Passionless. Predictable. Pathetic – Those three ‘P’ words could easily sum up this Newcastle United season so far.

A team so devoid of direction and who appear to be hamstrung by a manager so out of touch with the way the modern game is played, that it must be a soul-destroying experience turning out in the famous black and white stripes.

If Jamaal Lascelles has indeed strongly expressed his opinions about how the team is set up, I for one do not blame him in the least. The display at home versus Chelsea was a debacle. Conceding possession away from St James Park against the stronger teams I can just about live with, if it grinds out a result.

Play with caution on home soil by all means, but in front of fifty-odd thousand Geordie fans, it’s just not acceptable to play a nine-man defence for the best part of ninety minutes.

One pundit suggested that magpie supporters would rather lose 5-4 and make a game of it and was pilloried. But you know what? I’d take that over the insipid performance served up last weekend.

Regardless of the dubious penalty and unfortunate own goal which ultimately gave the blues maximum points, Newcastle United were never at the races. Quite frankly it was as bad a performance as I’ve seen for many a moon and while Rafa Benitez may have been happy to take a point from the game in that manner, it would have left me embarrassed.

Last night’s Carabao Cup debacle left me absolutely stunned.

Damage limitation is Rafa Benitez all over, as he treated us to yet another masterclass in how to set up a team to  lose against lower opposition. Here was the perfect opportunity go for the win, build up some understanding in the team, and up the confidence levels before taking on Manchester City at the weekend.

A glorious opportunity to also progress in a cup competition wasted. Totally. Utterly. Wasted.

Reading through the Spaniard’s after match quotes I wondered if we’d been watching the same game of football:

‘We didn’t have too many problems in defence.”

Rafa, your team just lost 3-1 due to such bad defending and it could well have been more before the inevitable end-of-game collapse.

‘I’m really pleased with the players that were on the pitch because they were trying their best.’

Really? I mean REALLY? I’d be furious with a set of players that were second-best to virtually every ball and every challenge, couldn’t string more than a couple of passes together without losing possession and wasted every dead ball opportunity they had.

‘I’m not concerned by how we played.’

There’s an awful lot of Newcastle supporters that are, Mr Benitez. I’d certainly be concerned with the lacklustre performance of ‘one trick pony’ Kenedy for example, who just falls to pieces when that one trick doesn’t come off. He turned in another such display and rubbed salt into the wound by giving away the ball for Forest’s third goal.

Incidentally, whoever said the Brazilian could play at left back needs a trip to Specsavers. Surely the manager has also seen enough of Ciaran Clark – a decent centre-half on his day – to know that he’s way out of his depth in Paul Dummet’s berth too. Playing the two together was a disaster waiting to happen and one that Forest exploited to maximum effect.

Getting back to Benitez’ post-game comments – it would be true to say that had Pardew, Carver or McClaren spouted such complete hogwash excuses there’d have been an immediate reaction from supporters ridiculing these quite ludicrous statements and calling for their heads to roll. So why therefore is Benitez seemingly immune from such reaction?

Benitez knows how to play the blame game very well and has made all of his usual pre-season excuses. Any blame for both the team’s performances and its final league position will be planted firmly in the direction of ‘ penny-pinching’  owner Mike Ashley’s, particularly in the event of relegation.

Should United sustain Premier League safety once more, then the plaudits for doing so will go the way of a manager who despite ‘chronic underfunding and the sub-standard players at his disposal’ still pulled it all together.

Never mind the uninspiring, negative football served up to fans week after week, players undermined by constant reminders from a manager who tells the press that they are all he has to work with, come the end of the season Rafa Benitez can happily walk out regardless of the outcome with both scenarios covered.

Meanwhile, the followers of the Cult of Benitez will continue to herald their departing leader as a tactical genius.

In Rafa we trust…?

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  • Paul Patterson

    You’ve clearly never heard of diplomacy.
    Plus, whilst it was a poor display, we lost to a goal that was scored while we were on a high after scoring, in other words a lack of focus. The third goal is irrelevant in the scheme of the contest AND we should’ve had a penalty.
    Once again, poor display but a bit like last weekend against Chelsea, there were valid reasons we’ve lost.

  • Kenny

    Ffs. We were 6 first team players short last night which also happen to be our best players, move on.

    • steve

      We were playing a championship team, he should still have been able to set up a team capable of winning.

      • Kenny

        See the Fat Rat on that 1. not 1 player starting that game for Newcastle last night is good enough for the premiership, maybe Kenedy when he gets his act together

        • Ram Kishore

          How do you know they are not premiership standard, they had enough quality ken.. all players have proved themselves at championship level or levels higher for sometime.. even if they are not PL standard, they are atleast championship standard who could beat another team in championship. I am blaming the players here..

          • NUFCDan

            Without Lascelles, Shelvey and Perez there is no PL class at all in the team. Our supporting cast of players are more League 1 standard than Championship.

          • Ram Kishore

            Then why did we have to sell Adam Armstrong to a championship side rather than keeping him.. The players were so poor that day , so sloppy and so bad and criticise them for that, they may not be world beaters or PL contenders but better than a championship side .. they are so idiotic to lose the match

          • Mike Adam

            As usual Ram you are the voice of reason. But I do have to add that I believe the negative tactics played by Rafa too often, IMO, breed more negative football. Rafa also has alienated several players in the past and seems to maybe be doing it again.

          • Ram Kishore

            Yeah sometimes i feel that he could be doing it but I don’t feel anyone in the current squad would be. But when they are no longer required they would be asked to leave .. maybe at that time if they fail to like colback, krul… Things could get ugly .. Daryl Murphy understood his situation and wanted to play and everything went in a smooth manner when he left to Nottingham. Now no media speculation and controversy and craziness by making big thing out of nothing.. i believe this Lascelles , Ritchie and Rafa issue was blown out of proportion.. there will be disagreements all the time but media dwells on it.. but it’s media’s job, can’t blame them.

            Mike a kind request lol. If you dont mind, this is the second time you have posted the words ‘voice of reason ‘ lol.. it just seems a bit awkward or sarcastic lol. 😅 just opinion ..
            Cheers
            Enjoy tomorrow’s match pal..

          • Mike Adam

            What I mean when I say”voice of reason” is that your comments and responses to people are respectful and fair. You judge every situtaion for what it is, not a Rafa does no wrong, or one who calls others with different opinions trolls or Lee brothers. It is not sarcastic at all, sorry that you felt it was meant that way.

          • Ram Kishore

            Haha thanks pal.. sorry I misunderstood..
            I always meant to ask you.. where ya from?

          • Mike Adam

            From the US near Philadelphia

          • Ram Kishore

            Nice pal.. My sibling lives in Florida ..
            I live in Chennai, India. U may know it as Madras ig

          • Mike Adam

            I have never been to India or England. I really feel for the native Geordies. I have supported NUFC since the Shearer years, but it is getting really tough for me watch anymore.

  • magpiefifer

    Looking at your previous posts,you obviously are not a fan of Rafa.We would all love to see a more attacking style of play (back to the Entertainers!),BUT you need to focus on the source of our limitations,and remember where we finished at the end of last season.
    What you really need is a dose of reality and perspective!!!

  • Chris Lo

    I’m only ok with rafa. In relagation season he didnt start mitrovic when he started scoring. Caused us relegation.

    • Paul Patterson

      The seeds of relegation that year were sown long before Rafa turned up . .

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Yes the year before Ashley took over the club.

      • Jezza

        True. 0.86 points per game in the 28 games played under McClaren and 1.3 points per game in the final 10 games played under Rafa.

      • Chris Lo

        yes. but the owner did spend money. on the wrong manager.

        still. mitrovic was scoring and rafa decided to drop him.

    • Damon Horner

      Mitro scored more for Rafa than he did for McClaren in half the time. If Mitro scored when he started Rafa would never have needed to come here.

  • Damon Horner

    Clark played LB but it’s common knowledge Rafa chased for adequate cover for that position. Players have bad games/form and managers get it wrong too, no denying that but to compare with McClaren who’s team, a better one, was heading for relegation while Rafa has oversaw two decent seasons so far is strange to say the least. Nobody should blindly back Rafa but where do we go after him or instead of him? Rafa does the job all the time in the long term.

    We asked for Rafa and we got Rafa, he has always been a defensive and tactical coach but didn’t seem too bad when we wanted somebody to get us out of the Championship.

    • Sickandtired

      McClaren was given £85 million and managed to get us relegated!

      • Damon Horner

        Yep, more resource and no control, it’s why comparing the two is strange.

  • East Durham Mag

    Sorry but this article is sh*te. Once we saw the lack of money given for strengthening we all feared the worst. The only man to blame is Fatty and he will laughing in to his lager at the fallout from the defeat.

    • Billmag

      Don’t be sorry mate you are absolutely correct.

    • Ron

      The first 11 might, just might, be slightly strengthened, but the squad – I think not.

      Years ago when Chelsea first bought the title I thought that the money was spoiling the game but I NEVER dreamed the cockmeys would buy the competition and therefore give themselves an easier ride. The Premier League simply must have an official enquiry into our club, looks like the Newcastle MP is heading that way.
      Make the most of your reign Mikey Babes, it’s ending….. soon.

  • Tony English

    “Out of touch with the modern game?”

    Yes he is, the modern game flushed with finance and ambition and youth development and shiny new training facilities.

    I’m sure if he could pull the next Ronaldo and Messi out of his ar se for tuppence h’penny he would and we’d play a more open game, until then it’s papering over the cracks.

    Stupid article Neil Hopeless.

    • Paul Patterson

      It’s the owner who is out of touch with the modern game. When he does spend some money, he pays 2007 prices . .

      • Mike D

        He pays 2018 prices but with low, low standards.

  • Paul Cannell

    Neil, are you after a job at beIN Sports, you’ll fit right in with a couple of idiots already there.

    • Kenny

      all they need on that channel is a kiddie fiddler to complete the set,
      Adam Johnson should fit the bill when released.

  • Ashley-out

    I worry more about cult Ashley than cult Rafa because the buck stops with the owner

  • James B

    Oh god. What have you done the Rafa’s a$$ lickers will call for your head? I agree most if not all premier leagues squads are worth more then ours so Ashley is to blame but Nottingham Forest who rested players too?

    We didn’t have a shot on target till the 92nd minute! Rafa on this occasion got it wrong and got done by Aitor Karanka and if you think otherwise it’s because your hate for ashley has left you blinded or you hail Rafa as a god who can do no wrong.

    • Kenny

      Look 👀 vermin troll
      🤡

      • James B

        Forgot it was the school holiday’s. surprised you can multi-task by replying and having Rafa’s d!ck in your mouth. Impressive!

    • Brent Jackson

      Here’s a blinding concept, how about the players let us down?
      Look at the wages they are paid and the lifestyles they have…Rafa picked players who should be able to do the job he’s given them, they don’t do that job and it’s his fault?
      Brilliant.

      • Ram Kishore

        I hav been saying it since the match just reflecting your opinion.. its neither Rafa (who can’t dictate all the moves of the players on the pitch or spoon feed every act) nor Ashely that should be criticised for that match.. its the players and players alone..

  • jack

    I think the one thing I would agree with is that we must play with more adventure at home regardless of who it is

  • Sickandtired

    Of the 8 articles you have written for The Mag since Nov 2015, here are 6 of the other seven. Peculiar like, you haven’t written a single piece complaining about Pardew, Carver or McClaren. Not one. Someone has an agenda…

    *I’m no Mike Ashley apologist but what about the man who picks the team?
    *Rafa Benitez – Tactical genius or has his over-cautious tactics left Newcastle limping over the line?
    *Safety-first needs to be ditched by Rafa Benitez to get Newcastle on the front foot
    *This will be moment for the Mike Ashley cheque book to come out
    *Let’s get ready to be rumbled?
    *Too much tinkering with Newcastle United’s starting eleven?

    • Damon Horner

      Interesting. Even the 7th article was criticism of Coloccini when McClaren was in charge so he was writing for The Mag then but chose to never criticise the manager whereas 6 articles have come and gone about Rafa since his appointment.

    • Superdooperhooper

      His last article from almost exactly a year ago had a go at rafa for being too negative and undermining players confidence . Now he’s having a go at rafa for being protective of players and putting a positive spin on things !

    • Ron

      Agenda stands out like a sore thumb. Well spotted, very well spotted.

    • Carverlier football

      Sounds like Richard Keys has set up an alias…

  • Colin Brumwell

    A lot of sensible comment there

    • Ram Kishore

      Yeah maybe.. but the writer focuses more on criticism of the manager than the players .. the past articles written by the writer purely focuses on having a go at Rafa. Yes the points here are sensible but shouldn’t the players be taking the blame..
      The writer also says he has undermined the players through press but after Forest match was he not protecting the players through the conference? Isn’t the writer contradicting himself ..

  • NUFCLX

    “it would be true to say that had Pardew, Carver or McClaren spouted such complete hogwash excuses there’d have been an immediate reaction from supporters ridiculing these quite ludicrous statements and calling for their heads to roll. So why therefore is Benitez seemingly immune from such reaction?”

    If you have to ask that question just shows how little you know about football.

    Maybe u can start a bring back Carver campaign.

    • Brent Jackson

      Here’s a blinding concept, how about the players let us down?
      Look at the wages they are paid and the lifestyles they have…Rafa picked players who should be able to do the job he’s given them, they don’t do that job and it’s his fault?
      Brilliant.
      I;m 59 and me and (even more) two of my brothers played to a high standard best not patronise Toon army members who do know football and blame Ashley entirely.

      • NUFCLX

        If u played at a high standard you will know better than anyone if u do not have very good players u do not win many games.
        I 100% agree with you about the wages and lifestyle, but it is was it is , the fact is, thats football these days.
        IMO, in our circumstances we could not have a better manager.

  • ScreamStevie

    “One pundit suggested that magpie supporters would rather lose 5-4 and make a game of it and was pilloried.”

    If you are going to attack fans for pilloring a Richard Keys quote then at least get it right. He said that fans would rather lose 5-4 than win 1-0. Really? You think they’d rather we had a glorious relegation than a cautious stay in the Premiership? I doubt many fans would agree with you…

    • If only we had the resources to score 4.

      • Mike D

        To score 4 in 4 games would be an improvement.

  • Scott Robinson

    To be fair the Premiership is poor below last season’s Burnley hence we shouldn’t really be playing for 4th bottom at this stage with all this goal difference is soooooo important nonsense. I never get why Rafa loves attacking full backs and wingers but plays with one up front and then there is little service. I don’t care if we do a Huddersfield and get stuffed 6-1 off Citeh, but we need to do a Brighton and beat Man U at the same time; would we though by parking buses. Whose up for a 5-0 stuffing of Cardiff etc? Shouldn’t that be ‘ambition’? Goal difference doesn’t matter if we beat teams outside the top 7 at home and give a few teams a good stuffing in the process. Let Citeh stuff us 6-0 as long as we can beat some teams at home by 2 or 3. Then we’ll have a reason to be excited for the home games!!! Not sure it will happen with our present strikers or tactics.

    As much as I love Rafa and his hands are tied, we are playing Big Sam type football! Big Sam would keep us up, but we know Rafa has a lot more to offer than that.

    • Chris-Chapple

      with that team Fat Sam would be relegated.

      • Jimmy_toons

        And when BFS was in charge of United with the team he put together, we were heading for relegation with the worst football I’ve ever seen at St James. Keegan took over and managed to save our season.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The decision not to play Perez and Rondon last night was a disgrace. One needed game time the other had not started against Chelsea. One thing is for sure Rafa had no intention of winning last night and will be pleased to be out the cup. Not Ashley’s fault last night only one man.

    • Kenny

      We don’t do cups because we have to fight for survival year in, year out due to lack of investment by the Fat Rat

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Jeez, you really do post some sanctimonious drivel.

    • NUFCLX

      You know there is a lot of help out there for people with mental health issues, maybe u should seek some. Nobody in their right mind could back Fatman like you do.
      Have you ever seen anything that Ashley has done wrong apart from getting rid of Pardew, McLaren and Carver.

    • molend

      No, you’re wrong, kidder .Perez and Rondon wouldn’t get near a half-decent Premier league team. Among those scrapping around at the bottom, certainly. Which includes us. Obviously Rafa’s fault for not investing.

  • Neil O

    I feel for the fans who made a trip down to watch that tripe. I mean seriously why do people bother – it is supposed to be ENTERTAINMENT? I watched the first half, but really wasn’t interested as I knew what was coming and it transpired that I was completely right. It was pathetic. A complete insult to the travelling fans. Beyond a joke. More passes back than forward. I could have demonstrated more penetration with an over ripe pear.
    People work hard for their money and give unconditionally to support the club – they may as well have been spat in their face.
    For the first time I have lost a bit of faith in Rafa I’m afraid to say. Some need to cease the happy clapping for Benitiez and seriously critique the approach.
    This is not in any way a post to support Ashley, he is at the root of all of this, but Rafa is not immune to criticism.

    • NUFCLX

      Name the manager who would have won us that game on the budget Rafa has to work with. If Rafa had been given a half decent transfer budget I would agree with u.
      Do you think Pep or Jose would have battered them with low budget players.

      • Neil O

        I never said that we should have battered them. No team has the divine right to batter any team. I’m talking about intent. Forest fielded a weakened team also. Looking at your argument, I would still hazard a guess that our squad is valued higher than Forest even with our woeful investment, again not a forgone conclusion that we should win, but surely we could have shown more intent after we went behind.
        As for Jose – well, he’s had millions and look at his results. Money isn’t always the answer. Anyway, fingers crossed things get better. I sincerely hope that they do for the sake of the loyal support.

        • NUFCLX

          No mate, money is not always the answer but it is a big help.
          I am with you on hopefully things will get better for the sake of our younger fans, I used to wish for better things for my kids but now I am hoping for my Grandchildren.

    • Billmag

      Did you read the Chelsea manager’s quote, Rafa never played with a five man defense when he was in Italy, WHY because he had better players at his disposal, here is a man that is battling against a fat horrible slob of an owner and the likes of you that couldn’t even bother to watch the second half is slagging him off. WHO should we get to replace our boring manager any idea’s.

      • Neil O

        fact is second half was no better. Why waste my time watching that tripe? Its called intelligence. Why is it nobody can utter any slight criticism of Rafa? But if you do, beware, your the anti Christ.

        Even Keegan got criticism. Individuals like yourself are blinded by your hatred for Ashley – which is understandable to some extent. But to merely blame every last thing on Ashley is the actions of delusion. We lost 3-1 to an UNDER strength Championship team and showed few signs of penetration. People can dress it up as much as they like. “We should have had a penalty”, etc etc. It happens every year in the league cup. . And my gripe is the apparent lack of respect shown to the travelling fans who have paid hard earned money. Did you read this last bit? If not read it again.

        Using your logic, and some others on here. Should any individual criticise their teams manager, then the only solution is to replace him. NO, that’s not what I am saying. I’m criticising Rafa for his teams performance. Do me one thing, value the two teams who played and then come back and argue that Forest could and should have beaten us 3-1. You can’t keep hiding behind the old arguments, that we have a squad of championship players. Its getting tiresome.

        Anyway, Lets hope we perform as well as we did last year this evening – I genuinely thought that Rafa got his tactics right at the Etihad. You’ll like this – I was there and watched the whole game!!! Murphy took his goal well, and deserves a better run in the team – in my view – if I’m allowed one that is? ;)

  • Vodkamagpie

    One positive is rondon, a far better striker than Gayle or joselu. Reason I say so, is because he can hold onto the ball which brings other players into the game. You thought the Chelsea game was bad, the man city game will be worse, possession wise, hopefully not the scoreline majorly. A good result will be a 2-0 loss, 3-0 is realistic, 4,5,6 would be awful. Need to play out this defensive style formation, then regroup and focus back onto to our standard formation 442. Back to the positive, rondon hasn’t started a game in our 442, which will be the turning point in results, hopefully starting against arsenal. Rafa needs to get the best out of the starting 11, we all know who they are. Another point, I find it remarkable how fans slaughter kenedy, schar etc, it’s a bad start to the season, but it is a predictable start to the season with the tough fixtures.

    • nufcslf

      Accepting defeat before a ball is kicked is total bollocks at any level, at a professional level it is embarrassing, nobody should even get paid and admission should be free.

      • Vodkamagpie

        I don’t accept it, I understand it.

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    If the team play badly, like last night, it really doesn’t matter what the tactics are.
    If you have players of limited ability they are not going to get any kind of decent result on an off day – and it shows up how average they really are against a motivated Championship side. If their heads go down then we are in for a long run of bad results. I don’t blame Rafa for bullshi**ing if he can keep spirits up.

  • TheFatController

    A few weeks ago Dennis Wise said Ashley should be praised for being the man to get Rafa in.

    Now, Rafa is the problem.

    Did Rafa force Ashley to employ him? No? Then Ashley is the problem, he should sack Rafa if he’s as poor as you suggest and get someone better equipped in.

    Sort it out Ashley and your apologists. I await a new coach and then improved results.should be easy given Rafa is so poor…

    • Carverlier football

      I’m sure David Moyes would do a better job! He did last season… oh wait, hang on… But of course his squad wasn’t as good… er… oh…

  • Waxi

    It is going to be a long hard season that’s for sure. I am struggling to keep the faith this season but to sit nine behind the ball at SJP is criminal IMHO.

  • Jezza

    Rafa is a world class manager but he has been denied the tools he needs to do the job. You wouldn’t expect Lewis Hamilton to win the grand prix if he was driving a Ford Fiesta.

    • Toontaff

      An XR2?

  • Tim Boddy

    “Passionless. Predictable. Pathetic.”

    This article? Yes. Yes it is.

  • Tim Boddy

    “[Rafa] is the only manager in history to have won the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.”

    Aye, he’s a rubbish manager eh, Neil?

    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
    Supercoppa Italiana: 2010
    FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
    UEFA Europa League: 2012–13
    Coppa Italia: 2013–14
    Supercoppa Italiana: 2014
    EFL Championship: 2016–17

    • Thanks for that.
      Rafa is the best we’ll ever end up getting under Ashley. Having watched inept and bereft of any tactical knowledge manager after manager under Ashley, Rafa is the only one that really has a plan and wants to win, but he doesn’t bother with entertainment.

      • Tim Boddy

        He doesn’t have the squad to entertain. I wish he did, but he doesn’t, and he’ll never get it while he’s working for Ashley.

  • Mrkgw

    Good article. I’d sooner we keep Rafa than lost him – absolutely. But, like anyone, he isn’t immune to the odd bit of criticism and I too, haven’t taken to the bland defensive tactics of late. Players look lost, uninspired and devoid of confidence. But, in the Managers defence, Ashley has hung the bloke out to dry with a scandalously low level of investment in the club. And that is where ultimate blame must fall. ASHLEY OUT!

    • Damon Horner

      My confidence and inspiration would be lost playing against Hazard et al, irrespective of what those around me said. Largely because they are better players.

      • TinoAsprilla

        Good job you’re not a professional footballer, then. The opportunity to play against world-class players should motivate and inspire players to prove they deserve to be on the same pitch.

        • Damon Horner

          Reading too many psychology books perhaps? Maybe you do believe Carver is the best coach in the PL? Or at least applaud him for believing that.

          If was a professional footballer I’d give my all obviously but it’s different altogether believing you’re a standard you’re not.

          • TinoAsprilla

            Don’t believe in self-help/psychology books. People should already be sufficiently smart and strong enough to know how to improve without reading something stating the obvious. Carver? Eh? My point is that if your confidence and inspiration is already lost before the game begins, you should do something else for a living. But if you don’t have self-belief you’d have been let go from a professional club by the age of 16 anyway. As a Newcastle supporter, surely you’re aware that former players always state that Kevin Keegan’s greatest virtue as a manager was making them feel like world-beaters, that they could take on anyone and win, even if you happen to be as limited as John Beresford, Darren Peacock, Pavel Srnicek or Warren Barton.

  • FatParosite

    Ultimately Ashley is waiting til the scores start to hurt and the fans turn on Rafa…. Everyone thinks it won’t happen but the cracks are already showing.

    Once everyone turns on Rafa it’s all over.

    • TheFatController

      Many of the usual suspects and weak-minded turned on Rafa pre Xmas, bemoaning his ability, tactics, transfers in, treatment of mitro, anything they could basically.

      Only the Staveley business distracted them from the annihilation of Rafa’s standing in the game.

      Then we won at West Ham and stoke, and much was forgiven. By February and the Man Utd game all was forgiven.

      However, certain people knee-jerk react to every little setback, acting like emperor Caligula and punishing averyone that disappoints them, death is too good for them etc.

      As the poem says, if you can keep your head whilst all around you are losing theirs…

      • TinoAsprilla

        What are you on about? Even those of us who see Rafa’s flaws know that Ashley is the biggest problem at the club. No Newcastle supporter would rather have Ashley than Rafa. If we got rid of Ashley and Rafa brought all the players he wanted in, I’d quite happily suffer his 2005 tactics and a team of mercenaries for a couple of seasons until it’d been proven that we’ll achieve nothing more than a mid-table finish because the game has moved on and it’s now about pressing high and defending from the top, even with less skillful players, providing they’re fit and coached properly.

  • Down Under Mag

    Does Rafa get it right every time? No of course not. I said immediately, Rondon should have started, if for nothing else than to get him some match practice. Rafa is trying to manager a team right now with his hands tied behind his back and against a free scoring Chelsea (and likely a man City as well) he was on damage limitation. It was awful to watch, but so would have being pasted 5-0, which is what would have happened had we “had a go” as some fans like yourself have suggested. That would also dent our goal difference which to be perfectly honest could be th edifference between staying up or getting relegated.

    Rafa is playing the numbers game and in the absence of funds allowing him to buy the players necessary to play the way some fans want, he has to try and make do with what he has available. If you think any other manager in the world (who would realistically take the job) could do better i’m all ears as to who the suggestions would be. It’s easy to criticise a manager for parking the bus when it doesn’t come off, but it is even harder to manager a team that knows you will be leaving at the end of the season. That is down to Ashley.

    • Clarko

      ‘Rafa is playing the numbers game and in the absence of funds allowing him to buy the players necessary to play the way some fans want, he has to try and make do with what he has available.’

      We should be walking over Cardiff and Forest.

      • Yes, but if he fields that strong team and Forrest injure Shelvey and Rondon we are relegated, simple as that. Rafa didn’t want to risk the only decent players getting injured and having 0 chances of winning against any Prem team. Or you rather we give it a go and progress 2-3 rounds further get some injuries along the way thar gets us relegated?

        • Clarko

          Starting eleven cost of the teams:

          Nottingham Forest (€18.73 + an undisclosed fee for Lolley) vs Newcastle (€45.4m)

          I’m not criticising the team selection, I’m criticising Benitez. Out of interest how many of our players got injured against Forest?

          • Oh, so you guarantee that if we started Rondon, Perez and Diame none of them would have gotten injured? Love that hindsight talk. Makes you feel so sure once something has already happend. If you take out on-loan Kenedy and Rondon from the starting eleven the rest of our starters cost as much as Forrest players, but clearly lacked the motivation. We were beaten by a better side with our reserve players, hopefully, this motivates them into training harder, although, most can see players like Atsu, Ki, SChar, Clark and Darlow are here to get the paycheck and come to training, nothing more.

          • Clarko

            ‘Oh, so you guarantee that if we started Rondon, Perez and Diame none of them would have gotten injured? Love that hindsight talk’

            No but you can’t guarantee that they would’ve gotten injured, I was highlighting just how stupid that argument was, the argument that you made, not me.

            ‘If you take out on-loan Kenedy and Rondon from the starting eleven the rest of our starters cost as much as Forrest players’

            Wrong. We didn’t start Rondon (plus he is a loan) and Kenedy is a loan player, Nottingham Forest’s starting eleven cost a total of €18.73m (+ an undisclosed fee for Lolley), while Newcastle’s cost a total of €45.40m. João Carvalho, who started the game, cost Forest €15.00m meaning the rest of the ten players that started the game cost Forest a combined total of €3.73m, we lost to that team.

          • I think my argument is very valid. Rafa and a manager as a whole has a whole season ahead. Can’t be risking the only good players he has for a game he feels not as important as League matches.

          • Clarko

            No, it wasn’t very valid, you’ve just admitted it was a stupid argument dummy:

            ‘Oh, so you guarantee that if we started Rondon, Perez and Diame none of them would have gotten injured? Love that hindsight talk’

            Not only that, my argument had nothing to with criticising the team selection, the team selection was fine, the team that Benitez chose cost more than double the Forest starting eleven and we still lost, minus Carvalho the rest of the ten players that started in that game cost Forest a combined total of €3.73m, Benitez lost to that, disgusting.

      • TheFatController

        That last comment is like a child’s mentality.

        We should be scoring 10 today, said 5 year old Johnny to his Dad on matchday morning.

        • Clarko

          I never said we should ‘be scoring 10 today’, you did, you 5 year old.

      • Tony English

        Yes we should.

        We should also be walking all over them in the financial support we give our manager too.

        Cardiff net spend £27.68m
        Forest net spend £23.916m
        Newcastle net spend -£11m

        Absence of funds indeed.

        • Clarko

          Starting eleven cost:

          Cardiff (€21.44m + an undisclosed fee for Zohore) vs Newcastle (€55.5m)

          Nottingham Forest (€18.73 + an undisclosed fee for Lolley) vs Newcastle (€45.4m)

          No absence of funds, Newcastle had a far more expensive teams.

          (transfermarkt)

          • Tony English

            I believe you’re quoting transfermarkt’s MV – ‘market values’ which is not the same as ‘cost’.

            For example, whist they quote Joao Carvalho MV as £2.25m, his actual transfer fee cost £13.5m (transfermarkt).

            On the page for our game v Forest (which I presume you got your figures from – I’m looking at their site with GBP not Euro’s) they have the total for our team including £6.3m for Ki within our total, when of course he ‘cost’ nothing.

            Now of course you will argue, as you are never wrong, that the figure’s you quote are what the players would ‘cost’ at todays market value, but my point clearly stated ‘financial support’ and ‘net spends’ relating to the funds that the managers of the team spent and accrued within a specific time frame i.e. the transfer window.

            Go on, do your normal wriggling.

          • Clarko

            No, I used the prices that were paid for the players not the market values…

            😂 😂 😂

          • Tony English

            Aye, just switched to look at Transfermarkt in Euros to view the figures you were quoting.

            They put the current value of their team (MV) at €18m – massively undervaluing Carvallo’s worth and boosting the value of their frees/loans to give a very similar overall MV to the actual cost of their team, as you say €18.73m.

            My bad looking at an MV in ££’s and seeing £16.15m, and knowing that was close to the €18.73m (£16.80m) you were quoting, and knowing that Carvallo cost £13.5m…I’ll go to Euro’s next time!

            But once again, this is slightly shunting an initial point into a siding….’net spends’ relating to the funds that the managers of the team spent and accrued within the transfer window….

            The financial support given to Warnock and Karanka in the summer, dwarfs the support given to Rafa. You can make a counter argument, but you can’t disagree with that point.

          • Clarko

            But you’re focusing on the net spend of three clubs in an 84 day period and just disregarding everything that has been spent previously, you’re even ignoring the spend in that 84 day window, Newcastle actually spent (€34.6m) more than both clubs (€30.75m and €27.43m spent by Cardiff and Forest respectively) on players.

            The bottom line is our team cost significantly more than both of their teams, more than double. Benitez has had significantly more financial support than those teams.

            As a bit of a side note, João Carvalho cost Forest €15.00m meaning the rest of the ten players that started in that game cost Forest a combined total of €3.73m, we lost to that team.

          • Tony English

            “We should be walking over Cardiff and Forest” was your comment, I agree and added, we should be walking over them on AND off the pitch.

            Even if I bowed down to just focus on your quoted actual spends the 84 day window, our outlay over and above Cardiff and Forest is marginal, when “We should be walking over Cardiff and Forest”.

            Our spend set against our income puts us in the shade of Forest and Cardiff, and that is as pitiful as the performance in midweek.

          • Clarko

            ‘Even if I bowed down to just focus on your quoted actual spends the 84 day window’

            No, that’s what you’ve already done, your entire argument was based on the net spend in that 84 day window, in my last comment I made the point that you just want to ignore everything that has happened before that window:

            ‘But you’re focusing on the net spend of three clubs in an 84 day period and just disregarding everything that has been spent previously’

            I don’t want you to ‘focus’ on the the 84 day window, I want you to focus on the bigger picture.

            The cost of our team did walk all over the cost of their teams, again, it was more than double. Benitez, who makes £4m-£6m a year, had the players/talent/tools/financial support to walk all over both Cardiff and Nottingham Forest on the pitch and failed to do so, miserably.

          • Tony English

            That’s not what I’ve already done, when I say “focus on YOUR quoted ACTUAL spends” I am referring to the post you just made, where you are quoting “Newcastle actually spent (€34.60m)” as opposed to my initial net figure which includes sales as well as purchases.

            I am actually aware you want me to ‘focus on the bigger picture’ as you see it – but this may surprise you – you don’t really get to set the agenda – it’s a discussion, you’re not Paxman.

            You choose to step around the income of the club, and contextualise your argument as you see fit – and I choose to utilise the spend -v- income which I consider to be pitiful and shameful.

            That is the bigger picture in my opinion, not the value of two teams on a given day, and where the blame lies on that day, you cite Rafa, I disagree.

          • Clarko

            ‘That’s not what I’ve already done, when I say “focus on YOUR quoted ACTUAL spends” I am referring to the post you just made’

            Yes and there is nothing to focus on, Newcastle spent more than Cardiff and Forest, there is nothing to discuss.

            ‘I am actually aware you want me to ‘focus on the bigger picture’ as you see it – but this may surprise you – you don’t really get to set the agenda’

            No, that’s how discussions work, I’ve addressed and countered your point about net spend and you haven’t addressed or countered any of my points, you have to counter otherwise you lose the discussion.

            Now I will counter/address your point about the income of the club because that’s what you do in a discussion. This argument isn’t about income, this argument isn’t about what Newcastle should/could be spending it’s what they have spent in regards to Cardiff and Forest. As I’ve said many times Benitez had the players/financial support to walk all over both Cardiff and Nottingham Forest on the pitch and he failed.

          • Tony English

            Nothing to focus on, in your opinion – that’s how discussion works.

            I have addressed and countered your points, accepted correction and backtracked on the MV point, underlining my reason for misreading, and explained why I don’t agree with your framing of the finances – that’s how discussion works.

            If I decide your point is not valid, such as Madrid’s spend, I am within my rights to disregard and move on to the next point – that does not mean you have lost a discussion – again – that is just your opinion….

            I’ll reiterate –
            Cardiff net spend £27.68m
            Forest net spend £23.916m
            Newcastle net spend -£11m

            In my opinion, that transfer window, with the relative incomes of the clubs, is an embarrassment.

            And I’ll leave it there as I have work to finish and family to spend time with who are more important than this discussion or this basket case of a club.

          • Clarko

            Again, that’s not how discussions work, you can’t ignore someone’s point because you don’t think it’s valid without explaining why it’s not valid, you didn’t address any of my points, you ignored them because they are good, solid points, I’ve countered every point (two) that you have made because they were poor points.

            You’re now trying to shift the subject of the discussion to the spend in regards to the ‘incomes of the clubs’, that is NOT what the topic of discussion was about (I agree that Newcastle haven’t spent enough money), I will remind you what the topic was:

            ‘We should also be walking all over them in the financial support we give our manager too’

            That was the topic and I have provided plenty of evidence showing that Benitez has had significantly more financial support than Cardiff and Forest:

            -Starting eleven cost of Cardiff (€21.44m + Zohore) vs Newcastle (€55.5m) and Forest (€18.73m + Lolley) vs Newcastle (€45.4m)

            -Newcastle spent (€34.60m) more than both clubs (€30.75m and €27.43m spent by Cardiff and Forest respectively) on players in the 17/18 window

            -Benitez has spent €142.65m since he was appointed as Newcastle manager, in that time Cardiff have spent €47.72m and Forest have spent €38.55m

            We do walk all over them financially.

          • Tony English

            I can actually chose to ignore, counter or disregard any point you decide to raise, and owe you no explanation, especially if I consider it to be a repetition of the same argument.

            Maybe somebody gave you the permission to set the parameters of discussion on here, and I missed it, please forward me the link so I can read all about it.

            We are never going to agree.

            The abridged version of this discussion is you prefer to concentrate purely on spending without deducting the money raised from player sales or the relative incomes of the clubs in question, talking about a Rafa spend of €142.65m without accepting that much of that money is recycled funds, the same money being spent two, three times, I understand your opinion, fine. I disagree.

            From comment #1 I am talking about NET spend being shameful and what in my opinion is a chronic lack of support for the manager given our financial standing. You disagree, again, fine.

            I’m losing no sleep, goodnight.

          • Clarko

            You can chose to do whatever you want but if you don’t provide a counter argument you lose the argument, you’ve lost the argument.

            Net spend tells you nothing about the money spent on players, it tells you nothing about the actual financial support given to the manager.

            Using your logic, Real Madrid, who had a net spend of €12.25m in the summer window but spent €145.75m on players have had less financial support than Cardiff who had a net spend of €30.75m, but only spent €30.75m on players…

            -Starting eleven cost of Cardiff (€21.44m + Zohore) vs Newcastle (€55.5m) and Forest (€18.73m + Lolley) vs Newcastle (€45.4m)

            -Newcastle spent (€34.60m) more than both clubs (€30.75m and €27.43m spent by Cardiff and Forest respectively) on players in the 17/18 window

            -Benitez has spent €142.65m since he was appointed as Newcastle manager, in that time Cardiff have spent €47.72m and Forest have spent €38.55m

            How do you not realise how stupid you’re coming across? I honestly don’t know what is worse, believing the rubbish that you’re arguing or just refusing to accept when you’re wrong, it’s embarrassing. Anyways, you clearly have nothing else to add to this “argument”, I’m just repeating the same arguments while you’re repeatedly ignoring those arguments (just like every other interaction we have had), I’m done.

  • Stuart Richardson

    well said sir.

  • Carverlier football

    Funny how Neil Hope’s last article was… 1 year ago, after Forest knocked us out of the cup, where he had a go at Rafa. Which is a common theme in his articles, except when he’s telling us not to worry about a lack of transfer spending and promising jam tomorrow. Didn’t fancy knocking an article out after we beat Man Utd or Arsenal or Chelsea last season or went on our late season winning run then?

    • Clarko

      The ‘common theme’ is Benitez getting Newcastle knocked out of the cup.

      • Carverlier football

        Sigh… No articles about Pardew getting us knocked out of the club though eh? Conveniently ignored the bit about him not writing about the good performances though eh? Don’t worry though, I’m sure we’ll be shooting for the top 10 again with some champagne football once Moyes comes in…

        • Clarko

          There were plenty of other people writing articles about Pardew getting us knocked out of the cup, there was plenty of uproar, criticism and abuse thrown at Pardew from fans when we were knocked out of the cup.

          The question is whether this article is good or bad? It’s a good article, it makes a very valid point.

          • DVIsion42

            Good article? “regardless of the dubious penalty and unfortunate own goal”… Anyone writing any article at all, that disregards facts that for part of the broader narrative, have an agenda. This Neil Hope fella is not a supporter, his 8 articles spanning the last 3 years are all negative, and all glaringly and conveniently overlook evidence against his agenda. Actually annoyed at The Mag for giving this guy a platform. I hear there’s a red team in League 1 to go support, nice and easy to find a seat apparently.

          • Clarko

            Why are you annoyed? Because there is nothing inaccurate about the quote that you’ve highlighted. You mention the ‘negative’ articles that the author has written but I’ve just checked the Mag homepage and all I see is negative articles (I’ll list some below), all I ever read on this site is negative (factually inaccurate) articles, is it not just that you’re the one who is actually biased and you’re annoyed that the author is criticising Benitez and not Ashley/Charnley/Keys/Redknapp/Bellamy? Because that’s what it seems like.

            Negative articles all in the last 24 hours:

            – ‘Paul Merson “You have got to feel for the Newcastle fans’

            – ‘Newcastle United PR machine turn decent finish into anger and disillusionment’

            – ‘Nottingham Forest fans with savage comments after beating Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle United’

            – ‘Steve Howey slaughters Mike Ashley for his running of Newcastle United’

            – ‘BBC pundit: “You can’t always blame Mike Ashley” after dismal Newcastle United performance at Forest’

            – ‘Nottingham Forest 3 Newcastle United 1 – Absolutely shocking as 92 minutes until shot on target’

          • DVIsion42

            100% correct Clarko. I should have noted the plethora of other unfounded incorrect articles littered on this site.

            I will, however defend my position inasmuch as I’m not a Rafa apologist,; His substitutions in particular drive me insane with around a 5% hit rate as far as improving the situation.

            I do however feel the need to defend our players who stuck to a game plan and in fact executed it well. I hate it when ‘fans’ have a crack for then being not good enough. Particularly in this case when looking at left back. It’s not Rafa’s or the team’s fault we have only one left back at the club.

            Fair play calling me out tho, I see what you were getting at 🍻.

          • TheFatController

            Seems like clickbait yes. Never miss an opportunity, as they say, to make hay whilst the sun shines. Or do an article on Rafa’s failings after two defeats….

            It’s almost as if he’s not perfect. What’s the point in being a manager if you’re going to have defeats…?

            Come back to us when you’re perfect Rafa. We’re used to John carver and Steve McClaren so we are entitled to demand more from you.

          • Cuh

            Facts

          • TheFatController

            Pardew did manage to lose home games 6-0 to Liverpool, 3-0 to mackems, everton, Spurs, and 4-0 to Man Utd.

            I worried less about his cup exploits if I’m honest.

          • Clarko

            The last time I remember having fun watching Newcastle was under Pardew.

          • WrongToon

            Is “under Pardew” your usual position for enjoying things though?

      • Jonas

        Oh your absolutely right, Benitez is the common denominator there.
        Cant think of anything else it could be. Wouldn’t happen under another manager, not with our last five or so.

        • Clarko

          And those managers all received abuse and criticism from the fans, all except one, Benitez.

      • GlasgowMag

        The “common theme” is Ashley asset stripping the club!! welcome back o head of the chuckle brothers!!😂😂

        • Clarko

          Starting eleven cost:

          Cardiff (€21.44m + an undisclosed fee for Zohore) vs Newcastle (€55.5m)

          Nottingham Forest (€18.73 + an undisclosed fee for Lolley) vs Newcastle (€45.4m)

      • TheFatController

        I thought it was stated policy from Rafa’s boss that we don’t go for cups?

        Rafa said we do, but that was when he was sacrificing his integrity for the good of the fans and players.

        He’s sacrificing it a little less now he knows he’s soon to be leaving, he he put out a team that could win, but didn’t perform, but it was clearly not the best team he could have put out. He’s saving those players for the relegation battle he knows is ahead.

        Are we in a relegation battle? Yes, like the cup exits, that’s accepted club policy that we’ll never be a team that couldn’t go down.

        That’s the gamble, as they said on Bullseye.

        • Clarko

          The ‘common theme’ is Benitez getting Newcastle knocked out of the cup.

  • Jonas

    1% of the time a manager will say the players/team were poor and deserved to lose. Another bad manager getting abuse at the moment who does this is Jose Mourinho.

    Carver, McLaren and Pardew are proven bad managers. Benitez is a proven good manager.

    We played badly and lost to Forest last season, we should judge Rafa on that and not on getting a team to safety and 10th on a lower league budget. Forest as ever did nothing in the lower leagues thereafter.

  • heretickle

    a day in the life of Newcastle United…..
    “by Sunday, August 29, 2004, Newcastle had drawn two and lost two of their opening four games of the season. The Toon now sat a lowly 16th in the table. The season before had been a disappointment. The team finished 5th and there would be no Champions League football for the first time in three years. The players were restless. Earlier, two senior players (Alan Shearer and player X) came to the owner and informed him that the manager was “losing the team.” About the same time, an international player was photographed on the training ground sticking two fingers up behind the back of the unsuspecting manager and having a laugh. Clearly, the owner had to take action”

    quoting Bob Marley,
    “How long shall they kill our prophets, While we stand aside and look? Ooh
    Some say it’s just a part of it, We’ve got to fulfill the Book; Won’t you help to sing,
    These songs of freedom? ‘Cause all I ever have, Redemption songs”

    Seems utterly ridiculous looking back. So, please do not do to Rafa, what had been done to Sir Bobby, undermined by the people who should have stood by him.

  • fistsofsteel2

    Let me ask the Rafa acolytes a question: when was the last time Rafa had any real major success as a manager?
    I’ve just found a bit cheese in the fridge that’s well past it’s use by date……I best throw it out before the whole fridge starts stinking.

    • GlasgowMag

      Oh fist of bollocks tell me when our previous 4 managers prior to Rafa had any success at all!! By the way he won the championship title 2 years ago!!🤔🤔😂😂🏆👍

      • fistsofsteel2

        The championship title is not a major achievement in the same league as top 4 prem, winning the champions league, winning top leagues abroad. Rafa’s golden years are long gone.

        • GlasgowMag

          I believe your question has been answered a number of times above. Now can you answer mine regarding our 4 previous managers before Rafa’s reign under your employers stewardship!!!!

        • TheFatController

          You’re ever so angry. Check your blood pressure maybe …?

          • GlasgowMag

            I fistsofJellybabies!!! 😂😂😂😂

          • fistsofsteel2

            aNGRY!!!! AngRy!!!! I’m bL0oDy fuRious! ;)

    • Damon Horner

      2014 if you ignore the Championship. Mainly because he has slummed it with us! This is a new angle from a regime supporter.

    • TheFatController

      Didn’t he buy £50m of players for Napoli, who are now worth £300m – Jorginho who played Sunday being one of them?

      He won the Cuo with them. Did so well Sarri took over when Real Madrid came for Rafa…

      So winning Italian Cups, having an amazing transfer record and being chosen by the biggest club in the world might not be success in your book, but I am sure you can tell us about the higer standards you set in your profession ..?

      • fistsofsteel2

        The transfer market has gone crazy in the past couple of seasons, with average players going for grossly inflated sums. I don’t think that his £50million worth of players bought then, now valued at £300m is anything unusual. Look at the money Newcastle got for Carrol, Wijnaldum, Sissoko……does that mean we’ve been managed by genius managers? Look at other players suddenly jumping in value at other clubs. The price inflation is a trend – not Rafa’s genius.
        Italian cup back in 2014. Which league did he win before that? When did he win the champions league? It’s all years ago. He’s past it.

        • TheFatController

          Do you think you might be a very angry person, but not able to sit comfortably with that anger, so based on ‘safety in numbers’ you like to make others angry so you can feel you’re not alone?

          Ok, yes, he’s past it. Get rid. I’m not angry. Does me agreeing with you make you happy, or do you need me to be angry?

          You can get treatment for that anger you know ?

  • GlasgowMag

    “Should United sustain premier league status once more” if he does a Knighthood should be on offer working of the back of this undermining, asset stripping, work house, hideous regime!!! If you want change and your not happy join the protest to get rid of the real problem Ashley!! Once rid you might even get what you wish for better football, pride back and also a team that might actually win something!! Worst article ever on this platform!!

  • Rafa wanted to show the squad they are poor and need to work harder. When they watch the replay any of these players (with a few minor exceptions) will be embarrassed they call themselves professional football players. Rafa knows as we know – without Shelvey, Ritchie and Perez on the pitch we struggle to create any chances at all. In the back, without Diame, Dummett, Lascelles and Dubravka playing we will concede and get caught napping much more. We have 5-6 decent players and 3-4 real Prem quality, the rest prove time and time again, they are mid-table Championship players at best. Rafa wanted to get rid off most of them but Penfold failed to ship them out and no money was given for better replacements. This is the situation and we know it. We were all hoping Kenedy to be even better than last year and for Ki and Muto to hit the ground running and challenge Shelvey and Perez but all of those now look like naive hopes.

    • NUFCDan

      I made the same point in an earlier article. Without Kenedy firing on all cylinders yet and without Lascelles, Shelvey are Perez there is not PL class in the team. The supporting cast at Newcaslte is a bunch of cheaply assembled grafters and reserve players who were rightly beaten by a better team.

  • Return of the Mack

    People falling for the Ashley propaganda already, shame on you. We had a team with Shearer, Ferdinand, Ginola, Beardsley. We now have Solomon Rondon on loan and Ki the free transfer. Let that sink in.

  • robbersdog

    ‘If Pardew, McClaren or Carver had said what Rafa Benitez just said…’

    Rafa Benitez is the only manager in history to have won the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. He also won La Liga – TWICE!

    Pardew, McClaren and Carver are second-rate chancers, whilst Rafa is a proven, elite manager. It’s like comparing a silk purse to three sow’s ears.

    • NUFCDan

      Pardew had a decent team too, full of quality internationals like Cabaye, Debuchey, Santon, Ben Arfa, Colo, CIsse and we were still sh*te. Look at what Benitez has to work with now!

  • David2211

    There’s no ‘Hope’ for you Neil when you find yourself agreeing with Richard Keys. Stop with these pathetic articles eh.

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    You know why fans accept Rafa’s word? Because he isn’t a patsy, unlike the other ex-managers you mention. Either you’re very naïve or another troll.

  • MrMojoRisin76

    Search Neil hope on Twitter coincidentally there is a Mackems account with the same name.Is it him?

  • Matthew Jarratt

    Well Neil you really are a ray of sunshine and you show a complete lack of knowledge and class you sure your an NUFC supporter and not a mate of wise and co.

  • WrongToon

    Last time I checked, the test for intelligent life was to ask “would you rather lose 5-4 or win 1-0?” Answers in favour of the former puts you in the same category as tapeworms. Congrat’s, Neil. But let’s have a look at the rest of the article though, shall we?

    “Regardless of the dubious penalty and unfortunate own goal which ultimately gave the blues maximum points, Newcastle United were never at the races.” Really? Last time I checked we were on for a point until the 76th minute, then again until the OG in the 87th? When all that matters is the result, this is the very definition of being “at the races”, as we nearly came away with a point.

    “Here was the perfect opportunity go for the win, build up some understanding in the team, and up the confidence levels before taking on Manchester City at the weekend.” So, you would have played our 1st 11? Then expected everyone to be on top form less than 72 hours later against rampant Man City, away? Are you high?

    “Rafa, your team just lost 3-1 due to such bad defending…” Wrong on that one. We were 1-0 down until injury time. A single defensive lapse. We lost because we didn’t have a shot on goal until Rondon’s equaliser, then got giddy trying to push for the win, then for a second equaliser. Did you watch the game?

    I’m bored now, but I’m sure you get the gist. Try harder next time.

  • Sumit Sengupta

    “Had Pardew, Carver or McClaren spouted such complete hogwash excuses there’d have been an immediate reaction from supporters ridiculing these quite ludicrous statements and calling for their heads to roll. ”
    — Because their CVs are full of hogwash excuses.

    “So why therefore is Benitez seemingly immune from such reaction?”
    — Because he is the real deal.

    “Should United sustain Premier League safety once more, then the plaudits for doing so will go the way of a manager who despite ‘chronic underfunding and the sub-standard players at his disposal’ still pulled it all together.”
    — Naturally. Nobody with an iota of footballing knowledge will credit the owner for PL safety.

    “Any blame for both the team’s performances and its final league position will be planted firmly in the direction of ‘ penny-pinching’ owner Mike Ashley’s, particularly in the event of relegation.”
    — Naturally. You only get what you deserve. Nothing more, nothing less.

    “In Rafa we trust…?”
    — You should. Your club cannot attract anyone better than the managers you have mentioned so Benitez is actually a blessing for you.

    And if you are just trolling, you should feel good. Mine is the 150th comment. Now go get some footballing education.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Neil you should of been swallowed