Watching the match at Brighton and especially the ‘contribution’ of Ayoze Perez, I was reminded of what I had written about him three months ago.

It was the end of May and with only Atsu’s loan confirmed as now a permanent deal, I was contemplating which new signings would arrive and what potential involvement Perez would have this Premier League season.

At that point of course, we were all quite innocent and still hopeful that Rafa was set to get proper backing from Mike Ashley.

Rather than the eventual net spend of £11.5m that he was allowed in the summer window.

Newcastle recruited neither a first choice striker or number 10 that the United boss was obviously desperate to land.

However, back on 31 May, without that knowledge at hand, I wrote:

‘How many games Perez starts this coming season could be a perfect barometer as to how successful Newcastle are – if the new signings come in and hit the ground running then I see the former Tenerife player spending most of his time watching from the sidelines.

However, if he is getting regular football then I think it will be very much a season of struggle, as the new recruits have failed to prove they can offer any more than Perez.’

With nobody brought in and Mohamed Diame being even worse in pre-season than Ayoze Perez, the Spaniard started the season in the number 10 position.

What is more he has now started all six Premier League matches so far.

Against Brighton he was truly anonymous/woeful and my worry levels are now significant, if he is allowed to hang around much longer in the first team.

Yes Newcastle won three games in a row before Sunday’s defeat but I think it was despite having Perez on the pitch, rather than him making any kind of notable contribution. The term ‘flatters to deceive’ could have been written for him, at times he does some nice little touches but has zero end product or influence most of the time.

Fingers crossed that Rafa will give up on the experiment very soon, I know that we aren’t flush with great options but surely shifting the team around to maybe play Ritchie or Shelvey in that number 10 position must be worth a go.

What I wrote on The Mag – 31 May 2017:

‘Many Newcastle fans thought Ayoze Perez would tear up the Championship but he once again didn’t make himself indispensable, Rafa Benitez giving him only 25 of 46 starts with 11 from the bench. Perez sharing the number 10 duties (as well as some games elsewhere) with the equally frustrating Mohamed Diame.

Eventually ending up with nine goals and six assists, it was a satisfactory season but far below what should be expected if he is to be a major player on the return to the Premier League.

Ayoze Perez has some ability but is it enough to overcome his lack of pace? Drifting through so many games, can he get involved enough to deserve a place in Rafa’s team?

So much rests on the players Rafa Benitez manages to bring in. Ayoze Perez sets a certain standard and my hope is that we bring in better quality who can give more in the top tier.

How many games Perez starts this coming season could be a perfect barometer as to how successful Newcastle are – if the new signings come in and hit the ground running then I see the former Tenerife player spending most of his time watching from the sidelines. However, if he is getting regular football then I think it will be very much a season of struggle, as the new recruits have failed to prove they can offer any more than Perez.’

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The problem is the squad is that poor the alternative is Slomo which fills me with dread.
    but he can`t be any worse than Perez, Can he ?

  • Street78

    Funny because he played in the last 3 games which we won and everyone was delighted but obviously a close defeat means we’ve got to crucify the first candidate we can find.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      do you actually watch the games ? because if you do then Perez along with Joselu has been dire

      • Buck Blacket

        Maybe he is just a Toon supporter unlike you. The clue is in the word “support” not constantly slag-off!

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          blind homerism is not a pre-requisite for support…

          • Buck Blacket

            Nor is sticking the boot into your own players after bad results…

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Bet you play blame game at work. Bet you’re loved.

        • Soldier

          you obviously no nothing about the game, I do go to the matches & can tell you he’s correct,

          • Buck Blacket

            It’s know not no and it’s not a case of knowledge, it’s about not sticking the boot into your own players after a bad result. People like you, glassjawsh and that mouse bloke to name but a few, would no doubt be calling Merino useless if he dares to have a bad game and we lose. It’s a joke!

      • Mark Davies

        Perez was actually decent against stoke which you would know if you actually went to games mackem moose.

        You and settee ender must be over the moon after yesterday as heaven forbid any optimism and good results.

        As for joselu i agree his finishing has been woeful last two games but he creates a lot for us making space with his movement. Again, as you dont go you dont see.

        Ps are you jonmag2 on chron as well as you both seem to repeat each other.

        • Toonrobbybobson

          He doesnt go getting suspended either. His hold up play is generally good including the link up play.

          Hes not taking chances which granted is a worry however hes actually getting into positions for those chances.

          Mitrovic doesnt. Id love to say he does but he doesnt. Cold hard facts are this is our position we need to back it this season and not put the players into shells with unrealistic expectations. Rafa is trying to make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. Seriously just appreciate how well in general he has them singing. Be plenty more off days to come this season. Keeping scores down is incredibly important.

      • Street78

        Decent all season and arguably motm v Stoke. Still in his early 20s. Point is more the need of social media icons like yourself feeling the need to get irate every time we don’t pick up 3pts.

        • Georgia Peter

          Porciestreet;
          All this is totally hypothetical as this season is ONLY about staying up and consolodating as a “new club” with new recruits, and just like last season, some of the players fit very well and will stay around whilst others will fade and drift away, making way for (hopefully) much better quality stock for next season. (oops, sounds a bit like an ashleyism)

    • Damon Horner

      We aren’t a fickle fanbase though… Honest(!)

      Think in a season we expected to be long and hard we can be quietly satisfied so far.

  • Steve Pearce

    Fear not because our new owner(s) will put at least 200 million into the next two transfer windows – and that isn’t wishful thinking. That will be because the fat stinking bag of pus only wants his investment back leaving money left over to buy the players we so badly need. But Perez and Hoselu are all we have until then which is to say the least worrying. I say put Shelvey into Perez’s position and maybe he can supply Hoselu which could give him the goals he needs.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Think you should be the manager not Rafa as you know best. There has not been one game this season we have deserved to lose and the ones we have won should have been by more. you remind me of the boo boys who hounded Frank Clark out of the club who went on to win a Champions league medal.

  • Damon Horner

    Season of struggle? We sit 10th and don’t look weaker than our counterparts, so far this correlation you predicted isn’t quite working out. Bit early for a self-gratifying “I told you so” article.

    Obviously it’s all about how you define the word struggle in this scenario, maybe you have expected more?

  • Toonrobbybobson

    This site is becoming stupid. The ‘troll’ mag.

    Its just a forum for some individuals to rant their hate for certain players.

    Tell me what exactly we can change with our squad/team at this time? When the window shuts and whoever puts on the top you support. You dont go writing articles about them slating them when they are trying and your best/only option.

    If you were constantly getting ridicule the prson writing this load of dross would be one of the first to start thinking f%#$ it these fans give me too much grief im not outting my body on the line or giving that extra bit.

    I suspect the ones writing these constant drivel articles would be the ones weakest going into their shells character wise.

    Give it a rest support the team its a relegation battling season with an under strength squad and they could do without this garbage.

    Tip: we’d all like more squad quality including Rafa but it cant be effected now.

    On another note Perez is actually putting in more effort than hes ever done work rate wise. Against Brighton the team in general lacked intensity as things maybe caught up… you know from the big miles they have been doing and the pressure on them. They are young just support them! Experience will improve them.