Things got off to a rocky start for the St James Park outfit, as they lost at home to Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham Hotspur.
There were three goals inside twenty minutes on Tyneside, but once they went behind again to a Dele Alli header, the Magpies were unable to take anything from the game. It wasn’t a really poor performance, but Rafa Benitez will surely be viewing Saturday’s trip to the Welsh Capital as a real chance to take three points from Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds.
Rafa Benitez made some shrewd additions in the summer window, utilising loan deals and free transfers. Bringing in Kenedy on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea could prove to be a very good piece of business from the Spanish manager, as he looked excellent on loan at the Magpies last season. He also brought in Salomon Rondon from West Bromwich Albion on a loan-deal, who is a solid striker for Premier League level.
Ayoze Perez put in an ineffectual performance on Saturday. Perez seems to have a real tendency to go missing and lack an impact, when Rafa Benitez needs his players to stand up and be counted.
Yoshinori Muto, who signed from Mainz of the Bundesliga, looked good after coming on against Tottenham Hotspur. His appearance in the second half may be enough to prompt Rafa Benitez into starting the Japanese international in favour of Perez.
Despite scoring against Tottenham, his place in the side is by no means a given, particularly with Salomon Rondon at the club. Joselu’s talents are limited, and Rondon is more of an all-round striker who can adapt to different styles of play, which may lead to him getting the nod for the Cardiff City game.
The two are likely to be locked in a battle for first team football throughout the season.