Alan Shearer was working at St James Park on Wednesday night.
The Newcastle United legend forced to sit through a performance by NUFC that was full of effort but had an almost total lack of quality.
As for signings he declared that Rafa Benitez ‘is working on an unbelievable budget’ as the January transfer window is upon us and he didn’t mean ‘unbelievable’ in a good way.
He says he would be surprised if Mike Ashley allows Newcastle to do anything of consequence this month and believes that Rafa Benitez thinks the same.
Alan Shearer was also at Anfield to watch Newcastle on Boxing Day and draws comparisons with another era.
He points to £6m Joselu playing up front for Newcastle and the likes of £5m midfielders Hayden and Diame, comparing that to ’20 years ago’ when Newcastle had £6m Les Ferdinand and £5m David Batty.
It is of course even worse than that because it is now actually 24 years since Les Ferdinand signed for Newcastle and 23 years since David Batty arrived, plus the legendary number nine fails to mention a certain £15m striker who arrived 23 years ago at St James Park.
Against Manchester United tonight of course, the two most attacking player were actually a loan (Rondon) and a £1.8m signing in Perez.
Alan Shearer declaring, Rafa Benitez doesn’t expect £300m or £400m ‘he just wants to be given a chance.’
Alan Shearer talking after Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2 on BBC Radio 5 Live:
“Is there any point talking about the January transfer window with Newcastle United, do you think they will do anything?”
“No I don’t, I’d be surprised if they did, and probably Rafa Benitez would be the same.
“I think he is fed up, frustrated, feels like his hands are tied behind his back at times, because he is working on an unbelievable budget here.
“To get Newcastle to 10th last season, and if they survive again, it will be a very very good season, and that is the sad thing about it…
“He just wants to be given a chance.
“I don’t think he wants £300m or £400m, he wants a chance to compete, to try and get Newcastle in the top half of the table and try to have a good cup run.
“I was at Anfield on Boxing Day and looked at our team then, 20 years ago Newcastle had those classic games against Liverpool, the 4-3 games which everyone talks about. I looked at the midfield and I looked at the forwards then.
“Newcastle then had a £5m player, they bought David Batty for around about £5m, their midfielders on Boxing Day were Hayden and Diame who both cost around £5m.
“I looked at the centre-forward they had that day and 20 years ago they paid around £6m for Les Ferdinand – they had a £6m forward on Boxing Day in Joselu.
“So that tells you exactly where Newcastle are.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2
Goals: Lukaku 64, Rashford 80
Possession was Man Utd 65% Newcastle 35%
Total shots were Man Utd 16 Newcastle 14
Shots on target were Man Utd 7 Newcastle 3
Corners were Man Utd 2 Newcastle United 1
Referee: Andre Marriner
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 81), Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Diame (Shelvey 53), Perez (Kenedy 69), Atsu, Rondon
Woodman, Joselu, Manquillo, Lejeune
Crowd: 52,217 (3,000 Man Utd)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle United 0 Man Utd 2 – Read HERE)