Last season, indiscipline was almost the final straw that sent Newcastle into the Championship and now with five red cards in the last dozen matches, the players are showing no signs of improvement.
Daryl Janmaat’s senseless dismissal on Saturday simply reinforced the problems within the team, despite the likes of Steven Taylor talking about the squad being ‘full of good characters’.
The Dutch full-back’s red card has followed a pattern of needless sending offs that have shown up the frustration and lack of personal responsibility within the playing staff,
If the red cards were for last ditch tackles or at least an attempt to impose themselves on the opposition, then fair enough, but almost every time it is a preventable action and involves something happening in a non-threatening area of the pitch. With the players simply losing control, showing petulance and/or a lack of professionalism.
In the last 12 competitive matches we have seen:
Janmaat dismissed at Swansea
Williamson sent off at Leicester
Janmaat red card at Leicester
Sissoko sent off at Liverpool
Coloccini off at Everton
In all five cases Newcastle were losing at the time and each occasion the red cards made the situation worse, both on the day and when subsequently suspended.
Last season there were 8 red cards in total but on top of that, Papiss Cisse would have been sent off against both Everton and Manchester United but the officials missed the incidents. However, that was made it for afterwards with extensive retrospective action.
In terms of yellow cards last season, we also saw both Janmaat and Sissoko pick up seven bookings and Colback a ridiculous 12, whilst resident master of stupidity, Cheick Tiote, managed six despite starting only 10 Premier League games.
To add to the mix we also now have Aleksandar Mitrovic, who despite playing only a total of 23 minutes as a substitute so far, has already picked up two yellows, each of them only seconds after coming on.
Whilst Steve McClaren has predictably defended the player and blamed it on being over-enthusiastic, he can hardly claim that he didn’t know what he was buying into when buying Mitrovic.
In only two seasons at Anderlecht, the Serbian striker managed to pick up 20 bookings as well as two red cards, a ridiculous record for a forward.
I see there is a lot of talk of Mitrovic hopefully getting his first start against Manchester United on Saturday, especially after Papiss Cisse’s anonymous display at the weekend.
However, if the new signing doesn’t get clued up then it is difficult seeing him being able to get through 90 minutes, especially with him already building a reputation and the opposition no doubt looking to wind him up.
Newcastle United and Steve McClaren have enough problems without averaging a red card (and suspended player) every other match.
Garry Monk accused Newcastle of being a team of kickers on Saturday, I don’t think that is the case but the team as a whole need to take more personal responsibility and show the professionalism they are well paid for, on the pitch.
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