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Opinion

Apart from luck did anything really change for Newcastle United against Watford?

4 months ago
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A victory for Newcastle United, what a splendid thing.

Instead of yet another post-match session in the Strawberry dissecting the latest defeat, you could actually enjoy the beer as you swilled it down your neck.

Match of The Day was also back on the schedule of post-match activities, I can’t remember the last time I’d bothered. We might have been on last but you don’t mind waiting (waking up) to watch it when you have won.

The same with newspapers and online, when you fail to win week after week, you can only take so much.

Now the hangover is wearing off though, I can’t really think of anything that changed yesterday, apart from a bit of luck heading our way.

I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any victory but I think you also need to have your reality head on.

Apart from putting the ball in the net and winning the game did anything at all change from previous weeks and months this season?

Attacking Threat

Pretty much non-existent really, as usual. Would love to know how many time Muto and Rondon touched the ball between them in that first half.

Perez was right place right time for the winner but apart from that was his usual self. Rondon missed a header but still the only possibility of improvement in future weeks up front is that he could do a lot better when fully fit, which clearly wasn’t the case yesterday.

Quality Of Football

No change there. Plenty of effort but the football was the same standard as we have been watching week after week.

It did improve slightly in final half hour due to the introduction of Ki and most importantly the fact Newcastle had actually scored a goal and taken the lead. The first time at home this season, only at Old Trafford had we previously led in a match. Watford seemingly stunned by the goal after having dominated and as they became more ragged, Ki and teammates had more space to play in.

Control Of The Game

As above. Watford dominated until that final half hour, when the game changing goal came and the visitors’ confidence visibly deflated as Rafa’s team’s grew.

Brighton has been the only match this season where Newcastle were undeniably in control of play, though only due to the fact Hughton’s team refused to attack most of the match.

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Atmosphere

Yet again, same as usual, if not worse.

I read comments about how great the atmosphere was yesterday but the game was played in almost complete silence for an hour. Nothing on the pitch to get people going after the opening five minutes when Newcastle tried to force the opposition back, before then having to accept they weren’t able to do it against a midfield with better footballers.

The goal of course did change things, including the atmosphere. Something for the fans to cling to and they did help the players over the line in those closing stages. However, it still wasn’t brilliant and overall very disappointing, most definitely a case of only singing when we’re winning.

Defending

Some poor positional play and marking in the first half but thankfully overall this was one area where we can be grateful it was same as usual.

Newcastle held on last week with some great last ditch defending at Southampton to get a point and this time the same grit and determination meant it was three points on Saturday.

Luck

Very much the game changer. Even the enforced substitutes seemed to benefit Rafa and the team, despite high profile players forced off.

The woodwork and wasteful finishing helped ensure a clean sheet against the odds, though not many teams will waste the number of clear opportunities Watford had.

Hopefully confidence, momentum and belief can grow on the back of this win and mean that luck won’t be so essential next week against Bournemouth.

A fully fit Rondon and the likes of Kenedy maybe able to play with a little more freedom going forward could possibly see a marked improvement in the play of the team.

Not expecting miracles of course but steady improvement would do very nicely.
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