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Graeme Jones amusingly (unintentionally…) compares Newcastle United with Barcelona

3 weeks ago

Graeme Jones took charge of his third game as interim manager of Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium.

This time though he had (permanent) new manager in waiting, Eddie Howe watching from the stands.

Howe expected to be named imminently as the new boss, sitting alongside Amanda Staveley and Jason Tindall, who was his assistant at Bournemouth and expected to be working alongside him as well at St James Park.

Graeme Jones coming out with some ‘interesting’ comments / views about what we had all just watched…

“I think they will see this performance and realise they inherit a healthy football club.”

“The response from the boys was outstanding.”

“In the end I think there was only one team in it.”

If you overheard a conversation and ‘outstanding’, ‘only one team in it’ and ‘healthy football club’ were mentioned, then given a hundred guesses, I think you still might be struggling when trying to successfully guess it was Newcastle United being talked about.

Graeme Jones seems a canny bloke and got a lot of easy praise early on from Newcastle fans, for simply not being Steve Bruce. However, with these type of comments above, I can’t help but start to feel like I am listening to John Carver once again.

My brain not able to compute what Jones is saying and match it up with what my eyes have been watching.

Maybe the best (unintentionally) comment though from Graeme Jones after the lucky 1-1 draw at Brighton, was when he declared: ‘You can’t go from the Tottenham game where we were wide open, to playing like Barcelona.’

Hmmm. Well, comparisons with Barcelona are actually very valid with Newcastle United at this moment in time.

Barcelona are also in an absolute mess, only two wins in their last nine La Liga matches and ninth in the table (closer too the relegation zone than top of the table), unable to spend anything in the summer, forced to let iconic star player Lionel Messi go, having to make a profit of almost £70m in the summer transfer market to help ease the very severe financial situation.

For Newcastle United, hopefully financial worries are going to be the least of our concerns moving forward, but on the pitch United have absolutely massive issues to sort, totally at odds with what the interim manager is claiming.

On that subject, Graeme Jones repeatedly claiming that he has been promised a job no matter who comes in, is all vey bizarre. Not something that the new owners have publicly stated themselves.

It is all a bit bewildering as, how could anybody know for sure who the new manager would / wouldn’t want in his backroom staff? Once again, it feels all a bit like when John Carver was interim manager or whatever his title was, time and again you would be scratching your head and thinking, has he really said that?

Anyway, it hasn’t been pretty and certainly there has been massive luck in Graeme Jones picking up two draws in the three games he has had in temporary charge, but two points picked up that may prove the difference this season.

Jones’ job is done, or not as the case may be.

Interesting to see what this reality proves to be, when Eddie Howe gets himself settled in and starts addressing the serious issues that exist at Newcastle United on the football side of things, deciding how he wants to proceed…and with who.

Graeme Jones reflecting on the 1-1 draw at Brighton and asked about the presence of Eddie Howe (and his former Bournemouth assistant) Jason Tindall who were sitting next to Amanda Staveley in the stands:

“I have not spoken to them [Howe and Tindall].

“I think they will see this performance and realise they inherit a healthy football club.

“We are all together here.

“We have had a bad start [to the season] and every point matters.

“I was assured from minute one that the owners wanted me as part of any management team that comes in, I’m delighted.

“We will have to see what the future holds but hopefully I will still be here.

“The response from the boys was outstanding.

“Brighton are an on the ball team and the power is always with an on the ball team, we had to be in the game and slowly grow into it.

“We improved the high press today and we were better playing out from the back.

“In the end I think there was only one team in it.

“I wanted a win…[but] another VAR decision against us, it happens,.

“I’m not disputing that but I’m talking about the reaction of the players.

“We have had some difficult moments this season, but the group is together, and you saw that with the response in the second half.

“I can see Callum [Wilson] running that into the back of the net [when brought down and the keeper red carded].

“Things have gone against us but no one will feel sorry for you.

“You have to do something about it, that is the performance we got today.

“You have to start with solidity, which we did against Chelsea and today we were more on the front foot.

“You can’t go from the Tottenham game where we were wide open, to playing like Barcelona.

“There is a process, we are still in it and I think if I were Eddie [Howe] I would go away quite happy.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Brighton 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 6 November 5.30pm



Trossard pen 24, Sanchez 90+2 red card


Hayden 66

Stats in brackets are at half-time:

Possession was Brighton 66% (67%) Newcastle 34% (33%)

Total shots were Brighton 14 (6) Newcastle 6 (2)

Shots on target were Brighton 5 (3) Newcastle 1 (0)

Corners were Brighton 2 (2) Newcastle 5 (2)

Referee: David Coote

Crowd: 31,267 (Newcastle 3,100)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Murphy, Krafth (Gayle 90+4), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Almiron (Joelinton 74), Saint-Maximin, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Schar, Lewis, Fraser, Willock, Longstaff, Manquillo

(Graham Potter reflects after dropping points to one shot on target Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer on the money with verdict after Newcastle make it 12 games and no wins – Read HERE)

(Brighton 1 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Brighton 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s comeback draw – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer on that Brighton penalty and…Eddie Howe getting Newcastle United job – Read HERE)


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