Alan Shearer has given an overview of where exactly Newcastle United are now.

It is early days but Newcastle head into the international break guaranteed to be in the relegation zone, plus they will fall from 18th to 19th if Burnley get anything against Man Utd on Sunday afternoon.

Alan Shearer says that it is ‘unfortunate’ that the Magpies have had to play Chelsea,  Spurs and Man City in the first four matches (with Arsenal up next) but he adds that the plain truth is: ‘Newcastle’s position is now…their target is to avoid relegation, sadly.’

The NUFC legend also defended Rafa’s tactics, saying that the manager was ‘lauded’ for ending up tenth last season and that nothing has changed, that at times the Newcastle manager will go very defensive if thinking it is necessary.

As to why Newcastle are set for another relegation battle rather than able to look upwards, Alan Shearer points to the fact that this summer even Huddersfield had a net spend around £50m higher than NUFC’s.

In fact Newcastle were one of only two clubs to make a profit on transfer deals this summer and their £20m+ profit was easily the biggest, Watford only making du to Richarlison forcing a move to Everton for £40m+.

Alan Shearer talking on Match of The Day:

“There was no one in the bottom half that took more points off the top six than Newcastle did last year.

“So you can’t talk about his tactics…Rafa was lauded last year for finishing tenth.

“His tactics haven’t changed.

“A few times this season, he will play like he did today and like he did last week against Chelsea.

“it is unfortunate they have played Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham (all so early in the season).

“They did not play like that (as they did v Chelsea and Man City) at home to Tottenham.

“This is what Newcastle’s position is now…their target is to avoid relegation, sadly.

Huddersfield went to the Etihad and tried to take Manchester City on.

“Huddersfield had a net spend of £23m (this summer), Newcastle actually made £23m on transfers, and Huddersfield got stuffed (at Man City).

“There are going to be games when you have to be conservative, Rafa hasn’t changed, this is the same Rafa that was lauded last year for finishing tenth.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Manchester City 2 Newcastle United 1

Goals

Newcastle: Yedlin 30

Man City: Sterling 8, Walker 52

Possession was Man City 78% Newcastle 22%

Total shots were  Man City 24 Newcastle 3

Shots on target were Man City 8 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Man City 4 Newcastle 0

Referee: Kevin Friend

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark (Murphy 81), Dummett, Ki, Diame, Kenedy (Atsu 54), Perez, Rondon (Joselu 73)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Sterry, Longstaff, Muto

Crowd: 53,946

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Man City match go HERE)

(To read NUFC player match ratings from the game  go HERE)

(Jermaine Jenas “I feel sorry for the Newcastle fans when I see what I see there” – Read it HERE)



  • If you take away Lascelles gifting City the first goal we were fine. Again, reacted quickly and equalized and tried to create chances but Guardiola’s bench made the difference in the later stages. Walker’s goal was a screamer and again, he could have been closed down better. I didn’t see a few players on the pitch match the intensity of the rest of the team.
    Dubravka – easily MOM

    • ghostrider

      Dubravka being man of the match tells you we weren’t fine at all.
      We were lucky not to get walloped because of him and wayward pot shots from Man City who took it like a training game for half of it.

      • killymag

        have you not tried to get a job or a life the time you spend on this web site is unhealthy

        • ghostrider

          Nope. This is all I have left. Just this site.
          I just don’t know where else to go.
          I just find myself blindly typing stuff 24 hours a day on here.
          I really should get some sleep but I simply do not have the time to sleep when I’m on here all my entire life.

          LOL.

          Howay mate give it a real go.

          • Toon Arnie

            Why don’t you just go ? People are bored with your attention seeking now.

          • ghostrider

            Then block me. D

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Don’t think they can get jobs on day release

      • Toon Arnie

        Yeah and that’s not like Man City at all is it ? Talk sense and stop attention seeking – it’s very childish.

        • ghostrider

          Man City are 11 men plus subs.
          Of course they’re quality. they’re set up to consistently have a go.
          Attack being the best form of defence for them.
          Being a sitting duck is playing into their hands.
          Make them the ducks at every available opportunity with players that are not scared to have a go.

          The trouble is, Rafa parks the bus and offers nothing but a fleeting glance.

  • Alex

    Come the end of the season, three 2-1 defeats (net goal difference of -3) against 3 teams that WILL finish in the top 4, won’t look bad at all.

    • JohnCornwell’sHair

      Agreed, if we’d needed it last season our goal difference was effectively another point, absolutely crucial if your in the bottom half come April.

  • Kenny

    we are what we are, a 2nd rate team playing the big boys, Fernandez is doing ok amongst the new lads but the rest like Ki, Schar & maybe Muto are nowhere near the level required in the premiership, Perez & Kenedy have went walkabout and Shelvey & Ritchie are missing. we have a first 11 that can survive in this league the problem is the back up is woeful, take it out on the Fat Rat as our only chance of staying up is the fact we have Rafa.

    • Wor Lass

      Sums up the situation pretty well.

    • Arty Hume

      Spot on mate!

    • James B

      Rafa’s d!ck still firmly in your mouth I see.

      • Toon Arnie

        I take it you prefer Ashley’s ?

        • Ben Jones

          Because for people like you that’s the only 2 choices

          • Toon Arnie

            Oh dear, that’s a weak post.

          • Ben Jones

            It was in response to an even weaker one so be fair I had a lot of work to do

          • Toon Arnie

            …and once again you failed miserably.

          • Ben Jones

            ok champ

  • JohnnyH

    Trolls

  • Wor Lass

    I get the feeling that the BBC gang are beginning to listen to Shearer re Ashley. Not so with Sky, though. I don`t have BT Sport – what`s their line on Rafa`s tactics and the reasons for them?

    • Kenny

      I watch the game then switch off on the final whistle, not going to listen to the rubbish they spout.

    • Cockneytrev

      BT we’re actually very good, with the exception of Ferdinand and Dunn,,,
      It was pointed out our net spend in comparison with , Huddersfield and Brighton the two teams who came up with us,,
      NUFC £1
      BHA. £110
      HT. £78
      So finally people in the media are waking up,,
      our accounts need to be made transparent any money generated by the club is spent on the club or the tv money is taken away.
      The pundits have not been happy with the way we have been set up, if the tv money is not spent on playing staff it’s the owners fault.. force him to spend or take the money off him,,
      Where’s the money gone??????
      House of Fraser workers should all be thanking NUFC

      • Toon Arnie

        Ferdinand came across as a total plank and looked a bit panicky as the discussion didn’t go to plan for him. Some of his comments were infantile and embarrassing. Dunne just looked spaced out and confused then spouted some ill informed rubbish to remind everyone he was there !

  • Sickandtired

    Good to see some facts actually coming out on BT. However, all it continues to prove to me is that the majority of ex players (Ameobi, Ferdinand, Wise etc) and pundits (Keys, Gray etc) are utterly clueless.
    The simple truth anyone needs to accept is that since buying the club, the only additional money Ashley has provided to the club is due to two relegation’s. Of that, he’s fully repaid himself the £29 million advanced due to relegation 1 – £11 million in 2012, and the remaining £18 million Dec ’16 (from the £33 million St James Holding loan).
    The largest ‘investment’ made, from the Dec 16 loan, was of course to himself.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      In the case of Ferdinand and Wise, they have business links with SD and Keith Bishop Associates, so they have an obvious vested interest in backing Ashley. That is never pointed out in the mainstream media though.

  • ghostrider

    The simple truth is people need to stop using the fixture list as some kind of unlucky devils deed against us.
    Both Tottenham and Chelsea were beaten by us because we had a go at them.
    We had a go at Tottenham and were unlucky, then we decided to simply go into the defensive shell from then on……why?

    Why invite quality teams to pepper you. Something has to give.
    Like yesterday…only Dubravka stood in the way of us being absolutely battered to all hell and desperate defending.

    I’d hazard a massive guess that, if Ashley spend like West Ham and we were sitting in West Ham’s position, it would be Ashley’s fault for just buying anyone and not allowing Rafa to get who he really really wants.

    How many times Rafa is praised for nonsense football is staggering.
    The football is horrible to watch. It’s embarrassing.
    Opposition fans must rub their hands when we come to play their team because they know they will be entertained whilst we allow it with little reply.

    Ashley needs to sack Benitez for us to have any chance of having a decent season.
    If Rafa stays we lose the players. It’s happening bit by bit in case anyone can’t see it.

    We need a manager who can get this capable squad playing football how it should be played…not the garbage Rafa is spewing out, with people backing the sickening nonsense that it is.

    • East Durham Mag

      💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩

    • Danimal

      Ashley hasn’t spent like West Ham.

      • ghostrider

        Correct. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

        • Toon Arnie

          Ashley hasn’t spent full stop – surely even you can see that’s a bad thing and you must be the biggest apologist on this website !

          • ghostrider

            Ashley has spent. What he hasn’t done is spent what people want.
            If it’s not a net spend it’s not a spend according to some.
            The simple fact is, if you sell players for money and buy players to replace them, then you’re spending money.

            The major problem is in fans feeling a bit embarrassed because the West Ham’s are spending 100’s of millions and paying wages of over £100,000 a week to a LOT of their players…not just 1 or 2…and yet that’s seen as some kind of ambition or investment. Pffffft.

            Then we’re told that Brighton and Huddersfield and the likes are somehow eclipsing us and yet we finished higher than the lot of them.

            Does it not count if we’ve spent less?
            Come on man, it’s no being an Ashley apologist, it’s about knowing what’s out there in terms of being swallowed up by monetary nonsense and elite clubs being allowed to use the rest as cannon fodder.

            The problem is, many clubs fall into the trap of actually believing they can gatecrash the elites party.
            It simply won’t happen unless it’s designed to happen.

          • Toon Arnie

            Another contradiction to previous posts – we spent less than Huddersfield and Brighton yet still finished higher than them, the main reason was the way the team ground out results under Rafas leadership and yet you STILL criticise him ? You’re all over the place !!

          • Ben Jones

            I think it’s more a case of as we’re selling Mitrovic for 22m they’re free transferring Paul Smith to a non league team, so the first 22m we spend is classed as zero spent whereas the first 22m they spend is a 22m spend, we’re light years ahead of these clubs, would you prefer our unwanted players to be worthless like theirs?

          • Toon Arnie

            No – in simple terms I would like Ashley to actually communicate with Rafa what his budget is and let him spend it. For the life of me i don’t understand why this is beyond him.
            Failing that he should perhaps just tell Rafa not to be so organised as to get a list of targets lined up in advance as he just intends to blank him, tell lies and then spend nothing before handing over to his media contacts on the payroll and apologists on websites such as this to spout rubbish and twist the facts.
            Can you not see how fans get frustrated by this ongoing deceit ?

          • Wezza

            They’re just trying to wind you up mate, like they’ve been exposed for, they live for getting a reaction off people and feed off it. They are very sad and undoubtedly have sex starved lives. Best thing to do is block them.

          • ghostrider

            No contradictions at all.
            And I thought you said you were bored with me?
            Have you decided against blocking me because you thought you had something?
            It’s you lot that are contradicting yourselves.

          • Ben Jones

            They do it all the time, conclusion being that when they call you a troll or state they’re gonna block you it’s code for ‘I don’t have an argument against what you’ve said’

          • ghostrider

            Yep, that’s how I see it. They get frustrated because they can’t bully a person into thinking their way.
            The classic mass opinion based on ease in numbers.

            The reality with some of these people is, if we managed to get Messi and Ronaldo, plus Bale by getting top dollar from the sale of some of our players and we didn’t do too well, it would be a screaming fit of, ” look how stupid Ashley is going all out to wreck this club by overspending on wages and getting rid of loads of players in order to get these 3 in who don’t seem to care.”
            Something like that.

            The nitty gritty to it all stems from simple Ashley hate before anything.
            Hate Ashley and blame him for everything bad but praise anyone and everyone but Ashley for anything good.

            That’s why I don’t take too many of the Ashley haters seriously.

          • Toon Arnie

            I never have, and never will, block anyone – just not something I see the point of doing.
            Anyway, now that we’ve dealt with that diversionary tactic do you want to actually answer the point about contradicting yourself ?

          • ghostrider

            I have answered.
            I said I haven’t contradicted myself. You lot have.
            And also you said people are now bored with me and to go away. I’m not going away so why are you still attempting to correspond to me?

            When you don’t have any comebacks try to do something better than just use the boredom nonsense or the troll carry on.

            Any more or your shenanigans and I’ll be blocking you and that will frustrate you much more than it ever will frustrate me…know what I mean?

          • Toon Arnie

            You’ve totally contradicted yourself about Rafa – you constantly slate him then highlight the fact he got us to 10th despite being blocked on spending ?

          • ghostrider

            That’s not contradicting.
            We got to 10th because Rafa changed it up in January with the Kenedy loan and Dubraka loan.
            He started to play a balanced game of football for most of the rest of the season and we got results because players who were frozen out were brought in and started playing their normal game.
            The team were buoyed and you could see it.
            I put that down to Kenedy’s loan, because (I’m guessing here) Chelsea might have ensured that Kenedy gets positive game time to show his quality.
            To do that Rafa would have had no option but to also go positive.
            The end product was there for all to see.

            Shelvey, Ritchie, Diame…in fact the entire team just perked right up and we got results.

            Now he’s reverting right back to square one and if anyone is taking notice of the players they will see a bunch of players battling but frustrated to all hell.

            No need to argue this with me, take a good look yourself.

          • Toon Arnie

            There is no argument – we got 10th because of Rafa and despite Ashley

          • ghostrider

            But if we get relegated it’s because of Ashley. Yeah that suits.

            Not a chance mate.

          • Toon Arnie

            No that was Ashley and ‘Schteve’. Rafa almost pulled off a miracle by rescuing an all but sunk ship.

          • ghostrider

            Rafa never almost pulled off a miracle. Rafa failed to get a talented squad of players to perform because he went in arrogant, dragging them away from their day off. His first mistake.

          • Toon Arnie

            He didn’t get them performing ? I’m at a loss as to how even you could’ve come up
            With that rubbish.

          • Ram Kishore

            The kennedy thing is a ‘ if ‘
            About u mentioning Chelsea ensuring him play..Even with kennedy we played back five last season against liverpool..

          • Toon Arnie

            Blocking me ? Another contradiction – you’re having a nightmare today !!

          • ghostrider

            What are you talking about?

          • Toon Arnie

            Your discussion with Ben Jones about blocking…and then you go and say you’ll block me ?

          • ghostrider

            I said I’d block you if you keep up your nonsense in pretending you’re bored with me when it’s clear you aren’t.

          • Toon Arnie

            £1m in two seasons ( as per BT ) isn’t what people want – correct !!

          • ghostrider

            What difference does it make if we are getting players in with big money outgoings?
            Try not to live on the net spend and you won’t need to lean on £1m.

          • Toon Arnie

            Try this one – if you buy a pair of jeans for £100 then take them back and get a full refund would you say ;
            (i) I’ve spent nothing
            (ii) I’ve spent £100
            Please humour me with this one.

          • Ben Jones

            That’s not an accurate analogy

            More accurate would be you’ve sold your jag for 40k and now have 20k and a BMW, where did the 20k go and what does it mean?

          • Toon Arnie

            That’s not net spend – I knew you didn’t understand what it meant !! Any joy with the £78m yet or have you conceded that one ?

          • Ben Jones

            Of course I understand net spend, what your jeans example was net spend?

            Christ, I’m off to the shop , when I’m back i will personally go to the trouble of listing every signing and sale from that season since you are incapable of finding the information for yourself, THIS, THIS isn’t even debated by the hard-core ashley haters, quite what you’re trying to achieve other than waste my time here I do not know

          • Toon Arnie

            Don’t confuse disinterest with being incapable – I know you get confused easily but try to focus.

          • Ben Jones

            nothing to do with the fact you dont know what youre talking about,EVERY real newcastle fan knows mcclaren got 75m net spend in his season in charge, everyone but you. you dont have the decency to own up. youre an ebarrassment

          • ghostrider

            How about if I buy a pair of jeans for £100, jazz them up a bit and sell them on for £1000, then buy another pair for £100 or even £200. I would be quite happy with that because although I made the jeans better I got my money back pls £900 extra and spent another £100 or two on more.

            How that?

          • Toon Arnie

            You’ve answered a different question to the one I asked ?

          • Toon Arnie

            If you make a £23m profit on transfers you haven’t spent money. Even by your standards that’s poor.

          • ghostrider

            You have spent money but you’ve gained money in the process.
            No need to complicate it to suit.

          • Toon Arnie

            It’s not complicated at all that’s just the basic formula for net spend ? What you’re saying makes no sense ?

          • Ram Kishore

            I do agree with u. Ur comments are fine but u do contradict here and there

        • Toon Arnie

          No we didn’t – we recouped a whole lot of that.

      • Vodkamagpie

        Didn’t we spend around 80mil when we got relagated?

        • Toon Arnie

          No we didn’t. Our net spend was nothing like that.

          • Vodkamagpie

            If I remember correctly, our net spend was 78mil that season

          • Toon Arnie

            In that case you don’t remember correctly !

          • Vodkamagpie

            That’s funny, you are arguing how much money newcastle has spent on players, and yet you don’t actually know, like most fans.

          • Toon Arnie

            I think the net was more like £46m – we certainly didn’t spend over £100m on players that season.

          • Ben Jones

            If only there was a way you could check and find out that we did spend circa 75m net on transfers that season, if only there was a way….

          • Toon Arnie

            Over to you – make a worthwhile contribution …

          • Ben Jones

            Oh right you actually need guidance, right, try typing newcastle transfer history into a search engine, look for transfermarkt site, when on it there’s a little globe in top left, change it to the UK website (to display in pounds) and search for the year in question

          • Toon Arnie

            And if you do that you’ll see our net spend wasn’t £78m and we didn’t spend over £100m on players that season.
            Just for clarity you do understand what net actually means don’t you ?

          • Ben Jones

            It shows a 97.12m on purchases and 4.17m on sales, seems high to me as it displays Wijnaldum as 18m and mitro and Thauvin as 16.5m

            I believe it was around a 75m net spend but that site shows it as 93m

            What’s wrong with you?

          • Vodkamagpie

            78mil

          • Toon Arnie

            So it wasn’t net ? I accept your apology.

          • Wezza

            Vodkamagpie/BenJones/Ghostrider are one of the two Lee troll brothers. Just block them mate.

          • Ben Jones

            You have no argument and are weak wezza, where do you get off telling people who they can and can not talk with? Who do you think you are?

          • Ben Jones

            73m NET spend. Yes net means net I’m everyone’s language, we are all on the same page With net and what net means, please get it into your thick head that yes it was 73m NET spend

          • Toon Arnie

            No one has MY back ? Even Ghostrider gets a like every now and again – It’s just not happening for you is it ? As you’re getting all personal i’ve obviously struck a nerve so I think it’s best to ignore you now and leave you with your keyboard for company.

          • Ben Jones

            No one has your back because we all know newcastle spent circa 75m net 3 seasons ago, you’re the only person saying otherwise, pal if you ever find yourself in a debate against the people who get called trolls and no one has your back, trust me everyone’s looking at you as a weirdo

          • Toon Arnie

            Trolls are the weirdos / social misfits – you’ll never lose that tag or shift it elsewhere no matter how much time you spend at your keyboard. Actually realising yourself as a troll is a first on this site though so I do admire your honestly if nothing else.

          • Toon Arnie

            So far behind ? It’s you that’s talking about the past, pre Rafa, because you can’t argue the present. You’ve tried to be controversial and hard hitting but it just hasn’t worked Mr Lee

          • Ben Jones

            Yup, not worth talking with, wayyyyyyyy behind

        • panther

          no

  • Hobbit

    The Cult Of Rafa “The Messiah” who can do no wrong is strong here. Fortunately we didn’t have such cowardly and defeatist leaders in WW2 to rally our troops forward, even against the odds when outmatched both in technology and ideology. The nazis would still be ruling Europe today if Rafa had been sitting there and not the likes of Churchill! And back then we were talking about life and death, and here you lads are quibbling over playing it safe to avoid relegation? FFS, have some pride and have a go!

    To those with blinkers, this is a zero sum game being played out between Ashley & Rafa at the expense of the supporters.

 Ashley is only going to run the club as an international advertising space for his brand. He’s not keen on spending money or challenging for Top 6. As long as it makes him a decent profit in horse trading and the club remains in the premier league, he doesn’t give a toss about what the fans feel or want.



    The bugger’s a businessman and only understands profit/loss. The only way to get this parasite to abandon the host is by hitting it where it hurts most. In the pocket. No emotions. No feelings. Just like how a cold and calculated business rival would. There’s really no two ways about this. It would mean making some unfortunately tough decisions. Not renewing season tickets, not buying official merchandise, not shopping at any of this parasite’s companies or affiliates, using social media to target the brand image, and perhaps the most toughest one of them all. Not attending the games. Are you willing to do that? Because as long as this parasite is being fed directly or indirectly, it’s not going to leave. Bitter reality pill.

    
Either that, or someone give it the 400M it wants to excrete its way out of the host. There are plenty of other ways to let the team know that you’re out there supporting them 100%.



    As for Rafa, he should either get on with the job, or leave. His constant negativity on the team not being good enough is unhelpful. If I was a Newcastle player in his squad, I’d be devastated. To hear my gaffer constantly remind me how unqualified we are to play in this league or challenge a team just because they were worth 10x more. It would certainly take a toll on confidence, morale and performance. As a leader, he must lead with what he has and quit moaning. Either that, or just surrender and give up the fight. Why even bother to be in the premier league with such a defeatist attitude, or tactics like those employed with Chelsea or ManCity?

    There’s a difference between playing with pride and discipline, and being desperate to go for a draw but hope to steal 3. “Almost” and “nearly” doesn’t get you 3 points. Guts, strategy and determination does. And even if it doesn’t, you hold your head up high and know you gave it your best shot against a better opponent. No shame in losing that way. But playing with the tails between your legs, and still losing? That’s embarrassing, more so considering how many fans here are actually already talking about GOAL DIFFERENCE, and it’s only September! Are we already resigned to a relegation mindset? And you call yourself fans?


    To those who keep defending Rafa and his past achievements, he got those results because a strong squad was already present. Not downplaying his role, but that certainly made his past accomplishments easier. It’s the one who makes something out of nothing and delivers against the odds is the one who deserves respect. Rafa is good, but only if he has money at his disposal.

    We all want a multi billion dollar team capable of winning and challenging for Top 6, but I’m also sure the Leicester F.C. squad weren’t worth anywhere near that amount when they were crowned 2015/16 Premier League champions. To those quick to write that as a one-off, well, at least they did win a trophy.



    When did we last win something?

    • East Durham Mag

      💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩

    • Carverlier football

      Sorry, you started referencing nazis and I tuned out…

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Comparing football to a war 😂😂 weirdo

    • Taz

      Get a grip. ww2 and football in the same sentence. one is a game with passion the other is not a game its life and death ……clueless .muppet……!!

      • Hobbit

        I think you’re the “clueless muppet” if you want to keep to name calling. At least in the former, there was an excuse to be ultra-cautious, or even a coward because lives were at stake. What do you have as an excuse to play like cowards here? The loss of Premiership status?

        • Taz

          Ye ya right pal. I’m the muppet. Ya div

    • panther

      copy and pasted this off your previous post a few seasons back

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Don’t you think it was an achievement for Rafa to finish 10th last season, despite the usual lack of support from the owner?

      • Hobbit

        Hi Hughie, I give that credit to the players who, even after listening to their gaffer moan week in and week out that they were basically not good enough, managed to come together and finished 10th spot. That’s an achievement for the team, which I support a 100%. We need a coach who can inspire them, and not one who keeps questioning their abilities. How did it ever come to this, that when the team wins, we give Rafa credit, and when the team loses, we rate and blame the players alone, but not Rafa and his tactics?

    • NUFC17

      If a consortium came and offered £400 million he’d then want £450 million.
      He doesn’t want to sell!

      • Hobbit

        You’re probably very right sir. Ashley’s a parasite. He’s not interested in re-investing profits back into the club. He’s using them to spread his wings and acquire new businesses and investments, such as:

      • Hobbit

        You’re probably absolutely right sir. This Ashley parasite has got a good thing going here at NUFC. it’s not interested in re-investing back into the club. it’s using whatever profits earned to spread its wings to acquire new companies and investments, like it did with House of Fraser, Agent Provocateur, Debenhams and others.

        The only way to get rid of it, is to hit it in the pocket.

    • Reggae86

      Interesting post. I think you’re spot on about how to hurt Ashley, but can’t agree with much else.
      Rafa’s no messiah, nor is he a very naughty boy. I don’t suspect Churchill ‘s mentality would win football matches any more than Rafa’s would win wars. Nobody is suggesting the man is perfect, but we’re fortunate to have him. When he accomplished promotion and survival, he was not rewarded with the necessary backing to move onto the next objective, so how can we expect to suddenly be taking games to Chelsea and City this season?
      He has also never said his players were not good enough, only his squad. He is saying we are understaffed, not incapable.
      As far as goal difference goes, when a single goal scored or saved can potentially raise us a league place come judgement day, then yes, it is significant from day one. It is just a shame we have to micro- manage in this way.

      • Hobbit

        If reports are to be believed, Rafa apparently has a £6million buyout clause, which has since expired, or he has to pay that amount himself if he decides to quit. I don’t believe he’s sticking around because he wants to, but because he’s got no choice. He has been shafted by that parasite Ashley with false hopes and promises, and I believe he is returning the favour the only way he can.

        If the team played well and got 3 points, it would directly benefit Ashley because with every point earned, the parasite’s brand would bask in Premier League limelight. That, together with being trapped in a £6million cage, am sure has him scheming for payback as well.

        I’m not saying Rafa will run the club to the ground, because that wouldn’t be good for his resume. But if his disagreement with Lascelles over a 5-man backline is to be believed, neither is he interested in playing completely to the teams’ potential and challenging on full throttle with whatever he’s got. But then again, what could Lascelles possibly know about football tactics, or perhaps he was really injured. Guess we will never know.

        Rafa would probably have been great for NUFC if Amanda Staveley had flushed the club with cash, but otherwise, both he and the parasite are divisive figures for the club.

        “Is the current squad good enough for what we need? I don’t think so,” said Benitez in a 25th July article in The Northern Echo. Now, we can play with words all we want, but a squad is made up of individual players who need to play as a unit. Maybe a realistic assessment, but is that really what members of the squad need to listen to all the time, and then still be expected to go out and play well?

        • Reggae86

          I don’t think what he says is demoralising to the players in the slightest. He is saying that the lads are doing a great job, just that too much is being asked of them.
          Nor do I believe that he’s tethered to the club in any way. If he called it a day, I couldn’t see him being of options for the future. Six mil. Is a drop in the pond nowadays.
          Staveley or not, he has undeniably been great for the club. Rifts do seem to have been appearing, but then bear in mind the point you made about how little we actually know of the truth.
          Do you mean you don’t believe he’s going out for the points? If so, why would he be fussing over goal difference, as you alluded to previously?

          • Hobbit

            I know if our form teacher back in school kept telling our team that we couldn’t win the debate with the next gifted class when asked if we were,”good enough for what we need? I don’t think so,” it would be quite a blow, even if true.

            It is of course a matter of opinion, but no, I don’t think he’s going all out for points. Reggae86, think about it. If Rafa earns the team points and they shoot up the Premier charts, Ashley wins the argument that he already had a team capable of challenging the league.

            I believe Rafa is in a no win situation. Maybe I’m a pessimist and you’re spot on correct. Guess at this point, no one really knows for sure.

            I hope I’m completely wrong about Rafa.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You were in a debate team at school 😂😂😂😂😂

            Life & soul of the party a bet…

          • Hobbit

            That was a rather poor attempt at a diss, because in its current form, your first line can be construed as being in agreement with me being in the debate team in a positive/humorous way. I believe you should end the statement with a question mark, followed by those emoticons, to correctly convey mockery/sarcasm.

            As for the second line, I assume you meant to say, “Life & soul of the party I bet,” and not “a bet”. I would have taken it as a mistyped letter, although “a” and “I” are quite apart on the QWERTY pad. Keep at it. English as a second language can be a challenge.

            Floss more regularly
            For I can see
            Rafa’s short and curly
            Between your teeth

            We can continue with your snide/sarcastic/”weirdo” type comments, or we can stick to the topic and have a mature conversation where we can present viewpoints and counter points like adults.

            And yes, I was somewhat the “life and soul” of the party back in my time, and to some degree, still am.

            Cheers.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Not a chance I’m wasting my time reading any of that you nerd.

          • Hobbit

            You read?

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Of course, just not the drivel you write obviously

    • Leazes.

      …’when outmatched both in technology and ideology’…..Huh?

      • Hobbit

        Ok. I’m not going into the boring details. It would be unfair to you as the Pacific & European theatres of war have been my field of study for over 30 years. But the long and short of it is that we had to play catch up technology wise, and eventually started winning the air wars. As for the “ideology” part, we were outmatched in the sense that they were brainwashed to obey a murderous dogma, without reason and question. That madness made them a lot more motivated and dangerous. Anyway, we digress.