Newcastle may look relatively safe in the Premier League this season but one area of the team is yet again showing relegation form.

United have now conceded 42 goals in 26 matches, with only two clubs having a worse defence (see below).

If the current rate of goals conceded continues then it would work out at 61 goals over the course of the whole season for 2014/15.

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The most worrying part is that this is simply a continuation of what has happened in recent years, with nothing done to address the problem

In 2012/13 Newcastle conceded 68 goals, with only 3 other PL clubs having a worse record.

Last season in 2013/14 Newcastle conceded 59 goals, only 5 other Premier League clubs had a worse defensive record.

United still have the three central defenders who were here in the Championship season of 2009/10 and by selling Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and loaning out Davide Santon in January. Rather than investing anything in the defence, the finances of recent seasons show Mike Ashley actually making money by selling the likes of Debuchy and Mapou.

The annoying thing is that many Premier League clubs pick up quality defenders for decent prices, as indeed Newcastle did with Janmaat and Debuchy, so failure to invest properly in the defence is especially short-sighted.

The January transfer business Mike Ashley carried out has left Newcastle with only four defenders to see out the season and with Daryl Janmaat forced off due to a groin problem on Saturday, things could be getting even tougher.

The five conceded on Saturday could easily have been double figures if Manchester City had desperately needed the extra goals.

Looking at the fixtures after Villa at the weekend, Newcastle have the following run of games:

Man U (H), Everton (A), Arsenal (H), Sunderland (A), Liverpool (A), Spurs (H)

United conceding 16 goals in the corresponding six fixtures last season.

Without major investment in the summer and the essential  retention of Daryl Janmaat, there appears no chance of improvement in an area of the Newcastle team that has probably suffered the most from Mike Ashley’s policy, of not paying a penny out that he thinks he doesn’t have to.

Goals conceded this season in Premier League so far:

19 Southampton

22 Chelsea

25 Man City

26 Man Utd

29 Arsenal

29 Liverpool

30 West Ham

34 Stoke

34 Swansea

34 West Brom

35 Hull

36 Sunderland

36 Aston Villa

36 Spurs

37 Everton

37 Crystal Palace

42 Newcastle

42 Leicester

44 Burnley

45 QPR


  • Paul Patterson

    I have a few schools of thought on this one.
    1. The sale/banishing of Santon was self inflicted negligence. Why would you get rid of a player that can cover two tricky positions to get right. Good full backs are difficult to find. However we have a great right back in Janmaat (I personally thought Debuchy was overrated but hey-ho) so if he gets injured (And has) it would be easy to drop Santon in there. Also, Haidara has just had a nightmare couple of games and Santon could have also dropped in there. He’s a right back first, but like I said, letting him go was insane.
    2. Colo isn’t a Captain, far from it. He’s now showing that he is struggling to be a top half Premier League centre back. Mike Williamson is- Mike Williamson, a good Championship defender. However he shouldn’t be in a back four of any side aiming for top half. Add these two together in the same side and it’s curtains I’m afraid. So were is Mbiwa? Flogged to Italy for a few million while Laurel and Hardy try and get some form in our back four.
    3. Coaching. Oh dear! I don’t know who’s responsible for it defensively, but they need to be given their P45. The defence is better than it’s showing (Even with Williamson and Colo). We don’t even have the excuse of Tiote sitting on the toes of the back four anymore. So we really just have to get the back four (Whoever they are) just doing their jobs properly and letting the team attack.
    We have Obertan, Cabella, Colback, Sissoko, Perez, Cisse and a good goalkeeper in Krul. We know the defensive frailties, but Christ those six attacking players should be capable of turning a game for us. The other four however . .

    Criminal lack of investment has left this side woefully short in defence (Ashley likes a gamble) but to not use what we have up front is down to coaching and set up.
    Something I have no faith in either . .

  • Very Terry

    I so agree with you. unfortunately Mike 4x billionaire Ashley has other plans which he won’t share with us common folk. I feel si sorry for everyone connected with Newscast le; me, you, the players, the coaching staff, fans all over the world… It’s a real shame, we’re truly at the mercy of one, uncommunicative, extremely wealthy person :(

  • DownUnderMag

    Santon and MYM loaned/sold out, Steven Taylor injured, Ryan Taylor injured, Dummett injured.  That pretty much leaves Janmaat, Colo, Willo and Haidara for the back four without dipping in to the reserves/youth who because of the amazing levels of preparedness shown, have zero experience.  Absolutely no competition for places, no threat of the club getting rid of them.
    Where is the incentive beyond playing for the money?  They may get well paid, but any of us would get sick and tired of our job and fail to put the same effort in if we worked under the conditions our players work under with no threat of being sacked.  
    We needed a centre-half, a midfielder and possibly another attacker bringing in during the January window and yet only saw squad weakening yet again, a totally unqualified man given the head coach job and then told that if we dare suggest that the season is being written off that we are out of order?!? 

    No matter the squad though, that is still no excuse for the lack of organisation, the lack of them being up for the game and lack of any sort of cohesive game-plan.  That all falls at the feet of Carver, and yet we still all expect he will get the job in the summer due to being the least costly option who wants the job so badly will gladly bend over and let Cashley have his way whenever it suits him.

  • Brownale69

    Even with “average players”  its up to the coach to motivate and get them fired up. We are shown to have no guts, passion or commitment. Never mind tactics. Clueless.

  • Alexh1984

    Ashley has actually made a profit of £16.5m on defenders alone in the last 3 windows.

  • Steve1221

    Paul Patterson Not sure where you got the idea that Santon is a right back, but letting him go was criminal, as I’ve said for 2 years Haidara is absolutely terrible and now we’re stuck with him for the rest of the season unless Raylor or Jonas are shoehorned into playing there.

  • mentalman

    You can’t criticise Haidara on here you’ll get slaughtered for it, he’s not good defensively and doesn’t get crosses in to the box.
    We’ve always struggled to get a decent defence in place it just not what we do!
    Our biggest problem and weakness in defence is colloccini he’s meant to be our leader and our best defender but he is 2 seasons past his best and drags the rest of the defence down with him

  • Lofty9

    An interesting point from Bellamy before the match, who more or less called it how it played out. Defence set up as a SIX man wall to stop creativity. What the coach apparently forgot to tell those six was that the Man City players might pass the ball and move after it. If Craig Bellamy can see what might happen, how the hell is Carver anywhere near the managers office!