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Season 2018-19
FC Augsburg (h) Friendly


Saturday 4th August 2018, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Beautiful blue skies

Admission: £10 adults, £5 concessions
(£20 and £10 on match day)

Programme: £3

Newcastle United

FC Augsburg

0 - 1




Half time: Magpies 0 Augsburg 0

61 mins
All of our back four and Jacob Murphy were in the box but most were marking fresh air, allowing striker Michael Gregoritsch to head in Philipp Max's left wing cross at the Leazes End.

Full time:
Magpies 0 Augsburg 1

We Said


Rafa Benitez:

"I have said before that I compete for trophies - even with less money, at Chelsea and Napoli. At Valencia we were competing for trophies. Why?

"Because we had time and confidence from the top and then we delivered. Now I was expecting that we would be competing for something after one year especially after guaranteeing the money from TV this season.

"Normally when we have had time and support, we deliver. So we have won trophies everywhere and it was the idea to do something similar here. 

"I am not happy we have to just survive every year but at the moment we have to see if we can improve the squad.

"I’m not saying we’re not working, but the point is we were ready to go and we knew what we wanted to do. I am a little bit surprised but I will do my best.

"We knew that the position we were in was deserved last season. But at the same time a couple of a couple of defeats and you could be in fifteenth.

"So it was clear that it wasn’t easy and it was a massive effort from this group of players. The togetherness of fans, players and staff was the key.

"Sometimes that is not enough when other teams are spending a lot of money and you can’t expect all the spending teams to get it wrong.

"Half of them will get it right and you could be further down the table. And you could be nervous or anxious which is what we seen last season.

"With just one or two injuries we could have bigger problems.

"For us it’s about the team. Last year we saw the team spirit and staff, that was the key.

"So it has to be the key next year. We don’t talk about the window.

"We’re trying to improve the squad as we said before but we don’t know if we can do it or not. So it’s just carry on working and try to our best before August 9.

"Then after we have to do our best on the pitch.”

They Said


Away dressing room, SJP, Saturday


Manuel Baum said: 

Nowt that we could find.


Ki Sung-yeung and Fabian Schar made home debuts from the bench, having both previously played at Gallowgate for their countries at U23 level during the 2012 Olympic games (Ki has also visited with his former clubs Swansea City and the mackems).

Home pre-season friendlies - last decade:

2018/19 FC Augsburg lost 0-1 21,331
2017/18 Hellas Verona won 2-0 23,906
2016/17 Vitesse Arnhem won 3-2 19,200
2015/16 Borussia Monchengladbach lost 0-1 21,088
2014/15 Real Sociedad won 1-0 19,199
2013/14 Sporting Braga drew 1-1 16,187
2011/12 Fiorentina drew 0-0 12,656 (abandoned)
2010/11 PSV Eindhoven drew 2-2 16,118
2009/10 Leeds United drew 0-0 16,945
2008/09 Valencia won 2-1 31,494
2008/09 PSV Eindhoven drew 2-2 13,477

Magpies v Bundesliga opposition - PL era:

2018/19 FC Augsburg (h) lost 0-1 FR
2017/18 VfL Wolfsburg (a) won 3-1 FR
FSV Mainz 05 (a) lost 1-2 FR
Borussia Monchengladbach (h) lost 0-1 FR
2014/15 Schalke 04 (a) won 3-1 FR
Hertha Berlin (n) lost 0-1 FR
2006/07 Eintracht Frankfurt (a) drew 0-0 UE
2003/04 Bayern Munich (h) drew 2-2 FR
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen (h) won 3-1 CL
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen (a) won 3-1 CL
2001/02 1860 Munich (h) won 3-1 IC
2001/02 1860 Munich (a) won 3-2 IC
1999/00 VfL Bochum (a) lost 2-3 FR
Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

Ritchie 45+90+72+80+68=355
Perez 45+45+72+80+83=325 +1 goal
Yedlin 45+45+66+70+90=316
Clark 45+45+66+90+57=303
Diame 45+60+72+90+29=296
Joselu 45+45+72+20+90=272 +1 goal
Lascelles 0+45+90+45+90=270
Darlow 45+45+18+20+90=218
Shelvey 45+69+66+0+33=213
Longstaff 90+90+18+10+0=208 + 1 goal
Dummett 0+0+45+90+68=203
Atsu 45+0+18+66+57=186 +1 goal (pen)
Hayden 0+37+18+66+57=178
Manquillo 45+45+45+20+22=177
Murphy 0+45+72+24+33=174
Yarney 90+53+0+0+0=143
Dubravka 0+0+72+70+0=142
Ki 0+21+24+24+61=130
Roberts 45+45+18+10+7=125
Gayle 45+0+0+70+0=115
Schar 0+0+24+45+33=102
Aarons 45+45+0+0+0=90
Fernandez 45+30+0+0+0=75
Sterry 0+45+24+0+0=69
Kenedy 45+0+0+0+22=67
Armstrong 45+0+18+0+0=63
Lejeune 45+0+0+0+0=45
Woodman 0+45+0+0+0=45
Sels 45+0+0+0+0=45

This was United's second meeting with Augsburg, following a 4-2 friendly victory in Germany during 1956. Thanks to reader Russ Brown, here's a translated match report:

On Wednesday evening the Augsburg Rosenau stadium was nigh-on full to capacity – for the first time in a long time. The name of the renowned English professional team Newcastle United proved to possess a magical attraction for the circa 30,000 fans who wanted to see the “match of the season”. 

Never before have so many spectators attended a floodlit match. This was organised by the BCA whom in association with the club TSV 1847 Schwaben, managed to successfully create an environment where all of the fans could follow the match with ease. A hundred thousand watts is at the end of the day, no trifling matter.

The Brits fulfilled all expectations thoroughly. Newcastle United won with a 4:2 (2:1) and thus ended their German tour with another victory. On the previous Sunday, the English team had also conquered a combined Eintracht Frankfurt / FSV Frankfurt team by two goals to one.

The Augsburger team, made up of a combination of BCA and TSV 1847 Schwaben players, were unable to continue the good form shown in their previous match against Wacker Vienna. This, however is hardly surprising, due to the fact that the Augsburger city team were faced up against an iron-hard and thoroughly prepared group of English professionals able to perform at an entirely different level to the Viennese. Even a player of international class such as Biesinger could only occasionally come close to matching the quality of his opponents. That says it all. As a team, the English simply functioned better together than the Germans.

Where a Schuller or Harlacher would try unsuccessfully to dribble the ball unnecessarily forward, it was enough that one deep through ball from United would bring them into the box. Above all, the Augsburger forwards were not up to scratch, whilst the defence at least, put up a good show. 

Had it not been for the qualities of both German goalkeepers in the respective halves (Süßmann in the first, Gitschier in the second) in fighting the efforts of the United strikers, then the victory would have become undoubtedly been much more one-sided. 

The Augsburg strikers were hardly lacking in confidence when shooting, but more often than not the white leather ball went wide or over the bar, despite this it must be said that the efforts of the Germans delivered one of the classiest goals of recent years on Augsburg soil. But the English were delivering a true lesson in the art of football.

After the match, we asked the visiting coaching team what their impressions were, to which they responded: “We don’t want to highlight any member of our team, everyone gave their best, despite the fact that the players would have had one eye on their upcoming holidays. From now until August when the league starts, there is nothing but peace and quiet to be had.” 

The referee, Herr Alt from Frankfurt, declared that the Newcastle team weren’t entirely supportive of his offside decisions, although they seemed to forget to mention that the man in the middle was at least consistent as he seemed to disadvantage both sides equally in this respect.

The Newcastle team really is a very seamless and consistent team. Notwithstanding this, we shouldn’t neglect to look at a number of their players much more closely. The international outside-left Mitchell thoroughly deserves his reputation, as he managed to out-trick both Kneitel and, after his early replacement by Lang, in the style of Stanley Matthews. 

Later on in the match, Lang challenged Mitchell particularly strongly, and Mitchell was clearly not pleased with his style of man-marking. Midfielder Stokoe barely left the heels of Biesinger alone and through his efforts managed to play the international out of the game. Keeble, despite his gangly look managed to perfectly embody a striker of the modern game, with not only his movement across all sides of the park, but excelling with his runs and shots on goal. 

His goal (the equaliser for 1:1) was an effort that offers a seldom sight on any football ground, speeding like a torpedo into the box to meet the cross from White and the “flying man” headed the ball stone-cold into the net. Sadly, Newcastle failed to bring their striker, Jackie Milburn, who is currently injured and whose expertise we had been so looking forward to witnessing. 

What is particularly noticeable about these “Magpies” from Newcastle is the extreme speed that particular players possess. They fly lightning fast out of the blocks and repeatedly fooled an experienced ref like Alt who was convinced that they must have been offside on many occasions – the men from the English Isle were simply too quick for him to judge correctly, as they were consistently onside when the ball was played.

This game showed once again the significant differences between the professional and semi-professional game. Newcastle United were fit and able at any second of the match to raise their game and change up a gear or two, of particular note was the visiting outside-right, White, who scored the deciding last two goals as well as the running of Scoular. 

The Augsburg combination in a new and distinct strip of red top with a green and white stripe on the chest with white shorts, took a surprising lead in the 25th minute of an exciting match. On the wing, the well-practiced combination of Schlump and Schmelzinger managed a delightful one-two on the right which allowed Schmelzinger finished with a left-footed shot in to the net. 

The lead only lasted for three minutes, when the previously mentioned goal from Keeble found its way beyond the Augsburger goalie. A few minutes before halftime, it was the half-left Hannah who managed to profit from the actions of his neighbouring team mate, Mitchell, when he shot the Englishmen in front for the first time in the match. 

After the interval there was an unfortunate chorus of whistling from the fans, as the Schwaben goalie Süßmann, who had played well in the first half, was replaced with the BCA man Gietscher in goal, who hadn’t earned such disrespect from the crowd. Süßmann had volunteered to go off after the first half, after having complained about struggling with the floodlights. 

Outside-right White managed to decide the game in the 63rd minute when he headed a 1:3 lead. Five minutes later the cunning fox Schlump proved once again with his another of his devilishly swinging corner, that he can pose a danger to any defending team. His treacherously swerving ball in, from the sixth Augsburg corner of the match, hit the post and span in, across the line. 

England's national amateur goalkeeper Simpson knocked the ball back out, but the referee Alt, despite energetic protests from the English players, was unmoved and recognised the goal, direct from the corner, for Augsburg, leaving the teams at 2:3. From this point, the men in black and white took the game seriously and five minutes before the end of the match, a perfect combination from the English side ended with White smashing a bomb of a shot off the underside of the bar. 

In summary, Augsburg had a few clear chances, but
(for the) goals. It is of note that the English made no substitutions and played the whole match unchanged. 



Newcastle's fifth and final friendly fixture saw further evidence of the shortages that threaten to undermine their efforts to make progress in the coming season.

A third successive failure to find the net was hardly a surprise given the paucity of attacking options open to Rafa Benitez: Joselu and Ayoze Perez leading the line, with Yoshinori Muto and Dwight Gayle both absent.

Progress is predicted in the transfer market ahead of Thursday's window closure, but anyone expecting to witness something like a settled side at Gallowgate a week away from the first whistle was disappointed.

As was the case at Braga, United's starting selection featuring ten players from the Championship season - Joselu the odd man out rather than Martin Dubravka.

The manager later revealed that the squad were in a better frame of mind than in Portugal, although the ongoing bonus dispute meant that players again refused to perform post-match media duties.

Fabulous conditions on Tyneside were matched by the first senior outing of the eye-catching red and blue change strip, but there wasn't an awful lot of genuine action to rouse those present from their slumbers in the opening 45 minutes.

Matt Ritchie had an effort tipped over and Perez went close with a shot just off-target, while Christian Atsu spurned a decent chance when blasting against the visiting goalkeeper as he protected his near post. 

Having absorbed two heavy tackles that left him limping, Mo Diame was replaced just before the half hour by Ki Sung-yueng and the South Korean made a couple of astute passes to try and push his new side forward. 

A header from Michael Gregoritsch ultimately settled the contest, sloppy defending allowing the lanky Austrian striker to head in Philipp Max's 61st minute cross.

The same player should have doubled the lead soon after but Karl Darlow saved well and at the other end, substitute Jacob Murphy's cross was deflected off the Gallowgate End crossbar as United gained momentum.

Their improvement followed the arrival of Jonjo Shelvey and Kenedy - the former wasting a late free-kick in a central position and the latter looking lively and in the mood to entertain those present with his talents.

The Brazilian almost pulled that off in spectacular style, trying a shot on goal from the halfway line in the final seconds that only just cleared the crossbar.

Other than that though, the SJP ground staff won't have an onerous task repairing the goalmouths, Newcastle totally unconvincing in the final third and merely going through the motions at times.

That lack of firepower seems to be belatedly being addressed, Gayle's absence from today's squad echoed by fellow striker Salomon Rondon's omission from the matchday 18 named by West Bromwich Albion for their Championship opener against Bolton Wanderers today.

Concerns remain in all outfield areas though, the prolonged absence of injury victim Florian Lejeune complicating what was already an evident need for defensive recruits.

It's a little early to hold an inquest on the value of our pre-season programme, and if nothing else we haven't embarked on the energy-sapping inter-continental farce that sowed the seeds of our last relegation season.

Analytics and number-crunching may show that the players are in better physical condition that a month ago, but measuring levels of commitment, optimism and even despondency is a trickier task.

Whether the lack of conviction and confidence that seemed worryingly evident in pre-season has cleared by Saturday remains to be seen, but we remain very concerned as to our immediate future.

What may be construed as panic buys (or loans) in the coming days could enormously shape our season - a typically amateurish situation created by NUFC.


Page last updated 13 November, 2018