Paul Merson is at it again.

The Arsenal fan explaining to Newcastle supporters what is going wrong at Newcastle United.

As usual though, he doesn’t have a clue.

On the one hand Paul Merson says:

‘Newcastle are in so much trouble this season that it could take £200m for Rafa Benitez to fix them…I knew they would struggle this season. They haven’t got the quality…They need to be buying £30m players in January…

‘Bournemouth, who get about 12,000 through the gate, have already beaten them at St James’ Park this season, in front of 52,000. But how many Newcastle players would get in the Bournemouth team?’

However, he then goes on to add:

‘…it’s too easy to blame Mike Ashley. Rafa gets an easy ride because it’s everybody else’s fault.

‘Well, I thought he would stop the rot because he’s a good manager.’

Rafa Benitez warned repeatedly in the summer that Mike Ashley had to keep is promises when it came to the transfer funds he’d been assured he would have.

Rafa had made a £40m profit on transfers since he arrived at the club but despite that, and Newcastle needing to step up to the Premier League challenge, the United boss was only allowed an £11.5m net spend in the summer.

On the other hand Huddersfield and Brighton had £40m+ net spends in the summer. The odds were stacked against Rafa and his squad before a ball was kicked.

It is no mystery as to why Bournemouth are better than Newcastle. Already with a Premier League squad, they went out and bought proven Premier League players Begovic, Defoe and Ake, paying Premier League wages and spending £20m alone on Nathan Ake.

Rafa Benitez was reduced to buying players who had failed at other Premier League clubs – the likes of Joselu, Atsu and Manquillo.

It’s not rocket science.

The only thing Merson can come up with is that Aleksandar Mitrovic isn’t getting a game. Fair enough, many supporters might agree that you may as well be giving the Serbian a try as nothing else is producing results but deep down most of those same fans wouldn’t expect the outcome to be any different even if Mitro did get a chance. He was poor even in the Championship when playing and looks so lacking in pace, how exactly could he produce in a team relying on counter-attacking?

Paul Merson talking to The Star:

‘Newcastle are in so much trouble this season that it could take £200m for Rafa Benitez to fix them.

I’m not being horrible but, including wages, it’s going to cost a fortune to get the club competing in the Premier League.

I knew they would struggle this season. They haven’t got the quality. They have too many Championship players who are not good enough for this level. But I didn’t expect it to be this bad.

I like Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie. They are all good players. But I don’t see too many others after that who can keep Newcastle up.

They need to be buying £30m players in January and offering them big wages because right now it isn’t a very attractive place to go.

Newcastle have taken one point from 24 and now they have to go to Arsenal, a West Ham team who have picked up under David Moyes, and then they play Manchester City. Good luck.

These investors who want to buy the club must be worried about them going down. How could you not be? It’s a right mess. Do you really want to spend all that money on a team who could go down? Or would you sit tight and wait to see what happens?

They say the deal includes a clause where Mike Ashley will get his money back if he buys some players in January. But that agreement better be rock solid otherwise if you were Ashley you would walk away from it.

It’s like saying, ‘I want to buy your house but you’ll have to do a loft conversion and fit a new kitchen before I pay up’.

I think all this takeover talk has really hurt Newcastle. The players have lost their focus. They seem to think they’ll suddenly be flying up the league once it goes through. But they should be playing for their futures, busting a gut for the club.

I’m not seeing that at the moment. If you can’t raise your game playing in front of 50,000 Geordies, when can you?

Bournemouth, who get about 12,000 through the gate, have already beaten them at St James’ Park this season, in front of 52,000. But how many Newcastle players would get in the Bournemouth team? How does that work? They need to stop penny-pinching.

At the same time, though, it’s too easy to blame Mike Ashley. Rafa gets an easy ride because it’s everybody else’s fault.

Well, I thought he would stop the rot because he’s a good manager. But he’s making some strange decisions. Where is Aleksandar Mitrovic? He wasn’t even on the bench against Everton and they need him in the team, in my opinion.

Dwight Gayle is lively, quick and sharp, and Joselu is the same. But they need someone who’s going to put himself about and do the dirty work. I think he has to play. He gives them something different.

I don’t know what’s gone on there but Rafa needs to swallow his pride and put him back in the team. Ruthless Okay, maybe he can’t always be trusted but it’s time to take a chance. It’s going horribly wrong at the moment. We’ve seen a million slides like this and they don’t often end well.

The Premier League is ruthless. Look at the teams around them. There aren’t too many others on a run like this.

Crystal Palace have turned things around. So have West Ham. Newcastle need to do the same quickly because they are in free fall at the moment and you can’t see where their next win is coming from.’

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  • Steve Smith

    Rafa is doing almost everything correct.

    The players effort isn’t being doubted. And Shelvey took it upon himself to show just why Rafa was benching our apparent best player.

    • Michael Smith

      effort isn`t enough that`s the reason we have 1 point out of 24 & no other manager would leave his best player out, shelvey`s problem, playing with second rate players and frustration has kicked in

      • Steve Smith

        Shelvey problem is that he’s a pathetic liability who couldn’t cut it at a small team in the arsend of Wales.

      • Oldgeordie

        Which planet are you from? Shelvey should never have been bought. He failed at Liverpool, failed at Swansea, failed at Newcastle.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          idiot, we would still be in the championship but for him

          • Toonrobbybobson

            To be fair that may be his level. Very high level there mind. However hes shown very very little in prem this season.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Shelvey looks a shadow and so too Ritchie. They are burnt out with carrying the weight if expectation and players with less ability. They need help but soonest its arriving is January.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Spot on

        • Little Pedro

          Was at the Everton game on Wednesday and Shelveys second tackle was pure petulance, was as if he thought ” actually think I will just sack this off and dodge the Arsenal/ West ham games because there’s a possibility they will be cricket scores !

        • Mal

          Shelvey can hardly be burnt out. He’s barely played recently.

  • Phil Yare

    lets not pretend the money spent has been wisely invested. if you have limited funds…you don’t just flush it down the toilet.
    i keep telling myself that ashley has another clown buying the players and part of rafas contract is that he must play them and not allowed to tell us that.

    • Damon Horner

      Two possibilities really. If the budget was known throughout then Rafa can’t point the finger too much when it is discussed how it was spent, however if a £72mil budget lost £12mil when signing Murphy then all of a sudden it was dramatically cut (which is not beyond Ashley) then I sympathise.

  • East Durham Mag

    Sick of this pathetic p*sshead and his take on things. Ignore the w*nker and stop publishing his rants please.

    • Phil Yare

      he should stick to what hes good at, drink and cocaine

  • Vito Genovese

    I’ve had to read that twice and I’m struggling to disagree with him.
    If the title of the article was ‘merson says Newcastle are in deep s**t’ it makes more sense.
    It is easy to blame ashley as it is his fault.
    Newcastle United should be getting 10 points from our last 4 home games it’s as simple as that.
    Newcastle United should have a number 9 that looks like he can score every time he plays.
    Newcastle United should have a goalkeeper who is loved by the fans.
    Newcastle United should have a spine to the team which connects the keeper and striker. Players who will drag the others along when things aren’t going their way.
    Newcastle United should always have a hero left winger as almost every memorable Newcastle United team have had.
    Newcastle United should never be defeated but mike ashley seems to be doing his best to try, he’s had us on his knees time and time again but you cannot kill what you did not create.
    Get out of our club ashley you are not welcome.

  • TheFatController

    Why do people constantly quote what you have spent on players as the only factor in squad value?

    Most of the PL clubs we are comparing our spend against have quality players that cost little yet are now high value.

    Why don’t we have such a luxury? Because we took punts on cheap foreign imports who were valued low by their clubs (so it’s not as though they were using ‘false advertising’) or were coming through the same small pool of agents /agencies (see also ‘HMRC investigation’)

    Add to that a scandalous youth policy – Only Aarons and Woodman currently have come through and they were both signed later in their youth careers – and you have a squad that reflects only what the cost of the players was.

    Only Lascelles and merino are worth probably more now than their fees, maybe Hayden. That’s due in part to Rafa having to sell PL players, buy good Championahip players, but then not be funded to get in some PL players again now we are PL.

    Our squad isn’t close to anyone else’s bar the ones that regularly get spanked or struggle at home like we do. West Ham have no excuse for being where we are in the league, nor Palace – they have more than a few expensive players. We have none, haven’t developed them or scouted them.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      2 or 3 quality players can make a difference to that team, a striker being the 1st in the door, we won`t win anything but we`ll survive

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Aye that Bournemouth team that got given a win by officials… sliding doors and all but the wheels came off because of that game but dont let the truth get in the way of massaging your ego Merson to sound like your pickled brain knows what its talking about.

  • Damon Horner

    All points to the top.

    The players get an easy ride because people are pointing at the manager.

    The manager gets an easy ride because people are pointing at Ashley.

    Why are people pointing at Ashley? Because the squad is low on quality and he could have provided a better budget if he made use of finance arrangements.

  • Leazes Ender

    ‘Paul Merson is at it again’….. what?…… you mean being the focus of the Mags despicable tax dodging advertising.

  • Tomb

    Everton had a few young lads playing on Wednesday if our squad is so bad can we not try some from the youth team or sign promising youngsters from elsewhere.
    Net spend blah blah blah. Arsenal Burnley have minus net spends this season.

  • Rich Lawson

    ”Joselu is the same,lively,quick and sharp” Just stop there pal and head back to the bar !!