Shaqiri was happy with his own contribution and goal at St James Park but says that his team lost too many other ‘individual battles’.

He looks nothing like a football player in terms of his physique, and his diving will always mark him out for away fans, but he was by far the biggest threat to Newcastle and their three points yesterday.

Newcastle should have been out of sight before Shaqiri scored his excellent solo effort with just over half an hour to go.

NUFC rocked a little bit before then Jamaal Lascelles once again won the game for United, showing the aggression to ‘win headers’ which the Stoke winger felt was a weakness for his own team.

As a kind of backhanded compliment, Shaqiri says that Newcastle ‘only tried to play counter attack’ but that the home side ‘created some very good chances because of that’ tactical approach.

Saturday was by far the best Newcastle have played this season and arguably against the toughest opposition since Spurs and the opening day of the season, the only thing missing was the two or three goal winning margin that Rafa’s players deserved.

Shaqiri speaking to official Stoke site:

“I was happy that I scored my first goal of the season, but at the end of the day we lost, and that is disappointing for us.

“Newcastle only tried to play counter attack; they gave us the respect to have the ball more and they created some very good chances because of that.

“We have some positives to take from the game as well as negatives that we need to work on. We made a lot of chances but we needed to take them and score more than just one goal.

“Defensively, we needed to stay better and communicate. We didn’t do that as well as we did last week or in the games before.

“Then on the corners we have to concentrate more and be more aggressive to win headers and our individual battles.

“When you lose a game you are always disappointed and of course that is what we are feeling.

“That’s pretty normal but we will stand up and go again, we have a lot of games this season and we have to learn from this type of game.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Stoke 1


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)

(Phil Thompson admits he could have been wrong about Newcastle players – Read Here)

(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!)

  • Whickhamrobbie

    it seems shaquiri knows more about football than Hughes . He,s also a cracking little player.

    • Paul Busby

      Built like sponge Bob square pants though

      • BenMagpie

        and Peter Crouch is Squidward

    • Mark Spark

      I agree on Shakiras talent,but I think theres questions over his attitude and workrate.i think theres 2 schools of thought,1 is that a team can have a player who is a bit special but doesn’t do the graft,(Ben Arfa,Robert),the 2nd is that a player with a questionable attitude can negatively affect everybody in a negative way and therefore not be worth the bother

      • Whickhamrobbie

        agree but robert like shaquiri has some end product where Ben arfa,Cabella dont . Dont confuse workrate with talent thats why english teams lag behind as we think if you are not running your A%$e off your not contributing.

        • goggsy

          Well said I always find the Ben Arfa/Robert comparison a tad lazy.Ben Arfas ability is astounding however his productivity in a team is shocking in terms of the ability his posseses,however you couldn’t say the same for Robert his productivity was far greater than Ben Arfa or even Ginola. When Robert got the ball anywhere from the halfway line onwards there was always a chance that something good was going to come for our team and also a lot of fear in the opposition.

          • Biggs Darklighter

            Ben Arfa would have scored four yesterday if he had been playing instead of Joselu.

          • Whickhamrobbie

            no he would not . Shearer,Cole ,Ba yes Arfa NO

          • goggsy

            Very much doubt ben Arfa would score 4 goals in a PL season,let alone in 1 game but good luck with the rest of your life,it seems fun.

      • SH.ER

        Who the f___ says that if you don’t run your A%$e off you can’t be a good footballer?

  • Roy

    I’m puzzled, how could they have 10 shots in total, and 13 of them on target?

    • Mark Spark


      • Roy

        Could be… LOL

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Scientists are lining up to study Shaqiri in a bid to once and for all prove “Little man syndrome” exists beyond all doubt. The angry little dwarf and his uncle Dennis Wise are to take part in a study involving Verne Troyer and Tyrion Lannister commissioned and funded by Simon Cowell in an attempt to discover why he’s such a unlovable little scum bag.

  • Steve Smith

    He has the same hair as McClaren.

  • Steve Pearce

    Your’e bang on when you say he doesn’t look like a footballer. The hint of a beer gut, refreshingly untrendy hairstyle (what he’s got of it) and he looks ten years older than the rest of his team. He is also honest and actually gives us some credit which proves even sharks have some humility,,,,