Sitting there watching Newcastle 0 Brighton 0 to the bitter end was a tough ask.
At half-time there wasn’t a single minute of added time and I bet many of us who were still there on 90, wouldn’t have minded if the referee had done the same and instantly blown the final whistle.
I have read a few comments and amazed that some Newcastle fans are going down the road of trying to claim Brighton were as bad as us.
Firstly, they were the away team, so obviously it is expected for starters that Newcastle should make the running.
However, on top of that, Brighton were much the better team. They passed it about 10 times better than Newcastle did, had all the time they wanted in midfield, only Jamaal Lascelles keeping the defensive line tight was responsible for the score being goalless at the end.
The most worrying thing for me is that this was/is Newcastle United’s best team.
We aren’t waiting for him, him, and him, coming back from injury/suspension to save us/make us better.
Some of you might argue that Mitrovic deserves a chance and maybe he does – but only because Joselu is so average and was so poor today. I would probably give Mitro a game but it would be with no expectation of it improving the team.
Of the others missing…Lejeune is no better than Clark, Elliot as good/bad as Darlow, Gamez couldn’t get a game in the Championship, whilst I thought Manquillo was a bit unlucky to lose out to Dummett today but would have given us nothing more.
As for those on the bench…well I suppose Shelvey is the obvious one but he has been rubbish this season, just as slow as all the other centre midfield options and having a central midfielder dropping back to get a two yard pass off a centre-back gets us nowhere.
As for Perez and Murphy, well we saw when they came on today, that is what they are – Perez nowhere near good enough as usual and Murphy still got it all to do.
Analysing our team today, nine of the starting 11 were playing for us in the Championship last season, that is what we are – a Championship team really.
We needed at least four or five players to sign in the summer who would walk straight into the team.
The only two (other than Atsu who was on loan and then signed permanently in May) new faces today were Joselu who was a desperate bargain buy once Rafa realised Mike Ashley wasn’t keeping his promises, as well as Mikel Merino who has shown quality but was poor today. You can’t be relying on a 21 year old new to this country and his first full season in top flight football.
So, that team today is as good as it gets. How depressing is that?
Yes they are capable of playing better but when the opposition are solid and don’t make mistakes, Newcastle don’t have the guile or pace to break them down.
It says it all when we usually look to DeAndre Yedlin as the player who might do something to get behind the opposition, especially when he does that by charging at breakneck speed and hoping he still has the ball with him when he gets there.
Without a number of better quality players arriving in January, this is what we have to look forward to in the next five months.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Brighton 0
Possession was Brighton 55% Newcastle 45%
Total shots were Brighton 10 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Brighton 3 Newcastle 2
Corners were Brighton 6 Newcastle 3
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Perez 72), Hayden, Merino (Shelvey 76), Atsu, Joselu (Murphy 84), Gayle
Woodman, Manquillo, Mbemba, Diame
Crowd: 52,209 (2,200 Brighton)
(Read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to the draw with Brighton HERE)
(Read the match ratings from the goalless draw HERE)