Paul Merson couldn’t contain himself after watching Newcastle play on Saturday afternoon.

It took an 80th minute Ayoze Perez goal to eventually beat Huddersfield but the Sky Sports pundit was raving about their play in the first half.

Merson declaring…’Newcastle were brilliant first half. Absolutely outstanding. First 30 minutes – 10 shots they had at goal.’

He believes one more win from the final seven games would make totally sure of safety this season…and he knows the perfect game to guarantee it.

Paul Merson says that playing Alan Pardew’s West Brom side is the ideal match to make sure Rafa’s team get over the finishing line, stating that anybody would have taken that at the start of the season – having to beat a team with only two wins in 30 games to make absolutely sure of staying up.

I don’t think I have ever heard/seen Merson go so over the top about Newcastle, so positive, they must have been good, especially before the break.

Paul Merson speaking on Sky Sports:

“I think Newcastle are now one win away [from safety].

“I think if they get one more win, Southampton and Stoke will have to pull up trees to bring that back.

“So for me, one more win…West Brom, they’ve got, West Brom at home – you would like to beat, that’s your cup final.

“If you were told at the start of the season that you had to beat a team who had won two in 30 to stay up, you’d take that.

“Newcastle were brilliant first half. Absolutely outstanding.

“First 30 minutes – 10 shots they had at goal.

“Gayle should have had a couple of goals, they kept on going, they were very good.

“The goal…Perez gets it, plays it out to Atsu, he plays the ball into the box, it falls to Kenedy at the far post.

“Talk about don’t panic, gets the ball and instead of just lashing it at goal he composed himself and a lovely five yard ball and Perez taps it in.

“Definitely, definitely deserved to win the game.

“Brilliant result for Newcastle.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0


Newcastle: Perez 80

Possession was Huddersfield 37% Newcastle 63%

Total shots were  Huddersfield 4 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Huddersfield 3 Newcastle 3

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 67), Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 79), Shelvey, Kenedy, Gayle (Slimani 75)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Murphy

Crowd: 52,261 (3,000 Huddersfield)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0 go HERE)

(Despite not one effort on target David Wagner says Huddersfield didn’t deserve to lose! Read HERE)

(Rafa Benitez reaction to the win HERE)

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Agree with everything he says although i think we`ll be safe before Pardspew brings the woeful WBA to St James.
    wouldn`t you just love it if you could lock Clarko in a room with Pardew to explain to him where it all went a $$ over T1t

    • Albert Stubbins

      Poor pards. Doesn’t deserve that like!!

  • Leazes.

    He’s got nothing to do with United so why the obsession with the ex Arsenal player?

    I don’t care what he says. or for that matter any of the pundits that your official betting partner troop out an a weekly basis to fill Mark jensen’s pockets.

    Didn’t bother reading it past the headline.

  • Big Al 1967

    Personally I think the one win required will come against Arsenal. They will have had a long trip back from Russia and if it is cold and wet the likes of Ozil will just not fancy it.

  • Peaky Magpie

    41 points,15th….said it for a long time now and sticking to it…anything above that is a bonus.

    • Come&TakeIt1836

      I’d take 41. I started the year saying 13th. I’ll stick with that and that being 40 points.

      A few balls bounce our way over the final run in (or Slimani gets going) and we could end up an amazing 10th with about 45 points.

      • Peaky

        Just wish we were mathematically over the line.

    • Polarboy

      41 points will get you higher than 15th I believe. I’d say 41 could easily see a team finish 12th, 13th. I’m predicting 42 and finishing 12th, 11th.

      • Peaky

        You may well be right.

  • Sean Lynch

    3 out of 18 on target is the negative that I think Rafa will express to his players.
    We know Rafa. We could win 10-0, with 80% posession and he’ll look at what could have been done better. That is why he’s a winner and that’s part of the reason we love him.
    Diame was absolutely immense, again!
    I’d honestly believe that he is becoming the midfield destroyer we’ve heard about at other clubs, yet never really had ourselves … until now!
    Slimani’s cameo showed that he’s intelligent, strong and will make life hell for the opposition.

    • Ba ba.


  • Mrkgw

    Well said Merse. Keep it going.

  • relaxed

    Looks like Ashley could be cashing in on Lascelles

    From the Mirror
    Chelsea have identified Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles as the next John Terry.

    The Blues will make a £30million move for the 24-year-old central defender in the summer after being impressed by his leadership skills and no-frills defending.

    Lascelles has grown in stature since joining the Geordies in August 2014 from Nottingham Forest in a double deal with keeper Karl Darlow that saw both players loaned back to the former European champions for one season.

    He has become a mainstay of manager Rafa Benitez’s fight against relegation this season and the Toon will be reluctant to lose a player who has been close to an England call-up.

    • Paul Smith

      We were reading the same story the year we got relegated about Chelsea wanting Lascelles and he’s still here. Back then it was £15 million and at the time and since people (including our own fans) were saying he wasn’t even worth that. Have people already forgotten how much stick he was getting for his form last season in the championship until they learned he’d been playing with a hernia problem for months? I haven’t… Sooooo i’ll believe it when I see it.

    • Bradley Sparkes

      He’s worth far more than £30m though. To sell at that price would be undervaluing a huge asset.

      I would only sell him for that price if he wanted to leave and if Chelsea were willing to include Kenedy as well.

  • Paul Smith

    With the form the bottom 3 have been showing lately we could lose our last 7 games and still have a decent chance of staying up. Our superior goal difference is like an extra point (although losing all 7 games might do a bit of harm to that).

    • Georgia Peter

      Counting chickens is a real bad habit. …….!

  • Ba ba.

    He’s right great today and great since the new year

  • Ba ba.


  • Mayor Vaughn

    One more point needed imo, not one more win. I’d prefer one more win mind.

  • TheNutJob

    £30m for Jamaal, Rafa wouldn`t sell, Fatty would

    • Rafa knows he’s worth 50m+ in the current market and so is Shelvey, especially if they get a call for England.
      Would I sell both for £100m? If we can get 4 quality players in with that money I would, but only if I have 2 deals ready to sign and a month at least before the start of the season to get the teamwork up.

      • Albert Stubbins

        Who would you replace Jamaal with? He’s been the key player for us this season. I’m not one normally for stats but with him not in the team were basically f****.

        • Bradley Sparkes

          I don’t believe we’d find a decent replacement for a great captain at this stage. His value is hard to quantify, given that he is crucial to galvanising the squad behind the scenes. Selling now would be a backwards step.

          I say offer him a new contract, if he’ll take it, keep hold of him for at least another season, bring in another young CB, improve the rest of the squad. Have a proper crack at the FA Cup next season. Meanwhile, his value will increase and we can continue moving forward without disrupting this great momentum we have.

  • kingfisher

    There’s absolutely no advantage to us staying in the Prem other than the proposed takeover is more likely to happen, and we get an owner who doesn’t take the p*** out of the club and fans.
    I’ve always believed that the main reason that Rafa has stayed is that he knows the takeover will happen and the new owners will share his long term vision for nufc.

    As far as Lascelles is concerned, every player has his price and if we can get a massive amount for him, ( i.e big Andy) then reinvest that money into the playing side then great.However that would only work if Ashley was gone because, (as he has proved on past occasions) the money would not be invested into the club but into his ever increasing bulging back pocket ! Anyone who thinks that it would be any different this time round is living in cloud cuckoo land.🦆🐣🐤

    • Wor Lass

      No advantage? Cast your mind back to last season – sh*te referees week in week out, teams trying to kick the crepe out of us, no coverage worth speaking of on TV unless we were on live, having to wait through the PL coverage before we get a mention … I wa going to say lack of money but …

      • kingfisher

        I know what you are saying about the coverage etc, but a lot of people enjoyed last season (myself included),as we had a good chance of winning games as we were competing on a level playing field and the expectation and excitement was there,unlike this season when we seem to be fire fighting every game and we are frightened to give it a real go because there is too much at stake.
        Surely every one enjoyed even the last few games last season especially the last one when we were crowned Champions ?
        I would rather be fighting for promotion as opposed to relegation, but at the end of the day,we all have our own opinions 😁

    • pedrodelgardo

      It would be dangerous to sell Lascelles imo, we could get better footballing ability with the money but he has rarer skills – leadership, committment and he seems to have a fantastic relationship with his manager. He is part of getting the maximum out of the talent we have.

      • kingfisher

        Spot on Pedro, but if a player wants to leave then there is no point in keeping him.I’m not saying Lascelles wants to leave,but (as has happened in the past re: Andros Townsend) if a player wants to increase his chances of playing for his country and winning some club trophys, then his head may be turned.If that does happen then we should obviously get as much as we can to enable us to buy more troops !

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      It’s not gone in his pocket in. The past.

  • FairsCup69

    If we’d hung on at Bournemouth, not lost that last minute goal at home to Bournemouth, saw it through at home to Burnley and had Dubravka in goal against Everton, imagine whwre we’d be in the table……

    • PhilK

      How we are still in there using a Championship keeper and not a good one at that is a testament to Benitez (and Lascelles, who to me is Mr Newcastle)

  • Lejeune has been a revelation, playing half the time as a deep-laying playmaker. Taking the burden from Shelvey and Diame. This is why Rafa bought him and yes he may do a silly thing at the back every now and then but he’s absolutely sensational as a sweeper.

    • PhilK

      Well summed up. Agree 100%

      • Albert Stubbins

        I prefer Clarke to be honest. I think lejurne takes too many unecessary risks in dangerous areas. Yes he does look class at times but needs to do the ugly stuff better in my opinion.