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Paul Merson only sees bleak times ahead for Newcastle United after covering the match against Fulham

9 months ago
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Paul Merson thought Fulham were worth their clean sheet.

However, what could you say about a Newcastle team who failed to have a shot on target in the entire game?

Especially when this was home to bottom of the table Fulham who hadn’t managed a clean sheet all season.

Despite recent wins, four in the previous seven games, Paul Merson now sees only tough times the rest of the season for Rafa’s team.

Merson declaring: ‘I know Newcastle have won them games on the trot but I seriously think they are going to struggle badly.’

With Liverpool away up next, Newcastle go from playing the worst to playing the best.

NUFC’s own level with have to be so much better or else it could be an embarrassing afternoon on Boxing Day.

Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:

“Fulham were the better team in the first half and then it was all Newcastle in the second half, (though) without looking like scoring.

“Fulham defending like they had kept six clean sheets on the trot if I’m honest.

“I thought they were outstanding, they were brave, everything that came into the box they won. If they didn’t win the first ball they won the second ball.

“Maybe they (Fulham) could have nicked it at the end.

“Newcastle had a penalty appeal and Benitez won’t be happy with that, Kenedy gets pulled down.

“Then Mitrovic has a shot that is blocked by the lad that comes across, hits him on the arm, but across his body, but bar that…wow.”

Jeff Stelling:

“But the stats tell you everything don’t they, because a Fulham side who had not kept a clean sheet all season, conceded 42 in 17 (games)…Newcastle haven’t had a single sot on target?!!”

Paul Merson:

“No, that’s what I mean.

“I mean, look at Newcastle…I think they are going to struggle.

“I know Newcastle have won them games on the trot but I seriously think they are going to struggle badly.

“As you say the (Fulham) goalie doesn’t have to make a save all game.”

Jeff Stelling:

“If Fulham had had a bit more self-belief earlier in the game, is it one they could have won?”

Paul Merson:

“Yes. Maybe, but at the same time they were in a position where it is very different when you are not keeping clean sheets. To then go and try to keep a clean sheet and score goals at the same time, it is virtually impossible.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Fulham 0

Goals…

Possession was Fulham 46% Newcastle 54%

Total shots were  Fulham 4 Newcastle 9

Shots on target were Fulham 2 Newcastle 0

Corners were  Fulham 0 Newcastle 6

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Yedlin 84), Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Atsu (Kenedy 72), Rondon, Perez

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Joselu, Muto, Hayden, Fernandez

Crowd: 51,237 was announced but looked around 49,000-50,000 in reality (Fulham around 500, large minibus)

(Rafa Benitez needs to hold his hands up to this one? Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to this bore draw – Read HERE)

(Claudio Ranieri claims Fulham had 4 or 5 chances to win but Newcastle didn’t have single shot at goal – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer savages Newcastle United match ahead of Match of The Day – Read HERE)

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