A two week break looked ideal for Rafa Benitez to get Islam Slimani just right to make his debut at Bournemouth.

However, on Friday afternoon the United boss has revealed that the striker has once again broken down in training.

Sky Sports reported earlier this month that Slimani had been Rafa’s fourth or fifth choice to bring in and the Spaniard brought the Leicester striker in on the final day of the window, knowing he already was carrying a thigh injury.

Rafa Benitez summing up the folly of not landing your first choice targets earlier when saying ‘When you go to deadline day, it is always a risk’.

Rafa says that Islam Slimani will definitely miss ‘at least a couple of weeks’, so that will mean Bournemouth and Liverpool definitely and Southampton in two weeks time must surely be out as well.

The following match is scheduled to be Spurs away but if they beat Rochdale at home it will be postponed, which would then give Slimani another three weeks without a match to get fit, after the international break Newcastle are at home to Huddersfield on Saturday 31 March.

Assuming Spurs do with their cup replay, it would mean Slimani being available (if fit for Huddersfield) for seven of the remaining games at the very most, as he can’t play against Leicester either.

Just as well we beat Man Utd or this would have been crippling for the spirits of Newcastle fans.

However, whilst attack may not be our biggest strength, that win over Man Utd showed that a real team performance can still deliver.

You have to really feel for Rafa Benitez as he is repeatedly left with more and more obstacles in his path due to Miek Ashley undermining him.

Rafa Benitez pre-Bournemouth press conference:

“Slimani had a setback so he will not be available and will be (out for) at least a couple of weeks.

“He had an injury when he came, (now) a setback in training, and we will have to deal with that.

“When you go to deadline day, it is always a risk.

“We did it and we have to manage the situation in the best way possible.

“Islam Slimani was positive and training really well but he felt this problem again.

“We have to make sure he is ok (before he plays).

“For teams at the bottom, every game is like a final. For us, for Bournemouth, it is a big test.

“We have to be sure that this one is an opportunity to get three points.

“As soon as you win a couple of games you go three or four places up the table.

(On Shelvey) “He did well (against Man Utd) and when he plays well, the team is playing better. He enjoys football. I’m really pleased with him.

“We have been talking about how Jonjo manages his game and how he manages his life.

“He loves football. He doesn’t miss training, he wants to see his teammates playing well.

“He has to control when he makes mistakes. He is focused and trying to do the right things.

(On Paul Dummett signing a new contract) “It’s important to have players you can trust.

“When you talk about Paul, sometimes he will be a nine out of ten. Sometimes a six. Always between those. You know that he will be there and will help the team.

“It’s important to understand that if you win (on Saturday), it’s fine but you have to keep fighting.

“If you lose, we have other games. We have to be calm. Three points would be massive for us, and massive for them.”



  • Clarko

    Remember when the people on here didn’t want Jørgensen because he had no Premier League experience…

    • justchampion

      Your point being?

      • Clarko

        I am pointing out just how crucial Slimani’s Premier League experience has been to the team since his arrival.

        • Ram Kishore

          Everyone’s frustrated just as u..
          Fans wanted a signing earlier in the window… Whom are pointing the mistake for his signing…fans or the administration..
          Now everyone will blame Ashley for this..
          I wouldn’t blame him as he’s just one reason.. for not bringing an early signing.
          Many reasons are there..

          • East Durham Mag

            Ram its Fattys fault and only Fattys fault despite what some nuts say.

      • Jezza

        His point is to wind people up and provoke a reaction. Don’t feed the troll.

    • Ram Kishore

      We wanted some striker .. people here were just being logical discussing their opinions..
      They wanted him for the right price and not for crazy money and see him turn into a dud..
      What’s your point btw?

      • Clarko

        I assure you that there was very little logic to their opinions. As I have discussed at length, the €20m asking price was a fair valuation:

        -Gray has a goal every 271 minutes in the Premier League and sold for €20.4m

        -Locadia has a goal every 167 minutes in the Eredivisie and sold for €17.0m

        -Mounié has a goal every 205 minutes in Ligue 1 and sold for €13.0m

        -Carrillo has a goal every 173 minutes in Ligue 1 and sold for €22.0m

        -Jørgensen has a goal every 150 minutes in the Eredivisie and is valued at ~€20.0m

        But hey, we have Slimani and his Premier League experience…

        • GToon

          Why do you think Ashley didn’t back Rafa to get Jorgensen in?

          • Clarko

            The same reason the fans/people on this site didn’t want Benitez to sign Jørgensen. Idiocy.

          • Ram Kishore

            So who’s the idiot.. fans or the owner…
            Btw what’s the reason come again?

          • Clarko

            You are.

          • Ram Kishore

            Who’s outta arguments now ?
            Dumbduck clarko can’t have a reasoned debate?

          • Clarko

            “Go and give your report to Mike Ashley”

          • Ram Kishore

            No it’s not unreasoned.. As a fan and a stats specialist sending your report seems logical.

          • Clarko

            “Go and give your report to Mike Ashley”

            Followed by:

            “Who’s outta arguments now?”

            “Dumbduck clarko can’t have a reasoned debate?”

            😂😂😂

          • Ram Kishore

            Clarko the stats man.. come on you are way better than this comment 😹😹

          • Jezza

            He doesn’t want a reasoned debate, he wants to wind people up. Don’t give him the satisfaction.

        • Ram Kishore

          Go and give your report to Mike Ashley… Most of them here wanted the club to pay up and get Jorgensen…. Few fans had their doubts. They can have and are entitled to because it’s just a opinion.. Finally it’s the club that makes the decision not you or me

          • Clarko

            This isn’t about Rivière or his quality, this is about Jørgensen, Slimani and value. Because you don’t have an argument you have resorted to the usual “Go and give your report to Mike Ashley” comment.

            “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion.”

          • Ram Kishore

            The fans who expressed caution about Jorgensen’s signing were making informed opinion after seeing lot of facts and information just like what u see in Opta, Transfermarket, and other sources..
            After seeing many Dutch league players who ended up being top scorers but couldn’t cope up with PL.. I think they made informed opinion..
            Many Mag articles were posted with facts too

            Islam Slimani wasn’t injured when Rafa gave his list

            This is about Jorgensen and Slimani based on Informed opinion

          • Clarko

            Again, no logic, Afonso Alves not coping in the Premier League does not make Jørgensen a bad player. Judging by the rest of your comment that’s the only “fact” you had.

            We signed an injured player.

            You have shown that you are uninformed, “people here were just being logical”, “crazy money” and “see him turn into a dud”. Uninformed.

          • Ram Kishore

            Yes I was uninformed about you not accepting valid arguments..
            Fans made their comments only after seeing facts or atleast i made them after seeing the facts and his minutes..
            Yes Feyenoord didn’t want to sell him because they didn’t have a replacement lined up..
            20 million is crazy money..

            Expecting the worst case scenario is logical.

          • Clarko

            Again, saying something doesn’t make it true. What were these “facts” that all of the fans were aware of? The only one that you’ve mentioned is that other players, not Jørgensen, have failed when moving to the Premier League, as mentioned, that has nothing to do with Jørgensen and has no bearing on how he would perform in the Premier League. So again, what were these “facts”?

            “Yes Feyenoord didn’t want to sell him because they didn’t have a replacement lined up”. Has absolutley nothing to do with what we are talking about.

            “20 million is crazy money”. No it’s not, I have proven that it’s not (the list of strikers, goals per minute and what they sold for), so much for “accepting valid arguments”.

          • Ram Kishore

            If something comes out as a new fact outside of your Factbook..
            Clarko’s answer : “Has absolutley nothing to do with what we are talking about.”

          • Clarko

            What does “Feyenoord didn’t want to sell him because they didn’t have a replacement lined up”, have to do with our conversation?

            Again, where are all the fan “facts”? I’m still waiting, it’s almost as if they don’t exist…

          • Ram Kishore

            Feyenoord didn’t want to sell their player is a fact because that inflated his value to atleast 10 times.
            Go and see the articles that were written during Jan transfer window..
            Those were the few fan facts to begin with.

            Because

          • Clarko

            “Feyenoord didn’t want to sell their player is a fact because that inflated his value to atleast 10 times.”

            They set an asking price of ~€20m which I have already proven to fair. They were happy to sell for that price before the 6pm deadline that they set on the 29th of January. You’re just wrong.

            Fair valuation, happy to sell before 6pm 29th Jan.

          • Ram Kishore

            I believe the administration wanted a safe bet and not a Jorgensen risk
            Which is logical

          • Clarko

            A safe bet like Slimani? Worked really well. Great argument you’ve made there 👍🏿

          • Damon Horner

            Based on goals/minute Alves would have been considered an exceptional signing in Clarko’s eyes, as it transpired he wasn’t because his goals/minute didn’t transfer to this league, hence the trepidation from some fans about Jorgensen, it doesn’t make him a bad player though as Clarko says. To prefer a different option who looks safer isn’t wrong, to continue to have that opinion as he is on the pitch would have been wrong.

          • Clarko

            Nowhere did I state or suggest that Jørgensen would be “an exceptional signing”.

          • Damon Horner

            It doesn’t say you do.

          • Clarko

            Nowhere did I state or suggest that Alves or Jørgensen would be “exceptional”. Nowhere did I state or suggest that a specific goals/minute ratio makes a player “an exceptional signing”. You stated/implied all of the above with the below statement:

            “Based on goals/minute Alves would have been considered an exceptional signing in Clarko’s eyes”

        • Ram Kishore

          If you speak by facts and logic..
          I can say Riviere had a great season in Ligue 1 where he finished as runner’s up ..

      • Jezza

        His point is to wind people up and provoke a reaction because it’s the only pleasure he gets in his sad pathetic life. Don’t feed the troll.

    • Paul Smith

      What makes you so sure he wouldn’t have picked up an injury by now ? It can happen to anyone at any time. Slimani wasn’t injured till a couple of weeks before we signed him. It’s why I always find it strange when clubs complain when a player gets a minor injury on international duty despite the fact they could have picked up an even worse injury if they’d stayed training at their club…

      • Clarko

        We signed an injured player, we knew Slimani was injured dum dum.

  • Leazes.

    Bloody amateurs run this club….. pathetic.

    • Peaky Magpie

      It’s beyond a fu*king joke….who the hell sancttioned the move….we may as well not have bothered.

      • ghostrider

        What mess?

        • Peaky Magpie

          2 “strikers “ that aren’t cut out at this level,we would be probably safe already if cash had been spent back in September but the refusal to spend again in January when the problems are so obviously there to see is beyond belief.

          • ghostrider

            How many strikers are cut out at this level?
            Go through the premier leagues strikers and see what they’ve contributed.
            I’m not talking the usual elites of the sugar daddy clubs…I’m talking about the other so called top strikers that are apparently cut out but ours are not.

          • Peaky Magpie

            Haven’t got time to discuss now,I’ve got a life outside of this shambles and have to go out…have a nice evening.

          • ghostrider

            You too.

          • Jezza

            Just ignore him, marra. Don’t feed the troll.

          • Rich Lawson

            Snows gone then ?

          • Peaky Magpie

            Just Rich,waiting for the next load and it’s bloody freezing.

        • Ram Kishore

          Good question from Peaky.. ghost?

          • ghostrider

            Yeah but strikers rely more on confidence to do their job because their job is the most difficult in terms of expectancy and the obvious hope that they get the required service and be confident enough to get up and running with it.

            The issue is in sporadic service and the reliance on our strikers to act more like defensive midfielders in many a game.
            I’m not saying Joselu is a prolific striker being starved but I am saying that himm, Gayle and even Mitrovic would have benefitted from much better service in a more consistent way to at least look better in that department.

            I’m not being funny here but, if you put Gayle in Liverpools team or Man City’s, people would be calling him prolific.
            Even Joselu would score a fair few amid many misses.

            I’m well aware we need better quality but even better quality requires the time to get off the mark and hit the ground running by being on the end of service, throughout a game.
            That’s why decent strikers can earn you a win in the last minute if they’re played to their strengths.

          • Ram Kishore

            But that’s the problem midtable..
            They don’t have the best service providers..so when chances come..they need to step in..
            Gayle missing many sitters despite being given a run in..
            Joselu making the same..
            Let’s not bring up Mitro lol

            And you are right in your argument about our player’s scoring more when they are in big teams

          • ghostrider

            I agree that our strikers have to produce when the chances come their way.
            The issue needs addressing but I’d address it by using them for their purpose in causing the opposition problems rather than having to chase lost causes or consistently be fed sub standard chances, because with each attempt and miss, it breeds anxiety and an attitude of trying too hard to rectify it for the fans.

            In a team that supplies enough chances and strikers that can get a little run…it can literally change the entire mindset of the player.

            Look at Diame in a different sort of light.
            There’s little wrong with Joselu’s game in terms of effort, fitness and running.
            the issue is in him not being pacey and having to play high up if he wants to reap any chance of rewarded.
            the reality is, high up for Joselu is something only afforded to the very best strikers in the better teams that can fully afford to use them like this.

          • Ram Kishore

            This is your way ghost..
            Rafa’s different.. His judgement works otherwise..
            Just as how Diame rediscovered himself.. the same may not happen with Gayle and Joselu

            Maybe Rafa really needs better strikers

          • ghostrider

            Maybe he does but what I’m saying is, even new strikers have to have service to be deemed worthy, no matter what pedigree they come with.

            Our strikers have misfired and also been clearly low on confidence as we could clearly see in their thought process when they do get the chance to have a crack at goal.
            The chances are too few and far between for them in most cases. We simply do not provide because a lot of our game has been failed counter attacking or half chance creations.

            A confident Gayle being provided would score a lot more goals.
            The same with Joselu ….IF Joselu was played as a striker and actually told to stay in that role, unless required to aid in defending set pieces.

            Both of those strikers are being made to look a hell of a lot worse than they really are, I believe.

            That’s been down to Rafa’s too cautious approach and also the lack of quality in providing them with something to regularly chew on.

            However, of course we can buy in better strikers but better strikers can also suffer in a team that provides little.

      • Jezza

        Fatso sanctioned the move on a pay per play deal.

    • ghostrider

      This club is run very well.

      • Dillon Tovak

        Yeah lots of evidence for that. Injured player signed on deadline day, brilliant.

        • ghostrider

          I’m sure you’d be saying that if the same injured player started scoring goals. lol
          Let’s put it simple.
          Rafa went in for the injured player but also went in for a player that oozes injuries, both real and made up, it seems, in Sturridge.

          Don’t use 5th choice or desperation as an excuse when we had a perfectly good PERMANENT striker just biting at the bit to play for us, in Mitrovic.

          The players were there to use and weren’t used.
          So we go in for Jorgensen on a permanent in January and apparently Ashley’s a skinflint because he won’t pay 20 million.

          Well done Ashley, I say.
          The reason why this club will never fall apart under him. It might falter but that’s par for the course with battling against the elite and pretender clubs.

          • Dillon Tovak

            Yeah I would be happy if he scored. But it’s not good organisation to leave your signings until the last day. Especially when the football expert you pay £5m a year says get the signings done early and we’ll get the rewards on the pitch.
            Oh look he was right.

          • ghostrider

            What signings?
            We’ve heard this bandied about by rafa but what signings were we after early?
            What was he looking at on a permanent apart from Jorgensen?
            Back Rafa up all you want, you’re entitled to that just as I am in telling you that there’s no smoke without fire. Two to tango and all that.

            I’m over the moon this club doesn’t fritter 20 million away on a player that’s scored a few more goals than our current strikers in a much weaker league.
            Tell me where we should be or would be if Rafa had supposedly got all of his early targets in that we seem to not know of?

            He’s been chasing Kenedy. He got him in.
            He’s been chasing Dubravka. He got him in.
            Who else apart from Jorgensen was he chasing?
            And who was chasing Slimani?
            Was that not Rafa’s choice and he was simply made to accept a loan of a player on £100,000 a week, because that doesn’t seem to fit the Ashley profile we’re led to believe is on show.

            “Oh Ashley is a skinflint, he won’t pay.”

            Oh look, Ashley’s willing to pay a loan player £100,000 a week.
            So what’s the reality or is the reality anything Rafa does is when you see the and any break downs is down to Ashley and co….right?…..right?

    • Wor Lass

      They get paid a lot for amateurs. Well … one of them does, anyway.

  • mactoon

    Oh dear this isn’t good news. Hope this doesn’t turn into another Doumbia

  • Whickhamrobbie

    This club is a shambles .
    We are simply badly run and always have been.
    Slimani a total waste of money and effort ,the foxes stitched us up good style.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Those sly sly foxes eh
      🦊🦊🦊

      • Jezza

        That sly Newcastle owner more like. Bringing in an injured player on a pay per play deal. A token striker signing to appease the fans without costing a penny.

        • Peaky Magpie

          Yep you’re spot on there Jezza….Slimani is this transfer window’s ‘sop’……nothing else

    • ghostrider

      It’s far from in a shambles. FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR from it.

      • Dillon Tovak

        Yawn 😴 desperate trolling.

        • ghostrider

          Nothing desperate. Just telling you how it is but you have no answer other than to use the usual copied lines of “troll” ” yawn”….etc. lol
          Try harder.

          • Dillon Tovak

            You’re trolling because there is no way you actually believe what you’re saying.
            You’re just trying to bait people.

          • Jezza

            That is exactly what he does. Don’t give him the satisfaction. Just block him.

    • Jezza

      Leicester didn’t stitch us up. Slimani is on a pay per play deal and isn’t costing the club a penny. That’s the only reason Rafa was allowed to sign him.

      • Whickhamrobbie

        oh thats ok then sorry

        • Jezza

          No of course it’s not OK but it’s not Leicester City who are responsible for this debacle, it is Ashley.

  • Peaky Magpie

    So if it’s another 2 weeks,and that’s a big IF,and he is back for Southampton and then also bearing in mind he can’t play against Leicester that’ll be 8 games max he’ll be able to play….what a fu*king pi*stake…..🤬🤬🤬
    ..

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Are you telling me that Ashley got Islam Slimani injured? what was he doing training on the pitch?

      • TheFatController

        Don’t be so small-minded. We all know that we are constantly papering the huge cracks of not spending on a decent striker early in transfer windows.

        Stop missing the obvious point with trivial sarcastic nonsense that is irrelevant to the comment.

        And stop apologizing for Ashley – given he doesn’t want to be here and few want him, what does it make you come across as that you support him?

        • Jezza

          Don’t feed the troll, lads. Just block him.

      • Peaky Magpie

        Rafa put his transfer list in at the turn of the new year,he wanted the players in by Jan 20th,we ended up on deadline day with a 4th -5th choice crock so yes it’s Ashley’s fault.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          We approached Leicester on 3rd January, hardly 5th choice.

          Ashley out is meaningless, if you were that bothered you’d be raising a buyout fund yourself.

      • robbersdog

        Yeah, that’s exactly what happened; Ashley sat on him by mistake.

    • Wor Lass

      Well said – very eloquent, if I may say so.

      • Peaky Magpie

        As is your reply kind sir…😂

  • Simon Ritter

    Slimani could be as big a permacrock as Big Andy Carroll, whom we flogged to Liverpool for £35m when he had been out for a month with an ankle injury. If memory serves, he took until late March or April to play for them. At least our latest recruit is only on loan.

  • Rich Lawson

    Any question mark over his fitness why did they let him go back to Algeria instead of working on him at the Park.Beggar’s belief ! Very dissapointed.

    • Ram Kishore

      Maybe he came back with injury and made it look like he got it at the training 😂😂 smart move

      • ghostrider

        Very possible.

    • ghostrider

      Good question.
      Apparently it’s best to let players see their families during a break, even if you’ve just loaned one who is injured and needs to bed in at the club.
      It’s weird in the extreme.,

    • Jezza

      It’s another Stephen Ireland job. An injured player on a pay per play deal. A token signing to appease the fans without dipping into the profits.

  • S.G.M.

    Rafa is feeding us bullshit.

    • Damon Horner

      How so?

    • Ram Kishore

      He’s just giving a positive atmosphere before the match..
      Yes it may seem like bullshit but injury can happen to anyone anytime

    • Jezza

      Somebody in a very influential position at NUFC is but it’s not Rafa.

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    You’ve got to hand it to Leicester. They saw Newcastle coming and a way to get them to pay Slimani’s wages while he recovered from his injuries.

    • Jezza

      Newcastle are not paying Slimani’s wages. He’s on a pay per play deal and hasn’t cost the club a penny to date. That is the only reason he is here. Fatso would not pay the loan fee and wages for a striker. That’s why we missed out on Daniel Sturridge. Rafa was only allowed to bring in an injured striker who wouldn’t cost anything as a token signing to appease the fans.

      • Leazes.

        I didn’t know that…. did Charnley hire someone to clobber him on the training pitch…..

        • Jezza

          I don’t believe for one minute that Slimani has sustained a new injury while traning with Newcastle. He’s out with the same injury he came here with.

        • Peaky Magpie

          😂🤣😂

      • Ram Kishore

        Where did you get the info of pay per play Jezza

  • Philippines

    I followed footy from the 1950’s. Can anyone tell me how, for example, when Law, Best and Charlton played week after week for MUFC without being crocked like the lads today. why is that?

    • Ram Kishore

      Not all are Bobbi, law, Best..

    • ghostrider

      Simple. The game today is about conditioning in a racehorse like manner.
      In those days it was playing for the love of the game and the club you played for in most cases.
      Injuries had to be bad to keep many players out.
      Today a dislocated finger or a stubbed toe can keep players out for any lengths of time.
      Badly nourished disguised as extremely well nourished.
      There’s a reason why these players are supping energy drinks and eating bananas during games.

      Too many nutritionists telling players what they can and can’t eat.
      Ginola used to smoke at half time.

      When players are having tracking devices stuck to them so they can be analysed to get peak performance, it’s only natural that things are going to break down when peak performance requires plenty of rest and the right nutrients…not the nonsense that gets pumped into them.

      • Danimal

        I think I’m almost agreeing with you Ghost. I’ll have to check if it’s a full moon tonight. Small disclaimer – Ginola did end up requiring a cardiac artery bypass. Don’t smoke at half time kids.

        • ghostrider

          For me, over-conditioning leaves little scope for the body to advance.
          Basically you’re asking for burn out in short order.

          • thewildchimp

            In two words: Wayne Rooney.

      • thewildchimp

        I have to remember Socrates, who drank a lot and smoked like they’ve installed chimney into his head, or Maradona, whose usage of drugs was widely know, but it never hampered them on the pitch because they had their respective tasks and that was all. They weren’t expected to score goals, participate in the link-up play and defend, in the way it is required today. Sure, some total gits are making millions nowadays and they ought to earn them – but there’s a limit to what you can realistically do.

    • pedrodelgardo

      The game is far faster, you can’t pass back to the keeper and there are ball boys so there are few natural breaks in the game, the lads are much fitter but the demands are greater.

      • nufcslf

        Don’t believe a word of that. This lot spend more time going side ways and backwards than ever before. None of them have the ability to take anybody on. Football today is mostly boring, shyte and every match looks exactly the same. Faster, my rse.

        • Danimal

          And no tackling allowed these days.

        • thewildchimp

          It’s a lot more physical these days. Generally, top tier clubs hire two sets of players, some who can play the ball and the rest are runners with good stamina. Lower tier clubs go for stamina and strength, and a few of these need to be decent on the ball. However, with 4-3-3 and 4-5-1 formations, who are built for fast, dominant plays – you need a lot of stamina to keep up if you are not a CB. After a few years like that, and after all the chemicals they take – the ones with weaker bodies cannot cope anymore and falter. If you get a tendon or a ligament injury in the process – you are never going to get enough time to make a full recovery. I’ve received a minor kick in the knee while playing 5-a-side and, 3 years later, I still haven’t recovered fully.

    • Rich Lawson

      Attitude I’d say,I watched them on the Park and elsewhere a good few times,I remember Irwin and Ashurst trying to assinate Best at Roker Park and he literally ran rings round them.Greatest player I ever saw (ruined his legacy with the drink).This was also a time when only one nominated substitute was aloud.No childishness,no big wages,no agents,just got on with it.

  • ghostrider

    Buying any player in January is massive massive risk but loaning them is not.
    It makes perfect sense to loan in but weirdly it doesn’t seem to now one of three loans has broken down.

    If Slimani wasn’t injured and played against Bournemouth and scored a couple of goals, I’d guarantee you that people would be saying ” see, Rafa knows what he’s doing.”

    The problem here is, too many fans change their stance as and when it fits to do so.
    Slimani is now Ashley’s fault because I’m sure Ashley had Slimani down on his sticker collection.
    Slimani is down to Rafa, just as Kenedy is and Dubravka…or does Ashley take the credit for those two?

    See what I mean?

    • TheFatController

      No, I don’t see what you mean.

      Why are we loaning a strikerast minute with hands tied and desperate to solve a problem that was obvious in July.

      The lack of planning falls at Ashley’s feet, because he employs the people to sign players capable for the squad.

      His obsessive compulsive disorder over money and who controls it makes him an ineffective owner. You can’t micro manage money like he does and then say ‘I have little influence over the day to day at the club’ – that makes no sense, like most things he says about his running of the club.

      • ghostrider

        We loaned a striker at the last minute because the strikers we were in for we were being held to ransom for.
        Anyone who thinks Jorgensen was worth a 20 million risk with a (most likely) 5 year contract in January, carry on thinking it.
        I personally begged for it not to happen for various reasons..
        1. Held to ransom…too much money.
        2. Scored too few goals in a way poorer league.
        3. The premier league requires players to get up to speed quickly or they get left behind.
        4. We had a way better players that was left in the dark (Mitrovic).

        The best option for this club was to loan and loan we did, with Ashley willing to pay the £100.000 a week wages for a player that most fans were almost raving about and were sure his niggly injury was just a minor set back.
        Now it’s going pear shaped and has turned to the normal method of blaming Ashley again….but not Rafa.

        Imagine if we’d got Sturridge.

        “ohhhh what a signing”…..” wow, he will score the goals we need”…..add in all the rest of the good stuff.
        The issue is, if it doesn’t pay off you’ve lost a weeks wage every week until it gets paid back…or not.
        What you don’t have, is a 3/4/5 year crock on your books.

        It’s the absolute best way to go as we are doing it. Loans…because loans guarantee you don’t take a massive hit if it fails.

        • TheFatController

          I think it’s actually that we get held to ransom because we don’t do things early, not that ‘we do things late because they hold us to ransom…’

          • ghostrider

            I don’t believe that. I think that’s a swings and roundabouts scenario because it comes down to many things.
            1. The desperation of the buying club.

            2. The desperation of the selling club in need of funds for their own players or simply funds.

            3. The eagerness of the player wanting out.

            4. The length of contract a club has with a player.

            5. The gamble on trying to create a bidding war and potentially failing due to clubs being unwilling to take part.

            Realistically speaking we should be happy that we don’t fall into the “just pay what they want” category.
            It’s why Sunderland are where they are. Seriously.

            No matter what people think…Rafa Benitez is not a club accountant…he is a employee of Newcastle United on some of the best wages on offer in football to manage the squad at his disposal and to buy in what the club can afford, on wages that are sustainable.

          • TheFatController

            For anyone out there not able to grasp the simple factors influencing player purchases in the modern game, there’s five of them listed above.

            But given you’d need to be under the age of 5 not to be patronized by this listing of the obvious, it’s way past your bedtime I think…

          • ghostrider

            That’s a January transfer scenario only, not an overall transfer system.
            Maybe reading it would help you.

          • Danimal

            Yeah, they had their pants pulled down with the £3m signing of Defoe. It’s why they got relegated a few years later instead of getting it done straight away like our shrewd operators.

          • ghostrider

            Why are you using Defoe?

          • Mark Potter

            Not at all. The valuation of Jorgensen was said to be €25 million early in the window. Rafa made it clear he had no intention of going anywhere near that amount for a player with no Premiership experience. Before the window reports were saying that they would accept €20m. They were still having a laugh, Rafa never agreed more than about €17m, which would have been all of his budget. And then Liverpool and Leicester made suitable alternative players available for loan.

            There is no evidence that Slimani could have been signed earlier in the window. Leicester wanted to sell him for close to the price they paid, nearly £30m. We couldn’t afford that and he was injured.

        • Danimal

          “Held to ransom”. Why? Because we were in an incredibly weak negotiating position due to our (Ashley’s) decision to leave it until the last possible moment. It was a choice and a very bad choice, not an act of God.

          • ghostrider

            We are never in a very weak negotiating position in terms of going for our own choices.
            We do end up in a weak position if bigger clubs or clubs in more favourable cities go against us, generally.

            I don’t believe Ashley left anything to the last minute. I believe Rafa’s choices were way out of our ability to play ball in the transfer/wages stakes.

            Slimani just like Sturridge were expensive strikers who were too risky to buy but not too risky to loan and why they were loaned….because to loan them means we don’t lose anything other than a weekly wage, yet could possibly gain some service.

            Nobody’s complaining about Kenedy and Dubravka as it stands….right?
            If Slimani didn’t get another injury, would people be excited about him playing?….I think so.

  • Leicester Mag

    Newcastle United football’s answer to ground hog day when it comes to trucking stupidly. We sign an injured player who doesn’t play and loan out an ‘injured’ who plays every game since. Go figure

    • ghostrider

      Point is Mitrovic wasn’t injured…just short of game time….well short.
      Rafa spins yarns.

      • Ram Kishore

        If Rafa spins yarn..
        Ashley is spinning around it around his waist..
        It’s the administration’s mistake (could be Ashley’s or maybe not his)

        • ghostrider

          Ashley and co do their fair share but I’m not ruling Rafa out of the yarn spinning game because he seems to have pulled a few good one’s out of the hat.

          • Ram Kishore

            Obviously Rafa didn’t do any yarn spinning in his need for a striker
            Administration failure

          • ghostrider

            They’re certainly not angels. They, along with the rest are to blame for a lot of wrongs but equally the rights.

          • anyobrien

            Belend

          • ghostrider

            Two words and an extra “l” on bel. You’re welcome.

          • anyobrien

            Pr1ck go and [email protected] off

          • ghostrider

            Limited words and all full of hate. lol.

  • East Durham Mag

    Once again Fattys lack of investment and lack of vision along with Penfolds blind obedience hamstring the team once again. Last minute deals and lack of spending f#ck us up AGAIN. Still the usual fools blame Rafa. ASHLEY OUT.

  • robbersdog

    He might be fit for the Leicester game…which he isn’t allowed to play in. It’s not looking like a great loan signing, but if he scores one goal that wins one match, I’ll be happy.

  • Natturner26

    Rafa got rid of his only decent striker and signed an injured striker. On loan. Last day of the January transfer window. So now it’s Gayle or Joselu for the rest of the season. And we’ll probably go down because of not having a striker. Same story all season but never tried Mitro and didn’t worry about the replacement being not fit.

    Someone needs to get sacked for this.

    He is a good coach, yes. But he’s proven again and again he has no business being involved in transfers.

    • Jezza

      Rafa is not to blame in any way and Mitrovic is far from being a decent striker as anybody who was at the Cup defeat to third division Oxford last season will tell you.

      Do you really think it was Rafa’s fault that the club waited till the last possible minute to bring somebody in? Do you live on Earth?

      Ashley was entirely responsible for bringing in Slimani. Rafa wanted Daniel Sturridge but Ashley wouldn’t pay the loan fee or player’s wages. Instead Ashley went for a pay per play deal for an injured Slimani because it was the cheapest possible, and to date entirely free option.

      • Natturner26

        Do you really think the club would have got rid of Mitro and brought in an injured striker on loan for a few months if it was not for Rafa? Do you live on Earth?

        You really think Mitro is far from being a decent striker? Do you live on Earth? He was the best we had out of three strikers. Admittedly none should be premier league first choices but he has been looking classy despite not being very fit in a strong Fulham side. Man of the match this week in his second start. Think Joselu would do the same?

        • Jezza

          How many goals did Dwight Gyle score last season and how many did Mitrovic score?

          Were you at the cup game at Oxford last season?

          Mitrovic has scored one goal in the Championship this season, Joselu who is admittedly rubbish has scored four in the Premiership.

          You seem to be under some delusion that Ashley gave Rafa £100 million back in November and told him to get some quality players in for the start of January but Rafa just messed about and was only interested in shifting out that guaranteed 40 Premiership goals per season striker Mitrovic.

          You are either deluded or a troll and I have got a pretty shrewd idea which.

          • Natturner26

            Jezza at least my points are logical. Your point about one goal in the Championship is nonsense as he’s played two matches of football. Embarrassing to twist the truth like that.

            And bringing up the Oxford match is embarrassing too. Wherein your hero Rafa played an experimental squad of outcasts. Why not try for a cup while playing in a weaker league with such an expensive side?

            The facts are, Dwight and Mitro both played well last season when called upon. Dwight got called on twice as much and he did score the goals to deserve being first choice. Mitro was a good second choice. Come this year when Gayle wasn’t up for it, naturally one would expect the second choice striker to get a run in the side. But we got stuck watching Joselu instead, then shipped out the second choice striker and brought in an injured striker on loan.

            What do you disagree with?

          • thewildchimp

            Spot on.
            Some people here are so blinded by the shiny trophies that Rafa has won, that they can’t see the blatant mistakes that he makes.

            Two seasons ago, Mitro, a 21 year old kid first time in England, scored more goals in less starts than Joselu and Gayle combined this year. Offers excellent link-up play, very strong, pushes the line, brilliant at holding, great in the air, great work rate, sub-par shooting skills, not very fast, never boring.

            I think that the greatest beef fans here have with him is that he is popular, but isn’t Alan Shearer or Super Mac. To the people living in the past, he’ll always be that guy who had a flop in the insignificant cup game against Oxford (even the manager treated it as such), never a lad with potential.

            Anyway, to cut the cr’p: Benitez should have loaned Joselu or Gayle, if he needed space. For crying out loud: Lascelles is right there with them on the score leaders table! If I was Benitez, I’d loan both of them to Championship clubs and bring two other forwards. One first choice all-rounder, one fast and Mitro as subs to have options on the bow and we’d be on auto-pilot to the mid-table finish. But our leaders exhibit greed, careerism and thick-headedness: I’ll let you guess who is who there.

          • Bigal09

            I agree with what you’re saying as it makes absolute sense. Rafa should have shipped out Gayle or Jos, maybe even both. Then simply replace them with with two or even three world class strikers who will guarantee goals (£50 MILLION each should to the trick). Why Rafa hasn’t thought of this makes me question if he’s really fit to manage our club? i can only assume his managerial track record is down to luck.

          • Jezza

            Yes you have to question exactly why Rafa Benitez chose not to spend any money in the recent January transfer window instead of splashing out £100 million on two world class strikers..

          • Mark Potter

            Maybe because the club doesn’t have £100m? He had a budget more like £15m unless he could get someone outside the Premiership to pay £10m+ for Mitro.

            If Rafa has made any mistakes, it was to naively assume that he could easily offload players like Mitro, Gayle, Colback, Krul, Haiddara etc. to be able to replace them with Prem quality.

          • Jezza

            Do you really believe Rafa was to blame for the club not signing one or preferably two decent strikers in January or are you just a troll?

          • thewildchimp

            I’m not a troll, marra, I’m on this site for more than 3 years, but rarely made comments until the last season.

            I’m not saying that Benitez is wrong when wanting better forwards – I also think we need at least one – but he is definitely in the wrong when choosing who to keep. Defensively, Rafa is master-class, probably second to none, offensively he is not good at all. He has tossed away Mitrovic and, would you know it, he happens to be Fulham’s Kenedy. Our current forwards can’t outscore our defenders. Not enough ability and atrocious system. Rafa needs forwards who can score alone for his system to work and we have none. Other than that we don’t even have forwards who can normally score. That’s not his fault, I agree.

            His fault lies in his obsession for clean sheets at this level. Or having zero trust in his players, name it how you want it. He is playing for the draws and odd wins instead of taking games at face value. When he does, however, he can outperform ManU. The only reason he persisted so much with Joselu is because he sometimes plays well defensively and can head the ball around (to noone, since the rest were behind the ball). Did he bother telling Shelvey: “Do not punt the ball to Gayle, he’s too short, work it into the box.” I can guarantee you that he didn’t, because:
            a) Shelvey is still doing it,
            b) it would break the defensive formation and leave us open for the dreadful counterattack that might have us concede.

            I’m sick and tired of the “he has a Championship level squad” banter. He has a Championship-winner level squad, which automatically makes them Premier League quality. Yes, the quality of the PL has dropped.

            And the worst thing, in my opinion, is that the lads don’t know how to break the game after scoring the opener. They go into full-defense mode as ordered, but without sabotaging the play. It’s proven disastrous for our point tally and Benitez should just drop it and press for 2-0 results instead.

            Those’re my “two pennies” on our situation. Benitez doesn’t “have it all wrong” or anything like that, but he failed to iron out the inevitable mistakes that he (and Ashley, don’t forget him) made and we are where we are right now. That’s why I say he’s stubborn.

          • Jezza

            I maintain that our squad most definitely is Championship standard and not even Championship winning standard. I truly believe we were not the best team in the Championship last season. From what I saw at matches, Brighton, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday all had better teams. In my book it is entirely due to Rafa that we won the league. In any case there is a huge gulf in standard between Championship and Premiership so even the best team in the Championshp going into the Premiership unstrengthened is going to be out of its depth.

            You can criticise Rafa’s tactics if you want that is your right as a supporter but there is no way we could get a better manager than him to come into the madhouse that is NUFC at this moment in time. If Rafa goes we are looking at the second coming of Pardew.

            It is also fair to raise the point that the recent transfer window finally proved beyond all doubt that Rafa has got absolutely no say in Newcastle’s transfer business.

            As for Mitrovic, he was awful last season. He looked woefully out of his depth even in the Championship. I had high hopes for him at the start of the season and rather thought he might start scoring regularly at that level like Shola and Lovenkrands did in 09/10 but he flopped. I can not comprehend why some Newcastle fans suddenly seem to think he is a world class striker.

          • thewildchimp

            No, no, I give credit to Rafa. But to the lads as well. Compared to Brighton, WBA, Stoke, Swansea, Everton, West Ham, Bornemouth, CP, Hudd, Southampton, Burnley – they are good enough. That’s the point. They don’t need to be a class squad – just good enough to beat the opposition.

            Yeah, I’m no eager for a manager change as well. But Benitez has to improve as well. The problems that we had in the Championship are still there: over-defending, poor home score, rushing too much on the attack. That’s something you work out on the training grounds and he’s been paid a lot to do it.

            Yeah, I agree that Mitro didn’t play well enough in the Championship. But he didn’t had enough chances. 5 minutes per game isn’t enough to do anything and there were times when Gayle went missing and we needed a target man badly.

            Also, I don’t think he is a world class striker as well. But better than Gayle or Joselu. That’s good enough at this point.

          • Jezza

            I’m not twisting anything. You’re the one who thinks that one goal in the Championship makes Mitrovic a world beater.

            Rafa is not my hero, I just recognise that he is doing a very good job in extremely difficult circumstances.

            What do I disagree with? Here are the things you have stated or implied that I disagree with:

            Mitrovic is a top quality Premiership striker.

            Mitrovic is better than Dwight Gayle.

            Rafa was to blame for the club not bringing in a striker earlier in the January window.

            Rafa was responsible for the club signing Slimani.

            That is all I have got to say on the matter because I try not to engage with trolls on this forum.

        • Down Under Mag

          To be honest yes, I think Joselu would do really well in the Championship where he would get more time and space on the ball to convert his chances. Much in the same way as Gayle looked class above in that league but is struggling to do it in the Premiership.

          While I personally don’t get the reasons why Rafa won’t even give him a chance, there is obviously a reason. But to want Rafa out because he has made a managerial decision and then failed to be backed by the owner?? Stupidity incarnate. plus, once again we see anit-Rafa sentiments BUT a total lack of feasible alternatives. Like it or not, if it were not for the organisation and team spirit Rafa has instilled here we would be bottom of the league. And if he were to leave, do you really think we would be looking to bring in someone on equal level? No, we would be rummaging around in footballs scrapheap again for an out of work has-been failure like Pardew or McClaren who will surely take us down while signing the song of the Ashley P.R. machine all the way to the Championship.

        • nufcslf

          Yes

    • Peaco

      Calm down dear

    • East Durham Mag

      Who do you want as manager then? Another Kinnear,Pardew or McClaren? Rafa obviously doesn’t rate the decent striker you refer to and if you think you know more about football than Rafa you are as mad as a mongoose. Slimani was not his choice and Fatty hasn’t backed Rafa yet again.

      • Jezza

        He’s a troll, marra.

    • Ram Kishore

      I will recommend the new owners to appoint you as the New transfer chief and head of scouting department

      • Cockneytrev

        😂😂😂

  • Neil O

    I think its about time we gave the current squad some credit. Everybody labels them as a “championship” squad. But, with all due respect, they are holding their own to date. We beat that Manchester team, I forget the full name……….. without Slimani. Its not the best news – but to be fair to Rafa, he has ensured that we have a fully fit squad today, Slimani aside. I think we stand a good chance of getting a point tomorrow.

    • Leazes.

      Two points….firstly we are two points from safety, secondly Slimani aside we’ve loaned out a fit striker who can’t hit a barn door for an unfit striker who can’t score against top clubs….. that might be three points….. I’ll just do the stats…. ehm maths.

      • Danimal

        Hope it adds up to 3 by 10 to 5 2day.

      • Neil O

        and two points off mid table. Like I said holding their own.

  • Mrkgw

    Well done Rafa. Sign a crock and let Mitrovic go. Great move eh.
    What an utter shambles.

    • Jezza

      Rafa wasn’t responsible for he Slimani signing. Rafa wanted to buy Jorgensen but Ashley wouldn’t back him. Rafa then tried to do a loan deal for Daniel Sturridge but again Ashley wouldn’t back him. Ashley allowed the signing of an injured Slimani loan because he came on a pay per play deal. A token signing to appease the fans without costing a penny to date.

      • Mrkgw

        Pay per play – that would have been my next point in asking what we had paid for. But, you have answered it Jezza. Fuming with Ashley – he has ruined our club. Good and proper. Chickens coming home to roost now.
        Lets just hope that we stay up and that he sells. Despicable.

        • Leazes.

          If you wan’t to understand Ashley at this present moment look to the off guard ‘interview’ in ‘pret-a-manger’ where he’s quoted as saying….

          ….’I’m not buying players for a club I have no interest in’

          It is loan’s or nothing for Rafa.

          Rafa is either holding out for a takeover or stringing everyone along in the meantime Ashley will continue to use the club in a hostage/blackmail scenario.

          A little drop of food and water to keep it alive.

          • Mark Potter

            There was no interview and absolutely no quotes. The guy wasn’t a reporter and didn’t take notes or record what was said. Nor even prove that he was actually speaking to Ashley.

            You refer to this “interview” constantly. You imagine that Ashley, who has only ever spoken to the media half a dozen times at most in ten years, and has never met with fans or their representatives, gave an “interview” to some random guy in a coffee shop? You are deluded.

      • Mark Potter

        Not true. Rafa said he wouldn’t meet the valuation of Jorgensen for a player with no Premiership experience.

        Not true again. A deal with Liverpool was even agreed for Sturridge, but the player chose to stay in the Midlands near his home.

        And probably not true on the Slimani deal. Where did you get that? Remember you went to bed the day before deadline day predicting that absolutely no business would be done by the club. You didn’t even know we had signed Dubravka and Slimani, nor got rid of half a dozen players. Your powers of prediction are remarkably feeble. You cry tears over Sunderland’s predicament and you fervently hope for Rafa to walk out and leave us to be relegated. You probably wet your pants with joy when you heard Slimani is injured again.

  • Down Under Mag

    Bol***ks! Not entirely unpredictable – hope WE didn’t pay for his jolly back home to see his folks and ‘train’ with the national team setup. All on Joselu, Gayle and Perez now I guess…think that goal difference saved against Citeh may look crucial towards the end of the season…

    • anyobrien

      No no no the man City game was a disgrace remember Rafael got it all wrong and should of been sacked immediately…. .👍 the super fans on twitter told us and a few belends on here.

  • Lhc

    Why take the risk then Rafa? Why ship out a fit Mitro weather he is everyone’s cup of tea or not and then bring in your fourth fifth choice striker who is injured, I don’t get it!

    • Mark Potter

      What do you mean by “not everyone’s cup of tea?” Rafa had no intention of playing him again this season, and has wanted to sell him for at least two windows. Nothing to do how some fans rate him, the manager decides.

      But you seem to forget that Mitro also had an injury – until his former club came calling. If he hadn’t got a loan, then I suspect he would have been mysteriously unfit with a “bad back” for the rest of the season.

  • kingfisher

    Lots of comments about how well Gayle and Mitro played last season,yes they may well have done but in the “THE CHAMPIONSHIP”. There are also some comments on how well Mitro has played for Fulham and got M.O.T.M. yes but once again in “THE CHAMPIONSHIP”.They are not Premier League standard !

    Why would Palace sell us Gayle when they were in the Prem? Answer: he’s not good enough for the prem, end of !

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I am not having a go at Islam Slimani as a player but in context of his loan signing by Newcastle United, He is this season’s Seydou Doumbia !
    In normal circumstances he could be a good signing but this is Mike Ashley’s World so it takes on a totally different meaning.
    He’s no more than an Ashley Appeasement Signing which is mere window dressing to mask the real problems.
    It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he never kicks a ball in anger for Newcastle United !

  • Paul Smith

    Who cares. We are currently sitting 10th in the table with what we have. If we manage to win this Bournemouth game another 6 points from the remaining 10 games would put us on 37 points which should be enough to stay up. Can’t see us failing to get 6 points from 10 games… 1 win + 3 draws from 10… Easy.