Poor old Joselu has started to get it in the neck.

Newcastle fans, particularly vocal on social media, calling for him to be ‘rested’.

Arriving after the start of the season for £5m from Stoke, fair to say it wasn’t the kind of striker signing many supporters envisaged at the end of last season, and when Daryl Murphy moving to Forest rubber stamped that a new forward was imminent.

The fact it took so long to happen told us everything.

Rafa Benitez repeatedly said in public that he he hoped Mike Ashley would keep his promises – he didn’t, and Rafa was left desperately scrambling around for a striker who could do a ‘job’.

With fitness/confidence issues hanging over Dwight Gayle and zero confidence in Mitrovic, Joselu is what you get for £5m these days.

He tries his hardest and was instantly thrown in against Huddersfield ahead of Mitrovic when Gayle was subbed, only a few days after signing on at St James Park.

The next eight games Joselu has been in the starting eleven.

He runs around a lot, tries to compete for every header, tracks back, but he isn’t very good – at this level at least.

The Spaniard has scored twice – the first when kind of falling over the ball but still managing to divert it past the West Ham keeper, then sent clear by Shelvey against Liverpool, he allowed himself to get caught by the centre-back, only for Matip to hilariously then kick his clearance off Joselu, completely confusing Mignolet in the away goal.

Joselu is what he is, a not very good striker doing his very best for the team.

I have no complaints about what he is doing, it is Mike Ashley’s fault that we haven’t got a decent standard Premier League striker up front.

Rafa waited and waited to be backed in getting one, then simply had to make the best of a bad job.

Buying a 27 year old Stoke reserve that they were happy to move on for £5m, especially in today’s market, should surely have told you what Newcastle were signing.

Delving even just below the surface told you he had only been given 10 Premier League starts in his one season at Stoke and in 2016/17 a very poor Deportivo side only gave him nine league starts.

In his entire career the only time he has scored double figures in a league season, was for Real Madrid reserves in the third tier of Spanish football.

No club has played him in their first team, two seasons in a row.

To me, rather than disappointing, Joselu has actually played way beyond his abilities for Newcastle – but sadly has been over-exposed.

Two goals in his first five starts and so unlucky with that header which produced a brilliant save at Huddersfield, we would be looking at a very decent signing, if say Dwight Gayle had returned fully fit after four or five games and translated his Championship form to the Premier League.

Instead though, we are left with an eternal triangle, Joselu having to soldier on game after game due to Gayle’s fitness/confidence issues, Rafa’s total lack of faith in Mitro, and in particular – Mike Ashley’s crass stupidity when it came to not allowing Rafa to buy a Premier League goalscorer.

You see West Brom paying out £13m for Rodriguez in the summer, Watford buying Andre Gray for £18m, and many others putting a credible amount of money on the table to try and buy goals.

Personally, I don’t really care whether it is Mitrovic, Gayle, or Joselu, who starts against Bournemouth.

Sadly, none of them (in my opinion..) are good enough but if whoever plays tries as hard as Joselu then I will be happy with what we get from them, in terms of certainly not blaming them if Newcastle don’t win.

I would though continue to blame Mike Ashley for leaving both Rafa Benitez and the fans in this position.

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  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    It always comes back to Ashley and his constant keeping the manager short of tools M.O.
    Joselu was nothing more than a needs must buy verging on panic and everyone knew in their heart of hearts he was never the answer.
    I don’t blame the bloke because he just isn’t good enough along with Ayoze Perez !

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    Spot on. Let us hope the reason Ashley didn’t provide the necessary funds was because he knew the club was going to be sold.
    I wouldn’t count my chickens though.

    • Guest 2

      What’s his excuse for the previous 10 years then?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`s 27, one look at his CV tells you he`s a Duck Egg. Nufc have seen another £5m go down the shitta

  • Coble’s Return

    I agree entirely that Joselu is just a symptom of the bigger problem. Unless Ashley is spectacularly stupid or ignorant of what happens on the park week in week out, he must see that his bargain basement transfer strategy will condemn the club to yet another relegation – particularly when Rafa decides that enough is enough. I remain convinced though, that Ashley has seen the writing on the wall and understands that he will never be in a better position to cash in.
    No news is good new on the club sale. I am pretty sure that there was little if any warning about Sheikh Mansour’s acquisition of City, until that utter clown was spotted stumbling around in front of the Commonwealth Games stadium with a tea towel on his head. I pray that come the day that our club is finally sold, we are all a little more dignified.

  • Damon Horner

    Jay Rodriguez who has scored… twice.

    Andre Gray who has scored… once.

    • ToonNL

      To be fair, Joselu does have better stats (pass no, shot accuracy) BUT has missed more big chances and has made less defensive contributions than either.

      At least he aint been called offside yet this season like the illustrious Cisse

      • Damon Horner

        I don’t disagree mate, he could have contributed more (mainly in taking his chances) which applies to most players ever to play but compare him head to head with Andre Gray, he beats him in most performance stats, even defensive ones and cost nearly 4 times less.

        By any stretch i’m not singing his name as one of the best ever but no suggestion at all other strikers would have done any better.

  • Taz

    I agree we do not have a striker, mitro can’t be trusted, jose tries but unfortunately that’s what you get for 5mill, and fk knows what Gayle is up to. All in all Ashley is and always will be a fat [email protected]

    • Wor Lass

      Nice summary!

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    In total we spent around fifty million in this transfer window not great but not bad either. A lot of fans saw no reason why Rafa should have not bought Chris Woods from Leeds with the money spent on Murphy and Joselu round the same amount of money but it’s the managers choice at the end of the day.

    • Guest 2

      Oh shut up man. We spent 11.5 mil NET.

      The reason better players weren’t signed was because your fat idol broke his promises again – and then went on tv to say he wasn’t spending more of his own money.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Net has nothing to do with it yes we got round seventeen million for players who were never going to play for us again but Rafa spent fifty million on players could have bought fifty million pounds centre forward but spent eighteen million on Joselu and Murphy plus thirty million on other players. Lot’s on managers would love fifty million to spend so well done to Ashley it’s just how to spend it. Murphey does not look ready but that’s Rafa s choice to spend twelve million rather than a better centre forward not Ashley s

        • Down Under Mag

          What 50m quid forward would have come to us as a newly promoted club…

        • Guest 2

          Your head is full of magic, man. We didn’t spend 50 million (quid) and NET is extremely important as Rafa was told he had to sell to buy.

          He also reduced the wage bill by 200k a week in the final weeks of the window – and still didn’t get a penny more. Add that amount to the 4.6 million profit for 16/17 and you get the amount Rafa was allowed to spend (up to).

          “Well done Ashley” Hahahaha! Last January he ‘loaned’ the club 33 million (i.e. added it to the debt) due to another relegation and from that he repaid himself 18 million.

          Aye, Ashley repaid himself more than Rafa spent on players.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Murphy £12m, Lejeune 8.7m, Atsu £6.8m Manquillo £4.5m, Joselu £5m Merino approx. £10m for loan fee for season and purchase agents fees £3m total £50m. The way people go on you would think Ashley had spent nothing.

          • Guest 2

            Making up numbers doesn’t help your already deluded position. Merino’s loan fee was 2.7 mil with a further 6.5 mil when signed. Total gross spend including him, of 45.4 mil.

            Sales of around 26 million + Mbabu and Riviere whose fees were undisclosed + 200k saved wages per week (39 weeks in season = 7.9 million less wage payments).

            Educated guess therefore would be sales and savings amounting to around 36 million, leaving.a net figure around 9.5 mil + fees for the side we have right now.

            Ashley added 33 million to the club debt in January, and repaid himself 18 mil from that.

            So, he provided 15 million capital and there was 4 million of profit. Yet the club had a net spend of only 11.5 million or so.

            Can you add up?

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            You have just admitted that with agent fees on top he has spent nearly fifty million which is what I said did not make a comment on wages saved out going transfers profit in accounts so your post agrees with me he spent nearly fifty million full stop.

          • Guest 2

            Christ, you really are a numpty.

  • Dillon Tovak

    I agree people should get off his back, that’s certainly not going to help. But it is Mitros go for a turn now.

    • ghostrider

      I love Mitro and agree he should get a turn but not in this set up, because he’d be feeding on crumbs like Joselu but with the added extra worry, for us of being sent off when he gets frustrated at not getting much of a sniff at scoring.

      We almost seem terrified to attack in case we have to motor on back when we eventually lose the impetus, which is 90% of the time.

      • Wor Lass

        He`s still our joint top scorer this season with Joselu and Lascelles and he hasn`t even started a game.

    • Down Under Mag

      Mitro is not suited to play as a lone striker because he isn’t quick or mobile enough and he isn’t really able to play as a forward to hold the ball up and be a physical presence because he’ll get himself sent off. Sadly, as much as he plays well for his country, he just isn’t suited for our current tactics/formation. While i’d love to see him get a chance, it would involve changing formation and we would likely concede loads more goals and then everyone would complain about that too. This season is all about safety, Rafa knows this and is setting up up to be hard to beat and give us the best chance of doing this…Mitro doesn’t fit that unfortunately.

  • ghostrider

    Why spend big money on a top striker when the fans would only turn on him after a dozen games where his chances to score could probably be counted on one hand and who…like Joselu would be expected to graft his nuts off doing everything other than having real opportunities to actually get into scoring mode.

    Take a look at the games and observe how he’s basically trying to feed off crumbs.

    • Marveauxless

      No he hasn’t, only 6 players have had more shots on target this season than Joselu. He has had as many shots as Vardy, Morata, Lacazette and Gabriel Jesus. That’s a scathing indictment of his finishing ability.

      • Soldier

        He has no finishing ability

      • ghostrider

        Yeah well take out the Stoke game where he did have a hatful and then re-count.
        He had a stinker against Stoke and I never hinted that he was world class.
        Marrying him up with Vardy and Jesus matters not because he’s not like those players.
        Vardy is a speed machine and actually would thrive in our team with Shelvey.
        Jesus is in a different class.
        All I’m saying is, Joselu feeds on scraps regardless of the supposed shots on target.
        It’s about how clear cut those shots on target are and apart from Stoke, rarely any.

        • Marveauxless

          “if you disregard all of the shots he’s had then he’s had no shots”… 🙄
          Joselu had 1 shot on target against Stoke (Newcastle only had 3 all game).
          He’s also had the 12th most shots in the league.
          He also ranks 4nd in the list of most clear cut chances missed (5). Only Benteke, Morata and Salah (all 6) had missed more golden chances than Joselu.
          He does not feed on scraps, or Team is set up to provide him with quality opportunities that he doesn’t take

  • Marveauxless

    We spent £17.5 million on Joselu and Murphy who have collectively contributed 2 deflected goals this season. It doesn’t matter if Murphy becomes a £50 million England international in the next few years, it counts for nothing if we get relegated this season. Our focus has to be on the short-term That money could have been put towards a quality striker (Javier Hernandez cost £16 million). It’s not all Mike Ashley’s fault, yes he underinvested but Rafa has to take some responsibility for how he spent the money he did have. Our most expensive signing is not expected to make any impact this season…

    • Alex

      Rubbish. Who would provide cover for Atsu or Richie?

      If we followed your logic, we’d have a better CF who, when either of these are out of the side, was underperforming due to nobody able to supply him.

      • Marveauxless

        We have Aarons, Perez and even Yedlin (plays RW for the USA) who can play put wide. Plus you completely ignore the fact that we could have brought in a back-up winger on loan/free (We were heavily linked with a loan move for Kenedy in the window) Spending the lion’s share of your transfer budget on a 3rd choice winger is not a good strategy, that was not our main squad issue in the summer.

        You’re also suggesting that playing with only 1 adequate winger for the circa 7/8 games a season that either Ritchie or Atsu would be absent for is worse than playing with an inadequate striker for 38 games a season.

    • Guest 2

      Oh for heaven’s sake -, Murphy was bought before Rafa found out he wasn’t getting any more money – and Joselu came in 4 days after Ashley’s “no more money” Sky interview.
      Rafa is another manager to publicly state Ashley broke his promises.

  • Soldier

    Joselu just isn`t a very good footballer & he should be nowhere near a premiership club

  • Paul Patterson

    Noting against the lad but it clearly isn’t working over a prolonged period of time. It would be foolish to persist with it further..

  • steve pearce

    Wey man cheer up – we’ll get 25p for him off the Makems in January!

  • Rich Lawson

    I see Ashley more as a left back than a striker !