Newcastle Unitedâ€™s poor start to the season continued with a 3-2 League Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest after extra-time, leaving some fans disappointed.
Both teams fielded weakened sides but it was the visitors that eventually prevailed thanks to a Tyler Walker header in the first period of extra time.
The other four goals all came in the first half, Aleksandar Mitrovic giving Newcastle the lead and Rolando Aarons equalising for the Magpies after a Jason Cummings brace had put Forest ahead.
The defeat was the home sideâ€™s third of the season in all competitions, following Premier League reverses at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur and Huddersfield Town.
However, Benitez fielded a Newcastle side including players that he has publicly said are free to leave the club including Henri Saivet and Mitrovic, which some fans on social media recognised.
#Nufc fans calm down, that was like our 3rd team, most of them had never played together in a game before.
— Jordan (@HahaYeahMan__) August 23, 2017
Gamez, Hanley, Sterry, Barlaser, Saivet. They rarely played when we were in the Championship. Defeat was inevitable. #nufc
— Sam GC (@Funguslover) August 23, 2017
In their eyes, that mitigated the performance and result against Championship high-flyers Forest and reinforced exactly why Benitez does not want those Newcastle players at the club.
Nevertheless, others quickly took to Twitter to offer their views on the performance and did not hold back.
Several Newcastle players came in for criticism, including defender Jamie Sterry, who was making just his fourth appearance for the club.
Given an opportunity to impress, things did not go to plan, as after struggling throughout, he was substituted for Achraf Lazaar – another player who Benitez has said can leave – just before an hour had passed.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan with Coventry City and while it is unfair to judge players on just one appearance, the chances of him featuring much more under Benitez this season would now appear to be slim.
Here are some of the tweets about his – and Newcastleâ€™s – performance.
R.e last night: Hanley, Saivet and Lazaar should all never pull on an #NUFC shirt again. Sterry had a nightmare all game. Mitro average.
— Jack Rowan (@jackrowan93) August 24, 2017
Saivet, barlaser, Sterry , Lazaar and diame are all not anywhere near good enough to play premier league
— bornsa81 (@kevburns1981) August 24, 2017
Compared to Barlaser (who is younger than Sterry), I thought Sterry was poor. IMO Barlaser played very well under the circumstances
— Paul Fell (@PaulAFell14) August 24, 2017
Thought Lazaar did ok when he came on, Sterry was woeful, kept drifting into centre and leaving a massive gap for the forest right mid
— Jack (@cousto) August 24, 2017
What i saw from the team tonight was shocking. Diame, Sterry, Saviet, and Hanley were all awful. Can see why no one wants them.
— Callum (@CallumLiddell) August 23, 2017
The #nufc fans that said lazaar is better than dummett seem very quiet tonight.Kid is a plodder and don't get me started on Sterry.
— Black cloud (@Blackcloud1603) August 23, 2017
Saturdays back 4 wont be Gamez, Mbemba, Hanley and Sterry.
— Jonny Batey (@Jonny_Batey) August 23, 2017
Massively disappointed with Barlaser and Sterry tonight. Impressed last time I saw them but they seem to have regressed. #NUFC
— Mark (@NUFCRafalution) August 23, 2017
Darlow – 5
Gamez – 6
Mbemba – 5
Hanley – 2
Sterry – 2
Diame – 6
Barlaser – 6
Saivet – 7
Murphy – 6.5
Aarons – 8
Mitrovic – 7
— Tommy (@tommyfr96) August 23, 2017
Saivet, Hanley, Lazaar, Sterry, Gamez and Diame aren't cut out for this level. Embarrassing the lot of them.
— Tom (@TJR_NUFC) August 23, 2017
If our best young players coming through is barlaser and sterry that is a shambles.
— Matty Symmondsâšªï¸ (@mattsymmonds) August 23, 2017
Hanley, Lazaar and Sterry were terrible.
Murphy wasn't great.
Saivet was terrible 1st half but better when moved forward.
— Andy (@andylockhart88) August 23, 2017
Sterry was terrible tonight. Normally looks assured but looked out of his depth. Between him & Hanley defence was all over the place. #nufc
— Stephen Moy (@moymadethis) August 23, 2017