John Barnes has been talking about his former club’s chances this season.

With three Premier League games gone, the one-time Newcastle midfielder says that the club/fans shouldn’t be thinking ‘Let’s go finish in the top six or the top 10’.

Instead John Barnes says that the only target is ‘survival’.

However, the former England star has had a dramatic change of mind over the course of the transfer window and after watching the opening games.

Back on 8 June 2017, John Barnes was saying he was sure Newcastle would finish in the top 10 and that Rafa’s team wouldn’t be ‘anywhere near the bottom’.

Barnes even adding back in June: ‘then in a few years time make a bid for the top five’.

The lack of backing from Mike Ashley for Rafa Benitez, clearly appears to have led to John Barnes significantly lowering his forecast/hopes for Newcastle United.

Let’s hope his earlier prediction proves nearer the mark…

John Barnes speaking to HITC Sport – 5 September 2017:

“The target for each club coming up should be survival.

“Newcastle are a big club, they have got a big stadium, but I think that in the first year if they can survive, then they can build on next year – rather that thinking because they are in the Premier League let’s go finish in the top six or the top 10.”

John Barnes – 8 June 2017:

“The key thing for Newcastle is that this is Newcastle with Rafa Benitez.

“So this side will be pragmatic. I have no fears about them not being in the top-half. I’m not saying top five, six etc, but that lower top-half. I don’t think they’ll be anywhere near the bottom.

“They will get results with Rafa but next season will be about managing expectations. Liverpool and Manchester United have had that problem in the past, after Kenny Dalglish and Alex Ferguson.

“Newcastle must get results first, and maybe that means sacrificing a more attractive style of football, in order to build for the future.

“Perhaps the scare of relegation may have made the club think long-term. They’re sticking with Rafa which is a good sign.

“They played an open game in the Championship but they will need to change that and be more pragmatic back in the Premier League.

“But hopefully the club and the fans will be willing to accept that in order to become a stable Premier League club once again.

“And then in a few years time make a bid for the top five – and bring that open style of football back.”



  • Alex

    Just wrong on so many points. Do these pundits ever poke their nose outside of a studio?

  • toonterrier

    John Barnes?. Didn’t he used to be a footballer or was that before he moved to Newcastle. Another waste of money who should stay in the shadows and keep his gob shut.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Yeah,we got a few ex Liverpool players when they were way past their sell by date,Rush and Owen another couple that come to mind( not to mention their psspr ex managers we ended up with)

  • magpiefifer

    Do these so-called pundits ever put their brains (?) in gear!?
    Newcastle fans are only too aware of how tough a season this is going to be,and expectations with the Ashley regime are not very high for most of us..

  • hetonmag

    If we do survive I’m not very confident that the rotund one will back his manager next season whoever is in charge, when will these so called pundit’s realize this owner doesn’t want this club to progress.

  • Kevin Brown

    John if you got of your fat backside, and come up to Tyneside and ask toon fans first, before you spout sh*te, we don’t think anything of the sort,

    • East Durham Mag

      Exactly Kevin do you know anyone who really thinks a top 6 finish is even remotely possible? Survival or anything better will be great. They are convinced all Toon fans are deluded.

      • Kevin Brown

        No one I know expected anything other than mid table, at best this season even next season too,

        • East Durham Mag

          I’d take both now

          • Kevin Brown

            Same here mate,

  • Steve Pearce

    Aye Barnsey – rumour has it that the pitch trembled every time he walked on it due to his great weight. Then we had Ian rush who looked like he was at least 70 and played like he was 90. Such was the great days under Kenny Dalgliesh whose press conferences were the funniest thing i had heard for years;

    Journalist – Well Kenny, what’s your opinion of the match?

    Kenny Dalgliesh – Shhhr yyyry ouuur sh grrrr aye herr

    No wonder we were rubbish with him in charge – nobody could understand what he was saying!

    • MadMag83

      So rubbish we finished 2nd.

  • Ok, I’m sick of people complaining about transfer activity.
    In a market where bloody Townsend and Sakho are worth north of 25m I think we did the best business!
    I consider the actual value of Lejeune, Merino and Atsu to be around 100m if you account for the transfers noted above. On top of that we didn’t sell any of our Core players. If you ask me Ritchie and Clark are worth 30m each at least. Have faith in the team and manager and we might do some January business if someone becomes available.

    • Geordiegiants

      I love your optimism and I hope you are right, I really do.

      • I may be wrong, but the few games I saw these players they looked much better than some who were bought for over 20m, in my books that’s great business. In the end we signed better players than what we had and got rid of some deadwood.

    • Guest 2

      Clearly Chelsea, Eibar nor Dortmund agreed with your valuations when letting them go!
      Rafa was certainly expecting to sign a few more in order to strengthen the team and it’s quality rather than these three lads being the beginning and end.
      January business again won’t happen unless we look like we are going down. How many years of Ashley’s ownership do you need to live through before you accept what he does and why he does it?

      • I’m not saying we couldn’t have spent more, but perhaps the players Rafa wanted didn’t want to go or the club wanted north of 30m and agent wanted over 100,000k a week.
        I don’t think football clubs should encourage salaries and transfer activity like that when the manager gets paid far less.

        • Guest 2

          Actually, Rafa is on 5 million a year, almost 100k per week himself.
          Ashley has allowed for only the bare minimum again in the hope we scrape by another relegation. How many times does he have to do it before you realise it?
          The market is the market. You can’t buy in Darras Hall if you are only prepared to pay the price of a Byker house.

  • Steve Dunn

    Cannot believe you actually give these blokes space, this is starting to get like a red top paper it really is.

    • MadMag83

      It is a tabloid in all but name now.

  • Guest 2

    “…Played an open game in the Championship”? I presume he didn’t watch the vast majority of matches as open we sure were NOT!

  • Mayor Vaughn

    This myth that Toon fans will only accept top six finishes and or european qualification is really getting on my nerves now. It’s spouted that often it has become an absolute fact for the idiots that say it.

  • Alan Lacey

    Yap, yap, yap. I’m fed up hearing these so called experts spouting dribble about our club. Back in the day when they were playing they would be the first to put in a transfer request if their club had no ambition or vision for the future. Now looking at my cristal ball, Rafa will be gone by Christmas, David Moyes we will be installed as our saviour, we will be relegated simple as.

    On a serious note, supporters MUST organise themselves once again and boycott home games, that’s the only way Ashley will take notice when he see’s an empty stadium.

  • Rich Lawson

    Thanks for clearing that up John,that’s my expectations of European football next season crushed for sure !!!

  • Wor Lass

    The guy can`t even buy a decent set of threads. He dresses like a clown and talks like one.

  • Monksaton Magpies

    Most of the people on this site think we will finish bottom with minus thirty points so nice to here some say that we are going to stop up surprised the article wa published Jezza, Leazes Ender and Micky Mouse will sue the mag.