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Actually Paul Merson quite good on Newcastle United, well most of it…

3 years ago

Paul Merson was covering Newcastle v Leicester for Sky Sports.

Asked after the final whistle to sum up the game and Newcastle United in general, the former Middlesbrough player got most of it spot on.

Summing  up the lack of quality, Paul Merson quite rightly points to Newcastle only having one shot on target and that being Jonjo Shelvey who tried an outrageous 60 yarder which Schmeichel was alert to.

Merson added that Shelvey now looks up and has nobody to pass to, once again totally correct.

As for Joselu, he was put through with a glorious chance, one on one with the keeper at 0-0.

It was very similar to Liverpool at home last season. On that occasion he dawdled and was eventually tackled, very lucky to see a defender kick it off him and fool Mignolet, the ball trickling into the goal.

Against Leicester he wasn’t as fortunate, instead of shooting he once again looked totally clueless despite just the keeper to beat, and as Paul Merson says, simply waited until Maguire got back and tackled him.

He says these are very worrying times for Newcastle and that you definitely can’t disagree with.

However, the bit he fails on, badly, is who is overwhelmingly to blame.

Paul Merson declares: ‘I think Mike Ashley gets unfair stick. He has put his money in. This is Newcastle and I’m sure there are lots of rich people in Newcastle, why haven’t any of them come forward to buy it?’

Newcastle’s biggest buy under Rafa was £12m for Ritchie when building a team to get out of the Championship. That was five transfer windows ago and Mike Ashley hasn’t even allowed Rafa to spend that much money on a player again, in that same period (whilst Rafa has been at Newcastle) Leicester have spent more than £12m on 14 different players.

Maddison was excellent for Leicester yesterday, they paid £25m for the young midfielder this summer. Newcastle sold Merino for £10m and Rafa was only allowed 29 year old free transfer squad player Ki Sung-yeung to replace him.

That was repeated throughout the team, £22m (rising to £27m) for Mitrovic and yet Rafa only allowed £2m loan signing Rondon.

Yes Rafa Benitez might be choosing the players but he is only being allowed to buy from the pound shop.

Why don’t the rich people of Newcastle buy the club?

Well first of all you would need the owner to genuinely put it up for sale.

Which local people have been buying other Premier League clubs?

Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Everton, Man City…?

Merson’s own beloved Arsenal, for years their fans have been sick of the American v Russian power struggle, why didn’t Paul Merson just suggest to a few of his North London mates that they buy the club?

Obviously fans don’t always agree with everything Rafa Benitez does but they know that it is only Mike Ashley to blame when it comes to the overwhelming mess at Newcastle United, it is all down to him.

Paul Merson talking on Sky Sports:

“I think Mike Ashley gets unfair stick.

“He has put his money in.

“This is Newcastle and I’m sure there are lots of rich people in Newcastle, why haven’t any of them come forward to buy it?

“I think Rafa Benitez is hanging on in there and I think he could be in trouble in a couple of weeks, I really do.

“I can’t believe what I watched today.

“Newcastle looked lost – no energy, no pace.

“They had two great opportunities before Leicester got the penalty.

“The first was Joselu who goes through and is one and one with the keeper and he is desperate for someone to tackle him. He keeps looking up, he doesn’t just go through and hit through the ball, (ends up) getting tackled).

“Then Diame, a cross comes in, middle of the goal, penalty spot, heads it wide.

“If one of them goes in it could be a different game.

“Then definite penalty, Yedlin goes to block the Maguire shot, his hands are up above his head, penalty and Vardy scores.

“Newcastle never ever looked like getting back into the game, now that’s not Newcastle.

“I have seen Newcastle a lot, especially kicking down the hill towards their fans, you always expect pressure – can’t remember Schmeicel making one save.

“Newcastle had one shot on target, Shelvey trie to lob him from 60 yards, Schmeichel got back and caught it, threw the ball down.

“That was it, a 60 yard shot.

“Then Maguire gets a simple header, rises above Clark

“Worrying, worrying times for Newcastle.

“They took Ritchie off and the crowd went mad, Ritchie put in a couple of good balls early doors, gives you that energy.

“The thing with Shelvey now is that  there’s nobody making runs. So when he gets on the ball, not many players want it, that’s a problem.

“A lot of people standing behind players putting their hands up.

“That’s worrying for Newcastle, I think they’re in big, big trouble.

“As a manager you need to turn around if you are getting beat and look at the bench and think at least I have that to come on…and that is probably where he is struggling as well.

“I think Newcastle fans will go home really worried. Leicester are not a great team and they won as comfortable as you can get.

“That is not playing at St James Park. When you come away from there and you win you (usually) have got to make sure you work hard and I don’t see that you have to work that hard to get a result their now.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Leicester 2


Leicester: Vardy 30, Maguire 73

Possession was Leicester 59% Newcastle 41%

Total shots were  Leicester 12 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Leicester 5 Newcastle 1

Corners were  Leicester 9 Newcastle 5

Referee: Simon Hooper

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 80), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 65), Shelvey, Diame, Atsu, Perez (Muto 69), Joselu

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Longstaff, Hayden

Crowd: 51,523 (3,000 Leicester approx)

(Video – Absolute disgrace as Mike Ashley sends in his people to take down Rafa Benitez and Kevin Keegan banners – Watch here)

(To read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Leicester defeat go HERE)

(To read the Newcastle player match ratings go HERE)

(Disgraceful lies as newspaper headlines claim ‘Newcastle fans turn on Rafa Benitez after Leicester’ – Read HERE)

(Claude Puel speaks after Leicester win – Read HERE)


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