A number of Newcastle supporters took to Twitter to comment on Christian Atsu's performance during the Magpies' opening day clash with Tottenham at St James' Park, which saw Rafa Benitez's side fall to a narrow victory.
The same two teams met on the opening day of last season, and on that occasion it was Mauricio Pochettino's men who took the spoils with a 2-0 win that was marred by Jonjo Shelvey picking up a silly red card for stepping on Dele Alli.
Alli would play a key role in deciding the game this time around, too. The Englishman scored the game's winner after just 18 minutes after Joselu had initially cancelled out Jan Vertonghen's opener for the visitors.
It may have been a defeat for Benitez's side, but there were some reasons for encouragement. It was quite a miserable summer for the Newcastle fans who were desperately craving a marquee signing, so the effort a lot of the players showed would have given them some small reason for optimism.
One of the best players on the pitch throughout the afternoon was Matt Ritchie. It was his assist that saw Newcastle equalise and he often looked like the Magpies' main threat.
However, shortly after the hour-mark, Benitez decided to replace the Scotland international with Atsu. And after the game, a number of supporters took to social media to suggest that that was a mistake from the Spaniard.
Atsu has never quite managed to establish himself in the Newcastle side, and his performance on Saturday left a number of fans suggesting that he went missing during the contest and offered little when the side desperately needed him to take the game to Spurs in the same way Ritchie had.
Here is what some of the Newcastle fans made of Atsu's display...
Ritchie being subbed was a mistake, especially as Atsu offered nothing. Good effort from the lads, but firepower is lacking early doors #NUFC— Tom McCormack (@Tomccormack92) August 12, 2018
I thought Kenedy and Ritchie were excellent today.— NUFC.org (@NUFC_org) August 11, 2018
Good to see Ritchie fuming to be taken off. Just proves how much he cares. He’s going to play a LOT of minutes this season so he can’t play every minute of every game.
I bet he was more frustrated watching Atsu though!#nufc
Atsu was so bad today.— Burnsie ⚽ NUFC ️⚽ (@BenArfaChance) August 11, 2018
So bad that he genuinely stopped us getting a draw #NUFC
Didnt even turn up, why he replaced Ritchie god knows. Hes only come back from injury, surely Josh Murphy should of got into the matchday squad. Played alright in pre season.— Manni (@Manni67557527) August 11, 2018
Agree, Atsu was very poor when he came on. Ritchie was playing very well— Leroy (@LeroyNUFC) August 11, 2018
Good performance but thought taking Ritchie off was an odd decision. Atsu wasnt anywhere near as effective. #nufc— Throptoon (@Throptoon) August 11, 2018
Best - Kenedy, apart from that first touch when one on one he was amazing— Michael (@MichaelNUFC9) August 11, 2018
Worst - Atsu, awful when he came on. Killed the creativity and costed us.
Can someone tell me why Cristian Atsu is wearing the colours of my football club please? #NUFC— dan (@danielfairley8) August 11, 2018