The Newcastle United team pulled a result out of the hat on Sunday.
Man Utd were rubbish but still had to be beaten and NUFC were worth the victory.
It wasn’t a dominant win by any stretch of the imagination but Newcastle had the fine margins in their favour and deserved the three points.
As a club of course it doesn’t change anything.
Just like any good/positive things that have happened since summer 2007, they have been accidental blips.
Mike Ashley’s running of the club ensures that after two relegations in his first 10 Premier League seasons, a third is only a matter of time whilst he remains.
I see shouts of Newcastle could stay up, as though that would be an achievement.
The reality is that we still have enough good players where getting relegated shouldn’t even be a consideration. It is only Ashley’s negligent unambitious running of the club that has created that mindset. Forcing Rafa Benitez out was one thing but if indeed Ashley was insistent he only wanted a yes man who would do as he was told and not expect a say on anything, he could still surely have found many other willing candidates before he reached the bottom of the barrel with Steve Bruce?
Anyway, even Bruce shouldn’t have this Newcastle United team struggling.
This is how I rate this group of players in the squad this season:
Good enough – Dubravka
OK as back up –
Good enough – Schar, Lejeune, Lascelles
OK as back up – Dummett, Clark, Fernandez
Good enough – Ritchie
OK as back up – Yedlin, Willems
Good enough – Hayden, S Longstaff, M Longstaff
OK as back up –
Good enough – Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin
OK as back up – Carroll, Gayle
So basically I think we have 11 players who are at least good enough to start week in week out. We might not have seen a lot of the Longstaffs or Saint-Maximin but I think all three have got it.
Whilst for Almiron and Joelinton, I just think they need better coaching/guidance and service to start doing a lot better than they have so far this season.
I make it another seven players who I have marked as OK to be on the bench or come in and play as cover.
Which leaves another eight of the squad who I don’t think are good enough and need to be moved on – Muto, Shelvey, Ki, Manquillo, Krafth, Elliot, Darlow, Atsu.
This Newcastle United team could have done with another decent striker and creative midfielder but the worst part of the transfer window was the failure to bring in proper quality at wing-back on both sides. Ashley trying to do it on the cheap and it shows. Willems has had the odd moment but has shown nothing like enough, especially in defence whilst Krafth is patently not good enough.