Saturday finished Manchester City 2 Newcastle 1.
A strange situation where you appear to have the fans of the losing side in a more positive mood after the final whistle.
Two great strikes meaning Newcastle left with nothing, despite a very good team goal of their own that was finished off by DeAndre Yedlin.
The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.
I think that is the obvious positives to take away from the game. That we only lost by one goal and we managed to get one ourselves.
Pretty depressing I know but that is the way it is at the moment. On the whole, 2-1 defeats to Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea doesn’t look too bad on paper.
While the manager will get away with it for the moment due to the standard of opposition we have played so far, as well as the continuing backdrop of the summer, by the time we reach the Crystal Palace game the pressure will be on to pick up points.
Big difference compared to the Chelsea game
I didn’t like the tactics against Chelsea. I am sure some will look at the Man City game and think, ‘well it was pretty much exactly the same?’ But I don’t think that was the case at all.
We defended very deep against City, which is expected when you play a team in which every individual costs more than your entire team put together. The difference was, when we did get the ball, there appeared to be an active attempt to move it forward and get beyond the halfway line, which didn’t seem to exist in the Chelsea game.
Rondon + Fernandez
Two of the new signings who have done very well in the games that they have played so far. I thought Fernandez was brilliant against Chelsea, he did well at Forest, and again on Saturday I thought he had a really good game. It will be interesting to see him and Lascelles team up at centre-half over the next few weeks.
Rondon really showed what he is about on Saturday. While a lot of attention went towards Gayle and Mitrovic picking up goals, I find it hard to imagine the two of them putting in the display that Rondon did in terms of holding the ball up, being strong, showing a bit of pace, pressuring the back line, and of course finding that killer pass to set up Yedlin for the goal.
It has been a promising start from him, but of course as a centre forward, the real pressure will start against Arsenal, and then Crystal Palace, to chip in with goals that really matter.
No hiding the fact that a defeat is a defeat, regardless of who the opposition is. It means that this is another winless start to the season.
I seem to remember us having quite a few bad starts under Sir Bobby before bouncing back, so that is the only hope that I have at the moment. The only problem is that this is a very different club to the one under Sir Bobby, and I worry that we don’t have the players to do it at the moment. I don’t think anyone can predict how this season is going to end up.
I had previously written off the Arsenal game as one I expected us to lose, however, with their performance against Cardiff, and considering we beat them towards the end of last season, maybe that will be a big chance to grab our first win. I just hope Rafa doesn’t resort to Chelsea style tactics.
The subs bench at Newcastle is of course frightening at the moment. It does pain me to say it but Sterry and Longstaff are there because there is nobody else, rather than being young players who have the potential to be Premier League players (although I think Longstaff did well in pre-season and performed ok away to Forest).
There is no point in comparing the City bench to ours, but in terms of options outside of the starting x1, it’s worrying.
At full back there doesn’t appear to be any decent options once you look past Yedlin and Dummett.
In the middle of midfield Ki may be good enough to provide back up to Shelvey and Diame, although the jury is very much out for the moment.
On the wings, Atsu doesn’t look like half the player he was in the Championship, or even last season, and that is saying something. As for Jacob Murphy, I don’t think any of us still have an idea. I would like to see him getting a chance at SJP, against a mid-table team where he can show us what he can do, rather than in a team set up to defend for 90 minutes against one of the big sides.
Up front, Joselu has done great so far this season but when he is your second choice striker, it is not a good sign. I mean no disrespect by that at all, but if you are honest with yourself, then you’ll see that is a valid point.
This isn’t so much about Newcastle but more to do with Manchester City.
What is the point in Manchester City? I don’t really understand it. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way of saying they shouldn’t exist as a club, or I have some agenda against Man City, that is not the case. Yet, when you are owned by one of the richest sovereign states on earth, every single player costs at least £30 million and picks up at least £150,000 a week, then what is the point in every one else playing against them?
In theory, City should be winning every single Premier League game comfortably. When that sort of money is brought into football, it makes me lose interest slightly. I was talking about this with a fellow toon fan on Saturday who said “yeah but they play some beautiful football, it is great to watch from a neutral perspective” … to which I replied “yeah but so what? Of course they do, what do you expect when you spend £3billion quid on players in 10 years.”
I don’t know what others’ opinions are, but I think Manchester City are slowly killing football, killing the thrill, killing the competitiveness, and killing the excitement at the top level of English football.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Manchester City 2 Newcastle United 1
Newcastle: Yedlin 30
Man City: Sterling 8, Walker 52
Possession was Man City 78% Newcastle 22%
Total shots were Man City 24 Newcastle 3
Shots on target were Man City 8 Newcastle 2
Corners were Man City 4 Newcastle 0
Referee: Kevin Friend
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark (Murphy 81), Dummett, Ki, Diame, Kenedy (Atsu 54), Perez, Rondon (Joselu 73)
Darlow, Sterry, Longstaff, Muto
Crowd: 53,946 (NUFC 2,600)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Man City match go HERE)
(To read NUFC player match ratings from the game go HERE)
(Jermaine Jenas “I feel sorry for the Newcastle fans when I see what I see there” – Read it HERE)
(Alan Shearer speaking about position Newcastle are in after defeat at Man City – Read HERE)
You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn