Along with the Newcastle fans, Salomon Rondon cut a frustrated figure on Saturday.

Having played 31 minutes against Tottenham in the opening game and doing OK, the vast majority of supporters were hoping he would start at Cardiff.

However, instead he was once again on the bench as Rafa Benitez chose to resist the temptation of giving any new faces a start.

The only change an enforced one, as Manquillo replaced DeAndre Yedlin, who wasn’t risked after injuring himself against Spurs.

The hope changed to Newcastle at the very least not going behind before Salomon Rondon was introduced.

Circumstances dictated otherwise, as first Manquillo got injured and was subbed at half-time.

Then Muto was introduced on 65 minutes to give Newcastle more mobility in place of the ineffective Ayoze Perez.

Only to be followed seconds later by Manquillo’s replacement, Isaac Hayden, getting a red card.

Any thoughts of throwing Salomon Rondon on in the closing stages were now dashed, Rafa instead using his last sub to bring on Jacob Murphy for Ritchie, to use his pace to counter brother Josh who was the opposition’s star man.

Rondon’s warming up down the side of the pitch in vain, though one Newcastle fan did benefit from Newcastle’s new number nine warming up.

Much talk of Newcastle expanding their fan base in Japan and South Korea due to signing Muto and Ki but it was (presumably) new Venezuelan support that was on the terraces at Cardiff.

One female fan holding up a sign saying:

“Salomon Rondon – Me Ragalas tu franela? VENEZUELA.”

The Spanish translating into ‘Salomon Rondon – Give me your shirt’.

As you can see below, the striker was happy to oblige…

Stats from BBC Sport:

Cardiff 0 Newcastle 0

Possession was Cardiff 51% Newcastle 49%

Total shots were  Cardiff 12 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Cardiff 1 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Cardiff 5 Newcastle 5

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Hayden 45, sent off on 66), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 70), Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez (Muto 65), Joselu

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Fernandez, Ki, Rondon

Crowd: 30,720

(Alan Shearer reacts to today’s dismal match HERE)

(A nightmare for Kenedy on Saturday – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the 0-0 draw HERE)

  • Viru leckworth

    Derogatory comment about Perez who had two shots on target which is more than can be said about the rest.

    • Wezza

      2 shots on target, one a good save and the other should be in the back of the net. Not good enough.

      • Viru leckworth

        But more than the rest of the team.

  • Mrkgw

    Rafa signs players and rather than instill a bit of spark to the side he leaves them on the bench. Mundane ownership, dismal viewing. Yesterday was a turning point for me and the whole regime need to be ousted. And I include Rafa in that unless he changes tack. The side are poor in general but aren’t as bad as portrayed. His tactics are haplessly flawed.

  • Carbine

    I agree, Raffa seems to be playing politics he could have easily put a more competitive side on the park. The other worrying aspect is the lack of opportunity for our younger players, surely there was an U23 faster than Hayden or our Murphy available. I know he is a great and successful manager but it seems only risk free with the best proven players.