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Match Reports

All roads, all points of blame lead back to one man…Mike Ashley

5 years ago

Southampton 3 Newcastle 1  Saturday 9 April 3pm

Why was I even surprised?

Another shambolic Newcastle United performance. I actually had a the teeniest-tiniest feeling that we might just get something from this game. If last week at Norwich was heart-breaking and despairing, then Southampton was nothing short of abysmal and hopeless.

If any fans out there think that over 10% of our players actually care about the club, the fans or the shirt, then you are mistaken.

There are not enough negative adjectives in the world that do justice as to how bad this Newcastle team really is.

Charlie Nicholas probably hit the nail on the head when he described this current team as “the worst team in the history of the Premier League” – and I think we are too. Yes, teams have gained less points, conceded more and scored less goals. However, has anyone ever seen a team that tries less, tackles less, cannot pass a ball? To call them a team of 11 individuals would be a MASSIVE compliment.

It is time to accept, no matter what happens in the remaining fixtures, that these so called “good players” that play for their country… the likes of Janmaat, Wijnaldum, Sissoko etc are absolutely rubbish and that is why we are (second) bottom of the league.

Danny Simpson is better than Darryl Janmaat.

Ben Watson is better than Moussa Sissoko.

Harry Arter is better than Gini Wijnaldum.

We are (second) bottom of the league and we have been in the bottom three since day one. Time to accept that these players are not as good as we like to think they are, they’re not even good on paper.

At this point, it is important to stress that I am not actually blaming the players, if you buy rubbish players, then you can expect them to play rubbish. All roads, all points of blame lead back to one man… Mike Ashley.

With the exception of Lascelles over Anita at LB, Rafa fielded what was his best possible team.

One of the minor positives of previous games was that when we were a goal down at Leicester we had Townsend to bring on and change something, against Sunderland it was Perez and at Norwich it was Mitrovic and Perez. However, when you play a full strength side with nothing on the bench, and then go 1-0 down after 4 minutes, then really, what can you do?

It is a shame that our so-called best team includes Moussa Sissoko. He sums up the mess of Newcastle United, and is the epitome of the modern footballer.

Newcastle United paid £1.7 million for Moussa Sissoko, and I think we massively overpaid. A terrible terrible footballer with no outstanding attributes, except a bit of pace and having big arms. Having watched Sissoko live every single week, I can tell you he hasn’t had a good game since his home debut 3 years ago. For those of you that don’t believe me, just look at the stats to back it up.

33 games played this season – 0 goals.

Maybe I moan too much? Maybe I am being too negative and should stay positive… but when you travel 1,150 miles to watch Newcastle in the space of a week, only to see us lose both games, concede 6 goals and be condemned to relegation. if you’ve travelled and paid hundreds of pounds to watch your team lose 3-0 to Sunderland, 5-1 Crystal Palace, 3-1 Southampton, 3-2 Norwich, 6-1 Man City, 5-1 Chelsea, and Watford twice, plus every other away defeat…its hard not to have a little moan isn’t it?

The ironic thing about this season is that the one of the only two away games we actually won (Bournemouth) was probably the worst we’ve played out of the lot of them!

The Game

1-0 down after 4 minutes.  Not good enough at any standard of football, never mind the biggest game of the season, or “cup finals” as our players like to refer to these remaining fixtures.

I like Mitrovic, but gosh, I wish we spent £12m on Shane Long instead.

After 5 minutes, the Newcastle players put on show the ‘ultimate guide on to how to be a Newcastle United player’, it goes as follows…

Goalkeeper passes the ball to either centre back, to which he passes to the other centre back, who then passes the ball back to him, he then looks for a midfielder but none are available, except the one who is stood directly next to him, so he picks up the ball, and passes to the other centre half, who then passes to the right back, who then passes to the centre back who then gives the ball back to the keeper who kicks the ball to other team…

After 38 minutes it was 2-0 and game over.

The great thing about the Premier League is that it’s so competitive. What I mean by that, is that teams are not automatically better than other teams. Results are often decided on tactics, hard work, organisation, effort, and the odd bit of brilliance or luck. Unlike in Spain or Scotland where you can lose a game and know that you were just beaten by a better team with superior players.

Therefore, if you are getting beat 3/4 nil in the Premier League it’s because of a lack of effort, organisation, belief. I promise you, if you put most organised half decent League one teams in the Premier League instead of us, then yes they would lose most games, but they would NOT be getting hammered by 3/4 most weeks like Newcastle.

The players were booed off at HT – so you’d probably expect a reaction from them in the second half? But no – 3-0 down in the space of no time.

Townsend, the only Newcastle player who ever looks like he could make something happen made it 3-1 with a great goal, similar to the consolation goal against Chelsea earlier in the season.

We never looked like scoring in a million years, and to be honest, so far under Benitez we haven’t looked like scoring in any game. We didn’t look like scoring against Leicester, we had one chance against Sunderland and scored, we had 1 chance (Mitrovic header was so good I wouldn’t even call it a chance actually) and a penalty against Norwich, and we didn’t have a chance yesterday.

Rafa Benitez

I actually feel sorry for the guy. He clearly cares, and is clearly one of the best managers in the world. However, the players are not good enough and nor do they seem to be responding to him.

Maybe Rafa didn’t realise when he accepted the job, just how dysfunctional the club is from top to bottom? Well he does now… and it wouldn’t surprise me that come May, Rafa will run a million miles in any direction to leave SJP.

I think we need 13 points from the remaining fixtures. That’s 4 wins and a draw. Can it be done? If so, it will be because of Rafa and nobody else.

The Fans

1,700 fans made the trip to Southampton… which is amazing given the circumstances and the fact that we played away to Norwich a week earlier. Hours before the game, Newcastle fans were in fantastic spirits, singing, chanting and getting along with Southampton supporters.

Up there with the best fans in the UK, and for sure, the best in England.

I get a lot of comments at away games for wearing a 1998 Blue Away shirt with ‘8 Guivarche’ on the back of it – considered to be one of our worst ever players – but let me ask, would he get in this side? I think he would.

Another sad day for Newcastle United.

(Check out Jonathan’s match ratings and comments on each player HERE)

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Southampton  3 Newcastle 1

Goals – 

Southampton: Long 4, Pelle 38, Wanyama 55

Newcastle: Townsend 65

Possession was Newcastle 49% Southampton 51%

Total shots were Newcastle 5 and Southampton 20

Shots on target were Newcastle 3 and Southampton 6

Corners were Newcastle 2 and Southampton 11

Team: Darlow, Janmaat (de Jong 40), Taylor (Lascelles 46), Mbemba, Anita, Townsend, Shelvey, Sissoko,Wijnaldum, Perez (Cisse 70), Mitrovic

Unused Subs: Woodman, Dummett, Obertan, Tiote

Ref: Robert Madley

Crowd: 31,542


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