Alan Shearer and the rest of the Newcastle United fanbase endured arguably the worst 90 minutes of the season so far on Monday night.

A desperate game in terms of entertainment and chances at either end, one goal was almost certain to settle it.

With 16 minutes to go it was Hendrick who put the chance away from close range, Rafa Benitez saying that one mistake cost Newcastle the game.

It looked nailed on for a goalless bore draw, only for Ayoze Perez to weakly give the ball away only yards outside the Newcastle box, with then desperate defending almost saving the day as Rob Elliot blocked, but nothing could be done about the Hendrick follow-up chance at the back post.

Newcastle at last had a decent effort on target through substitute Isaac Hayden, though it had taken over 90 minutes to bring about that first piece of real danger for the hosts.

Alan Shearer looking back at the game and declaring ‘I bet the players can’t wait to watch that game back and analyse it!’.

The United legend quite rightly says that the Newcastle team can’t complain about the defeat, having shown nothing that suggested they deserved to win.

I must admit I wouldn’t fancy watching the match again, so possibly the best wake-up call will be the team having to sit through and watch what we all saw last night.

Plenty of effort maybe but the players need to add more focus and quality when Bournemouth visit on Saturday.

Alan Shearer:

“I bet the players can’t wait to watch that game back and analyse it!

“Can’t complain with the result.

“A poor game.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Burnley 1 Newcastle 0


Burnley: Hendrick 74

Possession was Burnley 47% Newcastle 53%

Total shots were  Burnley 12 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Burnley 5 Newcastle 5

Corners were  Burnley 5 Newcastle 3

Referee: Mike Dean

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie (Murphy 79), Shelvey, Diame (Gayle 83), Atsu, Perez (Hayden 76), Joselu

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Clark, Gamez, Saivet

Crowd: 21,031 (Newcastle 2,500)

(Rafa makes clear where fault lies for Burnley defeat – Read HERE)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match go HERE)

(To read the match ratings from Monday’s defeat go HERE)

(Mikel Merino set to see a specialist – Read HERE)

  • ghostrider

    I’ll tell you one thing, I’m getting sick to death of watching dire football like this.
    I understand that we aren’t a top team and I also understand that we do have to basically crawl before walk and before we run, especially first season back.

    Having said that, I do not expect us to nearly always be on the cautious, defensive against teams that are no better than we are and especially at home.

    Last nights game was just another game that bored me to absolute tears. I even lost the ability to get frustrated and also lost the ability to actually hope to get something from it.

    I’m a Newcastle United fan for life and through the old thick and thin. I’ve done it for many decades and will continue to do so as long as there’s a Newcastle United to watch and I’m still ticking enough to watch it………………….BUT………… I’m not going to be happy any time soon if we keep playing like we do and I don’t give a toss about doing it to amass enough points.

    I want a team/squad that tries. I want a team/squad that gives 100% but that’s not all I want from Newcastle United players.
    I actually want a team that entertains. I don’t ask for a Keegan style of entertainment but I do ask…in fact I demand some entertainment which involves attacking in such a way where we actually do appear to want to score goals….not a GOAL…..but GOALS…especially at home and especially against teams that are within our range.

    Let’s leave the cautious approaches to the bigger teams and stifle them for points and get cracking at using players we have to create some kind of exciting football in a balanced enough way as to have a chance of gaining the spoils instead of being so called well drilled at the back and managing to scrape through some games by the skin of our teeth which is absolutely no good for the digestion nor for the cheer up factor after a dismal day.

    I’m absolutely sick of watching the same dire garbage and I don’t care whether we have Rafa and should be grateful.
    As long as this defensive minded caution is only temporary until we get over this season under Rafa then fair enough but if this carries on even after a large spend, then it won’t be too long before Rafa feels the sense of natives getting restless.

    It appears like I’m ranting and in a way, I am.
    I’m just getting worn down with dire displays and this is not what football should be about.

    A message to Rafa Benitez: I know you’re supposedly meticulous in your prep work but it scares me to think that, if this is your meticulous in these games then we are in for a lot of misery.

    I might get slated for having a pop here but so what.
    I know I have a choice not to watch and what not but I bought into it all and just like having family, you just can’t switch off even in the dismal games/times.

    Rant over and this was borne from last nights game which has tipped me over the patient threshold.

    • Paul Patterson

      A striker would’ve sorted last nights problems out.

      • ghostrider

        Messi or Ronaldo, maybe…lol.
        I genuinely think rafa is scared of offensive or even a balanced approach to a game.
        When you go cautious at home to Crystal Palace and then Burnley away, then before this, Brighton and then Huddersfield….teams that we should be attempting to put to the sword at every available opportunity, just as they tried with us, then sooner or later we will be despatched.

        The trouble is when we do get despatched, it’s only by the odd goal so it actually looks like we are better than we actually are but clearly are only a small fraction away from being punished into oblivion as we start to crumble from being too defensive and cautious.

        It’ll take more than a top striker to sort us out if Rafa keeps that kind of play up. All it would do is make a top striker look bang average unless we get someone like Messi or Ronaldo or the likes who could conjure up their own chances.

        I’m probably just getting myself wound up and being a little bit impatient but I’m genuinely getting sick of this Rafa approach to games. It’s tedious and soul destroying.

        • Paul Patterson

          A dynamic striker would bring Ritchie, Atsu, Perez, Shelvey, Merino etc into play, sadly nowt sticks with Joselu.

          • Danimal

            Not even putting Mitro on the bench was cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    • Gary McCarron


    • NUFCDan

      You can’t blame Rafa for playing to our squads strengths. We are a newly promoted team with very little quality and currently sat comfortably in mid-table. Most PL teams play a pretty boring brand of football now, enriched by the odd moment of individual brilliance.

      • ghostrider

        I agree and that’s why I said I can accept it if it’s just a case of getting us over for this season.
        What I fear is, Rafa won’t give us much more than cautious and that’s going to make my Newcastle United experience a whole lot more dire than I would expect.

        I’m not asking for the world,I just want to watch a game where I can say ” you know what…I enjoyed that game .” Even if we got beat or drew or won.

        I just want to be able to jump up and shout , woooooo and ohhhhhhh and wowwwwwwwwwwww and GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL a lot during games instead of sitting there cringing at how defensive we are and how woeful we tend to be when attempting to get forward in most games.

        We are in danger of setting Benitez up as a messiah when I think we should hold back a little bit because I’m edging on the realms of possibility that if he keeps this football up it won’t be long before the squad and the fans will get fed up of the negative set up and it is a negative set up and not because we don’t have the players to do otherwise, because we do have the players that can effect a definite offensive change to balance it all out, yet for some reason do not get used.

        • Damon Horner

          Just have to be patient. Rafa doesn’t accept risks as opposed to a dislike of attacking football, his Real Madrid team outscored Barcelona during his time there.
          Mourinho is another example, his priority is getting the defence and shape sorted, the fitness and the discipline but then adds the attacking threat.

          If we play with a more attacking emphasis with this squad the criticism of Joselu, Perez and Diame will be replaced with members of our back 5 and Centre Midfield.

          I also believe Rafa might be essential for any attractive takeovers. Not the greatest right now but persevere with it because it can easily lead to greater gain.

          • ghostrider

            Yep, I can see where you’re coming from and in a way I have to accept that we do obviously have a top manager and that things have to bed themselves in to give an overall balanced end product over time.

            I’m willing to accept the transition as long as that’s what it’s definitely going to be, but it’s still zapping my feel good match enjoyment where I’m in danger of just hoping we don’t concede to guarantee a draw whilst forgetting that we have any ability to actually meaningfully attack with any real purpose.

            The thing is, just because Rafa Benitez is a top manager, it doesn’t mean he should be immune to a few digs (deservedly imo) as much as the praise for his meticulous planning when things do go his way.

            The way we play 90% of the time, home or away is like Russian roulette on the defensive, because it’s literally more down to bad luck and woeful finishing from the opposition that it is from our supposed superior defending most of the time.

            We look well drilled until we don’t, if you get me.
            I am ranting. I am annoyed. I am worn down. I am head scratching and pondering the potentials of being more easy on the eye against match resilience and I come to the same thoughts.

            I think….”why do we need to be thankful just to scrape by over the relegation trap door with dire football?”
            Then I think…”ahhh but this season we survive and next we motor on.”

            Then I think….” what if we don’t motor on and literally just get better at snuffing out the opposition with only minor threats against them?”

            See how much my head’s in the shed? lol

            Yesterday when I was looking at Rafa’s face after we went a goal down, I wanted to slap a big wet fish into it and shout, ” this is what you get when you set out to contain teams without offering much for them to contain about our offensive play.”

            I’m not going to blow smoke up Rafa’s aris when he doesn’t deserve it. And yesterday he got what he deserved, which was nothing.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Play our best centre forward away from home that would help.

    • RAFmag

      Top post, feel exactly the same. Got to have a rant every now and then. It will be interesting how we line up and tactics for Bournemouth on Saturday.

      • ghostrider

        Aye, you’re right, it will be interesting.
        At home especially, we should be pressing these kind of teams instead of spending too much time and effort trying to contain them.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Well put Mr Ghostrider,some cracking posts on here today.

    • Danimal

      It’s a rant. But I feel your pain. And it’s hard to argue. Cheers.

  • Rich Lawson

    At half time I thought we were the better team by far,the play up to the six yard box is good,we suffer because there is no natural goal scoring forward in the team (I really fear for Gayle ever coming back and think he will be sold to a championship club asap) at the moment and just begs for 4-4-2 with a big lad and a runner. I like Joselu,but he is just not up to it,Mitro’. has to be given another starting chance.We will hopefully still be mid – table by the Jan’ window but things really have to change then with at least 3 quality signings ?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Nufc were quite awful against Palace, they were far worse against Burnley.
    time for Rafa to stop picking his blue eyed boys.
    Hosselu is a complete & utter failure & the likes of Perez and SloMo are not far behind.
    i wouldn`t give you £1m for the 3 of them

  • Marveauxless

    It seems as if every single game we play is on course to be a 0-0 draw; we are solid at the back with good organisation but lack any real quality going forward and often resort to pointless crosses or hope that Shelvey can create something out of nothing.
    It’s just a matter of luck whether we score a scrappy goal or the opposition manages to fashion a chance. We arguably didn’t deserve to lose yesterday but at the same time beating Crystal Palace was a complete fluke. This team reminds me a lot of Middlesbrough last season, I expect most games this season will be 0-0 or 1-0 to either side.

  • S.G.M.

    Lets not forget this season is about survival, were on course with a decent skipper at the helm. Just keep praying.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    We. need Mitro in the team against teams like Brighton, Huddersfield and Burnley or I can see a lot of one nil defeats on the road this season Rafa needs to shake it up and use plan B away from home he has the resources a big centre forward you scores goals for his country

  • steve pearce

    I bet off camera his language was a bit stronger……

  • Andy

    Mitrovic is needed up front, Spaniards surround themselves with Spaniards and they dont do the business, Mitro has sent Serbia to Russia for Chrissake doesnt he see this

  • Andy

    Why doesnt Benitez see that Mitro has sent Serbia to Russia virtually singlehandedly , I am amazed!!

  • Liz

    MGM you must think about Europe not survival, we are a big side with pur fanbase, now we need Mitro up front who is prepared to die for us not all these Spanish rejects, typical of a Spanish manager to surround himself with his cronies

  • nevfur

    Agree we weren’t good but in saying Hayden’s shot was our first threat not really true. Perez effort well saved was best attempt on goal in game by either side. As shown on tv after the game he was also clearly fouled in the build up to the Burnley goal.

  • Tony No.9

    We were not good, it was painful to watch. Which player wanted to win, they all played as if they would be happier in the bar after the shower ……but they were the shower. Rafa has created an aura of hope but his management Is really questionable as it has been at many clubs. To do nothing to change things with substitutes until it’s too late is his history. We have enjoyed the highs of being in the top half of the table but not for much longer …unless we can find someone to create moves and someone to put them away. I dream on but last night was a nightmare.

  • Burnley kept breaking play up and made far too many fouls that weren’t booked in my opinion. Just hoofed the ball and killed the tempo, making it harder for any team to actually play football with all those stops ever minute or two for a technical foul or long cross/throw. They won dirty and they know it. We simply lacked creativity, and I believe should have started Gayle and tried more through passes with his pace.

  • Ken Thompson

    Just prior to the goal Newcastle ought to have made sustitutions , and changed the game plan . The game was crying out for it and it would have disturbed the pattern Burnley were developing . Points dropped at this stage are critical with the forthcoming programme of games .
    Officer Crabtree .