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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Burnley 0

8 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Newcastle 0 Burnley 0.

Another day and another game where Newcastle failed to win, only one Premier League victory in the last ten.

As for goals, only seven in the last twelve PL matches, with none at all in the last four.

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

Jamie Smith yet again has the honour…:

Getting hard to stick to the format these days but let’s have a blast:

POSITIVES

Didn’t get beat

This is a stock answer but it works.

I don’t care what you say, there’s always a silver lining to scrambling any kind of point(s) when you’re as poor as NUFC currently are. The fact is, it’s now an accepted and feasible challenge to scramble together the 40 points needed to avoid relegation, as opposed to the unlikely flirtation with a European challenge that was considered after beating Crystal Palace at Christmas to move a couple of points off 5th.

The season that threatened to surprise is turning into exactly what we suspected it would be.

A striker up front

Dwight Gayle has probably proved over time that he is unable to replicate his prolific Championship scoring record in the Premier League, and as such, Newcastle have spent the last three years in some way transitioning towards moving him on.

Despite not being great, I thought he at least gave an option up front and his pace rattled Burnley’s “workmanlike” defence.

Over 20 shots (only four on target) was a very different story and I wonder what the feeling would be like if Ritchie’s wicked curling drive or Shelvey’s deflected shot through a crowded box had edged the win?

I’d hope Gayle gets a lot more game time and this ‘Joelinton as a number 9’ myth is buried.

Options

The squad seems surprisingly full now, after what feels like three months of injuries.

Shelvey, Yedlin and Manquillo all returning, gives a sense that we may have options enough across the squad to at least scramble those pair of wins.

Apologies for my overtly high expectations.

NEGATIVES

This is a busted flush

As ever in recent times, we will limp to the summer and hope for change.

I think in the Benitez years, people harboured some degree of hope that this was a realistic possibility, either in terms of a change in approach or the holy grail of new ownership.

I think we’ll have enough to snatch those wins; the fixtures are kind and players like Shelvey or ASM can win a game if they play to their full potential. Then what?

Persistence with Joelinton up front and Bruce as manager would only spell a Sunderland style disaster season next time out. Some might say it would be long overdue to be put out of our misery.

This just got real

Sat in South Northumberland cricket club for my mate’s 40th party hours after the game, I found two things shocking.

Firstly, that a man can still fail to realise he’s having a surprise party thrown for him when someone he bumps into in Asda effectively tells him he is, and secondly, the ease with which Watford demolished Liverpool’s unbeaten record.

The Hornets’ win meant that all of the sides that started the weekend in the bottom three had taken maximum points, closing the gap to Newcastle to five points, a cushion that seems a bit insufficient when you can’t score goals.

We still occupy a fairly benign 14th place but every year, there’s someone gets sucked into the battle from out of nowhere and we seem like prime candidates in a year, where relying on three sides to be worse than you might just have run it’s course.

Happy Birthday Dave by the way.

The keg could be about to go off

On some level, people have tolerated this season.

The relative mid-table comfort, the unexpected wins borne out of a combination of resilience and luck and as a simple aside, the respect shown to the cup. It has been a laborious business struggling by a pair of league one sides but we are in the 5th round, and while this may not exactly be a cause for riotous optimism, it has at least added a crumb of comfort.

In a couple of days we travel to West Brom to put our cup status on the line and if this small flicker of light is eclipsed at the Hawthorns, it will surely cause an extra level of disgruntlement unlikely to be soothed by a trip to the unhappy hunting ground of Southampton.

If we return to SJP bundled out of the cup and then are looking at a two or three point gap to the drop, things could turn an extra level of nasty.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Burnley 0  – Saturday 29 February 3pm

Goals:

Possession was Burnley 46% Newcastle 54%

Total shots were Burnley 8 Newcastle 21

Shots on target were Burnley 1 Newcastle 4

Corners were Burnley 7 Newcastle 11

Referee: Andy Madley

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose, Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton (Allan Saint-Maximin 77), Gayle

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Lejeune, Yedlin, Sean Longstaff, Bentaleb

Crowd: 52,219 (Burnley 2,400)

(Newcastle 0 Burnley 0 – Boos at final whistle as no goals in over 6 hours and 1 win in 10 for Steve Bruce – Read HERE)

(Burnley 0-0 draw and 7 goals in 12 games – Steve Bruce says ‘easy decision’ not to start Saint-Maximin – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Burnley 0 – Watch the official match highlights here as NUFC get a point – Watch HERE)

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

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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