Alan Shearer surveyed the wreckage of Newcastle’s latest disastrous defeat and picked up on a number of reasons why they are ‘staring at the Championship’.
Only Aston Villa have conceded more Premier League goals than Newcastle and with a team that lacks any/many real natural goalscorers, it sums up United’s plight.
Alan Shearer says he was reducing to ‘screaming at the television’ and I think we can all relate to that, Newcastle fans seeing a dismal season unfolding before them, with only six wins from 31 games so far.
January signing Naismith caused massive problems in Shearer’s opinion, as they failed to pick him up and he was instrumental in Newcastle’s downfall.
The Newcastle legend gives Rafa Benitez credit for the second half improvement with Perez and Mitrovic coming on and the manager getting the players further up the pitch to pressurise Norwich and start playing some football.
However, there is no legislating for such poor defending and despite the two goals from Mitrovic, Newcastle were sunk.
Norwich hadn’t won at home for over three months and Newcastle had lost their last eight away games – something had to give and maybe the home side just wanted it more over the 90 minutes.
Alan Shearer speaking on Match of The Day:
“They (Norwich) probably did deserve it because they were up for it for 90 minutes, not 45 like Newcastle.
“Newcastle didn’t start at all in the first half, they couldn’t get to grips with Norwich, especially Naismith. He played in that little hole behind and Newcastle were not prepared to send anybody out – they had two sitting midfielders in Shelvey and Tiote, who couldn’t pick him up.
“He caused them problems for the majority of the game and gave him far too much space. To be fair to Norwich they worked it well and got one goal and should have had two or three in the first half.
“I was screaming at the TV for somebody to pick him up.
“They (Newcastle) were much better second half – I’m sure Rafa Benitez has said to every single player, you have got to get 10 yards further up the pitch.
“He took Tiote off and brought Perez on – he particularly got the two full-backs up the pitch, with Sissoko ending up at left-back. They have now got three or four players (getting) in the box.
“Brought Mitrovic on with half an hour to go – I was very surprised he didn’t start with him, I know he had been on international duty and might have been carrying an injury.
“But he changed the game for them, they could now put the ball into the box and they had a threat.
“Jonjo Shelvey again got 10 yards further forward up the pitch and instead of getting the ball off the centre-halves and trying to spread 60 and 70 yard passes, which you can’t do all the time, he was better in the second half.
“They got themselves back into the game but only Aston Villa have conceded more goals and that is one of the reasons they are staring the Championship in the face.
“For Newcastle getting back into the game and them defending like they did – that is why they are staring at the Championship.”