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)

  • BanJones

    We are desperately lacking in pace, mobility, ability and confidence compared to the teams we are competing against. Yesterday was ugly.

    • Kenny

      Put another way, we are shyte

    • Toontaff

      With Hoss and Diame missing 2 absolute sitters, we could have been leading, but our defence, Shelvey and Ritchie must be wondering how Hoss, Perez, Diame, Manquillo, Atsu are even on the same pitch – Championship players, at best! If we concede, we lose. We cannot score.

  • Tony English

    Merson may consider himself to be a good pundit.

    But if they starved him of footage, unplugged his TV monitor, and still expected him to do the same job as his co-presenters….presumably in that instance he’d blame his bosses.

    • Kenny

      Swiss Toni

      • Tony English

        Ken Dud.

    • Toontaff

      He’d be looking for a snort………..

  • Kenny

    Half that team on the pitch for Newcastle shouldn’t even be at the club & that is down to the Fat Rat, having said that Rafa needs to wise up a bit as well concerning the likes of Perez, Hoss & Diame who were all shocking to say the least

  • Bunyipburger

    When are you going to let Owen and Merson go. Stop it for gods sake. Imagine arsenal fans fretting about quotes from Andy cole. Why give them space? I love your platform but really do we have to. Makes us look pathetic and we are so much better.

    • Toontaff

      Probably when the useless stop getting airtime on Sky/BT/BBC……….

    • Leazes.

      The Mag gets money from BetVictor (Liverpool’s Sponsor) and Merson Wright and Owen are used by that company to run infomercials which are basically adverts masquerading as articles….. the modern media is a tricky beast.

  • Toontaff

    Meanwhile MoTD, with Danny Murphy and Lineker having a joke about it all, amusing Keown : Perez fouled McGuire, not just not a pen, but a free kick for Leicester? McGuire riding on Clark, while Morgan has a piggy back on Lascalles – hilarious? And the FCB having a good laugh – where was Shearer to rip their heeds off?

    • Leazes.

      Doing a commentary job for some American network I think.

      That’s the problem United have always been up against, if those observations you have shown were another club they would be highlighted by the MOTD team…

      …..but here we are in a situation where we get one penalty for every twenty to the opposition, we haven’t had a man advantage either for years…. the refereeing stats show bias…. but nothing except Rafa being hauled over the coals for actually daring to point out one of the refereeing culprits.

      Where are the press?…. well Douglas Ryder and Starforth are dancing to Keith Bishops tune…. apparently one of Dennis Wise’s mates Kenyon wants to buy the club and he’s roped in that great soccer loving group the Rockafella foundation…..

      ….you couldn’t make it up….but PR companies could, and do!

      Blind stupidity in their eagerness to be rid of this carpetbagger has led to the publication of nonsense as fact.

      Douglas author of ‘Inside the Rafalution’ said he would think twice before being caught out like that again….. he didn’t.

      • Toontaff

        Meanwhile, Mad Monk and Clarko are to be seen wearing their SD scarves, shaking hands with FCB in the stand, pre-match! I would certainly have made sure my hand was covered in something surprising, but would have preferred to shake him by the throat!

        • Leazes.

          I was quite surprised that Ashley turned up…. and nobody seems to have had a go at him….

          …..well apart from the ‘stand up if you hate Ashley’ bit, when just about everyone in the stadium and in front of him stood.

          I was interested to see in 2008 he hired ex Gurkhas as bodyguards for his trips to the North.

          I wonder why Charnley hides….. probably hasn’t got bodyguards?

          • Toontaff

            The security behind him looked to short to have been Gurkhas! Ghurkhas only have to be 5 foot 2, with decent teeth!

          • Leazes.

            Thought they used knives not teeth.

          • Toontaff

            ‘Today’s recruits need to be fitter and have more formal qualifications than their predecessors a generation ago…..They have to be at least 158cm (5ft 2in) tall and have no more than four fillings, gaps or false teeth.’ – Telegraph.

          • Leazes.

            Kylie could get in then….. excellent news that we aren’t exploiting people.

      • Billmag

        The local press are puppets on a string, why don’t they bombard Chumley for request’s for an interview if they get turned down keep persisting, I always thought that the job of a journalist was to investigate if they thought something was not quite right but our lot just regurgitate the same old rubbish day in and day out.

        • Leazes.

          They seem to be the ‘shyest’ newshounds around.

          • Billmag

            Newshounds more like Hush Puppies.

          • Leazes.

            Very good!

          • Toontaff

            Now available at Debenhams!

          • Billmag

            Or HoF.

        • Sickandtired

          Copy and paste bloggers, nowt more. They make Gibbo’s ‘journalism’ look like Woodward and Bernstein’s in comparison.

  • Ashley-out

    Yesterday the fans had the chance to protest at St James with the parasite there
    and all you got was a few signs of discontent, pathetic, no wonder he sits in the stands laughing & taking the p1$$.
    if you go to the games & buy the shirts then YOU are part of the problem.

  • Billmag

    We will never have movement up front as long as Joselu’s in the team, at least Muto looks like he’s mobile enough to get around the pitch ok Rafa says he needs to adjust to the Premiership but he isn’t going to toughen up sitting on the bench.

  • Leazes.

    The last thing Londoners want is a resurgent United…. it would mess up the European slots and their finances.

  • HarryHype59

    I stopped reading when I read

    “Mike Ashley gets unfair stick”

  • Sickandtired

    Sick to death of this perpetual garbage about Ashley ‘putting his money in’. He’s advanced the club £44 million more than his original purchase price and associated loan debts (the mortgage, overdraft etc).
    He’s repaid himself £29 million of that and the additional £15 million had to be provided – as a secured loan from another of his companies – due to the second relegation because of his ownership.
    From all of the revenue earned, he’s allowed a net spend of only £2.6 million per season over his time here. Merchandise, advertising, other commercial revenue and training/Academy facilities and ground improvements all ignored.
    What F’n investment???

    • Leazes.

      Send Merse a tweet then.

      • Sickandtired

        I’m not in Twitter land. There’s enough [email protected] online already without being exposed to more.

    • X2

      Totally agree. Yes, he paid to buy the club but what’s missing is how much he’s taken out – I estimate he’s taken out £280 million and counting. The “club” is now a cash cow for him.

    • DC1964

      Yep, spot on there.