We all watched in amazement on Saturday as Newcastle United emerged from their lunchtime kick-off with three points.
The match was embarrassingly one-sided with all the play in the Newcastle half and a staggering figure of 68% possession for Bournemouth.
The 27th minute was like a rainbow breaking out in the middle of a storm, rather than at the end, a flowing move bizarrely giving Newcastle the lead and the eventual winner thanks to Mitrovic, Wijnaldum and then Perez’ final touch that sent it into the back of the net.
I don’t blame Steve McClaren or any of the players or supporters for ‘accentuating the positives’ as the Head Coach puts it…but at the same time you have to accept the reality of what you saw.
Watching Bournemouth waste situation after situation, chance after chance, I was just thinking that if they eventually score and this ends in a defeat, or even possibly if it is a draw, Steve McClaren and his players are going to get absolutely slaughtered.
Happily though, they all lived to see another day.
However, I was then bemused to hear people glossing over what had happened, putting it down to a simple trade-off with the Stoke and Sunderland matches.
The reasoning being that Bournemouth might have battered Newcastle yet lost, but Newcastle did the same to Sunderland and then similar with Stoke, but coming out of that one with a point.
Newcastle were the better team against both teams in red and white stripes but they didn’t ‘batter’ them.
Against Bournemouth the only kick Newcastle had, was the goal, whereas Sunderland ended up scoring three and Stoke had their chances as well in the goalless draw with Newcastle.
It was a mis-match on Saturday with Bournemouth running rings around Newcastle, first to the ball every time and their whole team showing far more desire than all but one or two of the visiting team.
The whole day maybe best summed up when Dan Gosling soared for the header, Moussa Sissoko didn’t even bother to challenge and Rob Elliot made his best save of the match to retrieve the situation.
Newcastle had decent games against Sunderland and Stoke in a large part due to the opposition’s negative tactics handing the initiative to United, something I can’t see happening against any of Leicester, Palace, Liverpool and Spurs, who we have up next.
I hope Steve McClaren has happily banked the three points and then behind closed doors really laid into his team.
That performance against Bournemouth was atrocious and worse than anything we saw even under John Carver.
How lucky were we that the south coast side had to rely on a striker in Joshua King who has only scored eight league goals in his whole career?
Bournemouth picking him up for nothing from Blackburn and his last five seasons of league goals reads:
2011/12 – 3 goals
2012/13 – 2 goals
2013/14 – 2 goals
2014/15 – 1 goal
2015/16 – 0 goals
People have talked of grounds for optimism after Saturday but the sole positive was the three points, the performance was a shocker.
If I could bank a point now from the next home match against Leicester I would grab it with both hands.
I have a feeling that playing against better teams who try to attack you (and have at least one striker) will see Newcastle really up against it in the coming weeks.
I hope I’m proved wrong…
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