None of us are in any doubt as to just how average this squad of players are, who Rafa Benitez has to work with.

If backed in the summer then who knows what he could have done with better quality players at Newcastle?

However, he has what he has and to have 23 points from 23 games is a pretty good achievement considering the lack of quality.

The two cracking away wins at West Ham and Stoke have been life savers, without both of those victories Newcastle would currently be in the relegation zone.

In fact the away form overall has surely been as good as we could have reasonably expected, just like at home NUFC are averaging a point a match, picking up 11 points from 11 away matches.

However, I do think that Rafa Benitez is getting it wrong at St James Park.

Or should I say, Rafa’s getting it wrong in certain games at home.

I’m not talking about when we play the likes of Liverpool or Manchester City, I totally understand the emphasis has to be on men behind the ball and keeping it tight.

I don’t have any complaints either when we play teams such as Leicester or Watford at home. Going relatively defensive against those two made sense, as they are very very quick on the counter-attack and have players who can hurt you.

The games I have a problem with are our last (if you ignore Man City) three Premier League home matches.

Three matches against very poor struggling teams and Newcastle picked up only two points from nine when Everton, Brighton and Swansea visited.

On Saturday, it was soul-destroying to watch a terrible Swansea side passing it about without any pressure from Newcastle.

Surely if there is any game when it is worth really pressing high, it is against the worst team in the division at home.

Swansea had pretty much zero threat and yet Newcastle let them control possession and knock it about without being hassled.

The chances Newcastle did have in that first half, almost all came thanks to the odd time when Rafa’s players did take a bit of a risk and committed numbers into pressing the opposition high up the pitch. Gayle and Diame proving the most successful at nicking the ball which allowed Newcastle to get chances.

We all know that against any team, if they are allowed to sit back, then Newcastle have nowhere near enough creativity to bother them, they need something to disrupt the opposition.

It was the same against Everton and Brighton, allowing them far too much freedom on the ball instead of getting in amongst them and pressing.

By standing off, it also creates a vicious circle with the supporters.

Negative tactics totally kills any atmosphere, which then means no/little support to gee up the players, which in turn silences the crowd even further.

When Newcastle did press in numbers against Swansea, the fans then instantly responded, this helped the players and gave them that little bit extra when chasing the opposition down and winning the ball back/then creating chances.

However, we’d have a couple of minutes of the pressing and then the players would go back into their shells. I just don’t understand it, these are matches where we have to try and win because when the better teams visit St James Park, Newcastle have so little real quality in the front six it is a very difficult task.

Of the remaining matches, three of the seven at St James Park are against Huddersfield, Southampton and West Brom, those are three games where Newcastle surely have to pick up six or seven points at least.

If we don’t sign any decent players this month, which looks a certainty, then Rafa Benitez can’t afford to have his team sitting back against lower quality opposition who have minimal threat.

Just as importantly, by pressing other teams high up the pitch it helps get the crowd going, which then helps the players, it really is a win/win situation.

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  • Rev

    He isnt going to change a thing for those matches! Thats the way we play and if we cant fluke a 1-0 win its because the players arent good enough, nothing to do with his coaching or tactics. How many times do we have to go through this for the penny to drop?

    • TheNutJob

      every time we don`t win

      • Rev

        Why is it we always end talking more about managers tha footie at this club!

  • S.G.M.

    Rafa love-in is getting thin round the edges

    • anyobrien

      It’s not a love in… He gets criticism especially home games against poor opposition…. I just don’t know who we could attract after he’s been hounded out?

  • NUFCDan

    “Why don’t we press team higher up the pitch?” Centre backs both mega slow and midfield has no legs.

    • Rev

      Atsu, aarons,murphy ?

      • NUFCDan

        Diame, Shelvey, Merino – centre mid where you need it, nothing. Hayden is probably the closest we have and its not his natural game either.

  • jack

    Totally agree , his tactics have been terrible in these bottom of table clashes at home , it’s got to be two up front and higher pressing in games against bottom teams

  • anyobrien

    I agree was the same in the Championship one up front against Burton at home… But he is the best we can get and with some investment he would achieve much better things but his tactics will never change that’s the way it is but at the other clubs he had far superior players.

  • anyobrien

    BTW it’s not a rafa love in, he’s been massively short changed and I think lot of fans realise this… Ashley is the problem and until he’s gone no one will achieve.. Not even pep would in this regime.

    • Soldier

      Ashley`s always been the problem but that`s no reason to play defensive football at home in every single match. i can`t think of any manager who would do that against the bottom club

      • anyobrien

        I agree we should go for it 100%…All I’m saying is he never has I have Liverpool friends season tickets holders and they said… “you won’t like his football mate it’s boring but gets results”

  • TheNutJob

    to play 4-2-3-1 you need the guy up top to have pace, power & an eye for goal.
    i`ve just watch one on the news, Cyrille Regis

    RIP big lad, taken before his time

  • robbersdog

    If we’d played a more attacking style against Swansea, we might well have lost the match.

    Swansea had better players in forward positions than we did, and the premise that we could’ve just steamrolled them with our attacking prowess is complete nonsense.

    Rafa is the best thing to happen to our club in many years, he’s a proven, ‘elite’ manager and he’s won the biggest trophies in the game. Be happy that he’s at NUFC and support him, because when he leaves, even the moaning minnies will miss him.

    • ghostrider

      I won’t miss him one iota.

      • Dutch

        Or me

        • anyobrien

          Who do you want when is sacked, hounded out or leaves of his own accord?

        • anyobrien

          Who do you want as manager can you answer please

      • anyobrien

        Course you won’t you don’t go to the games ffs

        • ghostrider

          Do you want the metal edge or the plastic scraper?
          Long handled one’s are all that’s left which is good for you because you are literally due to scrape the very bottom of the barrel.

          Please try a bit harder, son.

          • anyobrien

            What seat you in again and stand? Come to the crows nest next home game before the match… There after a clown to entertain the kids… Plus I’ve shown a few of the lads your posts they think your funny 😂

          • ghostrider

            I’m hardly going to give you my seat.
            Milburn stand.

          • anyobrien

            Liar you don’t go .. Why keep pretending… Look come to the nest for a pint.. You’ll be a hoot…your naturally stupid and funny at the same time. Come on be a tinker you can have a lemonade.

          • hetonmag

            Plenty of pink seats empty Andy.

          • ghostrider

            Driving there as we speak.
            I didn’t realise you were a bird.

          • anyobrien

            Eh?

          • ghostrider

            I typed it, I didn’t shout it.

          • anyobrien

            Seriously come for a pint match day would love to chat face to face really want to understand what your getting at… Do you were your full kit for the Milburn?.. I bet you do.. Top tucked in, socks right up, name on the back aah bless ya.

          • ghostrider

            Yeah, I always wear the full kit. Had me footy boots took off me and had to sit in slippers the first time I did it. Now I just come in the kit and a pair of sprayed black and white Dr Marten boots.

          • anyobrien

            Your lonely aren’t you, bless

          • ghostrider

            Are you actually trying to seduce me?
            I’m married sweetheart.

          • anyobrien

            To ya mam daft c(nt

          • ghostrider

            She would be 85 this year if she was still alive.

          • anyobrien

            Nevermind eh

          • ghostrider

            As long as you’re ok with it. Lol

          • anyobrien

            Wtf you talk in utter riddles….

          • anyobrien

            Footy boots ha you never played your one of them… Premier league TV fans.. Bet ya class on fifa beating those 12 year olds.

          • ghostrider

            Is it your time of the month? If it is, I will take it easy on you.

          • anyobrien

            Time of the month I don’t understand?

          • ghostrider

            Yeah, ok dear. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

      • robbersdog

        Ok, you’re entitled to your opinion and I respect anyone with a different point of view.

        Who would you prefer as manager? And I mean someone who we could actually attract, as opposed to Guardiola, Klopp etc.

        • ghostrider

          I’d take Koeman in a heartbeat.
          I think Koeman is made for this job.

    • Soldier

      i think if we`d attacked from the kick off with 2 forwards we would have won with something in hand, his tactics at home breeds fear

      • TheFatController

        Given our strikers and MF haven’t scored all season with some very good chances missed, I’d wait till we sign goal scorers before playing tactics that rely on putting away chances…

        • Soldier

          if that`s the case we`ll have to play for 0-0 draws, that`s a quite idiotic statement to make

          • TheFatController

            Yet gain you use shame through words.

            ‘Tis but a flesh wound…’

            Next…

      • hetonmag

        I will ask you this what’s your take on Shelvey ? no assists no goals this season and he’s in the engine room.

        • Soldier

          read Leazes statements on assist`s it covers everything, in particular regarding Shelvey.
          idiots like you would drive him out the club

          • hetonmag

            I’m asking you or have you not got a brain cell to answer for yourself, or are you like a canny few and just watch what Diame does or doesn’t do

    • Charlie Dickens

      Are you Rafa? His mum? His lover?

      • robbersdog

        To paraphrase Mark Twain: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to write a comment like that and remove all doubt.

        • hetonmag

          Great reply mate.

          • Charlie Dickens

            Yeah, intelligent people should paraphrase racist confederate apologists and suck Rafa off whenever possible.

            Still can’t get over that post essentially saying we shouldn’t have tried to win a home game against the bottom team because attacking would’ve left us open at the back. Why do you people follow football? Surely model train sets or giant jigsaw puzzles would provide all the entertainment and excitement you need from your chosen pastimes.

          • hetonmag

            Much rather read a quote from Mark Twain than the first two lines of your disgraceful reply.

          • Charlie Dickens

            Quotes, clichés, somebody else’s words, are about your level aren’t they? An entire novel (racist or otherwise) or an original thought are beyond your level of comprehension. Disgraceful? What are you, a sixty-year-old virgin? Get your head out of Rafa’s ringpiece, open your eyes and watch the games, man. It’s not about Rafa out or Rafa is god, it’s about improving our performances with the squad we’ve had all season.

          • hetonmag

            Tuesday must be the day for abusive posts, 69 year old with two sons Charlie so not a virgin dipstick.

          • Charlie Dickens

            You sure they’re yours, like?

          • hetonmag

            Would you like to ask them ???

          • Charlie Dickens

            How would they know? Communicating with the person who raised them is enough of an exercise in futility.

          • hetonmag

            Go away you odious little man.

          • Charlie Dickens

            That’s the spirit, grandad. You can dish it out well enough but there’s no point getting upset over this nonsense. Just a bit of sport, aye. And more entertaining than St. James’s on a Saturday afternoon, these days, anyway. Watch the games properly and consider where we’re going wrong and how we could tweak things and improve our performances. You’ll be surprised how much you notice.

          • hetonmag

            Smug git you’ll get experience as you get older son there’ll be plenty challenges come your way, me I’ve been there done it and worn the Tee-Shirt. Good night.

          • Charlie Dickens

            Aye, aye, I’m sure you’re a good man who’s led a fine life. Goes without saying that I’m not worth getting worked up about. Nobody is. Not on here, anyway. Hope you have sweet dreams of servicing Rafa. Kidding, obviously, always, except about the football.

  • Charlie Dickens

    Wow, an article on negative tactics. Maybe tomorrow we’ll have one on team selection, and then on Wednesday, there’ll be one on in-game management.
    I see the Benitez can do no wrong and should never be questioned crowd are straight out of their traps again. For the record, we can’t do better than Rafa at the moment and I don’t want him replaced, but he can do miles better with this squad than he has so far.

    • anyobrien

      Agree at home against lower opposition, but away I think he has it spot on.

      • Charlie Dickens

        We’ve been aright away from home, agreed.

    • TheFatController

      I agree he should be getting Gayle and Perez to beat the keeper when 8 yards out. Every little helps…

      • Charlie Dickens

        Gayle shouldn’t even be playing in a 451 sunshine, but yeah, perhaps working on his heading in training might improve his game.

        • TheFatController

          sunshine? Haha

  • Peter Stabler

    When we created chances in the first half it was because we were compact forced them back and pinched it, we just need to finish when the tactics work.

    • anyobrien

      Correct but we don’t have the quality to do it… Christ we battered Everton but had no one to stick the ball in, they had one shot and bang goal…

      • Soldier

        we were 2nd best for the last 45 mins they pressed us back & we had no answer, the answer was on the bench but not used, it was patheric

        • anyobrien

          Fare enough I thought we should of won it hitting the wood work twice and then darlow dropping the ball to Rooney… Can’t remember them troubleing us much tbh.

  • TheFatController

    I’m pretty certain some Man city fans are questioning Guardiola over ‘playing out from the back’ – had they not done that yesterday they wouldn’t have lost.

    Just look at the players on their bench, why weren’t they playing if those on the pitch were going to lose?

    Should Rafa leave, he’ll go to a club spending way more than we do, and be replaced by someone with a CV as decorated as Pardew, Lambert, Pulis and the like. Take Allardyce, he can’t even get a £200m squad over the half way line, let alone get a sub £100m squad creating 5 good chances in one half…

    So a new manager will be good for all those who like to moan about Rafa picking Ritchie ahead of Murphy, or not blitzing PL teams gung ho with championship players. Because they’ll have a lot more to moan about when we get another yes-man journeyman motivating a team of championship £0-10m players. Bring it on…

    • Soldier

      the problem is he`s not willing to take a risk when a risk is needed.
      can you condone that line up & tactics against Swansea, if you can i feel sorry for you because you`re willing to settle for anything, just like Ashley wants

      • TheFatController

        Well, to be honest, had I known we’d miss 4 good chances in the first half I’d have advised even more caution.

        We can finish when hitting teams on the break (evidence A: West Ham, Stoke) but not when teams are sat deep (evidence B: Everton, Bournemouth, Brighton)

        Thus I’d be defensive and try to draw them out to create the space we need to score goals. We’d be waiting til closing time for Gayle to finish a chance off whilst Swansea were sat deep…

        • Soldier

          what a fool, go away !

          • TheFatController

            Oh no, you’ve shamed me! Let me see if I can forgive myself my error? Yep, forgiven.

            Next shaming?

          • TheFatController

            I’ve waited here lone enough hobbling on one leg with no arms –
            ‘Tis but a scratch!’

            Got to go…

          • hetonmag

            Is that all you can come with great reply from someone without a brain cell.

        • thewildchimp

          Well, if I knew in advance we’d miss 4 good chances, I’d set up the team to have 10 good chances in the first half. Much like what Klopp did against a better side yesterday and it paid off.
          You can’t draw the opposition by playing behind-the-ball counterattacking if they are unwilling to commit. You either press them hard for mistakes, or force them into bad areas where they can’t do much and then strip them off.

          We don’t have Messi or Ronaldo to play Rafa’s style and even they don’t score every match. We have Perez and Diame. So adjust to them. Simple.

      • anyobrien

        Tbh it would of paid off if we could finish. Three nowt half time easy.

      • Guest 2

        Line-up and tactics? We should have been at least 3 up by half time, man. Would you have been whingeing then?

        • thewildchimp

          But we weren’t. If that was Mitro heading instead of Gayle – he’d bury at least one. If the idea was to put a few crosses in from the flanks – why wasn’t he on the pitch? Anyone who can head the ball, actually; doesn’t have to be Mitro at all.

          If we won against much weaker side, I’d have no right to complain. Our players won against better opposition, they aren’t weak.

    • Charlie Dickens

      First paragraph – perhaps, given Liverpool press high, Pep could’ve changed his ethos for one game but I don’t think Man City fans will be too bothered about yesterday given the season and style of football.

      Second paragraph – underperforming players should always be replaced where possible, preferably around 60 or 70 minutes.

      Third paragraph – Yeah, if Rafa leaves Ashley will appoint someone rubbish, so it’s imperative Rafa stops impersonating Pardew.

      Fourth paragraph – Have you ever seen Ritchie beat a man? He played one good ball on Saturday. One chance created in 90 minutes. What do you think a winger’s job description is? We don’t need two full backs on the flank. Hung go is an excellent typo (better than say, ‘aright’ below). Rather have a yes-man journeyman managing a Premier League team (presumably free to be criticized) than a world-class manager in the Championship, and with Rafa, we might go down anyway and then he’ll be off. As things stand, he could change a few things and earn all the adulation you sheep slaver him with. So far he hasn’t achieved more than Chris Hughton did at Newcastle United.

      • TheFatController

        As you’re so keen on a self righteous tone, here’s the only thing you weren’t aware of on this planet – if you mock a typo I’ll use the edit function on discus to amend it. That’s the role of editing.

        Here endeth the lesson.

        • Charlie Dickens

          I mocked my own typo with the same tone you plum. Interesting you didn’t address any of my points. And you’re one to talk about self-righteous. Why don’t you write a coherent article for the site instead of sucking off Rafa and trying to belittle anyone who believes differently in the comments section every time something new is published? (Oh, and I already have, just in case you accuse me of hypocrisy.)

          • TheFatController

            Why are you talking down to someone for belittling when you use the same belittling with ‘sucking off Rafa’?

            My first comment said all I wanted to say. Why have you criticised me for not writing a coherent article when I wrote a coherent comment? a comment that has at time of writing 5 likes whilst your reply has none?

            Why do you ignore facts to allow you to confirm a theory you’d like to be right? “He doesn’t make coherent arguments” wouldn’t stand up in court when above it is my coherent argument. The judge’s eyes would roll at your tedious ability to ignore evidence.

            Don’t let facts get in the way of a good theory, eh? You must be a joy outside in the real world …

          • Charlie Dickens

            How can you talk about the real world and the importance of 5 likes in the same post you sad, sad sod.

            What is this theory I’m propagating?

            Your posts can all be summed up as follows:
            I love Rafa. He can not be criticised because he is Rafa and I love him. Did I tell you how much I love Rafa? Rafa is the best. If sucking Rafa off would make him manager forever and ever, I would be honoured to do it. It would be the greatest moment of my life. I love Rafa. Rafa is the best.

  • hetonmag

    This is rehashed day in day out, look I really don’t know what else Rafa can do we hit the woodwork twice against Everton we had chance’s to beat Swansea, Brighton came for a draw and got one. Swansea had one chance and scored, Everton likewise, is it because he picks the player’s the people on this forum doesn’t like aka Diame or does it matter who the manager is it’s never going to be enough for some people.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      If, if, if, if, Shake your head and wake up

      • hetonmag

        Never used the word if in my post and wake up to what, just wished you would put a paragraph together then I would probably shake my head and wake up.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          just [email protected]@k off you a $$hole

          • anyobrien

            Crickey 😂

          • TheFatController

            If I could put a meme up I’d find one with Pardew shaming Pellegrini for being born 10 years before him…

          • hetonmag

            Thought it wouldn’t be long before you come out with your usual disgusting rant.

      • anyobrien

        Sbr said biggest word in football is “if”

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Perhaps Rafa is doing it right and the players (or some key players) merely had an off game, failed to follow directions, or missed chances they should have taken. The margins between success and failure are so fine, that a single sitter missed in a single game of 38 could mean relegation – or Europe.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      or they could be following instructions to the letter.

      • Phil

        I doubt the instructions were miss good chances and waste set pieces

  • Soldier

    i couldn`t care less if he walks, it could hardly get any worse.
    he`s sidelined players ,upset others & never stopped moaning for 6 months.
    he wants to get on with the job he`s paid to do because at the minute he isn`t doing it. all his recent buys were on the bench, why ?

    • anyobrien

      Who do you want to replace him?

      • hetonmag

        Howay Andy we can’t wait a fortnight for an answer.

        • Soldier

          where is heton, is it some kind of mental institution ?

          • hetonmag

            Actually it’s Hetton-le-Hole Disqus missed the T out Birthplace of Bob Paisley remember him oh I forgot you might not have been around when he was winning European Cups good response though.

          • Soldier

            that shithole, very applicable to someone like you

          • hetonmag

            Another great comeback now where do you live then we can compare history.

          • Phil

            Wherever he lays his weapon! ….That’s his home. He must of a very low opinion of Hetton considering the locations of recent wars

          • hetonmag

            Probably hasn’t a clue where it is he comes across as having a very low IQ.

      • Soldier

        so you think he`s doing a good job,

        • anyobrien

          That’s not the question, if I was to want rafa out which I don’t BTW I would have some idea of the manager I’d want to take over working in these restrictions from fatty above… So again who do you want to replace him?
          I’m not trying to be clever I just want to know who people think we should get to do a better job…
          And considering I pay my season ticket I’m not particularly impressed with our home form and it’s frustrating to say the least.. Christ I walked out against Watford but I don’t see a alternative.. I also think some fans need to be careful what they wish for because things could become alot worse.. Remember jfk…. No one seen that coming from Ashley but it happened.

          • robbersdog

            Please don’t mention Joe Kinnear; it makes me very nervous.

          • TheNutJob

            JFK
            😂😂😂

        • Guest 2

          He’s doing a better job than every Manager below him, all of who have had more money to spend. 11 million net spend on a newly promoted PL side – you should be voicing blame where it lies, with the fat pig of an owner. Best manager we’ve had under Ashley and he’s the worst supported by him.

      • Soldier

        anybody who will use the players he has instead of acting like a child & making up stories about injuries.

        • hetonmag

          Do you not want to phone a friend if you have one.

          • Phil

            He must be a politician. Very good at avoiding questions

          • TheNutJob

            at least he`ll have some, something you`ll be devoid of

          • hetonmag

            How do you know.???

          • TheNutJob

            😄😄

          • hetonmag

            What’s that mean????.

        • anyobrien

          Howay soldier lad I expect better from you mate.

          • Soldier

            i`m sick of the negative tactics, the excuses every week,

          • anyobrien

            That’s cool.. Take it easy.

    • Phil

      Would be really good if he walks. Then we are left with a bunch of poor players with nobody at least trying to organise them!

      Rafa almost kept us up. If it wasn’t for the poor finishing of mitro we probably would of stayed up.

      He was then asked to get us a squad he thought he could get us promoted with. He did. As champions.

      Then he was told he would be able to build on that. Go for cups and mid table finish. He wasn’t given what he was promised.

      I haven’t heard any players come out and say they are upset? If he doesn’t think they are good enough id trust his judgement. He is better qualified than you or I

      • Soldier

        like they`ll go to the press, don`t be so bloody stupid

        • Phil

          Yeah because players have never came out and spoke about a manager before! Where are the transfer requests? They can’t be that unhappy

          • Soldier

            are you an idiot ? they don`t ask for transfers these days the agents wont let then as it affects the signing on fee
            have you been asleep for 10 yrs

          • Phil

            Marko Arnautovic. Jose fonte. Virgil van dijk to name a few. All in the last year.

            Wakey wakey idiot!!

          • Phil

            Don’t worry. I’d try and slip away quietly if I’d just made a t!t of myself as well.

            Silly billy

      • thewildchimp

        Well, if it wasn’t for Rafa starting Cisse all the time – maybe Mitro would have scored more against other teams and we wouldn’t be so desperate at the end. If it wasn’t for Mitro, Townsend and the keepers – we would’ve been rock bottom that season. Just sayin’.

        Anyone in Rafa’s position would’ve been sacked by now. Our players proved that they can beat other lower half teams so it’s up to him to organise them. Frankly, I admire them for their attitude.

        • Phil

          Ok chimp. Ok

          Back to sleep now 🍌

          • thewildchimp

            Sure, mate, did have a nap, actually. Woke up, feel refreshed, checked the facts – they are still the same, though… We still play boring, lethargic football, almost like the team has been neutered.

        • StevieB

          I’ve said it a few times recently his buys and home tactics are odd to say the least but I really mean it when I say there’s some games this season when we’ve got results ( Swansea A, Southampton A, Liverpool H,) to name a few where I’ve thought to myself “we got that result because our team was set up by a world class manager” .

    • robbersdog

      Of course it could get worse – a lot worse. If we still had any of Ashley’s previous managers, and the exact same squad that we’ve got now, we’d probably be bottom of the Prem and heading for certain relegation.

      We’ve got a chronically under-funded squad, and Rafa’s pragmatic approach will probably preserve our top-flight status.

      • Soldier

        put aside the Man C game what if we lose to Burnley, what then.
        you`re blinded by his reputation any other manager would have been sacked. he has the worst record in modern times pal

        • robbersdog

          I’m a lot older than you; I first went to St James’s Park in 1968 to see Newcastle Reserves v Bury Reserves, I was at every home game in 1969 during the Fairs Cup campaign and I’ve been to some god-awful away grounds when we were in the old 2nd Division, including an absolute thrashing at Oxford United when I was pelted with burgers by Oxford fans.

          I know good times and bad times, and good managers and bad managers. Right now, we’re the 14th best team in the country and we have one of the best managers in the world. Relatively speaking, this is a good time, because, unlike you, I have the perspective of knowing and experiencing really bad times.

          I respect your opinion, but as a young guy, you don’t have much to compare recent events to. In your lifetime, we’ve been a Premier League club with a couple of relegation blips. Believe me, things could be a hell of a lot worse.

          • Soldier

            this could be our 3rd relegation in 9 years, it doesn`t get any worse than that pal

          • robbersdog

            I don’t think we’ll go down this season, but if we do, the blame lies with Mike Ashley because the squad is chronically under funded. I honestly don’t think that another manager would do a better job than Rafa.

          • TC Toon Army

            Spot on

          • TheNutJob

            things are getting worse by the week, if something isn`t done we`re down

          • TheFatController

            Worse? What, the week we won at West Ham, or when we won at Stoke ?

          • GToon

            You are right but what most fans find difficult to stomach is that we do have a world class manager, world class fans, a decent stadium but an owner who is holding us back. It’s the untapped potential that gets me. The owner in charge of a successful Newcastle United could print money. We have, without question, the greediest owner in football history and yet he doesn’t want to take a punt with us. That’s the annoying part.

          • robbersdog

            I agree, Ashley is toxic and he needs to go.

        • Geordiegiants

          He has the worst team ever, never mind modern times.

  • We need to be more clinical for sure and our final ball is still lacking. We need better delivery and better finishing, not just from out Strikers, but also midfielders. It will be tough as nails against City, especially after losing to Liverpool.

    • TheNutJob

      to play the final ball the strikers have to be in position, they are not & that`s the problem

  • TheNutJob

    Rafa Oot bring back Geordie John
    😂😂😂😂

  • TheNutJob

    having read the posts i can see both sides to the story, we can

    • TheFatController

      but as Freddy Shepherd said last year, he’s no different from any manager when he wants better players in.

      I think the fact that no one bids any good money for our players would affect their self belief far more than Rafa saying he wants some more quality added to the squad. He’s not exactly singling out individuals as not good enough, he’s just saying better players would improve results.

      If you’re Darlow, say, and not even in the England squads, you’re probably aware of your PL limitations without Rafa crushing your ego in trying to sign a new keeper – it’s not going to be a shock to him.

      • Geordiegiants

        Very true, Mourinho is screaming for players, so is every other manger.

    • Down Under Mag

      Look, Rafa makes some strange calls now and again, I can’t defend him on some of the decisions he’s made. However, I think fans need to look at the bigger picture and just what he has to work with. Every manager wants more players in, it’s why other clubs have left us behind and we continue to go backwards…

  • TheNutJob

    JFK`s high on Fatty`s list if Rafael walks
    😁😁😁

  • Chris

    If Gayle does his job and scores like he should, we’re not even talking about this. At what point do you expect the players on the pitch to do a job.

    • TheNutJob

      that`s not going to happen, he isn`t good enough at this level

      • Down Under Mag

        Exactly. A player not being able to do his job is not the fault of tactics or the manager it is purely on the lack of investment in players of a suitable level. Gayle is no better than Joselu, he just seems to get away with no stick because he scored a few in the Championship. By that account we may as well recall Toney and Armstrong and stick them in the starting lineup!

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Could not agree more with this article. We are a better team than Swansea and that’s with leaving good players on the bench till the last twenty minutes.
    Have a real go against the Brighton’s and Swansea’s and they will fold even Man Utd will concede goals. However at home we just sit back and if we score a goal god help us half the team may as well be in the Strawberry we sit that far back. It was the same in the Championship so nothing new. Sometimes Shelvey is a third centre half.

    • hetonmag

      Good grief thought this forum couldn’t get any worse today then up pops ghostrider mark 2.

    • Lhc

      The thing is though we aren’t a better team than Swansea man for man

    • Down Under Mag

      How many Swansea players would you see in our starting lineup? I would take a fair few of them as an improvement on paper. Likewise Crystal Palace…even West Brom have better players than us because they have spent the money. West ham…again. And what’s more all of those clubs are looking to invest in January while we sit still doing nothing.

      We also should have won, but the players couldn’t finish the hatful of chances they were presented in the first half. Even one or two of those go in early and it’s all but game over.

  • Marco

    You’ll have to post a link to your Wikipedia so I can compare it with Rafas achievements in the game. Everyone’s an expert ….not

  • Down Under Mag

    I’m not entirely sure how Rafa is getting the blame for the players being so out of sorts and not up to the standard required. We are creating chances and limiting the opposition to a lot of possession but not much threat.

    The tactics are actually pretty good if you ask me, it is the players that are making individual errors because they are simply not good enough. It seems every error at the back, even if it is only once a game, inevitably results in a goal against. It also is embarrassing how ineffective our so-called strikers are game after game. Everyone gets on Joselu’s back but he is actually now our top goal scorer…Gayle seems to be above reproach because he scored a few in the Championship and while i’ve been patient with him so far, the way he let his head drop against Swansea and effectively stopped trying was inexcusable. As limited as Joselu may be, at least he never stops trying.

    Ashley has failed to invest properly in the required playing staff. If you can explain how that is Rafas fault, anything to do with tactics or who exactly would be better in the manager seat then I am all ears!

    • hetonmag

      You get called a sheep or even worse than that at times for trying to back the manager, if he fails this club will sink like a stone he is the only one to stand up against Ashley in the last 10 +year’s but the numpties on here want attacking football at any cost he’s put a team together that work there socks off but it isn’t enough for them.

    • Malcolm Fisher

      Gayle was exactly the same when he played for Palace.His head soon dropped when things weren’t going for him

      • Down Under Mag

        Him missing the goals I can forgive…him stopping trying I cannot.

        • Phil

          Rafa is walking soon according to talk sport, I hope it’s not true

  • GToon

    You are right in a lot of what you say and there will come a point that we will have to go for it. Maybe Rafa is keeping us in with a chance until then.

  • Hopey

    If he was given the correct resources Rafa would have us comfortably top 10 without doubt, try going to work with cheap tools it’s twice as hard.