The Braga 4 Newcastle 0 scoreline has certainly ‘livened’ things up.

Anybody who was thinking pre-season was ticking along ok, will have had their eyes opened a little wider with this one.

The official club line has been how Newcastle had remained ‘unbeaten’ in pre-season.

The reality though being, that if you scratched below the surface, the friendlies had seen an easy 2-0 win over lowly League of Ireland opposition, a lucky late draw against a poor Hull side that nearly dropped straight through to League One with Sunderland last season, then an incredibly lucky draw against Porto on Saturday. Newcastle forced to defend all match and not having a shot of their own at the Porto keeper.

So what about Braga, are they any good?

Well, like a lot of the weaker European leagues, a very small group of clubs tend to totally dominate.

In Portugal, it is Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, and Porto, nobody else has finished in the top three these past five seasons.

With clubs in Portugal getting a pittance from domestic league TV deals, unless you are in the Champions League, cash from broadcasting is a pittance.

In terms of support, Braga only averaged 11,706 for home matches last season, so how did they fund this superstar team that embarrassed Newcastle United?

Well, after looking into it, this is how much the starting 11 against Newcastle cost Braga (stats via Transfermarkt):

£2.1m Matheus

£0.4m Goiano

£Free Sequeira

£Free Wilson

£Free Paulinho

£Free R. Horta

£Free Claudemir

£1.1m Fransergio

£1.8m Raul Silva

£2.7m Bruno Viana

£1.8m R. Esgaio

Total cost of the Braga team = £9.9m.

Newcastle United are in massive trouble and desperately in need of better quality players.

Last night Rafa Benitez played a full team that was here in the Championship season, with the exception of Dubravka.

Of signings since promotion, you would say that the injured Florian Lejeune would be included in the first eleven, but apart from that you are only looking at Kenedy (on paternity leave) who is only here on loan with Mike Ashley not even allowing Newcastle to try and buy him.

Progress two seasons later???

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  • Lewis SG

    I don’t even know what to say, we lost 4 goals to a team that is worth barely £10m. Totally threw out any argument that the squad need better players.

  • Paul Patterson

    7 days to go. Beware of a late bid for Lascelles and the cash grab continues..

    • Leazes.


  • toonterrier

    They dont have fatso as their owner so probably happy to put a full shift in then go home for a good nights sleep knowing the club is going in the right direction.

  • ghostrider

    Just goes to show that you don’t need to spend umpteen millions on players to get a decent team.

    • Wor Lass

      But you do need to spend a reasonable amount if you want to compete in a league where big spending is the norm. Since coming third in a relatively weak league in 2011/12 they`ve come 4th, 9th, 4th, 4th, 5th, 4th. The result is probably more to do with the fact that Braga have a settled team which has had quite a long pre season whereas we are still chopping and changing and missing three of our best players from last season in Kenedy, Jonjo and Lejeune. You`re right, though, good coaching and team spirit can compensate for a lot – that`s why we stayed up last season.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        The team spirit is disappearing fast

      • ghostrider

        I agree we need to spend a reasonable amount. I’m willing to bet that, if Rafa has commited we would have spent more than we have.
        No owner in their right mind would hand a manager big money when he won’t commit and no right minded fan would expect it.

        • Wor Lass

          Tantamount to constructive dismissal that. I can`t think of any job where the employer can say, “I won`t give you the tools you need to achieve your targets unless you sign an extended contract”. Imagine if the army did it and told the generals they won`t get any more troops or ammunition unless they sign on for another 5 years!

          • Ben Jones

            I’d imagine the targets would be different, sign a contract extension and get £x and we expect to finish x , or don’t sign extension and wheel and deal what we have and we expect you finish y. Rafa is choosing his own budget/target

          • ghostrider

            So you, as an owner of a football club would hand your manager big money even though he refuses to sign a contract until you buy him what he wants…and you knowing his contract expires at the end of the season?

            Somehow I don’t think you would.

      • SuperDesHamilton

        Braga benefit from scouting the lower serie a & b leagues in Brazil, loans from the Portuguese big boys (Porto mostly) & just generally scour the continent for players Hassan for example is Egyptian. But another factor is the gap between the top 4 in Portugal and the rest is kinda like our league, still there’s no excuse we shouldn’t be getting humiliated & we need major investment

    • panther

      so when are you going to die?

  • Leazes.

    Well there entire squad is worth £75 million so if that team they put our was £10 they must have rested their good players which is alarming…..

    …… I looked on transfermarkt and I see they have fourteen Brazilian footballers on their books and that’s the advantage of sharing a language.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      that wasn`t the first team, which is just as well or it would have been double figures

  • Toon

    Sam Hepworth – are you thick? Actually silly question as I’ve read the dross you have written in the past, it’s laughable. This suggests Ashley is a generous billionaire and his investment is fine, well done numpty

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Most of the goals came late on when players had been taken off. Rafa off loaded a very good defender yet keeps on moaning that we need cover. Very strange indeed should have kept him as will struggle to get player as good.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose


    • robbersdog

      So you’re saying that only Lascelles can save us from oblivion?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        The guy`s a lunatic, they have to hit him on the head with a hammer just to wake him up in the mornings

        • panther

          ha like it

    • Nut

      A technically very good defender, who hadn’t settled here and was not learning the language, which made it very hard for him to get in the side as his English language communication skills were virtually non existent.

    • Martin Rooney

      don’t forget the striker

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    We lost to a championship standard team, in fact they ripped us apart and that wasn`t even their first 11 so no excuses there then.

    • Clarko

      How are they a ‘Championship standard’ team?

      That was absolutley their first eleven, the only differences from the eleven they fielded compared to the eleven they preferred last season was the inclusion of their new signing Claudemir (in place of Vukcevic) and the left back Sequeira (the preferred left back last season was Jefferson and he was a loan player).

      Did we play our first eleven? I don’t think we did, we were missing Shelvey, Kenedy and Lejeune, three of our top five players.


      • MichaelMaximusMoose
        • Clarko

          You don’t know what you’re talking about mate.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Can you comprehend English, [email protected]@k Off
            and you`re not my mate, if you were you`d be in the
            Tyne wearing concrete boots

          • Clarko

            Can you comprehend English? You don’t know what you’re talking about mate. You should probably stop commenting, it’s embarrassing.

          • Soldier

            it`s your post`s that are embarrassing

          • Desree

            Clarko you are a terrible communicator.

          • Clarko

            No I’m not, you’re all idiots who can’t read.

          • Desree

            Clarko you are a terrible communicator. Anyone who tries to communcate with people who via written word to people who can’t read is a terrible communicator. And stupid

          • Clarko

            ‘Anyone who tries to communcate with people who via written word to people who can’t read is a terrible communicator’

            Thanks for proving my point.


          • Desree

            That was a technology issue. But your issues?

          • Clarko

            Sure it was…

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            Haha if every woman you date is “crazy” they’re not the crazy ones, you are. Likewise, if everyone is “an idiot who can’t read”, they aren’t the idiots, you are. Go home, you child.

          • Clarko

            Where did I say anything about ‘crazy’ women?

            Not ‘everyone’ is an idiot, just the people I say are idiots, are idiots, just like you, you’re an idiot.

            ‘They aren’t the idiots’. No they are, because they can’t read and understand a very, very simple sentence, if they weren’t idiots and if I were the idiot you would be able to prove it and not have to resort to talking about ‘crazy’ women in your very stupid response…


          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            an idiot wouldn’t understand what an analogy is would he?

          • Clarko

            Why would you need an analogy to prove that the idiots can actually read and are in fact not idiots?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    the rumour that Newcastle had a bid of 6m Euro`s for a striker in Belgium is
    Fake News

  • Desree

    What does this performance indicate?
    Quality of players or total demotivation of players.

    We are talking about elite athletes who want to win, compete and challenge.

    But when you are not given the support and the only goal is survival, the performances go south.

    Any coach, business leader will tell you that if you arenot progressing you are going backwards.

    The culture of any organisation is determined by the worst behaviour of the CEO in this case Mike Ashley

    Rafa has tried his hardest, but I think even he is struggling for motivation.

    What we are seeing is total destruction of the club. It may be financially sound. But.

    Pointless being a billionaire if you are riddled with terminal disease.

    I have cancelled my subscription for premier league streaming.

    If anyone is serious about raising capital, I am talking to a number of pension funds, HNW families and VC funds in Australia looking at overseas investments.

    If anyone is serious or knows of other sophisticated investors I think it is time to act.

    I was concerned when I was last visiting Newcastle in 2016 that it was losing its soul, not the club, but the city

    Globally Newcastle is known for its soul, vibrancy and as a place to party. The people to have a pride, warmth and wit and a real sense of fun.

    What is happening? Has that Soul been flogged off cheap to the devil.

    Mike Ashley is literally destroying the Soul of a great city and outstanding people.

    • Martin Rooney

      So how are Braga showing their players more than NUFC are showing theirs when the NUFC players are:
      A. Purchased for more
      B. Paid more,
      C. Given better training facilities
      D. Managed by a SUPERSTAR

      • Ben Jones

        Players who are worth ~10m on average are not good enough to beat players who are worth ~1m on average, it’s simple math Martin, we need to spend more

        • Martin Rooney

          Not sure Ben, if we spend 10m on players who aren’t better than 1m players if we buy 100m players won’t they be ten times worse?
          You’d think that the michael owen experience these folks would know that a price tag doesn’t deliver a definitive outcome, give me a Kante and Marhez Leicester price any day.

          Desree, if nufc is

          ‘What we are seeing is total destruction of the club. It may be financially sound.’
          Then surely Braga’s players/team/coaching staff are being treat worse with 1m pound buys.

      • Desree

        I don’t understand. What are Braga showing their players?

      • Andy Mac

        Braga had played 9 games before last night in their pre season. They’d played Brighton and Hull and beat them both plus drew with Real Betis and Celts Vigo. It showed last night especially in the last quarter of the game when we were puffing but not with our chests out.

  • Martin Rooney

    So is the toon spending too much on Dubravka Muto et al

    • Ben Jones

      Sounds like it. Looks like the author is making an argument for bargain basement buys and free transfers

      • Soldier

        2 trolls in love, how nice

        • Martin Rooney

          Thanks, sweetie pie

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Why don’t you add something to the debate instead of talking rubbish super trooper?