What will be the Newcastle United team to face Tottenham on Saturday?

In an ideal world, Newcastle would have brought in the targets Rafa Benitez identified early this summer, with unwanted players heading out at the same time.

Instead we have seen a stand-off between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez, the club’s owner refusing  to allow the manager a stand alone transfer budget.

The matter further complicated by the fact that even players Rafa agrees to sell, the manager doesn’t get the full sale price to spend in this transfer window.

With signings made late and a tendency to target signings who had been involved in this summer’s World Cup, it has further complicated preparations.

Now with only five days to go until Newcastle host Tottenham, interesting to see how many minutes on the pitch there have been for each of the Newcastle players in the friendlies.

What would be the starting eleven based on most football in the friendlies?

It wouldn’t be ideal, looking like this…

Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Longstaff, Diame, Atsu, Perez, Joselu

A bit of a 3-5-1-1, or 5-3-1-1?

There were 450 minutes of football in the five friendlies and only six players have featured for half or more of the total possible time. These are Ritchie, Perez, Yedlin, Clark, Diame and Joselu.

With the ridiculous handling of the transfer window by Mike Ashley, it has led to Joselu starting four of the five friendlies. Dwight Gayle starting the other but now off to West Brom, whilst Salomon Rondon has been confirmed as a loan signing only five days before the Premier League kicks off.

Centre of defence sees only Ciaran Clark (303 minutes) get significant time on the pitch, with Jamaal Lascelles (180 minutes) next best, but Lejeune now injured and summer signing Fabian Schar only 102 minutes.

One knock-on effect of the chaotic approach to transfers saw 20 year old Sean Longstaff’s loan move to Portsmouth postponed and played the first two matches (full 90 minutes) but then only 28 minutes of the final three pre-season games.

Concerns also as first choice keeper managed only 142 minutes, missing Saturday because of a knock. Whilst Kenedy has only had 67 minutes due to spending time with his family after his daughter was born.

Minutes played in first team pre-season friendlies so far, 29 Newcastle players featuring:

355 Ritchie

325 Perez

316 Yedlin

303 Clark

296 Diame

272 Joselu

218 Darlow

212 Shelvey

208 Longstaff

203 Dummett

186 Atsu

180 Lascelles

178 Hayden

177 Manquillo

174 Murphy

143 Yarney

142 Dubravka

130 Ki

125 Roberts

115 Gayle

102 Schar

90 Aarons

75 Fernandez

69 Sterry

67 Kenedy

63 Armstrong

45 Woodman

45 Sels

45 Lejeune

0 Muto

0 Rondon

  • Paul Patterson

    That side won’t start against Spurs

  • Phil Yare

    so glad we kept joselu.

  • Kev-82

    If pre season minutes are as important as made out here then we’re in for an easy ride at the weekend saying as most of the Spurs first XI have just returned from holiday over the last couple of days.

  • Milburn_Taylor

    just received an email from Newcastle telling me they are refunding the money i paid to watch the friendlies as they had major issues with the streaming and couldn`t provide a good service, these people can`t get anything right

    • Leicester Mag

      Sure they didn’t think Hos was buffering ?

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Buffering? I thought that was a sexual position, I learnt it all off the internet.

      • Milburn_Taylor

        ask Clarko about buffering his brain does it all the time

    • Jimblag23

      You’ll probably find they’ve charged you double.

    • Clarko

      ‘Newcastle telling me they are refunding the money i paid to watch the friendlies’

      followed by

      ‘these people can’t get anything right’

      • Ken.


      • Milburn_Taylor

        excess masturbating is taking it`s toll on the troll, i bet you passed the Schizophrenia test with flying colours

        • Clarko

          Hey look at that, a completely irrelevant, nonsensical reply. I wonder why…

  • DeadToiler

    Pointless article

    • skarabrae


  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    Take last week’s identical article add the minutes of the last match and you have another ‘interesting’ article

  • Jimblag23

    I hope Muto gets a decent amount of game time, I’m intrigued as to how well he’ll do.

    I gave us he kiss of death earlier by falling for Pochettino’s interview and taking Kane out my fantasy league team. Cue a hat trick.

  • Leazes.

    I see Ashley is going to start legal action against United fans…. that’ll make him even more popular than he already is!

    What an idiotic petty and psychotic individual…. after all I’ve done buying 100m pairs of donnay socks…. I’ve a good mind not to pay for them.

    • relaxed

      Is that all you bought ?

      • Leazes.

        Yes there’s a shortage for some reason

        • relaxed

          Lets hope that they have the Northumberland Street branch fully stocked on Saturday.
          I have a feeling it will be like the January sales

          • Leazes.

            Yes Northumberland Street branch…. you could be right

          • relaxed

            I am going to sort my old fishing bivvy and sleeping bag out of the attic so I can camp out over night so I get a good place at the front of the queue

          • Leazes.

            The early bird catches the socks

    • Wezza

      How does he think he will take legal action against the fans? Wow he really must be rattled.
      You reap what you sow Mike.

      • Ken.

        he is rattled and so are his PR people, hit him where it hurts
        Sports Direct

  • Ken.

    Ashley`s rattled, he`s sent a letter to the secretary of state for Media & Sports
    he`s blaming a Newcastle MP for abuse he & his workers are receiving from fans.
    long overdue in my opinion, keep up the pressure & it may well get rid of the leech

    • Leazes.

      A letter to Parliament that he treats with utter contempt about the same workers that he treats with utter contempt….. I wonder who the sympathy is going to come from there?

    • Wor Lass

      This is where the likes of Monksatan get it wrong. Sure, he`s made a loan and it`s interest free but that`s an investment. He`ll get it back plus plenty more (not forgetting what he`s already made on Strawberry Place and merchandising) when he eventually sells up. Meanwhile, he has to make us an attractive proposition for potential buyers by driving down costs – hence the free transfers, loans and swaps that have become the norm. Driving down the quality of the squad so as to line his own pockets – if not right now then at some point in the, hopefully, near future.

      • Leazes.

        Absolutely… he’s counting money that he pays back to himself as ‘investment’, ….

        ….and loans given ‘free of interest’ to pay off the losses incurred by relegations as a sign of benevolence…. when he relegated the club through lack of investment’ causing the debts (the new ones are debts as opposed to assets)….

        …..then says the relegations were nothing to do with him!

        I think he’s playing games to stir up more hatred, thus the Manager, players, fans, the local press even all have a gripe…. we are United!

      • Wezza

        The Monkseaton alias claims Ashley has never taken a penny from the club. LOL.
        That is pure trolling right there.

        • Leazes.

          Ashley is saying the same thing….

    • The BBC is FAKENEWS

      He might think releasing the letter to the press is a clever move.

      He is simply giving us the address to which to write. Imagine the secretary of sport receiving thousands of letters from supporters expressing their concerns about Mike Ashley.

      1) sports direct has not paid a penny to NUFC in 11 years.

      2) sports direct takes all the money from merchandise

      3) 2 relegations

      4) Keegan saga

      5) Gutierrez saga

      If someone one here put together a template letter, in response to ashleys letter to send to the secretary of sport. It could be shared on social media, printed off, signed and sent.

      That will get their attention.

      • Wor Lass


        Dear Secretary of State,

        Mike Ashley is a penny-pinching [email protected]!

        Yours truly,

        A N Other

      • Leazes.

        Its a completely bonkers nonsensical rant….. I’ll wait for the Mag to put up an article before laying into it!

        • The BBC is FAKENEWS

          It shows he is rattled. It would be excellent for the secretary of sport to get several thousand letters from supporters pointing out exactly what he is doing. The ‘accounts’ deserve particular mention.

          • Wezza

            I would write in for sure!

        • Wezza

          I just read his letter!
          Claims he improved training ground facilities lol. And claims Chi Onwarah didn’t engage him first when she did years ago and got it ignored.
          The man is a pathological liar and he is now a cowering rat in the corner. We have him rattled lads!
          Can’t wait for an article thankfully the trolls Re blocked so won’t have to listen to their lies as well!

          • Ken.

            the letter is a real eye opener but with his past record he hasn`t a leg to stand on

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Official Leazes analysis coming up, like you’re some sort of celebrity

    • Wezza

      Didn’t know about that! Typical of MA, blaming other people ans taking no responsibility for it is his own doing. Since #IfRafaGiesWeGo started things have ramped up.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    The letter fatty sent is brilliant, he’s actually trying to play the victim it’s got him totally rumbled. Let’s hope it’s the start of more to come