Rafa Benitez was desperate to defend his team after Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 0.

The United boss suggesting it was ‘one mistake’ that decided the game.

Whilst there was only one goal and it was Mikel Merino who was at fault (a mistake…) for it, that is simply deflecting what was a really really poor performance against the team that started the season as odds on favourites for relegation.

Newcastle were hardly in the game and in three hours of football now, only Matt Ritchie’s right foot effort has made the keeper made a save, though to be fair it was an outstanding fingertip one from Lossl today.

Rafa Benitez claims that the ‘Reaction from the team was good to going behind’ but this is papering over the cracks.

Yes, Newcastle showed plenty of effort but the vast majority of the game was painful if you were expecting/hoping to see Newcastle creating any chances.

West Ham at home looms next Saturday, a match surely that Newcastle can’t afford to lose.

Rafa Benitez:

“You cannot make too many mistakes in the Premier League.

“We made one mistake, gave Mooy too much time on the ball and we conceded.

“You have to take your chances.

“We tried to create more chances after the Matt Ritchie effort. The reaction from the team was good to going behind.

“We are at the beginning and we have to keep going. The only way to improve is to train harder.

“I could say we deserved to get something but my experience in the Premier League is that you have to take your chances because if you make mistakes, you will pay for them.

“It is a learning process for us and hopefully we can learn quickly. That is how it is at the moment.

“Maybe (concerns about transfers are ringing true)… it is a learning process and we have to learn quickly.

“Maybe it is too soon for us – it will take some time for sure.

 “We have three injuries and it is not easy to manage when you have three injuries in defence.”

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

(Graeme Souness slaughtered one Newcastle player for the defeat, read here)

(To view and to add your marks to our Newcastle v Huddersfield interactive ratings go here)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match, read it here)

(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])

  • Soldier

    Newcastle were never going to win that game today

  • Paul Patterson

    He’s just being diplomatic in public, tomorrow with Charnley will be interesting, however, once I saw Diame coming on, I knew the game was up today..

    • Kneebotherm8

      It’s the bloke who’s got his arm up,the puppet,Charnleys back that he needs to be talking to.

    • Cuh

      The game is always up when he comes on. Same thing against Leeds in April

  • Peaky Magpie

    Rafa’s body language and tone of voice say it all,the bloke looks totally fed up.

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’s been fed up,and shown it,since the end of the January transfer window,and who can blame him?

      • Peaky Magpie

        Agree totally.Unfortunately it’s time to face the inevitable now,it’s all about when’s not ifs,and as you rightly say who can blame him ???

      • Cuh

        I think today he was more fed up with the players on the pitch than those who weren’t

    • Albert Stubbins

      Not as fed up as most of us I can guarantee that for nowt!!

  • Leicester Mag

    Pathetic no defenders named as subs. 2 games in! A clearly unfit Gayle and to cap it all Slow Mo brought on to change the game. He couldn’t change a light bulb. When he’s the answer to ANY question you know you are offered. No pace, no guile, how the hell can we survive? Yet again we self harm. May be we will never force Ashley out but we could die trying rather that than have him make us a laughing stock again.

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      You are wasting your time because they will not get involved and would rather hand over their money to Fatty Arbuckle !

    • Jezza

      Slo Mo wasn’t even good enough for the Championship lasr season. He was one of our worst players. The fact that he is now getting a game in the Premiership is a damning indictment of how pathetically weak and unfit for purpose this Newcastle United first team squad is.

      • Cuh

        How does he do it? I wonder. Maybe he brings out his inner Ronaldinho on the training pitch.

        • 1957

          I can only think it is because he is one of Benitez signings and the manager is determined to prove he was a good investment

    • Clarko

      There were no defenders on the substitute bench because two of our starting defenders (Lejeune and Dummett) are injured. Diame wasn’t the only player brought on to “change the game”, Murphy and Joselu were also brought on. There are 36 games remaining.

      • Cuh

        Clarko, I’m an optimist. I know last season began with two Losses as well, but surely… 36 games I’m not really looking forward to.

        • Clarko

          I’m a realist.

        • Jezza

          It’s not looking good when we’ve just been turned over by the lowest ranked team in the league, a team that failed to win automatic promotion from the Championship last season and only got up through the play offs after two penalty shoot outs. I dread to think what the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester will do to this Newcastle team.

          • 1957

            Having watched Man U at the weekend in will be a cricket score

  • StevieB

    Reality is kicking in. He’ll be livid privately

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I would rather him be honest and walk away rather than go into Pardew mode with that nothing to see here routine.

    • Geordiegiants

      He isn’t doing that, he is trying to keep the place positive. Look at what happened to the imbreds last season when Moyes turned up giving it we are doomed from the start. Rafa isn’t in anyway trying to defend Jabba.

      • Big Al 1967

        I have a horrible feeling that this will all kick off if the transfer window shuts and nothing further comes in. Can’t see Rafa hanging around if this is the case

        • Jezza

          Kevin Keegan reached breaking point with Ashley at the end of the summer transfer window in 2008. Looks like history could be about to repeat itself.

          • Geordiegiants

            I hope not Jez, but I have a feeling you could be right.

      • Cuh

        True. It would be terrible if he did a Moyes’ now (declaring doom in august) or left. That would be the nail in the coffin

  • Lhc

    Rafa is going to end up at West Ham, watch this space

    • Jimblag23

      It seems written.

      • Jezza

        So does Rafa’s inevitible replacement.

  • magpiefifer

    The HappyClappers will be saying to us ‘Doom-mongers’,we are only 2 games in, but I’ve seen seen enough to think it’s deja vu time and 2008/9 + 2015/16 seasons all over again.
    Rafa isn’t going to win this one against the tightwad shopkeeper and his muppet.
    When are we going to see an end to this poisonous regime!?

  • Steve Pearce

    By Happy Clappers do you mean true fans who accept the rough with the smooth, who stay with our club despite The Fat Fireplace Polluter’s mismanagement and who will continue their support until their dying day?

    We should all unite instead of moaning and maybe then we can ALL work together to rid ourselves of this Cockney Cancer and try to gain support for a syndicate who will take over,

    • Cuh

      Personally, after that rubbish game, I’d understand anybody moaning. It’s one thing to just complain about the club administration, it’s another thing to see the results on the pitch suffer

    • magpiefifer

      Just to put you in the picture,I have been a loyal supporter since 1954,and have been through many turbulent times over 6 decades,BUT,I’ve never felt as unhappy with the ownership of our club than over the decade of Ashley’s reign.
      Yes,it would be good if all supporters were united,but that isn’t happening under the current regime,and until Ashley disappears we will just stagger from one crisis to another – call me a doom-monger if you must!

      • Geordiegiants

        The point Steve is trying to make is, we as fans should be trying to push a figure head into uniting the fans and attempting a take over, i.e. Shearer, Ant and Dec, Sting, Brian Johnson, the owners of Greggs or Sage etc etc, instead of just coming on here and moaning about it. He isn’t saying don’t moan about it.

  • 10fps

    There is only so much Rafa Benitez could do. He didn’t stop working after winning the Championship, he has mapped out everything that needs to get done, but his boss suddenly put a padlock in his wallet. Rafa did try plan B, probably up to Plan Z by now, but because everything is late, nothing gets done. Be honest, they shouldn’t even be promoted, after strings of injuries along with red card costing United dearly in winter. They also have 3 big guns unavailable due to African Cup for 1 month, they shouldn’t even be on top of the table, but they manage to hold together. MA fails to act on January transfer window, making things almost impossible, and he told Rafa, don’t judge me until Summer. Well, Fall is approaching, and what has Ashley done for Rafa and Newcastle lately? Basically nothing… Rafa has to work beyond Plan Z, and Shelvey made a crazy red, followed by 2 other players were chopped down for a month, I do not expect United will have enough quality to outdo Huddersfield.