Ian Wright has taken the Newcastle team apart after their (no-) showing at Aston Villa, the former Arsenal striker saying that ‘The way Newcastle played, you would actually think they were already safe’.
The players showed so little urgency and failed to pressure the opposition throughout the game, Wright saying that Aston Villa are so bad that only a little pressure from Newcastle and they would have gifted the ball to the visitors high up the pitch and almost certainly goals would have followed.
Comparing the two north east clubs and their respective displays, Ian Wright says that ‘Everything that Sunderland were today, Newcastle weren’t’.
Despite going behind twice at home to Chelsea, Sunderland came back and won 3-2 with a battling performance.
In contrast, Newcastle looked little better than Aston Villa, which is a damning comment considering this is a team that hadn’t picked up a point in the previous 13 weeks, picking up 11 straight defeats.
Ian Wright believes that after watching the game, it looked as though the Newcastle team were already ‘resigned to going down’.
Rafa Benitez could only do so much and whilst he trained and drilled them through the week, he cannot go on the pitch and do it for them.
Yet again, Andros Townsend was the only hope for Newcastle and despite some decent crosses and runs, the likes of Cisse and Mitrovic proved once again to be not up to the standard needed.
Ian Wright talking on Match of The Day:
“Everything that Sunderland were today, Newcastle weren’t.
“The way Newcastle played, you would actually think they were already safe.
“It was terrible, I couldn’t believe how bad they were. You are talking about a Villa side that are trying to avoid 12 losses on the spin.
“No closing down. If you do close them down then you can probably nick the ball from them – if you watch Villa they give you the ball back, they are so poor.
“This is a team that is trying to stay in the league, you are not seeing anything.
“When Newcastle do try to get it forward – nothing. No intensity, nothing from them at all.
“Newcastle to me, watching that performance, it is like they had resigned themselves to going down.
“Very good opportunities for the big man (Mitrovic), they put some very good balls in.
“(When Tiote hooked the ball over the top of the defence) I would have tried to take this around the keeper (Mitrovic chips over the bar) because the ball is too high.
“This one (Colback crosses from right), he pulls off brilliantly, great leap, heads it back where it is coming from. He’s caught that too well, really unlucky, but you have to hit the target (misses from 10 yards out).
“Again, he gets to the back post (cross from right by Sissoko), I think Mitrovic is afraid of getting clattered because he gets a free header on this one (goes over bar).”
“Mitrovic has not started the last five for a reason, that’s the thing.
“I think he gives you more than Cisse but as it shows here, he just can’t finish.”