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.

Here goes…

POSITIVES

First Point

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.

Muto Impact

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.

NEGATIVES

The Performance

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.

Tactics

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

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Hayden 45, sent off on 66), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 70), Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez (Muto 65), Joselu

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Fernandez, Ki, Rondon

Crowd: 30,720

(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)

To feature like Phil Yates submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here



  • Leicester Mag

    The 3 positives barrel scraping springs to mind

  • GlasgowMag

    I’m surprised the author even bothered worse game of football ever, best just to move on and forget!!!

    • Kneebotherm8

      The editor needs to get his thinking cap on and come up with summit better than this 3 positives a 3 negatives lark…..

  • Toontaff

    The negative :my ICT skills are terrible!
    The positive: I’ve cropped Dennis Wise!

  • Kenny

    the 3 negatives that need replacing against Chelsea, Hoss, Diame & Perez.
    busy doing nothing. the team needs a shake up so try out the new guys

  • panther

    Would have been easier to do 333 negatives after that,at least Chelsea looked all over the place at the back against Arsenal

    • Kenny

      we look all over the place up front

      • panther

        No we don’t, we’re pretty static, and Joselu seems to think the balls that bomb off dangermouse just kick it away anywhere

  • 1957

    The only positive was a point from a game we would have lost if the Cardiff striker didn’t have a head the shape of a Lego man.

    The real negatives for me were Benitez continuing to pick the Hoss (he no doubt had a fantastic week running about in training), SloMo reverting to the standard of his first 18 months with us and Benitez choosing not to have a specialist albeit inexperienced full back at least on the bench in Sterry, he is probably the pick of the younger players we have and is far better than Manquillo or Hayden.

  • Leicester Mag

    Under 23s hammering chicken town’s ASBO squad

    • Leazes.

      That post was seriously lacking in detail.

  • Toontaff

    5-0 v SMB under 23s!

  • HarryHype59

    The main negative is that we were on par with the worst team in the division. Those think we will be “okay” this season with this squad are in for a rude awakening.

    • Down Under Mag

      There’s time…we have a lot of new faces that haven’t featured yet due to fitness concerns having missed most of pre-season. Hopefully Muto and Rondon especially can have an impact. I’m not holding my breath but it’s still early days to get too down about things. The biggest problem for me is lack of squad depth being exposed after only 2 games. That and Perez and Diame having their typical slow starts isn’t helping…

      • HarryHype59

        Totally agree on squad depth. Three full backs left this club in the last window and weren’t replaced.

  • mentalman

    Biggest negative is rafa seem unwilling or unable to change things when his preferred tactics aren’t working.