Garth Crooks thinks that the ‘Writing is on the wall’ at Newcastle United.
The BBC Sport pundit claiming that ‘This could be the turning point for Rafael Benitez’ at Newcastle.
Crooks pointing to those Newcastle fans who left St James Park before the final whistle.
There are so many problems/issues at the club, it is difficult to know where to start.
However, one thing is for sure, the only thing that has held things together up to this point, is the ongoing presence of Rafa Benitez.
A ‘turning point’ which would equal him leaving Newcastle United any time soon, would simply seal this season’s fate beyond any doubt.
At normal clubs it would be the manager who would be the obvious casualty in trying to put things right but Newcastle fans know that Rafa Benitez has been continuously firefighting, rather than being able to get on and try to take the team/club forward.
Whilst every other club was trying their best to strengthen this summer, Mike Ashley was insisting on a £20m+ profit so that he could take a large amount of money out of NUFC once the transfer window closed.
Come in Houston, I think we may have spotted a reason for the mess the club is now in.
Garth Crooks has always been very supportive of Rafa Benitez and indeed brought much derision on himself when previously claiming that with the right backing, Rafa could be capable of winning the Premier League with Newcastle United.
Garth Crooks picked out Brighton’s Shane Duffy as one of his Premier League team of the week, the defender making 19 clearances, the most by any Premier League player this season in a game.
He will rarely have had such an easy match as this summed up Newcastle, who also put a massive 41 crosses into the Brighton box. Such a lack of quality from Newcastle as they proved yet again incapable of scoring against one of the lesser, but well disciplined PL teams.
Garth Crooks talking to BBC Sport:
“Shane Duffy: Talk about keeping the ball alive. That’s precisely what Shane Duffy did when he brilliantly headed the ball back across the box to help create Brighton’s winning goal against Newcastle.
“The central defender went on to provide a commanding display at the back in order to give manager Chris Hughton a special return to St James’ Park.
“This could be the turning point for Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez.
“When Newcastle fans start streaming out of the stadium before the end of the game, the writing is on the wall.
“Did you know? Irishman Duffy made a Premier League-best for this season of 19 clearances in Brighton’s 1-0 win at Newcastle.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Brighton 1
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
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez, Muto (Joselu 74)
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)
(Match ratings of all NUFC players v Brighton HERE)
(Lee Charnley “We’ll do better when we play the lesser teams” – Read HERE)