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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Burnley 1 Newcastle 0

3 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Burnley Newcastle 0.

Not the greatest game of football in the world…

A day maybe when the luck ran out for Newcastle United, having picked up seven points from the last nine despite not playing particularly well and creating very few chances. Today seeing zero efforts on target for NUFC.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is Jack Lacey-Hatton:

POSITIVES

Andy Carroll got through a full 90 minutes

This is be treated with care as it is never a surprise if a Carroll medical ailment is revealed in the days after the game.

But for now at least we saw Big AC not only captain the side but also get through a full 90 minutes.

He didn’t score and didn’t have his best game in a black and white shirt but did give the team an outlet that it has often lacks at times this season.

It was unfortunate we were playing a team who were so capable of defending the direct diagonal ball and this is not the fault of Carroll.

Joelinton

People will disagree but I actually thought Joelinton had one of his better games in a Toon shirt today.

He looked more dangerous and simply more involved in the play than he has for most of the season.

This was probably due to actually playing in the position he played in the Bundesliga for most of last season.

Over the next few weeks I would be disappointed if Joelinton and Carroll weren’t selected in the same positions they were today. Our Brazilian has offered some light at the end of the tunnel with his performance.

We kept it close

Make no mistake today was a pretty low quality affair. The second half seeing only a small improvement.

However, at least we did manage to compete with a very effective Burnley side, who had fewer injuries than we did. This is not to excuse how poor we were with the ball but games like Burnley away are always going to be tight.

We lost but we didn’t crumble like we did a few times earlier in the season. Norwich in August was a very similar type of game and we were battered that day.

It always felt like the first goal would win the game today, as it has in this fixture for the previous two years. Had we got it we might be sitting on 25 points tonight. Win next week and we will still be performing above average for this point in the season.

NEGATIVES

Not one shot on target

It was always going to be a tight contest against a team like Burnley, who as we know from our previous two visits to Turf Moor tighten the game and don’t allow much space for the opposition.

However, to not force Nick Pope into any serious work was hugely disappointing.

We didn’t gain enough territory to force decent efforts at goal and considering how recently we have been fairly prolific, that was a blow.

The lack of depth

This game shows, more than any other season, how we are lacking real depth behind the first choice 11 or so.

Missing influential players like Shelvey, Clark and Saint-Maximin was always going to be an issue but today’s performance shows we were even further away from having a really strong squad than first appeared.

Seeing the likes of Gayle and Muto come on in a game clearly not designed for them was disheartening.

No proper Plan B

Bruce has done well in setting the team up in recent weeks but today the switch to 4-4-2 in the second half backfired.

Whilst many would have thought bringing on Dwight Gayle was a positive attacking step when going a goal down, to match up Burnley with a 4-4-2 formation was disastrous.

Burnley have perfected a system they are very familiar with over the past few seasons. When two sides in top level football play 4-4-2 against each other, the game is often decided on who can cover the most ground and who can deal with direct passes effectively.

Burnley did both against us and I feel we actually go weaker as the game went on, down to this system.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Burnley 1 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 14 December 3pm

Goals:

Burnley:

Wood 58

(Half-time stats are in brackets)

Possession was Burnley 48% (54%), Newcastle 52% (46%)

Total shots were Burnley 7 (4), Newcastle 9 (4)

Shots on target were Burnley 4 (2), Newcastle 0 (0)

Corners were Burnley 4 (3), Newcastle 3 (1)

Crowd: 19,798 (2,450 NUFC)

Referee: Tim Robinson

Newcastle team v Burnley:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett, Willems (Gayle 70), Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Atsu (Muto 79), Joelinton, Carroll

Unused Subs

Elliot, Lejeune, Yedlin, Krafth, Matty Longstaff

(It’s embarrassing as Steve Bruce blames referee for defeat at Burnley instead of holding his hands up – Read HERE)

(Burnley 1 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)

(Burnley 1 Newcastle 0 – Watch the official match highlights and goal HERE)

(Burnley 1 Newcastle 0 – With such negative tactics and not a single shot on target it’s what you deserve – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @JackLaceySport

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