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Alan Shearer gives Newcastle United both barrels but fails to criticise one big aspect of Leicester defeat

3 weeks ago
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Alan Shearer has been surveying the wreckage of Newcastle 0 Leicester 3.

The Newcastle United legend dismayed by what he had watched.

The team he supports taken apart by a Leicester team who hardly had to break sweat to stroll past NUFC at St James Park.

For anybody hoping for positives, Alan Shearer wasn’t finding any.

At both ends of the pitch the Match of The Day pundit saw major issues.

Up front he says ‘Joelinton needs to improve and he needs to improve rapidly, because he is nowhere near what Newcastle fans and the manager expect’, the striker giving absolutely no indication that he is set to start and regularly score goals any time soon.

Meanwhile in defence, Alan Shearer says: ‘They are gifting goals away and they did the same at Manchester United’, Florian Lejeune having gifted the ball to Leicester ahead of each of the first two goals.

To be honest though, this has all been coming for a long time, only the outrageous luck Steve Bruce has carried has covered up the fact that there is absolutely zero plan on trying to create and score goals and a total reliance on the defence keeping clean sheets in the hope of somehow sneaking a goal at the other end.

It has been incredible the number of teams that have failed to punish Newcastle with the goals their dominance and chances have deserved. Now teams such as Everton, Leicester, Man Utd and Burnley have started to do so.

Yes Joelinton was poor yesterday and never looked like scoring (even when one on one with Schmeichel for United’s only chance) but you could have said that pretty much any time these past five months.

Mistakes have crept in at the back more but no wonder when Steve Bruce puts such pressure on them every game with his over the top negative tactics.

Alan Shearer failed to address Bruce’s obvious shortcomings and he has to take the biggest share of the blame. Almost every match Newcastle are dominated and fail to have more than one or two chances per game, it has been obvious for a long long time that the outrageous luck would run out.

Steve Bruce has also been a major contributor to this injury crisis Newcastle now face, talking about so many players playing far too many games and yet refusing to play the likes of Krafth, Atsu, Gayle and the Longstaffs yesterday, Newcastle picking up five more injuries including three hamstring ones and a groin injury.

Leicester was a game where Newcastle were all but certain to get beat but Steve Bruce has made the situation far far worse than it needed to be as he has added to the injuries.

Whilst as for his tactics and the way the game played out, it was just more of the same.

As for the £40m wasted on Joelinton, well we all know Mike Ashley is the one most to blame for that mess BUT Steve Bruce has taken the job on the understanding he has no say on transfers in and out, so he also has to share that blame for taking the head coach post with no power to decide which players are signed. A situation that is never going to end well.

Alan Shearer speaking on Match of The Day:

“From a Newcastle point of view, they (mistakes) are happening too often.

“You don’t mind being beaten…but it is the manner in which they were beaten.

“They are gifting goals away and they did the same at Manchester United.

“Defensively they were all over the place and going forward…Joelinton needs to improve and he needs to improve rapidly, because he is nowhere near what Newcastle fans and the manager expect.

“They expect much much better.

“You just can’t expect to win games giving the goals away that they are, I know that they are brilliant finishes from Leicester but to get in the position in the first place you can’t gift good players that much time and space, because you get punished. 

“The damage was done to Newcastle in the first half because of these two, Tielemans and Maddison (in central midfield), their ability and their link up, their understanding, everything you want from your midfield, whether creating or scoring goals.

“They had everything in their performance and Newcastle couldn’t get near them.”

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

Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 (Newcastle 0 Leicester 2) – Wednesday 1 January 3pm

Goals:

Leicester:

Perez 36, Maddison 39, Choudhury 87

Possession was Leicester 77% (71%), Newcastle 23% (29%)

Total shots were Leicester 16 (9), Newcastle 5 (4)

Shots on target were Leicester 9 (5), Newcastle 2 (2)

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

Crowd: 52,178 (3,000 Leicester and 10,000 free NUFC season ticket holders, although a massive  number of empty seats all around St James Park)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle team v Leicester:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Krafth 45+3), Schar (forced off on 51 minutes and NUFC down to 10 men), Lejeune, Fernandez, Willems (Yedlin 45), Hayden, Shelvey (Sean Longstaff 46), Almiron, Muto, Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Atsu, Carroll, Gayle

(Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s defeat – Read HERE)

(Watch official match highlights HERE)

(Steve Bruce confirms Newcastle United now have 11 injured after 6 additions – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 – Thousands of empty seats as injuries save Steve Bruce from proper hammering – Read HERE)

(Today was the first time I have ever felt sorry for Steve Bruce and then I woke up – Read HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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