Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2  – Saturday 15 September 3pm

The match is easy enough to sum up.

We had the best of the first half without ever looking like we’d score. Cech had so little to do that he amused himself by kicking the ball backwards for a corner rather than up the park.

Having been the better side and gone in for half time at 0-0, it was almost inevitable we’d lose, and lose we did. They scored two goals in relatively quick succession and barely had to break sweat to do it. They just walked through our defence.

Some fans will question the starting line-up and wonder why Kenedy and Rondon didn’t start.

Others might reason we’d have defended the goals better had Lascelles remained on the pitch.

They might be right, but no one had a particularly good game, I can’t remember much Dummett did wrong but everyone in advance of him was poor.

Kenedy made no difference – he had the air of a man who couldn’t be bothered.

But I worry that our problems go deeper than which eleven players start the game.

I hope I’m wrong, but I sense that the qualities that kept us out of trouble last season – discipline, commitment, work rate and pride – seem to be in shorter supply.

To me, Newcastle looked like they’d accepted defeat at 0-1. No one wanted the ball and we played like headless chickens.

This isn’t a good Arsenal team, certainly nowhere near as good as the team we got the 4-4 draw against. A bit of the battling qualities we saw that day may have seen us fight back for a draw, but Clark’s goal was too little too late.

It’s still early days but if I had to bet on the outcome of this season, right now I see a third relegation in 10 years, and potentially the most catastrophic of all…

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2

Goals:

Newcastle: Clark 90+1

Arsenal: Xhaka 49, Ozil 58

Possession was Arsenal 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were  Arsenal 12 Newcastle 4

Shots on target were Arsenal 2 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Arsenal 4 Newcastle 10

Referee: Lee Probert

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark 46), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Muto 79), Diame, Hayden, Murphy (Kenedy 69), Perez, Joselu

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Rondon, Shelvey

Crowd: 52,165 (3,200 Arsenal approx)

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

To feature like Davey Hat Trick submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here



  • Paul Cannell

    Stop wetting the bed, it’s only 5 games in.

    • Ashley-out

      Heard that a couple of years ago, we went down, that team is a [email protected]@king shambles

    • Paul Patterson

      By December my mattress will be honking..

  • Paul Patterson

    I think we do have workrate, discipline and commitment, sadly that will only get any team so far.
    A smidgen of quality will edge out those attributes any day. You can slog your guts out for 89 minutes, but one moment of class will win the day. We lack quality. That’s what money gets you ..

    • Ashley-out

      there was nothing there from the 46th minute

      • Paul Patterson

        Lose Lascelles and we’re knackered..

        • Ashley-out

          Lascelles, Shelvey those 2 are the team everything revolves around them.

  • Ashley-out

    Need a different approach, like starting the best players instead of our Spanish friends. waste of space both of them

  • Albert Stubbins

    Long way to go but we look terrible. Arsenal could and should have scored a lot more today. Second half we gave up. Without lascelles we look ordinary. I’d take 17 th in a heartbeat. Hayden played and doesn’t want to be here. Kennedy thinks he’s good enough for Chelsea. Shelvey and Rondon don’t play when they should be playing every minute of every game. It’s ok resting and rotating players when your winning but we have one point in four games prior to today. What is going on?

    • Kenny

      We can’t afford to rotate with the squad we’ve got, we need our best eleven every match

      • Jezza

        Even our best eleven aren’t good enough to hold their own in this division.

    • Martin Rooney

      Arsenal really were not that good and we really should have scored more ourselves

      • Albert Stubbins

        How? The only shots i remember us having was on 87 mins and the goal three minutes later. We had more of the play first half but chances actually carved out. Two by my reckoning. Arsenal murdered us second half. That’s how I remember it but I stand to be corrected.

        • James Mills

          2 shots on target each the very definition of murder

        • Martin Rooney

          There back line is/was poor and a more attacking approach should have paid off.

          • Albert Stubbins

            Agreed but it didn’t pay off for a reason. The reason being we haven’t the quality to put the ball in the net on a regular basis.

    • Jezza

      I’ll tell you what’s going on. We’ve got a playing squad that is not fit for purpose in this division. This is as a direct result of a club owner who wants NUFC to be two things and two things only:

      1. A highly profitable revenue stream generating substantial funds to invest in his core sweatshop business.

      2. A huge free advertising vehicle for his core sweatshop business.

  • Kenny

    Replace the front two with the new lads, get Shelvey on the pitch, give the rest a boot up the jacksy apart from Dummett who was man of the match for a dismal Newcastle

  • Martin Rooney

    Yedlin dummett Ritchie and Perez were ok the rest poor
    Why was shelvey and London on the bench if they are able to play they should be starting.
    Rafa’s set up is awful this was w team we should have beaten today it was solely Rafa’s approach to the game which meant we didn’t. Joselu is awful surely if told yo do so Adam Armstrong can run around like hos does. And as the third choice central midfielder surely colback can do as well as Haydon actually on today’s evidence he’d do better!.

    • HarryHype59

      The decision to play “jenga”with the squad and whittle £20 out the playing staff budget is also a major contributing factor. The NUFC tower looks to be collapsing due to Fatman’s asset strippjng

      • Jezza

        I knew at the start of the summer that the NUFC squad would be weakened for profit during the transfer window. You just need to know how Ashley thinks. In his mind, if you’ve got a team that finished 10th when they only need to finish 17th, you can easily get away with weakening that team a bit to line your own pockets.

        • Ron

          No crystal ball needed with Ashley at the helm!

          • Jezza

            Too true.

  • JohnnyH

    If Ashley’s still here in January, and we don’t bring players in, we’re down.
    No doubt about it.
    This squad won’t get us through the season.

  • CKO

    I’m going to preface this by stating that Ashley left us ~£80m short in the transfer window because I know some (it’s everyone really) of you have trouble reading, you’ll see me criticise Benitez and take that as me supporting Ashley, I’m not.

    This is down to Benitez. Look, when the fixtures were announced I fully expected us to be in the position where we find ourselves now, although I did expect us to have more points. Benitez has been terrible, his team selections have been terrible, his tactics have not only been negative, but they’ve also been terrible, his signings have been terrible, his sales have been terrible, the football we play is terrible and as a result of all that there has also been training ground bust-ups. Cardiff’s starting eleven cost €21.44m (plus Zohore) and we couldn’t beat them with an eleven that cost €55.50m, Forest’s starting eleven cost €18.73m (plus Lolley) and we couldn’t beat them with an eleven that cost €45.40m. Look at the players left out the staring line-up today, Rondon out, Kenedy out, Shelvey out, Muto out and when did Benitez decide to bring any of those players on? When we were 2-0 down and the game was over. Did anyone notice the change in performance after his “team talk”?. Disgusting.

    • Paul Patterson

      Ok, anyone care to start..?

      • JohnnyH

        I don’t know where to start,
        F#ck right off is all I can come up with.

        • Danimal

          I started, in a comprehensive and well thought out manner. No rude words etc. And I’ve been modded.

          • Danimal

            Oh, it’s because I mentioned the manager in between Bill McGarry and Jack Charlton.

          • Danimal

            Still waiting. There is nothing disrespectful or rude/sweary in my response. To be honest it was a lot more respectful and carefully constructed than the original post deserved. Won’t bother next time.

          • Jezza

            Just block the troll.

          • Danimal

            That’s fine but I wasted a few minutes of my life posting a polite, reasoned response and some clowns have pulled it. But they allow the pathetic original to stand.

          • Billmag

            I did the same last week mate, best thing to do is call him a know nowt then don’t reply to him anymore.

          • Danimal

            Kind of shuts down the discussion though, doesn’t it? Cheers.

      • CKO

        Why didn’t you?

        • Danimal

          Irony free zone. Ashley and Trump fans. Imbecilic echo chamber.

      • Ron

        Race to the bottom!

    • Superdooperhooper

      You’re an r swipe. Ashley is the biggest problem at nufc . Why deny it ?

      • Jezza

        Because he’s a Manchester FC glory seeker troll who has been winding up Newcastle fans on various forums, using countless different ID’s for 10 years or more. Just block him.

        • Benji

          Where’s your proof bell end?

    • Danimal

      How does this rude, patronising twaddle stay posted while my response doesn’t? Mag – please advise.

      • CKO

        They’re removing your comments? It’s about time they get rid of the spammers.

        • Danimal

          What about the spanners? You’re still here.

          • Carverlier football

            Danimal, you seem to be getting frustrated. I’ll make you feel better. Think about your life… Do you have a massive aching void in it which makes you spend your life on the website of a club you don’t support, craving attention and trying to get it by winding up strangers? You don’t? Then unlike some other people, you my friend are blessed and can take comfort in the knowledge your life could be much worse…

          • Danimal

            Not frustrated. Very chilled. But you’re right about these characters I think. Good luck to them.

    • fistsofsteel2

      Well said.

      • CKO

        Thank you.

    • Danimal

      Ok I’ll try again.

      Your comments are patronising and rude. Of course everyone here understands it is possible to criticise the owner and manager.

      Over the years I have disagreed with decisions on team selection, subs, buys, sales etc by great managers including Arthur, Kevin, Robert, Christopher and Rafael.

      The difference is that the others were making decisions with a decent or half decent hand of cards. Cole or Ferdinand, tricky. Rafael gets to choose between fit Joselu and unfit Rondon.

      Back to your “preface”. Ashley is the problem. Until that is resolved the rest is academic.

      • CKO

        ‘Of course everyone here understands it is possible to criticise the owner and manager.’

        No they absolutley do not, I’ve posted maybe 3000+ comments on this site and read every single reply, they don’t. Even a comment that explicitly states that the intention to criticise Benitez has nothing to do with Ashley still has people, including yourself, talking about Ashley, your whole argument is centred around Ashley…

        You (and everyone else are) just incapable of understanding and processing the information that you’re reading.

        • Danimal

          Get some help.

          • CKO

            And there we go, at least you didn’t deny it.

          • Danimal

            I think you need to take a deep breath. Then learn to read. Then learn to reason. Then….That’ll be enough for now.

          • CKO

            Back to being in denial. Back on the ‘do not respond’ list. Have fun having your comments removed 👍🏿

      • Martin Rooney

        He chose to choose between Jos and dross he could have chose between mitro, Dwight and Arma

    • Billmag

      [email protected]@@@@g hell does this person never give up some of his tripe is rehashed from last week why don’t you go and bore the pants off some other websites.

      • CKO

        So everyone is allowed to rehash and repeat whatever they want when it comes to Ashley but when it comes to Benitez I’m only allowed to say it once and never again. Dummy.

        • Billmag

          You have it in one brain box, 99.9% of poster’s on here deplore what Ashley has done and is doing to this club, it’s only the troll’s like you that get some sort of kick by supporting him, or have you got another agenda in your depraved little world Clarko.

          • CKO

            It’s always comes back to morons like you not being able to read:

            ‘Ashley left us ~£80m short in the transfer window because I know some (it’s everyone really) of you have trouble reading, you’ll see me criticise Benitez and take that as me supporting Ashley, I’m not’

            You’re wrong.

    • Superdooperhooper

      Load of boring long winded drivel

      • Danimal

        Someone’s actually up voted him. Surely himself.

        • Carverlier football

          One of his aliases…

  • HarryHype59

    It looks like Ashley’s decision to gamble our EPL status yet again, is back fireing. Generating a £20 m surplus in the last window, instead off investing in the first team was always going to be pure folly.

    • Albert Stubbins

      If we finish 17 th his gamble will have paid off!! I see what your saying but it will go to the wire and Ashley will get some sick satisfaction from this. It’s the buzz he desires. We’re just a spin of the roulette wheel for him. Pawns in his twisted game. He’s killing our club right in front of our very eyes.

      • Danimal

        Not sure it will go to the wire. Even if Huddersfield and Cardiff obligingly bomb to 20 points each, that still leaves one more club we’ve got to catch. Who are they? I can’t see an obvious candidate.

        • Albert Stubbins

          West ham. Fulham. There’s a few. We’re fighting for 17 th this season. Rafa said as much. Theres a few poor teams this season. Not as many poor teams as last season admittedly.

          • Danimal

            Fulham are light years ahead of us. So are West Ham, Palace etc. Our best hope is that one of them has a catastrophic manager-players-owner-fan breakdown like last season (Wham, Soton, Palace). Sadly. Bournemouth and Watford are both virtually safe already.

          • Jezza

            West ham will pull away from the bottom. Unlike ourselves, they’ve got too much playing quality to be down there for the long run.

          • HarryHype59

            West Ham won today!

        • Vodkamagpie

          I cant see an obvious candidate, are you suggesting we are the obvious candidate, because we lost games against tottenham, Chelsea, man city and arsenal

          • Danimal

            No, I’m suggesting we’re the obvious candidate because we have a squad considerably weaker than the one the current manager inherited in 2016, all our competitors have (correctly) used the tv money to strengthen theirs, while we have asset-stripped and now our two best hopes are only with us on loan. I think the manager and players have done very well to limit the damage (goal difference and morale) of those fixtures.

        • Paul Patterson

          The Hammers?

          • HarryHype59

            Won today!

          • Jezza

            Yes I’ve been saying all along that West Ham have got far too much quality to end up in a relegation battle.

  • Gary

    Lost the dressing room players sick of the negative tactics…..

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Hello clarko.

      • Vodkamagpie

        Hi dessie

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Hello still racist and thick as usual?

          • Billmag

            That’s all we want after a defeat Des, the effing troll’s coming out of out of the woodwork.

  • robbersdog

    There’s a long way to go and it’s far too early to start talking about relegation. In my opinion, we’ll be ok, but only just. However, even if we DO stay in the Prem, Rafa will be leaving, but Ashley will still be in situ. That being the case, the future looks bleak.

    It’s horrible living on scraps, having nothing to look forward to and feeling fear and anxiety before every game. This is what Ashley has done to us – starved us of hope.

    • Jezza

      If we lose to Crystal Palace next week it won’t be too early to be talking about relegation.

      • robbersdog

        Yeah, you’re right; a loss against Palace will mean a full-blown crisis.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    It’s them white socks man, there proper Shan a hate white socks

  • ivanlogan

    Times up with football and especially Newcastle United, we’re done and dusted they’ll be no glory or no winner with black and white, all hope is extinguished and only those with money will win, footballs dead, the fans don’t sing or feel passion like it once was, people dream of 17th position as if it’s a badge of honour, it’s not competitive or relative to us the people who made the game when the players earn in one week what we make in an age and give our hard earned to them to see a rich man buy an ailing high street chain for a cash sale (bearing in mind his money is wallpapered through shares) it’s time to forget about Newcastle United, the old girl should forget about st James and start again with us true geordies at her helm

    • Martin Rooney

      Couldn’t agree more

  • Jezza

    “Discipline, commitment, work rate and pride in short supply.”

    Never mind any of that, the thing we’re lacking the most is quality and that’s the reason we’re going down.

  • Vodkamagpie

    Always going to be a tough start with our fixtures. Need to get our first 11 on the pitch, shelvey, rondon, and kenedy, are key to positive results. Surely once we get those players back, and on form, we can match most teams, and be better.

    • Danimal

      Back on your vodka.

      • Vodkamagpie

        I should really change my name. The amount of times I’ve heard that one. We’re we not competitive against arsenal until they scored from a good freekick?

        • Danimal

          You should – perhaps the readers could have a vote on a new one for you. It’s number of times, by the way. And what does ‘we’re we not’ mean? Too much vodka.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Really, you correcting my grammar, we just lost to arsenal

          • Danimal

            Shove your Ashley-loving nonsense up your semi-colon. Full stop.

          • Jezza

            If’s he’s talking about his user ID, he’s already got another 20 or 30 that he alternates. Just block the troll.

    • Big Hairy Man

      Go steady on the vodka. Even with our best 11 we have less quality than almost every team in the PL. The key to positive results is investment in the squad and training facilities then perhaps we can aspire to match the mighty Bournemouth, Palace, Brighton etc.

    • Danimal

      How about opening your eyes?

  • Big Hairy Man

    Have to say that Rafa got it wrong today but the continual refusal by Fatty to back Rafa and invest the squad may soon come back to haunt him. By tomorrow evening we may not need to look over our shoulders because we could conceivably be rock bottom of the PL. Last season’s respectable finish was due to superb coaching/organisation by Benitez and incredible luck on the injury front. Our squad is far too thin to carry injuries and last years luck probably won’t be repeated. Over to you Fatty. Every last penny?

    • Danimal

      At Christmas we had a record of 4-3-11. We looked dead and buried, where was our next point or win coming from? Then we stumbled upon West Ham and Stoke (one is being fixed, the other has left he room). Our excellent manager, a couple of inspired/lucky loan signings, luck with injuries and other clubs capitulating, allowed us to survive. To then watch everyone else strengthen their squads and/or appoint better managers and react by having a fire sale…genius.

      • Big Hairy Man

        We finished 10th when 17th would suffice so Fatty saw that as an excuse to offload some excess baggage and no need to invest.

        • Danimal

          Race to the bottom. Not Ashley’s bottom I hasten to add – you’d find Bobbi Fecking Clarko Vodka Monkfish etc with their tongues out, forming an orderly queue for that.

          • Big Hairy Man

            The mental image of Ashley’s @rsecrack is quite disturbing.

          • Danimal

            So are the mental ramblings of his stooges on here.

          • Carverlier football

            At work on Tuesday – I kid you not – we’re having a “ring cleaning” service visiting. Think it’s them…?

          • Jezza

            His tongue. One troll, multiple IDs.

  • fistsofsteel2

    What is the point in Joselu?

    • Danimal

      He was cheap and willing to agree to Ashley’s wage structure.

      • fistsofsteel2

        Cheap?? He’s really earning his £50k per week then?

        • Big Hairy Man

          Cheap to buy. £50k pw is actually below average PL wages nowadays.

          • Martin Rooney

            Avg PL earnings 36k per week

          • Big Hairy Man

            £50,817 pw according to Sportingintelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Survey in November 2017.

          • Paul Patterson

            I’d be amazed if that’s true . .

          • Martin Rooney

            I stand corrected you’re right that’s shocking

          • Big Hairy Man

            More than I and most people earn in a year. And they still want more.

      • Martin Rooney

        Rafa bought jos

    • James Mills

      4 goals a season

    • Paul Patterson

      He’s our top scorer this season, in a bang average side . .

  • Martin

    The players didn’t accept defeat. They were simply beaten by better players. We cannot pass the ball as well as Arsenal. That’s why there squad is valued at £300 million more than our squad. You can’t stay in the Premier League on the cheap. Eventually you will be found out.

    • Martin Rooney

      I’d take our defenders over arsenals all day but yes their front three ate exceptional, surely if we bought a decent striker or just used Gayle and mitro we would have given them some real problems

      • 2 quality attacking players in our team we would probably have gotten at least 3-4 points more from all these fixtures.

  • Rob

    How long till Rafa walks?

    Relegation battle already.

    • Carverlier football

      May 2019

  • Mxpx

    Let’s be honest we’ve lost to city spurs Chelsea and arsenal I didn’t expect to get anything from those games anyway this being said it would not surprise me in the slightest if we go down as we’re a shelvey injury away from catastrophe last season we were lucky he played as many games as he did we won’t be able to get lucky forever and sure we finished 10th but take 3 of wins last season and turn them into losses and we’d have been down so the margin was very slight

    • Danimal

      42 points has been relegated before. We got 44. You have to play in red and white stripes to consistently stay up with sub-40. Although Stoke and our much loved neighbours have unsuccessfully pushed their luck with this one in recent years.

  • Dillinja

    I don’t think we’ll be relegated thanks to the Rafa effect. I think his knowledge and quality should see us finish somewhere between 12th and 16th. A lesser manager with this squad would probably be doomed. In my opinion this is the worst team we’ve had since the dark days of the 80’s pre Keegan era. I’d still like to know why Mike Ashley said ‘ Rafa can have every penny generated by the club’ and then the window shut with Newcastle United generating approximately 27 million pounds from transfer dealings. Why couldn’t Rafa spend that? The owner is a liar and con man.

    • Carverlier football

      We know he’s a liar, we know nothing that comes out of his head is worth tuppence, and we’ve known this for ages. We shouldn’t waste time being surprised at his neglect, we should be focussing all energy into making him a motivated seller.

  • Wezza

    A lot of us saw relegation after that shambles of a summer window.
    As long as people don’t get their hope so up for ‘Ashley to have change of heart’ in January because he won’t.
    If history tells us anything he will take a gamble. He hasn’t got anything to lose a season he already has made hundreds of millions from us.

    • Jezza

      Precisely. All we can hope for in January is more loans.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    This is one of the hardest starts in EPL history. Added to shooting ourselves in the foot on regular occasions, key injuries etc, the author is so right. DBC.

  • Toontaff

    Calling Kenedy and Hayden headless chickens is an insult to headless chickens!

  • foggy

    A 3rd relegation is probably on the cards as this squad doesn’t have the quality to survive. The Fcb won’t splash the cash in January and even if he did it will probably be too late. The Fcb will pocket the tv dosh and the parachute payment and then go out a buy Debenhams.

  • Yes, but this time, unlike previous situations we weren’t even given a chance to compete with the other teams. No quality players have been brought to the team for the last 2 years while every other Premier League, even newly promoted teams, can afford 50-60m net spend per season.
    All of the Rafa haters need to get a reality check, as the Premier League is, at this moment, the most competitive it’s ever been.
    Unless we spend 50M+ in January, I don’t see us getting points from any top 10 teams.

    • Martin Rooney

      It’s down to Rafa to decide who to bring in. That’s made clear by the pay off of Carr and installation of his recruitment team.

      • Yes, but by paying nothing – you get nothing. Rafa has managed to find decent players for the amounts he has to work with but none of them are Premier League quality, that’s how costly the EPL standard is today.