The identity of the goalscorer was also typical. Theo Walcott absolutely loves playing against Newcastle. He has now been involved in 10 goals in his last nine appearances against us with five goals and five assists. We should have signed him to put an end to this nonsense!
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We were poor in front of the Sky cameras on Monday night, which was a shame, but we still had our moments to get a goal and result. Ayoze Perez failed to find Islam Slimani with a simple pass in the first half and Dwight Gayle had a couple of moments, but our composure in the final third let us down.
We can’t be too disheartened though, as we look good to finish in the top half in our first season back in the big league, with West Brom at home to come next, and we already have a nice three-point gap to the sides below us. If we finish top 10 that will be a job well done from everyone involved.
Newcastle hate Monday Night Football
Our record on Sky’s Monday Night Football over the years is shocking. I can only remember a couple of wins, as it is usually a nightmare watch as we show up in physical form but nowhere near in spirit or quality.
I will also add that we seem to be away from home for a hell of a lot of these Monday night slots.
I suppose showing Newcastle in their own stadium, where they have more chance of a win is beyond reason. Plus let’s not forget the fact our fans have to travel some of the furthest distances in the country and get back to work for the next day.
Please do not put Newcastle games on Monday Night Football anymore.
If you do, then please make sure it’s a home game, otherwise, no deal.
Rafa’s 100th game
Monday night’s game was Rafa Benitez’s 100th match in charge of the Mighty Mags and it's been an up and down rollercoaster to say the least.
Two years ago, when he walked through the door at St James’ Park, I bet he had no idea it would have been quite like this.
Relegation came as he couldn’t quite keep us up in time. The last game of that season was a 5-1 humiliation of Spurs and the fans sang Rafa’s name from start to finish, which some people say convinced him to stay.
Promotion arrived at the first time of asking, despite many poor performances and results.
With three games left we sat a massive seven points behind league leaders Brighton but somehow managed to win the Championship title as they completely collapsed, and we won our remaining three matches. Dramatic.
Then came the summer talk of bringing in new players. We didn’t get the ones Rafa wanted, he was lied to by Mike Ashley and some thought he would walk.
But he stayed, for the fans (again) more than anything. Despite our worries with relegation, he has managed to steer the club to - hopefully - a top-half finish. Well done, sir.
Here’s to the next 100…
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