Alan Shearer has given an overview of where exactly Newcastle United are now.
It is early days but Newcastle head into the international break guaranteed to be in the relegation zone, plus they will fall from 18th to 19th if Burnley get anything against Man Utd on Sunday afternoon.
Alan Shearer says that it is ‘unfortunate’ that the Magpies have had to play Chelsea, Spurs and Man City in the first four matches (with Arsenal up next) but he adds that the plain truth is: ‘Newcastle’s position is now…their target is to avoid relegation, sadly.’
The NUFC legend also defended Rafa’s tactics, saying that the manager was ‘lauded’ for ending up tenth last season and that nothing has changed, that at times the Newcastle manager will go very defensive if thinking it is necessary.
As to why Newcastle are set for another relegation battle rather than able to look upwards, Alan Shearer points to the fact that this summer even Huddersfield had a net spend around £50m higher than NUFC’s.
In fact Newcastle were one of only two clubs to make a profit on transfer deals this summer and their £20m+ profit was easily the biggest, Watford only making du to Richarlison forcing a move to Everton for £40m+.
Alan Shearer talking on Match of The Day:
“There was no one in the bottom half that took more points off the top six than Newcastle did last year.
“So you can’t talk about his tactics…Rafa was lauded last year for finishing tenth.
“His tactics haven’t changed.
“A few times this season, he will play like he did today and like he did last week against Chelsea.
“it is unfortunate they have played Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham (all so early in the season).
“They did not play like that (as they did v Chelsea and Man City) at home to Tottenham.
“This is what Newcastle’s position is now…their target is to avoid relegation, sadly.
“Huddersfield went to the Etihad and tried to take Manchester City on.
“Huddersfield had a net spend of £23m (this summer), Newcastle actually made £23m on transfers, and Huddersfield got stuffed (at Man City).
“There are going to be games when you have to be conservative, Rafa hasn’t changed, this is the same Rafa that was lauded last year for finishing tenth.”
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
(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)