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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1

9 months ago
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Tuesday night ended Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1.

Three goals in a nine minute spell early in the first half killing the visitors off.

The final 64 minutes were a lot more even, as each side scored once and Newcastle eased into the fourth round.

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 Michael Bennett who has the honour…:

POSITIVES

Reaching the ‘later’ stages of the FA Cup

We all have to start somewhere…

It may have taken two games and almost a late exit in the away game but we have done it!

Yes, into round four, making it seven FA Cup matches won in 13 years of Mike Ashley.

Just one more win (home to another League One club, Oxford) and into unchartered waters (since 2006).

No excuses not to beat Oxford and if so, pray for Steve Bruce’s luck to continue as it did in his one career FA Cup final appearance as a manager, Hull only facing one Premier League club before losing to Arsenal in the final in 2014.

Miguel Almiron (as usual)

Miguel Almiron has been one of Newcastle’s best players all season. The fans knew that and didn’t turn, it was just the media trying to start a bandwagon to get him dropped.

Obviously he wouldn’t have been waiting 11 months for his first goal if presented with chances such as this one BUT still great to see him accept the pass from the Rochdale keeper in their box and confidently finish for a fourth goal in his last seven appearances.

No coincidence that Almiron is scoring goals and getting into more decent positions up the pitch as his defensive duties have been reduced to an extent, with Allan Saint-Maximin’s ongoing absence.

Whatever happens, once ASM is fit, both he AND Almiron need to be given the freedom to play further up the pitch, instead of used predominantly as extra defenders.

Goals Goals Goals

In the previous 24 games this season, only five times had Newcastle United managed more than one goal, four times getting two and of course three when they went goal crazy at West Ham when that reserve keeper Roberto had a shocker.

It was four tonight and whilst it was with the help of a shocker from the Rochdale keeper AND his defence, beggars can’t be choosers.

Mistakes and so much time and space for Newcastle when attacking, especially those first 26 minutes, but still good to see Matty Longstaff get a third of the season and of course Joelinton getting a first ever at St James Park.

I wonder what odds you would have got back in August for Matty to be outscoring the £40m Brazilian?

NEGATIVES

Bothering the opposition goalkeeper

Despite 64% possession for Newcastle United, the visiting goalkeepers (sub change at half-time) only saved two shots between them in the 90 minutes.

The first half NUFC only had two efforts on target but scored three goals, as Rochdale helped with an own goal.7

Whilst second half only three more efforts on target, with Joelinton scoring one with one of the three. As always, it is clear that Newcastle are lacking in creativity and goalscorers, even when faced with a demoralised League One club, three down in 26 minutes.

Empty Seats

We all know Mike Ashley is the reason for the fall in interest but depressing to see St James Park only just over half full.

Around 27,000 Newcastle fans amongst the 29,786 attendance, you wonder just how many would turn up if it wasn’t £10 and £5 for kids, with majority of the crowd families coming on their yearly bring the kids for a day/night out pilgrimage?

Easy ride for Mike Ashley

Newcastle fans are seemingly so beaten down now and resigned to zero ambition, no anti-Ashley chants whatsoever on the night.

Indeed, not many chants of anything at all but on his first visit this season to St James Park, I wonder if Mike Ashley was pleased or disappointed not to hear his name sung?

Stats (half-time stats in brackets) from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1 (Newcastle 3 Rochdale 0) – Tuesday 14 January 7.45pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

O’Connell (OG) 17, M Longstaff 20, Almiron 26, Joelinton 82

Rochdale:

Williams 86

Possession was Rochdale 36% (30%), Newcastle 64% (70%)

Total shots were Rochdale 12 (5), Newcastle 16 (7)

Shots on target were Rochdale 5 (2), Newcastle 5 (2)

Corners were Rochdale 5 (3), Newcastle 5 (4)

Crowd: 29,786 (3,000 Rochdale)

Referee:Graham Scott

Newcastle team v Rochdale:

Darlow, Krafth, Lascelles (Allan 57), Lejeune, Ritchie (Shelvey 69), Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Matty Longstaff, Atsu, Almiron (Carroll 62), Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Clark, Willems, Fernandez

(Newcastle v Rochdale player ratings from fans – Three stand out performers – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce tells Mike Ashley he would prefer to have one or two quality signings instead of ‘masses’ – Read HERE)

(Jamaal Lascelles with positive messages after 4-1 win over Rochdale – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Tuesday’s win – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 4 Rochdale 1 – Job done and a remarkable 3-0 half-time lead despite only 2 shots on target – Read HERE and watch Almiron’s goal)

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