Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has cancelled plans to appear on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football tonight, with the club rooted to the bottom of the table on 2 points.
The Magpies have had their worst start to a top flight campaign since 1898, and are without a win in nine games, with their loss to Brighton their fifth consecutive defeat at home.
The man who took his place on the punditry duties was Graeme Souness, who gave his two cents on the Magpies recent troubles. Souness himself managed Newcastle from 2004 to 2006, and cited the expectation around the clubs, and the passion of the fans as a reason why some players don't perform on Tyneside:
It would be far easier being in a dogfight at a lesser club, not so much pressure on you. When I was manager I quickly realised you have to be a big player with the courage to play, you must want the ball all the time and some players in that atmosphere go missing.
I feel like they're going to be in a dogfight to the very end.
"If you're not investing, you're standing still." ❌?
Former @NUFC manager Graeme Souness discusses the problems surrounding the club. ⚫⚪
Watch #MNF live on Sky Sports Premier League now or follow: https://t.co/YRQn0A2XpB pic.twitter.com/RgSRC610Bq
— Sky Sports MNF (@SkySportsMNF) October 22, 2018
When it was pointed out to him that Souness was the man who presided over the club's most expensive signing, Michael Owen for £16.8 million in 2005, Souness stated that that fact 'tells its own story' and that , in the Premier League, 'if you're not investing, you're standing still.'
Despite all the doom and gloom, Newcastle fans can take some solace in the fact that they have some winnable fixtures coming up. Southampton, Bournemouth, Watford, Bournemouth, Burnley and West Ham represent a run where Benitez will be hoping his side can pick up some points after a disheartening start to the season.