The question on Sunday evening – Was Rafa Benitez right to use those tactics with players available and opposition quality?

The final score was Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2, all three goals coming in the final 15 minutes.

Simply focusing on the goals that were scored, you could say Newcastle were very unlucky to lose.

An excellent Joselu header from Yedlin’s quality cross, whilst Chelsea won thanks to a Yedlin own goal and a penalty that should never have been given.

However, 19% possession in a home game is a tough watch.

Rafa Benitez was left with very limited options in terms of players available but did he do the right thing going so negative?

So the question is – Was Rafa Benitez right to use those tactics with players available and opposition quality? Vote now please.

We all know Mike Ashley is by far the biggest reason why we are in this position but just interested in whether fans think these tactics were the right way to go.


Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2

Goals

Newcastle: Joselu

Chelsea: Hazard 76 (Pen), Yedlin 87 (OG)

Possession was Chelsea 81% Newcastle 19%

Total shots were  Chelsea 15 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Chelsea 3 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Chelsea 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 79), Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Murphy (Perez 73), Rondon (Joselu 62)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Sterry, Longstaff, Atsu

Crowd: 51,791 (3,200 Chelsea)

(Alan Shearer finds result a ‘sickener’ – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2 – Read HERE)



  • fistsofsteel2

    Which idiots are suggesting he was right to employ those tactics? Jeez, people are here are absolutely clueless about footy.

    • TheFatController

      Chelsea wanted an open game. Even though we scored with four at the back, they also scored straight away too.

      They just have more quality. Attacking the top teams costs goals, unless you get lucky like wolves yesterday and the top 6 side are off the pace and you get lucky.

      We got no luck and Chelsea looked far too strong when they hit us on the break. I can see Chelsea winning games 3 or 4 away if teams open up. Their midfield is back to the title winning levels of two seasons again today, plus the full backs are awesome.

      • gudwindavids

        Any team will look awesome if you let them have the ball for 90 minutes. Newcastle beat Chelsea last year 3-0 playing two strikers and having a go.

        • TheFatController

          Your missing the vital ingredient of Chelsea not giving a flying f when they lost 3-0, for a variety of reasons

    • Chris-Chapple

      i know who`s clueless, look in the mirror.

  • Waxi

    If this is what we have to look forward to for the rest of the season way might as well pack up and go home now. Not a word against the fat controller today so no good standing outside his store as it’s not getting us anywhere. Rafa has to start being more positive or is this his plan to get us relegated before he goes at the end of the season.

    • Milburn_Taylor

      that is what people said last season & we finished mid table.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      what a defeatist attitude to have man. Bet you’re an absolute riot at get togethers.

      • Waxi

        A team we turned over 3,0 four games ago when we went on the attack and pasted them so why the big change. At home we should be going at teams and the stats were shocking yesterday and not a whimper from the crowd on the FCB. This is not the Newcastle I have grown up with it was like man City last season blinkin dreadfully.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Players taking it easy for a cup final, not playing for a manager they hated, nothing to play for, that’s why we won 3-0. The fact they had 2 World Cup finalist in there mid field & a goalie who cost more than our full 11 may factor into it as well.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          And herein lies the problem ‘the Newcastle I grew up with’ had investment and good players this one hasn’t so what do you expect the manager to do?

          • Waxi

            What a troll you are. Answer a question with a question to keep the wind up going. It’s opinions muppet and i have given mine end of.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            It’s not a wind up, I’m generally interested in what you expect Benitez to do with his 10 pence squad against a billion pound squad? You keep harking back about the past, unfortunately we Aren’t the same team and that’s down to a chronic lack of investment. Do you think Benitez a man who’s won everything wants to play like that with the rubbish players he has?

  • DWI

    I enjoyed the last 10 mins, but the previous 80 were hard to watch.

    I get that we don’t have the quality of some of the top teams but putting 11 men behind the ball is frustrating and usually ends in a narrow defeat.

    I know this means we may get beaten by a higher score, but I turn up to see us show some courage and have a go and sometimes we may just get the 3 points.

    • fistsofsteel2

      The stats actually show that every time Rafa has set up with a back 5 and used these ultra negative tactics, we’ve been beat every time.
      But still you’ll have the usual suspects on here defending their God Rafa. They appear to believe the world would end if Rafa left NUFC. They seem to think one man is bigger than the club.
      Today, once we were forced to play when Chelsea scored we looked like we could have at least made a game of it.

      • TheFatController

        I thought Chelsea looked most dangerous when we scored – proven by the goal they scored straight after, having prior to that needed a dodgy penalty to score.

  • Chris-Chapple

    If we had opened up and gone at them they would have ripped us apart, they are top class in every area of their team.

  • Milburn_Taylor

    3 of our best players were unavailable & Rafa had to patch up a side yet some think that the team he put out was good enough to take on Chelsea, get real.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Asking some of these idiots to get real is as impossible as asking us to blow away chelsea. Astounding

      • gudwindavids

        Whats astounding is there are fans that are happy pay money to watch a home team that tries its best let the opposition team keep the ball for as long as possible. I pay the money to go to games, and i have the right to be unhappy and complain about the style of play, especially when we are getting beat with these boring park the bus tactics.

    • gudwindavids

      So are you saying you are happy to pay your money to watch the toon playing boring ultra defensive football and STILL get beat in the process. A lot of these fans clearly cannot remember or were not born when Newcastle was a hard place to come and play for EVERY team in the league.

  • Mrkgw

    Whilst the tactics nulified the opposition for majority of the game, a decent viewing spectacle it wasn’t. Nor, was it a good advert for the Premiership. I like Rafa but that was truly awful and supporters pay good money to watch that. If we lose, then at least go down having a go.

    • Milburn_Taylor

      having a go against the quality teams could relegate us.

      • Mrkgw

        As could sitting back as we did today. We aren’t that bad, surely.

      • gudwindavids

        That argument would be valid if we didn’t get beat, but we did so your point is pointless.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    We should of opened up & got
    Beat 6-0 so some of the half heads on here could be ‘entertained’ then complain we got beat & didn’t tighten up

    • Mrkgw

      Here we go again with the usual round of aggression and insults. Never ceases does it.

      • SuperDesHamilton

        You’re thicker than a castle wall, sense doesn’t reside with you, maybe insults will

        • Mrkgw

          I take great exception to that. It’s not on. Some people just have to take things too far. You show yourself up, no-one else.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Said the person who expects us to swipe aside Chelsea without our two best players a half decent striker & a winger who can beat a man.

            You’ll be embarrassed when you read your comments in the morning

          • Mrkgw

            On what basis should I be embarrassed exactly? For debating points? Or, are your ideals to have us all tow the single line? Thats not how debates work I’m afraid and again, if you can show reason in no form other than casting insults then don’t bother responding please.

            As for the result, no, I didn’t expect us to brush aside Chelsea and that wasn’t my reasoning. I merely stated that the tactics were dismally employed meaning that the game meant for a chronically bad game to watch. Whats wrong with that? Certainly doesn’t render me ‘thick’ as you wrongly imply.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Because our tactics were boring your saying open up & attack one of the best teams in the world leaving ourselves wide open to be picked off. This is how tactics work are you still following do you understand? Would you prefer we get absolutely hammered or still be in the game with 5 minutes left?

          • Mrkgw

            There’s a balance to be struck. Yes, we may well have lost but at least play football. Playing with ten behind the ball was pure awful for those watching. Again, many opinions on the matter which is fair enough but for me, I”d have liked to have seen us go at them earlier.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Here’s a simple question 3 points or be entertained?

            All you’ve cried about today is it’s not entertaining nothing else. If you want entertainment go to the circus, while we have this garbage team we need to grind results & keep it respectful against teams who GK’s cost more than our entire starting 11

          • Mrkgw

            Well, first and foremost, there’s been no crying today, of that I can assure you. Disappointment yes, but crying no. I have debated points and each time, you have differed and I respect your views (insults aside, of course). We will have to agree to differ and so, on that basis onto the next game.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Will you slate our manager when we don’t beat Man City?

          • Mrkgw

            Who said anything about slating the Manager? Here we go again.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You’ve just pulled the bloke apart all afternoon because he tried to nullify & outthink one of the best teams in the world to make up for a lack of talent

          • Mrkgw

            I pulled his tactics apart, not Rafa personally. As I’ve stated, I like him and he is capable of good things as proven consistently throughout his managerial career. But these negative tactics do nobody any favours and I stand by that. The chief culprit of course, is Ashley at the end of the day for it is he, that has under invested in the club. And, if we bicker incessantly then he wins.

          • Big Al 1967

            And after today this is now a major worry. Ashley’s PR machine is trying to divide and conquer.
            However if there is any truth in the rumours of a divide between Rafa and Jamaal that is more disconcerting then today’s result.
            If it is the case then worrying times ahead

          • gudwindavids

            Football fans are allowed to have different opinions and not all of them have to agree with yours.

          • Big Al 1967

            I think the crux of the matter SuperDes is the quality of the opposition and that is why the debate is so animated about today. Everyone expects us to take a pummeling at Citeh next week unless we employ the same tactics of everyone behind the ball.
            However Chelsea are a different matter. I’ve seen Chelsea a couple of times and while they are excellent going forward they cannot defend to save their lives. I have a few Chelsea supporting mates as well (Did not support them until the Russian turned up, strange that!) and they like a lot of their fans are already worried about not getting in the top four because they can be got at out wide and at the byline and will concede too many goals that way.
            And this is where Rafa cannot win. Today’s tactics ultimately failed as we got beat and are receiving very heavy criticism because of it. However if we had gone toe to toe and say been beaten 6-4 he would be getting the same amount of flack for going gung-ho
            So for me the tactics needed to find a balance of in between both and this is the important factor as we do not have that quality to do so. I truly believe that if Rafa had the quality of wide players and forwards he has been crying out for for the last 18 months he would have changed to a more attacking approach.
            I have to be honest at 3.50 when I heard the team I said to the lad next to me that the line up that the hallmarks of Rafa making a statement and I still think that now

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Exactly. Benitez made a mistake with Murphy & our wingers don’t get up the pitch quick enough. Which is brought on by ponderous Centre mids.

            They have no reason to be bothered about that, Sarri tactically & preparation wise is second to none. He has better attacking options with Chelsea than Naples whereas he had an absolute rock at the Koulibaly who at times had to cover for Albion & Ghoulam.

          • Superdooperhooper

            Des is the most childish wind up merchant on here . Why anyone bothers to engage with him is beyond me

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Bother with ya ma

          • gudwindavids

            I agree with you, at home Newcastle should be more attacking, the argument that we should have defended has shown to be complete bull, because the facts are we played ultra defensive and still got beat.

          • theoriginalbomberman

            If any other manager but Lord Rafa had employed those tactics they would have been slaughtered. He’s doing exactly what he did last season
            and using incredibly questionable tactics and player selection to make a political point to Ashley at the expense of the team.
            He absolutely deserves criticism get his phallus out of your mouth he’s not a god he’s done nothing noteworthy for 13 years.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            We finished 10th last season so ‘lord Rafa’ must of done something right. What do you suppose he does with the rubbish he’s got to work with? Your stupidly is absolutely outstanding how you even remember to take a breath is amazing to me. Put the drink down and go to bed in the spare room, your wife hates you and so does everyone else. Being contrary on the internet won’t change that

          • theoriginalbomberman

            Lol I don’t have a wife unlike you old man I’m young enough to know that marriage is an outdated institution.

            It’s not even so much Benitez that annoys me anymore it’s this god like image a lot of you on here have made out of him. Nobody can point out any mistakes he makes,
            a lot of you blindly follow everything he does like a cult leader. Constantly bigging him up calling him “world class” at every opportunity. When we win its because of “Rafa the genius” when we lose its because the players weren’t good enough. I criticised Pardew, Carver and Mclaren just the same and because Benitez won the champions league 13 years ago doesn’t mean I’m not going to do the same with him.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            So you like to criticise no matter what because you were unloved as a child. Every comment is about Benitez, get yourself out man go talk a girl you never know she might even let you hold her hand

          • TheFatController

            Too many generalisations in your argument to be taken seriously sorry.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Going through your replies it’s clear you hate Benitez. He could feed the 5000 and you’d still slate him.

            Why the hate? Did your missus run off with a Spanish waiter and you hate all of them now?

          • TheFatController

            Well, that’s changed the mind of about, ooh, no one in their view of Rafa. So well done.

      • gudwindavids

        Come on, you are not allowed to criticise anything Rafa does because he has not been given much money to spend on players. Otherwise you will get shed loads of abuse. I expect mid week forest will put 11 men behind the ball and not cross the half way line because we have much better players than them.

  • Kenny

    Soccer suicide attacking Chelsea with the players at his disposal, he took a gamble and it didn’t pay off but at least we didn’t get hammered, reality check needed for some fans.

    • gudwindavids

      Does this gamble ever pay off against the top teams ?

      • Kenny

        It did against Man U and Arsenal
        We had 2 new central defenders a new guy in midfield & a new striker.
        Look what happened to Huddersfield

        • gudwindavids

          I don’t think the tactics for those games were as negative as the Chelsea or Man city home game TBH. He played two strikers against Man U and Arsenal. (Perez and Gayle)

  • Tweed Mag

    We have a tough start to the season, playing teams who would expect to be in the top four or five. Perhaps the tactics were negative, but without Shelvey and Kenedy there was not much else to fall back on. However, we were not hammered. There does need to be a bit more ambition playing against clubs we are better equipped to have a go at. Things can turn around.

    • Andy Mac

      The problem is that there are fewer and fewer teams with squads worse than ours as the seasons roll by. This is Fatmans strategy, invest as little as possible then after three or four seasons of struggling to keep away from the bottom three he panics and buys players who are generally not fit for purpose.

      Rinse and repeat

  • gudwindavids

    When was the last time rafa played ultra defensive and got a draw or win ? The tactic does not work, you might as well try and win the game and if you get beat you get beat. At least have a go FFS !

    • Milburn_Taylor

      like Huddersfield

      • gudwindavids

        That was away from home, not at home FYI.

        • Kenny

          Huddersfield were playing at home pal, try getting your facts right !!!!!!!

          • gudwindavids

            That’s what i said !

    • Billmag

      Do you want premiership football or championship football you choose.

  • Leicester Mag

    In some ways that this is a point of discussion says everything about the stature of the club. The quality is so lacking with 2 or 3 players missing that the answer is academic. A more pertinent question would be when did apathy and tolerance take over to such.a degree that this is an acceptable debate

  • SH.ER

    Pardew would be SLAUGHTERED if he used them

    • Milburn_Taylor

      Pardew had better players.

      • SH.ER

        You mean he had French mercenaries

        • Milburn_Taylor

          He had better players & all footballers with the odd exception are mercenaries

          • SH.ER

            Is Tiote better than Diame?
            Is Cabaye better than Shelvey?
            Is Coloccini better than Lascelles
            Is Gouffran better than Ritchie?
            Is Williamson & S.Taylor better than Clark?
            The good players Pardew had? I’d say the attackers
            Cisse was good for 6 months, Ba was very good
            Ben Arfa also had a great season but who else?
            I think our squad is better than some people think, it’s just we play negative & not ambitious … we don’t even attack for as little as 5 minutes .. disappointing ….

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You ever thought Chelsea got much better as well?

          • SH.ER

            Who talked about Chelsea? The first time we attacked them after they scored, it took us just 5 minutes to score, why Benitez didn’t push before they score? why the mentality always have to be defend first & attack later? WHY???

          • SuperDesHamilton

            They have three world class mid field players absolutely dying for us to open up and pick us off. Maybe that’s why?

          • SH.ER

            In order to score goals you need to take risks
            Personally i wanted to see Murphy & Ritchie push forward in the first 10 minutes of the second half to give Rondon options with these dead long balls we keep hoofing up to him & expect him to do something with them, like HOW??
            He’s isolated, alone, i don’t have problem with defending but sorry, you have to have a go …

          • SuperDesHamilton

            How do you have a go without opening up? When you open up the world class players pick you off. If we had our three best players I could kinda agree with you but our situation with personnel available/not available killed that

          • SH.ER

            We had FIVE at the back & 2 holding midfielders, don’t tell me you can’t open up ..
            I asked for simple things, instead of hoofing long balls to Rondon why not let Ritchie & Murohy to push forward & try to take advantage of those long balls & try to run at them
            Doesn’t mean you wil get exposed …

          • SuperDesHamilton

            They have decent wingers though. We have Jacob Murphy who’s first touch is a tackle & Ritchie who will graft as the day is long but can’t beat a man to save his life. You’re not getting it. Those teams you mentioned invested & can compete better that’s how it works we’ve been left behind by a chronic lack of investment we simply haven’t got the players of sufficent ability to carry out those tactics.

          • SH.ER

            I would like to see new pacey wingers at the club but i know it’s not gonna happen anytime soon …
            I just look at the fact why on earth we paid £12.5m for Murphy when we could’ve gone for someone else
            Traore had a £17m release clause & got relegated with Middlesbrough

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Two words, Mike Ashley. He doesn’t see talent just money & difference between prices

          • Big Al 1967

            Wolves paid the £18 million for Traore but believe you me this lad seriously has no end product
            Fast as [email protected] yes but so was Wayne Fereday!

          • Geordiegiants

            Routledge always reminded me of Fereday as well. Franz Carr was another one.

          • Billmag

            Would Ashley pay that sort of money out, no chance and there’s the problem.

          • Billmag

            Rafa knows what you have to do to win a league but with us he has to servive that’s the difference.

          • Jimmy_toons

            No you are wrong. In the first half Murphy shot on target that was saved by their keeper, and Rondon put a header wide.

          • Leicester Mag

            A more pertinent question are we better than 3 other Premier League clubs? Cardiff yes then ? Aside from Lascelles who do we risk losing? Comparison with history again shows the problem. The world has moved on at best we have stood still

          • SH.ER

            So you think Burnley, Huddersfield, Brighton & Fulham have better squads? i think there is something wrong with you
            We looked good against Spurs, & i think Watford, Bournemouth & Southampton have similar squads in power & quality, it’s just about the mentality, our players can’t attack & express themselves because they are being told to defend & hoof it up to Rondon 7 hope for the best, that’s not football & the exact same tactics happened against Cardiff, not just against the “top 6”

          • Leicester Mag

            The only thing wrong with me is that I’m pig sick of the tolerance of mediocrity that people think this is down to tactics, the manager etc. That we are debating if our squad is better than the Burnleys of this world.

          • Billmag

            One of the worst periods in our history under him.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Pardew was our manager Almost FIVE years ago. He couldn’t get a good squad playing well shame on him. Strange comparison

      • SH.ER

        Didn’t say Pardew is a good manager nor talked about his ability
        just pointed out that Benitez doesn’t get as much criticism from our fans even last week no one said anything, all blamed the players

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Because there’s only so much a manager can do with a shower of the perverbial. Pardew had a good squad and they played poorly see how that works?

          • SH.ER

            And i disagree with that, he had 3 or 4 good players but the rest were terrible & similar if not better than what we have right now.
            Our back four was trash, garbage back then, Williamson, S.Taylor, Yanga Mbiwa, Coloccini & Santon??

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Mbwia rarely played centre half because of Pardew and his creepy facisnation with playing everyone at left back & santon was always injured. Colo was better than any defender we have now though

    • Billmag

      He tried to attack Liverpool and got beat 0-6 do you remember.

    • Big Al 1967

      Yeah he would as would Fat Sham. However both had far better players at their disposal.
      Put another way,how many of yesterdays starting 11 would get into either Pardew’s and Hippoheeds team

  • Ashley-out

    i hate the tactics but & i havent won every trophy going so who am i to call Rafa

  • James Mills

    This does make me chuckle, so people who think parking the bus against a team that come the end of the season will be aiming for the title or champions league, rather than like us another relegation fight for the season know nothing about football. To then lose the game by a questionable penalty and an own goal, disaster I know only -1 for the goal difference rather than -5 or 6 by playing open with our squad against theirs, I know what does goal difference have to do with football come the end of the season. Maybe if 48000 geordies didn’t keep giving cashly their cash and full stadiums we might be able to get rid of him and replace him with an owner who would let us compete in the transfer markets which could result in us being able to compete on the pitch against the best teams. I do feel shame that even those sister [email protected]#kers across the water managed to force out their unwanted owner (couldn’t sell seats for £1)! Yet we geodies hate our owner, hate how we’re slagged of by his pundits in his pocket, hate how he’s double the club debt, hate how he’s asset striped Newcastle United, hate how he’s in profit overall from his 11 years of transfers, hate how a once proud St James looks like billboard for tat redirect, hate that we don’t get paid for the free advertising, hate that he’s pocketed all the merchandising, the goes on and on but still we know how to show him our discontent by giving him money & putting bums on seats (that’ll learn him)!!! Final thought for those who don’t like having it pointed out that they’re dumber than mackums, I’m a toon fan and as soon as he’s gone I’ll get my season ticket back regardless of what league we find ourselves in because Newcastle United is more than just the premiership(granted it’s where we want to be) and we’d just be smashing attendance records on the climb back up. #emptystadium4tv

    • Kenny

      FA Cup Final, that covers it.

    • Geordiegiants

      You’re a fan and will make sacrifices, a big chunk of these mob are just spectators and socialites.

      • James Mills

        Unfortunately true, I understand wanting to go to the match but as I’ve said in a previous post the players showed us how to deal with him, mess with his media presence. If we could all just get along long enough to have an empty stadium every time the match is televised, won’t be long before we stop getting picked for tv and those who want to go can. Just imagine the global advertising on tv = empty tat redirect arena off tv = capacity St James
        We can live in hope

        • Geordiegiants

          The problem is most of them aren’t even bothered about NUFC, they are only bothered about their day out. Look at some of the craic on here with some of the fans. It’s really does beggar belief, one in particular, says he is perfectly ok with it because it’s gone on for years. Basically he is used to it so it’s fine.

  • Kenny

    Huddersfield went at Chelsea and got beaten 3-0 at home, some fans on here think they were playing away, shows how much they know about the game

    • DWI

      I don’t think people at the game expect us to attack the likes of Chelsea, but there is a world of difference between that and parking 11 men behind the ball.

      We don’t expect to beat every team, but we should show a little more.

    • gudwindavids

      We went at Chelsea last year and beat them 3-0

      • Paul Patterson

        In a game that didn’t matter with a full strength side.

        • gudwindavids

          Chelsea could have still qualified for the Champions League when they got beat 3-0. Hardly a game that does not matter.

  • Kenny

    well i am away got early start tomorrow

  • Westdentoon

    Chealsea were light years ahead in every department today.
    They ooze class in every position. To think we have the players to go toe to toe with them is naive in my opinion.
    There today, right in front of our eyes today, was the gulf in class between us and the top premier league teams.
    Rafa, in my opinion, did the best he could with the resources he has & we would have been murdered playing less defensive.
    Sure we had the same discussion last year when he was getting slaughtered by press (and some fans on here) for playing defensive, then come end of season he was a miracle worker for getting us 10th.
    Aye it was dull, but the blokes hands are tied behind his back thanks to you know who!

    • DWI

      I agree, Rafa has done miracles with the squad he has, but we could have had more of a go.

    • Billmag

      Aka think back to Pardew and the 0-6 defeat to Liverpool, today’s result wasn’t as embarrassing as that.

    • fistsofsteel2

      Absolute rubbish you’re talking there.

      • Westdentoon

        Did you even watch that game? Player for player Chelsea were superior in every department. We were without our two most influential players and fielding 5 new signings who’s combined total cost was probably less than every single player on that Chelsea team.
        We were set up to get a point against a team that will be challenging for the title and very nearly achieved it. So tell me again, how am I talking rubbish?

        • TheFatController

          I’ve noticed he just says things. Never backs it up with logic. Comes across as s but thick if I’m brutally honest.

          He’s entitled to his opinion, but he always makes it very poorly so it’s not really credible opinion.

          • Westdentoon

            With responses like that we can only assume one conclusion, that he is either a Rafa hater or an Ashley lover, maybe a combination of both.

            For gods sake Chelsea had one player, Jorginho, who completed more passes than the entire Newcastle team put together. Its no coincidence that player happened to cost £52 million, probably more than the entire Newcastle team on the pitch yesterday was worth!

            Yes we may have had good results last season against some big teams by playing a more attacking game, but I reckon Chelsea will thrash a lot of teams this season by more than one goal.

            Like it or not, it was playing like that which got NUFC a tenth place premier league finish last season, when at one point relegation was very real indeed!

  • Mrkgw

    Reports emerging that Lascelles was dropped today for questionning Rafa”s tactics. If true, quite a drastic move to have dropped him. Lets hope that doesn’t spell the end for him now.

    • gudwindavids

      Well if it is up to some people on this forum, he will be flogged and given a good thrashing for daring to question Rafas tactics.

  • Jimmy_toons

    Yes

  • Superdooperhooper

    Regardless of tactics or team selection surely sky can’t be happy with this ? They must be saying where’s the 120m gone? Not on players that’s for sure. Can’t see us getting many more live games on the back of this

    • Mrkgw

      You may have hit the nail on the head here and Rafa might be deliberately turning the media (sky) against Ashley.

      • Big Al 1967

        When I heard the line up at 3.50 yesterday I said to the lad that I sit next to that it felt Rafa was making a statement. I still stand by that Very much a case of ‘This is what I have to work with’

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Did Leazes tell you to say that you cuck

    • Mxpx

      House of fraser is where its gone

  • ghostrider

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry in frustration.
    Fans trying to pretend that we had to park the bus against Chelsea and we were at home.
    Let me put this into real life brass tack Newcastle United football fan context.
    If most other managers had produced this the fans would have been screaming at them.
    There’s no way in hell that anyone can realistically defend that embarrassment of a football match.

    I’m bemused when I see fans trying to make out they accept backs to the wall football because it NEARLY gave us a chance and it keeps the scoreline down and makes it look respectable, plus making the goal difference sensible.

    What an utter load of cobblers. Seriously, it is.
    You speculate to accumulate.
    You have a TEAM consisting of defenders, midfielders and attackers.
    You play a balanced unit by soaking up pressure and creating it for the oher team.

    This is why I do not like Rafa as a manager.
    Yeah he’s good at organising backs to the wall but that’s not the football I want to see for over half a season.
    And I certainly do not want to see it at any time at home.

    Rafa will lose this team/squad very soon if he keeps this nonsense up.
    It’s dire to watch and for the players it must be hell on Earth.

  • Andy Mac

    OK everyone the next vote is “Should we adopt the same tactics at Citeh next week or just turn up for a 6-1 hammering” ?

    • ghostrider

      How about we turn up and give them a game by attacking them as and when it’s feasible, rather than going there to park the bus and accept a defeat before we enter the pitch.

      I’d rather lose 20-0 by missing a host of attempts rather than get beat 1-2 or 3 nil after soaking up a whole host of their’s, whilst we offer nothing in return but dire defensive panic.

      • gudwindavids

        too many fans are more happy about avoiding a defeat then winning a game.

        • ghostrider

          I’d rather lose a game by a big score than go out to stop the opposition scoring as the major tactical set up.
          I demand entertainment and I demand it from a manager and the footballers he manages and coaches.
          I don’t care what each player cost. They are footballers and they will even want to play the very same way.

        • Westdentoon

          Also, there are many fans who are happy avoiding relegation and seeing a team with a half capable defence, something we have never had in a generation.
          It’s all about opinion I guess.

      • Lewis SG

        It’s a relegation battle, every point matters. Even goal difference matters.

        • ghostrider

          Every point matters. Goal difference is an end of season lottery.
          The emphasis should be on taking on any team by trying to score more than them…simple as that.

          Very few games have been decided on relegation with goal difference.
          About 5 out of something like 26 seasons.

          We should be having a go all game with a balanced unit all over the park, not just a balanced defensive scurrying backs to the wall attitude that hands teams the emphasis and the ease to at least entertain their own fans at our expense.

          I’m bemused that fans can back Rafa’s stance up on this nonsense.
          As fans we deserve to be entertained.
          We do not need to feel grateful to have a manager like Rafa and be in acceptance of dire football.

          If he carries on like this he needs to be sacked because we will be in trouble sooner rather than later with losing the players positive mentality and basically going against him.

          The problem is too many fans are in messiah mode as it stands…but I think that will change soon enough if he carries this on..even though Ashley will naturally take all the blame outwardly.

          Inside fans will not accept what Rafa is doing no matter how much the pretence is on him being trusted to know what he’s doing.

    • fistsofsteel2

      Wolves had a go and gave City a good game, and were unlucky not to get something.

      Should we sit back against Wolves when we play them because they almost matched City. Yeah – let’s hope Rafa continues to err on the side of being super cautious, eh!

      • SuperDesHamilton

        Wolves spent over £90 million on quality players we made a £20 million profit buying bargain basement. See how that works?

        • Westdentoon

          Thats the problem, don’t think he does..

          • SuperDesHamilton

            They aren’t even trolls either that’s worrying. There proper fans who are thick as it’s worryinf they think like this.

  • RAFmag

    It is too simplistic to say we should have attacked Chelsea from the start. Balance for me is the key. Dropping 10 players back to our 18 yard box and keeping shape is purely damage limitation and too negative. There has to be spells in home games against better opposition where the defensive line is pushed higher up and the team press collectively without the ball. It is much more physically demanding to press the ball than rather drop deep and keep shape as we did ttoday. So press in co-ordinated short bursts.

    • Down Under Mag

      It’s easy for people to point the finger and say we were too defensive, but those same people would be moaning no end had we conceded a hat-full of goals. Give me a defensive display that we are still in the game at the death in with a shout of snatching a draw or even a flukey win than sitting back after half time knowing the game is already lost!

      • RAFmag

        I am talking about balance and better game management. I am not suggesting the charge if the Light Brigade. As with the City games last year the defensive approach was too extreme. You can not press teams like Chelsea and Liverpool for 90 minutrs. 5-10 minutes of pressing the opposition could give us a better platform to create more chances.
        Hoping that you are still in the game at the death? Give me a break, is that how you live you life? The anti-football we played yesterday at home was embarrassing. It showed zero initiative or bravery.

  • Billmag

    I tell you what let’s get rid of Rafa for all the negativity he brings to our club,and keep fatty who brings so much joy and progression to this wonderful club, effing hell do me a favour.

  • Jonas

    Ashley has made us the paupers of the premier league, those that went before and did likewise (Wimbledon) gave themselves a shot, those that didn’t (Swindon) got humiliated and conceded 100plus goals.
    teams around us will be little different, even though they’re not held back by their owners.
    (Chelsea will probably do similar at Man City).

  • Lewis SG

    To be frank, I won’t go so far as to blame Mike Ashley for this. There are more than just a few players out for this game. If Lascelles and Shelvey have been fit, then perhaps we could have sprung a surprise result.

  • Down Under Mag

    To be honest, if he hadn’t used those tactics we probably would have been beaten 5-0…that would have been harder to watch, along with the worry over goal difference. Ashley has put the club in another relegation fight and Rafa is making sure we stay in games no matter what it looks like to the Sky punters…maybe if they don’t like the tactics they start questioning where all their money has been spent because it certainly isn’t on the pitch to give Rafa a squad capable of playing competitive football against the big spenders!

    • Westdentoon

      Exactly

  • Geordiegiants

    ONe match under Rafa with those tactics and everyone is up in arms. Just think next season we have FAT SHAM to look forward to every game.