Rafa Benitez helped his team get out of jail today.

After a first half where they created and wasted a handful of chances, they then deservedly went behind on the hour mark as Swansea started to get on top.

The manager’s reaction was to send Joselu on for Dwight Gayle.

Only four minutes after his introduction, the former Stoke striker produced the equaliser.

Rafa Benitez says that maybe Joselu could and should score more goals but basically, that is what you get for £5m.

The United boss saying he would have had to spend £25m to guarantee goals.

Rafa was keen to play down the fact that Jonjo Shelvey refused to shake his hand when deservedly subbed after a very poor performance.

Rafa Benitez:

“It’s something we have seen in the past, we created enough chances to score in the first half and then we concede.

“It’s always difficult to be happy when you draw at home but the main thing is the reaction and how we were pushing at the end.

“We have to learn that every single mistake can cost you and we can’t make these mistakes.

“With the first-half chances we could have changed the game but we couldn’t do it and we must take these chances.

“We know with a new manger they have confidence and are playing well but the reaction after the goal is the most positive thing.

“I thought our mobility and pace could cause problems but Dwight got a kick and I’m happy for Joselu to get his goal.

“In this new world that football is in now, where everything’s so expensive, we knew that Joselu could score goals and make a contribution. He is doing that.

“Can he score more goals?

“Yes. But maybe we would have to pay £25m or something like that (for somebody who could/would score more).

“He is doing a great job for the team and is working really hard, he is scoring goals and I am quite happy with him.

“His attitude has been really good.

It is not just if you score goals, everybody is expecting that a striker has to score goals, but in a team like us that might not create as many chances as you want, then they have to work hard.

“All of them are doing that but at the same time, he has scored some goals, so that is positive. His attitude and behaviour has been positive the whole season.

“When you are not winning a game like this one, any player has to be disappointed if they do not continue playing.

“But we have to make the substitutions and that is it.

“I didn’t have any problems with what he (Jonjo Shelvey) did (refusing to shake Rafa’s hand as he came off).”

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)

(Give us your Newcastle v Swansea player ratings HERE)



  • TheNutJob

    backs to the wall now ok. only fools think we can`t go down again & looking at the fixture list there`s more than a good chance we will. i have to be honest guys it`s knocking my plug in and i never thought that could happen.
    even Leazes won`t be able to help me

    • anyobrien

      Well be Alreet man plenty to play for… And if we gan doon so what unless fatty dies, it’s eat, sleep, repeat.

    • Big Al 1967

      Here’s a worrying stat for people to digest
      Points Return against West Ham Stoke and Swansea….16 points
      Against The remaining 16 teams in the League.. 7 points
      Can we not play the 3 every week?

  • Peaky Magpie

    Shelvey well and truly in Rafa’s book of naughty boys now.

  • GToon

    If I was playing and they brought me off and left Diame on I would be gutted.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      i can`t understand why he was subbed

      • 1957

        Considering SloMo’s performance and Ritchie’s inept display neither will most people. Maybe the fact he isn’t a Benitez signing and is flirting with the schitt list might be a reason.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          he`s well & truly on it now

  • Leicester Mag

    It struck me today that this fat tw£t has achieved something I’d never thought possible. Gone are the butterflies, gone are the ridiculous match day superstitions, gone even is the anger / bad mood after a poor result. It’s gone because there is no optimism/ no light at the end of the tunnel. I wonder how many there today are there out of habit? I’ve gone beyond destructive hatred because I’ve almost lost the will even for that. How has he got away with this? Like never before I fear we are at crossroad that if he stays we will never recover.

    • Alreet

      Agreed. I just dont see what he is getting out of this venture besides a free billboard. Which club owner does that.

      Im not sure if this was always his exit strategy but its very poor.

      I used to get so up for match days and watching goals of the month fly in but we struggle to even get the lamest of tap ins now.

      We are becoming a bore and no one will want to come here

    • kingfisher

      Spot on Leicester.At least in The Championship we were going into games hoping/believing we could win and not be humiliated on worlwide tv. The football may not have been the best,but at least the interest/excitement was there and there were more games.What about the battles with Brighton, Huddersfield,Reading etc ? What about the final day of the season,winning the Championship? Good times.What advantage is there being in the Prem when excitement is replaced by fear.I would rather be fighting for promotion in The Championship,than suffering this garbage every week.Surely football is all about being entertained,and that’s certainly not the case at the minute,or indeed in the last few seasons in the Prem!

  • Leazes

    Shelvey made our goal you idiot….. not the assist but played the ball through…..if you and Ryder and that Cockney website inside football are all waging a war against him them I’m on a hiding to nothing…. I’ll just wait for Shearer to jump onto the hate campaign on MOTD.

    I really think that you don’t know where to apportion blame for the lack of goals and poor defending….

    …. you don’t sell your best players…. you get rid of your worst!

    I long held the belief that there was an ‘ouroboros of failure at this club’….

    The elements of it being…… Lack of ambition, too many fans to generate desire to win within the governance, a conservative and un-inquisitive local press. I’ve just found a fourth element…..

    …BLIND STUPIDITY OF THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING AT…..

    Football experts my eye!

    • hetonmag

      No he isn’t our best player could you build a team around him, how many of his passes went astray wake up man and get rid of those dark glasses.

      • Leazes

        He tries to release the ball instantly…. they don’t all come off…..how many times today were the crowd on the backs of his compadres who dithered and lost momentum?

        • Soldier

          they haven`t the intelligence to make the runs, he`s two steps ahead of them

          • hetonmag

            Should have maybe taken further steps back and let someone else take that free kick. Pathetic.

          • Geordiegiants

            That free kick was a disgrace. I agree with most of what your saying, but he is better than any thing we have got at the minute, also if he had a few decent players around him he would look a lot better again. We will never sign a complete player while Jabba is in control.

          • hetonmag

            Fair comment I just think Shelvey isn’t quite the player everyone seems to think he is even with better players around him.

        • hetonmag

          Leazes did you see some of his passes today they weren’t of a man two steps ahead of the rest of the team.

          • Leazes

            He’s not trying to bloody well increase his ‘pass completion success rate’…. he’s trying to make a difference!

          • LEE

            again, spot on.

            to many players playing money ball football, and hope another player gets the winner, they just have to keep passing it sideways and backwards, god forbid they give the ball away, Rafa will hang them out to dry.

    • Duh

      I agree, I’d sell shelvey but only if we had 15 better players, arguably we don’t have a single one.

      Shelvey is the only player with class, if he did not come with his issues, he would have cost a lot more than he did.

      I thought he had a good game today, worked hard and won the ball, did not just play his passes.

      It was the rest of the team that were poor.

      Unfortunately gayle has not been in very good form of late and he looks like he’s just not going to make it as a primarily pl striker.

    • Phil Yare

      agreed, you don’t sell when you haven’t got nowt better. we only have 3 options in centre midfield. diame isn’t a CM, i don’t know what the hell he is

    • Charlie Dickens

      Shelvey won the ball in midfield before playing it through for the goal. To take him off instead of Diame or either ineffective winger was insulting. Merino should’ve come on for Diame on 60, Josulu for Gayle at the same time and Murphy for take your pick on the wings shortly after.

      • hetonmag

        That wasn’t an assist. This season Shelvey assists = ?

    • LEE

      totally agree.

      Rafa got his tactics wrong, he keeps letting the other team have the ball,

      his subs were reactive rather than proactive. like always

      30+ mill spent in the summer, pretty much all started on the bench, Atsu started but he was last seasons player.

      Rafa has wasted Millions on tripe. i wouldn’t trust him with more money.

      • anyobrien

        Howay then who would you trust?

        • LEE

          do you not get sick of asking that stupid question, if i say pep, you say we will never get him, if i say FDB or tunchl you say why would they come, if i say Ole gunner, you say i wouldn’t have him.
          it’s a question i cannot answer as i don’t have the power to change it,
          but all we have is a spanish pardew.

          • anyobrien

            And there we have it folks… Just sack him and see what happens… Ffs you couldn’t make it up, Ashley needs to go before anything can happen and that’s anything.

          • Geordiegiants

            Couldn’t of put it any better.

          • LEE

            the way i see it is, WE change the whole squad, or we change Rafa,, as from what i can see, many in that squad are not playing for him, and many of them dont even make the bench.

          • anyobrien

            Jesus I give up.

          • LEE

            HANLEY lAZZAR SELLS , not used last year, MURPHY JOSELU, MANQUILLIO MERINO on the bench. over 45 million in 2 windows wasted.
            how much do you want to give him to waste on players just to see if they are good enough ?

          • anyobrien

            So who do you want to give it to?
            And I do believe he got us promoted last season.. Job done he then wanted to invest in premiership players but guess what he was not allowed… So again who do you want to spend the money even though Ashley says he’s finished spending… Come on Whooooooooooooooooooo?

          • LEE

            he almost Fd it up last year. Ch did at his first attempt in style with the same owner, never complained, he just got on with it.

            i’d approach Frank de Boer
            and also Thomas Tuchel

            both respected young coaches

          • anyobrien

            But he did not cook it up did he, he won… What, ifs, maybes life’s full of that I bet you wish he had of eh? Tuchel… Lol Nee chance… So even if they came and had the same squad with no incoming transfers they would turn us around?

          • anyobrien

            Check lascells interview in the mail about rafa and what the players think of him and how highly they rate him.

          • LEE

            yeh, you keep believing that, Lascelles loves him and would run through a brick wall for him, the rest, i’m not so sure,

          • anyobrien

            OK Lee

          • Geordiegiants

            Absolutely ridiculous reply.

          • hetonmag

            Poor reply.

    • Wor Lass

      Great rant!

  • If we don’t get 2 quality additions to the team (midfielder and striker) we are in trouble for sure.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      we`re in trouble now, big trouble

      • kingfisher

        Thought we were [email protected]@p before the Swansea game,now don’t think we are that good !

  • TheFatController

    Hopefully Rafa can keep us up. Because he’s the only thing between safety and relegation.

    If he does, Staveley or another buyer will pay Ashley his £300m+ and he’ll be gone.

    But it looks like if we do stay up, it won’t be thanks to Ashley given we are half way through Jan and not close to any signings.

    So Ashley is going to allow Rafa to make him £50m by keeping us up or allow him to carry the can for relegation.

    So all the responsibility falls on Rafa’s shoulders, with Ashley nowhere to be seen.

    Coward.

    • Danimal

      Bang on.

    • kingfisher

      Nail on head 👍👍👍

  • Phil

    John jo shelveys attitude is just as bad as his stats… In fact no. It’s worse!

    The fact he is regarded by some as our best player shows just how bad our team/squad is.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    in the last 15 we needed a bit of pace & power in the midfield, the 2 young lads could have solved the problem. Murphy & hayden.
    Jonjo will now join Rafa`s schitt list somewhere near the top.

    • Geordiegiants

      Rafa hates players with a bad attitude so he (Jonjo) will be shown a strong hand by Rafa as he doesn’t tolerate nonesense. Jonjo is definetly one of our better players, but let’s be honest here our squad is p!ss poor.

  • hetonmag

    Sell Jonjo he was poor today people say he’s the best passer of the ball in the team but he isn’t, one Hollywood pass in a game is not good enough plus he has an attitude problem.

    • Phil

      80,000 reasons why he should be giving us more! I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a goal or at least an assist out of your top earner.

      His free kick today was pathetic.

      • hetonmag

        This lot on here don’t see that though, but other players get slaughtered on here.

        • Damon Horner

          Agree with you guys. Funny how money and adaptation gets leveled at Rafa when results aren’t there but Shelvey performing badly is everybody else’s fault.

          No mention of him being our highest earner and contributing little or the fact he punts the ball from between the CB’s and expects it to create.

          • Soldier

            idiot

          • hetonmag

            Why the [email protected]@k is everyone an idiot that disagrees with your way of thinking.

          • joe mac

            maybe…cos thats how idiots think!

          • Phil

            He is lazy. Really don’t understand all the hype! He drops that deep for the ball it sucks the whole team back. Then as you rightly point out he will try some ridiculous long ball and 9 times out of 10 fail

            I dont think selling shelvey would determine our season. Getting him off the wage bill would be a help though

          • Damon Horner

            Lack of energy and a preference to pass long. Fans hate the negative style but strongly back the player who most typifies that style.

          • Phil

            If people think he is good ok.

            But can’t hide from facts. He has 0 goals and 0 assits. He has never scored from a free kick. So his accuracy can’t be that great.

            People blaming the other players for his underachievement are clutching at straws in my opinion. Maybe there is a reason he is part of a poor Newcastle team. He’s not that great himself!!

          • hetonmag

            Correct.👍

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      sell him whilst keeping the likes of SloMo
      what a wonderful idea

      • hetonmag

        Didn’t say that.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          that was the implication

      • Phil

        At least slomo has a goal in him! 😂

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Jeez Christ !

    • GToon

      For him to make a good pass his team mates need to make intelligent runs. Can’t remember the last time I saw that. Joselu v Liverpool maybe.

      • hetonmag

        Like humping it up upfield hoping someone gets on the end of it, Shelvey makes a hell of a lot more bad passes than good one’s.

        • Leazes

          Change your seat and watch the game from behind the goal….. I’ll guarantee you’ll see Shelvey differently!

          • hetonmag

            Sorry we have difference of opinion but I just don’t think he’s good enough.

  • Mxpx

    Shelveys attitude on the pitch wasn’t a problem he played for the team…I think shelvey is right to be frustrated at us not beating Swansea gayle could have had a hattrick on his own

  • GToon

    If we get this forward and midfielder do we get to play Swansea, Brighton, Bournemouth, Everton, Watford at home again?

    • Phil Yare

      thats it mate!!! you’d think our fixture list consisted of playing man city 38 times in a row!!

  • Soldier

    the strikers we have couldn`t score if David Silva or Fabregas was behind them
    they just haven`t got the nous to make the runs. Shelvey`s two steps ahead of them

    • Duh

      Yeah, glaringly obvious today, Swansea were poor and we were in a position to have a comfortable lead at half time and swansea’s heads would have been down.

      Poor old Rafa

    • Phil

      Our strikers wouldn’t need to score with those 2 in the team. They are quality players and would get into positions to score themselves

    • Phil Yare

      totally mate. gayle always looks isolated and half fit, perez gets blown over by the wind, joselu despite his goal today is awful and mitrovic’s future was decided a long time ago

  • Phil Yare

    regarding shelvey – you can talk about how poor hes been but we’ve got nowt else better.

    you have to look at the players and say ‘who is CAPABLE of stepping up???’

    shelvey is one of them so we have to stick with him AND play merino alongside him. We should be more concerned with the players who can’t step up that rafa keeps faith with (and the stupid tactics that surrender 70% possession in the hope we can counter attack)

    • Phil

      I don’t think anybody will step up. They are all playing at their maximum level. Plenty of effort. Just not enough natural ability. And that won’t change.

      They are what they are.

      Maybe one player will improve and even that’s optimistic. Dwight Gayle. He is a better finisher than he is showing at the minute

      • Leazes

        There’s no lack of effort is there?…. just a lack of quality!

        • Wor Lass

          In a nutshell!

      • kingfisher

        I can’t see Gayle stepping up.We bought him off a Premiership club and you don’t sell someone who can score goals in the Prem.I think he found his level in the Championship,but the Prem is a step too far !

        • Peaky Magpie

          Didn’t read this Kingfisher but have put something similar up top.

          • kingfisher

            Great minds think alike Peaky 🤣🤣🤣

      • Phil Yare

        i agree mate

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Shelvey deservedly subbed when you have a player who can not trap a ball pass a ball go forward and would not get a game for West Allotment Celtic is Rafa on drugs
    and he wants money for new players when he has three on the bench and playing
    the worst player I have ever seen in a black and white shirt.

    • anyobrien

      Blah blah blah you on the sauce

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Rafa signed five players in the Summer for nearly £50m and not one of them started yesterday and he wants more money. Merino is a class player who makes things happen and was a big part in the points earlier in the season. Diame is the worst player I have seen in forty eight years yet he gets ninety minutes. Totally amazing.

        • anyobrien

          50 million? 😁

        • anyobrien

          50 million 😂

  • fistsofsteel2

    Rafa got the tactics spot on today. We had to show bottom of the league Swansea respect, and concede the lion’s share of possession to an excellent bottom of the league team. Rafa knew our only chance against the mighty bottom of the league Swansea was to try and catch them out on the counter attack, and try and nullify their attacking threat…..this is a team who, prior to today, had scored a whopping 13 goals this season whilst only conceding 34. So at home against this great bottom of the league team Rafa was right to play for the draw. He must be chuffed, as we all are, to nick a point off a very good Swansea side and restrict their potent attacking force to one goal.

    Rafa really is a master tactician.

    • Phil

      If we had taken our chances first half we win comfortably. And you wouldn’t of felt the need to have this dig.

      The players have to step up

    • Danimal

      He didn’t play for a draw, he picked pretty much the most attacking team available. The forwards just aren’t good enough. We don’t have anyone up front as good as Ayew, Bony or the thankfully injured Abraham.

      • anyobrien

        100%

        • Danimal

          What is the objective? I think it’s to stay up no matter how and then hope the scumbag owner finally clears off. I think we are overachieving on the first part. It’s not going to be pretty or a lot of fun but if it works and enables us to enter a bright new future without Ashley, it will have been well worth it. How confident are Huddersfield, Brighton or Swansea fans feeling tonight? Would they all swap places with us – or would we swap with them?

          • anyobrien

            Exactly we are four points off Everton in ninth three off Watford in tenth and three clear of third bottom we need to dig in and keep going.

          • kingfisher

            Well said 👍👍👍👍

    • anyobrien

      Apart from the fact your boring you were very quiet over the Christmas period when we had two excellent away wins… But I guess we all know what your aim is on here…. We battered them first half and if rafa was allowed yes that’s right allowed to invest in a proven epl goal scorer maybe just maybe alot of those missed chances today may of been converted…
      Then again someone like your self probably thinks rafa sits and says to gayle… “tell you want son we’ll create a sack full of chances today for ya but you just gan and fluff them all”
      Now let’s just go away quietly… Chin chin.

      • Phil

        I think he needs to take his fist of steel. Reach up and drag his head out of his ar$e

        • anyobrien

          😂… Lmfao

          • fistsofsteel2

            You’re easily pleased….lol

    • hetonmag

      Give owa man.

  • LEE

    Our coaches are the worst we have had at the club for a long time, the football basics are terrible, we can not seem to pass a ball.

    people cannot keep saying Rafa got his tactics right if we don’t win, no he didn’t, he got them horribly wrong again.

    to bad we don’t play league 2 teams every week, he is world
    class against them.

    nooo i’m not a Rafa fan, i am sick of people trying to tell me if rafa had the players he wanted it would be all different. noooo it wouldn’t, he had Real madrid playing defensive football, one of the most attack minded squads with a multiple footballer of the year in the squad.

    we are not lucky to have him, we are cursed, because people are blinded by him

    • Phil

      How can you blame a coach for a professional footballers inability to pass a ball?

      They would of all learnt the basics at the age of 8 or something!!

      If Gayle had taken his first half chances we win the game. Is it the coaches fault he missed them as well?

    • anyobrien

      But it would be different… Now tell me please a serious question with this squad who would you have as manager…. I respect your opinion but please you don’t want rafa so who would you have in to transform this championship squad into a all signing Premier league outfit with no significant investment.

      • Danimal

        I nominate Steve McClaren or John Carver.

        • anyobrien

          Aye they’ll do. .. 😂

    • hetonmag

      Put a name forward instead of babbling on about bad coaching awful manager etc etc, other than Rafa going on the pitch I don’t know what else he can do, you can do as much as you like on the training pitch passing a football to a team mate should just come naturally to a footballer with even limited ability.

      • anyobrien

        They never have a answer when asked who should be in charge

        • hetonmag

          Rafa is trying to work miracles under the constraints of the fat oaf god help us if he moves on.

    • Down Under Mag

      Make no mistakes about it, Rafa is working miracles with the squad he has at his disposal. Had we not had him in charge then we would be almost down already. We have an appallingly bad squad and if the only reason certain fans want Rafa out is because he’s playing defensive football then that is a disgrace. We don’t have the players to play anything but tight football right now and our only hope is to keep things tight and hope we can manage to carve out a chance or two that one of our buffoons up front manage to convert. If we had the squad of Man Utd then yes, i’d be concerned with playing defensively (as are most Man utd fans right now) but quite who else would a) come here and b) do any better i’m all ears for names!!!.

      • Danimal

        Also, Huddersfield for example might be throwing caution to the wind (like Blackpool in 2010) but now we’re heading to the business end of the season, let’s see. So far, they’ve had some pastings and a terrible GD but a couple of surprise wins have them a single point ahead of us. 15 games to go. Brighton are on a downward curve too, now below us. Southampton dropping a 2 goal lead late on and in controversial circumstances must have been morale-sapping. Swansea – which club/manager was happier with the point today?

        • Damon Horner

          Huddersfield lost 4-1 to West Ham at home. You can only imagine the drama if that was us.

          • hetonmag

            World war 3 would have broken out Damon.

      • anyobrien

        The silence to Rafas replacement is deafening..

      • LEE

        that’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it, but i don’t think it’s as bad as you think it is,
        i think it looks bad because Rafa CHOOSES to allow the other team to have the ball, if i was to only measure us against BHA and HUD both teams came up with us, footballing wise they pass it better than us have more possession and they don’t have a world class coach, i don’t think our squad is top 10, but games like west ham show when we play more attack minded and get bodies in the box.

        He managed Real Madrid and had the most attack minded squad playing defensive football, was he working miracles there too?

  • anyobrien

    Only lost one in our last five… Rafa out!

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    draw our last 15 games
    finish on 38 points
    safety achieved!
    I’m pretty sure this is Rafa’s plan

  • Down Under Mag

    The game was literally a portfolio of what is wrong here right now. We have a manager who is playing things as tight as he can because we don’t have the players to play any other way.

    We have forwards who can’t score goals even when presented guilt edged opportunities and our leading goal scorer in Joselu, who is derided by the fans while others seem to escape criticism, only has 4 goals to his name anyway. We lack discipline all over the park at times and we have zero squad depth or a lot of promise that can’t be afforded the time to develop properly or won’t be because our coaching staff can’t develop players properly.

    We need investment but have an owner who won’t spend, we have very few players to sell to raise funds and the club is in limbo because of a takeover that may or may not happen because the owner is unrealistic in his evaluation, won’t budge and the prospective owners won’t make a better offer because the club is still entrenched in a relegation scrap. Happy days eh?!?!

    And despite all this, we have a world class internationally respected manager at the helm who (while makes a few strange calls now and again) has the club still out of the relegation zone and yet some fans still think we can somehow do better by sacking him yet refuse to name anyone they would expect to do better…

    • anyobrien

      They have no answer to the question… “who do you want instead of rafa”?
      Great Post BTW

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      100% on the nose. perfectly put.

    • Cockneytrev

      👌👌👌

  • Tino o

    I feel the same disappointment as when we drew with Brighton and then we went away and won at stoke to cheer me up again. Beware Manchester City!😂

  • kingfisher

    Considering our lack of goals,I can’t understand why he doesn’t give Mitro a chance.I’ve never been a big fan of his,but surely it’s worth a punt. If he has upset Rafa,I would have hoped that Rafa is professional enough to put any differences behind him for the greater good,but something bad must have happened,as he his scoring goals for fun for Serbia.

    • Vladimir Biggski

      Mitrovic’s finishing is no better than the other strikers we have.

      • Paul Patterson

        How do you know? He hasn’t played.

      • Danimal

        The way he put Joe Hart on his backside and walked in that third goal against West Ham felt like a breakthrough moment. None of our strikers, Mitro included, have ever looked capable of such a calm finish. Sadly the moment was snatched away from us yet again by the somewhat selective tv vigilantes.

      • GToon

        In the air it is. He is a very good header of the ball.

      • kingfisher

        Can’t really comment as he never plays 😁😁

    • Paul Patterson

      Just for the sake of variety, it’s silly not to give him a go.

    • GToon

      That’s my worry. I have a feeling Rafa is prepared to never play Mitro and yet see us struggle in the position he plays in. Mitro makes a difference and at the moment that’s exactly what we need. If nothing else he gets the crowd going and because of that maybe the rest of the team too.

  • Wor Lass

    Shelvey`s “refusal” to shake Rafa`s hand could well have been more to do with self-criticism – feeling he didn`t deserve congratulations after the way he played – rather than criticism of Rafa. The players we have all care but they`re just not good enough to make us comfortable in this league. At least we picked up a point (but yes, we should have got all three). What puzzles me at the minute is whaat`s happened to Ritchie?

    • Vladimir Biggski

      Ritchie is working hard and has been a little unlucky in front of goal. The problem we have now is that we have missed the opportunity to take the points against teams like Watford, Bournmouth, Everton, Swansea and Brighton at home. 2pts from those games is relegation form. In each of those games we have had chances, and as Rafa says we just lack the quality up front.

      If we had a decent keeper and striker we could easily be 10 pts better off already.

      • Wor Lass

        I`d like a top keeper, of course, but I don`t think keeping errors have us struggling – it`s the lack of goals. We`re still waiting for Demba`s replacement. I do agree with your post, though.

      • Danimal

        I do think we could be 3 or 4 points better off just with a slightly better rub of the green during that 9 game run. You would expect it to even out but I can’t think of any of our 23 points that have been lucky. Maybe the one vs Liverpool but that was hard fought.

    • Danimal

      Ritchie needs a penalty to help him open his account. Oh sorry, what a ridiculous suggestion.

  • Peaky Magpie

    I said at the beginning of the season and got mullered for it but Gayle is not a PL striker.Yes he did well the first half of our promotion campaign and he deserves massive credit for it but since then ? Yes, he’s had injury problems and all the business with confidence etc but he is not a PL striker as yesterday once again proved.

    • Paul Patterson

      He’d be good as a second striker, but not as a primary striker and not as a lone front man.

    • Damon Horner

      It does look that way. My stance was always “unproven but deserves the chance if nobody else comes in.”

      • Peaky Magpie

        Yes,fair comment.

  • Danimal

    Wolves couldn’t beat Swansea last week, despite being a better Championship team than us.

  • Rob

    I wish our squad had sufficient depth to enable us to sack Shelvey off. If he applied himself and sorted his mentality out he could be a really good player.

    At present he’s failed on both accounts and provides nothing but glimpses of passing ability.

    • GToon

      Like the goal he created yesterday, rushing back, making an interception, demanding the ball back and then seeing the movement of Perez to pick a pass. All in about two seconds. Aye. He needs dropping!

      • Rob

        Jonjo Shelvey at #NUFC:

        75 appearances

        5,701 mins
        6 goals
        14 assists

        The odd moments don’t cut it for me and his rash moments have cost us more than his flashes of quality.

        • Malcolm Fisher

          and how many redcards

          • Rob

            28 yellow 4 red. Some really stupid ones.

        • GToon

          When I see Shelvey I think of him as being like a grown up in a back garden full of five year olds. If one of them makes a decent run into space and shouts for the ball the grown up gives it to them. If they all run around or stand still then the grown up can’t do too much. In a decent team Shelvey could be top class. But that’s just my opinion. My favorite player of recent years was Pirlo so that maybe suggests why I rate Shelvey. I like players who can pick a pass, see a run, read the game etc.

          • Rob

            That’s possibly the only time pirlo and shelvey will be mentioned in the same sentence.

            Do agree when he applies himself he can dictate the play. Just it’s too few and far between for me.

  • GToon

    Mitro is excellent in the air. Shelvey looks for movement when he has the ball. Mitro doesn’t get a game and the players are very static so what can we expect.

    • Dave Pattinson

      Whats to lose by giving Mitro a run? We’re struggling to finish at pres and whats the point of Atsu, Ritchie etc crossing balls without our front two doing much in the air? I’d give him the chance to unsettle defenders. Maybe the old big man/ little man routine could work. Worth a try. Gayle could do with some help.

      • anyobrien

        I agree mitro should be given a chance…. Can’t understand his situation at all.

        • fistsofsteel2

          Rafa is stupidly stubborn. He’s like a resolute cling on.

  • GToon

    Against Luton Merino played really well. In the game against Luton Murphy played well. In the game against Luton Perez played really well.
    So Rafa drops Merino and Murphy to the bench. Why?
    He includes Perez in the team and he continues to play well. What’s that all about? We win a game, play well, look decent, players get a bit of confidence so Rafa drops two of the best players. He replaces Merino with Diame and Murphy with Atsu and Murphy doesn’t even get a game. I just don’t see the logic in that. I saw the Luton game as a morale boosting win, a win at last! It was a game to boost confidence and then use the win to push on.

    • anyobrien

      You don’t know what there like in training knocks, flu, out of form… I suggest we just sack him and get someone new in. That will sort it.

      • GToon

        Keeping a winning team might help.

        • anyobrien

          He’s never done that check his stats at Liverpool and other previous clubs, constantly changes… And tbh he’s do quiet well won a couple of cups and titles apparently…. But then again he was backed at the previous clubs.

        • anyobrien

          He’s never kept a winning team even when he won all them titles and cups