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Opinion

A worthwhile experiment but not one Rafa Benitez will be repeating

3 years ago
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A surprise change from 4-2-3-1 to two up front made this a much more entertaining game than I thought it would be but I’m not sure it is something Rafa Benitez will repeat.

We created more chances but were hit on the counter attack far too many times and had little control of the game.

After about 75 minutes we had completely shot our load and while the Bournemouth winner was cruel in that it came so late, it was coming, we looked ragged and knackered.

Lofting high balls up to Gayle in the last 10 was stupid but looked all we had, Murphy again came on and failed to do anything but give the ball away.

So few options for Rafa.

Had we taken a couple of the early chances our starting play created, it wouldn’t have mattered, but we didn’t and it did.

Had we taken a couple of those chances the officials giving every 50/50 Bournemouth’s way wouldn’t have mattered – but we didn’t and it did.

So thanks Rafa, a worthwhile experiment given the likes of me moaning about the lack of fun but I will shut my mouth now, we can stick to 4-2-3-1, eek out the points and in January hopefully he can buy a couple of attacking players.

You can see his previous tactics would work with good players attacking the opposition, they are nearly working now so imagine what we’d be like with two cracking players up the pitch.

Without those cracking players up top, we saw today why 4-4-2 won’t work and we’ve seen over the past 9 games how 4-2-3-1 can.

It’s not exactly thrilling, but it’s our best chance.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Bournemouth 1

Goals:

Bournemouth: Cook 90+2

Possession was Bournemouth 52% Newcastle 48%

Total shots were  Bournemouth 16 Newcastle 16

Shots on target were Bournemouth 6 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Bournemouth 9 Newcastle 11

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark 55), Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu (Murphy 82), Joselu (Perez 68)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Gamez, Mitrovic, Diame

Crowd: 52,237 (Bournemouth 1,600)

(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
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