3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Everton 1 Newcastle 0
Sunday finished Everton 1 Newcastle 0.
Rafa’s team went behind six minutes after the break, then finding themselves unable to get the equaliser despite finishing the stronger team.
A bit of a poor game all round in terms of quality, entertainment and chances, only three efforts on target all game – Everton’s winner and two from Newcastle.
The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.
We haven’t been this confident in a long time.
Who would have thought at Christmas time, that we would be going into this game looking like favourites, and competing for a place in the top eight?
Confidence is always going to be high on the back of four straight wins but there seems to be a new-found air around the away end at the moment.
Some people may get ahead of themselves talking about eighth place or reaching Europe next season but that can only be a good thing. You never know, this summer might turn out to be like every other transfer window and therefore end in disappointment, so why not enjoy it while we can?
We don’t have Sam Allardyce as our manager.
Granted, this was a very boring game from two managers who are known for putting defensive solidity first.
However, you only have to listen to Sam Allardyce’s comments after the game, compared to Rafa’s, to realise not just how lucky we are to have a manager with a bit of class and professionalism, but how lucky we are that we no longer have managers that come out after a game and talk rubbish. Allardyce is under a lot of pressure at Everton, I don’t see him lasting past the remainder of this season and good riddance.
Room For Improvement
This is a squad with so much room for improvement in this summer.
Going back to that summer after which we finished 5th, aside from Mike Ashley being a tight so and so, perhaps one of the reasons we only signed Vurnon Anita was when you looked around the squad, there weren’t obvious areas for improvement.
There is no doubt that this side have done really well this season. However, individually when you look at the team, there is room for improvement in almost every position. That can only be a good thing.
Everton provide the perfect example. The league table, and last night’s game, show that there isn’t too much between the two sides. So, if we can go out and spend £30 mil on a goalkeeper, £28 mil on a centre half, £50 mil on a number 10, £22 mil on a striker etc…then I like to think that with Rafa in charge too, we would be doing a lot better than Everton right now.
We offered absolutely nothing going forward.
Our big chance in the game came from an Everton mistake, aside from that, we really didn’t create much. We are just not clinical enough in the final third. The need for a number 10 and number 9 in the summer is imperative for me, as more firepower is needed.
Perhaps things would have been different had Dwight Gayle not been chopped down twice in promising positions.
On that note, another negative was the referee! As a referee myself, I’m not one to be slagging off the referee but there is something about Madley that makes me wonder just how he got so far up the chain. Sure, he didn’t make any huge gaffes, but Madley has not once impressed me while refereeing a Newcastle game, or any other game for that matter.
I can’t see us finishing top eight.
Amazing that it’s a negative now!
Shows how far we have come in the past four months. Nevertheless, a top 10 finish this season is probably above 75% of people’s expectations at the start. I actually don’t believe you if you fully expected us to be where we are right now.
A Bit Of A Go?
Could we not have had a bit of a go?
I was a bit disappointed with how we set up. Given that there is nothing to play for, it would have been nice for us to have had a bit of a go. We looked at our most dangerous when the game got stretched. In the end, it turned out to be a game in which two very average sides with nothing to play for, showed just what they were.
I don’t know about others, as I can only really speak for myself, but at this stage of the season, with nothing to play for, I would prefer to see us go down 3-1/4-1/4-2 with a bit of an attacking side on a Monday night away from home, rather than lose 1-0 with a ‘boring’ workmanlike set-up.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Everton 1 Newcastle 0
Evertonl: Walcott 51
Possession was Everton 57% Newcastle 43%
Total shots were Everton 9 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Everton 1 Newcastle 2
Corners were Everton 4 Newcastle 6
Referee: Robert Madley
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 79), Shelvey (Merino 83), Diame, Kenedy, Perez, Slimani (Gayle 63)
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
(To read the match ratings on all Newcastle players after this defeat go HERE)
(Sam Allardyce up to usual tricks with post-match comments – Read HERE)
(DeAndre Yedlin has his say after the defeat at Everton – Read HERE)
(Rafa Benitez says ‘Do the numbers’ after losing at Goodison – Read HERE)
You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]