After defeat to Leicester, Mikel Merino has attempted to reassure Newcastle fans that better times can be just around the corner.

I definitely agree with him when he says that ‘football is about momentum’, winning one match makes getting a result in the next one far more achievable, plus it obviously works the other way as well…

The 21 year old midfielder says ‘I am sure the moment we win one match then a lot more will follow’ and in relative terms I would agree.

Recent times were always likely to be tough because Newcastle had a run of games against better teams – the first nine games of the season seeing matches against seven of the current bottom half teams, whilst the next nine are the opposite – facing seven of the clubs in the top half.

Obviously the return of only one point from 21 has been more extreme than it should have been, the home defeat by Bournemouth a result that really undermined this period of games.

I have to give Mikel Merino the benefit of the doubt though that some of what he has said has been lost in translation (well, meaning anyway, as he speaking very good English), because to state: ‘Our squad is perfect for the Premier League. All the players here are capable. I believe in each one and that this team is a great team’, doesn’t really bear any kind of basic examination.

I am guessing what he really means is that these players, this team, this squad, are all capable of playing in the Premier League, to varying degrees, but the reality is surely that everything has to click to ensure survival.

We have seen that just the odd injury to the likes of Merino and Lascelles seriously weakens the team.

When Newcastle had their real run of form after the two opening matches, it is no coincidence that points were put on the board.

Rafa Benitez should have more or less a full squad to choose from on Wednesday night, so there will be no real excuses in the coming weeks if performances don’t pick up, with better results hopefully an automatic consequence of that.

Mikel Merino:

“Our squad is perfect for the Premier League. All the players here are capable. I believe in each one and that this team is a great team.

“We know we have lost again and we are not going through a good period – but we have to make sure we don’t lose our minds.

“We have shown this season that we are a good team with good players when we were higher up the table. We don’t need to change everything because of five bad results, we have to be strong.

“It was a disappointing result for us (against Leicester), we have to think positive.

“We did a lot of good things and we managed the second half mostly with our possession and intensity – but we must keep improving and the results will come.

“The other teams can play, the other teams are good individually, we are making some mistakes in small things. The team did some good things but the goals we conceded weren’t perfect.

“We have to believe in ourselves and keep going. If we keep going with our efforts and the fans see that, again they saw a united team, a family playing football, and altogether we will do things.

“We are disappointed and we know that we could have won this game, we know we have to give more than we are giving.

“The good things is that we have the chances to do it, we have another match and we are all together and will carry on.

“It is hard sometimes, football is about momentum, you will have good periods of momentum and bad periods.

“Now we are in a difficult period but we have to carry on and I am sure the moment we win one match then a lot more will follow.

“We have another chance to be ourselves and we will do our best to win this next match (Everton).”

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  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    He’s not going to publicly say he’s carrying the team.

    • TheNutJob

      that`s because he isn`t

      • Saul Williams

        He’s barely carrying himself

        • TheNutJob

          he`s doing ok for a 21 yr old kid thrown in at the deep end

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        No, you are right.

        I think he will work better with Shlvey. I don’t see that many live games but Man U and Burnley saw the oppostion close down JJS as soon as he had the ball. Burnley did it from the off, Man yoo did it just after the equalised. With two passers of the ball, they can create the space and not be closed down so readily.

  • TheNutJob

    2 starts in the Bundesliga & a dozen in the premiership hardly qualifies him to give an assessment on the current players we have. he`s certainly got the talent the problem is most of his team mates haven`t

  • ghostrider

    It’s just another pacifying piece of chit chat to somehow appease the fans and have some of them believing that COULD and SHOULD is very close to PROBABLE instead of the reality of REMOTELY POSSIBLE.

    I agree that the squad isn’t as bad as is showing. That’s down to 3 main factors.

    1. Rafa being untrusting of certain quality players.

    2. Rafa refusing to play players in a role best suited, when achievable.

    3. Rafa’s entire set up and ways is destroying the confidence and harmony of that dressing room and team spirit.

    Grafting on fumes is what we’ve got left and no amount of fixing from Rafa is going to change that from this point on, because (in my honest opinion) he’s gone past the point of no return.

    By Christmas you won’t see a Rafa flag raised but you’ll certainly hear the discontent.
    This man absolutely needs to be gone….today if possible.
    If he goes today we have a chance against Everton. If he stays, Rooney will likely get a hat trick, to add to a few more from the rest of Everton’s players.

    I hate to say it and I want to slap my own face a million times for thinking like this, but this is the state Rafa has got me in…and me, who was…not too long ago, a fan that always took positives from any negatives.

    Please someone help and get rid of this man and his crew of yes men.

    • Dillon Tovak

      You’re a fool.

      • ghostrider

        No mate, I’m telling it how I see it. It’s called an opinion. You don’t have to share it and there is no requirement for you or anyone else to share it.

        • Dillon Tovak

          I just think that attitude is like having a sneezing fit so cutting off your nose, rather than seeing the problem is the dusty room.
          I understand the team selections can be confusing, but our whole squad is filled with players about as bad as each other, some arguably marginally better than others.
          The worm has turned and now lots of fans saying Rafa out.
          Why? Because they think Pulis or Harry Redknapp are better.
          Fans criticise Rafas signings, but they aren’t the players he actually wants.
          Rafa is not above criticism, but this 24/7 berating that has emerged helps nothing, creates more negativity around the club and is misplaced.
          I’ve seen fans saying let’s get Ancelotti, get real.
          Did the fans not learn from booing Robson and ending up with Souness?

          Apologies for calling you a fool, I guess that’s pretty rude.

          • ghostrider

            When you pay top dollar for a welder to ensure the structure of your fabrication is built stronger as it’s pieced together but find that it’s getting weaker, only to find that your top welder has decided to do it all his way and leaving out crucial welds or do you sack the git and get in someone who will make sure it doesn’t get weaker?

            I’m not asking for A Redknapp or a Pulis or even an Ancelotti.
            I’m asking for a manager that is focused on playing his best available team for the games he’s up against and making sure that those that deserve to play, play, for their ability and not because you’re sulking at them.

            5 million a year and he’s got us playing worse than garbage for most games.

          • S.G.M.

            We won the Championship with this squad, isn’t the Championship a really difficult league to get out of?
            Where should the leader of the Championship sit in the Prem?
            we’ve definitely gone backwards.

          • R.J

            By that logic top of the championship would sit at 17th in the Prem so by your logic we have improved!

          • Natturner26

            We are freefalling down the table.

          • R.J

            The Prem is full of terrible managers that fans like you know more than just look at Jose Mourinho 2 time champions league winner not playing entertaining enough football at Man U or Guardiola who hardly set the prem alight in his first season. Rafa is good enough to be mentioned alongside these managers and you think you know who to pick better than him? Surely you know football is more than picking a team like some fantasy football competition?

          • ghostrider

            Yeah, at this time I know more than Rafa with the players he’s using and especially his substitutions.
            I’m sure everyone here could set up better than what Rafa is setting up as it stands.

          • R.J

            At no time do you or anyone else on here know more than Rafa, we do not see players in training or work with them day to day to know really much of anything of how they will perform on the day.
            You like our media stereotype are deluded.

          • ghostrider

            You’re right I don’t see what goes on behind the scenes….but guess what? I see what goes on, on the pitch in a game and I see players being left out that should be playing and guess what… I see him bring players on and defend a Newcastle 0 opposition 1 lead. Imagine that, happy to lose 1-0 rather than go gung ho and try to put the opposition to the sword.

            Then he constantly makes all kinds on silly substitutions .
            Are you telling me that Rafa is making the right calls?

            The man has lost the plot, whether it’s deliberate or whatever, it matters not, because either way he’s inept.

            Only Rafa c an defend a one nil down game.

          • Dillon Tovak

            To continue that analogy, you’d be pretty narked if you were employed to weld a structure then realised you’d been provided knock off materials from the market and you wouldn’t be surprised when it collapsed.

          • ghostrider

            If I was a top welder I wouldn’t be working with dodgy stuff and if I’d bought the welding equipment myself, then I have to hold up my hands and say I’m either garbage at knowing quality or garbage at applying it to build a structure.

  • With all the squad available I think we can definitely look forward to a positive result on Wednesday.

  • Mal

    What do you expect him to say? Good on him that he’s trying to keep spirits up.

  • John D Williams

    I would like Rafa to come out and say why he does not pick Mbemba, Shelvey and Mitrovic, and prefers Manquillo, Hayden and Joselu. I still think Rafa does not know his best starting 11, and that is why there are so many changes.

  • mentalman

    He can’t come out and slag off his team mates, the manager does that and it helps nobody