On a day when banners stating the words “Honesty” and “Hope” were asked to be taken down by stewards, Newcastle’s performance left little hope for supporters to cling on to. Before the game, there was another protest against owner Mike Ashley, his presence led to numerous anti-Ashley chants from the stands.
Around an hour before the game, it had been reported that Peter Kenyon had been on the lookout for investors to buy the club. This seemed like an attempt to calm the hatred towards Ashley, an attempt that clearly didn’t work. There appears to be very little substance to the fresh takeover claims, Newcastle fans are quite rightly taking it with a pinch of salt.
Newcastle’s lack of investment was there for all to see once again, this time in front of the watching owner. Ashley quite literally laughed off supporters during the game. With Rondon out injured, Benitez called on Joselu to lead the line. Unfortunately the former Stoke man wasted a glorious opportunity, Joselu was played through on goal but couldn’t figure out whether to pass or shoot. In the end the Spaniard did neither, as Harry Maguire came in with a challenge. Diame was also guilty of missing a golden opportunity, some how putting a free header, wide of the post.
It was another poor showing from Newcastle, yes the fixtures have been tough, however, this performance had very few positives to take from away from it. Leicester’s opener came courtesy of a penalty, as Yedlin foolishly had his arms above his head, the USA international was penalised for handball. Jamie Vardy made no mistake from the spot, firing past a diving Dubravka. The foxes doubled their lead through Harry Maguire, who punished some very lazy marking, with a trademark header.
One positive for Newcastle was Yoshinori Muto, the Japanese international replaced a very much out of form Ayoze Perez. Muto’s work rate was fantastic, the former Mainz player had contributed more during his 20 minute spell than Perez had during 70 minutes.
The little said about this game the better, it was the worst I had felt coming away from St James’ Park in a long time. With a trip to Old Trafford next, it looks as though it will only get worse. Rafa Benitez is certainly not above criticism, however, he has effectively been given a plastic knife in a sword fight. There is no other manager out there that could do a better job than Benitez with this current crop of players. Newcastle United needs to be invested in, the club are being left far behind by the rest of the Premier League, all of whom have spent large amounts of money and will continue to do so.