Garth Crooks has previously made his feelings well known about the situation at Newcastle United.

The BBC Sport pundit strongly criticising Mike Ashley for failing to back Rafa Benitez.

Garth Crooks pointing out how lucky Ashley is to have him as manager, even claiming that Rafa is such a top boss, he could even win the Premier League if ever getting the full support he needs from the club’s owner – whoever that may be.

Obviously instead we are in a position where Ashley has badly let down Rafa Benitez in the last two transfer windows and 22 days into the current one, he has failed to back his manager with a single signing so far.

In his Premier League team of the week, Garth Crooks selected Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero but he was more interested in talking about the dismal situation Rafa Benitez finds himself in under Mike Ashley.

Crooks says that Newcastle are  ‘Performing miracles on the pitch under Rafael Benitez but need reinforcements badly.’

The BBC pundit says that whether Mike Ashley decides to sell Newcastle in the future or not, he would be a fool if he doesn’t this month give some belated assistance to a ‘Fantastic manager, a willing group of players and fanatical support.’

Great stuff from Garth Crooks and now we wait and see whether Mike Ashley takes arguably his biggest gamble ever in the next nine days and fails to help his manager and squad.

On past performance you wouldn’t count on it happening, even though Rafa Benitez has revealed that yet again Ashley’s now given him promises that signings will be made in the coming days.

Garth Crooks:

“Against a stubborn but nevertheless inferior Newcastle, the Argentina international got his second hat-trick of the season with some deadly finishing.

“The Magpies are performing miracles on the pitch under Rafael Benitez but need reinforcements badly.

“Whether owner Mike Ashley decides to sell or keep Newcastle United will ultimately be his choice, but what he does have at the moment is a fantastic manager, a willing group of players and fanatical support.

“Are you telling me that is not worth investing in?”

Garth Crooks also chose Kevin de Bruyne in his Premier League team of the week:

“I know we have the toughest league in the world, and all the best players want to make it here, but we must look after the talent.

“I shouldn’t have worried. Against Newcastle, De Bruyne was back to controlling matters in the middle of the park again.”



  • Mrkgw

    Well said Garth Crooks.

    • Rich Lawson

      Yes,concise and to the point,surely no one can argue with that summary ?

      • Phil

        Give it time

  • Paul Patterson

    A good striker will see us through this season. We have nine days to do it otherwise we are seriously running the risk as teams down the bottom are slowly picking up points.
    Tick tock, beware the relegation clock.

    • ghostrider

      A good striker that gets the service “will” see us through.
      That means Rafa has to change his game plan from being ultra cautious to having a go and playing to the full strength of the new striker or the new striker will be about as effective as what we have as it stands.

      • Paul Patterson

        A good striker would’ve buried Swansea, Brighton, Bournemouth, Everton and Leicester. The chances were there in the case of the Swansea, Bournemouth Leicester and Everton games.

        • ghostrider

          Maybe Mitrovic could have done that.

          • Paul Patterson

            Maybe he could, maybe he couldn’t. That’s one thing I don’t get with Rafa, (the Mitro situation) but I don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.

          • ghostrider

            None of us do but those that are literally the flies on the walls.
            You have to admit that it’s all odd as all hell.
            Not just Mitro but Colback.
            Then there’s Mbemba.
            the list goes on and on.
            A lazaar buy who is deemed good business is sent packing on loan.
            Gamez who plays well in the few games he gets a chance, is binned.

            The list goes on and on and on.
            This cannot be just a players thing.
            Rafa Benitez almost appears like he’s devoid of compassion.
            It’s almost like he’s some kind of westworld like robot.

            The media hype around his past is carrying him along but it will only last so long before it all comes crashing down if he doesn’t spend wisely and use what he spends to full effect in the right areas.

            His saving grace is in Ashley being still up for the blame for everything.

          • TheFatController

            It seems not playing is enhancing the reputations of players who were bang average when they did play…

          • ghostrider

            What do you mean?

          • Phil

            Shouldn’t need explained but here you go… The likes of colback, mitro and gamez were deemed not good enough when they did play. Now they have been dropped some (mostly you) seem to think they are world beaters being treat terribly. They have been out of the team that long you forget colback can’t pass forwards and that mitro can barely jog never mind sprint! But hey…. Get them back in! They might of improved!!

          • ghostrider

            Colback was definitely sickening for something but is still a decent enough player to have in the trenches as a squad player.
            Mitro isn’t as slow as you make out.
            He’s no hare but then again he’s an international striker for a reason. And guess what?
            He’s going to the world cup.

            But yeah, get them back in because they shouldn’t be out in the cold in the first place.

          • Phil

            He plays for Serbia though. They aren’t exactly spoilt for choice. And yes he really is that slow. Micky Quinn would beat him in a race!

            Colback isn’t better than any midfielder on the bench or in the team so I don’t see what role you want for him?

          • ghostrider

            Colback can cover a few roles. A good squad player who has been an unsung player many a time.
            Nah, he’s no world beater but then again neither is anyone else.

            As for the ” he plays for Serbia, though”….they’re into the world cup with his goals and help but he’s worthless because he plays for Serbia.
            What a load of tosh.
            It’s like saying Giggs was useless because he played for Wales.

          • Kneebotherm8

            There’s a lot of bang average players going to the world cup,make no mistake about that.

          • ghostrider

            Of course there is, compared to others who are going.
            We paid 12 million for Mitrovic and I didn’t see anyone complaining about him playing, except for his temperament.
            When he got a run he was a right handful for the opposition.

            He also scored a reasonable ratio of goals for his game time.
            Do you deny this?

          • Kneebotherm8

            I seem to remember him missing a lot of gilt edged chances when he played in the relegation season under McLaren…………..at the time it was a disappointment,I was expecting more from him,he scored 9 but should have scored a lot more………part of the reason we got relegated along with a woeful defence……

          • ghostrider

            We got relegated because we had too many players who didn’t give a flying falook.
            One of them was not Mitrovic.

          • Kneebotherm8

            A right handful???……………….not that good……
            Problems with temperament and fitness issues and he obviously doesn’t fit into the Benitez team plan……

          • Jezza

            Yes without any shadow of a doubt Mitrovic is by far our most improved player this season.

          • Damon Horner

            It’s not as odd as you think it might be really.

            Happens all over the place. Niasse at Everton, Mkhitaryan/Shaw at Man Utd and Luiz/Batshuayi at Chelsea, sure I can name examples for every club if I wanted to.

          • ghostrider

            Course it does but I’m only interested as to why rafa has sent a whole host of them to Coventry, it seems.
            All bad lads?
            All refusing to train? Knocking on his door too many times begging for a game?
            I don’t know but what I do know is, we should be getting something from those players or loan them out or sell them if they’re not in the plans or creating trouble.

            Or is it a Rafa dummy spitting job?
            His inability to use players than could easily change and effect an entire game is bordering on criminal in terms of ripping off the fans.

          • Damon Horner

            I’d reckon he wants to move them on but i’d imagine shifting players on who are paid more than their contribution and value suggests would be harder than it sounds.
            The list of why they’re not playing is endless in possibilities and I doubt any manager would justify the squad position of every individual. As long as we ‘re not failing (and we’re not) then it’s rightly not scrutinised.

          • ghostrider

            That depends what failing means to people.
            I believe we are failing because Rafa refuses to play football. It’s bordering on depressive and sickening.

          • Damon Horner

            Fair enough, your call, i’d like to see good football too but right now I know it’s not likely regardless of the manager.

            In addition, the absent players you refer to wouldn’t enhance the quality of the football played so it is kind of irrelevant if quality of football is the reason why you want to know why the likes of Colback and Mitrovic aren’t playing.

          • ghostrider

            Mitrovic in a proper role would almost beg the better quality because that quality would be an offensive set up as much as a cautious back line.

            Basically balanced.
            This is where ritchie and co, plus Shelvey would be effective.
            Ritchie has been used as a chicken runner like most. Chasing shadows and trying to catch foraging players like a looney. No wonder he’s peed off like many.

            They battle but their body language tells you they hate it.
            the feel good factor of putting teams to the test is what forward thinking players enjoy and take defending at times as part and parcel……just not most of the time.

          • thewildchimp

            Exactly. We have almost no defensive minded midfielders and the only one that somewhat copes is Diame. They are being shoved into a system that doesn’t suit them. Like trying to put a corset on a nanny. When you tighten it up on one end – it spills on the other.

            And we need a pacey forward able to catch fast balls and create chances out of nothing with this mindset. Jamie Vardy. Or a hardened veteran like Jermain Defoe, who is always at the right place at the right time. We have no such players.

          • hetonmag

            Not one enquiry for the players mentioned in your posts tells you all you need to know, but there again all you do is spout rubbish that Rafa’s spat his dummy out with these players that are not good enough.

          • ghostrider

            So what has he done if he hasn’t spat out his dummy?

          • hetonmag

            He doesn’t rate the players that you think should be in the team, nor does anyone else.

          • ghostrider

            So you think Joselu should start all the games he has when Mitrovic is available?
            Seriously?

          • hetonmag

            You tell me if Mitro is that good why isn’t there a queue waiting to buy him, and before you say he’s good enough for our team i unlike you trust the managers judgement.

          • ghostrider

            Who said he is that good. He’s much better than what we have or are using. Simple as that.

          • kingfisher

            Pedro’s most probably been bullying them!🥊🥊🥊

          • ghostrider

            Obviously this is correct, to be fair. A tremendous answer.

        • Jezza

          Agreed. If Fat Ashley hadn’t stepped in and pulled the plug on the deals that Rafa had lined up for Hernandez and Abraham at the start of the summer we wouldn’t be in this mess now.

          • Paul Patterson

            I would have took Hernandez any day of the week.

        • Rich Lawson

          A big man with a little bit of pace, who can muscle defenders and does not mind being the lone striker and above all good with his head ! We’d be sitting mid-table now.

          • Albert Stubbins

            That sounds like the perfect description of Olivier geroud. That’ll be thirty million then!!

          • Rich Lawson

            Love him,but as you say high price and Dortmund seem to be trying to get him as part of the deal for that stroppy lad.

    • Philippines

      I reckon they should play de Yedlin as a striker. He is skillful and mega fast. Remember Supermac started as a fullback.

  • Georgia Peter

    People raving about this” fantastic” hatrick …..
    He never touched the first one and the penalty was adive for me. It p!55es me off that a team of Cities obviously huge talents still find it necessary to dive ..
    We must have had em running scared eh……!

    • Peaky Magpie

      If Atsu,Gayle or whoever had dived like that they’d be up before the FA today.

    • paul mclaughlan

      Divint slag Sh1Tty off too much. Or you’ll have Portsmouth’s top Sh1Tty fan on here slagging you off.

    • Philippines

      I agree, I thought NUFC played quite well overall.

  • magpiefifer

    I’m not a fan of Crooks,but it’s good to see a London-based pundit having some accurate insight and comments on the mess that Ashley has created at NUFC.

    • Cockneytrev

      I agree entirely,,,,

  • Georgia Peter

    Strange, is it not ,that we appear to have gone from…”you’re not getting nowt” to near 30 million strikers on massive wages .
    Beware of phrases like…just couldn’t get them over the line…etc.
    Something smells…!

    • Paul Patterson

      Why? Has that happened before? Lol.

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      Exactly !

    • wheyayeman

      Why do your comments always begin ‘Porciestreet’ ?

      • Geordiegiants

        It’s his old name.

  • robbersdog

    Garth Crooks is far too intelligent and articulate to be a football pundit. Aren’t they all supposed to be p*ssed-up, grunting morons…or is that just Paul Merson?

    • Jezza

      Garth Crooks is a different class to those moronic p*ssed up clowns on Sky Sports.

      • Big Al 1967

        It is becoming more obvious that the national media are FINALLY realizing the fundamental problem at our club. Even BT whose coverage is normally awful backed Rafa on Saturday night (fair play to Rio Frank and McManaman). Martin Lipton in the Sun last week also penned an article which was highly critical of the Fat Man’s arrogance. The only ones who remain Ashley disciples are Sky

        • Geordiegiants

          And the Ronnie.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    The problem with Mike Ashley is he the gift that keeps on giving in an utterly negative sense.
    You can have pundits like Garth Crooks having a go at him in the hope it may spur him on to some good deeds.
    This is Mike Ashley’s World though, A one when you think he cannot possibly stoop any lower he then surprises everyone and plumbs the depths even further !

    • Paul Patterson

      Which is why I often think he does it on purpose.

      • Geordiegiants

        There no thinking about it, it’s a given.

      • Down Under Mag

        Oh it’s definitely vindictive…there is no other explanation for it. Exactly why I was never expecting a sale to go through – he put the pric etoo high so no-one would match it and he was never going to budge. All he is doing is treading water until the TV money comes in and he doesn’t care in which division we end up in the long run as long as he doesn’t lose out financially and continues to get some free publicity for his high street stores…in fact I wondered if things were too quiet and he drummed up some more media hype just because he wasn’t in the spotlight enough recently. Either way, since the Keegan fiasco he has never been interested in anything but taking the fans for a ride. It has to be personal!

  • Cockneytrev

    I’ve never been a fan of crooks,, but hats off to him for seeing through the Ashley circus,,,

    • Geordiegiants

      Dito

  • Kneebotherm8

    Hit the nails on the head …..great manager,great fans,and a motivated squad which,as he says,needs improving…………what more could you ask for Mike?………..oh yes……..an ambitious owner……….which we’ve been waiting too long for..

  • anyobrien

    Well said Garth at last some sense from a pundit.

  • anyobrien

    I hear our friend Simon Jordan was sticking up for the fat pfick and was involved in some twitter row with a tslksport journalist.

    • Big Al 1967

      The same arrogant perme-tanned fool who preaches all things Newcastle and yet has never set foot in our city. It’s quite funny to listen to as he clearly has no clue what he is talking about and just spouts any garbage to get a reaction.He is just a thinned down version of our chubby owner