After showering praise on Newcastle United these past couple of months, Alan Shearer along with the rest of the NUFC fans was forced to sit through a desperate performance by his team on Saturday afternoon.
Whilst the stats show Newcastle had more possession, corners, and shots, it was actually West Brom who were easily the better team.
They did what Newcastle have done so often this season when putting in good displays and picking up points, counter-attacking well and looking dangerous when they did so.
The Baggies arrived at St James Park on the back of five points from three games under Darren Moore, the caretaker boss having seen his team come from two down to draw 2-2 at home to Liverpool, then the game before win 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Saturday’s victory means that in the last fortnight Moore has already won more Premier League games than Alan Pardew did in his entire time at the Hawthorns, something which Alan Shearer says is ‘pretty embarrassing’ for Pardew.
Speaking of embarrassing, Newcastle fans had made much of Daniel Sturridge’s dismal loan spell at West Brom after choosing them over NUFC in January.
However, whilst Sturridge sat out this whole game on the bench, it was Islam Slimani who should be feeling embarrassed.
He had only played 105 minutes in his loan spell and after a poor effort at Everton on Monday, Rafa dropped him to the bench. Called on with 25 minutes remaining, he offered very little, then after a West Brom defender bumped into him, the Algerian striker kicked out at him.
The kick was pretty feeble but after the officials missed it, as Shearer says, it will definitely be a three match ban after a review and that will surely be the last we will see of the Leicester striker.
Alan Shearer talking on Match of The Day:
“Pretty embarrassing for Alan Pardew.
“Sat at home thinking why on earth the players are playing like this?”
“Newcastle perspective, not a great day, and Slimani might be in a bit of bother?”
“Well he will be, he will get a three match ban, no doubt about it.
“It was just stupid, what on earth are you doing?
“You have hardly ever played for Newcastle and now it might be the last time you are in a Newcastle shirt because of that.
“Because they will look at it and I would be surprised if he wasn’t to get a three a match ban.
“He can have no complaints.
“Just daft, stupid, petty.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 West Brom 1
West Brom: Phillips 29
Possession was West Brom 36% Newcastle 64%
Total shots were West Brom 9 Newcastle 17
Shots on target were West Brom 2 Newcastle 2
Corners were West Brom 1 Newcastle 5
Referee: David Coote
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett (Murphy 58) Ritchie, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Joselu 78), Gayle (Slimani 65)
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden
Crowd: 52,283 (1,000 West Brom approx)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to today’s game – Go HERE)
(To read the NUFC player ratings and comments go HERE)
(Darren Moore thought Newcastle got off lightly – Read it HERE)
(Brutal honesty from Rafa Benitez after the game – Read it HERE)