Saturday finished Cardiff 0 Newcastle 0.
A bit of a game of two halves, both were terrible…
The sending off actually saw Newcastle United play a little bit better with 10 men for the final 25 minutes or so, although it helped that we at least had Muto running around a bit up front. The improvement coinciding with him being on the pitch.
The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.
A pretty obvious positive.
I was depressed enough after having made the effort to go down to Wales and watch this rubbish. If a win and three points for Cardiff had been added to the weekend’s misery, it would have been a real nightmare.
You never know how important a single point might be, especially when it is your first one.
No Kenedy Ban
Monday brought confirmation that our Chelsea loan player won’t be suspended for three games (although he would have missed this Sunday regardless).
For once a stroke of luck via match officials, due to Craig Pawson guessing and pretending he’d seen something and giving a free-kick, meaning he couldn’t then give the green light to a retrospective ban. About time as well, seen as no club has had a player sent off in a Premier League fixture against Newcastle since the end of January 2014, whilst Hayden’s dismissal means NUFC have had 17 in that same timeframe.
I don’t think he is going to prove a superstar signing but I do have a feeling Yoshimori Muto is going to improve this Newcastle team.
His busy style and direct running are a refreshing change and with a bit of pace, it means the Japanese striker can bring a threat to the opposition.
He almost turned one point into three when his run and cross won a penalty, Newcastle need as many game-changers on the pitch as possible and surely Muto will start against Chelsea, Perez dropping to the bench.
Whilst Newcastle came away with a point and played the last 25 minutes with 10 men, make no mistake, this was a terrible performance.
Nobody played well and whilst a clean sheet is an obvious bonus, if Cardiff had anybody decent up front they would have scored.
I think the tactics and team selection didn’t help.
Rather than trying to impose ourselves, Rafa Benitez once again chose to sit back and hope to counter-attack.
With such a lack of pace from the likes of Joselu, Perez, Shelvey, Diame and Ritchie, I’m not sure how effective that was ever going to be, especially with Yedlin missing as well. I know you don’t want to give the opposition chances but surely our best chance of beating this lot, was to press high up the pitch and try to win the ball in dangerous positions.
Cardiff still ended up with chances to win the game, so why not take the game to them?
Failing To Beat The Worst Team In The Premier League
I will be amazed if Cardiff aren’t 20th of 20 come next May.
Fulham and Wolves may only have one point between them so far but from the TV highlights they look to have some very good players and once settled in, I have no doubts they will be ok. However, Cardiff don’t look to have anything much in the attacking areas, with the possible exception of Josh Murphy, although I have little doubt Manquillo and Hayden did a very good job of making him look a lot better than he is in reality.
This game ranked as one of the most likely to win this season and we blew it.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Cardiff 0 Newcastle 0
Possession was Cardiff 51% Newcastle 49%
Total shots were Cardiff 12 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Cardiff 1 Newcastle 6
Corners were Cardiff 5 Newcastle 5
Referee: Craig Pawson
Dubravka, Manquillo (Hayden 45, sent off on 66), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 70), Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez (Muto 65), Joselu
Darlow, Fernandez, Ki, Rondon
(Alan Shearer reacts to today’s dismal match HERE)
(A nightmare for Kenedy on Saturday – Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the 0-0 draw HERE)