Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2  – Saturday 15 September 3pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle.

Newcastle going down to their fourth 2-1 defeat of the season.

A decent first half though no end product, followed by a second half where as soon as Arsenal scored, the Magpies had no answer.

Paul Patterson:

“If Rondon, Kenedy and Shelvey are fit enough to be on the bench they are fit enough to start.

“The fact only one of them came on, with only 22 minutes to go (went 2-0 down on 58 minutes)  is damning on the manager.”

Jamie Smith:

“Another dismal afternoon.

“This time the narrative of a promising first half in which we were the better team being undone by a sh.. show of a second half after conceding swiftly after half time.

“There’s a real concern that Jamaal Lascelles acts as superglue to the bargain basement misfits in our squad. With him on the field they stick together as a cohesive unit. Remove him, as at half time today, and they dissolve like a wet poppadom.

“If he is continuously injured as well as concerns over Shelvey, Yedlin etc I fear for our season massively.

“If you’re being positive you could argue that the season starts next week after four defeats to big six clubs. It’s hard to feel the positivity right now though.”

Nat Seaton:

“Another shocking game.

“Everything that got us through last season with players giving everything they had for the cause seems to be missing.

“We’re not losing games and thinking how unlucky we were, you have to create chances to score and we’re finding that hard to do (one centre half crossing for another to score aside).

“Long hard season ahead…”

Ben Cooper:

“Decent first half effort completely undone by a lack of commitment, belief, confidence and leadership in the second half.

“Arsenal were poor but won easily in the end despite a late couple of chances.

“Everyone has to improve if we are going to climb the table, including Rafa, who needs all of his experience now more than ever.”

David Punton:

“Mike Ashley cannot have Premier League football on the cheap. This cack handed approach has been completely exposed amid a very tough opening run of fixtures.

“Today there was some head scratching about the starting line up, but what can Rafa do with some of the raw materials at his disposal. Working a miracle cannot last forever.

“It was a terrible second half that did for us. Lascelles goes off and Arsenal cash in.

“Where are the wins going to come from? We’re paupers under this owner.”

Jack Lacey-Hatton:

“We are in a bad position but now is the time to back the team to the hilt and have faith we can turn this around.

“The fixture list always looked a curse and its now coming back to hurt us badly.

“Only a win will do at Palace for me.”

Jamie Swan:

“Really tough start to the season fixture wise and we are in the long haul for a tough old year.

“Just don’t get enough goals or create enough to think anything else.

“Looking at our line-up before kick off didn’t exactly boost my confidence and pretty certain it wouldn’t have frightened Arsenal, or many others for that matter.

“Desperately need Shelvey back in and Palace away and Leicester at home are effing massive.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2


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)

  • Paul Patterson

    Three players short of a Premier League team and when Lascelles isn’t there, the door to the defence swings open like a barn door in the wind..

    • Leicester Mag

      Maybe 5 short and counting.. As others invest we scrimp. It doesn’t need a mystic to see where this [email protected] is heading. Sadly most stand and watch this unfold again.

    • mentalman

      We need to try schar if Lascelles is out. With clark in the team its constant aimless long balls that come straight back. We struggle to form any sort of attack from it and the defence never gets a chance to set itself back up

      • Ram Kishore

        We need lb with a different set of characteristics in matches where we should be whooping in crosses.. Dummet is reliable but in some matches we need a different type of lb.
        More quality for a player who plays as a CAM behind the striker.. Perez takes too many touches to get the right pass.
        Better CM than Hayden.. someone who can play like Shelvey and be a Box to Box midfielder. I see Hayden putting the balls into only one side and they are always played the same way. He seems very tired.
        Diame passed the ball better than Hayden. Hayden needs to up his game. We are definitely in short of three players. Longstaff seems like a better alternative to Hayden

  • Kenny

    My instant reaction,Whiskey 🥃 a few

    • Dave Pattinson

      …..and a shotgun.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Is the correct answer!!

  • Ba ba.

    Poor starting line up by rafa. .tbh the whole thing is boring

    • nufcslf

      As well as aimless, clueless and far too many sheep making it look like f**k all is wrong and worth paying money to watch.

      • Ba ba.

        Baaaa Baaaa

    • molend

      No disagreement there. He should have started Messi, Ronaldo and Bale instead of Perez, Hoss and Murphy. What was he thinking?

      • Ba ba.

        Messi, Ronaldo and bale aren’t in Newcastle United squad.. But Rondom, sheveley are.. Don’t you not no that… Oh sorry your trying to be funny… Zzzzzzzzzz

  • Albert Stubbins

    My instant reaction at the match was why didn’t we play with an inform Rondon and why leave our most influential player on the bench for a winnable home game. As soon as Lascelles came off it was always going to end badly. Without our leader last season the stats were telling. He’s as influential for our team as zaha is for Palace in my humble opinion. Rafa got the team selection terribly wrong. (Again!!) Why bring players into the team and not play them. Arsenal were ripe for the taking today. I feared the worst this season. Reminds me of the 1988/9 season in so many ways. Total turmoil off the pitch and rudderless on the pitch. Some explanations are well overdue!!

    • Ba ba.

      Totally agree 👍

  • magpiefifer

    I am so fearful for this season,and Ashley’s hat-trick of relegations.
    We will get a good idea by the end of October,by which time we will have played 4 teams who should be bottom half material (like us!).If we have not reached at least 9 points by then it will be ‘goodnight Vienna’.
    I am concerned that Rafa,despite his love and hopes for NUFC, is so exasperated and undermined by Ashley’s nonsense that he knows there is no future for him at SJP and that his situation is affecting the players .I’d like to be wrong!!

    • TheFatController

      I’ve said before, when Ferguson and Wenger were going at end of season, it all imploded for both teams.

      Then there’s Chelsea season just gone and the open secret of a change of manager coming.

      The impending loss of Rafa is a huge difference between last season and now. It’s only going to get worse as we go on.

      There’s also a chance if he doesn’t sign a contract and we’re in relegation places Ashley would pull the plug and get the next man in early.

      Sounds outlandish, but then again he appointed Kinnear …

  • 5floorshigh

    So Shelvey and Rondon fit enough to play but Ashley decides to put them on the bench and leave them there………what a boggle !

    • Ashley-out

      i always say, if you are fit enough for the bench then you are fit enough to start

    • nufcslf

      He’s keeping them fit for January sales.

      • BanJones

        That’s the most pessimistic view I have seen on here, I don’t know wether to congratulate you or laugh at you – well done anyway!

    • SuperDesHamilton

      If they were 100% fit they would of started you little Marc almond s#### drinker

      • 5floorshigh

        is that a personal fantasy you are confessing ?

        • SuperDesHamilton

          That doesn’t make sense you nonce

          • 5floorshigh

            is it dark in there ?

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Where, your spare room?

      • fistsofsteel2

        We live in enlightened times mate……there is no need to repress your homosexuality.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Shout it out be free then

    • Ram Kishore

      U mean Rafa?

      • 5floorshigh

        you are not allowed to blame Rafa on The Mag

        • Ram Kishore


  • ScreamStevie

    What it does do is illustrate our lack of depth. No Shelvey, no creativity. No Lascelles, no leadership. But it’s still early days. We’ve had to play 4 of the probable top 6 and not been battered by any of them. If we’d had an easier start and won just of our opening games we’d be sitting mid table. Not yet the time to start panicking…

  • Hughie

    The weakest link has been Perez all season gives the ball away 90% of the time. Must infuriate his teammates!

  • Mike

    if you keep your best players on the bench you lose. and if they are on the bench then surely they can play first half at least???