‘Mitrovic value goes up every game that Joselu and Perez start’
Not sure we can have any complaints with the result, given the starting team selection at Burnley.
Aside from Atsu who looked up for it, and who was the only player regularly in the box when crosses were actually made, we seemed to just go through the motions in this game. Taking the easy option of checking our runs and playing the ball square or backwards when carrying it forward was available.
This gave Burnley the chance to regroup and we never then looked like scoring.
Why Hayden didn’t start instead of the plodding Diame only Rafa knows, the threat of suspension presumably, but surely if he had played and picked up a booking and suspension, but we then got a point, it would have been worth it?
If not, then I reckon we knew we were probably going to lose this game regardless of who started.
Ritchie looks only half the player he is when he’s wary of picking up a caution which leaves Atsu as the only ball on, except for the long punts forward by Shelvey, but then who’s up front to hold it?
The early promise of Joselu has largely evaporated as the season has progressed though he doesn’t go missing in games, he’s just not a world beater.
As for Perez, I’d pick Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, or even Atsu, for the No. 10 role ahead of him.
As for Mitrovic, his value goes up every game that Perez and Joselu start, perhaps that’s the master plan for his sale in January because we sure aren’t getting any value from him sat at home.
I also don’t think it’s fair to throw on a player like Gayle, our top scorer last season, when we are behind and Burnley have decided to defend their lead and sit deep, especially with only ten minutes left. He’s a player you surely start with and you use his pace to get behind the defence.
Same goes for youngsters like Murphy, put on to rescue a result, and he will no doubt feel some responsibility for the loss having played. I bet he’s thinking he hasn’t had the best of starts to his toon career so far.
I thought the defence played well as a unit and Elliott made some decent saves, he wasn’t at fault for our goal. At least the centre-backs are playing well together (could Clark play in the Hayden midfield role?) and the full backs get forward and can actually defend reasonably well.
The fact that three Burnley players were yellow carded to our zero bookings sums up a toothless and lethargic display, Burnley simply wanted it more than us.
We now head towards a more realistic mid-table position as we will surely drop more points before the year is out.
I just pray this takeover speculation comes to fruition and we have significant first team and squad additions by the start of the new season.
The only plus I take from this game, is that it was so dull I hope Sky are having a re-think about regularly picking us for their televised games!
Stats from BBC Sport:
Burnley 1 Newcastle 0
Burnley: Hendrick 74
Possession was Burnley 47% Newcastle 53%
Total shots were Burnley 12 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Burnley 5 Newcastle 5
Corners were Burnley 5 Newcastle 3
Referee: Mike Dean
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie (Murphy 79), Shelvey, Diame (Gayle 83), Atsu, Perez (Hayden 76), Joselu
Darlow, Clark, Gamez, Saivet
Crowd: 21,031 (Newcastle 2,500)
(Rafa makes clear where fault lies for Burnley defeat – Read HERE)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match go HERE)
(To read the match ratings from Monday’s defeat go HERE)
(Mikel Merino set to see a specialist – Read HERE)
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