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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Oxford 0

9 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Newcastle 0 Oxford 0.

A match where it was difficult (impossible?) to tell which was the Premier League side and which was from League One.

A game that was a massive disappointment to the many young fans, including those at their first ever match, amongst the biggest FA Crowd seen at St James Park since the mid-1970s.

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 Jamie Smith who has the honour…:

Blimey.

POSITIVES

Still in it though

On Monday night’s One Show, the name of Newcastle United will feature in the 5th round draw of the FA Cup for the first time in 13 years.

I suppose the first rule of cup football has been adhered to.

Change?

Unlike the previous round’s disappointment, where player after player got carried off injured at Rochdale, there is at least hope this squad is on its way back.

If adding attacking impetus is Lazaro’s remit, he’s got one hell of a job on.

Getting Saint-Maximin fully firing would be the biggest difference maker imo.

Kids and stuff

It’s bittersweet but it’s always good for these games to be flooded with little kids, parents taking advantage of the (varying levels of) cheap tickets.

I don’t know if they’ll be interested in coming back after this mind…but it’s a reasonable introduction for what to expect.

NEGATIVES

Another bloody replay

I was thinking how welcome this winter break will be: knock this lot out, get through Norwich then two weeks off for healing, recovery and settling down.

Now it appears this replay will appear (Tuesday 4 February unless moved for TV) bang in the middle of it.

I must say I’m shocked that the Oxford manager says he could do without it, as I thought the lower league clubs would thrive off the back of the bumper home crowd likely to show up.

He might even stand his lot down a bit and give us a chance…

The domino effect isn’t happening

Will there be any point in winning the replay though?

For a team that can’t beat Oxford at home, the prospect of running into Man City, Liverpool or Leicester in round five is a non-starter.

There are still some appealing options in the hat, with at least 10 Premier League teams out, but if we do get a trip to the Etihad why take the injury risk of trying at the Kassam?

I realise this is going to look stupid when Shrewsbury batter Liverpool but that’s a chance I’m willing to take.

Attack! Attack! etc.

Once again we were exposed as having no cutting edge when a team doesn’t take the impetus and allow the counter attack.

I wonder if Norwich will have seen this and fancy their chances next week, with the dangerous Pukki offering considerably more goal threat than the misfiring Joelinton.

Very poor.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Oxford 0 – Saturday 25 January 3pm

Possession was Oxford 38%, Newcastle 62%

Total shots were Oxford 8 Newcastle 15

Shots on target were Oxford 2, Newcastle 4

Corners were Oxford 4, Newcastle 7

Crowd: 52,221 (incl approx 3,800 Oxford)

Referee: Robert Jones

Newcastle team v Oxford:

Darlow, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Sean Longstaff (Hayden 87), Bentaleb (Atsu 80), Almiron, Saint-Maximin (Matty Longstaff 70), Joelinton

Unused Subs

Elliot, Fernandez, Sorensen, Allan

(Nabil Bentaleb reflects on his debut in the mess that was Newcastle 0 Oxford 0 – Read HERE)

(You couldn’t make it up…Embarrassing Steve Bruce complains about FA Cup fourth replay – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Oxford 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s dismal draw – Read HERE)

(Newcastle United reach FA Cup Fifth Round…Draw! Dismal Newcastle 0 Oxford 0 – Read HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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