On reflection, a 1-0 Newcastle United loss at home to the Champions Elect (remember when JFK called us that in the 90s?) isn’t that bad, however…

I thought Newcastle showed Manchester City a little too much respect last night, we basically gave up any sort of possession or pressing in the middle of the pitch and instead defended the final third until the last fifteen minutes.

Fine if we are playing anyone outside the Top Four but were we really going to hold out for the full game like this? The answer is no, so what would be the alternative?

We could have tried to go toe-to-toe and outplayed them with tic-tac Barca style play….really? With Diame and Joselu?

We’ve hardly been prolific in terms of holding the ball and stringing passes together so that is also a big No.

What then?

I mentioned the horrible JFK at the beginning of this piece as he was the manager of Wimbledon, aka The Crazy Gang, back on 12 Feb 1994 when I went to our away game at Selhurst Park.

We were The Entertainers and got completely destroyed by a side that went 4-2-4 and played Route One – the front three of Fashanu, Holdsworth and Blissett all scored, as well as Earle who joined the attack.

They missed out the midfield entirely (Vinnie Jones and Gary Elkins in midfield- hardly ball players!) and put the ball in the box every attack and we simply couldn’t cope.

Surely we could have used this tactic against Man City? Joselu isn’t that bad in the air, I’d have played Mitro (obvs) and also Gayle, with someone like Shelvey joining in as a forward midfielder.

We sort of resorted to this tactic anyway, we didn’t play our way forward from the back and often humped it forward but over the heads of our midfield, with only Joselu up front, inevitably it came straight back.

When we got in their faces and pressed, they didn’t like it and looked vulnerable. Perhaps that as the game plan, instead of absolute containment, may have yielded something.

Ultimately, this game was a giveaway and Rafa is focused on Brighton and Stoke – if so we should have just mixed it up and gone for it, anyone remember being four down against Arsenal?

Happy New Year Geordie Nation!!!

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  • Phil

    Shame Rafa didn’t think of playing 4 upfront. That could of been the key. Missed a trick there!!

    • Soldier

      you`re lucky to have 1 upfront with Rafa, correction i don`t class Joselu as a striker, so we do in reality play with nobody upfront

  • Leazes Ender

    We should have played 4-2-4 against City, that’s the antidote to being overrun in midfield…. miss out the midfield…….

    …. the downside is you need big blokes and a conducive referee

  • Gary McCarron

    We rolled over like a scared dog for City to tickle our belly….shameful.
    Where is our pride?

  • Andy Mac

    Guardiola and a lot of their fans plus the usual numpties from Sky all called it negative football. Guardiola saying only one team wanted to play football. Citeh fans saying we were a disgrace ? The only reason we were still in the game with 15 left was because we stifled the life out of Citeh for the first 75.

    So Pep me old mucker where was your gameplan against the tactics ? You failed to significantly break the defence down and only scored one goal while we could have got a draw if we had a striker worthy of the name ?

    Bottom line is its not up to the PL teams to play it your way and go toe to toe with £850m worth of players. Its up to you with your talented players, with undoubted skill, to unlock teams. If you can’t whose fault is that ?

  • nevfur

    Conveniently forgets when we stuffed Wimbledon 6-0 here though

    • Richard

      Do you mean 6-1 when Wimbledon had their ‘keeper sent off and Vinnie Jones went in goal? They played with ten men!

      • nevfur

        Yeah sorry forgot their goal but we were crushing them that day regardless of the sending off