Man Utd 3-2 Newcastle: Being a Newcastle United fan will be the death of me.

Newcastle United will be the death of me.

Football can be a cruel game and we’ve had yet another taste of that today, with us conceding three times in the last 20 minutes to lose a game we look destined to win at Old Trafford.

I couldn’t believe what I was watching in the first half. They were absolutely abysmal – looking and playing like a side who wanted Mourinho sacked – but we were brilliant.

Unfortunately, the tables turned in the second half and we could not respond to the pressure they put us under – but is it any surprise when they can bring on Sahcnez and we can bring on Atsu when things changed?

Any sort of a result today would’ve been a real bonus – so it’s tough to take losing a game we could and should have won – however we must take the positives.

Muto was brilliant. His movement was fantastic and he showed a real burst of pace too. He took his goal well with a sharp turn and powerful shot. His energy and intensity up top is something we’ve not had all season, so this could be a huge boost moving forward.

It was also Kenedy’s best performance of the season by quite a distance. His finish was emphatic, he protected Manquillo very well and gave us a dangerous outlet out wide. Let’s hope his late injury isn’t bad.

Perez was better (probably due to him having more to work with up top in Muto), Shelvey ran the show at times, Diame got about the pitch superbly and Yedlin and Lascelles were outstanding at the back.

The fact of the matter is that it’s another game down and another game where we’ve failed to pick up a single point, but we have no other choice now but to focus on the positives and take them into Brighton at home in two weeks time.

That game will define our season. This game won’t.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & 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.

128 thoughts on “Man Utd 3-2 Newcastle: Being a Newcastle United fan will be the death of me.

  1. Some Sports Direct signs being taken down at SJP. That’s either because Jabba has decided he has to pay for them so he’s taking them down or he’s replacing them with House Of Fraser. That would be proper trolling that!


  2. Stuart79:
    Some Sports Direct signs being taken down at SJP. That’s either because Jabba has decided he has to pay for them so he’s taking them down or he’s replacing them with House Of Fraser. That would be proper trolling that!

    He’ll be replacing them with shiny new ones .


  3. I am about to watch Steven Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and hope to learn a bit about black holes, the universe and everything. My hope is that I will find out what Ashley is doing at NUFC and why Rafa bought Atsu. Before he died professor Hawking did admit however that there are some things that even he cannot explain such as “what is the point of Joselu”?


  4. After watching the explanation of the universe I realized one thing – that physicists are sh!t at explaining stuff. I had already realized that their theories were not correct, just perhaps a little bit less wrong than the previous theories. How else to explain paradigm shifts?

    In conclusion, there is simply no explanation for why Rafa bought Joselu and continues to play him. It defies current scientific theory and may be understood by future generations but, for now, I just have to accept that Rafa will bring Joselu off the bench and I should just get on with life.


  5. georgio:
    Learn Spanish Eric – Rafa will be straight after you. Joselu and Manquilo need mates.

    Doesn’t explain Atsu 🙂

    I think he was player of the tournament at the last African Cup of Nations.


  6. Olly: I skimmed your article on Nile Ranger and I know this is a complete contradiction for me to even bring him up but the best thing to do with this idiot is to ignore him. He was a flee on an elephant’s arse when it come to being anything meaningful at NUFC and he needs to be consigned to the dustbin of NUFC history.


  7. As for The True Geordie, he was mildly entertaining when he came on the scene. I thought his Alan Shearer interview about a year ago was outstanding. You have to watch out though with celebrity and fame because it can so easily become about you and not what you are commenting on and cared about to begin with.

    I fear he may be becoming a sort of Geordie Piers Morgan where controversy is more important than content.


  8. Is it right that Rafa is getting a free pass as everybody blames Ashley’s tightfistedness for our current peril. And you have to believe we are in peril with 2 points from 24 and ZERO PERCENT win %. I think even Ugly John had like an 18% win rate. So, why no call for Rafa to do better? He is working under the same restrictions as Pardew and seemingly doing worse. Apart from the 1st half against Man U our football has been terrible and we have scored 6 goals in 8 games.

    I have given Rafa a pass because of his record and reputation and the fact that I still think he will get us out of this. Pards on the other hand had a history of death spirals. However, if you look at us last year we had more ups and downs than a roller-coaster (I kept that clean as I was going to say a hooker’s knickers) and I think at one point we went on a run that was the worst since the 1950’s. So Rafa even outdid Pards and Ugly John in the death spiral stakes. Some feat! We give him a pass this year because of the fixture list but that death spiral last year didn’t include those teams. We also had Cardiff, Palace, Leicester and a struggling Man U (did you watch the awful Valencia game) and still couldn’t get a win and only scored against one of them. If those were the first 4 games of the season you would have said we had an average start fixture wise and yet we got only 2 points and scored 2 goals.



  9. And Transfers… Are we holding Rafa to a lower standard than the Pardew/Carr or even Carr/Steve let alone Chris Hughton? Remember Ashley sold all of our best players under Hughton and didn’t even give him a budget.

    You look at what Carr did on a shoestring except for that final year and it was similar to what Rafa has had. Even the players we spent relatively big on in that last year like Gini and Mitro we mostly made a profit on. So, why the free pass for Rafa? Pards had Andy Carroll sold out from under him on the last day of the January transfer window FFS – Keegan or Rafa would have resigned if that happened to them!



  10. Is it all down to Ashley being a tight-a$$? I think Rafa’s record is spotty at best and that Carr, on a similar budget, did better. Everybody has their hits and misses and at least he hasn’t made massive mistakes like Bolasie or Benteke. But the Spanish Donkey! Really! A mole with conjunctivitis could see he is League 1 quality and yet Rafa bought him and worse still keeps playing him.

    He’s done OK on some players like Lejeune and the jury is still out on Muto and Rondon so I would give him a C minus in the PL and a solid B in The Championship.

    But is that good enough for a so-called World Class manager who has total control over who he buys and sells?

    Of course the rug was pulled out from under Rafa with selling Mitro and not funding a replacement but is that worse than what Fatty did to Pards with Carroll? I am not defending Ashley’s stupidity, but again, why the free pass for Rafa when there were websites, protests and walkouts for Pardew?



  11. And Rafa is supposedly a World Class coach but who has he made better?


    Atsu who he had for a year on loan and still bought? And who the fans are now turning on.

    Ayoze who is just as inconsistent as ever.

    Mitro and Colback who I still think there is more to the stories on?

    Clark, Manquillo, Lazar?

    The Spanish Donkey?

    Maybe Lascelles, Dummett and Diame but 2 of them were already here when he arrived so we go back to his transfers.



  12. And who has Rafa given a chance to in the admittedly underfunded youth system even when his favourites were failing? Nobody! He has been here almost 3 years and I think Sterry got what Americans call garbage time at the end of the season and that’s about it.



  13. What other fans would sing the manager’s name after 2 points in 8 games and a loss in injury time after being 2 nil up with twenty minutes to go? And that was to the biggest entitled tw@ts in the game – Manager, players and fans. I am not even sure Cardiff fans would suffer that.

    I doubt anybody will read all of that but Kimtoon wanted some activity during the International break 🙂

    I am not playing devil’s advocated here, rather I am torn on what I think. I still believe Rafa will get us out of this mess but he is also complicit in getting us into it. The facts are the facts and can we keep on denying them and blaming only Ashley? Isn’t Rafa culpable for some of it? His team selections, his substitutions and above all his negative tactics which you can understand against City, but every team FFS!!!


  14. No manager has a perfect record on transfers. Even Sir Alex bought the likes of Kleberson, Bebe and William Prunier! More I’m sure. Jose ended up selling De Bruyne, Matic, Mata, Salah and Lakaku.

    I believe its a very much more competitive PL than when Pardew was manager. Clubs are giving it a real go these days apart from us which means we get worse if we don’t improve. Interestingly when you look at the price we paid for Cisse under Pardew, what do you think that price would be today? I’d say it’s likely to be more than Rafa has ever spent on one player here.

    Rafa isn’t without blame but he’s far and away the main reason we finished 10th last season. This season must be seen in isolation and the fact that he’s had remarkable transfer restrictions placed on him in the summer what are we to expect? His transfer spend over the last 3 seasons has been £1m. I’m sorry but if this was Cardiff, Huddersfield, WBA or Brighton everybody would be waxing lyrical about the job the managers had done under such restrictions.


  15. Stuart: I have been on a slow burn ever since that Man U game. I really didn’t think we could lose it because that sort of turnaround happens once a season in the whole premier league not just for NUFC. And you remember them. The Liverpool 4-3 almost 20 years ago, the Arsenal 4-4 almost 10 years ago. For a normal team in normal circumstances those sorts of (20 minute) capitulations don’t occur often.


  16. Stuart: I just think it is remarkable that nobody is even questioning Rafa. I don’t like it when the pundits do it but I can see they have a point.

    He said he is going to play more attacking football from now on. 2 points from 24 will do that to you 🙂


  17. You would think I would have learned by now that NUFC are the Devon Lock of football clubs. We get bought by a billionaire and he turns out to be the cheapest billionaire in history. We get a world class manager and even he struggles.

    I went to matches when I was 10 so you think I would know by now.

    And Stuart, wasn’t the net spend for Carr about 2 million a year as well. I am not defending the Fatman, I am just saying.

    And, as you know, I agree with your point about changes in the PL and that if you are not investing you are going backwards whereas years ago you would be standing still.


  18. I’ve got great Rafa doubts too Eric. One win in fourteen games entitles us to have doubts, not to mention a lengthy list of rubbish buys. He can, of course, turn this around but that halo has definitely slipped onto his shoulder. Maybe Muto can help – there were certainly echoes of Andy Cole in his goal.


  19. georgio – I think the 1 Win in 14 is slightly skewed. The last 7 games of previous season were pretty pointless as we’d more or less secured survival and the first 7 games of this season were as tough a start as anybody has ever had in terms of the teams we played. Maybe that’s mitigation, maybe it isn’t. I think the one question people need to answer is: Who would do a better job?


  20. Eric, I think in the Carr years we were in a different PL era and transfer era. We could buy Cabaye for £4.5m, Sissoko for £2m and the other cheap French players. That’s finished now.


  21. Stuart79:
    georgio – I think the 1 Win in 14 is slightly skewed. The last 7 games of previous season were pretty pointless as we’d more or less secured survival and the first 7 games of this season were as tough a start as anybody has ever had in terms of the teams we played. Maybe that’s mitigation, maybe it isn’t. I think the one question people need to answer is: Who would do a better job?

    It is mitigation because Man U were in a slump and a civil war was going on between Manager and players with banners flown over stadiums against their chief executive. They had had their worst PL start before playing us and Valencia should have beat them 3-0 at least. Then there is Cardiff, Leicester and Palace. That’s 4 winnable games and we have no wins! Not only that, but we have been playing sh!t football except a half on Saturday.

    Rafa is partly responsible for getting us into this mess but is also best qualified to get us out of it. Even at Napoli when he supposedly did a mediocre job he won 2 cups. At Real Madrid he was 3 points behind Barcelona and had won the Champions League group when they sacked him.

    He has been a winner all of his coaching life. Surely the curse of NUFC cannot fall on him as well?


  22. Stuart79:
    Eric, I think in the Carr years we were in a different PL era and transfer era. We could buy Cabaye for £4.5m, Sissoko for £2m and the other cheap French players. That’s finished now.

    I know, but it is still relevant because he had transfer restrictions as well such as not buying players over 26 and them looking for contracts running down and previously injured players like Marveaux or notoriously fickle like Ben Arfa. We were shopping in the bargain bin back then and still are now. The Mike Ashley way.


  23. I just wanted to point out that all is not rainbows and unicorns in the House of Rafa and we are all giving him a free pass. I am contradicted about criticizing him because I do think he gives us our best chance of survival and is working under difficult circumstances. With the chanting his name it seems fans are blithely going along with whatever Rafa says when before they would question the manager. I hated Pardew but Rafa has a worse death spiral going on than even Arrogant Alan had at NUFC. There is a strange binary observation at NUFC – Rafa good, Ashley bad. Where Rafa can do no wrong even when we are in a giant slump with some sh!t players that he bought.

    Just saying.

    BTW, Kenedy is a 70 minute player so we need to plan for that. Switch wings for Ritchie and have Murphy on the right?


  24. I have another couple of issues that I don’t think have been brought up.

    How was Rondon not fit to start the season and was he injured? He plays for Venezuela who were not at the World Cup so it couldn’t be fatigue. He had a full pre season with West Brom who started theirs early because they are in The Championship.

    And what’s with the mollycoddling of Muto? So what if he cant speak great English. He’s a forward, he doesn’t need to organize the defense. His job is to run, kick the ball, score. Why didn’t Rafa play him? Cisse went straight into our team from the Bundesliga and same with Aubamayang at Arsenal. Is Rafa being too cautious?

    Rafa just seems to be above criticism from the fans. The mantra at the local paper is also “in Rafa we Trust” like he is totally infallible. But we have seen by his team selections and substitutions that he is not and he has made mistakes. They are not asking questions. It is good to stick behind the Manager and pull for the team but if they are writing literally 50 articles a week about NUFC then perhaps a bit of constructive criticism might actually be helpful.

    First off, would be to point out that every team is not Man City and the game plan needn’t be 2 banks of 4 and hoof it to a Spanish Donkey every fckin week.


  25. I do not have an agenda against Rafa and really have not said much about what I have seen in our start to the season. Again, I am conflicted because 2 La Ligas and a Champions League say Rafa is a great manager. Has he shown it this season? Has he bought good players? Maybe they were 3rd on his list but should Joselu have ever been on his list in the first place?

    I am not that frustrated either, just surprised that nobody has pointed out the obvious that we are playing crap, defensive football and losing anyway.

    There are enough games left for us to turn it around because I think there are a few teams that are below the level of the rest so 35 points may even be enough. But with the Fatman tying Rafa’s hands behind his back in the transfer market it doesn’t help that Rafa tied the players’ shoe laces together in the first 8 games.


  26. Are the players tuning Rafa out? Here’s an analogy. Suppose you have just graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in computer science and get hired to do programming. You’re excited to start but for the first 8 weeks your manager has you doing 8 hours a day of photocopying. Maybe you might not be so enthusiastic about work?

    2 banks of 4 and hoof it to the Spanish Donkey is the equivalent.


  27. Kimtoon: trying to not let the International Break break me 🙂

    I don’t think I have been too harsh on Rafa. I am just pointing out that there seems to be a blind faith, which to some extent I share. But Rafa is fond of facts. He is famous for his rant at Lord Ferg about FACTS (which were all correct even though he was given so much stick for it).

    I think I would be OK with possession numbers of 35% if we were playing a counter attacking game but I think we rank near the bottom in shots as well so we have really done nothing right this season:

    Not play good football, FACT.

    Not score, FACT

    Not play our best team and make logical subs, FACT

    Play Joselu when Muto was fit, FACT


  28. PLease do Eric – I can’t guess what you’d have to say about those two fine English players.
    Have you ever thought about starting your own blog? You’re far more prolific than young Olly and aren’t copying or rewriting Chronicle articles posing as news.


  29. georgio:
    PLease do Eric – I can’t guess what you’d have to say about those two fine English players.
    Have you ever thought about starting your own blog? You’re far more prolific than young Olly and aren’t copying or rewriting Chronicle articles posing as news.

    aye now theres a thought 💡


  30. icedog: aye now theres a thought

    Nah, the blog and fanzine space is covered already and I can follow a train of thought on the comments page without seemingly any restrictions. I knew it would be quiet on here so I decided to wonder why Rafa wasn’t being questioned at all for some of decisions and that ALL of the blame went on Ashley.

    I occasionally read Ed’s blogs comments and if you want a reason not to start a blog then you can see it several times a week on there. For some reason it descends into name calling and bickering in the name of banter and any good craic is washed away in a sea of petty squabbles.

    I know the authors of blogs are in it for the love of the team and I think in Olly’s case he has journalistic ambitions. I don’t.

    This is about the only social media I do as I am not interested in seeing endless pictures of people’s cats or having my personal information hacked. And twitter seems to be the haven for the stupidest and nastiest trolls.


  31. I don’t understand why this site doesn’t get more traffic. I know Olly does do a few Chronicle rewrites but he mixes it up with original stuff like opposition fans interviews. People disappear for months and some never return like Troy.

    I have had a few small spats on here but for the most part everyone is civil unlike almost everywhere else (read The Chronicle comments page).

    I enjoy a bit of back and forth even if we tend to mostly agree. I don’t just like to hear the sound of my own voice (keyboard) but I realise that International Breaks kill blogs so I might as well go on a stream of consciousness rant. I doubt anybody reads anyway but I do it to amuse myself as much as anything else.


  32. Changing gears, the England match is on live here. It is played in an empty stadium because at Croatia’s last home game somebody mowed a swastika into the turf. It seems really odd to me that the groundsmen didn’t just get out their own mowers and turn the offending motif into a square before the game started.

    Anyway, I think England might be fun again in the next few years as they have been getting to the finals or winning the younger age group tournaments. This has been a precursor to senior success recently – think Spain and Germany. I know there have been many false dawns but this time might be different and I really believe there is a budding superstar in Phil Foden. The way he goes past players like they are not there reminds me of Gazza or Beardsley (I have watched a few of his international games so am not just basing this on half an hour at City).

    The bottom line is we might be in The Championship next year and they only show a couple of games here so I might as well get behind England 🙂


  33. Atsu is saying that his surgery has slowed him down but that Rafa understands his situation. Is this an excuse? He says he is working his way back but I would rather he do this in the reserves/U23s than stinking up the first team. Was he ever that great before the injury?

    I know Rafa is not starting him but when he comes on he has been a liability. One of the reasons some are questioning Rafa’s subs when a half exhausted Ritchie is twice as good and a Fresh Atsu 🙂

    I hate to trash NUFC players but sometimes when you see obvious shortcomings it is hard to hold back. Muto should have been starting instead of Joselu whatever his language difficulties. Atsu should not have been getting up to speed in the first team, whatever our lack of squad depth – play Perez on the wing for God’s sake. Hayden shouldn’t be on the bench until he gets his head on straight.

    There are many examples of mismanagement this season but it seems fans are afraid to blame Rafa for them. Shouldn’t everybody be held accountable? Even a Champions League winner? Freddie Shepperd sacked Sir Bobby Robson FFS.


  34. Rafa is a funny old bird. He seems to have endless patience with some players and none with others. All you need to do is compare the treatment of Colback and Mitro to that of Atsu, Joselu and Hayden.

    I have said many times that I like Rafa and that ultimately he will get it right and we will survive by the skin of our teeth. But nobody can deny his mistakes this season and the awful football we have had to endure WITHOUT RESULTS. Has he lost interest as his contract runs down? Are the players frustrated with a manager they think will be gone and they see him playing inferior players? Nobody questions Rafa’s ability, maybe it is time to question his motivation because of the situation he is in? It wouldn’t be the first time Ashley has exasperated a manager with his antics – Keegan.


  35. Maybe Rafa is exasperated with Ashley. He’s impossible to figure out. He does things that seem to be against his own self interest like deny Rafa the Mitro funds after saying he can have every penny the club generates. He talks to Rafa 3 times in almost 3 years and then suddenly turns up to games again and takes everybody out for Pizza and offers holidays. Maybe it is Trumpian? Where after working for a madman for a while Aides, surrogates and previously highly successful people just give up and either force their way out or pray for the sack? In the meantime, their work suffers.

    I don’t know what game Rafa and Asshley are playing because it makes absolutely no sense. The Palace game is a prime example. Ashley gathers all his senior Management and confidantes and then doesn’t meet with Rafa after the game? An ideal situation on a Saturday where Ashley isn’t worrying about Sports Direct and HoF. WTF? Then he has the pizza where between players and coaches there must have been 40 other people there. What could Rafa get done. What facetime could he possibly have with the owner?

    I think Rafa is getting super-frustrated with the Owners’ antics although he doesn’t say it to the press. Again, Trumpian! I bet the players see it though as you cannot keep up a charade all of the time.


  36. Eric
    I don’t comment much because there is nothing to cheer about the awful , negative and boring football that Rafa has served up this season.
    His insistence on playing the hopeless Joselu is akin to when Pardew insisted on playing Shola.
    I was not a fan of Pardew and I am no fan of Rafa.
    I will shed no tears when Rafa goes.


  37. Sidekick: I am still a Rafa fan believe it or not, I have just decided to point out that those with rose tinted glasses might want to take them off and look at the full situation.

    I think Rafa would have us mid-table given decent funding and could even win us a cup. He has been a bit of a cups specialist in the past, even at Chelsea where he was only there for 6 months.

    I don’t think he has been in this situation before though, where he is underfunded even when compared to the likes of Watford. I am not sure if he knows how to cope with it. His first big job at Valencia he walked into a club with excellent players and helped them excel and then Liverpool and every place since, he had great players and/or money. Now he has neither.



  38. Believe it or not I think things will pick up because Shelvey needs a runner and he seems to have one in Muto and Ayoze is good when we are on the front foot but crap when we play 2 banks of 4. Add Rondon, and it is addition by subtraction of Joselu who the ball just bounces off so what is the point of him? Eh, Rafa. Eh!

    But back to Rafa.



  39. And sidekick: The local papers seem almost scared to question anything Rafa does, but then again they mainly employ yes men and idiots who only ever get any balls after the horse has bolted.

    But Rafa has always had a spotty transfer record. In the past he inherited good players and added to them and if it didn’t work he sold them. Just like he is doing here but without the base and the budget to get things wrong on a player.

    it is not helped by Fatty saying one thing and doing another. But if you look at what has happened, Rafa has been asked to clear the decks in preparation for possible relegation. And if you look at Simon’s article about future sales, 4 out of 5 are Rafa players. Not unusual for him, but much more damning and costly when you have Ashley as an owner who will hold you accountable for every misstep like you are not pushing the latest 50% off sale hard enough at one of his tat shops.



  40. I really believe that this is a 2 pronged approach from Ashley of clearing the decks for relegation whilst hoping we have enough to stay up. But is it a bridge too far for Rafa? He is not used to working like this, at least for 20 years. Even in The Championship he was allowed to outspend everybody else so that was normal service for Rafa. This is not.

    Can he cope? I don’t know. Have we watched mainly awful football, even last year? Yes. In most games, we may has well have had Arrogant Alan back.

    I still think Ashley will roll the dice in January and spend 30 million because there is no way we will be out of the bottom 5 and probably bottom 3, even with the easier fixtures ahead. And then comes Christmas. At this point what I would NOT want from Santa is Liverpool-Watford-Man U in my stocking. Entering January there could be full on depression at NUFC!!!


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