After watching his young Newcastle stars lose 4-0 at home to Derby County, Under 18s Coach Dave Watson declared ‘I wasn’t really surprised with the result…’.
On a desperate run, since December the Academy side have played six matches and won none, drawn one and lost five, scoring two goals and conceding an eyewatering 22 goals in only nine hours of football.
So in the last 10 weeks the Newcastle United Under 18s have conceded a goal, on average, every 24 minutes that they have played.
On Saturday, it only took 12 minutes for Derby to take the lead, before making it two before half-time.
The visitors doubled up in the second period as they dominated the match and ran out easy 4-0 winners.
Dave Watson also coming out with understatement of the year when he said ‘It’s not nice to be getting beat every week’.
In these last six games, Newcastle have conceded an eight (v Everton), a five (v Blackburn) and now a four (v Derby) – making it all sound like United’s young players are throwing the towel in far too easily.
Dave Watson himself backing up this viewpoint when he said; ‘What did surprise me was the lack of fight and desire from some of our players because we just rolled over’.
Their record for this season now reads;
Played 23 Wins 6 Draws 2 Defeats 15
The overall record for this season when you add in those of the first team and reserves (Under 21s) then gives you the following stats for this season: P71 W17 D13 L41
Going further back and including all results for the three teams since 1 January 2015, then gives us:
P119 W26 D21 L72
It is hard to get away from a feeling of something seriously wrong throughout the club and a sweeping change needs to be made to start putting things right.
Hard to draw any other conclusion than that the quality of both the management/coaching and players throughout all levels needs to be raised any number of notches.
Though when Mike Ashley has delayed much needed new training facilities for a year so far, simply because of the threat of relegation for the first team, it doesn’t sound like the long-term health of the club is at the top of his agenda.
Dave Watson talking to the official club website:
“It was a very disappointing result and performance.
“We were clearly second best for the majority of the game. We lacked physicality and they were stronger than us all over the pitch.
“This is a group of lads who haven’t played an awful lot of football so it was a good chance for them to show us what they can do but they failed to come away with any real credit after that.
“I wasn’t really surprised with the result, we have a lot of players who haven’t played a lot of football so we were anticipating a difficult game for them.
“What did surprise me was the lack of fight and desire from some of our players because we just rolled over.
“We need to get these players to go over the video of the game and look at all the areas where they went wrong and how they can improve.
“It’s not nice to be getting beat every week but hopefully this will help give the players that motivation they need to improve and develop so they can come back stronger for next time.”