Plenty of talking points after today’s Newcastle v Southampton opener but Alan Shearer managed the perfect match report in only 10 words.
Having watched his two former clubs play out a 2-2 draw, the former number nine used his Twitter account to send out his summary.
“A few positives for Newcastle but defence still a worry!”
Overall the match was more entertaining than 95% of the matches last season but in terms of winning and losing there were some big pointers.
On the positive side, Wijnaldum scored a cracking goal that capped a performance where he was in and out of the game.
He showed in flashes what he can do as he burst past players with a turn of pace and of course scored that great goal. On the other hand his set-piece delivery was poor and with time, hopefully he will take games more by the scruff of the neck.
Mitrovic didn’t really feature in his fifteen minutes when coming on for Cisse, then we come on to Mbemba and the defence….
Janmaat was his normal reliable self, whilst Haidara at times looked good on the ball but his defending was in and out as usual – a clear weakness at left-back that needs to be addressed.
A major surprise when Steve McClaren started two centre-backs with 28 minutes between them in Newcastle’s pre season friendlies.
They will surely come on from this game as they play together more but Coloccini looked his usual self of the last few years, ok at times but prone to letting the opposition in, getting away with it a couple of times through luck and poor finishing.
Chancel Mbemba looked quality at times but didn’t even put a challenge in as he totally lost Pelle for the opener. No surprise the two Southampton goals came from headers as United looked weak yet again when the ball went in the air.
Other positives were Colback battling away and Sissoko appeared to improve with the likes of Wijnaldum to play with.
As Alan Shearer says though, there are still flashing warning lights all over our defence, with a left-back and a big dominant centre-back to play alongside Chancel Mbemba an essential for me.