There was one common denominator that ran through the Newcastle United transfer business this summer.

As well as once again having the services of Martin Dubravka and Kenedy, Rafa Benitez was allowed to bring in five new faces.

Yoshinori Muto arrived from Mainz (who finished fifth bottom of the Bundesliga) whilst the other four new faces were all recruited from clubs that  had been relegated.

Free transfer Ki and £6m centre-back Federico Fernandez came in from Swansea who ended up 18th and dropped out of the Premier League, loan signing Rondon from rock bottom West Brom, whilst Fabian Schar was brought in from Deportivo who dropped out of La Liga.

Recruiting players from poor teams obviously doesn’t always equal bringing in poor players but it does point to a potential issue of trying to turn around players who had got so used to losing and playing in a failing team.

If you’re honest as well, it also shows just where Rafa Benitez was reduced to being able to shop, it wasn’t as though there was any great competition for these players.

Naturally we all hope they can prove any doubters, such as myself, wrong – and so far Fernandez and Rondon have started reasonably well.

However, it does get a little bit awkward when you get new players talking about what a great squad Newcastle have in terms of spirit and unity etc.

Not many of us take much notice of these kind of typical club generated quotes anyway, when any player says it, as which players ever come out and say how rubbish things are within the squad…the big exception in recent Newcastle history of course being Jamaal Lascelles when calling out his teammates in the last relegation season.

What caught my eye this morning were quotes from Federico Fernandez, saying about how good this squad is: ‘Team spirit is good…A really good group here.’

The thing is, we all know that if we looked back last season you would find the same quotes from the defender about Swansea’s squad, Ki without doubt saying the same, Rondon about West Brom and Schar when at Deportivo.

We want to believe we have a committed group of players all pulling together and hopefully we have, despite the recent media claims.

However, I do worry when I was at the Forest game and Newcastle hardly won a second ball, whilst at Cardiff I definitely didn’t think the NUFC players were at the same level as the home side’s players when it came to desire.

Bottom line is surely that every team should be committed at this stage of the season and it is once the pressure is on that you really find out who can pull out of it.

Eventually Newcastle came out of it ok last season but in that mid-season run of one point from nine matches there did seem to be developing issues with spirit and resolve, which happens in almost every team when on such a run.

The bottom line is that a winning team is a happy and unified one and also how you get the confidence to go on, it is essential we get that first win as soon as possible to ensure that the confidence and spirit of both fans and players can carry us through this season.

Only the talking on the pitch really counts.

Federico Fernandez:

“I have found a really good group here.

“I think during the season everyone has a bad run – it happens with (playing) the big teams.

“Now we start our season and we make sure we keep pushing each other, play good football and win games.

“I’m here to help everyone, I’m happy to play and push the guys, I think the team spirit is good and we need to carry on for the next game.

“It’s nice to see everyone involved and helping the team to be stronger, we (the summer signings) are ready and available for the gaffer.

“We’re disappointed not to take anything from the last two games in the league and we deserved more.

“We played well, stayed together, working really hard and showed great team spirit.

“We are close, stayed in the game until the end and created two chances in the end, considering we played at a difficult stadium against a great team, we’re happy with the work of everyone.

“When you concede early on, it’s quite difficult.

“We tried not to give much space between the lines to them. Then, when we recovered the ball, we did quite well with the first two passes.

“We scored a beautiful goal but their second goal was a great goal.

“We kept pushing and it’s difficult to stay in the game with them, but we did it quite well.”

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  • Kenny

    with all due respect to the players concerned, the ones we signed are 2nd class shirt fillers, Rondon looks ok but who wouldnt against the strikers we have and hes not our player

  • Wor Lass

    He looks a decent signing. I only hope he doesn`t do so well that fatty decides he can sellJamaal once Lejeune is back.

    • HarryHype59

      Fatty will slobbering over the thought of getting £40m for Lasceles in the Jan window! Asset stripping is the name of the game at SD United.

      • Ron

        I get the feeling we aren’t alone – what are the odds of H o F being sold off piecemeal, with only the better stores being retained and having a newly deteriorated sports dept selling SD tat.

    • Kenny

      Jamaal is gone in Jan if a bid comes in.

  • Billmag

    It takes some player’s a few games to get to know how the team plays so let’s give them 10 games then we can judge them, another thing these lads where signed far too late in the transfer window owing to the incompetence of the hierarchy, everyone bar them knew Rafa likes time to work with player’s.

    • Chris-Chapple

      a player does need time to adapt but those are pretty poor signings

      • Billmag

        I won’t agree with you till I have seen enough of them for me to pass judgement on those signings.

  • Ron

    What rubbish.
    Just take Rondon for example; he was in a team very badly managed, they probably would have escaped relegation if they hadn’t waited so long to sack their manager, and had a great run in when they were managed decently.
    We were relegated because our Manager (SM) was nearly as good as a walking disaster (but not quite). Given a few more games then Rafa may well have avoided the drop for us as well. The players we sold were mostly our better ones.
    Relegated teams do have the poorer players but that doesn’t mean they all are. Look at Wijnaldum and Townsend I’d take them back like a shot (not Sissoko though) they were part of a relegated side.
    I just wish Rafa was supported and trusted enough to got and buy who he wanted and not have to pick over the players that were left over. That said he has an eye to pick over expertly,

    • MadMag83

      Good point. The one thing I would say in defence of the author is that perhaps he’s referring to the mentality of those new signings rather than their ability. Wijnaldum left for Liverpool so he walked into a dressing room full of confidence, Sissoko likewise with Spurs. These new guys have walked into a club with a lot of trouble brewing behind the scenes with a team that is struggling on the pitch, which isn’t good if their confidence is still fragile from the disappointment of last season with their respective former clubs.

      • Ron

        I think that’s only partly true, When Darren Moore took over at WBA there must have been an instant turnaround in confidence, I believe Rafa also creates that atmosphere.
        My gripe is Rafa wasn’t given a real choice at all, with the cheque book being firmly locked away in SD safe!

        • Chris-Chapple

          It will remain locked away Ashley has no intention of spending money on Newcastle

          • Jezza

            Ashley has got no intention of even allowing NUFC to spend its own money. He prefers to take money generated by the club to invest in failing high street department shops.

        • MadMag83

          Most managers have a honeymoon period when they arrive, especially when things can’t get any worse. The true test of a great manager is sustaining that, something Rafa has done so far. He needs to see real investment in the squad and facilities, it was a miracle we finished 10th last season but just imagine what could be achieved with proper investment behind him.

          • Ron

            I agree with every word you said

  • Stephen

    The relative value of the playing staff compared to 11 years ago( When Ashley bought the club) must be less than half.
    This has to impact the value of the club that is supposed to be for sale.
    Everything just seems so cheap about Newcastle these days.

    • HarryHype59

      Too true, I am amazed Ashley hasn’t changed the kit to red shirts, blue shorts and renamed the club Sports Direct utd.

  • cangelfitz

    w︂аtch m︂y b︂r︂а︂nd n︂еw s︂еx︂y h︂о︂mеpоrn w︂it︂h m︂y f︂r︂i︂е︂n︂ds, c︂hа︂t m︂е s︂о︂mе︂th︂i︂n︂g h︂еrе ̩
    S︂in︂g u︂p a︂nd a︂dd m︂e︂: i︂︂a︂︂l︂m︂︂a︂z.︂c︂o︂︂m︂/︂g︂︂a︂︂l︂l︂︂e︂︂r︂y︂︂-︂︂4︂︂7︂1︂3︂︂2︂7

    • dandry80

      ︂O︂M︂G︂! Y︂ou a︂r︂e s︂o f︂*︂c︂k*︂n︂g h︂ot! F︂ac︂e r︂e︂veal i︂s s︂o f︂*︂c︂k*n︂g h︂o︂t︂! MO︂RE!? :︂D

  • Vodkamagpie

    Once we get relagated, according to most fans, our players should be safe. What idiot of a club would want to buy dubravka, shelvey, lascelles, yedlin, Ritchie, lejeune etc etc

    • Chris-Chapple

      none in the top 6

      • Ron

        Don’t be so sure Liverpool bought Wijnaldum and Spurs Sissoko. Shelvey and Lascelles in particular would be attractive to the better teams.

    • MadMag83

      Which fans are these?

      • Vodkamagpie

        They know who they are

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Who are they agent mulder?

          • Vodkamagpie

            Well let’s start with you, how do we know, that you are infact super. I really have my doubts regarding you, hugo viana squad number, go, 2 seconds, answer

          • SuperDesHamilton

            How am I super? Well the S on my chest is a massive give away. His squad number adds up to 9. But a don’t see why this has anything to do with me…you weirdo

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You’re rattled. It’s sad to see someone fall apart online. Even more so when it’s someone posting under another alias and still getting rocked

          • Vodkamagpie

            I’m soooo rattled, it’s scary. Useful tip, use it, don’t use it, ask a serious question for once, people might actually think that you are indeed super, S

          • SuperDesHamilton

            So unrattled you had to reply. You need to try harder

          • Vodkamagpie

            Wow, you smart, you get me all the time, you little devil you.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Glad you can admit being a lesser man

        • MadMag83

          😂 It’s interesting that of the six players you mention, four are Rafa signings, and the other two have developed massively under him.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Rafa signings/newcastle signings, we are all on the same team

    • SuperDesHamilton

      This may be the worst most bitter misinformed intention of having a go at the manager ever ever 🙄

      1/10

  • hapsentag

    m︎е & m︎︎y b︎︎i︎t︎ch︎еs m︎аk︎е b︎︎r︎а︎n︎d︎е︎w е︎︎r︎о-︎p︎h︎о︎t︎оs – h︎︎е︎r︎е i︎︎s о︎︎u︎r c︎︎r︎а︎z︎y c︎о︎l︎l︎е︎c︎t︎i︎о︎n ̩
    A︎︎d︎d m︎︎e︎: i︎a︎l︎m︎︎a︎z︎.︎c︎o︎m︎/︎a︎l︎b︎︎u︎m︎-︎7︎0︎1︎︎8︎1︎1

    • oav87281

      ︎︎A︎wes︎om︎e︎! L︎i︎k︎e i︎t︎:)

  • Philippines

    Make Yedlin a striker. Problem solved. Remember Supermac – converted full back.