Joselu has been named in the Newcastle United starting 11 for the 12th time in a row.

The Newcastle team v West Brom has just been confirmed and despite Rafa Benitez making five changes, the former Stoke reserve still keeps his place.

Incredible.

This is who Rafa Benitez starts with:

Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lejeune, Mbemba, Ritchie, Merino, Hayden, Murphy, Perez, Joselu

and the Subs:

Elliot, Manquillo, Shelvey, Diame, Aarons, Gayle, Mitrovic

Not saying that fans will turn on Rafa Benitez but this team selection is a big statement, if it then goes pear-shaped, against a West Brom team who are currently fourth bottom and three points behind Newcastle..

You can understand the manager’s frustration but I don’t think it is ever a good sign to see a Newcastle boss dropping our two most talented attacking players (Shelvey and Gayle), at the same time as two of the back five (Elliot and Manquillo).

Diame was always going to go the distance after being hopeless once again on Saturday, Hayden back from suspension and Merino expected to be back to full fitness.

It smacks very much of desperation and maybe desperate is how Rafa really feels after watching what has gone on in recent weeks. You can’t blame him can you?

However, if wholesale changes had to be made then it is still quite mad that Joselu retains his place.

You can’t help but feel that this is Rafa digging his heels in and showing he won’t be dictated to by anybody, especially fans picking the team…

The old joke used to be that you should be standing next to Terry McDermott when Armageddon happens, as no matter how many changes of manager at Newcastle United he always somehow survived and kept a job at the club.

Joselu though has surely taken over Terry Mac’s mantle in that department, playing tonight after yet another really poor showing against Watford.

I can understand with the games only a few days apart that Rafa Benitez maybe felt he had to use his squad to an extent anyway but making five changes goes way beyond that.

Doing it against a West Brom team who are arguably the weakest team we have to play this month, means it is an even bigger gamble to go so extreme with the changes.

I really really hope that Rafa is proved right and we are all smiles by 10pm tonight…because if it does all go wrong then I would hate to see what the backlash will be from the media, as well as a small minority of Newcastle fans, no doubt some claiming he has lost the plot.

In Rafa we trust!

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He has lost the plot,
    having said that we may still get a result although Hoss won`t be the one scoring the goals

    • Phil Yare

      i don’t think joselu could score in a under 5 infants game. i forgive him if he was good at something else, like retaining the ball or winning it in the air but he can’t do anything

      • Jezza

        Joselu is already destined to go down in Newcastle United history as one of our worst ever players.

        • Antenociticus

          He’s certainly giving Riviere a run for his money. . .

        • Peaky Magpie

          Yes Jezza he’s a runaway cert for this seasons The Des Hamilton award for services to been anything but a professional footballer.

          • Geordiegiants

            Ha ha love it, him and Carl Serrant. Pure tattys the pair of them.

          • Jezza

            Well us old uns still cringe at the memory of the likes of Bobby Shinton and Billy Rafferty so today’s younger generation of fans could well still be talking about Joselu in 40 years time.

          • Peaky Magpie

            Yes and of course a little further back “f***ing hell its Paul Cannell” .

          • Jezza

            Ha ha yes Paul Cannell, I remember the board trying to tell us that he was going to be our ready made replacement for Supermac in the same way that Ian Bogie was going to be the new Gazza a decade or so later..

          • Jezza

            The way things are going now anybody who can get 7 for us this season is a shoe in for top scorer.

          • Peaky Magpie

            You’re probably right and it may well be Lascelles when fit again.

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Bobby Shinton top scorer 1 season with 7!…George Reilly another plank.

        • GeordieReeva

          Alan Smith for starters,,, 07–12 Pld (84) Gls(0)

          • Marveauxless

            I don’t think Alan Smith played a single game up front

          • GeordieReeva

            I’m surely positive that I think maybe he did, but of course I have nothing to back it up so what does that make my comment?

        • Kev Newcastle England

          Agree and hes far worse than Gary Megson was! Try Graham Oates for measure.What an own goal he scored for Man Utd against us in the 70s,30 yards over the keepers head.Another own goal king, Glen Keeley.

  • Saul Williams

    How does joselose get a game?it beggars belief!!got to be mitro surely.

  • ToonTom

    Here we go again. Four added-time goals conceded in last 3.5 games. Anyone remember how we made an art of this two seasons ago when we went down? If Rafa we trust but even he can’t make a purse out of a sow’s ear. Lose against West Brom and we really should be panicking. Indeed, as we are losing, that usually means we’ve lost. Bad omens.

  • DC1964

    OMG!!! We are soo bad!!!

  • DC1964

    OMG!!! We scored!!!

  • Brazilian John

    OMG!!! We scored again!!!

    • Jezza

      Yes Johnny Evans becomes our joint second top scorer this season.

  • paul mclaughlan

    OMG!!! We drew!!!

  • DC1964

    Good last half hour. Mitro should start ahead of Joselu!

  • TheTradge

    Rafa: STOP. STARTING. JOSELU!!!! He isn’t good enough, if you can’t score or affect play as a striker, you don’t deserve you start, Mitro NEEDS to start ahead of him against Chelsea!

  • Michael Pattison

    Is anyone really surprised – we have under invested for years now, Mitro is no better than Joselu, Rafa keeping Mitro on the bench will make it easier for Rafa to get rid in January. I said it the other day, the closer we are to relegation, the more chance of Ashley selling up and for me that’s the only result I care about this season.