Like the rest of you I was disappointed after Newcastle United failed to win, or even pick up a point, against Bournemouth.

For me, we played really well in the first half, especially the opening half hour, just couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net, or at least do it without a linesman automatically raising his flag.

The second half was rubbish, no getting away from it. Newcastle United huffed and puffed but seemed to lose the plot increasingly as the match wore on.

Frustration grew and whilst most of us moaned and groaned amongst ourselves, a minority voiced their displeasure.

Some boos (very small minority) at the final whistle but I’d guess almost exclusively from amongst our younger fanbase.

One player picked out was substitute Jacob Murphy, who was shocking. However, he has only ever started one Premier League match in his career and only 18 months was playing his football in League One. Not his fault that we got beat yesterday.

Watching the game unfold and the team temporarily fall apart, it did make me think once again about our summer transfer activity.

I still can’t believe that Rafa Benitez didn’t sign at least two or three older experienced players to help make the step up an easier process. Surely the only reason can be that he was blocked in any attempt to bring in players around the 30 or so age group, on higher wages and little or no sell-on value.

If you look at our team/squad, then there is a serious lack of Premier League experience, or indeed experience in any top tier(s), even amongst older players.

Of the 11 who kicked off, only Jonjo Shelvey has more than 50 starts in the Premier League.

In contrast, even Bournemouth have a team built on a base of most players now going into their third Premier League seasons as regulars. On top of that they signed the likes of (their man of the match) Begovic and Defoe in the summer who have bags of PL experience.

Even Newcastle’s older players such as Elliot, Lejeune, and Dwight Gayle, have very few starts at the top level, here or abroad.

Jonjo Shelvey was the exception of the starters but he failed to step up and rally the troops, Jamaal Lascelles was forced off but even the captain was making only his 20th start in the Premier League.

When signings are made in January, we desperately need players who can come in and do a job straight away, that means paying the price for Premier League experience.

It could save an awful lot of money and heartbreak longer-term.

Team and subs v Bournemouth with number of Premier League starts each player has had in their entire careers:

46 Rob Elliot

28 DeAndre Yedlin

20 Jamaal Lascelles

5 Florian Lejeune

34 Javier Manquillo

45 Matt Ritchie

105 Jonjo Shelvey

9 Isaac Hayden

11 Christian Atsu

30 Dwight Gayle

19 Joselu


126 Ciaran Clark

57 Ayoze Perez

1 Jacob Murphy

9 Karl Darlow

163 Mohamed Diame

22 Aleksandar Mitrovic

1 Jesus Gamez

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  • TheNutJob

    When signings are made in January, He he he.
    he`s as daft as wor kid who had a tenner on the Toon to win 3-1

  • Paul Patterson

    The stats I’m bothered about are those of goals.
    Mitrovic has 10 Premier League goals, 9 scored in a relegated side from 34 appearances.
    To not play that ‘experience’ and persist with Joselu/Perez, is madness.

  • Jezza

    I wouldn’t say it’s lack of experience that’s the problem, it’s lack of quality.

    • TheNutJob

      and you`d be right

    • HarryHype59

      100% true!

    • GToon

      Just the same as what we both think. Shame isn’t it cos it’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better. Unfortunately any potential suitors will think twice about taking over a club on the slide. This sale just can’t come fast enough for me.

    • gallowgate26

      True, how many PL ‘apps’ has Merino got compared to Gareth Barry? I know who I’d prefer in the team.

    • hetonmag

      We gave the ball away too many times unable to pass isn’t Rafas fault.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Too many sticking plasters on the pitch yesterday. Manquino, Josalu and Perez shouldn’t be on the pitch at same time. Government health warning!!

  • Leazes Ender

    Looked to me as if Elliott was still organising his defence when he suddenly realised the ball was in flight…. and had a few moments when the crowd had
    to shout ‘he’s behind you’…. its not even panto season yet.

  • 1957

    Experience has little or nothing to do with yesterday’s result imo.
    It’s more to do with Benitez and his staggering belief in certain players. I’m not Mitrovic’s biggest fan but he would be no worse than the Hoss and would probably be a better bet for a goal. Mbemba, did a good job at LB, is he worse than Manquillo?

    Someone will no doubt say those two don’t get picked because Benitez doesn’t trust them, but his belief in some of his first choices reeks of blind faith.

    • TheNutJob

      some faces don`t fit no matter what, Mbemba was fine at left back Manquillo gives nothing. Hoss isn`t even worth a mention

    • Geordiegiants

      Joselu is not a good player, but Mitro is in no way shape or form the answer.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        Your blind hatred of Mitro always gets in the way of properly assessing the situation. He’s our best available option and needs to start.

        • Phil Yare

          i’d start mitro and gayle, they had a fraction of time together on the pitch against norwich and we turned defeat into a win

          worth a gamble

          • Phil Yare

            apart from that i can’t remember them on the pitch together

      • Phil Yare

        but the point is joselu is giving nothing, so in the ‘short term’ playing mitrovic would yield better results

        • Albert Stubbins

          Maybe not better but can’t be worse so throw him in. At least he confuses the defence a little as nobody including himself has a scooby what he’s going to do next.

      • Albert Stubbins

        Both pony but even I agree that itro deserves a chance. Josalu is getting progressively worse. The Ayoze perez syndrome is becoming contagious.

  • GToon

    The problem we have is that not many of our players are actually any good. The silk purse that Rafa created at the start of the season is beginning to unravel, unfortunately before we play any of the teams that I actually thought would beat us. No points from Brighton, Bournemouth, Burnley and Huddersfield! What! That is ridiculous. When you look at the next set of fixtures I can’t see us winning for weeks. Man Utd away, followed by inform Watford, with Chelsea looming and we can’t avoid Arsenal and Man City for ever either. The sooner we get rid of the millstone and get decent owners who back the manager the better. Until then it’s watching from behind the sofa for me. Just like we all predicted at 11pm on August 31st.

    • Jezza

      Excellent assessment of the current situation.

    • TheNutJob

      good post

    • gallowgate26

      The season we went down we actually had 37 points, last year Hull (18th) had only 34 points and -43 goal difference. This year we may need even less, Swansea and Everton will get less than 30 points if they continue like this over the season. I still think we’ll have 20 points by Christmas. West Brom, West Ham away, Everton & Leicester at home. Could realistically win any of those. I’m trying to think positively, we will get enough scrappy 1-0 wins.

      • Albert Stubbins

        We can’t score more than once in a game so I’d take scrappy one nillers at the minute quite happily. It’s hard graft at the minute but we’ll soldier on.

  • Steve Pearce

    Rafa’s doing a great job to convince new owners to stick with him as manager. A stubborn reluctance to ditch underperforming players, the bizarre almost continual loan of Adam Armstrong and inflexible tactics. Nothing is set in concrete Rafa – and with almost unlimited funds soon to be at our disposal a younger, more imaginative and attack minded manager may also be on their way come January!

    • Jezza

      The club is not really for sale. It’s all a publicity stunt. Fatso will be here for years to come and there will be no money to spend in January either.

      • TheNutJob

        Rafa will wise up in January & walk. he`ll be replaced by the Silver Snide

      • Phil Yare

        that’s what i thought from the start mate. i think if he was actually looking to get out he wouldn’t have been so transparent about it

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        I bet you 10 pounds we’ll have a net spend of over £5m in January.

        • Jezza

          What was the club’s net spend last January?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            And the price of fish is?

    • hetonmag

      Adam Armstrong, the Bolton fan’s can’t believe why he was keep getting picked ok he scored yesterday which was his first of the season, and you want a young dynamic attack minded manager and here’s me thinking you were intelligent.

    • TheNutJob

      Like Eddie Howe, he he he

    • MadMag83

      I wondered when the calls for Armstrong would start again! He’s​scored one goal in the Championship for Bolton and suddenly he’s the answer? His performance in the Championship thus far suggests the lad isn’t ready yet.

    • Albert Stubbins

      He’s scored once in about fifteen games FFS. He makes mitro seem prolific!!

  • Soldier

    Sorry guys, i can see us only getting a maximum of 5 points in the next 7 fixtures

    • Albert Stubbins

      Not the end of the world mate. I’d take seven from seven tbh.

  • Phil Yare

    i think if man citys 7 subs played our starting 11 we’d lose.

    we can’t keep the ball for more than 3 passes, usually we panic and kick it back to elliot who hoofs it back to the opposition

    merino is the only player who can retain possession and still pass it forward. on a good day shelvey can but he has plenty of off days (especially without a quality player like merino beside him).
    richie has quality but is struggling to get into the game being on the wrong wing (hes not messi, robben or ronaldo) he needs a central role or in atsu’s natural left sided position.

    the mitrovic debate should be clear….nobody is saying he is amazing and I think everyone will admit he can be a liability BUT when 2 players are playing ahead you who are failing so badly, it’s astonishing that hes not given a chance to do better than those 2 players.

  • MadMag83

    Sounds like the Alan Hansen quip about not being able to win anything with kids. Age and experience don’t matter if you have the quality, unfortunately that is what we’re lacking right now. A couple of decent January signings and the return of Merino should turn things around.

  • Albert Stubbins

    We missed merino again yesterday. A few small things happened yesterday when added up could have impacted on end result. Losing our captain for last quarter. We definitely miss lascelles constant talking on the pitch. We seemed to lose focus when he came off. The young lad Murphy lost the ball three times gifting possession back when we needed to keep it tight and perhaps the biggest factor, a certain extent mackem who came on and wanted to shoot everyone he got the ball. I was worried that if it was tight going into last ten then he would come on and spoil our day. He didn’t score but his shot won the corner that led to the goal. We won late last home game and conceded late yesterday. Does the games balance itself out as the season unwinds? Probably. We didn’t deserve to lose but then again they missed a sitter when clean through on goal and last fifteen were on top. Small margins yes but i definitely believe that we’d not have lost that game had our captain remained on the pitch. We were unlucky in that respect. My worry is lack of goals at other ends of pitch. We are relying on midfield and defenders to get us our goals. A recipe for disaster. Roll on January!!