Yesterday finished Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2.

Rafa’s team two up at half-time and then collecting only one point by the time the final whistle blew.

The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.

It would be easy to go on about the miles covered and travel problems for our longest away game but I’m guessing you want to hear about what actually happened during the 90 minutes.



After the opening 10 minutes or so when it was pretty even, Newcastle got on top and were pretty much in total control until the last 15 or so minutes.

If you didn’t see the game right through, you might look at the stats and think that with almost two-thirds of possession, Bournemouth had the better of the game. However, that wasn’t the case and the home side had the ball in safe positions and could do little with it, as Newcastle’s defence and midfield coped with anything they had.

I have been to pretty much every away match and I think this was by far the best one so far in terms of controlling most of a match, when Newcastle did go forward then they looked capable of scoring/creating every time. Only the last 15 minutes when the Cherries had to have a go, did Newcastle get pressed back and looked second best.

Dwight Gayle

I actually didn’t think he played much/any better than he has been playing recently. However, that doesn’t mean I think he played poorly.

I don’t think he has been great this season but at the same time I think it has been way over the top the criticism he has attracted. Yes he has missed chances but he is luck if he gets more than one or two half-decent ones per match.

The big factor yesterday was luck. As usual, Gayle had some decent build-up play but instead of events transpiring against him (at least a couple of his goals this season have been wrongly disallowed), this time Begovic had a bit of a nightmare and the Newcastle number nine was alert to finish twice.

The Formation/Tactics

The Islam Slimani ongoing injury made team selection a bit more straightforward. Rafa sticking with the same 11 who came out on top of Man Utd, both in the play and result.

The midfield and defence would be the pick of most Newcastle fans out of what we have got, so just then a case of who to leave out for Slimani, when/if he is ever fit.


Ayoze Perez

He did get an assist for Gayle’s second goal but apart from that rare occurrence, you are left wondering what he adds to the team?

Surely it will be a Gayle/Slimani partnership once both fit to play. Especially when Newcastle play a counter-attacking style, Perez is so painfully slow, he is a liability in that number 10 role.

Jonjo Shelvey

Frank Lampard went a little over the top about the midfielder on Match of The Day last night about his lack of defensive input late on as the two goals went in our net – but he was right up to a point. If like Gayle, Shelvey had been subbed (which he probably should have been, as not the ideal player when you are defending a lead) before the late Bournemouth pressure, then you would have said he’d had a very good/good game. Yes he missed a sitter but he was involved in most of the good stuff, as well as tracking back well, just as he did against Man Utd.

However, as Lampard pointed out, Shelvey failed to track runners on both goals and ended up looking back and watching as Bournemouth scored twice.

Rafa’s Subs

As mentioned above, I think when the pressure comes on the defence and when he has ran plenty, Shelvey isn’t the greatest defender when protecting a lead.

Rafa took off a striker (Gayle) and two wingers (Ritchie and Kenedy), replacing them with a winger (Atsu), defensive midfielder (Hayden) and full-back (Manquillo). I think it was too negative and personally, would rather keep say Ritchie on than Shelvey due to the pace/workrate, I also think Merino is a good cool head in a situation like yesterday – especially when it comes to keeping possession when under pressure.

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    [email protected]@ked it up. simple as that, which takes some doing when you`re 2 up.
    Perez was pure shyte & Slomo reverted to type, to highlight Shelvey when Diame did FA in the last 30 mins is a bit rich.
    keep it up & we`re down.

  • Graham Chapman

    We’re neither Premiership Managers nor strikers:; to start turning on them at this vital part of the season doesn’t help. You can post all that you want about salaries etc.. but the players read all these comments and it doesn’t help our cause. The cliche is the “12h Man”. If the “12h Man” starts moaning at the start of March then we’re doomed. HWTL

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.


    1. They didn’t get beaten and held on for the point.

    2. It may turn out to be an important point come the end of the season.

    3. In the normal scheme of things you would say win you home games and draw your away games.
    That is what they have done in the last two so if they can continue that then we will be okay, Hopefully…


    1. Obviously it is two points dropped which would have edged us closer to safety.

    2. We simply cannot defend leads so Rafa going more defensive with his substitutes was a bad move.

    3. Shelvey and Perez have cost us and it isn’t the first time those two have in one way or another !

    • mentalman

      unfortunately we are coming into the 8th month of the season and rafa hasn’t realised yet that we can’t defend leads

  • Dillon Tovak

    Shelvey is always flip-flopping between hero and villain.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      He was running out of steam, he should have been subbed

      • Blackburn1066

        Thank god someone see’s it as I do he ran out of steam, if gale had the chance he had late in the game it would have been 3.0

    • Down Under Mag

      Personally I think he should be used sparingly. He seems to be great in small bursts but seems to lose conentration if you leave him in the side for too long. Maybe we should get him on a Ritalin prescription and see if he can work and stay focused for a whole 90 min.

  • robbersdog

    Yep, ok…but how about these ‘negatives’: We’ve got a really tough run-in to the end of the season – two of our next three matches are Liverpool and Spurs away and Arsenal and Chelsea still have to come to our place; Brighton and Huddersfield look rather chipper, Palace have a stronger squad than us and I wouldn’t put it past Stoke to get out of trouble; unless we manage to actually beat the likes of Southampton and Leicester, and get at least a couple of draws against top sides, we’re going down.

    We dropped five places down to the League in the last 10 minutes of yesterday’s game, and I have a horrible feeling that this calamity is going to define our season. I hope I’m wrong, but Rafa’s shocked, distraught expression in his post-match interviews (he looked like he’d seen the ghost of relegation) tells its own story.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      116 123. best phone line when you support Nufc

    • stevetoontoon

      We have created chances all season and never took them been our biggest downfall…. gotta say this team does give 110% if its gonna be enough we just have to hope!!! HWTL….. because newcastle united will never be defeated!!!

      • thewildchimp

        Didn’t want to p*op on your good motivational comment, but the next fixture is Liverpool away and we’ll be pretty much defeated in that one… “Hope dies last”, though.

        • stevetoontoon

          No bother m8!!! Anytime… but west brom went there and would have hammered them if it wasnt for the VAR!!! Hope is all we have as we get no luck

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      The margin between relegation and survival could be as thin as Shelvey failing to backtrack twice in one game out of a full season. As for the two sitters… nuff said.

      • Blackburn1066

        He should be sold in the summer and bring in a box to box player like Rob Lee, Garry Speed, Kevin Noland, David Batty, etc,etc

        • Down Under Mag

          Agree, his ball distribution is great but we can’t afford to be a man down defensively all the time because he switches off…and that is precisely why he won’t get an England call up. The one thing that I have been impressed with is not only Kenedy going forward but his willingness to chase down lost causes and even more so his attentiveness at tracking back.

          • mentalman

            we just need to find someone like him for the right hand side

          • Michael Lisle

            Agreed but it is a bit puzzling that he still only seems fit enough to play for an hour.

        • Mitros gotta start

          They have all retired…..shola is available though

    • Big Al 1967

      The three games that will define our season are Southampton Huddersfield and West Brom. If (and the way the home form is that’s a big if) we win all three effectively we will need to find three points from the remaining seven games to get over the 40 point mark However anything less will result in us looking nervously over our shoulder. As Sir Alex Ferguson used to say ‘Its Squeaky [email protected] Time’

    • Blackburn1066

      In the next two games we will be in the bottom 3

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    strolling through the match then once again managed to [email protected]@k it up.
    that was 2 points thrown away
    Suicide subs.

    • Blackburn1066

      Yes bad subs

  • Paul Busby

    100% agree withe Subs comment

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    The loss of momentum was the major negative.. after the feel good factor of Man Utd we were two goals up and continuing to create chances AND look completely in control defensively… the shift in tactics and the negativity invited Bournemouth into the Game and threw a wet blanket onto our momentum… I feel so sorry for our defenders, especially Lascelles and Lejeune who had looked totally in charge until Rafa dropped off and sent an open invitation to Bournemouth to load balls into our box with our midfield so close to our defenders it became over congested with no out ball to play when they won possession

    • Blackburn1066

      Raffa was to blame for this draw

  • Down Under Mag

    The substitutions were probably made because of our dominance at the time and Rafa thinking we should be able to see it out. Ritchie, Gayle and Kenedy are all essential for our run in so was probably a move made to protect them from injury. The problem is our lack of depths and we don’t have the players to make like-for-like replacements. I agree Rafa got this one wrong, but if we had held out for the 3 points (and Shelvey had scored his chance) we would be sitting here having a very different conversation about how we managed to get the wina nd still protect or star players for upcoming games. To be honest i’d have been happier if he had left them on and rested them against Liverpool as I don’t expect us to get anythign from that game…BUT I thought that against Man Utd so what do I know right?!?!

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Bournemouth went to Chelsea and won three nil so no mugs. We beat Man UTD one nil and Bournemouth who went to Chelsea and won three nil got a draw so great stuff this site hates Newcastle

    • Ram Kishore

      Hey dumb we don’t hate Newcastle..
      We were just unhappy that we couldn’t get all three points after leading..Dont you want three points.. I don’t blame the manager or the players and most don’t ..
      We would have been happy with a draw before the match started.

      Don’t lie that at the end of 1st half u would have been happy with a point??

      Either u hate Rafa or u hate this site

  • Neil O

    the last 10 game form table puts us in 9th. We are hard to beat. Granted, we have lost twice in the last 10 games, but these losses were to Man City. Not bad, for a team labelled as Championship standard. If Lascelles plays for the rest of the season, we are as good as up in my view.