Newcastle United start season with 1 point from 6 games and 22 goals conceded – From top to bottom

Newcastle United was a club that needed sorting from top to bottom.

Newcastle United still is a club that needs sorting from top to bottom.

Rafa Benitez wanted a project to see him through the next and final 10 years of his managerial career.



He had a vision of remodelling NUFC and dragging it into the 21st century, getting it to a level where it could properly compete in the Premier League and potentially beyond.

Rafa wanted the realistic investment to make this happen and the freedom to operate, whether it was the Academy, Under 23s or first team.

He wanted the best facilities, such as the essential state of the art new training complex that was promised in 2013 by Mike Ashley.

Mike Ashley refused and as Rafa told us, the investment in the future consisted of painting the walls at the existing not fit for purpose training facilities.

With everything that has gone on this chaotic and self-destructive summer, the future has quite literally, been forgotten about. Quite understandable with the immediate challenges that are facing the club and fans as things now stand.

However, just look at the results across the club so far, just where are Newcastle United heading…

10 August – Newcastle 3 Middlesbrough 3 (Academy team)

11 August – Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1 (First team)

12 August – Reading 6 Newcastle 0 (Under 23s team)

17 August – Newcastle 1 West Ham 2 (Under 23s)

17 August – Man City 7 Newcastle 1 (Academy)

17 August – Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 (First team)

A combined record so far of:

Played 6 Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 5 – Goals For 6 Goals Against 22

No guarantees of course that things won’t pick up but these results just remind me of how this club is living day to day, week to week, month to month, season to season.

There is no long-term plan, there is no long-term investment, there is no long-term strategy of how this club is going to be better throughout, at some time in the future.



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I have to agree with Steve Bruce decision to drop star Newcastle United man at Norwich

An interesting insight into the Steve Bruce team selection ahead of today match at Norwich.

The Times revealing that the Head Coach has left Sean Longstaff out of his starting line-up.

They say that Ki Sung-yeung is to replace the 21 year old, keeping his three man central midfield with Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey.



Last Sunday saw much of the post-match focus centred on Newcastle’s central midfielders.

Jonjo Shelvey forced off with a knock on 54 minutes and replacing him in midfield with Jetro Willems, then two minutes later changing his mind and putting the Dutch defender on the left as a wing-back.

Confusion reigning as a number of players didn’t know where exactly they should be playing, which helped lead to Arsenal’s winner.

Things got even worse as Newcastle lost any shape whatsoever as Sean Longstaff was replaced in the 67th minute by Allan Saint-Maximin. Newcastle going from three central midfielders to only one (Hayden), due to Bruce’s ridiculous decision to leave Ki out of the squad and instead have four defenders no midfielders on the bench.

The Times says that Ki has spoken out about being left out and you can hardly blame him, hopefully we see a good response from the South Korean today.

Nothing will convince me that Steve Bruce was a logical choice for Newcastle United but assuming The Times are proved right, I will have a little bit more respect for Bruce.

The Head Coach gave an interview to BBC Newcastle yesterday (see below) and in it, he talked at length about having to look after Sean Longstaff due to his youth and injury he is recovering from.

The likes of Alan Pardew would just play anybody without considering the longer-term potential consequences, a number of times players ended up being out far longer when risks were taking and playing them, only to pick up worse injuries.

So far better to look after Sean Longstaff at this point early in the season even though Norwich is such an important game even at this stage. Plus, Longstaff has still only started nine Premier League matches so using him sparingly at the minute can give him a chance to find his feet again this season.



Steve Bruce talking to BBC Newcastle on Friday (16 August 2019):

“I think it’s vitally important that I have to be careful with the lad (Sean Longstaff).

“The first time in his life he has shot to fame very very quickly, as well as having to deal with a difficult injury.

“I think we are going to have to be a little bit patient because it is probably the first time he has had to deal with one (a bad injury).

“He was still a little bit careful in pre-season and that is going to be ongoing for a little while.

“Yes he is back on the grass but he has to get back to feeling normal again because sometimes when you have an injury, especially an awful one, it doesn’t feel normal for a while.

“He is going  through that period at the moment but he will be fine.”



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Preferred Newcastle team v Norwich – Solves selection dilemma

All eyes are now on the Newcastle team v Norwich.

After the opening day defeat, what Steve Bruce will do in terms of changing personnel, if any.

The performance against Arsenal was decent up to a point.



A much weakened Arsenal side limited to only a few shots on target, the winning goal a gift from the Newcastle defence.

However, it was a similar story at the other end, a Joelinton shot straight at the keeper in the first half and a late effort from substitute Allan Saint-Maximin at least made Leno dive, though it was a comfortable save. The only two NUFC efforts on target.

Creativity and goalscoring always looked the biggest challenges this season and that opening 90 minutes didn’t change opinion.

We know from these past two seasons that in defence and centre midfield, Newcastle have got a solid base but how best to build on that further forward?

There was positive news on Wednesday with the club releasing images of training, Jonjo Shelvey in the group and suggesting no lasting harm after being forced off against Arsenal.

For a lot of fans they are seeing it as maybe a case of playing either Shelvey or Allan Saint-Maximin (ASM) to provide a spark but I think we need both involved.

I wouldn’t make too many changes in personnel but I think at least for this game, we need a change of tactics and formation, as goals will be needed against an attacking Norwich side who can be counter-attacked.

I would keep Sunday’s keeper and back five but instead turn it into a back four, with Dummett left-back and Matt Ritchie pushed further up into his favoured winger position.



Joelinton and Almiron would stay up front but I would sacrifice one of the three central midfielders and bring in ASM on the wing in a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 formation.

The trouble is that none of Shelvey, Hayden and Longstaff really get into the box and Almiron tends to do most of his best work outside the box as well.

Joelinton was usually the only one in the box whenever a ball was delivered.

I think Hayden is first choice in the middle and would maybe chop and change between Shelvey and Longstaff. Shelvey doesn’t have the greatest stamina anyway and Steve Bruce could tell him to give it everything against Norwich for an hour or so and then bring Longstaff on.

As we saw on Sunday, ASM was very direct and full of tricks and dribbling ability, looking to get in the box as much as possible, so surely in a team that has so few goals in it, he has to be included. Plus I think he and Ritchie can swap wings when needed and give Norwich different problems.



Which gives me this preferred Newcastle team v Norwich, to score goals and bring home three points:

Martin Dubravka

Javier Manquillo

Fabian Schar

Jamaal Lascelles

Paul Dummett

Matt Ritchie

Isaac Hayden

Jonjo Shelvey

Allan Saint-Maximin

Miguel Almiron

Joelinton



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Manchester City near perfect 2019 goes on WWWWWWWLWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

manchester city fans

Manchester City starting the season as they mean to go on.

A sublime and dominant performance resulting in a 5-0 win at West Ham on the first day of the 2019/20 campaign.

A quite amazing record for them that has gone way beyond even their usual standards.



Amazing that some Manchester City fans were questioning Pep Guardiola in December.

In 2019 domestic competitions his record now reads WWWWWWWLWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

In the Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup, in 2019 they have played 28 games.

Played 28 Won 27 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Goals Scored 82 Goals Against 10.

Newcastle and Swansea the only teams to score more than one goal against Manchester City in domestic competition in 2019.

These are those 27 wins, plus the Newcastle match that spoils perfection…

Manchester City 2 Liverpool 1 (3 January 2019)

Manchester City 7 Rotherham 0 (6 January 2019 – FA Cup)

Manchester City 9 Burton 0 (9 January 2019 – League Cup)

Manchester City 3 Wolves 0 (14 January 2019)

Huddersfield 0 Manchester City 3 (20 January 2019)

Burton 0 Manchester City 1 (23 January 2019 – League Cup)

Manchester City 5 Burnley 0 (26 January – FA Cup)

Newcastle United 2 Manchester City 1 (29 January 2019)

Manchester City 3 Arsenal 1 (3 February 2019)

Everton 0 Manchester City 2 (6 February 2019)

Manchester City 6 Chelsea 0 (10 February 2019)

Newport 1 Manchester City 4 (16 February 2019 – FA Cup)

Manchester City 0 Chelsea 0 – Won 4-3 on penalties (24 February 2019 – League Cup)

Manchester City 1 West Ham 0 (27 February 2019)

Bournemouth 0 Manchester City 1 (2 March 2019)



Manchester City 3 Watford 1 (9 March 2019)

Swansea 2 Manchester City 3 (16 March 2019 – FA Cup)

Fulham 0 Manchester City 2 (30 March 2019)

Manchester City 2 Cardiff 0 (3 April 2019)

Manchester City 1 Brighton 0 (6 April 2019 – FA Cup)

Crystal Palace 1 Manchester City 3 (14 April 2019)

Manchester City 1 Tottenham 0 (20 April 2019)

Man Utd  0 Manchester City 2 (24 April 2019)

Burnley 0 Manchester City 1 (28 April 2019)

Manchester City 1 Leicester 0 (6 May 2019)

Brighton 1 Manchester City 4 (12 May 2019)

Manchester City 6 Watford 0 (18 May 2019 – FA Cup)

West Ham 0 Manchester City 5 (10 August 2019)

Still not sure how Rafa/Newcastle managed it…



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Newcastle United economical with truth on Norwich tickets

norwich v newcastle

Newcastle United made an announcement about the Norwich away tickets yesterday.

The club stating (see below) that the tickets were now sold out.

They said ‘Newcastle were given an allocation of 2,000 for the long trip to East Anglia, and the last remaining seats were sold on Tuesday afternoon.’



I was amused to see this as I wrote about the Norwich away tickets on Friday (also see below).

I went to buy some Norwich tickets then (Friday 2 August) but the club’s ticket site showed them as sold out.

So not sure how they were still selling any yesterday, unless it was some returns.

What is definitely out of order is that Newcastle United are pretending that the allocation was only 2,000.

As I wrote on Friday, almost three weeks before the match, Norwich revealed that Newcastle had agreed to return 700 tickets rather than sell them to their own fans. That was well before tickets had gone on general sale to Newcastle fans.

Chelsea visit Norwich the week after us and they have an allocation of 2,669, which appears to be the normal allocation as it is around 10% of their capacity, which is what away fans are entitled to when a capacity is below 30,000.

Newcastle United official announcement on Norwich away tickets – Tuesday 6 August 2019:

‘Tickets for Newcastle United’s first Premier League away game of the season, at Norwich City, have sold out.

The Magpies travel to Carrow Road on Saturday, 17th August (3pm kick-off) in what will be Norwich’s first outing on home soil since their return to the top flight.

United’s last trip to Norfolk came during their 2016/17 Championship-winning campaign, when skipper Jamaal Lascelles popped up with a late equaliser to secure a point from a 2-2 draw.

Newcastle were given an allocation of 2,000 for the long trip to East Anglia, and the last remaining seats were sold on Tuesday afternoon.’



My original article on The Mag – 2 August 2019:

I went to buy some Norwich tickets this morning.

When I went on the NUFC ticketing website though, I was surprised to see that they were now sold out.

I was disappointed but thought fair enough, it’s my own fault for not sorting them earlier.

However, when I was having a look around generally online, I came across this…

Norwich City official announcement – 30 July 2019:

‘Norwich City are delighted to confirm that following negotiations with Newcastle United, we have an additional 700 tickets available for our opening league fixture at Carrow Road on Saturday, August 17.

Tickets initially went on sale to Home Premier members at 9am on Monday, July 22, but sold out soon after.

As a result, the additional tickets will be released to Home Premier Members first, followed by Home Standard Members, Season Ticket Holders and then General Sale (subject to availability).’



If Norwich announced this on Wednesday morning after ‘negotiations’, you then assume you have to go back at least a couple of days for when the decision was actually made by Newcastle United.

So that means, three weeks before this first away match, Newcastle agreed to send back 700 tickets.

I’m sorry but just who decided this and why.

The Norwich tickets only went on general sale to NUFC fans on Wednesday and then within 48 hours they are all sold out.

So Newcastle United have deprived 700 of their own fans of tickets.

Plus, they have given Norwich another 700 fans to back them.

This was already a very tough match, Norwich’s first home game after promotion and they will be throwing the kitchen sink at it.

Yet we deprive the team of the support of 700 extra fans.

There was no figure I have seen where Newcastle United said how many tickets they had originally received.

However, Norwich play Chelsea at home a week later and the official Chelsea site states that they received 2,669 tickets.

So assuming that is the norm (10% of the stadium is what you are entitled to if capacity is under 30,000), Newcastle fans bought 1,969 tickets – Nobody can tell me that now on general sale we couldn’t have sold another 700 tickets to fans up here and down south/more local to Norwich.




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Baffling decision by Newcastle United on Norwich tickets

newcastle team v norwich

I went to buy some Norwich tickets this morning.

When I went on the NUFC ticketing website though, I was surprised to see that they were now sold out.

I was disappointed but thought fair enough, it’s my own fault for not sorting them earlier.



However, when I was having a look around generally online, I came across this…

Norwich City official announcement – 30 July 2019:

‘Norwich City are delighted to confirm that following negotiations with Newcastle United, we have an additional 700 tickets available for our opening league fixture at Carrow Road on Saturday, August 17.

Tickets initially went on sale to Home Premier members at 9am on Monday, July 22, but sold out soon after.

As a result, the additional tickets will be released to Home Premier Members first, followed by Home Standard Members, Season Ticket Holders and then General Sale (subject to availability).’

If Norwich announced this on Wednesday morning after ‘negotiations’, you then assume you have to go back at least a couple of days for when the decision was actually made by Newcastle United.

So that means, three weeks before this first away match, Newcastle agreed to send back 700 tickets.

I’m sorry but just who decided this and why.



The Norwich tickets only went on general sale to NUFC fans on Wednesday and then within 48 hours they are all sold out.

So Newcastle United have deprived 700 of their own fans of tickets.

Plus, they have given Norwich another 700 fans to back them.

This was already a very tough match, Norwich’s first home game after promotion and they will be throwing the kitchen sink at it.

Yet we deprive the team of the support of 700 extra fans.

There was no figure I have seen where Newcastle United said how many tickets they had originally received.

However, Norwich play Chelsea at home a week later and the official Chelsea site states that they received 2,669 tickets.

So assuming that is the norm (10% of the stadium is what you are entitled to if capacity is under 30,000), Newcastle fans bought 1,969 tickets – Nobody can tell me that now on general sale we couldn’t have sold another 700 tickets to fans up here and down south/more local to Norwich.




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The 6 Newcastle United players who are vital if NUFC are to survive this season

A successful/surviving season will depend on many factor but these six Newcastle United players are going to be key, if disaster is going to be avoided.

Newcastle didn’t have the strongest of squads last season and with what we have seen so far, this summer’s lack of urgency/signings as made that even worse.

So we are relying on a starting eleven and not many more in reserve.



In particular we are looking at this core of Newcastle United players to see us to safety…

Joelinton

The very obvious one.

A massive weight on his shoulders, only 22 and seemingly set to be the only major investment in goals we are going to see this summer. Two top goalscorers gone who scored 23 of last season’s 42 PL goals and of those remaining, only Schar (4), Clark (3) and Ritchie (2) scored more than a single PL goal for NUFC this season.

Only managed seven goals in the Bundesliga last season and his record so far is eight in the Austrian League.

Miguel Almiron

Impressed a lot with his all round game and workrate.

However, an enormous expectation on him as well.

There would always have been an expectation for Almiron to add goals and assists this coming season BUT with the absence of other creativity and goals being added this summer, apart from Joelinton (so far), it means we need so much more from him. A positive response from the Paraguayan to this added pressure is essential.

Fabian Schar

Easily Newcastle’s best player in the backline last season, the stats showed overwhelmingly how much better Newcastle were with him in the team.

A very good defender and a class act bringing the ball out of defence, he is vital to the transition in play this season.

Plus of course, there will even feel some necessity for at least the same number of goals this season to help out.



Martin Dubravka

Rumours in recent days that Mike Ashley could sell him, That would be an unqualified disaster.

Only 59 goals conceded in 50 PL appearances. These past two seasons, each time only two clubs outside the top four have conceded less than Newcastle.

Steve Bruce saying Dubravka won’t be involved at Hibs tonight after having not even been in the squad at Preston, is worrying to say the least. Absolutely essential that he is still at Newcastle this coming season.

Isaac Hayden

Has wanted/needed to be away for a number of transfer windows for family reasons.

Steve Bruce recently indicated the midfielder is set to stay.

Here’s hoping he is proved correct because Hayden was superb last season and not having him in the middle of the pitch could/would spell disaster.

Sean Longstaff

We really really need him to build on that brief spell last season before injury.

Looked a great partnership with Hayden and they could give us an excellent axis to build on.

The likes of Shelvey and Ki can offer something but Longstaff has star quality and real potential, which we are going to need.




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