Joey Barton lays into Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez over attitude and tactics

Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic
Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic
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Joey Barton says 'moaning' Rafa Benitez tries to draw teams to death as the former Newcastle United midfielder laid into the Magpies' boss.

Newcastle crashed to a second successive defeat yesterday, losing 1-0 at fellow promoted side Huddersfield Town, to leave them without a point this season.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Benitez is understood to be unhappy with the number of signings the club has made this summer, despite spending around £35million in bringing in six new players.

Former Toon midfielder Barton, speaking on Talksport, admits the club needs more investment, but says the Newcastle manager must stop 'moaning' and start coaching the players he's got.

Barton said: “They do need some investment. When you come up, you do need investment, but there is also a case that Benitez needs to get on with it.

“You’ve got what you’ve got. OK, you maybe need to keep it private in terms of [asking] can we get bodies in, but he’s getting paid an awful lot of money, so coach what you’ve got in front of you.

“It doesn’t help when the manager is out there moaning, clearly not happy with the situation. That definitely festers out on the pitch.

“If you’re a player and you hear the manager moaning about investment it doesn’t inspire confidence because he’s saying they’re not good enough.”

Newcastle have failed to score a goal in their opening two Premier League games, with Gayle leading the line. He was replaced yesterday by £5million new boy Joselu, but Benitez kept Aleksandar Mitrovic on the bench despite United trailing 1-0.

Barton doubts whether Newcastle have enough firepower to trouble the top teams.

“Yes, they do need investment,” he added. “I don’t think Gayle is a confident enough striker at this level. Gayle's not a striker who will get you goals consistently at this level.

“Is Mitrovic the answer? I don’t think so. They’re crying out for a goalkeeper. No disrespect to Elliot as he made a great save from Harry Kane in the game at St James's and I don't think he's done anything wrong.

"You’d like to see the spine strengthened. They definitely need a striker, who’s going to get you 20 goals or 15 goals maybe. Charlie Austin, maybe? They’ve been linked with him before.

“Benitez has historically set up his teams to be defensively very structured, he doesn’t play the most attacking brand of football. Even the other day he's playing one striker at Huddersfield. Matt Ritchie will create stuff because he’s a competent performer at this level. He was their best player in the Championship.

"But they need a bit more quality in those positions because you’re going to have to score goals to stay in this league, you can’t draw everyone to death.”