Rafa Benitez watched on as once again Newcastle United didn’t have the quality to win a vital home match.

Visitors Swansea are rock bottom of the Premier League and had lost more games (14 of 22) than any other, yet it took a 68th minute goal from substitute Joselu to rescue a point.

When I was sitting inside St James Park on Saturday I mentioned a few times to the bloke next to me, that this was just like watching two Championship teams, playing a Championship level match.

I didn’t realise at the time just how correct I was in a literal sense..

Whilst these Swansea players are surely destined to be Championship ones next season after relegation, the 11 players who started the game for Newcastle, were quite literally a Championship team only seven months ago.

The entire side Rafa Benitez picked on Saturday, were also playing in the second tier for Newcastle last season.

Rafa said after the game that opposing manager Carlos Carvalhal had pointed this fact out before kick-off and the Newcastle boss says that this fact ‘tells everybody where we are’.

Which is basically, a Championship team trying to survive in the Premier League.

It is already well documented how Brighton and Huddersfield were backed with far higher net spends than Rafa Benitez was allowed by Mike Ashley in the summer.

Those two clubs at the weekend played nine new (Mooy was on loan then signed permanently) players between them who signed after promotion.

Huddersfield starting with Lössl, Ince, Jorgensen, Depoitr and Malone.

Brighton with Ryan, Pröpper, Izquierdo and Gross.

Interesting to see that both promoted clubs upgraded on their goalkeepers, something Rafa was also desperate to do.

Whilst also, three of Brighton’s new players and two of Huddersfield’s are attacking players – midfielders and strikers. Newcastle are looking woeful at times in terms of creativity and quality up front.

Whilst Rafa Benitez is being messed about yet again by Ashley, Brighton are pushing for new signings and Huddersfield have now already in January spent £12m on Alex Pritchard and brought defender Kongolo in on loan from Monaco.

One or two of you may make the comment that Rafa Benitez did bring in new players in the summer but chose not to start them on Saturday.

That is fair comment up to a point but apart from the injured Lejeune all four new players were included on the bench against Swansea – but simple fact is that Rafa had to fill gaps in the squad in the summer or we wouldn’t have had a squad, and that with the level he was shopping at, it was all but impossible to get players significantly better than what Newcastle already had.

Rafa Benitez asked about fact his team that started against Swansea all played for Newcastle in Championship last season:

“Carvalhal told me that before the game and it tells everybody where we are.

“I have been saying it all season and yet some people say ‘You have to do this and you have to do that’…but this is the reality.

“We are in the Premier League and we have a lot of players giving everything…but it is still sometimes not enough.

“The amazing thing, and the positive thing, is that they are working so hard.

“You could see in the first half we had chances and then when we conceded the goal, after that we were reacting, we were pushing, working even harder.

“After scoring our goal we were on top of them and pushing all the time – that is the positive that we can take from this game.

(Asked whether league position is decent considering the (lack of) strength of the squad?) “Yes.

(Asked whether expected in April when won promotion, to be fielding such a team now?)“No.

(Does it make a challenge when having to compete using last season’s Championship team?) “It’s not easy.

“Sometimes you know that there are things you can improve and things you cannot.

“The main thing and positive thing is the attitude of the players, even in training sessions, always trying to improve, that is quite good…

“Even when they come off the bench the majority of them give everything.

“We are in a position which is not easy, which we maybe deserve to be in because of the quality of the teams around us too.

“I think we can stay up if we can keep continue working…obviously now is the transfer window so next question will be – ‘Do you need help.’

“The answer is ‘Yes, we do need help…but we will try to do our best.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Swansea 1

Goals:

Newcastle: Joselu 68

Swansea: Ayew 60

Possession was Swansea 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Swansea 8 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Swansea 5 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Swansea 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Graham Scott

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Merino 82), Atsu, Gayle (Joselu 64), Perez

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Haidara, Manquillo, Hayden, Murphy

Crowd: 51,444 (Swansea 1,100)

(Alan Shearer spells it out after watching Newcastle 1 Swansea 1 – Read it HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Swansea draw HERE)

(Swansea boss says Newcastle lucky to avoid red card, penalty and defeat – Read it HERE)

(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after the game HERE)



  • Mitros gotta start

    When Rafa starts to pick the best players he has available to him he might get a bit more sympathy from people….the negative tactics and strange team selection against p155 poor opposition at home is losing him credibility match by match

    • ghostrider

      That’s true. Rafa bemoans what he has but he consistently alters the line up even when players come in and actually do a decent job.

      It’s almost as if he’s deliberately playing some kind of wind up.

      • Mitros gotta start

        He plays more games than the fat slug

      • Jezza

        No the only person playing a wind up here is you.

        • ghostrider

          Just telling it how I see it.
          What you see it as,is your affair.

          • Jezza

            How you see it and the reality of what is happening at NUFC are two entirely different things.

          • ghostrider

            What’s the reality?
            The reality is, Rafa needs sacking.

          • Jezza

            The reality is that Fat Ashley is destroying this club by syphoning off every last penny the club generates. The reality is that after ten and a half years of chronic under investment in the playing staff for the purposes of personal profit for Fat Ashley we are left with a team that is woefully unfit for this division. The reality is that it is only because of Rafa Benitez that our Championship team has gained a very credible 23 Premiership points by this stage of the season. The reality is that should Rafa be sacked, any manager who comes in to replace him will be inferior and the team’s form will plummet dramatically.

          • ghostrider

            A very credible 23 points?
            Give over.
            We have those points because the rest of the teams in the bottom 10 are equally as bad as we are being, so by laws of averages we will nick points of each other which is exactly what’s happening and why it looks so close.

            You can give Benitez Suarez and Benitez would make him look like Gayle.
            The man is a dinosaur.

          • Jezza

            Why don’t you do something useful and take the number of points your preferred choice of NUFC manager Ronald Koeman got Everton before he was sacked and extrapolate it over the number of games NUFC have now played. You will find it will be less than 23. Yes and Koeman make Sigurdsson look like Diame.

          • ghostrider

            Koeman is 50 times the manager Benitez is.

          • Jezza

            Is that the best response you can come up with to my very valid comment? Pathetic.

          • ghostrider

            What comment?

          • Jezza

            I asked you to take the number of points your preferred choice of NUFC manager Ronald
            Koeman got Everton before he was sacked and extrapolate it over the
            number of games NUFC have now played and compare the figure to the 23 points NUFC have now got. You didn’t want to do it because you knew it would work out a fewer points and instead retorted with a petulant and childish reply.

          • ghostrider

            Pointless as it stands because we will never know.

          • Jezza

            Ducking the question again.

          • anyobrien

            And there’s more 😂.. My sides are aching

          • ghostrider

            Could be kidney stones.

          • anyobrien

            What a bell end ya funny as oot

          • Wor Lass

            Yep. I bet there`s a few nutters in manchestor calling for pep`s head this morning.

          • anyobrien

            See what you don’t even gan to the game.

          • ghostrider

            I’ll buy you a new scraper soon.

          • anyobrien

            Kero it coming man its hilarious stuff.. 😂

          • ghostrider

            Glad you’re excited.
            We all need a kero.

      • anyobrien

        He rotates the squad done it everywhere he’s gone and it seems to have worked I think he won a few things from what I’ve been told… But he was backed by the owner everywhere he’s been but just not here.

        • ghostrider

          When was the last time he won anything?
          What kind of money was he handed in order to achieve it?

          • anyobrien

            Go away please.

          • ghostrider

            Ignore me if you can’t handle it.

          • anyobrien

            Your odd so it’s a bit funny how you Wum all the time. Then it gets irritating.

          • ghostrider

            Then don’t take any notice of what I type if it irritates you.
            It seems you can’t help yourself.

          • Jezza

            Just let him keep on posting and making an even greater fool of himself. He seems to have given up on his Fleckman ID after becoming the number one object of ridicule on this forum now he’s doing exactly the same thing as ghostbuster.

          • Jezza

            When was the last time your preferred choice of manager for NUFC Ronald Koeman won anything and how much money was he handed in order to fail spectacularly at Everton?

          • ghostrider

            He didn’t fall at Everton. He was pushed out, in my opinion.

          • Jezza

            Koeman got off to a worse start than Rafa. Everton were below us in the table when Koerman was sacked. You think Rafa has failed and should be sacked but you don’t think Koeman failed and think he shouldn’t have been sacked even though he spent far more money to end up below NUFC in the table after the same number of games. You really know how to make a fool of yourself don’t you.

          • ghostrider

            Rafa had a squad to work with for a good while, adding just a few to it…most of which he didn’t bother to use.

            Koeman was getting his team wiped clean and added to by massive scale.
            Koeman was working with a blank canvas, almost and not to mention a half hearted (half the time) returning player in Rooney.

            Koeman given 5 minutes with a massive revamp that I believe wasn’t down to him.
            I look at what he did for Southampton. The way he had them playing was what Newcastle United fans would dream about.

            I don’t want to see Rafa’s football.
            I want him gone and I seriously don’t want Ashley to give him 1 penny this January to waste, because he will waste it.

            The man is no good for this club.

          • Jezza

            You have got a twisted and distorted personal vendetta against Rafa and I can only puit it down to him having once refused to sign an autograph for you or something similar.

            You have alson got an equally distorted and twisted view of the man who has been systematically destroying our club for the past ten and a half years with his own personal greed.

            Well at least you will get your wish granted for Fat Ashley not giving Rafa a penny in January. Be awful to see £10 to £15 million wasted on a decent striker when that money could go to much better use in Fat Ashley’s bank account or invested in S***s D****t.

          • ghostrider

            My view on Rafa is what I’m seeing happening on that pitch and his stupid excuses whilst also bemoaning the championship squad he has, apparently.
            He can’t be trusted to buy in the players we need.
            As for Ashley…he’s no angel but he’s done a lot more than he’ll ever get credit for.

          • Jezza

            Rafa can’t buy the players we need because Fat Ashley won’t provide him with the funds. When the deadline passes at the end of this month with no new signings for NUFC you’ll be blaming that on Rafa too. You will come out with some nonsense along the lines of no potential signings wanting to play for him because he’s too negative or he freezes players out if he doesn’t get on with them.

          • ghostrider

            If we ship out a striker and bring none in, I’ll blame Ashley.
            If we ship out a striker and Rafa brings in anything other than a striker or a number 10, I’m going to crucify Rafa.
            If we lose nobody and bring in nobody then I expect Rafa to play the players he has in his squad who are plenty good enough for the fight and as an added bonus……AS FRESH AS A DAISY for the run in.

            Simple choices.

          • Jezza

            You twist everything with your playground logic and contradict yourself at every turn in pursuit of your personal vendetta against the best qualified manager this club has ever had. I have wasted too much time today indulging your desperate need for attention so I am stepping aside now. Do not bother replying to me any more because I won’t read it.

          • anyobrien

            He’s a moron mate wasting your time

          • Jezza

            Even that clown A-Lard-Arce has got results from the same players Koeman failed with at Everton.

          • ghostrider

            Has he?
            The fans must love it….right?
            How about Koeman didn’t get anything because his team was being systematically torn apart for players he most probably didn’t want.

            Do you reckon he wanted darling Rooney?
            A marriage made in hell it seems and I will not judge Koeman on the Everton stint of this season.

          • Jezza

            Everton’s results and league position improved dramatically as soon as A-Lard-Arce took over.

            You won’t judge Koeman on his time at Everton but you have condemned Rafa on his half a season in the Premiership with a Champio0nship team. It’s double standards all the way with you isn’t it. All because Rafa once refused you an autograph.

          • ghostrider

            I’m condemning Rafa on his entire tenure at the club in terms of what he’s producing right now.

            As for Everton’s results improving dramatically.
            Koeman had little time with that overpaid shower of ego’s.

          • Jezza

            A-Lard-Arce seems to have done OK with “with that overpaid shower of ego’s”.

          • anyobrien

            Comedy gold 😂 and a 😂

          • Ram Kishore

            Yep he didn’t fail but he knew if he’s spending 45 million on a player, he had to show immediate results.
            You can say it’s a partial failure and he was pushed out because owners were trigger happy.
            Hope we don’t get a trigger happy owner and we need a club management which overhauls the club along the lines of Southampton

          • ghostrider

            I hope Ashley is trigger happy this time if new owners don’t take over.
            I reckon if we get rid of Rafa right now, I think we have a chance of staying up.
            With Rafa, we’re doomed.
            The gee up of the players and the change in the system with a decent new manager will produce a comfortable finish if done now.

          • Ram Kishore

            What’s your problem with Rafa lol.. U moan about Ashley (idk)
            U moan about Pardew (even if he had one of the best years at Newcastle united)
            Now about Rafa
            Whom do you really want as a a manager bro?

          • ghostrider

            I want a manager that wants to play football to entertain the fans. As simple as that.

            I’d take the odd hammering if we set out to do the same and build a team to at least attempt it.
            Life’s too short to accept garbage football in the hope of looking at a league table to see struggle but a bit better goal difference than the other garbage around you.

            The reality is the entertainment on that pitch. What’s the matter with people?

            Why are people buying into this Rafa nonsense football?

          • Ram Kishore

            Yep u r right to a certain extent
            But football has passed that entertainment phase into something that’s complex which has more economic orientation..if all clubs are equal in terms of their spending or wealth u can expect that all round the year..

          • ghostrider

            Football hasn’t passed the entertainment stage. It’s just starting that stage.
            The issue is in who the breakaway elite happen to be from each country to enact it while the rest go into the also ran entertainment section.

            As fans we demand it. We expect it by right.
            If we do not get that right then we must be admitted for free or for mere pennies and in which case we do not have any right to demand anything.

            Until that happens we demand entertainment.

          • Damon Horner

            Rafa won the Italian Cup with Napoli in 2014. Since then he didn’t see out a season at Real Madrid because of a conflict with an ex-Man Utd superstar and then obviously he has been with us.

            Koeman, your man… last won a cup in 2008.

          • ghostrider

            Italian cup with Napoli.
            Equivalent to the Beezer homes in amalgamation with Butlins tiger club north verses west with a touch of eastern promise away down south two legged cup that requires an 88% ticket price reduction to quarter fill the stadium CUP.

            Am I right?

            Rafa bleeding Benitez, indeed.

            Ronald Ronald Koeman…..Ronald Koeman is our man….Ronald, Ronald Koeman to the toon with Erwin in their van.

            My old man said follow the van and sing Ron and Erwin all the way.
            Off went the van with Ron and Erwin in it, they took over Rafa in half a minute….no dilly. no dally, they rolled him down the alley and Rafa went home sulking all the way.
            Up jumped the lads with a big fat cheer…toon toon all the way.

  • Wor Lass

    The unknown factor for us, though, is the fitness of players and what they might be up to in the background. Mitro allegedly has a bad back. On the one hand it looks very convenient in keeping him out of the starting line-up and ready for sale – especially when he has said he feels fitter than ever. On the other hand, Rafa has made several references to his injury improving and what he is doing in training since that interview. Noone has contradicted any of those statements. Merino has had a niggling back injury and had a long injury record in Germany, I seem to recall, so is maybe being protected at the minute with Man City in mind. I also feel that Mitro must have done/said something behind the scenes to completely pi$$ Rafa off. That`s pure speculation on my part but I just can`t understand why else Rafa would refuse to use him when we`re desperate to buy a goal or two and the ever-presents are struggling to deliver. Confused dot com!

    • Mitros gotta start

      I wonder what excuse he has for not playing murphy?

      • anyobrien

        Well Murphy on here and on twitter was a utter load of rubbish and a waste of twelve million that should of been invested in a striker….. Now he must play.. Ffs rafa can’t do right from wrong he’s eased the lad in and he’s producing… Let them get on with it.

        • Wor Lass

          Exactly!

        • Charlie Dickens

          Murphy’s form has been good of late and in a game where our wingers stopped producing half an hour in, Murphy should’ve come on. Why didn’t Rafa bring him on? With an average squad it’s imperative the manager identifies during the game who isn’t performing and replaces them with someone else who might have a better day. Doesn’t mean they’re a better player or anything so profound, but to continue with what isn’t working is not world class in-game management.

          • anyobrien

            100% agree Murphy should of come on I have no issue with that…. Subs should be made and made correctly rafa is not beyond useful, intelligent criticism… I would start mitro every game from now until the end 100%..some agree some don’t.What I can’t put up with is the likes of ghostrider utter rubbish.

      • Wor Lass

        Murphy`s a young lad and he`s had a decent run in the team. He`s got better slowly but surely and I`m sure he`ll be back in the starting line-up soon.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    We spent nearly fifty million in the Summer and not one pound of new talent started the game. We should bought a striker for £20m a top class midfielder and defender ones which Rafa will start. Diame while he tried on Saturday unlike against Everton is not in the same class as Merino or Shelvey yet he played the full ninety minutes
    which I find amazing why not make him captain.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Why was Merino, Murphy & Hayden on the bench & SloMo starting.
    Ritchie has been below par for a month & Murphy has played well in the last games he`s started.
    why were Murphy & Hayden not put on with 20 mins to go which would have added a bit of pace & power.
    why did we play 4-5-1 at home to the bottom club who had a defence that was all over the place

    • Peaky Magpie

      Why oh why indeed ???

  • Charlie Dickens

    How to write an article for The Mag:
    – State how poor our players are
    – Emphasise how well Rafa is doing despite evidence to the contrary
    – Get that obligatory dig in against the owner;
    – Warn of relegation if we don’t buy players
    No criticism of tactics, team selection and in-game management. It’s like having a season ticket next to some idiot who’s never played football and socializes in echo chambers.

    • Ram Kishore

      Some one finally..Thanks mate
      I just came across The mag few months ago.. I thought I liked it but now all the articles everyday revolves around these topics alone

    • TheFatController

      Ah, I see what you did. State your argument and then shame them if they still don’t see it your way.

      That’s the first ‘you can’t have played football if you don’t agree with me’ I’ve seen on here. Classic!

      • ghostrider

        I think he’s telling it as he sees it because that’s how it really is.

        • TheFatController

          so let me get this right, he’s calling people who say the owner is at fault, and that if we don’t spend we will likely be relegated, idiots.

          Because clever people see its not the owner or lack of spend, it’s the manager?

          That’s one opinion on it, yes.

          • Charlie Dickens

            Everybody knows Ashley is the biggest problem but as he’s unwilling to run the club properly, a world class manager should prove his ability by finding a way to
            win games. Burning bridges with players we need on the field and continuing to play in a style or with personnel that doesn’t work and induces resignation and anger is something we could have from Carver, McClaren, Pardew or Allardyce, except they were criticized at the time, and still are these days even though they’ve moved on, yet there’s no analysis of our tactics, team selection or
            in-game management. There should be.

            In a league as bad as this (outside top 6, maybe 7 including Leicester) we’re not condemned to go down unless we continue being a self-fulfilling prophecy. Most people on here seem happy for that to happen so they can moan about the owner. Until the club is sold he’s still in charge. In the meantime, we should try and improve and fix mistakes made by the manager down to the players. Being complicit in our mediocrity with such a basic mindset as our players are poor, what hope have we got, is how most fans seem to feel these days. If they’d played the game or understood it properly, they’d see that there are things we can do to improve, even with this squad. But they can’t see it, probably because they don’t understand the complexity of football, they just bleat about signings, and people who write about football should be able to do more than recycle the same arguments every day. They’re as incisive and insightful as the team are most games.

          • ghostrider

            It works both ways.
            January rarely fixes anything and in fact could do worse.
            However, if Rafa refuses to use Mitro then we need a decent striker or a decent number 10.

            The major issue is, rafa is likely to go for a keeper or a centre back rather than what we really need.

            Why?
            Because the man is past his sell by date.

            We have a good enough squad to stay up, as is, if used correctly.
            rafa refuses to do it and the consequences should be on his head but naturally they will be on Ashley’s.

    • Coble’s Return

      It is repetitive, but then the root of the problem has been the same for the past ten years and as much as it does get tedious to read, what else is there to say at the moment? Ashley’s tenure has been unforgiveable and every day it persists just deepens the rot.

      It is unfair to over-criticise the players. If some of them are in over their heads then all you can ask is that they give all they can. I don’t subscribe to the “we’re a Championship side” argument at all though. So is Huddersfield and so is Brighton, albeit with some bolstering last summer. We just happen to have a concentration of the poorer players at the attacking end of the pitch which is creating a problem further back. I don’t know what people expect – for Rafa to pile the ball forward and wait for what? He knows that we are struggling to complete there and so he does what he can to limit the damage at the back. When he can sign more competitive forwards, I am sure that the emphasis will change.

      In the meantime, expect more of the same on here, because that is what we have had at the club for ten years – more of the same.

  • steveS100

    I’m sure it’s very motivating for players to be told they are only Championship quality and that Rafa would like to replace them if he could…

    • anyobrien

      Keegan did it and he was able to replace them that’s the difference rafa can not.

    • Damon Horner

      It would motivate me. If Rafa calls them Championship players then we all win if they can prove otherwise. Failing that, then they really are Championship players…

  • Bobbi fleckman

    Stop blaming on our Gk Karl Darlow for just one mistake.. why not the two central defenders who didn’t make the clearance.. teams let in goals now and then..
    The attackers failed in their parts not the goalkeeper

  • Indian Mag

    Everyday when I visit The Mag for 5 minutes I find either Jackie or Graham writing one article each criticising the players or anyone. We don’t need our team being told championship quality everyday of the week..
    Just one day is enough after the match
    Please it’s a humble request….

  • anyobrien

    I think people need to read the interview in the mail with lascells. How much he and the players rate rafa and the state the club was in before he took over…. Lascells rates him very very highly… We are all entitled to opinions and I respect them but I honestly believe raf is the best we can get at this present moment, he just needs some backing in the transfer market ffs it’s not much to ask is it?

    • ghostrider

      Lascelles is just saying what he’s paid to say.
      I’ve seen players come out and tell us how fantastic everything is when its been so dire, yet they paint this rosy picture.
      Lascelles is doing the very same thing.

      Which player is going to come out and pick fault with the manager?
      Only a player wanting to rock the boat or force an exit will do that.
      Lascelles isn’t one of them but he will tell a story of joy for the sake of not upsetting the natives.

      • anyobrien

        Jesus christ you’ve got issues… You don’t get out much do you.?

        • ghostrider

          I do have issues. I have issues with a manager that’s doing his best to bore us to death and wreck this season with his moaning and put downs of the squad of players that he mostly bought with many he won’t play.

          Yeah, I’ve got issues with Benitez.
          You have goo eyes for Rafa Poppins.

          • anyobrien

            Really that’s why last season I thought his tactics at hone were terrible…. You have no idea mate… Away from home brilliant and I also said I would give my opinions on him if he’s backed in the market which clearly he has not been… So over to you who do you want as manager.

          • Jezza

            Ha ha he wanted Pardew back a few sweeks ago but has changed his tune since the Silver Pox flopped at West Brom. Now he wants Ronald Koeman. You couldn’t make it up.

          • ghostrider

            He was backed.
            The trouble is people like you use net spend as some kind of put down whilst bypassing the reality.

          • anyobrien

            That’s your best one yet… 😂 😂

          • ghostrider

            It’s the truth.

          • Jezza

            Net spend is the crux of the matter. It’s no good spending £50 million on players if you also have to lose £90 million of playing talent. The net result is that the team is weaker.

            If you lost a fiver then found a two Pound coin would you consider yourself to be two quid up?

          • ghostrider

            Totally pointless and you know it.

            So you’re saying it would have been best for us to keep Sissoko rather than take 30 million?
            How much cheaper we get a replacement for does not equate to Sissoko being better for the team if he stayed, nor getting less from the new player.

            Net spend means nothing.

          • Jezza

            Every time I negate your arguments with unassailable logic you just resort to stroppy childish retorts.

          • Jezza

            Rafa hasn’t wrecked this season. The season was wrecked before a ball was kicked by Fat Ashley pocketing all the television money and last season’s transfer porfits instead of allowing reasonable investment in the transfer market to prepare our Championship squad for the Premiership.

          • ghostrider

            Now you’re just making stuff up.

          • Jezza

            No I am not and you know it. Do you really think a budget of £5 million to sign a first choice striker for the Premiership is perfectly adequate?

          • ghostrider

            He didn’t have a budget of 5 million. That’s your perception of it in order to blow smoke up Benitez’s aris.
            The real truth is, Benitez decided to buy in players he didn’t really need and left the striker issue until last.

            He then fails to land one and goes for an option that he can quickly get over the line and who is Spanish as a massive bonus.

            It’s not Joselu’s fault because the lad can’t be faulted for effort.
            The issue is we need goalscorers and Rafa blew too much money on anything but.

          • Damon Horner

            “the real truth”

            In another comment when support for Rafa is shown by the captain you accuse it of being fake and say we can only speculate because we can’t know now you’re here saying “the real truth” is Rafa blew his budget when there is a possibility that his budget was changed in that 4 week period prior to Joselu signing.

          • ghostrider

            I’m not saying Lascelles support for Rafa is fake.
            He’s a defender and Rafa will love him as he will no doubt love Rafa for being defensive minded in focus.

            I never said Rafa blew his budget. I said Rafa bought players in that he didn’t need and let slip the players he did need. Simple as that.

            He would have most likely been looking at over the top players on 120 grand a week or something. Maybe Torres or the likes.

            Who knows, eh?

          • Jezza

            Name one player Rafa let slip that we needed and could realistically have signed.

          • ghostrider

            I haven’t a clue because nothing has been clear cut to even think on.
            It’s all been hush hush and only time will tell on that.

          • Jezza

            Every time I put you on the spot you duck the question because you know you’re beaten.

          • Jezza

            He just twists everything with his playground logic in his personal vendetta against Rafa. All because Rafa once refused him an autograph.

          • Damon Horner

            He has to be trolling. He has contradicted himself so many times.

          • Jezza

            True, he contradicts himself at every turn.

          • Jezza

            Rafa had two decent strikers, Javier Hernandez and Tammy Abraham, lined up at the beginning of the summer but Fat Ashley pulled the plug on both those deals. Later on in the summer when Rafa was begging Fat Ashley for funds to buy a striker he was eventually given a budget £5 million and not a penny more. That’s why we ended up with Joselu. You walk on to a car forecourt with 2 grand in your pocket you’re not going to be driving away in a Ferrari are you.

          • ghostrider

            Abraham chose Swansea. It was taken out of our hands.
            I’m glad we didn’t get him. I don’t like him.
            As for Hernandez. How much do you think little pea is on?
            My guess is over 100 grand a week.
            He can’t do any more than Gayle.

            As for the car forecourt. I want to buy a car for my money and knowing a need a car that can be robust and fairly quick with good traction and tyres that do not cause it to pull to the left or right or stall before getting to the destination.

          • Jezza

            I don’t care how much Hernandez is on I’d rather see club money go on a ecent striker than disappear into Fat Ashley’s pocket.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            Jezza I’m not defending ghostrider as I’m firmly in the pro-Rafa camp but Abraham and Hernández have 4 goals each this season, precisely the same as Joselu. Hernández has even recently lost his place in the West Ham side. Rafa’s been stitched up by Ashley as I firmly believe he was given a budget at the end of last season that Ashley later reneged on and Rafa’s quite clearly unable to plan even now as Ashley is an absent owner with no respect for the club, but with the limited resources Rafa did have, he hasn’t always used them wisely.

          • Jezza

            Considering the ammount of chances and sitters we have created and missed this season I am sure both Abraham and Hernandez would have both scored a lot more than 4 goals apiece for us by now. In any case that is not the point. Rafa was promised backing in the transfer market. Rafa wanted those players. Apparently the Abraham move was all agreed and the Hernandez deal was very close then Fat Ashley and his minnions came along and pulled the plug on both transfers.

            Ghostbuster claimed that Rafa neglected the striker situation till late on in the window but that is simply not true because Rafa had both those strikers lined up at the very start of the summer.

            Rafa wanted Abraham and Hernandez but he ended up with Joselu after Fat Ashley pulled the rug out from under him for the third successive transfer window. You say Rafa didn’t use the limited money wisely but name a decent striker or pair of strikers he could have bought with a budget of £5 million.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            Aye totally agree with you that Rafa’s working under dreadful conditions, agreed budgets being reneged on and zero communication from Ashley. I’m very firmly in the pro-Rafa camp by the way, I disagree with almost all of ghostriders posts on here, but I’m just playing devil’s advocate and sometimes have to concede Rafa, like a lot of managers in fairness, has a patchy transfer record. Money has been wasted on Sels, Lazaar, Hanley, Gamez and Diamé last season and this season Manquillo, Lejeune and Joselu haven’t been a success, that’s almost £20 million on those last 3. Murphy and Atsu have blown hot and cold, another £18 million, though both have had some impressive performances from time to time and can still develop. I disagree that we would create significantly more chances than West Ham or Swansea so there’s no guarantee those two reported Rafa targets, Hernández and Abraham, would have done any better. I can’t name a striker for £5 million who would set the league alight but I find myself watching less and less neutral football these days and I’m not paid £5 million a year to identify those players like Rafa. It’s possible to be grateful we have Rafa and supportive of him whilst recognising that he’s made mistakes I guess is what I’m saying.

          • HarryHype59

            Rafa brought in Murphy, Manky, Hoss and Lejeune for around £30m. That money could have been spent on an EPL standard striker.

          • Jezza

            Fat Ashley would not allow the spending of £30 million on one player nor would he sanction the wages a £30 million player would command.

          • HarryHype59

            Maybe maybe not. However, the combined wage bill for those four will be more than that of one good player! Their sell on values will be lower than the fees NUFC paid for them!

            Our recruitment policy resemble s that of the Mackems
            , quantity over quality!

          • Ram Kishore

            Chill jezza. I can understand you. But u don’t need to repeat the same words everyday in all the articles.

          • Jezza

            You don’t have to read my comments. In any case I don’t repeat myself and I’m not on here every day either.

          • Ram Kishore

            I understand and its cool buddy
            Slagging off Ashley is repetitive
            Just my opinion..
            Chill

          • KRS1

            people repeatedly slag off Ashley because he repeatedly makes the same mistakes with our club. People are angry with that fat fu#ker and every day our rivals strengthen in the transfer market and we don’t they get angrier. So we won’t just “chill”. Don’t be so condescending!

          • Jezza

            Read the comment below by KRS1. That says it all.

      • hetonmag

        So he hasn’t improved under Rafa has he.??

        • ghostrider

          He’s one of the few that is. Want to know why?
          A constant baptism of fire.
          One of the few that Rafa actually uses as his commander.
          The backline improves because that’s the set up.

          The rest improve more in defensive roles rather than anything else when they’re built for better things, yet are rarely used to effect them.

      • Ram Kishore

        Oh Wow it looks like you can read his mind and tell us he’s lying..

        • ghostrider

          No but I can speculate just like we all do and this is my speculation.
          Unless you work at the club and have access to everything from the horses mouth of every situation…do you?

          Nahhh, I din’t think so, so it means you’re relying on your speculation and that of your peers that you follow.

          • Ram Kishore

            I didn’t rely on speculation.. I just trusted his words lol.. I don’t need to work there to read his interview.

            Just like any other good captain he’s trying to create an optimistic atmosphere to get the fans behind the club despite the chaotic issues surrounding the club

          • ghostrider

            It’s fine to create an optimistic atmosphere if there’s one to actually view.
            We don’t have that reality, though, so he has to be questioned on his validity.

          • Ram Kishore

            Only when we don’t have that sorta reality ..we need some assurances and positivism… Especially at this stage it’s needed ..so that voices which are always complaining can be balanced

          • ghostrider

            Keeping a positivity is fine for the fans and fine to listen to from a player.
            However, it’s pointless telling your audience that everything is fine and dandy and nothing to worry about as we will repel the invaders from entering our city, as the tanks are shown rolling into that city. (Iraq war).

            No good that, is it?
            It’s fine to say everything is cool if the players body language back it up.
            The truth is, most don’t.

          • Ram Kishore

            Do you really need to give an analogy by comparing this with Iraq war … You blew me lol
            Please don’t say you are body language expert..

          • ghostrider

            Just makes it more interesting to think about.

      • Wor Lass

        So your cunning plan is to ignore anything someone on the inside says that disagrees with what you say as lies. What a plonker. I think Lascelles has shown that he`s not scared to speak out when it needs doing.

        • Damon Horner

          He did famously when we got relegated, I doubt that was scripted!

        • ghostrider

          I don’t care what Lascelles will or won’t say.
          Ok he’s Mr sort it all out man for Rafa.
          To me it says more about the failings of Rafa that Lascelles is actually having to do it.

          I like Lascelles as I do with many of the players, because most are real warriors even though they’re getting systematically worn down by their own manager who should be getting the best from them.

  • anyobrien

    Ghost rider… Paul Lambert just gone to Stoke… Bet ya gutted we missed out on that footballing mastermind…

    • Ram Kishore

      He’s not that bad lol. A decent bloke

    • Wor Lass

      The EPL is a model for the world of how to recycle waste.

      • Jezza

        Best job in the world being a failed football manager.

        • Ram Kishore

          Their preference for

    • ghostrider

      No. I’m gutted we’ve got a dinosaur like Rafa.

      • Ram Kishore

        Please be gutted .. he’s here to stay unless he decided to walk..
        Lol

        • ghostrider

          He won’t walk if it means a salary loss, such is the integrity of the man. hahahahaha.
          I’d love to see the contract he took an age to sign…..with the aid of his lawyer.

          I wish Ashley would sack him and replace him with Koeman or someone who’s mindset is on playing football that Newcastle United fans love but who are strangely in acceptance of utter dire disgraceful negative nonsense 80% of the time..

          • Ram Kishore

            So if results go bad when Koeman is appointed you wouldn’t blame his playing lol??

            Can’t you see he doesn’t have good attackers all he has at his disposal are good defenders..
            This is how anyone would set up
            FYI see Manchester united despite spending a lot they do play the same way under the special one
            Ig Rafa’s doing a better job..

          • ghostrider

            BALANCE.
            A football team in every sense of the word, with a plan B .

            Attack, consolidate, defend and a plan B…all geared for results but factoring in the expected reality of ENTERTAINMENT.

          • KRS1

            What was Koemans plan at Everton – spend a truck load of money and be so inept he made Allardyce look good?

          • HarryHype59

            I like Koeman, but something went badly wrong this season for him at Everton.

  • Wor Lass

    It`s not really a criticism of the players to say we`ve got largely a Championship squad. It`s a statement of fact and we all know it`s true. Rafa said when we got promoted that the players had done well but the PL is a different matter and we would need to recruit well. The problem is that the major targets that he wanted didn`t happen because of money issues – Fatty, in other words. I disagree with some of Rafa`s decisions – especially his refusal to use Mitro and Mbemba (to a lesser extent) – but he will have his reasons and they will come out in the wash eventually. If Fatty doesn`t back him and we stay up then he will, indeed, have performed a miracle.

  • Lhc

    I was told reason Mitro is out of the picture is because believe this or not I’m not so sure myself tbh, is that ‘ in training his attitude is poor he got caught keeping his phone down his sock whilst training😂 and he has chinned a few players and he’s a bully’ someone’s else’s words not mine, personally I’m a Mitrovic fan despite that or not.

  • HarryHype59

    Instead of spending £30m on Championship level players like Murphy, Lejeune, Manky and Hoss, why didn’t he who walks on water spend £30m on an EPL standard striker?

    The argument he had to fill gaps in the squad doesn’t hold for me. None of the above are any better than the Championship level players already at the club. We now have even more shirt fillers draining the club.

    Ashley’s penny pinching has been compounded by Rafa’s poor buys. Too many of our fans lack objectivity to see this glaring fact!