After an Easter weekend which could /should have seen Newcastle United secure promotion to the Premier League, we had a less than fruitful one.

Only amassing one point from a possible six, having lostto Ipswich Town and being robbed of two points by Leeds, when the referee conspired to add five minutes on last Friday.

As I travelled home shocked and stunned by the Ipswich performance, Huddersfield appeared to hold a winning 1-0 lead over Derby and thathey would add to the day’s problems. Switched on later and was delighted to see that Derby had equalized.

These last two months have seen us win just two out of the last eight games.

Worryingly, considering that Brighton and Huddersfield have hit form just at the right time. With Preston, Cardiff and Barnsley our last 3 games in the league, we need to gain five or more points if Newcastle United are to guarantee automatic promotion.

If this is to be achieved, then we need to make things a lot easier on ourselves. We need to go back to basics with our defending and have a settled back four as much as possible in the last three games.

Rafa has changed it in recent games and the defensive frailties have shown with Hanley and Mbemba for me not our best centre-backs. Lascelles and Clark (hopefully back on Mondau) for me is our strongest, with Yedlin and Dummett on either side.

In the midfield, we were overrun by Ipswich on Easter Monday. We need to go with Shelvey and Hayden in the middle with Atsu and Ritchie on either side and then up front have Gayle, providing he is free, from injury AND Murphy.

Much as I like Perez and Mitrovic, I think we need Murphy to hold the ball up, along with his aerial threat and goal poaching skills.

Perez, although he has pace, is easily outmuscled by some Championship defenders and we need to be amongst the goals if we are to secure our promotion.

Mitrovic for me offers something extra but he has a short temper and has not done enough in the last couple of games to justify a place in Rafa’s starting eleven.

Hopefully, come Monday we will see a more confident Newcastle United and a better performance,  take a step closer to regaining our Premier League status.

Our destiny is still in our own hands, we must seize the chance.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Samuel Brown

    Murphy does not hold the ball up! Why doesn’t anyone see this!!!!!
    Mitro against Leeds was sublime! held the ball up, laid it off, occupied Janson and Bartely (two of the best defenders in the league)
    Monday we go to Ipswich, we could get up the pitch! Murphy looked lethargic, not bothered, didn’t jump for headers, Didn’t win any freekicks.
    Gayle should be fit, but my choice would be Mitro as ST with Gayle in the number 10 position, gayle has the intelligence and pace to read flick on’s and make runs whilst Mitro keeps the CB’s busy, goal kicks, Mitro comes deeper interchanging with Gayle, The PNE defence wont know what to do.

    • Toonbadger

      Seems like you read my mind, I`ve been saying this for months now. I totally agree with you. Have you got Rafa`s mobile no? I`ll give him a ring

      • Samuel Brown

        We need to get on to him! My XI for Monday
        GK: R Elliot
        RB; Anita
        CB Mbemba
        CB: Clark
        LB: Lazaar
        RM: Ritchie
        CM: Shelvey
        CM: Hayden
        LM: Perez
        CAM/False 9: Gayle
        Target Man: Mitrovic!
        Darlow’s copped some grief recently, Elliot’s proven he is capable, been back from injury a while.
        The majority of that side had PL experience or top level experience. Freshen it up a bit with Lazaar, put perez out wide with a license to come inside and shoot with his right foot and attack!

        • Mal

          I think you might be right about Elliott getting a recall.

        • Pelican

          Perez struggles on the left, not that we have much in the way of better options right now.

    • Damon Horner

      People assume tall players all hold the ball up well, bizarre myth. I am with you, we want a man in this team to hold the ball up then Mitro is the man.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Stopped reading after the first line .. just nuts

  • Rich Lawson

    Mitro or Murphy with Gayle,don’t care which,just play 2 proper strikers with bullets coming in from the wings,no time for hesitating,we have to win this game !

  • Damon Horner

    Somebody might need to explain the logic of saying we were overrun in midfield and so the solution would be to drop a midfielder for a striker?

    • Samuel Brown

      Can’t be over run in midfield if the ball is always in the opposition box!

      • Damon Horner

        I didn’t know an average quality second striker would mean we’d never leave their box. My mistake. I thought the opposition had defenders and a goalkeeper.

        • Samuel Brown

          No worries bro, everyone makes mistakes!

  • Mal

    ‘Worryingly, considering that Brighton and Huddersfield have hit form just at the right time.’

    I’m not sure that this is so. I think it’s only the fact that Huddersfield’s form over the last 6 games has been so bad that has kept us in 2nd place.

  • Pelican

    “Mitrovic for me offers something extra but he has a short temper and has
    not done enough in the last couple of games to justify a place.”

    I presume somebody didn’t watch the Leeds game. And what is this about Mitrovic being a risk due to his short temper? Take a look at how many Yellow cards Mitrovic has this season…. don’t bother looking for Reds, as he doesn’t have any. What is it with players being brandished for life, after making a few mistakes learning the game.

    • Samuel Brown

      yet no-one b1tches about how Colback picks up a yellow every game without failure

      • nevfur

        Ha ha yes they do

        • In fact Colback has been b1tched so much, people no longer mention him, the useless sob!
          I long to see the day where we don’t have Colback, Dummett, Anita or Gouffran in the starting eleven.
          I still don’t know what happened to Lazaar and Gamez and why doesn’t Rafa use Ritchie or Atsu as a n.10 instead of Perez? For me it’s a no-brainer.

          • nevfur

            Totally agree Ritchie for number ten and could use Yedlin now on right with Anita or games at fb.

  • Mitrovic deserved a run of games when Gayle got injured and should start with Murphy, however our problems lie in the midfield.
    Shelvey has again been drawn too far back and can’t be effective and Hayden is mainly destroying play or tackling. Shelvey needs to play a bit more forward with the ball and Hayden has to take it from the defenders and cross the half-way line with it. That’s what we’ve been missing an extra 10m of space to unfold the play, so that wingers or strikers can draw players in and free other to receive the ball.

  • Cuh736

    Our best championship team, in terms of returning to basics, would have gouffran on the left not Atsu. BTW, no one seems to notice how Perez has become our best choice for the number ten role, and seems to play better there now, more involved over the 90 minutes. Mitrovic is a better option than Murphy though. Though I think they are both similar, Mitro is much more physical and has more stamina. Not Murphy’s fault though, and not to discredit him as a player