After watching Newcastle make it three wins in a row, Phil Thompson says that ‘there is a lot of confidence oozing through the side’.

Speaking on Sky Sports, the pundit says that he thought many Newcastle players didn’t have the ability and/or passion to handle the Premier League.

However, he now admits that the reality is that they are ‘rising to the occasion every game’.

Picking one player out to sum up Newcastle United this season, Phil Thompson says he had reservations about Jamaal Lascelles, but ‘he has been the rock that they (Newcastle) have built on’.

Talking about the reaction in general after Newcastle lost their opening two matches, Thompson now says ‘Crisis, what crisis?’.

Phil Thompson talking on Sky Sports:

“Newcastle were good.

“The biggest thing I can say about Newcastle is that there is a lot of confidence oozing through the side.

“Players that I thought didn’t have the ability, or passion, to do it every game, are rising to the occasion every game.

“No one more so than the match winner Lascelles. He has been the rock that they have built on.

“You can see he is the leader, he has been absolutely terrific.

“Newcastle should have been out of sight by half-time.

“Joselu has had two very good chances and just after half-time he has another one – really should have had a hat-trick against his former club.

“Joselu was maybe a little hyped up, wanting to prove himself. You could then go maybe that is reason why Mark Hughes let him go.

“You look at those three chances and you would like to think he will score goals for Newcastle if he keeps getting in these positions and they create the chances.

“Lascelles did what he did last week (meeting Ritchie’s corner) and it is a goal.

“This is three wins on the bounce – nine points, for Rafa.

“Crisis, what crisis?

“That (crisis) is what people were saying earlier on.

“Because of all their hype and their performance against Manchester United, they did think this was going to be easy.

“Newcastle were quicker to everything and they well deserved the victory.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Stoke 1

Goals:

Newcastle: Atsu 19, Lascelles 68

Stoke: Shaqiri 57

Possession was Stoke 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Stoke 10 Newcastle 16

Shots on target were Stoke  13 Newcastle 14

Corners were  Stoke 5 Newcastle 7

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Ritchie, Hayden (Shelvey 69), Merino, Atsu, Perez (Diame 86), Joselu (Gayle 78)

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Manquillo, Murphy, Lejeune

Crowd: 51,795 (approx 1,500 Stoke)

(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after beating Stoke Here)

(Alan Shearer a very happy man after Newcastle went top four – Read it Here)

(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to win over Stoke – Here)

(Give us your Newcastle v Stoke player ratings Here)

(Mark Hughes’ comments Here – he was watching a different game!)



  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Stoke were a good team and we will not see many better this season. The lads had to work hard to get in the game in the end could have been seven two.

    • Paul Busby

      “Stoke were a good team”
      I wouldn’t have said so. They were probably the best team we faced since Spurs this season but if I was going to base their position on that away performance, it would be bottom half of the table.

      • Phil K

        Actually we should have been out of sight of Stoke by half time. They couldn’t have complained if they were 4 or 5 down.
        Different mob in the 2nd half, due to our misses

  • Wor Lass

    Rafa settled on Lascelles as captain and deposed Jonjo to slot him in. Rafa knows what he`s doing. I said on a previous post that there`s no reason why Lascelles can`t be in the England reckoning this season. Cahill makes bloopers for “You`ve Been Framed”, Stones is good but tries to do too much, Jones and Smalling are job-sharing gimps. They`re all good players on their day but not one of them is a match for Lascelles in the air and none of them can lead like him. If he keeps learning and improving, he`ll be the main man sooner rather than later.

  • Rich Lawson

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing Phil ? Do you think we don’t notice ”pundits” like yourself changeing their opinions week in, week out, to suit the results,stick to slagging off Gary Neville !

    • Damon Horner

      Sadly some of our own fans are the same with their ever changing opinions.

      I don’t see this team being called woeful, embarrassing and in dire need of strengthening on these pages anymore.

      • Jezza

        The team definitely does need strengthening. We are very short of firepower and our best finisher is a centre half. We desperately need a decent striker.

        • Damon Horner

          If we had a prolific striker we would be challenging for Europe. We have goals from set pieces, indirect and direct, goals from wide areas and our midfield trio in my view can get 7 league goals between them. For survival? Easily good enough. Application is incredible, fitness is looking good and tactical discipline is good in large.

  • Steve Pearce

    Lascelles for England!

    A world class defender who can also score goals – but as he’s a Newcastle player it will never happen as we all know that we are hated by those southerners!

    • Jezza

      He’s maturing both as a defender and a captain but let’s be realistic he’s a long way from being world class just now.

    • Jimblag23

      I don’t want him training with losers like Jones and Smalling.

    • Geordiegiants

      F’ing hell, a couple of weeks ago everyone was calling him upside down. I’m not saying you were in particular, I’m just saying every one was on here debating how poor he was.

      • Phil K

        No, his form was upside down. Hit and miss. He wasn’t left out by Rafa for no reason.
        But he’s risen to the occasion and is a true captain now. A leader and a rock the rest can rely on. Clark is a fantastic reliable CB who must make Villa fans wail their pompous lungs out losing him for buttons. To me, Clark has been the bargain of the decade

  • HappyToons

    See what we would have with a decent CF. If a CB can get on the end of crosses why can’t Jossiewho.

    Stoke, Swansea and WHU have only won one out of five, let’s not get carried away as they are simply the opposition we need to beat to stay up. Palace, Brighton etc included. BUT it is great that we are beating them! Onwards and upwards. Our most consistent player is Clark rather than Lascelles. Lacelles needs to turn up when we play the top three and the likes of Liverpool then you can judge if he is good enough for England, but the potential is there. No mater what you say about Terry, him and Rio Ferdinand rarely made mistakes even playing for England. Consistency makes a great defender, think Bobby Moore or even Bob Moncur.

  • Alreet

    And wat about all the negative vibes from merse. Owen and the gang. Which rock are they hiding under.

    • Geordiegiants

      The same rock as the lot on here that call Rafa, his tactics and Lascelles.

  • Andy Mac

    Phil Who ?

    • Jezza

      Decent player in his day but also an absolute idiot.

      • Andy Mac

        I agree with that last part Jezza !

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`s right about our striker or should i say strikers, i don`t think any of them can cut it at this level, Rafa must think that as well as he did try to offload Dwight & Mitro in the summer
    Joselu may get into good positions but you must have the composure to finish, on yesterdays showing he hasn`t & that`s why he only cost £5m.
    he hasn`t been a goal scorer in his career & i can`t see him starting now

    • Jezza

      Yes Joselu looked every inch a bargain basement striker yesterday. Not only did he miss three sitters, he missed them very badly, one a mile wide, another a mile over the bar and as for the other one, his first touch was woeful, his finish even worse, just a tame pass back to the keeper. That’s what happens when a team manager is crying out for a new striker, makes his feelings known and the owner tells him he can have £5 million and not a penny more.

      • Stonka

        Your negativity is embarrassing. 3 points and still complaining about the same old rubbish.

        • Jezza

          Same old rubbish eh? Do you really think we have got enough in the striking department? Rafa Beintez doesn’t which is why he was desperate to sign another striker before the deadline.

        • Phil K

          And what did he say that was wrong ?
          I agree 100% with him, although think the lad WILL score once more settled

      • Albert Stubbins

        But he has changed the options available to the team. The hapless mitro (he was sat directly behind me yesterday btw) cannot hold the ball up and bring others into play like a genuine no.9. Josalu has brought a hell of a lot to this team and gives the center halves a real working over. Your right about his finishing I agree but if we can get ten league goals out of him and he continues to play as he has then he’s been the bargain of the season for me. Yes we all know fatty should have given rafa money for a proven top rated striker but with what rafa had at his disposal buying Josalu was a brilliant piece of business under the circumstances as he’s been pivotal to the wins against West ham and very good again yesterday despite the misses. There will be disappointments ahead though as misses like those yesterday can in some games be absolutely crucial but he does have so many other positive attributes as a player that the good far outweighs the bad imo.

  • Aaron505

    The way we are set up to counter attack means we will probably nick a few points off the bigger teams who come at us more. We looked good against Spurs and Huddersfield are quite defensive so we struggle against those teams sometimes.

  • Leicester Mag

    Far better start than most thought we’d have. Under Rafa we clearly can and do wins tight games. Good organisation focused around a very strong core in the defence is serving us well. Can we build on this, get the C.F. we still need? Yet again Ashley gets a lifeline through no credit to himself. Will he take this ? Who knows. Imagine this team with the support of a properly run club, not Cities zillions, just well run.

  • Mark Spark

    great job by the lads.I only was worried for a while in the 2nd half,otherwise we bossed the game completely.
    one thing made me laugh,that Shaquira,all the talent,terrible attitude. Im not talking about his windups,im talking in the 2nd half he was robbed possession in his own half and he just jumped up in frustration and didnt even bother to chase his man.Reminded me of Ben Arfa.Fortunately I dont think we will ever see that sort of player under Rafa cause I think they are bad for the team

  • Mark Spark

    And Joselu missing chances opens up that debate again.Do you worry that a striker is missing so many chances?or do you think the striker is doing great to get the chances and if he keeps doing it the goals will come?A bit of both for me,I dont necessarily think I can say if mitro or gayle had those chances they would of scored because they might not of even got those chances

    • Phil K

      The lad is getting in for the chances. As said above, he was hyped up to prove Stoke wrong. Ba did the same getting a hat trick against them a few seasons back. Joselu should have done the same. Too wound up up but that he’s getting there in the first place bodes well. OK so he’s no Neymar Messi or Renaldo but he will score.

  • Geordiegiants

    He was only saying what most fans were saying and thinking. I think it’s fair to say, most fans will be surprised by our start to the new season.

  • Mike Adam

    It is amazing how many of you can give Joselu the benefit of the doubt, and say he was too hyped and he will score. Why will he? He doesn’t have a great track record of goal scoring anywhere. If this was Mitro you would be crucifying him. But at least he has a track record of scoring both at Anderlecht and the Serbian National team. You will all now tell me that I don’t know what I am talking about. I want to see Mitro given a runout of three or four games straight like Joselu has gotten and then we can truely pass judgment. I truely believe we have the striker we need! And it is about time he is given his chance. Also, does anyone know where Aarons is? Is he injured?