This Saturday sees Rafa’s beleaguered Magpies make the schlep to St Marys, the home of Southampton FC.

The Saints narrowly avoided relegation last season and have not exactly set the world on fire this term. They currently sit on only six points, with just the one win (away at Palace) nearly two months ago. That is, however three times the haul Newcastle have managed thus far.

I’m now at the bit where I get to talk about us. Mint.

Where do I start? Coming off the back of last weekend’s latest reverse at home to Brighton, we remain mired in shit streets. Put simply, we can’t buy a win. Our matches are following a sickeningly repetitive script.

I’m afraid all the ingredients of a relegation certainty are currently in evidence. We try hard (in the main), but have little talent at the sharp end. We usually get one or maybe two chances each game, but more often than not don’t take them, Ayoze Perez being the latest culprit last Saturday. We’re also suffering from some appalling refereeing decisions. Blatant penalties and erroneously awarded corners spring to mind.

We are organised, but that can only get you so far without someone to put the ball in the net. Rafa is not blameless this season. He’s been guilty of a few head-scratchers in my opinion, but most of our right thinking fans know where the true problem lies.

Tubby Johnson is taking £millions out of the club at a time when decent player investment is absolutely necessary. His parsimony has left us bereft of talent and a squad that is unfit for Premiership purpose. Rafa is in silk purse/sow’s ear territory. Please do not lose sight of that.

Back to this weekend. We battered the Saints 3-0 at SJP in Spring time and played them off the park at their place earlier in that campaign, only to give away a soft pen late on letting them escape with an undeserved point. I’m afraid I can’t see a repeat this weekend. I think we’ll lose 1-0. I reckon Danny Ings will net and we’ll gnash our teeth further, at missing out on even a common or garden striker like him. I also think their twisty faced Welsh manager will fail to raise a smile and complain loudly about something relatively minor.

Sorry to be a mood hoover and that, but these are the times we live in.

HTL…

Nick Clark

@Clark5Nick