Wednesday was an interesting night for Newcastle United fans in a variety of ways.

Never going to be the most exciting match against a Burnley side built on solid defending and missing a number of key players. It was obviously gutting to not take all three points but despite that there were a number of positives, as well as an odd negative.

Newcastle created a decent number of chances both before and after the break, plus of course got a first Premier League penalty in a long long time.

The fact it was such a feeble attempt at scoring the penalty was naturally quite a big negative, which is then linked to the other major downside – the late Burnley equaliser.

If Joselu had steered his spot-kick into the net and/or put away the easy second-half chance that fell his way courtesy of Murphy, then the 85th minute effort from the visitors would have only been a consolation for them. Instead of the reality, which is that the dropped two points are potentially disastrous for Rafa and his players.

The real stand out thing though in the match, was the impact of the two new players.

That new lad who has taken the place of Mohamed Diame was outstanding, a massive coincidence that he shares the same name as well…

Whilst it is very difficult to comprehend Diame’s transformation from liability for 18 months to suddenly looking a good player, with Kenedy it is far more simple.

Basically, the Brazilian has come in and reminded Newcastle fans of just how poor this Newcastle squad is, which also reminds us of the minor miracles performed by Rafa Benitez to have accumulated as many as 24 points by this stage.

Despite being Chelsea’s third choice left-back (though admittedly his strength is more going forward than backwards) and this his first appearance for Newcastle, Kenedy was the main man.

The other players just kept trying to give the ball to him and he was constantly trying to make things happen in the opposition half.

What a revelation compared to what we have seen so far, someone actually taking opposition players on! Kenedy was taking all the corners and free-kicks, won the penalty, plus was desperately unlucky to see yet another excellent run end with his effort coming back off the post.

The downside of this, is the realisation that Chelsea’s third choice left-back is also now Newcastle’s biggest attacking threat. The Newcastle players/squad aren’t terrible, they are just a very average bunch who try.

Let’s have a look at what we could have won…

There is every chance that if Islam Slimani can get fit quickly, he will also very likely show us what a Premier League striker looks like. Maybe not beating half a dozen players and scoring Messi level goals… but taking chances when they come his way and being more of a presence all round, doing the things a better quality forward does naturally.

Newcastle were crying out in the summer for more creativity and goals to help cope with the step up to the Premier League, instead the best we got was the future potential of Jacob Murphy.

If only Rafa Benitez had been backed with a couple of better quality players who could score and create – Slimani and Kenedy, or whoever. Then surely that would have equalled a decent number of extra points that have gone begging because of the missing quality, as we saw against Burnley.

Hopefully it is not a case of too little too late and Newcastle can be lining up again in the Premier League in August. It would be great to think that would be also with the club under new ownership but we will believe that when we see it.

Though at the very least it has to be a case of Mike Ashley understanding that the right tools and backing have to be made available in the summer, rather than taking gambling with the club’s future to such an extreme level.



  • Peter Stabler

    Diame has never been quite as bad as some have made out and he has been getting better every game since the New Year, he was awesome on Wednesday.
    Some “fans” need a pantomime villain, the first I remember was Tommy Gibb, I wonder who the next one will be?

    • Wor Lass

      I prefer to call them “whipping boys”. Coincidentally, I`d put this on another thread before I read this article:

      It`s funny, isn`t it. At the beginning of the season I was as anti-SloMo as the next man (unless the next man was triple M, of course!). But over the last couple of months he`s started to produce better results and earn his place in the team but some people are still slagging him off. Managers have their favourites, right enough – the players they trust to follow the plan – but a lot of fans have their favourite whipping boys and find it really hard to let go. Dummy`s seen them off for now and Perez quietened things down with a couple of goals but SloMo was still getting panned by some even after being MoM contender in a few games recently. Even Joselu has his plus points – they just don`t include anything that involves putting the ball in the net!

    • Stephen

      Warren Barton
      Cheers when was sent off.
      Maybe fans are not as great as we like to think

      • Kneebotherm8

        Who was the other Warren that played for the Toon?

  • Wor Lass

    Footballl fans love a whipping boy and we`ve had our fair share in recent years: Willo, Saylor and Dummy a few seasons ago, Perez and SloMo over the last couple. There`s nothing wrong with criticising a player – Joselu, for example, just isn`t good enough to score goals at this level and has demonstrated that week after week. It`s why we were able to get him and why he was so relatively cheap. But a lot of people, once the judgement`s been made, can`t actually look at what`s happened in a game and give any credit for a decent performance.

    • hetonmag

      Spot on, Diami had a really good game the other night but the same people that dislike him so much just couldn’t bring themselves to recognise it.

      • JonMag

        he`s been here 18 months and has 3 or 4 decent games
        sometimes i wonder if people actually watch the games or just read about them

        • hetonmag

          I watched the game on Wed night and he was my MOTM did you watch it or are you just biased against the lad.

          • JonMag

            Kenedy was Motm and Diame can`t put a run of 5 games together. that`s why he`s been on the bench for 18 months
            or hadn`t you noticed

          • hetonmag

            I’m on about We’d night he was on the pitch the whole game or didn’t you notice that, you are just anti Diami who probably just reads the Ronnie.

          • Mrkgw

            Constant insults and always throwing stones. Give it a rest.

          • hetonmag

            Your post is firing at the wrong person, so I have to take insults and not fire back, have a go at the poster who chooses to post under 3 different name’s and is disgusting with his one line answers, so don’t tell me to give it a rest.

          • Mrkgw

            Monkseaton Mag?

          • hetonmag

            Who ??

          • Mrkgw

            Keep watch, he tends to post from time to time.

          • hetonmag

            Are you implying I post under that idiots name ???? I can assure you I post under one name and one name only unlike one or two on here.

          • Mrkgw

            Ok, fair cop. Have to say that on reading back the ‘disgusting’ remark to which you refer has been deleted presumably by the site. And so, if it was retaliation to that then I offer apologies. There are some muppets that come out of the ether and they do annoy so understandable to want to swipe back. Back to the subject matter, I didnt see the Burnley game however, Diame has been poor for best part of the season!

          • hetonmag

            Now that’s a very sensible reply which I appreciate and I know Diami hasn’t been the best since he’s been here but I have seen an improvement in his form lately, its no good going back it’s the here and now that counts and on Wed night he did have good game.

          • Mrkgw

            Well, lets hope thst he continues to improve. But looking across the squad many have strugged. Even Ritchie, who I like. As they frequently say, the Premiership is a big step up from last season however, the club should have factored and prepared for that. After all, its not as though we hadn’t been in that division before. In essence, Ashley has underfunded everything and that needs to improve.

          • hetonmag

            Absolutely correct 👍👍👍

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            halfwit from Durham

    • JonMag

      i look what happens in a game & he`s a striker that can`t score, running around the pitch is [email protected]@k all use

      • hetonmag

        Blinkered idiot.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      the judgement of a player is his consistency over a period of time,
      SloMo hasn`t got that.
      a few games here & there are no good, same goes for Perez & as far as Hoss is concerned, i don`t even want to go there

      • Wor Lass

        Agreed re consistency but he`s putting together a decent run at the minute. Time will tell but he does seem better in a deeper role.

  • Paul Patterson

    He’s been poor since he arrived, but credit where it’s due, he was outstanding the other night.

  • John

    A Burnley side built on solid defending? Don’t mention us sitting with 11 men behind the ball in 9/10 games

  • S.G.M.

    Flash in the pan

  • JonMag

    Diame, 18 months & a few good games, get a grip.

  • FatParosite

    By contrast, Merino was poor. I do get the feeling like others, that Diame will revert to type on Sunday.

    • JonMag

      A few were poor but they weren`t subbed till late on. keep it up and we`re down

      • Mike Adam

        That is Rafa’s way, subs brought on too late. Or we get a lead and then park the bus and invite the equalizer.

  • Simon Ritter

    Finally, a bit of appreciation for Mo Diame. Once Paul Dummett injured himself in the opening game against Spurs, fans who love to moan needed a new whipping boy and focused relentlessly on Diame. When I saw him against Watford a few weeks ago he was the only one of our midfielders working non-stop to break up attacks by the visitors. Not a glamorous job but absolutely vital. Predictably, he ran out of energy in the second half and Watford became even more dominant. I trust the manager’s judgment rather than the views of countless whingers.

    • JonMag

      Dummetts always been ok in my mind, as for Diame he`s [email protected]@king useless a couple of good games don`t make you a player or he wouldn`t have been on the bench for 18 months

      • Simon Ritter

        Thanks. And thank goodness football is a game of opinions. Each to his own.

    • Kneebotherm8

      So do I……

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      you call people whingers & moaners because they don`t bow to everything Rafa
      tell me, would you select Joselu week in week out & that`s just one example. we scored against Burnley & were on top of the game, yet we went straight on the back foot and conceded a goal, in fact we nearly lost the match.

  • Leazes.

    ‘Positives and Negatives’…. are you an electrician Jim? ‘If only Rafa was backed we might have won’? Really?

    We failed to beat Burnley at home! You don’t have to delude yourself into thinking otherwise Jim….. It was a failure, we failed to beat a team that we needed to….

    ‘Positives and negatives’ are the domain of those ‘sports scientists’ and ‘psychologists’ who are trying to put the athletes or footballers into a winning frame of mind. The technique has been seized upon by Journalists and media pundits to put a ‘spin’ on reporting. Ryder and Co. use it all the time, its as if they think its their duty to tell Ameobi or Colback that they are really world beaters on an ‘off day’.

    You don’t need it Jim, and the fans don’t need it, we have a Championship side of grafters doing their best and nobody should slate them for being what they are….

    …or tell fans they are something they are not!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Sammy scored a cracker last night, won them the game

      • Leazes.

        So what

      • Mitros gotta start

        Found his level

        • Geordiegiants

          Who Mitro?

          • Mitros gotta start

            Its ok….Rafa says if he bangs in 25 goals he can come back…..clown….hopefully our new manager will have him 1st choice next season.

          • Geordiegiants

            Ha ha ha ha 😂🤣😂

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    2 years on from relegation we now have a worse squad & expect to survive, as for the likes of Joselu & Slomo those 2 epitomise the state Newcastle is in under the Fat Lad
    the players take the money & put on the shirt therefore they are open to criticism.
    i`m not going to slate them other than to say they are not anywhere near what`s required in this league.

  • skarabrae

    “Though at the very least it has to be a case of Mike Ashley understanding that the right tools and backing have to be made available”

    Now that’s where it all falls apart.. because that will never happen….

  • gallowgate26

    I’ve said it before… and I’ll say it again. Diame is not a bad player, he’s just prone to boughts of laziness. Someone said he was the worst player they’d ever seen. Really??!!

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Against Everton he was got a standing ovation off the Milburn stand when he was taken off and the only player ever to get nil out of ten on various media websites. The last three games he has improved no end and long may it continue.