Saturday finished Newcastle 0 Brighton 1.

A game where for once Newcastle United had the lion’s share of possession, corners and shots.

However, despite 27 shots Rafa’s players couldn’t manage a goal, whereas the visitors basically had one chance (before the very final stages) and scored a deflected winning goal.

The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.

Here goes…

POSITIVES

Fulham, Huddersfield and Cardiff

The only real positive for Rafa Benitez at the moment is that we are only 3 points off 17th. One win can put us back into a position in which things don’t look so disastrous. That is the main hope for the manager this season – not putting together a decent side, but merely surviving and at the end of the day, hoping that there will be three teams worse than us in the league this season.

Huddersfield are yet to pick up a win, while Fulham look like the type of team who you never know what sort of performance you’re going to get. Although, I think rest assured, if they are still performing badly come January, Mr Khan will likely bring in reinforcements. As for Cardiff, they scored 4 goals at the weekend, with a certain Murphy brother playing a blinder. If Newcastle do stay up this season, it will be by the skin of their teeth.

Created chances

Lets not forget that Brighton had one shot in the game, and scored from it via a deflection. This wasn’t an awful Newcastle performance, but it was more a case of an incredibly frustrating one. If Ayoze Perez had taken his chance in the opening 5 minutes it would have been a different game perhaps. The same can be said for big chances for Ritchie, Kenedy and Muto.

It certainly wasn’t for the lack of trying. The team remains committed and organised but just not good enough.

Winnable games to come

Southampton, Watford, Bournemouth, Burnley, West Ham. All winnable games. If we fail to take at least 7 points from those games, then there may not be another chance for the team to claw back some points. It is sad that we have to look at games against those sides, and think “hey, we’ll be doing well if we can get a point.”

NEGATIVES

Tactics

The support

I wrote a little bit in the match ratings straight after the game about how disappointed I was with the support, and majority of the fans on Saturday. I thought perhaps my opinion would change after I had calmed down a little but it hasn’t.

Fans have paid their money and therefore have the right to express their feelings however they want. I will write an article on this but for the moment I just have one point.

Rafa Benitez is a football manager and will make mistakes. He will make decisions that some of us don’t agree with. Some weeks he will play Joselu, some weeks he will make substitutions too late, and other weeks he will set the team up too negatively. That is football, it is a game of opinions. It can be quite frustrating. It is for me when I have paid all that money for a season ticket only to watch a poor standard of football.

However, if the event that is getting you out of your seat to boo or scream, or moan is an honest manager making honest decisions in the best interests of the team, while you sit there doing absolutely nothing about an owner who has expelled club legends Keegan and Shearer, changed the name of St James Park, stripped the club from top to bottom, taken money out and transferred land from out of the club, lied to the fans, lied to the press, has the club in an HMRC investigation, shafted Jonas when he had cancer, stuck his fingers up to the fans, lied to the manager (I could go on)… oh and on top of that, ran a sports company which has been brought to parliament on the topic of how they treat their own workers… then it is my opinion that you just don’t care enough.

A caller on BBC Newcastle after the game referred to those fans as ‘scabs’, that was completely out of order and not true. But I have to ask the question, do you really care about Newcastle United?

Cutting edge

How long have we said this for? No cutting edge up top. Again, whose fault is that? I come back to the reaction of the fans who gave Perez a lot of stick, and booed when Joselu replaced Muto.

Who would you play instead of Perez? There is nobody else. Who would you have brought on from the bench? There is nobody else. Rafa Benitez has his hands completely tied.

People might raise the question, what about Rondon? Rafa wanted him and he has been lacklustre to say the least. Well, that is a fair point, but you’re certainly missing the bigger picture. You are living in Walter Mitty land if you think Rafa wrote a list of signings at the start of the summer and rang Lee Charnley “Mr Charnley, my number 1 wish for the summer is that I would really love it if we could bring in Rondon on loan, at the end of pre-season, and I know that will be difficult financially, so offer them our no.9 as a makeshift.”

As I have said on social media, and in previous articles, until Rafa leaves, we will never know exactly what the story is behind some of these signings.

Bottom of the league

It says it all. 9 games, no wins.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Brighton 1

Goals:

Brighton: Kayal 29

Possession was Brighton 32% Newcastle 68%

Total shots were  Brighton 8 Newcastle 27

Shots on target were Brighton 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Brighton 2 Newcastle 10

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez, Muto (Joselu 74)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Atsu, Murphy, Schar, Hayden, Manquillo

Crowd: 50,329 (Brighton approx 1,300)

(Can these statistics from Newcastle 0 Brighton 1 be misleading? Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the defeat HERE)

(Lee Charnley “We’ll do better when we play the lesser teams” – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

To feature like Jonathan Drape-Comyn submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here



  • panther

    the club is dead, give it a few seasons, ashley will be gone and just a nightmare we we will all have ptsd from, we can start climbing the leagues again

    • Mike D

      It doesn’t matter how I say this, it will sound sarcastic but, I like your positivity.

      • panther

        only way out of this nightmare

        • porciestreet

          Time someone pulled the trigger.

  • Paul Patterson

    The positives are false.

    Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff? Cardiff won, Fulham score goals and Huddersfield haven’t won yet, which means law of averages say they will, most likely when they play us.

    Chances created? Yet we still didn’t score with 26 shots.

    Winnable games to come? We said that about Brighton and if the teams we play nick points we are royally snookered.

    • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

      fun sponge

  • Leazes.

    Just seen Look North and they’ve drafted in Lee Clark….surely he won’t hold back and be all diplomatic?….. aaagh yes he did.

    Someone interviewed Mark Douglas…. why couldn’t they find a United fan to interview….incestuous lot journalists…. can’t remember what he said… something about a strange unearthly atmosphere….

    On the positive side most of the papers are now pointing the finger at Ashley, so we are winning…slowly…. very slowly.

    • BigHairyDog

      The damage has been done, irreparable damage this time. There going to be a lot of pundits and journos that will be left with egg on their faces by May.

    • Billmag

      Probably edited any Ashley vitriol out, BBC good at that.

    • Wor Lass

      Is that your “one positive and one negative” pitch, Leazes? Next thing you know you`ll be calling yourself James or Jim and writing for the Mag.

  • molend

    Cesar Menotti, the old Argentinian coach used to say that the job of a coach was to create chances and the job of the players was to put them away. Says it all.

  • Leicester Mag

    Think it’s time the 3 positives were dropped that horse has been flogged to extinction.

    • Wor Lass

      The hoss has been flogged to extinction then resurrected as our centre forward!

    • Kneebotherm8

      It’s a bore now……the dreaded 3 positives 3 negatives……

  • Big Al 1967

    Winnable games Jonathan?
    Brighton had not won in eighteen attempts away from home, so the ideal opponents, yet they walk away with 3 points.
    Southampton up next who cannot buy a goal at the moment, I think most of us who have supported the club for a long time know what is coming on Saturday

    • Steven05

      Picture the Southampton match in your head right now….

      Yip. Me too. All just far too predictable. We. Will. Lose.

      • porciestreet

        And to have to listen to Hughes whining about “how brilliant my lads have put it together today” would be just a bit too much…!

  • BigHairyDog

    There are no positives, our luck has well and truly run out. We have to face it, Rafa’s miracle was last season. He had 7 to 8 Championship players looking like Premier League players but then £20million was skimmed off last season squad by Ashley.

    Where are the positives when your engine room is bereft of energy and tenacity? Where are the positives when Shelvey plays out of his skin and we still lose? Where are the positives when we have nothing up front and all an opposition has to do is bundle in a goal to beat us?

    Ashley’s asset stripping of the squad has gone right down to the bone, he’s probably made his biggest error yet, there are no Wijnaldum’s or Sissoko’s to bankroll a Championship rebuild this time!!!

    • Steven05

      I don’t even think he’d want us to come back up! He’s had his money back 10 times over – he could walk away anytime he wants knowing he has killed this club and made a massive profit

      (PS: I don’t care about what any financial accounts might say – he’s rap. ed the club for years and lied all the way through it

    • Paul Patterson

      He’ll flog Lascelles and Shelvey and use the £60m+ to attempt a promotion. With Steve Bruce in the dugout. You heard it here first . .

      • Danimal

        Doubt you’d get anything like £60m for those two.

    • Down Under Mag

      Lascelles, Shelvey, probably Ritchie. But without them we are going to struggle anyway. There isn’t that big money sale on the cards like there has been in the past.

      Ashley will take out the money he wants now while keeping the debt the same. Then when we go down he will “loan” the club some money which will go on top of the existing debt and further entrench us in his control. I actually think it is a cleverly designed scheme to get us so indebted that he never needs to sell and he can continue to run us how he is doing, skimming off the TV money as and when he manages to get us back in the Premiership.

  • CaptainCaveman

    Good work on filling out the positives section.

  • David2211

    I really don’t see any positives anymore. I genuinely fear we may break the record low points total, and if not, certainly beat the 15 sunderland scraped in ’06.

  • Billmag

    The positive we finish 17th what then Jon, another manager brought in to stuggle on a shoestring budget and the cycle goes on and on under fatty.

  • porciestreet

    How many times must we hear the ..phrase, “if AJose Perez had taken his chances”.
    HE IS NOT GOOD ..ENOUGH..!
    1 good game and 5 bad is not what is required in this league.
    How many strikers do we have in the lower ranks that are champing at the bit….? It’s not rocket science is it that in this hour of need, something has to be changed.
    Come on Rafa, times a wastin. …!
    ASHLEY OUT. ….. HWTL.

  • mentalman

    there are so many negatives but the biggest one for me is our highly experienced manager looks like he has run out of ideas or just given up.

    we had a better team than Brighton, yet the way we approached the game was poor. Their weakest links in defence were their fullbacks yet our wingers were playing narrow and cutting inside, we had two 5″10 strikers who aren’t renowned for their aerial ability against two 6″3 defenders known for being strong in the air and we pumped ball after ball high in to the box. When we brought on a tall striker we started playing it to his feet.

    There was only one sub brought on when things weren’t working, why not try something different instead of just hoping the same old thing pays off.

    The whole team is out of form so why not bring in some of the young lads to try something different

  • JohnnyH

    Good comments about the support in this article I thought.

    There were blokes who used to sit around me who would spend the entire game deriding the team, the manager, the ref, and anything else they could moan about. They never seemed to enjoy the games we won, and grudging praise was the best you could expect from them.

    From my perspective they seemed to actually enjoy defeat and took pleasure from wallowing in the misery that often comes with being a toon fan.

    These are the same people who are now being asked to boycott games, and forfeit an afternoon of the pain they thrive on.

    To make a boycott work, a better offer would be needed where they could all gather to complain about their lot, while the match is on, some kind of beer tent of misery in Leazes Park maybe…..

  • Kneebotherm8

    Oh no……..