Manchester City boss tells young stars it wasn’t good enough after scoring seven against Newcastle

manchester city v newcastle united

Not the greatest of seasons so far for Newcastle United.

In six games, from Academy level up to first team, it has been a case of five defeats and one draw with a massive 22 goals conceded already.

Last Saturday saw all three teams in action, Steve Bruce’s first team losing 3-1 at Norwich, the reserves losing 2-1 at home to West Ham, whilst the Academy team were crushed 7-1 at Manchester City.



With Mike Ashley having refused to allow proper investment in the Academy, as well as pretty much anywhere else at the club, apart from a few coats of paint, the signs aren’t good for the future.

However, it must have been demoralising enough for the NUFC under 18s without hearing what Gareth Taylor has had to say.

The Manchester City Academy team boss wasn’t impressed with his side despite hammering Newcastle 7-1 on Saturday.

He declared about the Man City kids: ‘I thought we were poor in the second period and not great in the first.’

A further sign of the massive gulf between Newcastle United and most other Premier League clubs, not just Manchester City.

Gareth Taylor adding: ‘We haven’t had a top performance but the result was there.’

Rafa Benitez wanted to properly rebuild Newcastle United from top to bottom but Mike Ashley point blank refused, instead just wanting the club to exist and float along, without any long-term plan to build for any level of success.



Gareth Taylor speaking to the official Manchester City site:

“I am pleased with that aspect (winning) and it was a good scoreline on Saturday…but I wasn’t happy with the players and I let them know that afterwards.

“I thought we were poor in the second period and not great in the first.

“We work hard here day in, day out and the game at the end of the week is the icing on the cake and I felt that we too often came off the hymn sheet.

“They are a talented group and a good bunch of lads and we have high standards. 

“Ultimately, I always look at the performance as that is what you pride yourself on.

“We haven’t had a top performance but the result was there.

“So, it’s a good start and we want to continue in the vein of achieving good results, but we also want performances to improve before we go into the international break.”

The results so far for Newcastle United this season:

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)




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Michael Owen with double prediction for Tottenham v Newcastle United

Michael Owen has been looking forward to Sunday’s match at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

I must admit I had to look it up before I wrote that as it hadn’t registered we me what they’d called the new ground, doesn’t sound very catchy does it?

However, it is a new and impressive looking stadium for Newcastle fans and all 3,000 away tickets have been sold amongst the overall 60,000 sellout.



Michael Owen predicted a draw for Newcastle at Norwich last weekend and hopefully he is equally wrong on this occasion.

Owen has actually made a double prediction for this game.

He thinks Tottenham will win very comfortably and Newcastle won’t score a goal.

Difficult to argue with that on what we have seen so far.

Arsenal’s keeper didn’t have a proper save to make and Norwich’s keeper didn’t make a save on Saturday, the only serious shot eluding him in the final seconds when Jonjo Shelvey got a goal that was no consolation.

Of the Newcastle players remaining from last season, collectively they only scored 15 of the 42 Premier league goals scored in 2018/19 and of those the top scorers are/were Schar (four) and Clark (three).

Steve Bruce desperately needs players to step up and take responsibility, with a particularly heavy weight of pressure on Joelinton already. Almiron hasn’t scored so far either since arriving from Atlanta United and NUFC need both to score ASAP to get the confidence flowing, especially when it is anybody’s guess at to when Gayle and Carroll will be available.

From the 2003/04 season onwards, Newcastle have played away 15 times (all competitions) at Tottenham, winning five and Spurs victorious in the other 10. In the five games won Newcastle have scored 10 goals but in the 10 they’ve lost, there has only been the one goal and that was from Gouffran when NUFC lost 2-1 in 2012/13. So looking for positives, if we can get a goal then the stats say we could/should win, although they also say that any defeat is likely to be as Michael Owen predicts, without Newcastle scoring.



A tough game ahead after Spurs came from behind to beat Villa 3-1 and then got an excellent 2-2 draw away at Man City.

A massive Premier League game follows this one with Newcastle home to Watford (before then playing Liverpool away) in 10 days time and whilst I wouldn’t take a credible narrow defeat at this point against Tottenham, it would certainly be worrying if Newcastle took a hiding in this Spurs game.

As well as needing to tighten it up at the back, Newcastle desperately need a spark going forward and leaders all over the pitch to take responsibility. Especially after Norwich where the team collectively appeared to give up once the second goal went in.

The number of chances created in the first three hours of football in Steve Bruce’s reign have been minimal but as Michael Owen points out, the likes of Joelinton can’t afford to pass up ones like that free header from seven yards at Norwich when the game was goalless.

Michael Owen speaking to Betvictor:

“Spurs rode their luck at the Etihad at the weekend but played their part in a wonderful game of football.

“And I expect them to have too much quality for a Newcastle side who have disappointed me so far this season.

“The Magpies need more from their expensive signings Joelinton – who spurned a gilt-edged opportunity at Carrow Road and Miquel Almiron but they may need more time to gel.

“In the meantime, I can’t see anything other than a comfortable home win.

“Tip: Spurs to win to nil 20/21”



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Newcastle United give fitness and availability update on Joelinton, Carroll, ASM and Lejeune

Newcastle United have given an update on the fitness and/or availability of a number of players.

As well as a chaotic summer and tough set of opening fixtures, NUFC have also experienced a number of injury problems.

With no points and tough games ahead, starting with Spurs on Sunday, Steve Bruce needs some key players back as quickly as possible.



Ahead of that game on Sunday, Newcastle United have confirmed that despite being forced off on Saturday at Norwich, Joelinton was ok to train on Tuesday and will be available for Tottenham. Newspaper reports had previously confirmed that scans had shown no lasting damage from the knock to his hip at Norwich.

Also encouraging on Allan Saint-Maximin.

Newcastle United reporting that whilst ASM didn’t train with the rest of the squad yesterday, they are hopeful he will be able to later this week and shake off his hamstring issue, to be available for Sunday.

For the not so immediate, the club also stated that Andy Carroll and Florian Lejeune were progressing and had now moved to train outside with fitness coaches, though so far they can’t join in training with the rest of the squad. Here’s hoping the pair could be targeting a time in September when they can become available.

Newcastle United official report:

‘Newcastle United are determined to claim their first Premier League win of the season against last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Steve Bruce’s side lost to Norwich City last weekend and that followed an opening day defeat to Arsenal. The games don’t get any easier but, ahead of a first ever visit to Spurs’ new stadium, the players looked to be in a positive frame of mind as they look to kickstart their campaign.

Joelinton – who picked up a hip injury at Carrow Road – was fit enough to train and while Allan Saint-Maximin did not take part in Tuesday morning’s session, he could still be involved against Spurs depending on his progress over the next couple of days.

In another boost for Bruce, Andy Carroll and Florian Lejeune were both training outside and although they have yet to resume full training, both are getting closer under the guidance of the club’s medical staff.’



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Is uncomfortable truth that Rafa Benitez made these Newcastle players look better than they really are?

Newcastle United has been a Rafa Benitez free zone for over seven weeks now.

Mike Ashley having no intention of keeping the manager at the club.

The Newcastle United owner choosing instead to go down a different and more well-trodden route, rather than backing somebody with their own ideas who wanted the freedom to try and model the club in a more progressive way.



Results on the pitch are the only thing that will allow NUFC to move on from the Rafa era and we are still waiting  for those to come along.

So have Newcastle United got the team/squad to do it?

Well, five signings have been made since Rafa Benitez departed, with Joelinton, ASM, Jetro Willems, Emil Krafth and Andy Carroll coming in.

Impossible to say whether or not they would have fared better or worse under Rafa but what about the players that head coach Steve Bruce inherited?

I can’t help but feel that the uncomfortable truth is, that Benitez made these Newcastle players look better than they really are.

I hope I’m proved wrong but I know where my money would be bet on.

You look at two players who also left this summer, Rafa Benitez organised and inspired them to have their best ever Premier League seasons.

Both Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez scored more goals than they had ever done in the English top tier.

Focusing particularly on the defence, many fans have talked about these being the best set of defenders, especially centre-backs, that the club has had in pretty much living memory.



Is that true though, or was it just Rafa’s talent and organisation that made it seem that way.

The stats show that despite fighting relegation for most of these past two seasons, in both 2017/18 and 2018/19, only two clubs outside the four conceded fewer goals than Newcastle, in each of the two seasons.

Even when Newcastle did lose games, Newcastle hardly ever lost by more than one or two goals.

Yet on Saturday against Norwich, it could and should have been at least a four or five goal win for the newly promoted, built on a tight budget Canaries.

With Tottenham and Liverpool away as two of the next three games, what will be the scorelines if we see more of that level of defending and team play.

Jamaal Lascelles – He was going nowhere in his career until Rafa Benitez arrived at Newcastle. The Spaniard made him captain and put him at the heart of a disciplined and drilled defence. We all know that on the ball Lascelles isn’t very good but on Saturday we were reminded that when exposed without cover, is the NUFC captain really that good? I think he is at least an ok player but I have a horrible feeling that Rafa Benitez in particular made Lascelles look far better than he actually is but maybe our captain is in denial a bit about that.

Fabian Schar – The back five formation suits him because he isn’t the greatest defender and so isn’t as exposed as often, which allowed him to bring the ball out of defence so well last season. He was another on Saturday who looked badly exposed and indeed against Arsenal, both he and Lascelles appeared to be blaming each other when Aubameyang was left unmarked for the winning goal. His previous club record didn’t suggest a great player and so he was a massive bonus last season and did so well – but once again, was it Rafa Benitez who took him from being a 6 or 7 out of 10 to 8 or 9 on so many occasions.

Paul Dummett – He’d made less than 50 league appearances for Newcastle before Rafa’s  arrival and I think Dummett went up at least a notch or two these past few years, whether in a four or five man defence. Once again though, the more and more open Newcastle are, the more his lack of pace and other limitations are exposed. Paul Dummett is definitely somebody who massively benefits from a tight disciplined defence around him.



Matt Ritchie – A popular player who is well-liked due to his effort and workrate making up for a lack of pace and ability, in some ways. Brilliant goalscoring and assist stats in the Championship, not so great in the Premier League. Can he be effective as a winger in the to tier, in terms of contributing going forward…it’s debatable. However, Rafa Benitez reinvented him, Ritchie looking very good as a wing-back last season and more than worth his place in the team. My worry once again is that without the former manager here drilling the team in what they need to do, Ritchie will be nowhere near as effective and his weaknesses more exposed. With his over the top comments recently, I fear he is another who doesn’t want to properly acknowledge what Rafa did for him.

Isaac Hayden – Excellent in the second half of last season as Rafa Benitez got the right combination of players working together and Hayden excelled in what he was asked to do. Previous to that, the midfielder had been average. Much has been made of Isaac Hayden having played under Steve Bruce before but the reality is that over two loan spells at Hull, Hayden only started nine Championship matches. Is he another who will regret making his mouth go as this season progresses, not having appreciated what Rafa was doing for him?

Some players I wouldn’t include.

Martin Dubravka is a very good keeper regardless, although it would help if the defence don’t disappear like they did on Saturday.

Sean Longstaff has definitely got natural ability and hopefully he won’t be set back too much if this season all goes wrong.

Miguel Almiron is another, he has pace and ability to run with the ball. Rafa brought him together with Perez and Rondon, which helped all three of them play better. However, I think if given any kind of decent set-up, his natural game can make him a real asset.

So can many of these Newcastle players prove that Rafa Benitez was only incidental to their relative success these past two years, or will they  look back on a time when they excelled for a limited period due to him?



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Sheffield Wednesday fans discuss potential Steve Bruce return after Newcastle United sacking

sheffield wednesday fans

Sheffield Wednesday fans watched on at Hillsborough on Tuesday night as they beat Luton 1-0.

A Jacob Murphy cross helping to set up the winning goal.

That win puts the Owls top of the Championship with nine points from four games.



However, scratch below the surface and the fanbase are are still not sure what could and should happen.

Caretaker boss Lee Bullen is very popular with fans due to his long-term association with the club but Sheffield Wednesday fans aren’t necessarily convinced he is the man for the job. Both in terms of whether he has the skills to do it and a fear that if it goes pear-shaped, the supporters would hate to see a fan favourite exit the club on a very negative note.

Despite top of the league after four games, the fans haven’t been totally convinced by the performances.

The owner Chansiri also appears to be unsure what to do, five weeks after Bruce’s departure and Lee Bullen is still caretaker boss.

An interesting discussion has now appeared amongst Sheffield Wednesday fans, would they take Steve Bruce back if/when he is sacked by Newcastle in the near future.

Some interesting comments below, everything from such a return would make sense, right through to would never take him back under any circumstances.

What they do seem unanimous about though, is that Steve Bruce won’t be head coach at Newcastle United for much longer.

Bruce lasted 18 games at Sheffield Wednesday before deserting them.

Newcastle’s schedule sees 18 Premier League matches before Christmas, can Steve Bruce last longer than the turkey?



Sheffield Wednesday fans comment via their Owls Talk message board:

‘Steve Bruce has not exactly got off to a flyer at Newcastle and is bookies favourite to be the first to get the sack.

Personally, although I don’t like he left us, it was for his boyhood club and it was his last chance to manage them which you can understand.

The way he went about it was not great but I think given its likely the additions were Bruce and co’s players he did put us in a good position and unlike anyone else could come back and know the squad…

Would the players be happy to see him return?

Would fans be happy to see him return?’

‘Can I borrow your drugs?’

‘Personally think Newcastle will be Bruce’s last job.’

‘You may very well be right, although if he is unceremoniously sacked after say 8 losses he might have something to prove.’

‘Bullen is doing great I totally agree but will be have the contacts and the know how in the transfer market… he is a legend at the club I kinda don’t want him to spoil that which I think it will when he gets the sack.

Its only been 4 games and last 2 have hardly been convincing.’

‘Wonder what Bruce is thinking now?

I’m guessing its something like…wtf have i done?

Newcastle could be his last job now…. huge clanger dropped brucie.’



‘Fizz Bruce and those two weasels that followed him to Newcastle. Wouldn’t want any of them anywhere our club ever again.’

‘We took Ron back.

We waited for Steve Bruce once … but now he looks like a haunted cabbage.

Maybe take him back – if NUFC will pay us money to take him!’

‘I wonder how Steve Bruce would carry it off if it happened…?

I would call a press conference, then pretend to suddenly sorta wake up….

“Where am I…Oh thank God its Hillsborough!”

“I had this awful (remarkable dream)…’

‘Or…

“Crikey, my dog don’t half pull on this lead…I ended up 90 miles up the A1…Sorry about that…Now lets get promoted”

‘Nah just say sorry the club needed money and Newcastle had the money, we managed to get a few players in with it which is what was needed.’

Now we’ve fleeced them lets get on with the job… Agent Bruce out..’




‘No chance..

1. he’d be too embarrassed to come back here after what he did unless we offered him a big wedge (which would be quite possible).

2. He’d be on gardening leave from Newcastle and we’d have to pay them compensation.

3. He shafted Chansiri and there’s no way he’d appoint him after that.

4. If he did come, the probability of things clicking for him wouldn’t be good as there’s too much baggage.

Time to move on… yeah the guy had promotions from this league on his CV but that’s not the be all and end all. He also had a poor record in the Prem.’

‘No thanks. I forgave Big Ron but he’d already proven how good a manager he was for us.

Brucie doesn’t have enough brownie points to be forgiven for what he did. It’s not just that he left us – he left us after we had treated him with such compassion. That’s rare in football and should have been rewarded with loyalty.’

‘Not as far-fetched as it sounds.

Re’ the Toon, Bruce would tell Chansiri that it’s the one job in football he couldn’t say “no” to, especially at his age.

There’s probably some truth in that, but it’s whether Chansiri would take him back.

Bruce was chosen by him, though, and if he were totally happy with what’s currently on offer then Bullen wouldn’t be in situ.’

‘What the fans think wouldn’t come into it as far as Chansiri is concerned.

The players wouldn’t care less either, because they’re no more loyal to this club than he was.

They’re all mercenaries, paid employees who’d jump ship just as readily if it bettered their situations.

Chansiri needs promotion and he (Bruce) was his choice to make that happen, which makes all the difference.’



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Tottenham v Newcastle Premier League record gives surprising reasons for positivity

newcastle v tottenham player ratings

It is Tottenham v Newcastle on Sunday.

A fixture where an overwhelming majority will see only one result.

Whether Tottenham supporter, Newcastle fan, or neutral, difficult to see anything but a home win.



However, interesting to look at the Premier League history of this fixture.

In the Premier League era, there have been 24 Tottenham v Newcastle clashes.

In that time the record shows 14 Tottenham wins, 9 Newcastle victories and only the 1 draw.

It is probably also one of the very few, if only, fixtures where Newcastle have a better record in the Mike Ashley 12 years than the previous PL seasons.

Before Ashley’s arrival Newcastle had 5 wins, 1 draw and 8 defeats but since 2007, it has been 4 wins and 6 defeats.

For a club like Newcastle who have rarely been the best of travellers, visiting Spurs has overall been very decent.

The last two seasons have been defeats but in reality Newcastle deserved something out of both.

Last season it was a Dubravka late error that prevented a deserved point, whilst Newcastle were at least a match for them, though once again lost by a single goal.




Surprisingly, the record over the past five visits includes three victories for NUFC, how Steve Bruce could do with one of those now.

Can Newcastle bounce back and produce a credible performance and result, or will it be as embarrassing as the Norwich defeat last weekend?

A big test for Steve Bruce and interesting to see how the players react to their shocking display at Norwich and the very public post-mortem that has followed.

A bit dramatic to say at this stage that the season rests on it but if the Newcastle players don’t respond in a positive fashion, things will become even more difficult for the head coach.

1993/94 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 2 (Beardsley 2)

1994/95 Tottenham 4 Newcastle 2 (Fox 2)

1995/96 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 1 (Ginola)

1996/97 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 2 (Ferdinand 2)

1997/98 Tottenham 2 Newcastle 0

1998/99 Tottenham 2 Newcastle 0

1999/2000 Tottenham 3 Newcastle 1 (Solano)



2000/01 Tottenham 4 Newcastle 2 (Solano, Dyer)

2001/02 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 3 (Acuna, Shearer, Bellamy)

2002/03 Tottenham 0 Newcastle 1 (Jenas)

2003/04 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0

2004/05 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0

2005/06 Tottenham 2 Newcastle 0

2006/07 Tottenham 2 Newcastle 3 (Huntington, Martins, Butt)

2007/08 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 4 (Butt, Geremi, Owen, Martins)

2008/09 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0

2010/11 Tottenham 2 Newcastle 0

2011/12 Tottenham 5 Newcastle 0

2012/13 Tottenham 2 Newcastle 1 (Gouffran)

2013/14 Tottenham 0 Newcastle 1 (Remy)

2014/15 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 2 (Ameobi, Perez)

2015/16 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 2 (Mitro, Perez)

2017/18 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0

2018/19 Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0



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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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