3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Watford 2
Saturday finished Newcastle 0 Watford 2.
The FA Cup ‘adventure’ is over for another year, as usual in Mike Ashley’s reign, it didn’t last into February.
Two second half goals saw Watford ease to a comfortable victory, despite making 11 change to their team.
The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.
Yes, this is the best one I can come up with.
Obviously Rafa Benitez protected both Rondon and Dubravka who are absolutely key and irreplaceable in this relegation scrap.
However, the likes of Fernandez, Lascelles, Ritchie, Schar and Longstaff were all involved, so at least a small relief there were no apparent injuries.
Along with Freddie Woodman the least experienced player in the team yesterday.
Despite that, he was far more willing to take responsibility than those around him (more of that later).
No suggestion he is going to be a superstar but he has ability and more importantly, had pride in his performance against Watford and was the only one trying to make anything happen.
Only 1,350 bothered making the journey from Watford, so over 33,000 Newcastle fans turned up to watch this rubbish.
The vast majority of them doing so with the full understanding that it was going to be desperate viewing.
Most of them non-season ticket holders and yet another indication of just how massive our fanbase is, just imagine if one day the club was ran with any ambition…
Four of a kind
Joselu, Isaac Hayden, Kenedy and Jacob Murphy, were simply an embarrassment on Saturday.
Sean Longstaff left with that quartet ‘going forward’ as Rafa Benitez put Matt Ritchie at left-back/wing-back yet again.
I used to hear many fans going on about ‘at least all the players give 100%’, I don’t anymore. Certainly these four should be embarrassed when checking their payslip.
I actually don’t have any argument with whatever team Rafa Benitez decides to put out, protecting Salomon Rondon or whoever.
However, tactics are another matter.
Yes, maybe go with the ultra-negative tactic of five at the back in the first half with Matt Ritchie as an extra defender.
Surely though once going behind things had to change his formation/tactics for the final half hour. Reality was though that whilst three subs were made, no effort was made to get more players up the pitch. Shocking to watch.
Difficult/impossible to blame the mainly families/irregulars who made up most of this crowd.
Absolutely nothing to get fans remotely excited, no doubt more than a few parents relieved they won’t have to come and watch this rubbish again until next season.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Watford 2
Goals: Gray 61, Success 90
Possession was Watford 53% Newcastle 47%
Total shots were Watford 7 Newcastle 5
Shots on target were Watford 3 Newcastle 1
Corners were Watford 2 Newcastle 5
Referee: David Coote
Woodman, Manquillo, Fernandez (Schar 81), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie (Atsu 73), Hayden, Longstaff, Kenedy, Murphy (Perez 72), Joselu
Dubravka,Yedlin, Lejeune, Rondon
Crowd: 34,604 (Watford 1,350)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the FA Cup exit go HERE)
(Rafa Benitez spoke after the game, unhappy and demoralised – Read HERE)
(Opinion – Kenedy should never be allowed to play for Newcastle again after that – Read HERE)
(Javi Gracia comments on win after changing entire team – Read HERE)
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