It was Braga 4 Newcastle 0 at the final whistle on Wednesday night.

A bit like the old joke, Newcastle were lucky to get nil.

As on Saturday night  in the very lucky draw against Porto, when Newcastle were completely outplayed and didn’t have a shot on goal, Rafa Benitez once again named his best team from what he had available.

The only changes were Gayle, Hayden and Atsu coming into the team for Joselu, Shelvey and Murphy.

Shelvey presumably carrying a knock as he wasn’t named on the bench.

Tonight it was terrible and while Newcastle could and should have got beaten by a hatful on Saturday, their luck ran out tonight.

Ayoze Perez had one effort well saved and put another over the bar in the first half but apart from that, Newcastle threatened very little going forward. The only other effort of note was a second-half free-kick from Ki that was turned away by the home keeper.

The woodwork and Martin Dubravka saved Newcastle against Porto but it wasn’t to be against Braga.

Dubravka was eventually beaten in the 53rd minute and Karl Darlow was the unfortunate one to be on the end of another three goals in the final 13 minutes.

The keeper replacing Dubravka but seeing goals fly past him in the 77th, 85th and 90th minutes, as the men in front of him crumbled.

I don’t take much notice of results in pre-season but to concede four and offer almost zero threat against a very average Braga side, you do have to feel the odd nervous twitch ahead of the season.

Obviously Florian Lejeune is injured, Shelvey wasn’t available, and Kenedy is still on paternity leave after the birth of his daughter, bu surely we shouldn’t fall apart when missing only a couple of players.

Yoshinori Muto should hopefully help when his work permit comes through and he gets up to speed…but surely this kind of result and performance has to show Mike Ashley that you can’t take such a massive gamble when giving your manager so little/nothing in terms of a transfer budget.

Newcastle United beat St Patrick’s Athletic 2-0 in the opening  kickabout but that is against a very low quality League of Ireland side.

Then then they moved on to Hull City, Joselu opening the scoring but Ayoze Perez needing to score late for Newcastle to grab a 2-2 draw. Hull totally controlling the second-half.

Then Saturday night saw that very fortunate 0-0 draw at Porto, the Portuguese side somehow failing to score despite completely dominating and hitting the woodwork twice, plus a number of outstanding saves from Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow. Newcastle not having a shot on target.

Tonight’s humiliation is now followed by Saturday’s home match with Bundesliga club Augsburg.

If a number of new signings are not now allowed by Ashley, you really have to wonder whether Rafa Benitez will just enough is enough.

You can’t do the Premier League on the cheap these days and expect to get away with it season after season.

A small reminder as well, Tottenham are the opponents a week on Saturday and their pre-season results in America have seen them beat Roma 4-1, draw 2-2 with Barcelona, and beat AC Milan 1-0.

Braga 4 Newcastle 0 – Wednesday 1 August 7.30pm

Dubravka (Darlow 73), Yedlin (Manquillo 73), Clark, Lascelles (Schar 45), Dummett, Ritchie (Roberts 80), Hayden (Ki 66), Diame, Atsu (Murphy 66), Perez (Longstaff 80), Gayle (Joselu 73)

  • Wezza

    MA still won’t allow money to be spent after this shambles.

  • Paul Patterson

    I hope this was a runout designed to provoke a reaction from the owner. If it was an actual representation of our ‘quality’ then we’re f****d.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    the fat fukk is trying to get us relegated

  • Mrkgw

    Sounds to have been a dismal performance and if ever there was a wake up call for MA then this was it. Will things change? Doubtful. If Rafa has any sense then he will walk. How much is he expected to put up with as he clearly isn’t being backed by the owner. The club need to spend – that much is blatantly obvious.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Fat sham is waiting in the wings………..he’s already been courted by Ashley with his public snivelling apology and regrets about sacking him all those years ago…….Rafa is being methodically constructively dismissed by the fat bstrd…………

  • Mirandinha9

    The problem is that Cashley won’t give too hoots about tonight. He’s not an owner who shares the fans’ disappointment and concern himself that the squad is not capable of achieving any success this season. The only time he’d be concerned is if we run the risk of being relegated and consequently, will splash the cash in the January window to stave off that threat. This is the man whose side lost six successive derbies to 5under1and and he wouldn’t have shown an ounce of concern as to this, because he doesn’t care. Paradoxically, the man who should care the most, has no care for the club whatsoever unless it runs the risk of costing him a little bit of money.

  • Shipcote Willy

    Virtually the same team from the Championship. Other reputable sources say there is not a problem at the West Brom end, it’s because Gayle won’t go in part ex and we won’t pay the fee. Scratching around for bog average players at bargain basement prices is pure Ashley. Rafa performed a miracle last year, expecting another is a recipe for relegation but that’s what the odious owner expects.


    Dear Mag, Please support the Magpie Group or come out and support Fatman. Stop sitting on the fence.

    Concerned Mag Reader.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Are the Magpie group planning on raising investment to take over? If so, do they have a prospectus?

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        what is your point, other than disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          My point is simply, does this group have a point? THe Magpie group in 1990 put money together, they bought up shares and took control of the club with their own money.

          So far this group are by the same name but just indulging themselves with open letters and little else.

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            organizing people to protest and stop spending their money in a way that will directly benefit the owner IS a viable form of protest. It has worked elsewhere, there is no reason it won’t work here. You’ve suggested one way to push Ashley out, they are just proposing a different (more realistic) method.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It’s not worked anywhere.

            By not spending money at Nufc it will make Nufc less competitive and put off any investors.

            Why is that good? It’s whining for the sake of it.

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            West Ham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Coventy and on down the line… If someone only thinks about money, they are only going to listen when they are hurt in their wallet. There are countless examples of protests and boycotts changing policy both in and out of sport. Yet again you are willfully ignoring the truth.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Liverpool was forced change by RBS who wanted their money? West ham was forced change when Iceland went bust, Coventry are a disaster, arsenal never knew how lucky they were.

      • Danimal

        Change the record you smug, entitled prat.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          No entitlement from me. The magpie group, Hall, Dix had a business plan and raised investment. We need that, not another bunch of gobsh!tes with open letters.

          • Desree

            That is a fair comment. The open letters are an embarrassment. They are like jilted ex letters.

            The Magpie Group is tosh. Babies throwing prams out of toys. That letter means they have destroyed any credibility with business people, investors and media.

            I don’t think investors or business people want to do any deal with Ashley based on his reputation

            400m for a club fancied to be relegated?

            A 3x return on investment would have to see the club valued at 1.2bn in 7-10 years.

            That is without additional investment.

            Ashley is holding all the Aces.

            Make his life hell. Boycott SJP, tarnish SportsDirect by protests.

            An empty SJP makes the news around the world.

            Give the media a story.

            For the first time in history a premiere league game had no fans in attendance.


            A bunch of fans wrote a sarcastic letter to the owner of NUFC

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’ve explained to another chap my theory.

            I don’t £400m has ever been mentioned by Mike Ashley, the reports have included phrases like ‘thought to be’ ‘in the region of’. What we know is he wants more than £250m.

            However, let’s agree that £330m is more like the real value. Thinking from the Staveley POV, she offered £250m which pays off the loans and values the shares at £106m – £25m less than he paid 11 years ago. I think here reason is that if she comes in, she refinances the £144m as much as she can and she gets the club for £106m. She then has to fork out £60m for transfers as a further loan into the club and it then looks highly geared.

            As Ashley has not spent much cash, the bank account will have £60m in cash within the club so he now asks £330m so £186m is for the shares. She refinances the debt but uses the £60m in the bank to buy players. It’s only cost her £20m more in cash terms but she’s guaranteed PL status whilst looking like the perfect owner.

          • Desree

            Terrible of Stavely wanted a deal on the cheap. No wonder Mike Ashley was furious. How dare she try and play him at his own game.

            Maybe Magpie Group should write him a letter asking him to name a price and then offer to pay in installments?

            Use % of the TV money as security?

            Even raising 150m would at least give a chance to work with something.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Nothing wrong with wanting a cheap deal, similarly, nothing wrong with turning it down.

            I think if there was an offer of £210m for the shares alone and a renegotiated loan with interest repayable over 3 years, he would take it. Especially if the SD deal was extended for 3 years.

            Now, NUFC would be no better off except it will look to the outside world like money was being spent.

    • Damon Horner

      You or others can submit an article, if you’re involved in it’s formation or know somebody who is then get them to put one in and if it’s not published you know better where The Mag stands.

  • Rob

    Don’t pay much attention to friendlies normally but boy that was bad.

    Games like that make players like Lascelles get on the phone to their agent. Writing is on the wall for a tough season.

  • Down Under Mag

    It looks for all the world like we are headed for relegation, or at least a season long battle to avoid it. After finishing 10th and having a good platform to build on we are repeating old mistakes from when we finished 5th, Ashley seemingly using the relative success of that season to justify not spending a thing. All we need now is Lascelles to be sold at the 11th hour in a Carrol’esque scenario and we will be likely down by xmas.

    I ask this though, should the lack of spend and obvious asset stripping mean the debt is reduced and Ashley manages to then find a buyer willing to match his lower evauation, would you take the neccessary relegation?

    My guess is Ashley is doing one of two things…1) Hoarding as much money as possible to wipe out the debt he is owed so he can sell, or 2) deliberately sabotaging the season to go down, gain the parachute payment but the excuse that he’s propped the club up again so can justify more no-spend and hope that he can find another manager to get him straight back up at the first attempt. There is also the possibility that he is trying to sabotage the club as a “payback” to the “ungrateful” fans and leave us in the worst state possible before he sells up. Nothing would surprise me with this man.

    • Ben Jones

      Relegation resets everything, it’s everyone’s worst case scenario

      • Danimal

        It’s what results from having your scumbag hero in charge.

    • Ba ba.

      We need to go down twice like Sunderland to rid us of this fatcnt

  • Ron

    The players must feel frustrated , the fans are fuming, Rafa wondering if he will stay for the start of the season, while Ashley is counting the stock in Binns!

  • Paul Patterson

    Lascelles came off with a shoulder injury. Any updates?

    • nufcslf

      Probably nothing wrong with him and in the process of being sold to the mighty Everton.

  • NeilMcDonaldFanClub

    What was the crack with Shelvey tonight!? Hopefully just a knock!!
    Worried as I’ve ever been after watching that for an hour or so tonight….

  • Tim


    • Ba ba.


      • nufcslf

        Then suffer on behalf of the stupid fat owner with nothing Sports Direct United having anything to do football and certainly not worth watching or getting passionate about.

        • Ba ba.


    • nufcslf

      Hear f**king hear.

  • magpiefifer

    Here we go again – Ashley going for a hat-trick of relegations!!!
    How low can he get – League 1 or 2 maybe!? We really need to get rid of this poisonous creature asap.

    • Ba ba.

      Drop two leagues like Sunderland and the fatcnt will walk.
      At this point I would take that.

      • magpiefifer

        So would I!!!!