What would be your Newcastle United team to start the season?

Yes we all expect more new signings to arrive, as well as other players leaving, but you just never know for sure with Mike Ashley.

He has form.

This transfer window we are constantly being told that Rafa being able to sign the players he wants to bring in, largely depends on the manager being able to move out those currently here.

With only 25 days until transfer deadline, how can any of us say for sure that any of the unwanted players will leave, or any of Rafa’s targets landed.

Both Matz Sels and Chancel Mbemba are still with Newcastle United despite being set to be sold some six weeks ago.

Mbemba reported to be still here due to Mike Ashley refusing to accept a million less than he wants and what Porto are willing to pay, whilst with Matz Sels it as claimed only half a million difference in valuations stopped him signing for Anderlecht.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is assumed to be heading out but last summer Ashley demanded at least £16m, making it impossible for the striker to be sold and Rafa to use the money to buy a forward that he does want to pay.

With goals for Fulham and a decent World Cup, you do have to wonder just how much the NUFC owner will demand now for the Serbian international.

So if we get a no deal Newcastle United for the rest of the transfer window, what are we left with?

I would suggest this Newcastle United team from what we would have available:

Dubravka

Yedlin

Lascelles

Lejeune

Dummett

Kenedy

Shelvey

Diame

Ritchie

Gayle

Mitrovic

Last season Rafa Benitez toyed at times with a three/five at the back and I think it could work, with Yedlin and Kenedy ideal as wing-backs.

With Dummett joining Lejeune and Lascelles as one of three centre-backs, why couldn’t Newcastle have similar success to England with this system?

At the opposite end of the pitch I would play Mitrovic and with these wing-backs I think it could help get the service to the striker that he needs, with crosses into the box.

Ayoze Perez finished the season well but I still don’t think he is a first choice player in the Premier League.

With Dwight Gayle, he did have a disappointing goals return last season but in most matches he was left very isolated. He would be helped by also having Mitro up there and Gayle’s workrate means he can act as a second striker and help tracking back.

Diame and Shelvey are no-brainers in the middle and by using wing-backs, it could allow Ritchie to play in the middle and/or have a free role to help support the strikers, as well as his usual excellent defensive work.

I’m not claiming this would be an ideal outcome but with Mike Ashley, managers have had to become used to working within limitations.

I think this Newcastle United team above could hold its own but like the rest of you, I am desperate for some better quality to be added in the next three and a half weeks.

To feature like John Martin submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here



  • Dillon Tovak

    You really went left field with that one, wild selections.

  • Paul Patterson

    Jesus Christ! Mitrovic is going to be sold, Ritchie wants a move and Rafa won’t play 2 up front, (also, no Perez?) so that side has absolutely no chance of starting the game against Tottenham . .

    • Spider

      Paul Patterson where did you hear that Richie wanted a move first I’ve heard on that one Hayden wants a move are you getting mixed up.

      • Paul Patterson

        Yeah, little slip there. Not quite what I meant. It’s more that the club want to sell him to finance other deals (Townsend) which is silly. We can easily keep both and still strengthen. We should easily be able to afford Townsend and a striker.

        • Dillon Tovak

          I did hear somewhere that he wanted to move back down south, but I’m not too sure if I believe that.

          • mentalman

            It was being reported his wife/girlfriend hadn’t settled in the area

          • paul mclaughlan

            Not true. He wants more money from Stoke to drop down into the championship again.

  • TheFatController

    I love that someone on here yesterday pointed out that a few clubs had not spent yet either.

    One club named was Chelsea. Obviously abramovich reads the Mag, so went straight to the shops and bought Jorginho for £50m.

    Thats the power of The Mag, I think we can all agree …

    • Geordiegiants

      Chelsea’s second/money making team is stronger than our squad.

    • Paul Patterson

      Ashley will probably have generated that sort of figure in PROFIT by the end of this window . .

  • texfitz

    MA is seriously stunting this clubs growth! We’ve all hoped that we would kick on this season, and that Rafa would’ve been given a canny budget to strengthen in all areas. As it stands – i have no doubt that this team WILL be relegated next season without any further signings.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      if Rafa wasn’t at the helm, I’d agree. But he’ll keep us up via organization and hard work (and boring tactics) and then be off as soon as the final whistle blows in May. Honestly, if Benitez somehow manages to finish higher than tenth this time around he deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as Keegan and Robson for the job he’d had done under the circumstances.

  • Mrkgw

    Looks to be about our best starting eleven. With the possibility of Townsend returning, will that mean a rethink for Rafa in terms of Mitro? I say that with the potential for more crossed balls etc.

  • MetalMickey

    I think it’s fair to say that Mitro never saw himself as good enough to wear the no.9 shirt, that’s why Gayle has been wearing it.
    We don’t have anyone at the club who lives up to its standing in the club and I see this as Cashley’s biggest failing.
    Our defence is by far the best we’ve had in a lifetime, yet you can’t win games without goals.
    Goals and creativity are the 2 most expensive players to buy and in Shelvey and Kenedy we have the latter covered.
    Buy us a striker worthy of the shirt and the club or get out and let someone else deliver!

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Without Perez we would have been relegated full stop so to leave him out our top goal scorer is madness. However four more new signings will put pressure on an all ready good squad.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Fair play Monkseaton. Starting on the drugs early this morning are we?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Anti drugs just a few Stella’s a day does the trick.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          The garbage you spout suggests otherwise

          • Wor Lass

            He`s right about Perez, though. He finished last season as well as anyone. I know it`s just John`s opinion but why bother touting Mitro when Rafa clearly has no intention of playing him?

          • Foggy

            Finished the season well, yes. Pity about the rest of it though.

          • mentalman

            A lot of fans saying perez isn’t up to it even with his form at the end of the season and yet cm isn’t a problem position because diame is so amazing

          • Foggy

            Not me. Said many times it depends which Diame or Perez shows up. I’d prefer alternatives at both positions but definitely at the 10 spot.

          • mentalman

            I think perez deserves to be given a chance at 10 playing with a decent striker

          • Foggy

            Maybe so. I don’t want to risk it though without an alternative 10 in case he is a bad as he was for most of last season. I’ll be very surprised if Rafa doesn’t see it the same way.

          • mentalman

            We’ve apparently got a few players who can play at 10, go with perez for the first half of the season and any money which may have been spent on this position can be added to the striker money

          • Foggy.

            I had hoped Merino could’ve played there but that ship sailed.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Who touted Mitrovic

          • Wor Lass

            John`s got him in his starting 11 for the season, “At the opposite end of the pitch I would play Mitrovic …”. So the answer to your question is, “He did”.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Well I didn’t so I’m not in the slightest bit interested, Mitrovic is useless too.

          • Wor Lass

            Stamp your foot!

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Or feet..since I have two.

          • TheFatController

            He’ll make you an honorary mackem now. He has that power.

            The university of Mugpie gives us honorary mackem supporting histories. A lovely gesture from a Superfan.

          • Wezza

            Just block him mate, he isn’t an NUFC fan, he and his brother are MUFC season ticket holders. Sad isn’t it. Shearer turning them down made them very bitter!

        • paul mclaughlan

          Stella is a drug.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    So that’ll be our team then, fatty will be furious he’s had to spend £4 million already

  • Andynufc

    West Ham have just spent 42 mill on a player taken their summer transfer spending up to 100 mill. Once again highlights the disgusting regime that we have here at nufc. Ashley is cancer in human form. His greed for money will never be quenched. Maybe nufc fans need to storm the pitch and shout out against Ashely infront of his best buddies Sky Sports. Another summer transfer window is going to end in failure for Rafa to recruit the players he wants in. Where is all the money? It seems the only money Rafa is getting is from player sales. The best news the fans could ever wish to here is the day Ashley dies and I really hope that’s soon.

    • Wezza

      That’s a club backed by their chairman/board and a club with ambition spending their TV money on good signings.
      We can only dream of making signings like that!

      • Andynufc

        I’ve pretty much giving up that dream now

        • Blackburn1066

          me too.

      • Also West Ham have been in the Prem for quite some time and this is the first time they’ve ever splashed cash so big and they have it covered with FFP. If we splash 100m NET now, it will most likely make the club take another LOAN from Mike which nobody wants.
        Bottom line is, Rafa needs 30-40m from Mike and 60-70% from what players we sell.

  • mentalman

    Didn’t yedlin get dropped everytime we played with wing backs?

    I’d rather see mbemba at rb but thats as likely to happen as mitro being our main striker

  • DeadToiler

    I don’t think you can say England had “success”. 3 wins 1 draw and 3 defeats. They only played 2 decent teams. I agree that Perez is an important member of the squad.

  • Wezza

    From transfermarkt these are the top 10 sales in the Ashley era:

    Andy Carroll – Liverpool £36.90m
    Moussa Sissoko – Tottenham Hotspur £31.50m
    Georginio Wijnaldum – Liverpool £24.75m
    Yohan Cabaye – Paris SG £22.50M
    Andros Townsend – Crystal Palace £14.04m
    James Milner – Aston Villa £13.50m
    Mathieu Debuchy – Arsenal FC £13.50m
    Kieron Dyer – West Ham £10.80m
    Mikel Merino – Real Sociedad £10.80m
    Obafemi Martins – Wolfsburg £9.45m

    Coincidentally the club made 90M in player sales in the 16/17 season – The same 90M that we claim was lost…. lost in one of MA’s holding account black holes!

    • As much as I hate the FCB he is in to to make money, as any other businessman. I only blame him for taking risks on the wrong managers and trying bloody hard to do a “Keegan” again with Rafa.

      • Milo79

        Surely he tried to do a ‘Keegan’ with Keegan?

  • Soldier

    a few injuries and Newcastle are down, it`s hard to see a win in our first 6 games

  • After seeing Mitro in the WC you are giving him a start? I just can’t believe some people!

    • steve

      After seeing him at the world cup you wouldn’t give him a start? The studio had Ferdinand, Lampard and Drogba raving about how well he played against Switzerland

      • Yup, had 4-5 clear chances, never looked like scoring against a decent keeper. Fulham can have him for all I care.