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Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 – Make no mistake this was shambolic and major problems ahead

1 month ago
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Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 17 August 3pm

It finished Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 and make no mistake, this scoreline was very generous.

Sadly, as well as the defeat, the scoreline was generous to the Magpies, rather than the Canaries.

All the pre-season fears about failing  to strengthen the squad properly, serious lack of creativity and goals, Mike Ashley refusing to appoint  new manager and instead going for a weak head coach…very difficult to think anything else after this.

Norwich started the game and bossed it throughout, only the final few seconds when Longstaff and Shelvey combined for a good but meaningless ‘consolation’ goal saw the Canaries anything but on top.

Joelinton put a simple free header wide from only seven yards when the game was still goalless but in reality that was a sole piece of optimism amongst attack after attack from the home side.

Steve Bruce had promised a Newcastle team on the front foot throughout the season, instead we saw an NUFC side camped in their own half.

The final possession was less (37%) than against Arsenal last week but it was far worse in the first half when Norwich were striving to make sure of the win, able to ease off in the final half hour once going two up.

You can’t blame him for the defeat as he was one of only many poor players but no neutral would guess that Joelinton was the £40m buy and Pukki the free transfer.

This was a Norwich team hit by a lot of injuries, especially in defence, yet Grant Hanley who couldn’t get a game for Newcastle in the Championship, strolled through it.

Pukki opened the scoring with an excellent volley when unmarked and a corner kick falling for him, then adding two more in the second half in open play, as Newcastle’s midfield and defence opened up invitingly.

Even before going behind it was worrying to see Newcastle players not looking up for this, the body language getting so much worse once going behind.

The laughable summer transfer business has left Newcastle woefully short, before the game Steve Bruce was waxing lyrical about what a great impact Andy Carroll was having off the pitch on the other players.

There was as much sign of that here as there was of Andy Carroll himself.

I honestly dread hearing what Steve Bruce will make of this and say in the aftermath.

Very difficult not to think that this is anything but Steve McClaren mark two and we all know how that one ended.

Tottenham away next and Liverpool away two games after that, the Watford game at home in between looks massive.

Interesting to see how much Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley keep their promise to attack the cups this season, with Leicester in the League Cup falling between Spurs and Watford.

A desperate day for those of us who made this nightmare trip, one made all the worse by the train problems, never mind the football.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Norwich 3 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 17 August 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Shelvey 90+3

Norwich:

Pukki 32, 63, 75

Possession was Norwich 63% Newcastle 37%

Total shots were Norwich 15 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Norwich 8 Newcastle 3

Corners were Norwich 7 Newcastle 5

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle team v Norwich:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett,  Hayden, Ki (Longstaff 74), Shelvey, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton (Muto 67)

Unused Subs

Darlow, Clark, Fernandez, Manquillo, Willems

Crowd: 27,059  (2,000 NUFC)

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