They may have only been able to fill less than half of the away end but Stoke fans have had plenty to say after losing to Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.

A good range of views but if there is one typical theme running through the comments, it is the Stoke fans looking at the failings of their own players rather than giving credit to Newcastle.

It was a similar reaction from opposition supporters after both West Ham and Swansea.

Just how good, or not, are Newcastle?

You can only beat what is in front of you and maybe no coincidence that three matches in a row, Newcastle have won AND been the better team.

Early days but the signs are good that a few more sets of fans in the coming months will be wondering how they got turned over ‘by a team like Newcastle’.

Comments from Stoke fans via their excellent ‘Oatcake’ message board:

‘60% possession and more shots than them on target. It’s arguable that we ‘deserved’ a point, but I don’t really feel we can have too many complaints.

Really, really low quality game though.’

‘They were definitely the better team for the bulk of the game and Joselu could quite easily have had 4. So it’s certainly hard to construct that argument!’

‘To be honest Newcastle were considerably better than I expected – I wouldn’t like to be the person trying to construct a reasoned argument to say we were as good as them or indeed deserved anything today.’

‘Its funny how it is games like this, against the average teams, where we would probably expect to win, where the weaknesses are more exposed eg lack of a striker, lack of wing backs, lack of a dominant midfielder.

I think we have a far better way of playing against the big boys this season. So that is a positive.

But we will have major problems scoring goals against the lesser teams who sit back more.’

 ‘We may be better playing 3 5 3 at home to the big guns but the system is entirely unsuited to games like yesterday where we were overrun in midfield by a very average team.’

‘Went today,  thought we were lucky to be just one down at the break but were much better in the second half.

Defence was the difference between the two sides they defended better, we allowed them in behind us far too easily and a better side would have scored a few today .

We showed good spirit and attitude but didn’t look a balanced team for chunks of the game.’

‘Well according to the boss we both deserved something out of that and didn’t play badly!’

 ‘Could have drawn,could have lost heavily. Poor performance,not good enough.’

‘Oh no, not the beer monster, donkey jacketed Geordies.’

‘Just back home.

Very disappointing today, Newcastle were better at set pieces and Rafa exposed the weakness of having 3 CBs. They are too big and slow to turn and chase back so their fast forwards repeatedly got behind us.

The teams were separated by their GK who had an excellent game. Great goal be Shaqiri to compensate the journey in a small way.’

‘Defensively we looked shaky the whole game, but we created enough good chances to win the game too. A draw would probably have been a fair result in this game based on statistics and big chances made.’

‘I don’t understand some of the doom and gloom and derogatory comments above, we were not as bad as some make out.

Yes it was a bad day at the office and I think we were surprised at the poor defending at times where we created most of our own problems and gave Newcastle an easy game.

The match stats tell some of the facts, we were actually better on most of them; the game could have gone either way and a draw would have been a fitting result as at Everton. Both teams missed lots of chances to score, but where Rooney made the difference at Everton, yesterday it was their GK who made the difference.

On another day, we could have been going home with 3 points and Newcastle feeling robbed, that’s football. We also need to be patient and let our forwards develop an understanding which could take half a season.’

‘What are the benefits of Zonal Marking for Stoke City? I struggle to find even one argument for it’s use? Is it about the holding in the box? Because Fletcher seems to do his own thing and just grapple and man mark anyway.’

‘Stoke wasted some good chances in the last 10 minutes from Diouf, Ramadan, Moting, but Newcastle wasted more than that in 80 minutes, They deserved to win.

Draw against man u and loss to Newcastle = 1 point

Loss against man u and win against Newcastle = 3 points , this is why these games are more important than other games against top 6.’

‘Better team won.

Defence is still suspect.

Attack is as disjointed as it has been for a long time.

Got the feeling we expected the opposition to roll over.’

‘Newcastle aren’t a great side and we made them look half decent.’

‘Deservedly lost, could’ve been by a lot more if Joselu had his shooting boots on.

Only really Shaqiri is worthy of any praise, you won’t win many matches at any level when literally only one player bothers turning up.’

‘Outfought outplayed outcoached by a fellow struggler who looked miles better all over the pitch.’

‘We bossed the first 18 minutes of the game, but after they scored they really dominated the rest of the half, and we were lucky to only be one goal down at half time.

The goal we gave away was really needless though as Mame made a terrible pass and then seemed to forget his man at the back post too.’

‘Total inability to defend. Newcastle had 3/4 very good chances.

Conceded in every match this season bar Arsenal where we had to rely on Jack keeping us in it.’

‘All the intensity against Man Utd and Arsenal and we play like that against Newcastle. Poor mentality.’

‘Super disappointing. Made a pretty average team look decent on the counter.’

‘Poor throughout the side today. A little better second half and had chances to nick a point, but that would have been extremely harsh on Newcastle.

Thought they were excellent overall and should have won it more comfortably. They out-worked and our-fought us all over the pitch.

No excuses, move on to the next one and put it behind us.’

‘We still can’t grind wins out against teams that we really should be beating

Yes Newcastle have some decent players – you wouldn’t think so from today but not many of their players get into our team do they?’

‘We were second best and deserved sweet FA. A very frustrating game . Some glorious chances missed at both ends. Second week running we have conceded from a corner so maybe the zonal marking needs to be looked at as it’s not working.’

‘Got what we deserved today, would have been nice to nick a point in the end but we were awful.’

‘Diouf is like Joselu. Gets into good positions but totally wasteful. He is not the answer but I don’t know what is.’

  • Dublintoon

    Lots of comments again about zonal marking. I ve never understood why every manager interprets this as stand in your zone and try to beat your opponents momentum with a standing jump. Surely zonal is a much better system than man to man if it was just tweaked a little to the point where each defender having being assigned a zone is allowed to start outside of it and arrive in as the ball travels

    • TheNutJob

      zonal marking doesn`t work, ask Jamaal he loves the opposition playing it

      • gallowgate26

        There is less accountability also, if you are a defender told to man mark Harry Kane and he scores from a corner then the manager can blame you. If he’s between two ‘zonal’ defenders and scores, they can just point to each other.

  • Simon Ritter

    Good to see lots of praise for Rob Elliot, super keeping again yesterday, though MoTD highlights did him no favours. As Lascelles did, Elliot played while injured for much of a season. As for the Stoke fan who is happy with his team “playing 3 5 3 at home to the big guns”, that would suit us fine. Be like having an extra man all over the pitch, lol.

  • TheNutJob

    I`m afraid Joselu is more Riviere than Shearer,
    miss 1 and its hard lines miss 2 & 3 you`re not a finisher,
    in this world you get what you pay for & he`s a £5m striker
    reinstate Gayle next week

    • Steve Smith

      Would Gayle have got into the positions to miss that many chances?

      • Jezza

        Fully fit, yes without a doubt. He’s a nifty little player, dectively fast and good at attacking space.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          agree 100%

        • gallowgate26

          There is a distinction between being ‘fast’ and positional awareness. Joselu seems to have that knack of being in the right place as the right time, in my opinion. I’m not convinced that Gayle always has, although he’s undoubtedly a better finisher with both feet.

          • Jezza

            I’ll take Gayle’s goals over Joselu’s getting into positions any day.

    • Sean Lynch

      Have to take in to consideration playing against his former club. Often the desire to not only do well, but make a point, ends up backfiring!
      But don’t crucify the lad for failing to score, he didn’t miss 3 open goal attempts!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Oh yes he did

        • Georgia Peter

          At least two…..

        • Jezza

          Shearer would have put away all three as would Mick Quinn. Even Shola would have buried one of them.

  • Mrkgw

    Amusing as, teams seem to think that in having the greater percentage of possession then that should automatically equate to a win when in actual fact, Rafa always employs that tactic – absorb pressure then hit on the counter. You need to have a well organised side and good defence to get away with it which is why Rafa and the team deserve enormous credit for their efforts.

  • Paul Busby

    I hope these “established Premiership teams” Keep underestimating us, falls right into our hands.

    3 games without possession, 3 wins.

  • ToonNL

    We really punished the sloppy players yesterday like martens indi and Peiters and they didnt really look to be comfortable in their formation. On another day we might would have been punished for the missed chances but we played the situation well.

    looking at the fixtures having 20+ points by the end of November is certainly doable before the hard run in December!

  • tonytoon

    ‘A good range of views but if there is one typical theme running through the comments, it is the Stoke fans looking at the failings of their own players rather than giving credit to Newcastle.’
    Does that same theme not apply to our fans whenever we lose?

  • Stonka

    Our players wouldn’t get into their team… do they realise Stoke lost?

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Can have best names in the world but if wrong attitude, poor tactics, bad application, rubbish manager it means nothing. Newcastle have been guilty of that in the past as we splurged money on names.

    Now I also have to point out why they look at players wrong. Shaqiri flatters to deceive. He doesnt assist or score enough and the amount he gave the ball away… i go back to what i said about Sanchez at Swansea… Bayern/PSG dont let players go unless there was a reason.

    • Sean Lynch

      The exception to the rule being Merino from BVB ?

      • Clarko

        Merino didn’t cost BVB €35.00m.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose


  • 1957

    They claim Newcastle are an average team and they are right, but the reality is so are Stoke…if they think otherwise they are as deluded as the media make us out to be

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Correct, apart from the top 5 or 6 the rest are average

  • Steve Pearce

    Boo hoo you sorry Potters!

    Your manager is a total divvy, who had he seen MOTD2 would have heard our Captain’s views on zonal marking and how he thought it was ineffectual. He proved that point by scoring the goal at Swansea and then did exactly the same thing to win on Saturday. A good manager would have scrapped zonal marking in favour of traditional man-marking and probably left Newcastle with at least a point,

    So thank you Mark “Divvy” Hughes – your tactics won us the game!

  • Sean Lynch

    There is one word which keeps being repeated week after week and it is actually a huge positive for us, yet no one seems to have noticed… ‘average.’
    We have gone from being a Championship level team to an average Premiership team, despite having such a poor window!
    That indirect regard from supporters of other teams in the EPL is actually a huge compliment.
    They don’t see us, Newcastle United, who spent a mere £14.2m to boost a Championship level team, as a poor Premier League team. They see us at a level competing with those below the elite.
    A far cry from the ‘relegation fodder’ we were marked as upon our return to the top flight.
    Being Top Quality will obviously take a number of seasons. I’m quite happy transitioning from Championship Champions to average Premiership in the space of 1 season, as should we all be.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      I think if you stuck a young fernando Torres and Steven Gerard in that Newcastle team that beat Stoke ahead of Joselu and Perez we would have hammered them 5-1. We just need a couple of decent attackers and we could beat anyone.

      If Rafa can find class like Llejune and Merino for around the £10million mark, he must be able to get us a couple of good attackers in by the end of next summer with all the TV money.

    • gallowgate26

      We were never really a ‘championship’ level team though, like the mackems are now with Grabban, Vaughn and Ruiter. We kept the bones of a PL squad, with Elliot, Ritchie, Shelvey etc. We were a poor PL team playing in the championship in my opinion. We are now a poor to average PL squad punching above our weight for various reasons. We have a top coach is for sure one reason but also mid-table PL teams are currently underestimating us perhaps? If we win 5 games and stay in the top 4, we will start to be taken more seriously, that is just a fact of life. I always though that years ago clubs turned up and put in a performance against us because of the names of some of our ‘star players’ and our former reputation/stature of the club. Even though we weren’t great. Whereas other ‘smaller’ clubs like the Wigans/Hulls of the world tended to catch other teams on an off day. I think this is now what we are currently benefiting from. If you read the comments from the rival fans and managers in these last three games, they all seem to have underestimated us. We have fallen so far that we’re not seen as a PL club anymore in the wider world.

  • Phil K

    Usual. Odd peabrain thicko (the donkey jacket ranting halfwit) the one who sees a completely different game to the rest of us, and the majority just seeing at as a fan. Most supporters are like that.
    But makes me amused at how they seem to think Stoke are a classier team than anyone else thinks. They’ll go down some time too. And their following is Championship level anyway

    • Jezza

      Stoke aren’t that great. They sold their best player in the summer and I’m not talking about Joselu.

  • GToon

    Love the way they think they should be beating these “average teams”. What exactly do they think they are themselves. They are just a relegation team in waiting. One bad season and they’ll be down and won’t come back up either.
    As for Joselu I think his misses were a case of trying too hard and rushing his shots. I spoke to the Stoke under 18 keeper when we signed him and he said what an amazing finisher he is so I think yesterday was just about wanting it too much and not relaxing before hitting the target.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      Handling the pressure is the thing.

      How many goals are actually miss hits or deflections that went in.

  • Biggs Darklighter

    Which Stoke players would get into our team?

    • Marveauxless

      Butland, Shaqiri, Pieters, Jese, Zouma, Martins Indi and any of their strikers

      • Biggs Darklighter

        I’d take the first three, but the others are no better than what we have

        Looking at their team yesterday Hayden, Ritchie, Shelvey and Merino are all better than what they have in midfield.

        So, I’d say they are as average as we are.

    • Soldier

      well their manager wouldn`t have missed 3 sitters even at his age

  • Leazes Ender

    Average side, mean owner.

  • Georgia Peter

    Such a pile of B***s**t from the Potty fans about us not being a good side. Just remember you jerks, you played as well as you were allowed to by a team who is getting better by the week having started as a raw bunch, thrown together at the last minute. If you have any complaints, look to your own failings in your manager, tactics, and system . Should be a very good game down at Stoke.

    • Soldier

      we would have won by 4 or 5 with a competent striker, for me Joselu isn`t clinical enough

  • Andy Mac

    As I said before the game and their comments, some opposing fans seem to think we’re same old same old Toon and with a year out of the “top flight” ? Although in the last six games of 2015-16 we were one of the form teams.

    So sooner or later it’ll dawn on them that this is a Rafa led team which is incomparable to anything that Fatman has managed to conjure up in his ten year period of mediocrity and mismanagement.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    To be fair while Stoke had a good side the could not have complained if it had been five two to Newcastle. We are building a young team for the future but need to put those chances in the net to secure maximum points in future games.

    • Guest 2

      How do you build a young side for the future when the owner expects the sale of talent as soon as it is possible?

  • ghostrider

    I’ve seen 50 million players miss 4 and 5 chances they would be expected to score.
    Joselu is a 5 million player who is playing with a mission to prove himself.
    Sometimes trying a bit too hard can come back to haunt you in games like this.
    On another day he’d have the match ball up his shirt and people would be singing his praises.

    He’s getting the chances. He’s getting in positions to have a go.
    If he keeps it up then he’ll look a snip at 5 million and will possibly make some of the 15,20,25,30 million forwards of other teams look like transfer robbers.

    Early days yet and lot’s of if’s and but’s.
    It’s not looking too shabby so far, so let’s just enjoy the roller coaster ride whilst we’ve just came over the curve and onto the loop the loop.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Anybody from the so called city of Stoke Upon Trent saying anything disparaging about the people of Newcastle Upon Tyne is just laughable at best !

    Stoke makes Baltimore, Maryland look like Darras Hall on steroids !

    The crack about the donkey jackets, Well anyone from Stoke couldn’t afford to even buy one of the offending articles.

    It truly is “The Land That Time Forgot.”

    • Jezza

      Yes that donkey jacket stereotype was clearly written by somebody who has never been within a hundred miles of the North East and who’s only concept of Geordies comes from old episodes of Auf Widersehen Pet.

  • gallowgate26

    We may be a ‘very average team’ and a ‘lesser team’ but we were better than Stoke on Saturday. Who to me, no matter how many years they establish themselves as a PL side, (and it would be disrespectful to refer to them as anything less now especially with our recent history) they will never be anything more than an extremely un-glamorous mid-table outfit. Yes they can slowly transform from the ‘big bully boys’ of the division, into a team with aspirations of playing football and keeping possession but for every big name they add another will leave (Arnoutovic). They are never going to trouble the top 6 and are only battling away to stay up like the majority of teams in the BPL. Have we really got lower standard players to them? Can you name a Stoke player with the passing range of Shelvey & Ritchie? Were their defenders as good as Lascelles or Clark? Yes we are light up front but Joselu was their player and shows we are shopping in the same supermarket as them!

  • HappyToons

    The jibe about donkey jacketed beer monsters was true back in the 70’s early 80’s as 75% wore them and the rest were in denim jackets. It is only meant as a dig, like I can’t help mentioning Sunlan is officially the 8th worst place to live in England, yet only Mackems would celebrate if they got in the top 6. Or their jibe ‘Rafa Beneathus’ is only because they haven’t put their dentures in.

    Stoke was a rough place at the Victoria Ground as recall a 0-0 when I think they got promoted. No I didn’t like the Cup ambush or the lie that a child had been glassed so they could reason ambushing an escort of families, but we gave as good as we got and took over Stoke City centre that day. They do make some noise and have established themselves midtable, which is commendable for a club that size. same with WBA or even Boro who do well on their resources.