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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Brighton 3

1 month ago
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Saturday night ended Newcastle 0 Brighton 3.

A match that started badly with a goal conceded inside four minutes, then even worse when two down after seven minutes.

Then downhill from there, it ended 3-0 to Brighton but could and should have been even worse.

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 Jack Watt:

POSITIVES

Miguel Almiron

Almiron was constantly messed about last season by Steve Bruce, played out of position and most of the time asked to basically by an extra defender, rather than be allowed the freedom to play higher up the pitch.

This season Steve Bruce has dropped him, on the bench for both PL games and only a start in the League Cup.

Despite the way the NUFC Head Coach has treat him, Miguel Almiron never changes, giving 100%.

He showed this in getting assists against both West Ham and Blackburn, whilst on Sunday the Paraguayan ended up man of the match, showing an energy and willingness to try and chase down the opposition, that was missing from many of his teammates.

Could have been a lot worse

Not a great positive but Brighton could have easily won by five or six and the last thing we need is a demoralised team.

Especially taking into account the next five opponents are Spurs, Burnley, Man Utd, Wolves and Everton, a tough set of fixtures.

Wake up call

If Steve Bruce and his team had ridden their luck and only lost 1-0, we would have had the usual nonsense from the head coach, saying if only Callum Wilson had scored that chance in the second half (the only one Newcastle created all game). Conveniently ignoring the host of chances Brighton had, including hitting the post.

The scoreline leaves nowhere to hide for that performance and I believe there is a real need for more quality to be added in the remaining two weeks of the transfer window. As well as serious rethink about how the team is set up as well.

NEGATIVES

Defending

Steve Bruce inherited a tight disciplined defence that had the seventh best record for goals conceded in both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 PL seasons.

Last season the defending got progressively worse and in the final analysis it had become the seventh worst for goals conceded.

The players appear to be gradually losing the good habits learned under Rafa’s relentless drilling on the training pitch.

Lascelles bizarrely standing off for that third Brighton goal, NUFC easily cut open on many occasions including the moves leading to the first two goals.

At West Ham, Newcastle did win 2-0 when scoring with their two efforts on target, but despite the Hammers being really poor, they still hit the bar twice and had a number of other chances, including two really good ones that they wasted.

Unless Newcastle are going to suddenly start scoring for fun, we really need to get the defending tight and disciplined once again.

Injury management

Last season saw the most injury problems Newcastle had seen in a long time.

I have seen various articles showing this isn’t a new thing for Steve Bruce, as it appears at pretty much every club he has been at, there has been similar.

Last season, concerns were raised on the head coach possibly bringing back players too early from injury and potentially that leader to far longer eventual absences.

Martin Dubravka recently said that he hadn’t been sent to have his heel injury checked out straight away, instead Steve Bruce allowing him to train for another three days before the pain was too bad. When Dubravka eventually was sent to get it checked out, they found he needed an operation and will be out for an estimated two to four months.

After yesterday’s defeat, Steve Bruce admitted that maybe he should have subbed ASM earlier after he hurt his ankle, rather than the winger playing on after picking up the injury.

Steve Bruce

Rather than list them separately and use up two negatives (so many others to choose from…), I thought I would put tactics and team selection as one.

Absolutely clueless, Bruce admitting he had played Andy Carroll because it would have been ‘unfair’ to leave him out. The Brighton centre-backs love a physical battle and easily dealt with long hopeful balls played up to Carroll, whilst with Andy’s total lack of mobility, Brighton were put under next to no pressure in the first half with Wilson isolated up front.

ASM needed to be pushed up in a free role around Wilson, Carroll on the bench and then Almiron on the left to help deal with Brighton danger man Lamptey.

StatsĀ from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Brighton 3 – Sunday 20 September 2pm

Goals:

Brighton:

Maupay 4 pen, 7, Connolly 83, Bissouma red card 89

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Brighton 53% (59%) Newcastle 47% (41%)

Total shots were Brighton 13 (6) Newcastle 6 (1)

Shots on target were Brighton 6 (3) Newcastle 0 (0)

Corners were Brighton 1 (0) Newcastle 7 (3)

Referee: Kevin Friend

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey (Joelinton 72), Hayden, Hendrick, Saint-Maximin (Fraser 33), Wilson, Carroll (Almiron 45)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Ritchie, Krafth, Clark

Crowd: 00,000

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

(Newcastle 0 Brighton 3 – Manager declares “We were pretty much perfect…” – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce says dubious Brighton penalty and bizarre explanation for Andy Carroll selection – Read HERE)

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

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