Newcastle 0-1 Stoke: New signings needed as 12 miss out in poor end to pre-season

It was certainly an afternoon to forget for us as we completed an uninspiring pre-season with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke City.

Not to read too much into a pre-season friendly, but there were certainly some worrying signs and re-occurring patterns of last season on show at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was certainly an injury-stricken line up. Karl Darlow came in for the sidelined Martin Dubravka and Isaac Hayden was forced to start at centre-back, with Lascelles suspended and Dummett, Lejeune, Clark and Schar all absent.

Andy Carroll once again started up top, with Brazilian Joelinton only deemed fit enough for the bench after linking up with the senior squad for the first time in pre-season on Thursday.

Notably, Matt Ritchie was not involved – which may have something to do with his proposed return to Bournemouth – while Jonjo Shelvey’s absence from the entire matchday was a concern just one week away from the new season

NUFC XI (4-2-3-1): Darlow – Yedlin Fernandez, Hayden, Manquillo – Barlaser, Sean Longstaff – Murphy, Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Carroll.

Players subbed onAtsu, Saivet, Joelinton, Muto (Gillespie did not feature).

Players absent: Dubravka, Gayle, Ritchie, Shelvey, Schar, Clark, Dummett, Lejeune, Hendrick, Krafth, Lascelles (suspended), M Longstaff.

The game itself started without much to write home about until Stoke grasped the initiative, with Sam Clucas heading home from a cross to give the visitors the lead.

Manquillo didn’t do enough to close down the cross and, not for the first time in his NUFC career, DeAndre Yedlin was ball watching at the back post and allowed Clucas to head home.

For the remainder of the match, it appeared to be all us based on the highlights arriving from the club’s official feed. There seemed to be missed chance after missed chance and flashbacks of last season’s desperation for goals meant we were unable to equalise.

Carroll dragged a shot wide before half time after some good work from Almiron, Fernandez headed over a dangerous Barlaser corner, Saint-Maximin had a stinging effort palmed wide and Murphy was denied by Butland on either side of half time.

Butland had a good game but their goal was a poor one to concede and they arguably had the biggest chance of the second half too, with Gregory hitting the post front six-yards out on 55 minutes.

Saint-Maximin did go on a brilliant run soon after and picked out Sean Longstaff with a clever cutback, but he too fired over in a game full of poor finishing for those in our new yellow away kit!

There were definitely some positives to take from the game, however, with this stunning pass from Dan Barlaser being perhaps the moment of the match and something we’d all be talking about had Murphy applied the finish.

There’s been talk of another loan move away from the club for Barlaser, but this eye of the needle ball to set up Murphy in the 62nd minute proves why I think he deserves to stay at the club this season:

As for Murphy, Bruce stated after the game that he too caught the eye – nearly getting himself on the scoresheet on two occasions – however he should have done better (see above) after being put clean through by Barlaser.

Alarm bells certainly rang this afternoon though, and our performance in front of goal cannot be ignored, with us losing back-to-back games to average Championship sides by an aggregate scoreline of 6-1 in our final two friendlies.

But, it’s certainly not doomsday – yet. If we can secure the signings of Fraser and Wilson over the line, Lewis in at left-back and get our centre-backs fit again, you’d imagine that our output at both ends of the pitch could be completely transformed.

Moreover, we were missing several first-team players, and arguably the spine of our team in Dubravka, Lascelles, Shelvey and Gayle.

Let’s hope there’s some more positive news in the next few days, and deals can be agreed for Lewis, Wilson and Fraser

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100 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-1 Stoke: New signings needed as 12 miss out in poor end to pre-season

  1. Sharpy mate, I dont think Rice is a bad player. Just totally overhyped. He’s no better than Hayden and yet the West Ham loving media reckon he is worth 70 mil quid. They did the same with Wilshere who you would have believed was the second coming of Messi if you listened to Arsenal media fan boys like John Moss at The Mirror.

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  2. And I dont think Grealish is a bad player either. I actually think he has tons of talent but is an out and out cheat who runs into people’s legs on purpose to get free kicks. To stay on the Messi theme, he is the anti-Messi. Lionel only goes down if he gets hit by a truck. Jack goes down if he gets hit by a feather.

    Perfect for Man U. He would get them another 5 penalties a year. Like they need them 🙂

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  3. Back to NUFC…

    If we get relegated with this squad then Bruce needs shooting. To be sure, we have had a bit of bad luck with the injuries to Gayle and Dubs but they will be back by Xmas.

    We have already had the best squad ever to be relegated with the McClaren/Rafa team. I dont get the undying love for Rafa on blogs like Eds and The Mag. He had enough games, and the players to keep us up and failed. That Sunderland surrender was just excused. But that was then and this is…

    Better football
    Solid mid-table
    Takeover next year

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  4. Sharpy17:
    Well that’s 90mins I’ll never get back.

    Never watched it mate, still trying to get my passion back for the game tbh. This summer and all it’s shenanigans with the PL/TO and covid’s effect on the game has really left me deflated on the game in general.

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  5. Ritchie is a good utility player who can play in 3 positions. I wouldnt sell him, although he wouldnt be my first choice in any of his positions.

    Joelinton should get another go and not as a number 9. He got worse towards the end of the season but we cant just give up on him. He’s only 23 and can be a sub.

    The rest like Muto, Atsu and Saivet I dont care about. We have one of the lowest wage bills in the league and the lot of them have their contracts ending soon. If Fatty has to eat their salaries, then so be it. But, we could just give them half their wedge and make them free agents.

    Yedlin? Sometimes he looks OK and we might actually get a couple of million for him.

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  6. I would keep Murphy as well. WE ARE NOT LOANING OUT THESE PLAYERS FOR EXPERIENCE NOW. He is another who could be a backup. And with our injury record we know we will need him. Just look at the centre half situation last year!!! It shouldnt be about saving a million or 5 on salaries, it should be about having the numbers to survive if we get more injuries.

    And dont talk to me about goalies. I would offer Norwich 2 mil for Timmy-the-Hoof.

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  7. NUFC seem to be contradicting the PL and Richard Masters in saying that the takeover was rejected. Masters said he offered arbitration. I think the Saudis got sick of the whole process and bad publicity but NUFC are definitely saying they were pushed rather than they jumped.

    My view has been that Masters was going to drag it out indefinately because he is in the pocket of Qatar and certain big PL clubs. His letters to MPs and statements to NUST were just lawyer speak gibberish to disguise the fact that he was never going to approve the deal. As soon as I saw his letter I said on here it was total double speak and now even Ashley is saying that.

    What happens form here?

    If Ashley sues it would take months if not years for there to be any resolution. Will the Saudis wait around? I doubt it. Will they bid for PL TV rights? I doubt it now unless they do it out of spite for Qatar.

    I dont think this changes anything but I would like to see Ashley go after the PL just to shove it up Masters’ arse. Doubt it will happen as his lawyers will tell him it is pointless.

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  8. Eric Sykes:
    NUFC seem to be contradicting the PL and Richard Masters in saying that the takeover was rejected. Masters said he offered arbitration. I think the Saudis got sick of the whole process and bad publicity but NUFC are definitely saying they were pushed rather than they jumped.

    My view has been that Masters was going to drag it out indefinately because he is in the pocket of Qatar and certain big PL clubs. His letters to MPs and statements to NUST were just lawyer speak gibberish to disguise the fact that he was never going to approve the deal. As soon as I saw his letter I said on here it was total double speak and now even Ashley is saying that.

    What happens form here?

    If Ashley sues it would take months if not years for there to be any resolution. Will the Saudis wait around? I doubt it. Will they bid for PL TV rights? I doubt it now unless they do it out of spite for Qatar.

    I dont think this changes anything but I would like to see Ashley go after the PL just to shove it up Masters’ arse. Doubt it will happen as his lawyers will tell him it is pointless.

    Agree, Amanda and the Ruebens conspicuous by their absence too.
    Red faces all round if you ask me, complete cluster**** from day one that takeover and Jabba didn’t help pushing the price up once exclusivity ran out, it didn’t go down well according to PIF sources despite what Amanda says.
    We will never be shot of him because he will always get greedy, it’s in his nature. If he truly wanted to sell up he’d of gone years ago, it’s really that simple.

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  9. Eric, He won’t sue, he don’t give a toss imo, just so long as the club remains in the PL and the cash keeps rolling in he’s happy.
    Even if he died tomorrow, i suspect the club would be run by his lad and family with clear instructions to carry on with the plan.
    Think some of our fans are suffering stockhlom syndrome now like, we know it’s all wrong but can’t get away from it.

    With the positivity of the new signings i’m feeling like Micheal Corleone in Godfather 3.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPw-3e_pzqU

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  10. I might tend to disagree with some bloggers but for jabba to change and allow club to spend big on older players goes against what he has has always done buy young and cheap to sell on,imo i think he has allowed older players is because he does not expect to be here in say two yrs time so let the new owners worry about players get to their end of there best yrs,just a thought on my part like

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  11. Ice: Fatty might have finally realised that he would lose a lot more if we are relegated than the cost of Wilson. I think we have had a good window. They are all PL mid-table quality and ready for the first team immediately. The problem might be Bruce and what he can make of them, but he has the tools now. This is not a relegation squad.

    Maybe St Max will not be triple-teamed now as the opposition will have Miggy, Fraser and Wilson to think about. I think that is a basketball term. Not sure if it is used in football.

    I never quite get why people get all worked up about paying the wages of the deadwood players. If we can get rid or loan, then good. If not, they can sit in the reserves as most only have a year on their contracts. The only one I would keep is Murphy. I would keep the Lejeune of 2 years ago but I think they have decided the injuries have caught up with him.

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  12. Be interesting to see the previews for West Ham. They have done pretty much nothing in the transfer window so far and I think we have more momentum. I think they are hanging their hat on keeping Declan Rice as their big news. Moyes is after Tarkowski for 30 million. If that happened at NUFC I think we would all be underwhelmed.

    Let’s say our front 4 is Wilson, Miggy, St Max and Fraser. Would you swap any of them for a WHam front player? Doesnt always work like that especially trying to get new players integrated. Before seeing who is available like Shelvey and Fraser, I think I will go 1-1.

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  13. wel the PL say they have not rejected the bid, whos telling the truth??? now Boris is asking the PL whats happening on the takeover,will jabba push it ? hes got the Abrabs 17 mil to play with

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  14. I am going against my alphabetical order method (14th) and predict NUFC will finish 12th. Even with Bruce as Manager and Darlow in goal for the 1st 8 or so games.

    12 NUFC
    13 Sheffield
    14 Wham
    15 Villa
    16 Brighton
    17 Fulham
    18 Burnley
    19 Palace
    20 WBrom

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  15. Throw in Leeds and Southampton and the bottom 10 will all be fighting relegation. I dont see our squad as worse than any of these. One of the promoted teams will go down and I think Palace were as lucky as us last year so it is their time I reckon. Burnley have a crap squad and can Dyche continue to work miracles.

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  16. icedog:
    wel the PL say they have not rejected the bid, whos telling the truth??? now Boris is asking the PL whats happening on the takeover,will jabba push it ? hes got the Abrabs 17 mil to play with

    Ice, Ashley is after compo having lost out on £305m , the Saudi’s are long gone never to return imo.

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  17. My feelings on it are that the Saudis aren’t used to having to explain themselves or work within regulations.

    We’ll put money into the club – ok, where will the money come from and who will be in charge?

    You don’t need to know that, we are rich and can cover it – ok … good … but we will need to know where it comes from and who’s in charge?

    It’s fine, your government never bothers with stuff like that – maybe not, but we will need to know?.

    You do know we are Saudi Arabian and could buy the moon never mind the toon!!. We will put our money in and you will ask no questions!! – can’t do that I’m afraid, we need this information!!

    F@ck it then, we are out of here!!.

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  18. I can’t believe Simon Jordan’s craic on Ryan Fraser as well – the man is an absolute fool!!.

    There was only Eden Hazard with better stats that Fraser for assists – and yet Howe loans Harry Wilson and Fraser is tossed aside without any explanation.

    But Jordan seems to think Fraser should forget that, and the fact hes not staying at the club who didn’t value him enough to communicate with him properly & risk injury and a move to another club.

    There’s a reason why Jordan is now a mouthpiece on a radio talk show now and not running football clubs – thick head!!.

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  19. Well, the super-computer agreed with me that we will finish 12th. Might have to change my prediction 🙂

    If you have ever followed the supercomputer they do new predictions about every month. That seems like cheating but I suppose it gets clicks.

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  20. Buzzing with the contract extensions of Darlow and Hayden – the latter most so.
    That’s as pleasing as the 3 newbies for me – he’s been our best midfielder for some years now and certainly one of our most consistent performers along with Dubravka.

    Great news as it’s all well and good nicking other teams better players but means nowt if we loose the likes of Hayden.

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  21. Sharpy: we have 4 new additions (technically 5 with that goalie). When Hendrick signed for Burnley he was their most expensive player ever. I think it was 13 mill, when that amount of money actually meant something. They didnt want to let him go.

    I have to admit I havent seen him play much because I only ever watched Burnley when they played us, but he could be OK.

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