Rafa Benitez certainly got the tongues wagging on Wednesday night.

Up against Manchester City he went with damage limitation tactics, certainly in the first half.

The first half hour was especially difficult to watch, as Manchester City not only controlled the possession, but when they did lose it Newcastle just cleared the ball anywhere – with no intention of committing players over the halfway line.

Somebody next to me in the Leazes End, reckoned that the stats showed Man City with at least 90% possession in that first 30 minutes, I would only be surprised if we’d had as much as 10%…

The team selection was yet another surprise for Newcastle fans, many of them wondering if Rafa Benitez had mixed up his bench and starting 11.

With desperate relegation six pointers to follow on Saturday and Monday, the United boss had been asked before the Man City match whether he’d be looking after key players ahead of Brighton Saturday, rather than seeing them dashed onto the rocks in an almost certainly hopeless quest against the champions-elect.

Rafa replying:

“We will try to win with the best team available for this game.”

If anybody believes that leaving Gayle, Ritchie, Clark, Merino and Atsu on the bench, equalled playing ‘the best team available’, then no doubt you were still trying to stay awake to get a glimpse of Santa the other night.

Rafa Benitez has nothing to gain from saying that he was leaving some of his best players out so they will hopefully be at their best against Brighton and/or Stoke – because then there would be a whole media circus in the build-up saying how shocking it was that he wasn’t playing his best team.

Likewise, after last night’s game the Newcastle manager was never going to say that some of the players he had selected were second choice replacements, put in because it was a match he didn’t think there was a chance of getting anything from.

I have no problems with the manager doing this, and being cute about the reasons for his team selection, he has a tough enough job guiding Newcastle United through this season without being called out on a few white lies.

Rafa Benitez:

“It was not about resting players for Saturday…

“It was about trying to play the best players possible to try and get something from this game.

“We cannot forgot that we have a couple of games in a few games time, against teams at the bottom of the table, but today the idea was to have players with pace to play on the counter-attack and try to create something.

“We did that in the first half with Rolando Aarons and we had a couple of chances in the second half where we were very close.

“We weren’t thinking too much about the goal difference, instead we were thinking about trying to get points, but if you do lose then it is better to lose 1-0 than 4-0.

“That was not the idea though…the idea was to try to get points, to win if we could, but we knew that to win we would have to do everything in a perfect way and Manchester City would have to have a bad day.

“If we had scored at the end we would be really pleased with the performance, when you play against Manchester City with the way they are playing now.

“Our fans are clever, they know we needed to do it this way, but some of the counter-attacks weren’t the best.

“We tried to create something and we had a couple of chances with Rolando (Aarons) and Dwight (Gayle).”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 1

Goals:

Man City: Sterling 31

Possession was Man City 78% Newcastle 22%

Total shots were  Man City 21 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Man City 6 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Man City 8 Newcastle 3

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Mbemba (Merino 77), Dummett, Manquillo, Diame, Shelvey, Murphy, Aarons (Atsu 71), Joselu (Gayle 62)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Clark, Perez, Ritchie

Crowd: 52,311 (Man City 3,000)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game – Read HERE)

(Give us your fan ratings on all 14 Newcastle players HERE)

(Pep Guardiola “It’s not easy when Newcastle don’t want to play” – Read it HERE)

(Jamie Carragher calls Rafa’s tactics ’embarrassing’ – Read it HERE)

To feature like Ryan Williamson submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here



  • TheNutJob

    Porkie`s from Rafael, if that`s the best team we`re in bigger trouble than i thought, but of course it isn`t
    😂😂

    • joe mac

      some on here think it is!!

      • TheNutJob

        the real team will appear on Saturday

  • Toon

    All teams manage their squad over Xmas, if you don’t you pick up injuries, simple really and if you don’t understand Rafa’s intentions you haven’t got much upstairs

    • Michael Smith

      it would help if he told the truth once in a while

  • ghostrider

    Rafa nonsense.
    Playing a team to just sit an allow the away fans the enjoyment of watching their team just steamroller at will…….get the hell out. I’m not having it for any reason.
    Every game is there to be played because paying fans demand a team that tries to win the game.

    That was nothing short of cringeworthy embarrassing.
    A non-league team would have put up a much much better show than we did.

    Saving players for crucial games……what?
    These players are paid fortunes and are mainly playing one game a week and sometimes 2 in a week at times like this…….so what.

    No paying fan should ever be subjected to that embarrassment for a game of football, not matter what the excuse is.
    We lost by one goal because of two things.
    1. We carried so much luck along with bad finishing as well as a wonder save from Elliot.

    2. Man City took their foot off the gas and toyed around with us.
    Even if we’d have fluked a goal Man City could have probably scored another as and when required because we were sitting ducks in reality.

    • Waxi

      After 10 minutes i wanted to get up from my seat and go. It was a total embarrassment for 90 minutes and not what i expected from an NUFC team. To roll over with the world watching how the hell does he think we can attract any half decent players with tactics like that. I am not a fan of anything other than having a team that tries but to not even want to get to our half way line was an embarrassment. Could have put the kids on and they would have given us something better.

      • Leazes Ender

        You had to be there to witness the full horror of that… I skipped through the TV coverage when I got back and the close ups which follow the play didn’t do justice to the abdication of the ball.

        It has been said this was a sacrifice in order to protect a goal difference with one eye on the succession of matches every 3 days.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Disagree entirely with what you say.

        Didnt try? Come off it. Every player there did what they were asked.

        That means they bought in and agreed with Rafas plan. They executed and almost got a result. Something Man United, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and the rest of the league have ALL failed to do.

        Was it pretty? No. Was it our only option? No but the alternatives would have been a cricket score with no chance of result and a goal difference battering.

        City have some of the best players in the world in form right now. You think sending on the kids (which aarons and murphy are and most of our young squad is) would result in better?

        You’re just throwing a tantrum at the realisation the team you are watching wasnt City.

      • ghostrider

        I absolutely agree.
        Utter embarrassment and it’s literally as if Rafa is literally playing a game of chance or trying to get himself sacked and a pay day before he gets the chance to ruin us even further in the transfer market.
        I dearly hope I’m wrong but I’m definitely not happy about the way this man’s going on.

    • anyobrien

      Lmfao….blah blah blah.. If we were 4 nil doon at half time you would of left.. If you actually go that is…. Great tactics, correct subs and nearly nicked it.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Some of my felllw Newcastle fans have delures of gradeur and really dont understand the gravity of the situation.

        There is so much going on day to day at club.

        People focus too much on one match and dont see the season as a whole. Thats the importance this year the season. Nothing more nothing less. If fiddling the team one game helps another more realistic to stay up. So be it.

        This was a championship tram playing premier league winners who are unbeaten and could very well champions league this year. The gulf was there for all to see. Rafa didnt just set team up a certain way. He protected his players mentally going forward and got into Citys heads that it was boring/frustrating/too easy that we knocked them out of rhythm. It gave us a chance at the end to nick a result but come away with our goal difference intact and no long term scars of suspensions, injuries, pummelling, loss of small momentum from Wet Sham.

        • East Durham Mag

          If City had stuck 6 or 7 past Newcastle it would have killed the goal difference. Anyone who thinks we can trade punches with City without getting a hiding and is an Idiot. There is a few on here.

      • Mike Adam

        So why didn’t the great Rafa try to nick it against Chelsea earlier in the season? Why did he sub Hayden for Perez, down 2 – 1 in the 63rd minute? Back then the sheep defended their Messiah with the “goal difference” excuse. Always an excuse.

        • anyobrien

          Who do you want to replace rafa.
          Baa baa.
          Its simple don’t go back till rafa is gone mate.

          • Mike Adam

            You didn’t answer the question. How can the Rafa fans excuse him for not going after a point against Chelsea and praise him for his managing against City? I am a NUFC fan, I do not really care who the manager is. I don’t necessarily want him replaced, I just don’t agree with and like many of the things he does. Like the treatment of some players and game substitutions. He too doesn’t answer questions that are asked, and I like straight shooters who do not lie.

          • anyobrien

            Different game at a different part of the season… Massive game coming up against Brighton a must not lose so he rotates his squad… Man City stuck four past spurs a team that plays good open football.
            Its not a rafa love in I called him out playing negative football in the championship it was boring and defensive but he got the job done.
            I still don’t get your point if rafa is not the answer and you want a more open style play who do you get in?….

          • Mike Adam

            I have never said I want an open style. I said why are there always excuses for whatever he does. Why did he not play for points at Chelsea??? Why would any manager not go after a point at any time of the season.
            Results ManC had against another side mean absolutely nothing! Yesterday’s first half was embarassing to me, to others it was genius.
            Against West Ham he gives a few players a chance and gets lucky with some positive results, yet he won’t give other players a chance. Playing garbage like Diame and Horselu is also embarassing. It was a complete waste to have Horselu on the pitch yesterday.

          • anyobrien

            Okey dokey….. Your right.

          • Mike Adam

            Okey dokey…… I am wrong, the Messiah is always right.

          • anyobrien

            Eh?

          • Damon Horner

            To be honest Mike. You question people on this forum about Rafa’s decisions, considering nobody shares a brain with him, it’s hard to be accurate but when you get some reasoning about why something occurred you tell people they’re sheep for defending him.

          • Mike Adam

            When I give my opinion questioning decisions Rafa makes, I am called many things as well. Maybe I have stooped to that level and for that I apologize. I do support Rafa, but I am not a fan who accepts everything he does as correct if I don’t think it is. That is just who I am, my character.
            When I give my reasoning for why I disagree with Rafa I am treated harshly for questioning what he does and constantly asked “who do you want to replace him?”.
            I have never said I want him replaced, I just question things he does and I would no matter who the manager was.
            Damon, I respect your opinions, but that has to work both ways!

          • anyobrien

            Eh?

        • anyobrien

          Come on. Who do you want to manager our wonderful club.

          • Mike Adam

            I am behind Rafa and I agree that right now and for the foreseeable future he is by far the best we can get. I am just not the type of fan, like some who just believe and have faith in everything a manager does, no matter his track record. I question things, player choices, treatment of players, substitutions to name some. I want to see what he can do given some funds to spend this window and if we stay up in the summer. I just do not agree in blind faith, sorry it is just how I am.

          • anyobrien

            You need to read the posts on here more I don’t think there is one person who blindly follows rafa he is constantly questioned and praised.Hes the best we can get and I’m sure he will get us to where we all want us to be. Next three games are massive non more than tommmows I can’t wait I fancy us big style and I’m sure raf will set us up a hell of alot different from the city game keep the faith we all want the same thing.

          • Mike Adam

            Yes we all want the same thing, so why do we (unfortunately I have stooped to the same level at times) mock and insult those who have opposing opinions???

      • ghostrider

        Great tactics my aris.
        A chancer. We could have been 4 nil down or even more by half time. Only luck, a top save and bad finishing kept that score at 0-1.
        Great tactics indeed.
        The subs were fine for doing a bit of chasing but it was too little and too late.
        Man City had slipped into first gear half way through that second half. They got bored.
        They were half hearted because we were that dire. It was a no contest. No battle……NOTHING.

        A few chancing runs and one diving header that could have went in but could means nothing.
        they scored and we didn’t.

        They toyed with and murdered us in teh extreme to total embarrassment.

        Rafa tactics….pffft. Nonsense.

        • anyobrien

          So from where you sit in the stand.. Cough cough…. What do you suggest… Plus who do you want in place of raf?
          No contest?… Ha ha

          • ghostrider

            Haha all you want mate but the proof is right therein front of your face. There’s no hiding from it, except if you shut your eyes and ears to it and sing la la la Rafa’s rafalution until the time comes when reality must take precedence over the fantasy of him being a world class manager.

            No world class manager plays games with his team like Rafa’s doing…and no world class manager would treat the fans to embarrassing football like that.

            If you played the game on your x-box or play station then naturally you’ll be a bit biased.
            Watching it in real life should leave you in no doubt about how embarrassing the game was and Rafa’s so called master tactics were chancers tactics.

        • nevfur

          So they “could” have been 4-0 up at half time but “could” means nothing?

          • ghostrider

            Yep, could means nothing. The scoreline was 0-1 and all the could’s do not make it any more than that.
            However what is…is what’s in front of your face, which IS embarrassing.

          • nevfur

            People are not going to agree on the tactics used. Some want us to attack and give it a go despite knowing that would have almost certainly meant a heavy defeat. Some think only one goal defeat good for the goal difference and concentrate our energy in the games we have a chance in. Football is often about opinions and often neither is right or wrong. Either way I don’t think anyone seriously expected us to get anything from that game. To say however that you would prefer we had a go and list 4-0 or more is garbage. If we get hammered no one is happy, the ground empties early and the comments are all about how embarrassing and pathetic it was. We have seen it before and the so called pride in giving it a go doesn’t exist when we get spanked. However it came about 1-0 is decent damage limitation. Look ahead to Brighton, Stoke, West Brim etc

          • ghostrider

            The thing is a game is not a game if only one team plays.
            You cannot tell me that you think playing at home like that is acceptable, because it just isn’t.
            It simply isn’t, no matter which way it’s looked at.
            Let’s be honest. By parking the biggest bus in the entire world we could have still been 4 or 5 nil down at half time.
            Ok COULD means nothing but on that note attacking them means they have to think about defending our attacks which means they are not guaranteed to steamroll us.
            They may have done but just like they failed with us parking the biggest bus in the entire world, they also could have.

            I’d rather be hammered and know we’ve had a real go than be beaten knowing we’ve just endured 80 odd minutes of utter disgusting football…because that’s what it was.

            Just when I think Rafa can’t top it, he manages it.

          • nevfur

            However we played if we got hammered most of the ground would be empty for most of it and moaning big time. The brave lets have a go attitude only lasts until we go 3 or 4 down. Been there and seen it.
            Have to remember the players are not used to playing very defensively so didn’t get it quite right as far as breaking out is concerned early on but despite the could haves for city we made it hard to score evidenced by the amount of shots from distance made. By the end lucky or not we were close to getting a draw, despite many commentators slating Gayle we have all seen softer penalties given.
            The key now after only losing to Man City by one goal helping the goal difference is to take points from the so called winnable games coming up.

          • ghostrider

            Yeah, well the Man City game is over and all the if’s and but#’ are in the past about what we could or should have done.
            Let’s see what his little master stroke is with 3 games where he has no excuse to hide from……NONE.

          • nevfur

            Should be interesting games. We have to get a reasonable return from the next few certainly.

    • joe mac

      i just wish we hadnt let mclaren go!…we shld have had a right go at them…like liverpool did?….or stoke did?…..or swansea did?…..then when we go down on goal difference we can say….at least we wernt embarrassing..or cringeworthy against the premier league champions eh!..

      • ghostrider

        Nobody is saying we had to go gung ho at them. Liverpool went gung ho and spent their force. We just sat back fully behind the ball with absolutely no intention of doing anything other than that.
        And you think this is fine?
        You think paying a fortune to watch this is fine?
        It’s fine if you’re a Man City fan but certainly not fine if you’re Newcastle fan.
        As for McClaren…I didn’t like him as a manager but he’d have had a real go regardless.
        You set up with Joselu up…..I was going to say up front but there wasn’t an up front, was there?
        What was he?
        Central defensive midfielder?
        Rafa’s genius.
        Man City players must have looked and went……” shall we have a party?”

        People need to stop blowing smoke up rafa’s aris because by doing so is allowing him to blow stale smoking garbage back into your faces.

        Rafa Benitez is a chancer and a joke of a manager.

    • Mike

      i hate the attitude of not giving it a go…hell even “smaller clubs” in the cup will at least give 100% against bigger more expensive clubs!

  • Leicester Mag

    Last night to me illustrates the grotesque future of the premier league. A future where the rivalry is not been cities but between Billionaire egos. A future where only a handful of teams can compete where the rest only see value in competing with each other for the scraps, desperate to survive. £75M paid yesterday for a mediocre CB. Welcome to Murdoch’s nightmare

    • Leazes Ender

      absolutely…… I’d like to see a law in favour of fan ownership, restrictions on overkill advertising and tv coverage….. it is overkill and it has killed football.

  • East Durham Mag

    Perhaps somebody on here could takeover from Rafa and motivate the team to go out and wipe the floor with the likes of City etc. I couldn’t do it but a few of the Mag fraternity obviously could. If he had gone out totally gung ho and we had shipped 6 or 7 goals he would have been lambasted for that.

    • joe mac

      spot on!

  • Asen Aleksiev

    if we win vs Brighton this will be meant to be a good move by Rafa

    • Michael Smith

      what if we lose ?

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Players will still be confident after Wet Sham now. They werent ripped a new one by City. Not conceding so many against way superior opposition will be worth a point end of season. Look how tight bottom half of table is.

        • Michael Smith

          you didnt answer the question

          • Toonrobbybobson

            First up City points would have been fantasy stuff. They have not lost to way superior performances than us. No one can argue otherwise. We were kept in game until end to steal something.

            On brighton:

            1. Players playing would have 1 less day recovery than Brighton.
            2. Its a game which goes towards staying up and at home where advantage needs pressing.
            3. A stuffing chasing the ball around because we knew we’d see little of it would be demoralise momentum from Wet Sham.
            4. The fitness of playing what may be seen as best team against City and then asking those legs fatigued and a day less recovery than rivals Brighton and Stoke shortly after would give them an advantage AND give a greater chance of muscle tears going forward. A phase where we have games in Jan/Feb which decide our survival.

            Id much rather use our resources to try best getting results where the odds are more in our favour. Its being realistic. Sad state of affairs but it is how it is.

            If brighton beat us being the better team so be it. Theres not much you can do. All can do is put best foot forward into that match and hope its enough. Im confident we will compete in this game and press home advantage. They had a day extra rest but had to travel. We rested players so should be fuel in tank and the fans behind us.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    I think he got it spot on. He tried to frustrate city and stay in the game to make it 10 or 15 minute game at the end where we could go for it without getting hurt too much.

    If we were 2-0 in first third of game city would have been purring, our lads demoralised for this game and future games and our goal difference hammered. So he gave us the best possible chance to try and get something.

    Whether Sky like it or not isnt his problem its the hand hes been dealt to try and keep this club in premier league so we have a future with or without our horrid owner.

    If Rafa manages to keep us up and its still Ashley he will leave after. But he will have gone doing the hardest job any Newcastle manager will have had to do.

    • mentalman

      why will he leave, he is one of the highest if not the highest paid manager outside of the the top 6 and can do no wrong in the eyes of many fans

      • Toonrobbybobson

        He can achieve elsewhere more. If it was just about money he would have been gone. Plenty teams would pay his release clause and up his salary if he wanted to leave. He wants to achieve. Hes not a pardew, mcfoolish, etc he wants to build a club. Rafa needs some funds, support and time to put in place a legacy right through our academy.

        For the quality of our squad the players are still way more tactically aware than I have ever seen. They are drilled and always have a plan albeit sometimes difficult to execute due to limitations. In seasons gone by under other management this team would be -30/40 Goal Difference. How many times have we been an absolute shambles in the past.

        I for one am extremely impressed with what Rafa has achieved with these players. They are seriously punching above their weight.

        I have faith he’ll keep us up.

        • mentalman

          who are the plenty of teams who will pay him what he’s on, he’s the 11th highest paid manager in europe.

          The list of bad things the club isn’t doing or allegedly happening to rafa is as long as my arm, so why is he wanting to achieve something specifically at newcastle other than money and being in a position very few managers find themselves in.

          Again why have a number of prem teams passed him up over the last few weeks/months, as you say plenty of teams could easily pay the release clause and it would be a bargain to keep the likes of West Ham, Swansea, Everton, WBA up

        • hetonmag

          Well said.👍

  • Michael Smith

    Blame Ashley, that`s what Rafa does

    • Toonrobbybobson

      For good reason

      • Michael Smith

        Ashley didn`t pick that team last night, all rafa does is moan moan moan

        • Toonrobbybobson

          It was the right team

          • Michael Smith

            Rafa say`s it was his strongest, he lied

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Depends on what your definition of strong is.

            For the one match?

            OR

            To stay up this season?

        • hetonmag

          And what exactly are you doing now.moan, moan,moan.

    • joe mac

      are you saying ashleys blameless?

      • Michael Smith

        no but he doesn`t pick the team

        • Geordiegiants

          Not far off it.

  • Asen Aleksiev

    i think all of us would gladly take 3 points from Brighton and 0 from City. Why do you complain?

    • Michael Smith

      what if we don`t win, what`s your excuse then, oh it`s Ashley

      • fsdfsd

        we will prpbably go down at the end of the season

  • Leazes Ender

    Yes that’s about the shape of things…. we need the takeover sooner otherwise it will be our Chelsea supporting owners lasting gift.

    • TheNutJob

      he`s still on holiday
      😂😂

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Seen the commentry from Sky this morning. Actually agreed with Carragher?!? Had quite a gonat Ashley. Hes going for an embarassing hattrick of relegations and needs to sell.

        • TheNutJob

          i was frightened to put on the footy news, i`ve been watching the Ashes

          • Leazes Ender

            Why….. cricket sucks.

          • TheNutJob

            so does the footy at the minute

          • Leazes Ender

            I’ve never understood why the BBC News covers a so called sport which is of less interest to the majority of the population than the sum of the coverage it receives. Maybe its because its a cheap time filler….. wallpaper ‘sport’

            …. of interest only to moribund trainspotters and public schoolboys…. as well as BBC News commentators….. they really do force the female presenters to smile through their teeth while reading a synopsis of some dreary display of activity from a near empty stadium.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Id never resort to that hahaha

  • Michael Smith

    poor old Rafa, big bad Ashley`s to blame. rafa accepted the situation in the summer he has to bare some of the blame & he bought Joselu

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Joselu was signed as he was only option. £5m for a premier league striker is a joke. Abrahams loan fee alone was that. He was asked at end of window when the quality was gone to use some spare change to put his hand in the player sack which had left dross. Championship strikers go for 3-4x that. Wake up and get real with the situation at our club. You cant see the wood for the trees. Read between the lines.

      • TheNutJob

        course it`s a joke, let`s see whose laughing next month when fatty pulls another stroke. we may as well have kept the 5 million & the irish guy

        • Toonrobbybobson

          Yeah praying for a miracle

      • mentalman

        there were strikers bought for less than 5million in the summer who have scored more or the same in less games

        • Damon Horner

          Defoe… Depoitre… how many more?

          • mentalman

            Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

          • mentalman

            Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
            Rossi
            Remy
            Inglese
            Zozulya
            Araujo

            There’s hundreds

          • Damon Horner

            Be honest here mate, of that list only Remy is not a hindsight signing idea to be better than Joselu, you’re talking players in Spanish second tier and discards.

          • mentalman

            there’s a lot more than that list and many are playing in Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1 and to be honest Hoss was a discard was he not. Rafa overturned the scouting system so should have been able to find a better player for the money

          • Damon Horner

            He was a discard but your suggestions aren’t much better if better at all in most cases. Truth is we should be looking bigger than Joselu and those names of players you listed.

          • mentalman

            your t right i was just making a point that there was a lot out there and a bit better scouting could have produced a better option.

            How many of Brighton’s cheap purchases were household names but they are doing well, we spent however many million on manquillo and everton signed Martina for free, there were plenty of options out there better than what we bought for similar or less money

          • Geordiegiants

            Defoe is on £100,000 a week.

        • Geordiegiants

          Yeah but it’s the wages with those that’s the problem, Hoss probably gets around £20,000 a week, the rest of those will be on £70/80, a week on top.

          • mentalman

            Hoss is paid £50,000 per week

          • TheNutJob

            that`s a lot

          • mentalman

            what is even worse is Ayoze is on £45000 per week

          • Geordiegiants

            Without sounding argumentative, where did that figure come from? Is that a definet or a quote from a newspaper? Just I thought that our best players were on that sort of money like Shelvey, Gayle and Ritchie.

          • mentalman

            It was a couple of websites I’ll check my history later, i was shocked he was on so much but then he was a prem player and as they say it was a desperation buy and his agents would have held out for a bumper deal (if the figure is correct).

            Surprisingly only mitro and shelvey are paid more

          • Geordiegiants

            If he is on that sort of money Rafa should be held accountable for that signing. We had very little choice that late on, even I would of stuck with Mitro if it was that sort of money for Hoss’s wages.

    • Damon Horner

      How can you be sure the situation he accepted turned out to be the situation which transpired?

      • Michael Smith

        if it was obvious to a layman like me you would think a world class manager could see the writing on the wall

        • Guest 2

          I suspect you can’t find your [email protected] in a morning.

          • Michael Smith

            i suspect you can`t find your brain at anytime of the day or night

    • anyobrien

      A Up here’s another one…. When you hound rafa out who do you want in

      • Michael Smith

        he needs to be a bit more honest at the moment he isn`t.
        i won`t hound him out Ashley`s doing a perfectly good job on that at the minute

        • Toonrobbybobson

          Honest and damage his chances of new signings, stupid expectations, batterings off city, our chance of staying in the league, etc etc.

          Oh yeah Mitrovic is a rubbish awful player on £75k a week and we dont want him but expect you to pay £15m for him.

          Give over. Stop being clueless.

    • Guest 2

      Coconut. Rafa accepted what Ashley promised him – then didn’t deliver.

      • Michael Smith

        then he`s the coconut for believing anything that guys say`s

    • HKMAG

      I cannot see how Rafa accept the situation….

      He did what P45, Maclean did not dare to do – speak publicly about we need more investments during the first few games to fight for our place in premier league.

      Even AT THAT TIME, some fans said Rafa should not complain too much but instead accept that is it because it will adversely affect the confidence of our players. And now what? How does it turn out to be Rafa accepting the situation?

      Hey, tell me you want a muppet or a manager as Rafa will tell the truth if the owner lies all the time!

      I can understand fans have different views on the approach or tactics employed by the manager but you gotta be fair and honest to yourself

  • TheNutJob

    morning men, when`s Fatty back from his hols so he can end
    the nightmare at St James

  • Damon Horner

    Only at the beginning of the season we were all talking about Gayle’s hamstring issue and how it’s affecting him, now we want him to play 3 times in 6 days. When fixtures comes this close you need to make use of the squad, Merino has had back issues and a recent reoccurrence, why risk him further?

    • TheNutJob

      that`s about right, the real team will appear on Saturday

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Exactly

  • Michael Smith

    apart from Ashley leaving we need new scouts maybe Stevie Wonder`s available if not try blind pew

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Troll

      • Michael Smith

        ha ha, not really just wise to the fact about what`s going on at Newcastle. owner v manager, 70% of the buys are failures, we can`t get rid of players because they are just useless, Saivet the saviour Shelvey & Mitrovich the panto villains. strikers who can`t score. fun isn`t it

        • Toonrobbybobson

          When you shop in sports direct red sticker clearance bin with no guarantee instead of selfridges window most this league shop in you expect your products to be a roaring success?

          Pull the other one.

          • Michael Smith

            did we or did we not break the world record signing Shearer
            bet you didn`t moan about other managers or trams then

          • Arty Hume

            @ Michael Smith, Just my humble opinion mate but your deluded grasp of reality is tenuous at best and your comment on the Shearer signing shows a distinct lack of football acumen. There is nothing worse than those who do not know that they do not know, they can influence those who are on the fence, look at the referendum vote for proof of that, bet you voted remain…some folk are so easily fooled and what is worse is they believe they are correct.

          • Michael Smith

            humble indeed, you`re full of bull mate. typical
            middle class a/ hole, of course arrogant guys like you are always right
            Not

          • Arty Hume

            Middle class, wow what an honer for a former NCB electrician! How the world changes, its winter now so go join the other snowflakes.

          • Michael Smith

            pr1ck

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Everyone on here is reading your posts and can use their brain pretty easily tonrealise your comments are clueless at best. Go to school. Anyone who has to respond with pr1ck instantly loses credibility and the argument.

          • joe mac

            well said…just ignore the baffoon!

          • HKMAG

            Just ignore him, those only know to blindly complain anything they can blame for are destined to be a loser.

            I doubt that if Rafa play an attacking team and lose by 4:0, they will start complaining why he play so aggressive, or didn’t pick anyone, etc…

            No wonder other teams’ fans described us deluded. Those fans always know to complain and cannot or are used to refuse understanding the limitations. What a Pity…

          • anyobrien

            Ignore Smith hasn’t got a clue and doesn’t even attend games.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            So you are thick then?

          • anyobrien

            Middle class 😂… Your off ya nut kida

          • East Durham Mag

            Are you being serious? That was a age ago and we will never do it again.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Yeah and we cant even afford a player with that price tag now with inflation having occurred.

            That comment shows you’re a moron.

        • anyobrien

          Stop going

  • Tino o

    I think a win against Brighton and we will forget we’ve played Man City. I’m hoping so anyway it was painful to watch and a little embarrassing

    • Michael Smith

      it`s been embarrassing since Ashley arrived & it`s still up in the air about him leaving

    • Mike Adam

      Very embarrassing.

  • Arty Hume

    Well I have to say that I am quite shocked after reading the blog today. Shocked at the lack of football knowledge displayed by those having a go at Rafa and the team! I do not care a flying one what the pundits are saying or that of $ky and their joke common taters ( a play on words there for the higher IQ readers ). The truth is as I have said before on this site and has been repeated even by Shearer we are a Championship club playing in the Premiership, and the $ky lot would have loved to have had something to shout about had we shipped four or over last night. It would have delighted their irritating/annoying commentator to scream a City player scoring a forth or more against a pitiful Newcastle side just there for the taking. Well it didnt happen like it was supposed to crafty Rafa foiled them and with the players we have from the Championship too, he nearly got one over on them also if Aarons/Gayle had scored. This was always going to be a very difficult game, and so what, it was boring for the first half, dont play into the media’s hands. Rafa did what was best for the team and the future of the club. If you do not understand that, IMHO you dont know much about the game and should save your money on a season ticket, let someone else who does take the seat, and when the club is sold, as when it is and we have respectable/knowledgeable/responsible owners, it will all change. IMHO that is why Rafa is still here, and that is why he is telling it how it is to all who will listen. There is however a difference between those who will listen and those whom will understand! Its a big if and I still have my doubts if the sale will go through, if it does, I think the club will go one to bigger and much better things. If it does not due to the current incumbents outrageous greed and gross mismanagement over the last eleven years, I can see a Leed UTD scenario very soon.
    We should all be supporting Rafa now, and the players who have to traverse the now choppy waters to Premiership survival.

    • Down Under Mag

      Rafa set the team up perfectly for OUR needs, not Citeh’s and isn’t that what it is all about?? I didn’t think it was a given right that all teams other than Liverhampton and ManUre were supposed to just roll over and give up when playing any of the top sides. The stats show it was a deserved victory and we were lucky to not concede more…but we didn’t and we saved our goal difference that may end up being vital come the end of the season. Rafa showed why we need him last night, bigger picture and all that…set us up to be hard to break down and almost got a very undeserved point (it would have been priceless to see the comments from the pundits had we sneaked a goal in the last minute of the game). On to Brighton and hopefully he delivers a good team selection and 3 points on Saturday.

      • mentalman

        a 1-0 loss to Arsenal and Man City are pretty good results exasperated by the poor results mixed in.

        My only problem with last night was there was only going to be one outcome when we played the whole first 30mins with their whole team bar the GK in our half and we got lucky to only concede 1.

        I’d have much preferred it had we at least had 1 or 2 players who were instructed to try and relieve some of the pressure from the defence by trying to keep or even get the ball up field

        • Michael Smith

          no good talking to them, they`re blind to anything Rafa does

          • anyobrien

            Where do you sit in the ground?

          • joe mac

            probly with the rest of the cucumber sandwich brigade!

        • HKMAG

          For the first 30mins, maybe we sit a little bit deeper than I expected.

          I think it was because ManC press so high and our players have little time to identify the target to pass.

    • Michael Smith

      it`s not shock, it`s arrogance that other people have a different opinion to one so full of himself. pr 1ck

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Troll. Crawl back under your stone. Must be a mackem.

        • Soldier

          is that your answer to everything, he`s a Mackem
          you want to grow up it`s a forum for opinions not just for the likes of you & your love of Rafa

          • mentalman

            there’s a growing number of people on here who can’t discuss or debate peoples opinions they would rather resort to insilts

          • Soldier

            i fear you`re right, if you don`t agree with them you`re either an idiot or a mackem

      • anyobrien

        Could say exactly the same about you….

    • anyobrien

      Exactly mate there are alot on here will hound rafa out and then what… They can’t answer, who do you want to replace him…. No one will do anything with this owner and squad… Tbh I thought we would be rock bottom but we are still alive and kicking.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      You have to commend the players immensely as well. Theyve shouldered alot know they are up against it with pressure of the clubs fans and work hard getting on with it. Watching it back the commentators mocked the quality compared to when we last got relegated. Id rather be in the trenches with our current squad than the two squads previously to be relegated.

      Seriously its surprising how many of our fans cant see the wood for the trees.

    • Soldier

      you could have stated the facts in 2 sentences, blowhard. another slave to rafa

      • Buck Blacket

        Have you got a split personality or something? One minute you’re supposedly behind Rafa, the next minute you’re slating him, depending on results of course. The word fickle springs to mind (the polite word anyway). Also, you seem to think you are the only person to attend games here, just how do you manage that anyway? Shouldn’t you be off fighting the Taliban Soldier?

    • joe mac

      here here!

  • Phil Yare

    if we lose against brighton then i think people will change their minds about the approach to this game.
    newcastle united should always try to win at home, whether we are riding high in the premier league or we are david against goliath we should always try.
    there were no positives about last night, absolutely none.
    on paper we didn’t get spanked, but we should be talking about a 0-5 scoreline that people feared ‘if we actually went for it’
    there is NO advantage having 52,000 behind the team with that team selection and set up