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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2

2 days ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2.

A match that started badly with a goal conceded inside ten minutes, with Karl Darlow having already pulled off two excellent saves.

Then downhill from there, it ended 2-0 to Chelsea but could and should have been far far 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 the lucky man is Jack Watt:

POSITIVES

Miguel Almiron

The Paraguayan had made plenty of headlines in the days leading up to the game, particularly due to his agent.

Media who are close to Steve Bruce claiming it had been Miguel Almiron who had chosen to stay in Paraguay despite not being able to play in Tuesday’s game against Bolivia, though others reported that Paraguay had insisted that the Newcastle player stayed and trained and watched the match from the stands, rather than return home early.

With Almiron having only played once in the international fortnight, I’m sure he was easily fit enough to start. Instead Steve Bruce dropped him.

Coming off the bench for the final 25 minutes, Miguel Almiron summed up a lot of what had been missing. He properly closes the opposition down, hassles them, tries to create something.

Almiron also had Newcastle’s sole shot on target.

We know he is not a world beater but Miggy is a very decent player and a total joke that Steve Bruce has now left him out of five of Newcastle’s nine PL starting elevens so far.

Could have been so much worse

Chelsea totally strolled this, could and should have scored five or six.

Werner created the second goal but should have had a hat-trick himself.

Steve Bruce’s daft over the top negative tactics are setting up for a surefire hammering very soon, this was another game where Bruce’s incredible luck held firm and meant Chelsea only won by two.

Sean Longstaff

Karl Darlow kept Newcastle in the game for at least nine minutes and was as usual our best player.

However, special mention for Sean Longstaff who did ok and kept the ball moving pretty well when Newcastle had some possession. Struck the bar as well with a superb long range strike.

You have to worry about the impact a clown like Steve Bruce is having on any players who have promise. It wasn’t a great display but I thought it reminded us that the older Longstaff does maybe have enough to make it as pretty decent PL central midfielder.

Only problem is that under Bruce he has really gone backwards, like so many other players, and if it goes on much longer that promise could be pretty much snuffed out if the Head Coach clings onto his job.

NEGATIVES

Tactics

What can you say?

Maybe the most depressing thing of all is that we could all have predicted Saturday’s match.

How Steve Bruce would set out his team, the overwhelming negativity ensuring Chelsea would have total control and loads of chances, whilst Newcastle would be lucky to have any efforts on target.

As a fan, I think this is the worst of it all. You don’t even go into matches now thinking who knows what to expect this time? We all know exactly what to expect and it is only a case of wondering how much luck Bruce will carry this time.

Players losing heart

I have seen some pundits picking out individual players for criticism after Saturday, Alan Shearer talking about Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles for example.

Well, I think we can tell by the body language of so many players that they are losing heart, the negative tactics and clueless Bruce management overall.

Whatever they say in public when interviewed by club publications and website, or journalists loyal to Steve Bruce, it is crystal clear that they have no faith in Bruce and know full well that he hasn’t got a clue.

They might like him as a person but professionally I think it is obvious they don’t respect him.

It is getting worse

The scorelines help to cover things up, people who don’t watch our matches might think losing 2-0 at Southampton or at home to Chelsea wasn’t too bad. However, either or both matches could have been a real five or six goal hiding, the same when playing Man Utd, Tottenham and Brighton.

Newcastle went into Saturday’s game having had only 20 efforts on target in eight PL matches, now it is 21 efforts on target in nine, after this Chelsea encounter. At Southampton it was only two efforts on target and only one of those a serious effort needing saving.

Meanwhile at the other end of the pitch, Southampton had 15 shots in total and Chelsea 14, this makes it 146 shots faced (on and off target) in the nine PL matches so far, Darlow facing far more shots than any other goalkeeper.

This was the story of last season under Steve Bruce and despite a £100m+ net spend in his 16 months in charge, things are getting worse not better. All the underlying stats are horrendous, Bruce now with a better squad but everything getting worse, that takes some doing.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2 – Saturday 21 November 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Chelsea:

Fernandez OG 10, Abraham 65

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Chelsea 71% (79%) Newcastle 29% (21%)

Total shots were Chelsea 14 (8) Newcastle 8 (3)

Shots on target were Chelsea 3 (2) Newcastle 1 (0)

Corners were Chelsea 4 (2) Newcastle 7 (3)

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo (Almiron 65), Lascelles (Schar 45), Fernandez, Clark, Lewis, Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Murphy, Saint-Maximin (Carroll 74), Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Shelvey, Hendrick, Krafth

Crowd: 00,000

(Steve Bruce reaction to fans after Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2 “There will always be grumbles” – Read HERE)

(Frank Lampard with ominous message for Steve Bruce and Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(These BBC Sport comments about Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2 perfectly sum up Steve Bruce – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)

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