Newcastle 1 Blackburn 1  – Saturday 5 January 5.30pm

We asked Jane Clark to give us her match ratings after today’s match.

A desperate game that has now thrown up a desperate and unwanted reply, only days before the relegation six pointer against Cardiff.

Woodman – 5: 

Generally didn’t do too bad and faced the challenge for Blackburn crowding the six yard box on corners.

Lost a point as I felt he was one of those at fault for the goal.

Sterry – 5:

One of the fringe/squad players who did nothing to suggest he is capable of playing in the Premier League.

Schar – 6:

Did alright defensively and hit a mixture of good and bad long passes.

Not helped by the lack of quality in midfield.

Lejeune – 6: 

Very similar to his fellow centre-back.

Eight months since his last competitive first team game and looked decent, like Schar he was more comfortable on the ball than the central midfielders in front of him.

Manquillo – 5:

As usual, if Dummett doesn’t play we don’t have a left footed player at left-back.

He has a good heart but little ability, another who is nowhere near good enough.

Murphy – 2:

Managed to be worse than Joselu which took some doing.

The opening 20 minutes Newcastle played it about a little bit and three times the ball went out to Murphy and he was one on one with the left-back who had no cover.

A dream scenario for any winger, especially against lower league opposition, yet he showed no ambition or confidence, a player who seems to be going nowhere.

Hayden – 3:

He has once again said in recent days that he doesn’t want to be here and we could see that today.

Hayden says he will give his best until he leaves but that wasn’t the case today.

Longstaff – 4:  

Felt sorry for him today.

Rafa putting out a negative formation and the young midfielder getting next to no help from Hayden.

Should have still done better than this.

Ritchie – 6: 

Ran his socks off and must have felt it was a punishment being asked to play in this set-up.

Forced to play most of the match too deep in Rafa’s negative formation but created best chance of first half when his shot outside the box was only parried and Joselu should have scored.

Got his just reward with a cool penalty put away.

Kenedy – 3: 

Would love to go through the match with him and ask what he was trying to do.

Given a free role at the start but made zero impact.

Looks like another who is not that interested in being here and/or hasn’t got a clue about what he should be doing.

Joselu – 2: 


He and Murphy were liabilities.

Struggled to control the ball and a belting pass from Shelvey that put him in on goal was somehow turned into a crowded out shot from an impossible angle.

God help us if Rondon gets injured.


Shelvey – 7:

His 33 minutes showed he was a class above anybody else on the pitch.

Has to start any game from now until the end of the season in the Premier League. How on earth Hayden played ahead of him against Man Utd is a mystery.

Some of his passing was sublime, just a shame it was the likes of Joselu that these passes fell to.

Atsu -6:

Did ok in his 15 minutes and at least suggested he was better than this Championship opposition.

Still no end product though.

Perez 6:

Has struggled in the Premier League this season but his 10 minutes plus injury time today, at least showed he has a certain level of quality.

For once went direct and dribbled into the box, the penalty looked a little soft but Perez deserved it because of the rare desire he had shown in his run into the box.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Blackburn 1


Newcastle – Ritchie 84 (Pen)

Blackburn – Dack 56

Possession was Blackburn 46% Newcastle 54%

Total shots were  Blackburn 7 Newcastle 19

Shots on target were Blackburn 3 Newcastle 9

Corners were  Blackburn 8 Newcastle 7

Referee: Kevin Friend

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Manquillo , Schar, Lejeune, Sterry, Ritchie, Longstaff (Perez 80), Hayden (Shelvey 57), Murphy (Atsu 75), Kenedy, Joselu

Unused Subs:

Harker, Clark, Yedlin, Rondon

Crowd: 36,440  (3,000 Blackburn)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction HERE)

(Rafa Benitez “A replay is bad news” – Read HERE)

To feature like Jane Clark submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here

  • ScreamStevie

    A lot of the second string and young talent looked like they’d found their level today; the Championship. I just don’t see the likes of Sterry and Longstaff making it in the Premiership. Indeed you can see why Rafa sold Adam Armstrong.

  • Rob

    Haven’t been this season and won’t go until the club is sold. Until Ashley is gone there is no hope of challenging never mind winning anything.

    Not sure Ashley can take the fans for granted again if there is another relegation.

    • Mr_Kinnear

      If you look back at some of the reasons people go to SJP then he can clearly take them for granted.

      • Rob

        Last season we sold out a lot of games. This season you can see tickets available up to the last minute.

        Most attendees are season ticket holders. If they see no reason to renew then attendances will further suffer.

        I don’t expect empty grounds but a significant drop in attendance is plausible.

  • Paul Patterson

    Massive overreaction with those ratings.

    It’s like we got beat 4-0 with our full strength side.
    Slating youngsters in a game the club doesn’t really want to play is harsh in the extreme.

    • KennyS

      I think the problem is, how many of them took the opportunity to show anything resembling decent football.
      Yes let’s not overreact but I think the under 23’s should be biting at the bit and desperate to do well, you just don’t see that at Newcastle, never!

  • csh

    A 2 for Joselu? Is that 1 for each bootlace he remembered how to tie?

    • fistsofsteel2

      He tied his laces ok, but failed to notice he’d put two left boots on.

    • yorkshiregeordie

      To be fair to Joselu he won nearly every header he went up for. Shame his touch and passing are utter s****

  • yorkshiregeordie

    Thought Longstaff did well. Murphy was awful, but Kenedy and Hayden were woeful. Kenedy attempting a rainbow flick when we are 1 down was priceless and also trying a back heel to give possession away in his own half, which led to there goal was ridiculous. Really bad game of football to watch. Rafa tactics were boring once again :(

    • Ram Kishore

      Rafa playing Kennedy out of position once again. Making him look very bad.

      • yorkshiregeordie

        Where is he supposed to play mate? Cos every time he got the ball he looked clueless. Either attempting tricks in his own half or getting his feet tangled up in theirs.

        • Ram Kishore

          If he looks clueless Rafa needs to drop him, make him learn. Changing him from his natural position isn’t gonna do much good to a guy who is not focussed.
          Just look at Atsu, was out of the team for sometime but he was getting sub appearances. Now finally he has nailed his place at least for now.

  • Hughie

    Shockingly embarrassingly amateurish standard. Get rid of Hayden, Kenedy, Joselu, Sterry, Murphy now. Terrible players not fit to wear the shirt- 36000 conned yet again by this appalling advert for our great city.

    • Toontaff

      I blame Rafa for Murphy going nowhere/backwards – when he actually played well, creating goal v Everton, he was dropped!

  • Kenny

    The only thing i can think of that`s more shocking is Monk pulling himself stupid over Perez.

  • South toon

    Joselu was on the pitch for 95mins….95MINS!!!!
    enough said….

    • Mrkgw

      I just don’t get the persistence in playing him. Maybe it’s the former Real Madrid link, who knows. But, he isn’t good enough – period.

      • Stephen Paylor

        Rafa wanted to rest Rondon so who else would he play? Muto is now gone and err… there isn’t anyone else.

        • Captain_Leslie_Hero

          Sorenson? He can’t be worse.
          If we’re genuinely going to have no players come in this window. I think Rafa has to just get over himself and recall either Saivet or Colback as cover especially considering we will be without Ki for quite some time. Hayden is absolutely shocking he clearly has no interest in playing for us at this point. Yellow card Colback is also a better option at cover left back than Manquillo could ever hope to why Rafa let Anita go for free and spent transfer money on that waste of shirt I will honestly never know.

          • Toontaff

            We know we’re really shytewhen Jack Passback and Henri Whothe4k are our saviours!

          • Billmag

            Excuse me but is this April the first, Hayden is poor but Colback is a long way worse, you’ve mentioned 3 names there Anita, Colback, and Saviet are all really poor player’s.

        • Mrkgw


  • GlasgowMag

    Just watched the highlights on MOTD [email protected] hell that was quick!!🤔🤔😂😂🤣🤣

  • Billmag

    Longstaff looked lost as he did against Forest in the League Cup, as Jane alluded to he got no help from a disinterested Hayden, we have too many players that are simply not good enough.

  • Natturner26

    Perez is an eyhole but he’s saved us again. Without him we’d probably be playing in the Championship this year.

    • Tommy

      That was a cup match if you noticed & he does nothing in the league
      he`s not worth a light.

      • fistsofsteel2

        His goal got us 3pts against Watford.

        • Tommy

          He`s useless. 2 players on that pitch deserve a shirt,
          Lejeune and Shelvey, the rest would struggle in the championship

          • ScreamStevie

            It was his run that lead to the penalty and just before another run got us a free kick just outside the area that Lejeune wasted. What Natturner26 is probably referring to is Perez run of form at the end of last season which probably saved us from relegation.

          • Natturner26

            Exactly Tommy must’ve missed last season.

      • Ram Kishore

        Should blame Rafa to let Lejeune take the free kick.
        Do we really have any good free kick takers other Ritchie.

        • Kenny

          Nothing can save us from embarrassment.

          • Big John

            You are embarrassing with your absence of knowledge. Look at the stats. Perez has been one of out most important players the last few years. Go away troll

          • Billmag

            You are the troll, Perez is the most frustrating player ever to pull a black n white shirt on.

          • Ram Kishore

            Lol. I know it’s hard to accept Perez was our saviour yesterday. But it’s the truth

  • fistsofsteel2

    Couldn’t Ashley give Joselu a job in one of his Sports Direct shops instead of making him pretend to be a footballer?

    • Martin Rooney

      That’s Rafa’s decision

  • Tommy

    That match confirmed that not only are the first team not good enough but there is no back up whatsoever, no wonder Rafa is past himself.

    • Martin Rooney

      Rafa spent over £100 mil on them and Elliot darlow Woodman lascelles see shelvey dummett perez were all there before he bought a player.
      £139 mil spent on players for the 7 positions not occupied by four of the above on a weekly basis.
      That could be an avg of £20m per player though that’s not the quality I watch each week.

      Rafa God? Don’t think so!

      • Kenny

        Your`e delusional if you think Rafa is buying the players.

        • Big John

          Ok then. Can you provide us with any evidence that Rafa isn’t buying the players please? We like facts not conspiracy theories. Show me any evidence that he is not buying the players please. Thanks.

          • Billmag

            Carr recommended Sells hence he left the club not long after. Who’s to say he still hasn’t got his input on other failure’s.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Rafa says he has the final say on all deals … is he a liar?

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          It’s in his contract

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Exactly! You also have to look at the buys before this squad was formed … wasted money on Sels, Gamez, Hanley, Lazar AND the utter crime of letting Mbabu leave without ever giving him a chance in order to buy the likes of Gamez, Hanley and Lazar… followed by Manquillo!!!!!!

    • Martin Rooney

      Rafa bought most of them

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      Maybe the football philosophy is at fault … how rigid can a manager be even against weak opposition

  • Wor Lass

    So Longstaff is useless because the other players let him down but anyone else is just useless full stop. Is he the new Aarons? He hasn`t even had a good game yet. Anyway, it sounds dire – glad I didn`t stay up for it.

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      That’s the agenda pushed by the chronicle as well ..,

  • HarryHype59

    Just a thought – was Murphy actually a Rafa signing or a Hickson/ Charnley one? Either way he has looked like a rabbit in the headlights most times he is selected? His current resale value must be one third of what was paid for him!

    • Ram Kishore

      If he was Rafa’s, Rafa had wasted too much on players with the little money that is available.
      Gouffron is a miss, had he signed an extension we wouldn’t have gone for Murphy ig.

      • Martin Rooney

        Does nobody remember how good he was when he came he has had his passion for going forward ripped out of him his confidence is shatteted, Rafa the control freak has ruined him.

        • Ram Kishore

          He should have given him regular runs atleast after the Everton match imo

          • Toontaff

            He looks bereft of confidence.

          • Billmag

            The boy looked lost Ram.

      • mentalman

        The norwich fans always said they kept the better brother.

        Having said that he is still very young, plays a game does well and then disappears for months. Last season he played well when he got a run if games.

        It was clear last night his confidence is shot and perhaps a loan move will do him good

        • Ram Kishore

          Rafa should have played him in these tight fixtures in December regularly. I feel like Rafa is being stubborn
          Norwich fans may be right, but his goal and assists returns are more better than Josh Murphy.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            No in the premiership

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          He’s 22/23 …. the frightening thing is that we missed Maddison when scouting at Norwich

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        No he didn’t .. he put ONE single decent cross into the box that resulted in a good goal.. apart from that he did the same as always … re watch the match and look at his impact other than the goal… it’s zero.

        • Ram Kishore

          Ok he’s a poor player.
          Then Rafa wasted 10m on the player while he was being starved for funds by Ashley. Rafa should have been shrewd.
          On a shoestring budget wasting 10. Doesn’t seem right.
          I’m a fan of Rafa but doesn’t mean I can accept he’s right all the time.

          With the way we are playing, the whole team is hoping for one miracle moment every match. Then we sit back.
          That moment was given by Murphy against Everton.
          Against Huddersfield it was given by Perez, Manq to Rondon.

          I can put up with the way we play in PL because survival is the priority but not in FA cup too against a bottom half championship team.

          Maybe I’m all wrong because I’m just a fan and not a FA cup, champions league winning manager.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            £12 million

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      Of course he was a Rafa signing, Rafa has total control on signings.. that’s why we have had Sels, Gamez, Hanley, Lazar, Joselu, Murphy and Muto bought but not used … disgrace

      • HarryHype59

        I am not sure he actually was signed by Rafa! Can you prove every one of those you mentioned were? I agree this club has wasted millions on sub standard players

  • TheFatController

    ‘Oh what a pass, we’re in….ah, it’s him…where’s he going? Hang on – penalty? No. You’re joking, he turned inside and fell over when clean through???’

    I’m presuming my inner dialogue doesn’t differ from anyone else’s when Shelvey made that defence splitting pass ?

    • Toontaff

      That looked like a refusal from The Hoss….or was it a runout…….needs David Broome riding him!

  • Weyhhadaway

    Just a blip lads, we are gonna murder them and go all the way. A glorious trip to the twin towers……
    Cool, here comes the med cart.
    The only twin towers coming our way are from Mordor. The Black irks being the refs who hate us and of course the ugliest ork of all Merson.

  • pedrodelgardo

    That looked like a below average Championship game between two teams with no confidence – very worrying.

  • Leicester Mag

    We’ve simply no system to develop youngsters due to close to zero investment. Yet another example of the systematic deliberate running down of the club maximised for no other purpose than to shop window a grotty brand that itself is a flagship for amoral capitalism.

    Be under no illusions this is as good as it gets under Ashley. There can be no doubt where the money is going and will continue to go. No doubt the level of snearing contempt fans, past heros and the region are held in.

    Surely some semblance of pride and passion says enough is enough.

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      We developed Mbabu

  • Kenny

    We are near the end game, come May the manager will leave & we might well be in the championship next year.
    you [email protected]@kers who buy season tickets are as much to blame as the Fat [email protected] and you deserve each other.

    • Big John

      Troll. You probably never went to games before Ashley. So don’t start having a go at real fans for going. Troll vermin.

    • Billmag

      Don’t bite Kenny,Troll Alert.

    • We’ll support you evermore

      Stand outside the gallowgate after any match when us fans are leaving and spout this s h I t e. You wouldn’t last 2 minutes

  • Toontaff

    Is Jane one of Clarko’s pseudonyms? I’d wager a few Euros on it…………….

    • Billmag