should be going for the jugular in our home games with the backing of 50,000 fans and stuffing teams 4-0 and 5-0.

  • hetonmag

    Yes Rafa is doing a hell of a lot wrong isn’t he 70 goals for 32 goals against that’s a gd of 38, yes it was a bad day at the office but a typical knee jerk reaction to the first defeat since Jan, all this after 3 cracking results against our nearest rivals.

    • GToon

      The Reading result wasn’t great. Avoiding defeat was ok but the game itself involved very long periods of them having the ball and us just waiting around for something to happen rather than getting stuck into them. Today has been on the cards for quite some time. That’s the frustrating point not the goal difference because that won’t count for much if we don’t win games and the two below us do.

    • 1957

      Hardly a knee-jerk reaction.

      A lot of us have been predicting that the sterile tactics used don’t work at home for months. A lot of visiting teams could have won at SJP and if Rafa continues in this vain I can see defeats against Leeds and Preston.

  • 1957

    On a less serious note did anyone else find the choice of LaBamba odd as a tribute to Benitez first year in charge. It might be in sung in Spanish but it is actually a Mexican folk song.

    Spaniards, Mexicans all the same to the idiot doing pa duties on match days

  • Grahame Johnson

    Rafa has had one year and one transfer window to sort years of utter mismanagement from everyone involved in Newcastle United. If we remain united that’s our only hope, its hard to say but at todays match some of the people there morphed into the self entitled people who watch arsenal, man u and the likes, that what hurt me today as I have seen my club from the 70s until today play terrible and still love my club. All of us have reasons for following the toon i have never had the joy and pain that I have watching any other team then Newcastle United so I am a grumpy old man sorry grumpier. Newcastle United is a lifetime of emotional roller coasters that I could never change

    • Jezza

      You are correct to say that Rafa has only had one transfer window. Ashley’s decision to deny Rafa the January transfer window will inevitably end up costing us promotion.

      • Leazesl Ender

        The ‘Rafa-lution’ came to an end in January!…. if it was ever more than a soundbite nicked from Liverpool and propagated by the Chronicle as fact!

  • Blackburn1066

    At the start of this season we ( the Newcastle fans ) all said along side Rafa and all the other people who follow football that getting out of the championship would be hard .
    And along the road we would have our ( Ups, and Downs ) well we have just had a down and I feel we may have one or two more in the next 9 games. Keep the faith.

  • Geordiegiants

    Am I really reading some of these comments below?
    Not only this one, but things like if Pardew, Carver or McLaren played like this, howare man lads. We had a bad day at the office, and Fulham played really well, they had a little 16 year old starlet in there team to bring out the best in them. It’s like doom and gloom after one defeat, its just getting ridiculous.
    Pardew, Carver, and McLaren were pathetic in every game they took. Rafa gets it right enough of the time to deserve a little room for error.
    Who do these fans think we are? We are a championship team with championship players, we are going to get beat. There’s just no need for the Rafa hasn’t got a plan b type of comments..
    In Rafa I have always trusted, and still do!

    • Leazesl Ender

      ….. and Championship fans…. everything is hunky-dory!

    • Jezza

      It’s not just one bad day at the office though is it? We’ve now lost at home no fewer than five times and add to that the woeful draws at home to QPR and Bristol as well as away defeats to the likes of Blackburn. That all adds up to a lot of bad days at the office.

      • Geordiegiants

        We are still top of the league. What more do you want?

  • Guilttripjunkie

    Rafa’s tactics are almost identical to super Sheetves resulting in slow ponderous and predictable football at SJP. This is a poor league and the team should be walking it! The victory at home to a demoralised Spurs last season has blinded fans to the obvious problems caused by over cautious sterile tactics. The play offs beckon unless Benetiz resolves the home form.


    Yedlin should be back surely soon to save the season.