Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 0  – Sunday 20 August 1.30pm

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

Ben Cooper:

“It’s a simple game football.

“They took their chance we didnt take ours.

“I would like to talk about some promising performances but the reality is that for all the effort we were pretty rubbish and got beat by another pretty rubbish team without ever putting them under any pressure.

“Two games, two defeats, too bored to analyse any further. At least try and play some football please.”

Jamie Swan:

“Before a ball was kicked this season we needed every swinging appendage at it on and off the pitch from top to bottom.

“We also needed to build on the positive of last season’s promotion, but nope – we are not going to do that and after today it’s pretty much evaporated.

“Who would think that all the needlessly self-imposed negativity caused by our owner could make the pressure even greater for a team which it was anticipated would be very difficult anyway.

“Others have speculated – like Huddersfield, who are not a COUNTRY Mr Ashley by the way. They are the stark contrast to us, 2 wins, six points, four goals and nil conceded – for NUFC you pretty much just need to turn that stat upside down.

“Didn’t play well mind and that’s where it matters. Trenches time. Everybody is dying to see an implosion, balls to the media, balls to the nation, big swinging hairy balls to Ashley too.

“Hopefully the wallet creaks open as we look short, but unless the unwanted leave town it’ll be as we are boys.

“The only way is up!”

Davey Hat-Trick:

“This feels like Premier League Groundhog Day.

“Plenty of honest endeavour from Newcastle, but very little quality and virtually no inspiration.

“It’s difficult to pick out players who were especially good or especially bad, but I thought Joselu did a lot better than Gayle.

“What worries me most is that I don’t see a range of obvious solutions in the reserves.

“I’d have picked pretty much the same team that Rafa did, and – as ever – he had them well organised. But in this league, I worry that it isn’t enough.

“Two games in, we need a kick start, as we did at the start of last season.

“Decent opportunities lie ahead – Forest in the League Cup and West Ham in the league. These will be crucial for team (and supporter) morale.

“Win them and we’ll believe we can at least avoid relegation. Lose them and despondency could become defeatism.”

Kevin Christie:

“Disappointing result but it’s something we’ll need to get used to if Mike won’t back Rafa before the end of the window.

Whether Rafa will be bothered staying to fight with one hand tied behind his back remains the big question….

“Plenty of effort and application, just a lack of quality and creativity let us down.

“Merino looked rusty at first and was at fault for Mooy’s goal but grew into the game. He looks an interesting addition; good technique and vision and decent passing range.

“Manquillo had a nightmare. Caught out of position too often, didn’t track back. A downgrade on Anita if anything. Need Yedlin back ASAP.

“No Dummett also meant no threat from left side at all – Mbemba made some useful interceptions but a right footer at left back just doesn’t work.

“Gayle and Perez not at the races today at all and Diame really needn’t have bothered. A shocking cameo. Looked dead on his feet. His only contributions were negative.

“Impressed with Joselu. Provided a focal point, linked up well and put himself about. Good movement and positional sense too.

“Murphy wad bright and lively for the few minutes he was on as well. Looking forward to seeing more of them.

“God only knows what’ll happen long-term but there’s still hope as long as the window is open.

“The only certainty is that we’ll be relegation fodder if Rafa leaves. Praying for a miracle….! HWTL!”

David Punton:

“Mike Ashley’s strategic approach at NUFC is one of doing things on the cheap. We saw some evidence today it could backfire on him.

“We’ve lost to a club playing their first top flight home game in 45 years who came up through the play-offs by winning two penalty shoot-outs. A club that hands out happy clappers to their fans.

“That aside, Newcastle were pretty terrible today.

“Rafa looking for solutions already, if he’s not too peeved at being lied to by Mike Ashley.

“Just a Mooy goal separated the sides but it racks up a bad start to the season and suddenly it has the feel of ‘where’s the first win coming from’.”


“Simple. Lack of quality.

“Maybe a long season this one. Rafa’s head must be done in at this club

“That little bit of extra quality needed to add to what we had.

“Ashley has failed again. Biggest chance you have had with a manager like Rafa.

“If you won’t do it now you never will. Had all summer to get it right.”

Toon Bano:

“Rafa Benitez can make it known we missed out on transfer targets earlier in the window all he likes but the deep thinking man would have to go a long way into explaining his own personal decisions.

“Rafa could attempt to explain to me in as much detail as he likes about why he would bring on Mo Diame into CM when we’re chasing the game. Fact is, it’s ridiculous.

“He could attempt to explain to me why Christian Atsu gets to play 90 mins when he does nothing but give the ball away, whereas Murphy gets 10 mins and Aarons gets nothing, again. Fact is, it’s ridiculous.

“He could attempt to explain to me why our strategy would be to go direct for the final 20 mins yet Mitrovic doesn’t come on to give this tactic a remote chance of working. Fact is, it’s ridiculous.

“And seeing as he moans about lack of signings, the ones he has made look unbelievably average, as do the ones he apparently missed out on, like Tammy Abraham or Willy Cabellero. He can only attempt to explain his thinking.

“If Rafa insists on Newcastle Utd playing a compact, low paced style then he better get it right, otherwise fans will start to lose focus on there criticism of Ashley and look towards him.

“That fact may sound ridiculous…but it’s completely justified & warranted.”

Paul Lyon:

“Didn’t seem to be at the races today.

“Had a couple of chances to score but because we create so little we really need to score the chances we get.

“Definitely need some quality players brought into the first team before the window shuts. Early days but this season feels like it’s gonna be a long one!

“Hopefully we can use the Cup game to get the goals going.”

Nat Seaton:

“A really disappointing  performance.

 “We never looked threatening and that is against HUDDERSFIELD, who, I can’t believe I’m saying this, deserved to win.

 “If we don’t get new players in before the deadline, I fear it is going to be a very long season…”

Jamie Smith:

“On the surface, similar to last week in that one incident turned an insipid game into a defeat for us.

“For Shelvey’s red, read an abject failure to close down the dangerous Mooy for Town’s winner.

“However, this is far too generous based on a disjointed performance that bears out all the lingering fears.

“Many players aren’t good enough and the manager is cut adrift in his attempts to correct it.

“I can’t see the Fat Man consenting to fix this in the remainder of the transfer window despite more compelling evidence today.

“We’re looking at a relegation struggle on the basis of what we’ve seen so far and we can only hope Rafa sticks around to scrape the points necessary.”

Jack Lacey-Hatton:

“Hardly a disgraceful display, just not enough edge to hurt teams on the counter.

“Let’s not forget, we also had 3 defenders missing that would probably start.

“Can’t work out if Merino is brilliant or awful. Seems to do the hard parts easily.

“Awful goal to give way and in truth the better team won.

“One final point, Elliott is not and will not be a premier league keeper, his kicking was a disgrace.

“Don’t panic too much though, Sky are already revelling in our misery. In Rafa we trust.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 0


Huddersfield: Aaron Mooy 50

Possession was Huddersfield 53% Newcastle 47%

Total shots were  Huddersfield 7 Newcastle 13

Shots on target were Huddersfield  3 Newcastle 5

Corners were  Huddersfield 7 Newcastle 3

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Manquillo, Clark, Lascelles, Mbemba, Ritchie, Hayden (Diame 76), Merino, Atsu, Perez (Murphy 80), Gayle (Joselu 52)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Aarons, Saivet, Mitrovic

Crowd: 24,128

Referee: Craig Pawson

(Read Alan Shearer’s reaction after the final whistle here)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Rich Lawson

    Gayle looked lost,start Joselu and Murphy against Forest,they could be a winning partnership ?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    you could flog off half that team & not notice they`d gone,
    shocking performance
    Perez & SloMo need to be added to the services no longer required list.
    i said before the match, lose & we`re behind the 8 ball even this early in the campaign

    • Jezza

      Huddersfield were always going to be one of our main rivals the relegation battle and we’re already 6 points behind them. We have just been turned over by the team who finished fourth in the Championship last season. If that is not a clear indication that our squad is not Premiership standard then nothing is.

    • Tom page


  • TheFatController

    Plenty of faults today, clearly we do need that experienced keeper Rafa will hopefully land, if it’s Reina that’ll be great with his experience.

    Whatever people think of Mitro. Rafa doesn’t trust him so the bonus is we now have a target man that he’ll turn to even after only 50 mins. Though why when we launched the ball at him with 5 to go was he isolated battling for a header was bizarre?

    No one put them facing their own goal, so maybe Murphy and his desire to be direct is the option ahead of the seemingly ‘where’s the next short pass’ mentality currently.

    So much to work on, but evidently a quality no 10 could make or break us with two weeks of the window to find one …

    • TheFatController

      Sorry finally, if Rafa says it’ll take time, I’d forego rest and the injury worries and just play the team he has in mind for West Ham against forest. Treat it as a friendly to play your best eleven in…

  • Peaky Magpie

    I would seriously listen to offers for Gayle,quite clearly not good enough.Get shot of Diame & Perez and sign a quality striker.Give de Jong or Ritchie a chance in the number 10 role cos they can’t be any worse as what’s on show at the minute.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Not quick enough for a player of his size in Orem and injury prone. A poor man’s Michael Owen. Enough said.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Injury prone as he is,he’ll still play 10 times more games than Owen,I’d say Michael Owen’s a poor mans Dwight Gayle,but aside from that I do take your point.

  • SH.ER

    It was bad, and i mean so so bad on every level
    we couldn’t pass the ball, always nervous that’s a start
    rushed things & we weren’t calm despite having nothing to do but closing spaces & defending, & the joke is? i thought the throw ins were nothing short of dire
    no one wanted to run for it & help out, everyone standing & waiting
    the next problem with Mr Benitez, his negative cautious defensive tactics
    our wingers are so deep that we have no options upfront & no runners in behind
    I don’t wanna watch my wingers put so much attention into defending Mr Benitez
    He got it wrong today, & the players didn’t step up
    we have to act fast, we need 3 or 4 quality players or trust me it will be a hard long season …..

    • Jezza

      Ashley and Charnley have got ten days to save NUFC from relegation.

      • mentalman

        I think its rafas job to do that

        • Jezza

          No it’s Ashley and Charnley’s task to give Rafa the required tools to do the job. Rafa can only work with the players he’s got and you can’t polish a tird.

          • mentalman

            The majority that played today are rafas turds to polish

          • Jezza

            I’m not so sure to be truthfull. I have still got great misgivings about how much input Rafa is allowed in the club’s player recruitment. One thing is certain, Ashley has never backed Rafa with adequate funds in the transfer market.

      • Kneebotherm8

        They’ve actually got till the end of the January transfer window when, if these results continue in the same vein,we’ll see the the purse strings being loosened big style by”hard up fat Mike” and Rafa(if he’s still with us) allowed to sign players he should have been allowed to sign in this window.

        • Jezza

          At this rate it will be too late by January. We’ll be too far adrift by then. We’re already 6 points behind the bookies pre season favourites for relegation.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Hopefully we’ll be well into double points figures by then,just to give us a fighting chance and give Ashley a kick up the a$$.

  • GToon

    Gayle isn’t fully fit imo. Perez and Diame need to be left out and Siem De Jong given a chance at number ten. Jack the chav Wilshire would be a great signing for us based on that (lack of) performance

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Yeah Gayle doesnt look right.

  • Steve Pearce

    What a load of depressing shyte!

    Thanks to Harry Kane’s assault on Lejuene and Dummy’s injury we were deprived of our first choice defenders. At least Merino showed great promise as Shelvey’s replacement and as for Atsu – well all I can say these moaning minnys must have been watching a different player. Joselito changed the game when he was brought on and it is ESSENTIAL that he replaces Perez as he won’t have the ball nicked off him so easily. When the fans should be getting behind our team no matter how the lack of funds dictated who we bought it sickens me to read so much negativity!

    I will be supporting my team on Wednesday night, and hope that this lot are elsewhere as they don’t deserve to come anywhere near St James’s Park!

    • Fleckman hoop licker

      Give owa man, people have seen this all before, the actors might be different but the scripts exactly the same.

    • Jezza

      Alright then, we would have beaten Spurs if it wasn’t for the red card, the 0-0 half time scoreline shows that with eleven men on the pitch we are a match for any club in the Premiership, we would have beaten Huddersfield if it wasn’t for Shelvey’s suspension and defensive injuries, while clubs like West Ham and Everton have wasted tens of millions on overpriced mercenaries we have unearthed some real gems for bargain prices, Manquillo comes to us with vital previous experience of a Premiership relegation battle, Murphy was one of Norwich City’s best players, Merino played for German giants Borussia Dortmund last season….not once but twice, Joselu’s has got a decent goal scoring record having reached the 5 mark in each of the last two seasons and finally we also lost our first two games last season and we went on to win the league so that’s a reallly good omen isn’t it, is that what you want to hear?

      • Fleckman hoop licker

        Ooph, Jezza just sent Steve into orbit…

      • Steve Pearce

        See – not everybody’s negative – or is this a wind up? Either way I stand by my opinions, support my club and above all I stay committed to trying to gain support for an “Ashley Out” syndicate!

        • Jezza

          I’ve just noticed that we’re now out of the bottom three on goal difference too. Things are even better than I thought.

    • Tom page

      Keep playing like Sunday and they won’t!

  • mentalman

    Rafa has a lot of blame to take for our poor start, he got the tactics the team and the game plan totally wrong today.

  • Cuh

    Darlow needs to get a chance
    Aaron’s and Murphy need to get a chance
    Jesus Gamez needs a chance!
    De Jong deserves a chance!
    Mitrovic deserves a chance

    Whatever happened to competition for places? Toon Bano was spot on. Atsu was on the pitch too long. Why the hell isn’t Diame training with the reserves?!

    Rafa needs to fix this

    • Albert Stubbins

      De Jong and mitro have had their chance. They’re not the answer unless the question is which two players would be even worse than what we have at the moment.

    • Steve Pearce

      Why the hell isn’t Diame training with the reserves? Because he’s too shyte even for them…..

  • Bowlsey

    Gayle was completely out of sorts today and Joselu made an immediate improvement when brought on but why the hell Rafa brought on Slow-Mo instead of Mitro is beyond me. Why even have the guy on the bench if you obviously have no intention of using him?! I’m starting to think that there is something personal in Rafa’s continued snubbing of Mitro.

    • Jimblag23

      I say Joselu with Ritchie up top and Murphy and Aarons to come into the fold.
      Why not? We’re rubbish at the moment.

      • Rich Lawson

        Can’t hurt to try it against Forest ?

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    It is sort of comical that we lost again but still moved out of the bottom 3. That’s about the only silver lining from today.

    • Kneebotherm8

      We’re quite solid at the back but don’t look like scoring,it’s still a recipe for disaster come the end of the season.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        We had better chances than Huddersfield but we didnt take them

  • Natturner26

    Toon bano spot on.

  • Mirandinha9

    I cannot believe so many Toon fans actually believed in Cashley when after his meeting with Rafa he said there was money to invest into the team. This guy has been in charge for 10 years now and a leopard doesn’t change their spots. Think of the money generated from the sales at the end of the 2015/2016 season – Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Janmatt and Townsend. Where is that money? Cashley, will only ever be satisfied with finishing 17th. Special K was right about Cashley, albeit, he got one thing wrong when he said “Newcastle will never go anywhere with him in charge”. Well, in fact they do go places – at the end of this season, they’ll be relegated for the 3rd time in 10 seasons. Mind, the 50,000 who religiously go every fortnight and put money into his pocket need to be looking at themselves. If you always do, what you’ve always don, you’ll always get, what you’ve always got. In other words, continued mediocrity in front of SJP punters. Stop going!

    • Albert Stubbins

      I genuinely did I’ll hold my hands up. Can’t believe he’s betrayed us all again.tbh. another massive missed opportunity. Incredible and very very sad at the same time. Gutted.

      • Fleckman hoop licker

        If you receive any emails from Nigeria asking for your bank details I’d recommend you ignore it.

        • Albert Stubbins

          I’ll give u that one. Lol

          Sent from my Samsung device

          ——– Original message ——–

    • GToon

      Do you think it would make any difference to him if the gates halved? The gate receipts don’t affect the club as much as TV and commercial revenue. I don’t think Ashley cares how many people turn up.

  • Stephen

    Could anyone who was at the match confirm if there was any chanting from the Newcastle fans in the second half? There was nothing to be heard on television.

  • We will get it right, gave them nothing today, but Ritchie, Merino, Hayden and Atsu offered nothing going forward and Gayle never had a sniff. Pretty good at the back considering this was our second team. Elliot proved why we need a new keeper(almost cost us a goal twice). The end product isn’t there. I think we need Merino, Shelvey and Hayden in Midfield with Atsu, Murphy and Gayle as forward three, not wide midfields.

  • Alreet

    As bad as we were today they were well up for it even without the quality. Their high press had us undone way too many times and against even a mid table team they may have taken 3 goals.

    Our passing was shoddy. We didnt play the ball fast or accurate enough. It was all over the place.

    As a small saving grace our defence on corners and anything in the box was the best ive seen in years.

    Id have had murphy in place of perez. Hes such a little livewire really hope he starts the next few games.

    It was a fair result even though i wanted atsu to bury that one in the side net.

    Never mind. Onwards to forrest then swansea.

    • GToon

      I think we have lost our momentum. That took ages to develop and it’s ebbing away as the points are lost, the players not bought, the interviews conducted and the manager deceived. To put it in simpler terms I think this team play to Rafas mood. Last season it was one of determination and confidence. This year it clearly isn’t and you can see that in the way the team play I reckon.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Whatever happens ince window closes Rafa will settle down. There could be some strategic moves from Rafa to force Ashleys hand. This is the first manager to professionally and openly apply pressure and show Ashley up. Whatever happens though as a club once the window shuts we have to remain calm and support the lads as Rafa will get down to it. He wont walk away until his contract is up or Ashley pays him up. But Rafa will at every stage point the blame in Ashleys corner. For all the huff and puff id say for a sharper finish from Perez, but more height from Ritchie on his shot and Joselu passing to open Ritchie instead of shooting it could have been a different result. Thats before you think of Manquillo just passing back to their keeper when in behind as well. Our unbalanced team didnt capitulate.

  • Down Under Mag

    Two games, zero points. We started last season off in the same way. However, I just don’t see how things are going to get any different – it’s the apathetic way we played that is worrying. We don’t have the superstars so we need to make up for it with grit, effort and a never say die attitude….like Huddersfield are doing.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      For they had a little bit more of that charged by home support we conceded one goal which was easily preventable. Huddersfields bubble will burst.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Right this is worrying HOWEVER as pointed out by some we started last season the same. Welcome to the Premier League!

    Now Huddersfield are really riding the crest of their wave however was it a walkover? No. For supposedly Huddersfield on fire and us so poor it was 1-0 and a referee who was inconsistent not helping matters. We still werent far off doing a job for a couple of moments here and there.

    As Rafa always is its about being calm now and working with what you can see not what you cant. Newcastle can only get better where can Huddersfield go? If im honest I expected more from Huddersfield but once that bubbe bursts for them they are in the same boat. Our moment will come.

    We had square pegs in round holes but as both halves went on we got better. Merino learned some lessons yesterday and it could have been 1-1 had Joselu slipped one wide to the unmarked Ritchie. The game would have changed then. For the makeshift defence against two clubs flying high we conceded 3 goals… in years gone by that would have been capitulation time instead in bothngames we finished stronger.

    Its a marathon not a sprint. I can see us finding our feet more as players adapt and get up to speed. I seen some nice interchanges on around the box at times that we havent seen very often.

    A tough season ahead we all knew it but there is plenty football to be played and I have faith we will come through this stage for the better.

    Now Ashley support your manager and listen to him so that things are a bit easier instead of gambling your Premier League status away already…

    • Tom page

      “It is a marathon not a sprint” Some marathon – what on earth do they do in training sessions? Surely those sessions and the ‘warm up’ games should have them ready for the league games. Only the new-comers need time BUT should be carried by the others who were her all last season!

  • MediaMook

    Watching the pre-match build up to this one on TV was quite the contrast seeing how Huddersfield are operated by an owner who loves the club and team whereas fans at Newcastle are stuck with an owner who cares not for the club or fans. Huddersfield deserve all the EPL success they work for this season.

  • Hughie

    Desperately need a top quality striker and a creative midfielder. Why does Rafa persist with Perez?–occasional creativity but lightweight and offers virtually no goal threat. Why was he not replaced by Joselu instead of Gayle? Give Gayle a proper foil. Hayden looked dazed and confused. Thought the makeshift defence did OK apart from the first 20 minutes, but lets face it Huddersfield are mediocre. Once again it is already looking like we’re being served up with second or third rate fare for our 20million ST investment.

  • HarryHype59

    Am I the only one getting frustrated by Rafa’s inflexible tactics and obsession with playing only one upfront. In truth, apart from the Richie effort, we never looked like scoring. A more adventurous approach in the last 20 mins may have seen get draw against a weak team!

    • Bowlsey

      Yep, we just aren’t good enough to only play with a lone striker.