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Opinion

Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players

10 months ago
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Ahead of today’s game, we asked Jamie Swan to give us his match ratings after the final whistle, the game ending Newcastle 0 Leicester 3…

Jesus wept, I do not even know where to start after that.

I honestly thought against Everton that there were glimmers of something positive in the performance, even in defeat.

No matter what the result, or even the performance, there is usually something you can take away from the game, but I’m left scratching my head to come up with anything positive from this New Year’s day debacle.

In truth, this performance stunk on every level from top to bottom.

This stink has been left on the steps of St James like a coiled t.rd for a number of weeks but Brucey (having sidestepped for a while) has just stood on it, slipped over into it, then rolled down the stairs, bouncing and hitting every step on the way down.

The result wasn’t a surprise but the manner of it should terrify everyone, including the owner, manager and fans.

Aye, Leicester are a very decent team, they were ruthless and they are on a high – so some may say a bit of perspective is needed. But having handed them the game we then offered absolutely zero in reply from any department whatsoever and were carrying more passengers than a hackney cab.

The wheels falling off is not just on the players by any stretch…but also firmly at the door of the manager.

Lejeune looked paggered and well short against Everton, probably not surprising having had months out. He has parachuted straight in from months out recuperating from ACL surgery to play a couple of bairns games to be hoyed right in the deep end.

The Christmas schedule can bury players who are fit and have played all season!

His return to the team needed to be managed much better. Maybe he should have been taken out the firing line but being so threadbare, decisions are obviously being made with heart rather than head and it’s cost us.

Not the first time this season that players have been rushed back, only to get crocked again. Not a coincidence, they need protection and better medical and footballing management.

As for Lejeune himself, I’m absolutely gutted for him having fought back to get fit, only to be overused and his howlers end up costing us two goals. He will still be an asset to us and is still one of our best defenders but the first goal (especially after Man Ure) was just catastrophic.

His nightmare was not the only one, we were absolute pony from back to front.

Only Dubravka walks away with his head held up.

Joelinton having had a semi-decent run out last showing was back to his grim ways. I sincerely want the kid to succeed, unfortunately he will get a kicking in the press after today’s game.

Not that he gets any service mind you but the slim pickings he had were spooned like a last-pick fat lad after finishing his last bevy at 7am this morning.

At several points throughout this (mis)match we didn’t even come close to getting out of our own half. Leicester did not break sweat and must love playing us – especially with ten men (again).

I don’t know whether Shelvey was subbed because he was injured or it was tactical but having been forced to change both wing backs, if it was tactical – it was a suicidal roll of the dice as we had 45 mins plus stoppage to go with no subs left.

Obviously within seconds Fab Schär is rolling around on the deck. Hobbles back on after a magic sponging and then promptly hobbles back off.

Down to ten men and its well and truly game over at this point with more or less a full second half ahead.

According to the bookies we had 500 -1000/1 chance of getting back into it but with us looking about as likely as scoring as Martians landing in the centre circle that might as well have been 100 million to one.

Don’t need to be an expert to see that we have no goals in this team. We struggle with a full side out but now down to 10 men and playing like we were down to eight men such was the carrying of the likes of Joelinton and Muto.

Look it happens, things go wrong, bad day at the office, the planets and Gods can conspire against you, perfect storm or whatever excuse the management would want to use – this just screamed more than that.

We gave it away on the cheap, then criminally not looking like they were remotely a.sed or having any collective balls or urgency to save some face.

The inability of the management to do anything about it was there to be seen but with a thin squad of numbers and quality (albeit being mismanaged in some areas) what does he have to pick from?

The squad issue comes back to years of ownership neglect in transfer windows. I think this performance might even frighten Ashley into some purchases and this team devoid of any attacking nous needs it badly.

To cap the most miserable of New Years Days off, up pops Choudhury, the panto Villain, to rub noses into the frozen turf. What an absolute shambles.

It was so easy that the gurning goon Rogers was waving at the away support after 70 mins. Absolute training exercise.

If this kind of display is repeated live on TV against Rochdale in the FA Cup – we will go out.

Happy New Year.

Marks out of 10.

Dubravka 7

Only player who can escape criticism.

Manquillo 4 

Did nowt. Subbed.

Schar 4

Didn’t fancy it, then hobbled off.

Lejeune 3

Looks shot physically and mentally. Needs protection!

Fernandez 5

Still worked hard and professionally.

Willems 3

Didn’t look fit. Did nowt. Subbed.

Shelvey 4

Trying Hollywood balls with outside of right boot. Failed. Subbed.

Hayden 4

Game passed him completely by.

Muto 3

Scored every shot in warm up. Ran about 1st half. Passenger 2nd.

Joelinton 3

Can’t play the role of main striker. Stinker of a performance after the last one.

Almiron 3

Made to run aimlessly. Gave the ball away continuously.

SUBS

Krafth 4

Sean Longstaff 4

Yedlin 4

Bruce 3 Needs to kick Ashley and Charnley into signing players that can give us some threat. It’s way too easy for opposition, dont just mean today. Manager needs to take a look at his borderline injury decisions and bringing players back too soon. Cannot afford more injuries or clangers.

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 – 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)

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieSwan1

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