Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal: A dismal end to a game we started strongly – Benitez got it wrong

Despite a promising start and a decidedly average Arsenal performance, we slipped to yet another defeat – with a late header from Ciaran Clark being too little too late after goals from Xhaka and Ozil early in the second half.

What’s so frustrating is that we actually did well in the first half. We didn’t create many chances and our lack of quality meant we failed to make the most of our dominance, but considering many were underwhelmed by Rafa’s team selection (picking Joselu, Hayden and Murphy over Rondon, Shelvey and Kenedy) I was pretty happy with what I saw going into the break.

The second half was abysmal, however. We’d worked hard in the first half to keep ourselves in the game and were competing well, yet we let that slip immediately. We switched off, we stopped pressing, our intensity disappeared and some even started looking uninterested late on – even though a goal would’ve changed everything.

Benitez will get criticism for his team selection, but my biggest issue lies with his substitutions today. It’s easy to say in hindsight, but I was surprised and disappointed not to see either Rondon or Shelvey come on. Kenedy is so low on confidence and that showed and it didn’t feel like Muto knew where he was playing when he came on.

Arsenal looked pretty frail at the back, meaning Rondon could’ve had a field day, and we were crying out for Shelvey given our lack of creativity.

Here’s what Rafa’s had to say after the game:

“It’s very clear that the first half, we doing really well. It’s something I was expecting because we wanted to press & show this determination to win the game but everything changed with the early goal in the second half & when you want to react you concede another goal.”

“I am not concerned because I know my team really well. We have been close. Now we have to make the difference in the final third.”

On the plus side, I was very impressed by Federico Fernandez once again, but that’s now four games against the league’s ‘top six’ in our first five games and four 2-1 defeats. All marginal, but all defeats.

Ironically, our worst performance of the lot was probably away to Cardiff – a game we would’ve won if Kenedy put that last minute penalty away.

Next up is Palace away – a slightly more ‘winnable’ game perhaps (being a welcome break from the league’s ‘top six’), but one that won’t be easy at all.

It feels like it’s going to be a long, hard season but we need to stick together now – it will get easier, but we need to be much better than we were in the end today.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

121 thoughts on “Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal: A dismal end to a game we started strongly – Benitez got it wrong

  1. Heard to play well with 9 men,might as well have as Perez and Hayden were rubbish the did sweet FA and Kenedy made it eight when he came on,this is going to be a hard hard yr

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  2. On recent performances Kenedy did not deserve to start or even be on the bench. And he proved it when he came on. At least Murphy puts in the effort and is fast. Needs to improve his crossing. I would prefer Longstaff and Roberts on the bench. Why can’t we do simple pass and move. We can’t pass and we don’t move. Today we were guilty of the big boot forward in the air. Second division football.

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  3. Thought the ref had a good game but unless he saw something I didn’t it looked as though Kenedy had won a corner whereas the ref gave a free kick to Arsenal even though the Arsenal man charged in at speed. Other than that thought he was excellent. He twice spotted Monreal pushes in the back that the linesman failed to flag.

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  4. Groucho:
    Thought the ref had a good game but unless he saw something I didn’t it looked as though Kenedy had won a corner whereas the ref gave a free kick to Arsenal even though the Arsenal man charged in at speed. Other than that thought he was excellent. He twice spotted Monreal pushes in the back that the linesman failed to flag.

    Agree on the ref,best one yet,long ball! I watched Spurs game all they did was pump long balls up to Kane the whole game,bet the cricits say nowt about them,Spurs got their come-up – ins

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  5. I’m still angry about that performance. We were absolutely dismal against a team that were there for the taking. We have too many players who just aren’t PL quality. The passing accuracy was dreadful with passes missing the target by 10, 20 or even 30 yards. Totally depressing and without so many of our best players we are awful. 5 or 6 of that starting line up should never play again.

    A slight positive is Fernandez. He looks a real good defender and alongside Lejeune will be great.

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  6. Why are there ads in amongst the comments??

    Eric – I disagree mate. Shelvey is an important player for us, no doubt about that. But him being in the side won’t make Joselu and Perez a better finisher. We didn’t loose yesterday because we weren’t creating chances, we lost coz we had no quality in the final 3rd.
    We should have been going in at half time ahead imo.

    Rafa being accused of getting it wrong yesterday. I’ve never had a problem in saying it when it’s been the case, but I’m not sure yesterday. I think he was right to go back to 4-2-3-1. The gripe was Hayden, Murphy and Joselu. Hayden was wrong. He doesn’t want to be here so should be nowhere near the 1st team imo. Murphy I dont have a problem with, and actually thought he did ok in the 1st half – lacked a bit of composure but that’s probably down to lack of game time and confidence. Joselu was probably down to a lack of options. Rondon has travelled some miles in the Int break, plus Joselu is more mobile chasing down the gunners defence for that high press.

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  7. I was disappointed with the goals that we conceded yesterday as well.
    When a free kick is that close and is clearly going to be a shot at goal rather than a cross into the box, I never understand why there is never a defender put on that post behind the wall. Dubravka was stood the other side of the goal and there was a huge target to hit if he got the ball over the wall. Why not stick a defender there and if nothing else it makes that target a lot smaller.
    The 2nd goal Dubravka should have saved – simple as that. Lazy defending by Diame in the build up, but Dubravka should definitely have done better.

    Georgio – I thought effort in the 1st was very good, but lacked quality. 2nd half – especially after the goal, we were really poor.
    I agree about Fernandez though, he’s a very good centre back.

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  8. seems Rafa and Joselu fell out at the end think it could be his lack of covering on their 2nd goal,Perez and Haydon are crap and should not play again,Muto can come in for Perez plus young Longstaff has to be better than Haydon.just dont know why Rafa sticks with Perez week in week out

    Chelsea looking at Mitro 🙄 🙄

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  9. When you have a striker who cost £5m starting and a striker who we get on Lon from a relegated club on the bench what do people accept? Oh and have a I mentioned Muto. Another one who cost less than half of Nathan Ake, a centre half and less than half of James Maddison, a midfielder.

    Is anybody still surprised by our incompetence…

    Cardiff and Huddersfield are the two I hope with any confidence to think we’re better than. I’m struggling for the rest.

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  10. SHARPY agree with keeper quotes,i also think he should have done better with first goal,hoping it was a bit of jet lag as he only got back Friday i think so would not be at his sharpest hes better than that imo

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  11. hope we are better in the lge by xmas otherwise we will never find a buyer thats if jabba really wants to sell,which i doubt very much

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  12. Stuart – I’m not surprised really but the lack of quality in the simplest things like passing to a team mate is embarrassing.

    Sharpy – although I agree we were better first half we never looked like scoring. We had about 8 corners and never threatened at all. Murphy, Joselu Hayden are all rubbish. Unless Perez and Diame are on top form then so are they. Juries out on Muto although that doesn’t look promising either and Kenedy’s confidence is totally shot. No wonder we’re a shambles and I don’t think Rafa’s helping right now.

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  13. Eric is right , Torriera was the difference 2nd half, he bossed that midfield and constantly moved the ball forward. I do think Rafa was wrong not to bring on Rondon, despite his travels he would of managed 30 or even 45 minutes I’m sure and would of worried that Arsenal defence.

    Ice, Spurs look very out of sorts imo, we should of gotten something from them and had Kenedy converted the Cardiff spot kick we’d look somewhat better now.

    People saying things will start getting easier now, they won’t , away to palace will be very difficult especially with their talisman free scoring. He’s also had a little moan about not getting any protection from refs on tv so expect him to get another penalty next weekend against us. 🙄 Anyone would think CP never got pens to hear him talk, he should try playing for us.

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  14. Georgio, Hayden is utter pants mate, I have never rated him and he simply isn’t even trying right now. Need to offload him in January.
    Thought Fernandez was excellent and that Murphy worked really hard too, given a run of games he can be a real asset to us I think.
    We need Shelvey back urgently, our midfield isn’t firing at all at the moment and given our limitations up front we need a solid midfield to create and protect our weakened defence.

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  15. icedog:
    seems Rafa and Joselu fell out at the end think it could be his lack of covering on their 2nd goal,Perez and Haydon are crap and should not play again,Muto can come in for Perez plus young Longstaff has to be better than Haydon.just dont know why Rafa sticks with Perez week in week out

    Chelsea looking at Mitro

    Ice – I watched the WBA game on Friday night, and Gayle is not quality imo – I don’t feel like we are missing him.
    But Mitrovic has been and always will be one I disagree with Rafa on. I think it’s a flaw of his that he wasn’t able or prepared to abapt his ways to build a team around him.

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  16. icedog:
    ime looking for anything to cheer me up

    me too mate, can’t remember feeling so fed up with football in general.
    The lad is going into week 3 of being at home poorly too, was poorly on his birthday and no win to cheer us up.

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  17. icedog:
    SHARPY agree with keeper quotes,i also think he should have done better with first goal,hoping it was a bit of jet lag as he only got back Friday i think so would not be at his sharpest hes better than that imo

    Ice – yeah im not being overly critical coz he’s been excellent since he came in. Bad day at the office yesterday, but I’d still be putting a defender on that post.

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  18. Sharpy, you know I like Mitro too, would of loved him to stay. One thing though, it’s ok building your team around an individual but what happens when they are out injured or suspended ? Palace are a classic example of a one man team with Zaha, they always lose when he’s out .

    I’ll tell you another thing that’s really irritated me. When he was with us all we ever heard from pundits was he’s got a poor return and he’s a liability a red card waiting to happen. Now he’s not our player anymore everyone is waxing lyrical about the lad, go figure . Yes he’s scoring but they all wrote him off before he got a fair chance, bit like Rafa did.
    Call me paranoid but I really think the media hate us.

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  19. Sharpy, mate, I’m with you all the way on defenders on the post for set pieces like that, I just don’t understand why teams don’t do it or am I missing something.

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  20. georgio:
    Stuart – I’m not surprised really but the lack of quality in the simplest things like passing to a team mate is embarrassing.

    Sharpy – although I agree we were better first half we never looked like scoring. We had about 8 corners and never threatened at all. Murphy, Joselu Hayden are all rubbish. Unless Perez and Diame are on top form then so are they. Juries out on Muto although that doesn’t look promising either and Kenedy’s confidence is totally shot. No wonder we’re a shambles and I don’t think Rafa’s helping right now.

    Georgio – I don’t think Murphy is a bad player, he just looks a bit lost when he’s playing. He doesn’t seem to know what his role is – he doesn’t seem to know how to balance the offensive with defensive – and as a result doesn’t do either very well.
    If you saw the Cardiff game, his brother was clearly told to just focus on getting the ball and run at Manquillo and he looked so much better than our Murphy. Our Murphy ran at Bellerin in the 1st half and caused him problems – and stopped him being an offensive threat. I don’t know if he ran out of steam or was told to get back and defend as well, but he was less effective in the 2nd half.

    What I would say for him though, is that he was better than Kenedy has been. He’s showed the desire that Kenedy hasn’t been.

    Joselus workrate is the only thing that keeps him in the side. Hayden shouldn’t be near the first team imo and Longstaff should be ahead of him.

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  21. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, you know I like Mitro too, would of loved him to stay.One thing though, it’s ok building your team around an individual but what happens when they are out injured or suspended ? Palace are a classic example of a one man team with Zaha, they always lose when he’s out .

    I’ll tell you another thing that’s really irritated me. When he was with us all we ever heard from pundits was he’s got a poor return and he’s a liability a red card waiting to happen. Now he’s not our player anymore everyone is waxing lyrical about the lad, go figure . Yes he’s scoring but they all wrote him off before he got a fair chance, bit like Rafa did.
    Call me paranoid but I really think the media hate us.

    Kim – I know what you mean. I had Spurs in mind as I was writing that comment. If Kane doesn’t score, who does??? Other than City and Lpool – I think all teams have that 1 player that if they loose they struggle. There would have to be a plan B – and why not Mitro first choice, Rondon back up – then I wouldn’t see too much change needed. We sold Mitro and ended up £20m profit from player sales.
    Mitro is clearly a talent and it’s criminal that not only did we sell him (when our front line is so lacking in quality), but we sold him to a relegation rival, and then didn’t spend that money to replace him (that bit clearly wasn’t Rafas fault)

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  22. Sharpy, there is no way on earth Ashley would sanction Rafa having Mitro and Rondon, Rafa had to fight tooth and nail just to loan Rondon .
    It all comes back to Ashley, one way or another he is set on running us on a shoe string budget .

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  23. Just look at his concluding sentence /thought here. Tells you everything you need to know.

    Mike Ashley statement:

    “Despite significant challenges within the retail sector in the UK and beyond, which have resulted in many retailers failing, Sports Direct have continued to perform well and exceed expectations.

    “As I stated on Wednesday, the acquisition of House of Fraser will be a game changer. I welcome its staff and suppliers into the Sports Direct family, and we look forward to building a brighter and significant future.

    “Despite this progress and the undoubted good performance of Sports Direct led by Keith Hellawell and myself, the company’s shareholders appear to be affected by the pressure of the media and certain other organisations, and they have failed to support Sports Direct, Keith and myself, on this journey.

    “It is blatantly apparent that true entrepreneurs will never be accepted in the public arena.

    “The media circus surrounding Sports Direct, including but not restricted to matters connected to our AGM, only proves that whatever progress Sports Direct makes, it will always be subject to disproportionate scrutiny and misrepresentation.

    “In the light of the above and despite the substantial progress made over the last few years, the shareholders have now made it extremely challenging for future engagement to take place.

    “On the one hand they are delighted with our performance and progress, yet with the other hand they have stabbed Sports Direct and myself in the back by repeatedly hounding Keith Hellawell

    “The people within the Sports Direct group, including House of Fraser, are and will continue to be my number one priority.”

    Mike Ashley

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  24. bloody water bill £278,Oxfam say give £2 a mouth and give water for life,maybe a should change and get my supply somewhere else 😆 😆

    anything to cheer me up 🙁

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  25. The fatman really does need to be an entrepreneurial genius to repurpose House of Fraser as Harrods. It will not just be about changing the logo on the green bags. There is a reason HoF went broke. It is happening to department stores all around the world. The reason is Amazon.

    Ashley must be smart to have done so well. However, he has messed up NUFC, so he can’t be that smart. As I have said before, unless House of Fraser is a property play and they repurpose it, I doubt Fatty will be gloating about it for long.

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  26. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, there is no way on earth Ashley would sanction Rafa having Mitro and Rondon, Rafa had to fight tooth and nail just to loan Rondon .
    It all comes back to Ashley, one way or another he is set onrunning us on a shoe string budget .

    Kim – Mitro had nowt to do with Rondon coming in though. It was Gayle going the other way that was key to getting Rondon in – on loan anyway.
    The thing with Mitro was that he was a top earner who wasn’t getting played. That’s why Ashley wanted him off the books. But if Rafa was playing him, or had him in his plans then it wouldn’t have been an issue.

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  27. Watching Burnley and thinking about the irony of Joe Hart doing his shampoo commercial and going bald.

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  28. icedog:
    bloody water bill £278,Oxfam say give £2 a mouth and give water for life,maybe a should change and get my supply somewhere else

    anything to cheer me up

    Bloody hell Ice, what you doing there?!
    Del Boys water rates weren’t that high when he was running Peckham Springs!!! ?

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  29. Eric Sykes:
    Watching Burnley and thinking about the irony of Joe Hart doing his shampoo commercial and going bald.

    Eric – I can’t understand why he’s at Burnley and getting in ahead of Heaton and Pope when that has been Burnley’s biggest strength over the last few seasons.

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  30. what worries me is we offer very little going forward no matter who we play even less without Shelvey,we cannot keep blaming the strikers “who”is making chances for whoever is up front

    Wolves have started well

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  31. Eric Sykes:
    Watching Burnley and thinking about the irony of Joe Hart doing his shampoo commercial and going bald.

    i used that wash and go mate and sure enough it went 🙁 🙁

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  32. I am getting more certain now that it is between us, Cardiff, Huddersfield and Burnley for the drop. Hopefully West Ham as well.

    Burnley set up like us.

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  33. Eric Sykes:
    I am getting more certain now that it is between us, Cardiff, Huddersfield and Burnley for the drop. Hopefully West Ham as well.

    Burnley set up like us.

    Welcome to the club, Eric.

    It will get to January and we won’t spend any money because Jabba would prefer to keep it and use it to get us back up. How exciting.

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  34. Stuart79: Welcome to the club, Eric.

    It will get to January and we won’t spend any money because Jabba would prefer to keep it and use it to get us back up. How exciting.

    You probably remember that I said we would have 5 or 6 points after 8 games so I wasn’t that enthusiastic to start with. I thought bottom 3 at Christmas and still think so.

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  35. Watching the Wolves tear apart Burnley is getting me a bit pissed off. Burnley play like us and if I wasn’t a NUFC fan I wouldn’t watch us. Boring football.

    I still don’t want us to be relegated but we need to get on the front foot more.

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  36. Sharpy – ” I don’t think Murphy is a bad player, he just looks a bit lost when he’s playing.”
    That’s my definition of a poor player! The bloke’s nearly 24 and still looks like a kid playing his first game. Complete waste of £12m.

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  37. Eric Sykes:
    Watching the Wolves tear apart Burnley is getting me a bit pissed off. Burnley play like us and if I wasn’t a NUFC fan I wouldn’t watch us. Boring football.

    I still don’t want us to be relegated but we need to get on the front foot more.

    Eric – I think the trouble is that’s Rafas way mate – in the same way it’s Dyches way at Burnley. If Rafa had money we’d still play this way, we’d just do it more effectively. He’d have bought Rondon and Kenedy rather than loaned them.
    But going back to Lpool he’s played this way. It brings some success as proved with Lpool and Chelsea – but it’s not always the prettiest football to watch – hence why the Chelsea fans wanted him replaced.
    I suppose it’s similar to Jose as well – he plays a certain way that’s brought him success, but it ain’t always pretty.

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  38. georgio:
    Sharpy – ” I don’t think Murphy is a bad player, he just looks a bit lost when he’s playing.”
    That’s my definition of a poor player! The bloke’s nearly 24 and still looks like a kid playing his first game. Complete waste of £12m.

    I’m not sure that would be my definition mate, but I certainly think he has his limitations. I would say Hazard looked a bit lost last season when Conte played him as a forward – I wouldn’t say that makes him a poor player though.
    I think Ritchie has pretty much nailed that wide man role Rafa wants – which is to mix defence with attack. But I don’t think he likes it – he certainly doesn’t seem to out on the pitch – always seems annoyed.

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  39. Eric Sykes:
    Watching the Wolves tear apart Burnley is getting me a bit pissed off. Burnley play like us and if I wasn’t a NUFC fan I wouldn’t watch us. Boring football.

    I still don’t want us to be relegated but we need to get on the front foot more.

    What difference would it make if we get relegated? The saddest indictment of Jabba owners NUFC Is that it genuinely doesn’t really matter what division we play in.

    West Ham have got Chelsea and Man Utd next so if they don’t get anything from today they face the real possibility of having 0 points from 7 games a la Crystal Palace.

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  40. Sharpy17: Eric – I think the trouble is that’s Rafas way mate – in the same way it’s Dyches way at Burnley.If Rafa had money we’d still play this way, we’d just do it more effectively.He’d have bought Rondon and Kenedy rather than loaned them.
    But going back to Lpool he’s played this way.It brings some success as proved with Lpool and Chelsea – but it’s not always the prettiest football to watch – hence why the Chelsea fans wanted him replaced.
    I suppose it’s similar to Jose as well – he plays a certain way that’s brought him success, but it ain’t always pretty.

    I think that’s unfair, Sharpy. Rafa never played defensive with Liverpool or Chelsea. When you consider the amount of goals Torres scored at Liverpool you can’t say he was defensive. They scored a lot of goals one season – maybe 2009/10. He never set up defensively like he has with us against the top teams. He also doesn’t set us up defensively against the rest of the league.

    We haven’t got players who are good enough to play attacking football. We’re like WBA, Cardiff, Huddersfield and the likes now. In fact, we’re lower as we had a smaller budget than every team in the league.

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  41. Stuart79: I think that’s unfair, Sharpy. Rafa never played defensive with Liverpool or Chelsea. When you consider the amount of goals Torres scored at Liverpool you can’t say he was defensive.They scored a lot of goals one season – maybe 2009/10. He never set up defensively like he has with us against the top teams. He also doesn’t set us up defensively against the rest of the league.

    We haven’t got players who are good enough to play attacking football. We’re like WBA, Cardiff, Huddersfield and the likes now. In fact, we’re lower as we had a smaller budget than every team in the league.

    Stu – he did mate, but the big difference was that he had the quality at those 2 clubs for it not to appear so. Quality in midfield with the likes of Gerrard, Alonso and Torres and at Chelsea, players like Lampard, Oscar and Torres/Ba.
    But it was 4-2-3-1 he played back then as well, with the emphasis being a defensive counter attacking side. It was Lpool and Chelsea so of course teams showed them more respect than us – so the need to be as defensive as us wasn’t as great. But against the bigger teams, it was defend and counter.
    I’m not being overly critical there mind Stu, or saying it like it’s a massively negative thing. I’d take what he did at Pool and Chelsea all day long if we had the same quality.
    The only time I’ve really complained about it was against Chelsea, coz I thought it we too defensive for a home game – not that I thought we could have or would have won it with a more offensive approach, but it would have been better to watch if that makes sense.

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  42. Rafa has never been an expansive, attack, attack, attack manager. But he’s never been defensive either.

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  43. And to make matters worse – looks like West Ham will win this won. I’m still looking at only Huddersfield and Cardiff being worse than us so far. Maybe Burnley might struggle but that’s still 3 from only 4.

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  44. Sharpy17: Bloody hell Ice, what you doing there?!
    Del Boys water rates weren’t that high when he was running Peckham Springs!!!

    Sharpy , mines £300 🙁

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  45. Speaking about Hayden, I think it’s a little unfair to say he’s a crap player… I don’t think he’s crap. We bought him to do a job when we were in the championship and he did a job for us… at that level. I think that is where he’s at. He’s a championship player that doesn’t want to be at the Toon. So, whilst I don’t want to see him in the team again, I wouldn’t say he’s bad. Hope he goes in Jan…. we won’t miss him even if he’s not replaced.

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  46. kimtoon: Sharpy , mines £300

    That’s more than my water bill, and I live in the desert! Mind you, my air con bill is exorbitant… ?? we pay water and electricity combined here along with a housing fee (a bit like a council tax)… in August my bill was around £500 ???

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  47. Dubai, Bristol water bill is combined with sewerage cost, the two are one bill. Used to be separate. so maybe not so bad ? Bristol water plc and Wessex water services)

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  48. Sharpy & Kim. Putting someone on the goal line for free kicks or corners is a good point. If my memory serves me right Beardsley who was one of our smallest players often stood on the goal line and saved us quite a few times. Of course I remember Dyer going to sleep on the goal line in a European game and letting in a goal that would have been easy to stop if he had been awake. Sharpy makes a valid point that it gives the kicker less to aim at.

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  49. Stuart79:
    Liverpool scored 77 league goals in 2009-2010. That’s a hell of a lot of counter attacking…

    http://liverpoolfc.wikia.com/wiki/2009-10_season

    Actually Stu, that particular season they scored 61 goals and conceded 35, finished 7th and Rafa ‘left by mutual consent’ at the end of that season.

    But I’m terms of the point your making, Jose is another know for the defensive counter attacking style – last season Man Utd scored 68 goals and only conceded 28, finishing 2nd only behind a stunning City. Lukaku still scored 27 goals.
    As I said before, you can still score goals and have success with that counter approach – it’s just not the always the most exciting footy to watch.

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  50. Dubai Toon:
    Speaking about Hayden, I think it’s a little unfair to say he’s a crap player… I don’t think he’s crap. We bought him to do a job when we were in the championship and he did a job for us… at that level. I think that is where he’s at. He’s a championship player that doesn’t want to be at the Toon. So, whilst I don’t want to see him in the team again, I wouldn’t say he’s bad. Hope he goes in Jan…. we won’t miss him even if he’s not replaced.

    Dubai – I’ve never said he was crap, but I have said he should be in the first team. His heads not in it and I think Rafa is forcing it a bit in a hope it brings him round. I know his options are limited with Shelvey and Ki out, but Hayden should be left out to get his head sorted. For me playing Longstaff who would have that desire and passion would be a better option.

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  51. Groucho:
    Sharpy & Kim. Putting someone on the goal line for free kicks or corners is a good point. If my memory serves me right Beardsley who was one of our smallest players often stood on the goal line and saved us quite a few times. Of course I remember Dyer going to sleep on the goal line in a European game and letting in a goal that would have been easy to stop if he had been awake.Sharpy makes a valid point that it gives the kicker less to aim at.

    Groucho – I just think with a free kick like that, where it’s clearly a shot at goal – once you have your wall in place, the rest are kind of spectators waiting on a rebound or clearances.
    You put Yedlin or Ritchie on that post and it makes the freekick hard.

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  52. So Lucas Perez refused to warm up and go on as sub for WH – he might have only been £4m, but could be a bullet dodged there like – what a tit.

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  53. Sharpy17: http://liverpoolfc.wikia.com/wiki/2009-10_season

    Actually Stu, that particular season they scored 61 goals and conceded 35, finished 7th and Rafa ‘left by mutual consent’ at the end of that season.

    But I’m terms of the point your making, Jose is another know for the defensive counter attacking style – last season Man Utd scored 68 goals and only conceded 28, finishing 2nd only behind a stunning City.Lukaku still scored 27 goals.
    As I said before, you can still score goals and have success with that counter approach – it’s just not the always the most exciting footy to watch.

    08/09 then.

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  54. The football must have been good yesterday if we are talking about water bills in the desert on a NUFC blog.

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  55. Groucho:
    Sharpy & Kim. Putting someone on the goal line for free kicks or corners is a good point. If my memory serves me right Beardsley who was one of our smallest players often stood on the goal line and saved us quite a few times. Of course I remember Dyer going to sleep on the goal line in a European game and letting in a goal that would have been easy to stop if he had been awake.Sharpy makes a valid point that it gives the kicker less to aim at.

    I can only assume that it’s done less nowadays as it effectively takes 2 players out of play and lessens any effective chance of a swift counter attack. I think stats show a significant amount of opposition goals come after the other teams failed corner/set piece.
    But yes you could say a man on each post gives some 4 yards less to aim at, it’s old school now though and not popular though I prefer it, especially if your team is cack at defending set pieces/corners.

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  56. kimtoon: I can only assume that it’s done less nowadays as it effectively takes 2 players out of play and lessens any effective chance of a swift counter attack. I think stats show a significant amount of opposition goals come after the other teams failed corner/set piece.
    But yes you could say a man on each post gives some 4 yards less to aim at, it’s old school now though and not popular though I prefer it, especially if your team is cack at defending set pieces/corners.

    Newcastle are less likely to gain from a counter attack because when defending a corner we bring everybody back instead of leaving someone upfield. Other teams usually leave one man forward and sometimes two. As a result of Newcastle bringing everyone back for a corner it allows the opposition to bring more men forward and it also means it is difficult to clear the ball to one of our players. Hope that makes sense.

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  57. Groucho: Newcastle are less likely to gain froma counter attack because when defending a corner we bring everybody back instead of leaving someone upfield. Other teams usually leave one man forward and sometimes two. As a result of Newcastle bringing everyone back for a corner it allows the opposition to bring more men forward and it also means it is difficult to clear the ball to one of our players.Hope that makes sense.

    I was speaking teams in general more than us mate but I get your drift.

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  58. Eric Sykes:
    West Ham had lost 4 in a row and Sullivan and Gold still went to watch. Where is our owner?

    Eric – whatever’s said about the WH owners, it is clear that they have try and do their best by the club – they may get it wrong sometimes, but their intentions are always to improve the club.
    But Ashley bought NUFC as a hobby, something to do on a weekend. Hoy a black n white shirt on, neck a few pints and sit with the fans.
    Once that bubble burst, he lost interest.

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  59. Jabba didn’t buy NUFC as a hobby. You’re suppose to enjoy a hobby. He bought the club to gather bigger exposure for Sports Direct. It will have worked too. It’s hard to quantify how much it worked and I imagine it’s past it’s peak benefit to Sports Direct. The only way to get Jabba out is to change the relationship between SD and NUFC to a negative one. Once SD aren’t getting any benefit from Association with NUFC then he can ask himself what’s the point in owning NUFC…

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  60. Stuart79:
    Jabba didn’t buy NUFC as a hobby. You’re suppose to enjoy a hobby. He bought the club to gather bigger exposure for Sports Direct. It will have worked too. It’s hard to quantify how much it worked and I imagine it’s past it’s peak benefit to Sports Direct. The only way to get Jabba out is to change the relationship between SD and NUFC to a negative one. Once SD aren’t getting any benefit from Association with NUFC then he can ask himself what’s the point in owning NUFC…

    Stu – for SD it was an advertising hoardings, but for him personally it was a hobby. Don’t you remember at the beginning of his tenure, he was sat wearing a replica strip with Smith on the back, downing pints with the fans?.

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  61. Stu, agree, though I do think he thought he could be one of the lads too. He soon realised though that you don’t **** on your mates. Now he despises us but hangs onto the club for the free advertising and more importantly the revenue SD reaps through the clubs merchandise . One day we will find out exactly how much he has raped the club of lost revenue whilst padding out his babies coffers . You only need look to Rangers and the damage to club revenue he has done with just a 10% stake, even a court couldn’t overrule his contract to take money from them through merchandise sells. Rangers get just 4p out of every £10 that goes through the tills !!

    You know those aliens in independence day that suck the life sources from every planet they invade- that’s mike Ashley. He is a parasite, a cancer, a leech and a playground bully.

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  62. georgio:
    Good point Stuart but tell me – how do you do that?

    Firstly it’s important that we continue to protest outside their stores. We need to do it every away game too. We also need to keep SD in the media in a negative light. Remind people how badly run it is and it’s Victorian style of employment. On line protests are good too. We should absolutely use match days that are on tv as a platform. Flags with derogatory slogans on them about SD. SD t- shirts. They can’t take them off you if that’s all you have on. I’d also ultimately boycott games on tv too. Everyone just stay outside with huge flags about the shame of SD. Tv cameras would be there and that would be the biggest story. The result and match would then be irrelevant. He would hate that.

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  63. Keep targeting his shops, he hates the negativity it’s causing and the close scrutiny it brings on his business practices. Even the top 4 auditors won’t touch his companies now and one of them worked with Carrilion ffs.
    A court has ordered he disclose financial documents just the other day that he was dragging his heals over . The guy is a snake and worse still a manchild , evidence by his statement that he and Keith Halliwell had been ‘stabbed ‘ in the back by SD shareholders.

    That statement was full of self pity and smacked of a kid hoying his toys out the pram, he hates being told what to do. He’s long since picked up his ball and gone off in a huff in so far as Toon are concerned. Stupid child has thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

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