It was an improved performance after Wednesday’s worrying 4-0 hammering in Portugal, but our clear lack of quality in the final third let us down once again.
The attendance seemed low and the atmosphere was pretty flat, however that’s to be expected given our lack of transfer activity, combined with the fact today’s starting XI was almost identical to the team that got us promoted from the second tier two years ago.
The only starter who wasn’t part of our Championship squad was Joselu – and that really does say it all.
We were without doubt the the better team in terms of our general play and chances created, but we just had no one there to put the ball into the back of the net – serving as yet another warning to the board that Benitez NEEDS to be backed with a few new attackers in the few days that remain.
On the plus side, Ki was very impressive. He looked calm but confident on the ball, always playing it forward and picking out some lovely passes both in behind and out wide.
That’s now just TWO goals from open plays in FIVE pre-season games (Longstaff’s goal vs St Patrick and Joselu’s goal vs Hull being the only ones) and no goal in our last three this summer.
Yes it’s just pre-season, but we look set to start next weekend’s season opener against Spurs with Joselu STILL leading the line up top – something which says everything you need to know about the unacceptable summer we’ve all had to endure once again.
On the plus side, a deal for Rondon looks all but agreed, with Gayle going in the opposite direction, but it’s yet another loan deal and a case of too little too late as far as Rafa’s concerned.
? Rafa Benítez spoke to NUFC TV after today's pre-season friendly loss to @FCAugsburg.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 4, 2018
See full player ratings here to see what I made of all 17 players who featured at St James’ Park this afternoon.