Wednesday night was yet another to forget for Newcastle United.

Going out of a cup to a side from a lower division, we have an addiction to it.

Whilst the referee totally bottled a clear penalty decision at 2-1 down, no Newcastle fan would claim that Forest didn’t deserve to win.

It wasn’t just the three goals, the home side wanted it more and played the better football.

Covering the game on BBC Radio 5 Live, pundit Stephen Warnock couldn’t believe how bad Newcastle were, not just in their play but on the tactics used.

“Newcastle didn’t deserve anything out of the game from a footballing point of view, from a philosophy if you like of going after the game. I think Rafa will be frustrated but he has to look at himself sometimes. You can’t always blame Mike Ashley.”

The thing is, Warnock isn’t your typical clueless pundit who always backs up Ashley and has a go at Rafa, to grab attention.

He usually speaks well of Newcastle United and on what we watched on Wednesday nigh, it is hard to disagree with him.

Newcastle had players missing but the team on the pitch should have done better AND as Warnock says ‘ you’ve got to go for the game’ at least at some point.

He criticises the tactics of just knocking the ball long and indeed it was terrible to watch.

We all know Mike Ashley is at the heart of everything that is wrong at the club but taking this match in isolation, it is very hard to defend your team and manager when they are so poor, show almost zero attacking intent, and have their first shot on target in the 92nd minute.

Do I blame Rafa Benitez for the club being in such a mess, absolutely not.

Do I blame Rafa for this Forest defeat, especially the style of it….well, I have to say yes he does have to take a share of the blame. I don’t mind so much getting beat as these things happen but to not have a real go is very very disappointing.

Stephen Warnock talking on BBC Radio 5 Live:

During the match:

“It’s grim from Newcastle’s point of view.

“We are looking round wondering who is going to bring some inspiration. Maybe Jacob Murphy will bring some brightness and get them back into this game.

“Forest though keep creating chances in this half.

“The subs haven’t affected the game at all from Newcastle. I thought they might step it up for final 10 minutes.

“It’s simply not happened.

“Salomon Rondon found himself in space in the box and produced a lovely finish into the far corner. Newcastle, out of nowhere, have levelled and there has been a real sting in the tail for Nottingham Forest.

“Wow! What play from Gil Dias down the left hand side. He’s been positive all game and drives it across the goal. Karl Darlow can’t hold on and what a finish from Matty Cash. What a response from Forest.

“They have been by far the better team and they totally deserve it.

“The Newcastle players think they should have had a penalty and surround the referee but they didn’t deserve anything from the match.

“Forest played extremely well, inventive, creative and beautiful goals to finish at the end.

“Fully deserved.”

Post-game overview:

Newcastle didn’t deserve anything out of the game from a footballing point of view, from a philosophy if you like of going after the game.

“I think Rafa will be frustrated but he has to look at himself sometimes.

“You can’t always blame Mike Ashley.

“I know fans will say ‘He (Rafa Benitez) hasn’t been backed in the window’ and things like that, but there’s a style of play as well.

“When you put the team on the pitch, you’ve got to go for the game.

“You’re away from home against a team from the league below. You have to go after this team.

“Tonight they just didn’t look at the races at all, and I think that’s the style that Rafa set them up for tonight, because every time Newcastle got the ball they were just knocking it long.

“There’s no football, there’s no skill involved in that, it’s just route one football.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Nottingham Forest 3 Newcastle United 1


Newcastle: Rondon 90+2

Forest: Murphy 2, Cash 90+4, Dias 90+7

Possession was Forest 46% Newcastle 54%

Total shots were  Forest 11 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Forest 7 Newcastle 1

Corners were  Forest 5 Newcastle 3

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Crowd: 13,942 (3,000 Newcastle)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Sterry,  Schar, Fernandez (Perez 69), Clark, Kenedy, Atsu, Ki, Longstaff, Muto (Murphy 77), Joselu (Rondon 82)

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Diame, Yedllin, Dummett

  • Jezza

    Who else can you blame but Ashley? What we’re seeing on the pitch now is the direct consequence of a summer transfer window in which the Newcastle United playing squad was wilfully weakened to provide funds for the S****s D****t takeover of a high street department shop chain.

    • East Durham Mag

      But Jezza The Fat One is our saviour and stabilised the club! FFS you couldn’t make it up could you. We all (most of us) he is 100% to blame.

    • FatParosite

      Yes you idiot…. Ashley got us out of debt… & provided £105M or summik this last window… It’s Rafa…. he’s the one… err yes Rafa… his fault.. Listen to the skiprat foghorn will you.. He knows the game had a glitteringly mediocre career at left back and knows the ins and outs of football much more than that fat Spanish waiter Benitez who only won:-

      La Liga: 2001–02, 2003–04
      UEFA Cup: 2003–04

      FA Cup: 2005–06
      FA Community Shield: 2006
      UEFA Champions League: 2004–05
      UEFA Super Cup: 2005

      Inter Milan
      Supercoppa Italiana: 2010
      FIFA Club World Cup: 2010

      UEFA Europa League: 2012–13

      Coppa Italia: 2013–14
      Supercoppa Italiana: 2014

      …… Rafa’s fault….

      • Rev

        and a Championship trophy … but it doesnt make him above criticism. He only has what is at his disposal, he isnt getting more, thats been painfully obvious for ages. His job is to win as many games as he can with these players. Its not the first time we have been played off the park by a championship club with much smaller resources. He is the coach, where is the passion and self belief?

        • TheFatController

          I think the point being made is that, having almost saved a desperate team from relegation, galvanized the players and fans to get us promoted and to tenth, maybe a cup game (we can’t really take too seriously given we are relegation fighters) being a poor performance may not be enough to start jumping all over Rafa, his tactics, motivational qualities etc

          • Revr

            If it was a one off it would be difficult to argue with that, the point i was labouring was that it isnt. Our tactics are shut out the opposition, score on the counter or from set pieces, the law of averages will keep us up. Unfortunately when we come up against quality sides we are generally picked off and when we come up against sides who are prepared to have a go like Forrest, Fulham we are undone. 90% of the league(s) sides are not moneybags united but the fans turn up thinking we might win this. Do we? The whole Rafa / Ashley thing is toxic. The fans love Rafa, the pundits seem to be wavering but the ones that matter are the players. If Rafa cant lift them the its not just going to be a long hard season, its going to be turmoil until either of the two people running the club goes.

          • TheFatController

            So a less successful manager would do better because they’d have us playing free flowing winning football?

            You’re either a successful manager or you’re not in my book.

    • drc74

      if it wasnt for ashley,. Monkseaton wouldnt enjoy newcastle winning in the championship, even better if we go down to league one

    • James B

      O take’s Rafa’s d!ck out of your mouth for once you fuck!n moron. We played Nottingham Forest! Our squad is worth more then theirs you r3tard so don’t use money as an excuse, by that logic we should be beating them.. Let me guess if we lose to Blackpool’s under 15’s it will be Ashley’s fault too?

      Why is Rafa on any wages at all if you blame games like this on Ashley?
      I love how dum3 [email protected] like you constantly ignore tactics, team selection, subs, in game and player management, coaching, youth players etc because you don’t believe it makes any difference. It’s always about Ashley.

      Stop spreading your load 10 times on Rafa’s not good for your health. Yeah I know..I’m blocked. Who gives a to$$

      • Jezza

        All that vile name calling says far more about you than it does about me.

        • James B

          grow up and counter my points. Is Rafa to blame for anything yesterday?

    • Lord

      Rafa will have off days where he makes the wrong substitution; plays the wrong formation; puts a player in who has an off day. But he’ll have good days too which he’ll probably have enough of to give us another PL season.

      Every day that Ashley spends on NUFC matters is a bad day, depriving our club of funds, ambition and pride.

  • Chris-Chapple

    Ashley is 100% to blame for the state we are in.

  • Brian Standen

    It was poor for 94 of the 96 minutes – however it does not excuse yet another diabolical penalty decision not given!
    Talking to a few last night I get the feeling Rafas tactics are being questioned, all is not well clearly!
    Bring on Man City

    • Kenny

      Penalty or not we were played off the park by an average championship side, on to Man City, that game will be over in the first 20 mins

      • Brian Standen

        Passed off the park , played off the park , dismal

    • nevfur

      He’s certainly being questioned but last night played the two up front two wingers 442 system the fans were screaming for last season. We just haven’t got the quality and flair in the team especially if a few are rested or injured. No creative number ten signed, desperate for one last night, no cover for LB signed, desperate for one last night. If any criticism I would say he again left his subs too late. Rondon and Perez changed the game and Murphy did more in twenty minutes than Kenedy and Atsu put together in the full game.

      • Mike Adam

        He always makes changes too late. He did all last season as well. But he has won trophies so you cannot question his tactics.

        • FatParosite

          You’re worrying about the paintwork when the car has no wheels….

          • Mike Adam

            Negative play breeds negative play.

          • Ram Kishore

            IMO there’s nothing wrong in negative play.. But yesterday we didn’t play negatively.. Yesterday’s performance is solely down to players and players alone..
            I think Rafa did his part but the players failed to do the work on the pitch mike. Rafa can’t actually instruct them in each and every pass .
            Hope the players learn and Rafa motivates them.. i am fully behind Rafa
            Let’s get behind them on Saturday

      • Wezza

        Spot on. No quality was signed, just replacements.

  • Albert Stubbins

    we’ve been unlucky against Spurs and played off the park against Chelsea. Should have had all three points against Cardiff and were denied a certain spot kick to give us the chance to level against Forest. I can see both sides of the argument in terms of where we could be in terms of points and possibly still be in the cup but with the team we had out last night it was always going to be difficult to break down a resolute and determined Forest side. Should we have had enough as a club to beat Forest? It would have probably taken a full and fit complete first team turnout to win- that’s the problem we have as a club- if we haven’t got the best team available to us on the pitch we struggle. How many games did we win without Lascelles last season? We have no where near enough quality in this side and we all know the reasons behind that. Rafa has laboured this point the entire transfer window and now its coming home to roost. Let nobody tell you otherwise – this season is going to be a stinker!!!

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Statistically, you have a point about losing without Lascelles but the centre of defence were ok, Clark was very rusty at full back.

      Ki is good enough to run a game from mislrfield but it’s his first game and is playing with a decent but inexperienced youngster.

      • Albert Stubbins

        The point I’m making is we need our first team out to win games even like this.Clarke clearly wouldn’t be playing full back if this were the case.

        • FatParosite

          Don’t feed the (paid for) morons. Block them….

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Yep, I agree with that.

          What I was trying to say, I don’t see a problem with playing the likes of Ki but it neither did him any favours to have to nurse Longstaff (who played well) along in Ki’s first game nor Longstaff who would have felt he’d ‘arrived’ more if he was playing alongside a regular.

          • Albert Stubbins

            I think Rafa was expecting a better performance from Longstaff which is hugely optimistic in my opinion. Ki has his own need to perform without nursing longstaff. I think we may have got away with it at home but away from home that team had no chance for me and I said as much before the game started. A full team may have got us a result and I would have risked that personally as Saturday weve no chance- id have rather played the kids against city and won today if Im being honest.

          • Ruel Intentions

            Longstaff was our best player.

            He looks tidy and tough. His debut and Rondon getting off the mark the only two good things from last night.

          • Albert Stubbins

            He had a better game than Kenedy that’s for certain!!

          • Kneebotherm8

            Who didn’t….he was abysmal…….

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I have to agree with you but we don’t have £1m of our salary in bonuses based on EPL position.

      • Ram Kishore

        Hey Bobbi..
        After seeing yesterdays performance at LB by clark i kinda remembered your assessment that he’s capable to put a shift in.. We needed one as i told u.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Defenders do not adjust quickly to playing in different positions, I’d still say he’s capable but he needs to adapt. His problem yesterday seemed to be pace which is never going to be learnt and the same problem Manquillo had vs Cardiff.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          That said, I do agree with you but it’s very hard recruiting ‘cover’. I’d prefer we had a good first xi and rely on reserves to be in reserve.

          • Ram Kishore

            That’s the problem its impossible to depend on just that first ix.. we need atleast a left back who’s young and prolific and can be an understudy..

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We did, Rafa let him go!!

          • Ram Kishore


          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman


    • Kneebotherm8

      One individual cost us a goal within two minutes and then another one a couple of minutes before the end……..Benitez can’t plan for individuals making criminal mistakes like that……….after two minutes we were on the back foot and their tails were up……

      • Ram Kishore

        You are reflecting what I really wanted to say.. Rafa can’t dictate the players minds. Players played poorly and i i hope Rafa motivates them and we do well against City.. let’s get behind them

        • Kneebotherm8


      • ToonTom

        And Forest played some really good football! We weren’t great, they were very good (I only saw the first half, mind), and they deserved the victory. If we’d had a stronger team out there, I’d definitely be concerned, but my concerns lie at the ownership of the club and its plans for our future not at the outcome of a low-key game with a low-key Newcastle squad on the pitch.

        • Kneebotherm8

          Benitez,I’m sure,still had a plan to win the game………playing away and conceding a goal within two minutes is never ever a good idea……the home crowd and the home team fired up immediately by what was a very,very avoidable goal…..Rafa would be pulling his hair out watching Kenedys lacklustre challenge that led to the goal……….disappointing is putting it mildly……….lessons learned hopefully……….onwards and upwards……….
          All our concerns lie with an ownership,who I fear,we are going to be stuck with for a long time yet………all demonstrations need to be kept going relentlessly in a concerted effort for to have any chance of ousting this owner…..keep up the pressure……….#Ashleyout

  • Alex

    Warnock is acting clueless like the others!

    Shelvey is injured, Diame given a rest, Ki playing……so, who else could Rafa have played to create from midfield?

    • FatParosite

      Skiprat gob$hite…

  • Carverlier football

    We can and we will! It’s not great on the pitch though… I suppose it was less defensive than Chelsea and a better performance than Cardiff but that’s saying nowt really… Kenedy looked like he’d gone too far the other way, refusing to take anyone on. I think confidence may have been as much a factor as tactics last night, which I was always worried about when I first saw how difficult the start of the season – I’m bracing myself for it to take a while to turn around even after we get the “difficult” fixtures out of the way. Of course in this situation you could really do with refs giving clear and obvious penalties to you…

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Ashley is always a factor as he supplies the tools. Rafa and the players aren’t blameless either. Conclusion, another fine avoidable mess.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Yes…….that’s another fine mess…

  • Jimblag23

    As I said before the game on the Predicted line up article, we would obviously lose if we rotate our players. A settled team are always going to win against a rotated team, especially if it’s a pretty weak squad.
    As Bellamy said yesterday, Rafa has never cared about this competition. He was never going to prioritise this game, whether we like it or not.
    With the paper thin squad we have, unfortunately I think it was the right thing to do.

  • kingfisher

    If we had got the penalty,if Rafa had better players,if,if,if. If my Aunty had b******s she’d be my Uncle !
    We should play our strongest team in every game,and if that means our squad isn’t good enough, or big enough and we get relegated then so be it because if things don’t change soon, we’ll be relegated anyway. We may as well go down fighting and then the 50,000 can turn up at SJP and enjoy the result of their unwillingness to boycott a few games and watch Championship football,which let’s face it, is just about our level.

    • FatParosite

      Many of those SJP morons enjoy ‘winning lots’ in the Championship…. It is enough to go boing boing…. I steal from Murdock and I STILL feel cheated…

  • Cuh


  • Billmag

    Fair comments from Warnock and as much as I love Rafa he has to take a very small part of the blame, now if Rafa had been given say £100m to spend and the team played the way they have for the last 3 games then he would be totally to blame. When you keep buying cheap and getting player’s on loan there’s only one direction you are going to go irrespective of who the manager is.

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      I think he’s really worried about keeping a strong starting 11 throughout the season. A couple of niggling injuries to key players and we are stuffed.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Why leave Perez and Rondon on the bench it was an insult to the travelling fans who have taken time off work and paid to get there. It can only mean one thing Rafa expects to win at Man City.

    • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

      You dont speak on behalf of travelling fans lets get that one out of the way. I think most people wouldnt argue that Joselu got another start last night, as it was a chance for him to keep up his decent start to the season.

      As for Perez, I think you are the only one who truly cares whether he plays or not.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Rondon needs match fitness only Rafa fails to see that. I spole to many fans last night and they were not happy with the team selection. Some even want Rafa to go.

        • Ruel Intentions

          But Rafa has given him game time? Building his fitness up quite well so far – he’ll be ready to be first team starter shortly.

        • drc74

          must of been a big fxcking lift

    • gordon

      I asked this on another thread but, as usual, you failed to back up your nonsensical statements. I presume you wish to be taken seriously, but you cannot expect that to happen if you stick your fingers in your ears and shout lalala. So I will ask again:
      You have stated on numerous occasions that you are more than happy with the summer signings and the squad. Given your outrage at Perez and Rondon not being picked, are you now saying you do not have confidence in said squad players?
      I am eagerly awaiting your reply with zero expectation. F%*&*g thick [email protected]

      • Wezza

        He probably won’t answer, people are still waiting on answers from him regarding his lies about how many season tickets were left…. which prompted him to disappear for a while.

        • gordon

          Yeah I stuck the insult on the end trying to goad him into replying, as questioning his intelligence on another thread really seemed to rile him. Seems not even his sense of outrage is enough to overcome his embarrassment at trying to justify his nonsense.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            You do not rile me at all you are like others on here a bad supporter.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Not many season tickets left as they cap it at four thousand left and it round that figure. Two excellent crowds so far and a third one to follow.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Perez did not start against Chelsea so should have been an automatic starter. Rondon badly needs game time to get match fit. Not rocket science but is to you.

  • GToon

    The buck stops at the top. It’s ashleys club. He owns it. He deprives it of funds. You can have the best mechanic in the world but if he’s working on a Ford Focus he isn’t going to win the Grand Prix.

    • ToonTom

      Let’s be clear (before the lazy trolls misunderstand your analogy), you can have the best mechanic in the world but if he’s working on a Ford Focus he isn’t going to *compete in* the Grand Prix.

      • GToon

        Exactly Tom. We’d be driving at the back, hoping to get past somebody who has a slip up…..

  • BanJones

    Kenedy just needs to concentrate better – he has the tools but not concentrating on your first touch is criminal.

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      He’s had a poor start this season. If class is permanent and form temporary, then he’ll come good in time, otherwise just as well he’s only on loan.

    • Kneebotherm8

      He needs to play the simple pass now and again…….and certainly never try his tricks in the defensive third….that is criminal….he’ll sharp be sussed out when defenders know he’ll not release the ball……..the unique stat of not one competed pass by him in the first half at Cardiff was more down to him only attempting to make 2 passes………I’m sure Rafa will sort that out with him though….

  • Wezza

    There’s another “pundit” who doesnt know the facts.

    Of course Ashley is to blame.
    123M to money and the promise of every penny. None of us thought that sum would be spent but only a few predicted a transfer window profit.
    Rafa was forced to only replace players with bargain bin freebies and loans – not improve the quality of the side.

    • Ram Kishore

      I think he is right about our players not doing well.. sometimes you have accept the players didn’t play properly ..The players who played yesterday were all championship proven and players who have played at higher levels ..Apart from Sean and Jamie.. The players need to push on.

    • mentalman

      all the players were atleast championship level last night, some even higher and it was a poor performance. The manager and the players need to take their share of the blame.

  • TheFatController

    From February to April, the players ‘surprised us’.

    So far this season, there have been no surprises (bar maybe the heading ability of Joss).

    We are a bottom half team in amongst the also rans. Make that bottom 8 of wolves and Fulham get gking this season.

    So unless players again start ‘surprising us’, it’s not going to be a season of attacking football and mid table mediocrity sadly.

    • FatParosite

      The heady heights of mid table mediocrity…..

  • Cockneytrev

    The pundits can say whatever they like,, there isn’t only one person to blame,,,
    Kennedy aside tell me one other player that started last who could get into another premiership team? I’ll go one better Kennedy aside there is maybe 2 other players who are even championship class,,,,,,,,, this is the worst squad we’ve had since the early 90s and there is only one person to blame , when he took overhead had a perfect platform to move the club forward,, he had no intention of this,,,, the club was bought to further his retail empire nothing more nothing less…
    Not only the HMRC, but the FA and the premiership should be looking at where the money has gone…. he should be forced to make his accounts transparent and prove that the money taken within the running of the club has gone towards the club and not to be siphoned into other businesses to increase the share price and definitely not used to buy other failing businesses.
    Also land owned by the club should not be sold to himself be used to improve his property empire unless the money received is used to further the playing squad or the infrastructure of the club as a whole, e.g. The academy …
    as an owner of a premiership club he has a duty of care to run the club in a fit and proper manner and we as paying customers are entitled to this..
    He has taken the tv money now its time for the premiership/sky/BT and the FA to do something…

    • GToon

      Well said. Unfortunately it would appear that he is almost above the law.

    • FatParosite

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for the unscrupulous to suddenly find scruples.

      • Cockneytrev

        Yes your probably right,,,
        In fact I know your right,,,

    • Alreet

      Correct. But once again u you know all the pundits will bring the 10th place out of the bag.

      We cant win with any of the media. Ash could s**t on the NUFC crest and they would still be defending him.

  • Taz

    Fat Ashley is always to blame to anything and everything that is wrong with nufc. He is the bad result of everything.