Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!

Match Reports

If we had a striker who can score goals it might be different…could it really be that simple?

6 years ago

Watford 2 Newcastle 1  Saturday 23 January 3pm

A second trip to Watford in the space of two weeks produced another defeat for Newcastle. Newcastle have now scored just seven goals in their last 17 away matches. If there is one thing to take away from today it’s that we are desperate for a centre forward (and a CB, LB & LM), but then again, we have known that for a while now.

McClaren bizarrely started with the same 5-3-2 formation that didn’t work against the same team in the same ground only two weeks earlier. The team was set up to defend from the first minute.

In fact, Newcastle set up the exact way that West Ham set up at SJP last week, our midfield sat just in front of the defence, and allowed Watford (Ben Watson, Ben Watson) to dominate the game. Also, I found the decision to play Aarons over Ayoze Perez truly baffling.

Just before the game there were a few tributes to Cliffy Ahmed who passed away this week. As a Toon fan who has been going to most away games since I was 15 years, I was shocked and saddened to hear about Cliffy’s death. Especially given the fact that me and my Dad had been talking to him only weeks earlier at Arsenal and he seemed in jovial spirits (as always might I add).

My first memory of Cliffy was at Old Trafford where we were sat next to him… with Newcastle winning 1-0, Cliffy leant forward and whispered in my ear ‘he’s good that Rooney ya knar’ – and then seconds later Rooney went and scored one of the best goals I have ever seen, to which Cliffy said – ‘Told ya’.

RIP Cliffy – he epitomised what it meant and what it was like supporting Newcastle, a diehard fan.

Its just a shame that passion Cliffy and others give to Newcastle is rarely reciprocated back by the 11 players on the pitch.

‘Cliffy Ahmed’

The Game

Newcastle started off the better side on what was a very heavy pitch. The first chance of the game fell to Aarons who failed to hit the target from just inside the box.

However, Watford soon came into the game at the 15 minute stage, and dominated for the rest of the half – without creating too much though, except for a really smart double save from Rob Elliot.

The final chance of what was a stale first half fell to Mitrovic who placed a shot (when he really should have hit it) into the corner, only for Gomes to save with his foot. At times when Mitrovic did get away from the Watford defence, it was almost as if he was running through 12 inches of snow out there.

Only 44 seconds into the second half and the game was over. It’s got to the stage now where you know, if Newcastle go a goal down, then it’s game over. In fact, if Newcastle concede a goal, you can usually bet your bottom dollar that they’re going to concede again.

Ighalo and Deeney caused Newcastle problems all day. Two good, pacey (Deeney can move surprisingly) strong experienced attackers – how many of those do we have?

The second goal came through Deeney and Ighalo, although the Newcastle defence should have dealt with it. It was terrible terrible defending and a pain to watch from the away end.

It’s amazing how many times you can stand in the stands and see a goal coming – the holes in our side are unbelievable.

Lascelles pulled a goal back for us, but in truth, we never looked like scoring or really putting the pressure on to get an equaliser. Maybe if we had a striker who can score goals it might be different – could it really that simple?

Steve McClaren

“I thought it was a very good first half” – If that was very good then we are going down.

“What can you say?” – If I had anything to say, it would be, have a look on Twitter, Facebook, read these articles that fans write, read the comments below.

“If you don’t score, you don’t win” – Then set your team up to attack and seen as though you sit on the board, sign a bloody striker.

“I can’t fault the team” – So it’s your fault we lost?

“It is impossible to score three goals away from home” – McClaren should be sacked for this comment alone.

This guy is gaining a reputation as being on a par with Pardew.

Again, McClaren seems to think we are playing very well. Well I tell you Steve, Newcastle fans are not idiots. We know when a team plays well and that was not today, nor was it the last Watford game.

Playing well is the first half against West Ham last week, or the first half against Sunderland earlier in the season, not the crap that you have given us for most of the season.

Steve McClaren has the easiest job in football – I genuinely believe that we could fail to win a game from now until the end of the season and he wouldn’t be sacked.

The Fans

Once again the Toon Army made a noise and were the only bright spot in another dull day.

The only complaint I do have is constantly of a small minority of fans (who are my age 18-24) who frequently disrespect locals and sing songs that don’t need to be sung. Abusing people at football matches and on public transport for the clothes that they wear, or their hairstyle, is not okay. Shouting things about women on your train is not okay just because you have had a drink or are at a football match.

Every club has a minority like this and they frequently go unnoticed as this behaviour is somewhat synonymous with football fans. It’s not how I want the people other towns and cities to think about Newcastle fans and people from the North East.

Everyone I seem to meet in London at the moment keeps telling me ‘Oh I think Newcastle will be okay, they’ve got a good squad’… but I think we will get relegated.

Come May, my prediction to go down is Aston Villa, Norwich & Newcastle…and quite frankly, we deserve to go down.

Match Ratings

Elliott 7 – Can’t be criticised for either of the goals.

Janmaat 6 – Slow at the back and not as good usual going forward.

Mbemba 7 – Good, again.

Coloccini 5 – At fault for 1st goal, never manages to pick the team up when they go a goal down.

Lascelles 6 – Played OK, did his job and scored a goal.

Aarons  3 – Did nothing, looked lazy (or tired) and was an odd pick. Walked straight down the tunnel when substituted.

Shelvey 6 – Tried to get things going in the middle of the park but just like Tiote did under 5-3-2, he looked isolated.

Wijnaldum 5 – Quiet away from home, again.

Sissoko 5 – It’s a sad state of affairs that Newcastle actually need this guy.

Saivet 6 – Struggled to get into the game but gave 100% and put himself about!

Mitrovic  4 – Good hold up play but sometimes it doesn’t matter when you can’t score for s**t.

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Possession was 49% Newcastle and 51% Watford

Total shots was 11 for Newcastle and Watford 13

Shots on target was Newcastle 2 and Watford 5

While corners was Newcastle 7 and Watford 2

Team: Elliot, Janmaat, Coloccini, Mbemba, Dummett (Saivet 57), Colback, Shelvey, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Perez (Gouffran 80), Mitrovic (Lascelles 90+5)

Unused Subs: Darlow, Aarons, Riviere, Toney

Ref: Andre Marriner

Crowd: 20,611


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2022 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks