3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Watford 1
Saturday finished Newcastle 1 Watford 1.
The visitors taking an early lead and Steve Bruce’s team creating next to nothing until Fabian Schar arrived from nowhere to equalise just before the break.
A more open second half with chances for both sides, Watford finishing the stronger.
The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game. Here goes…
It was nice to finally see fellow fans voting with their feet at the weekend with SJP full of empty seats. This might seem a ridiculous thing to include as a positive but it goes to show that if Ashley and Bruce don’t get their act together then maybe, just maybe, fans will start to do something about it. This was the lowest crowd for a PL game at SJP since 2012.
The official attendance was 44,157 but from those I spoke to who went to the game, they said it looked like far less. Given the fact this was an ‘easy’ 3pm kick off – you would imagine that the crowd would have been a lot lower if it was a Monday night etc.
If Bruce didn’t know it already, the pressure is on him – and so it should be. A pleasant surprise to see fans voting with their feet.
Hayden and Longstaff
On to the football now and there weren’t many positives to take away from the game in terms of the performance, which for the vast majority of the game was lacklustre and uninspiring.
However, the game against Tottenham last weekend and even against Watford, for me once again shows that we are a far better side with Hayden and Longstaff as our midfield pairing. Granted they may not be as talented as Jonjo Shelvey or have the experience of an experienced international like Ki, but they both give their all and complement each other well in the middle of the pitch.
Those two were the key to our good run of form that took us away from the relegation zone last season and if Newcastle are to do the same again, then I think these two guys will play a large part in that.
With the pressure on them, going 1-0 down after two minutes, and with most of the anger/blame directed towards the manager rather than the players at the moment – it would be easy for the players to chuck in the towel when up against it at home. However, they dug deep from a terrible start to the game to get level and managed to hold Watford for 90 minutes (I can’t believe I have just said that).
When a point at home to winless Watford is a positive you know you are fu..ed.
Comments from Steve Bruce
“We’ve had a really good week. We played well last week and in midweek and did enough to win the game today.”
The fact that this is the attitude of our manager is quite bewildering.
His post-game comments left a lot to be desired and I found them outright cringeworthy.
Time for Bruce to shut up and let the results do the talking.
The fact that the likes of Muto and Atsu are now regularly featuring for Newcastle really says it all about the situation the club are in. It may seem like Mike Ashley allowed a bit of money to be spent in the summer, but the truth is, that this is a squad so deprived of investment that one summer just isn’t going to cover it.
No disrespect to the two players mentioned above but if there was a shred of ambition at this football club then those two wouldn’t be getting near the team, never mind looking like starters for the next few weeks.
In terms of quality the squad remains paper thin… and I do not think that Willems or Krafth are the answers to any injection of quality in this side.
I really do not want to get on the lad’s back because he gives his all every game and his whole contribution to the side is probably not reflected through his poor statistics so far. However, if Newcastle are to survive this season then Almiron is going to have to stand up and be counted at some point.
I feel sorry for him having lost Spanish speaking compatriots in Perez & Rondon, as well as the manager of course, but as one of the club’s biggest signings, 0 goals and 0 assists in his Newcastle career so far just isn’t good enough.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Watford 1 – Saturday 31 August 3pm
Possession was Watford 51% Newcastle 49%
Total shots were Watford 13 Newcastle 13
Shots on target were Watford 3 Newcastle 5
Corners were Watford 5 Newcastle 6
Referee: Graham Scott
Newcastle team v Watford:
Dubravka, Krafth (Manquillo 78), Schar (Fernandez 85), Lascelles, Dummett, Willem, Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu (Muto 82), Almiron, Joelinton
Darlow, Clark, Ki, Shelvey
Crowd: 44,157 (approx 1,500 Watford)
(Statement from Toon For Change protest group on crowd figures – Read HERE)
(Watch official match highlights HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Watford 1 – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Watford – Lowest NUFC PL crowd in 7 years see Bruce’s team struggle against bottom club – Read HERE)
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