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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Sheffield United 1 Newcastle 0

1 week ago
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Tuesday night ended Sheffield United 1 Newcastle 0.

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 Paul Patterson.

Well where the hell do you start with that?

People on here know me as being reasonably negative, I don’t see positivity very often, but even I had us down to win last night, I certainly didn’t expect us to lose. I expected a performance, a team that would come out and back their manager. Pffft, not a bloody chance.

That performance was one of those that are reserved for a manager in the death throes of their time at a club. I’m thinking the latter days of Graeme Souness, Steve McClaren or Ruud Gullit. And on the subject of the Dutchman, I’ll go into the negatives before the positives.

NEGATIVES

The starting line up

When Ruud Gullit picked his starting line up for the infamous “Mackem Monsoon” game, eyebrows were raised. No Duncan Ferguson? Fair enough. But no Alan Shearer? Two of your best players against your fiercest rivals? As one media hack put it- “More a suicide note than a team sheet” and that’s how it felt when I saw the line up against Sheffield United.

Five at the back and the most disjointed midfield I’ve ever seen us play? Do me a favour.

No width, no pace?

No partner for Callum Wilson?

We’d given up on winning the game before a ball was kicked.

And what about the substitutions? We need a goal and Miguel Almiron remain on the bench? Dwight Gayle is sat twiddling his thumbs?

Sheffield United more than doubled their points total

Can you believe that?

A team in mid January have more than doubled their points total in one game. Sheffield started the night on two points and ended it with five. So in one 90 minutes against this shambles of a Newcastle United, they attained more points than they did in SEVENTEEN games previous this season. Still think we’re making progress Steve? Don’t you bloody dare!

Repeating previous failings without learning

Like I’ve said, this bears all the hallmarks of managers past.

Back when we witnessed atrocious performances under Souness and McClaren we knew the end was nigh, the trigger was about to be pulled.

Two things arise from this debacle.

First, I’m not sure Ashley or Charnley will be quick to fire Bruce. They proved that with the shameful handling of things under Steve McClaren. Things were left too late and subsequently we went down. The positive at the moment is, it wouldn’t take much to avoid disaster, we have a decent side but the manager is woefully short.

POSITIVES

No Elliot Anderson

He doesn’t need this.

A young kid doesn’t need this sort of situation to play in. He was named on the bench and I take major issue with the subs that Bruce actually made but thank heavens he didn’t put Elliot into this sh.tshow of a shambles. Get yourself out on loan kid, you deserve better.

We are still eight points above the relegation zone

No really, we are still the keepers of our destiny.

I’ve always said that WITH Bruce we will survive, that we will pick up enough points to get safety from relegation. That confidence has now evaporated somewhat. Losing against one of the worst sides in Premier League history doesn’t help and the manner of the defeat should ring alarm bells. This wasn’t a defeat, it was a hammering in all but name. 1-0 flattered Newcastle.

We kept the score down

No seriously, we kept the score down.

If we had lost that game two or three nil nobody could have had any complaints. The sending off can NOT be used as an excuse because that excuses the nonsense that went beforehand where the Newcastle United goal survived what was like the Alamo.

We also can’t let our goal difference go hang either. This situation IS saveable but it requires a managerial change. If Charnley and Ashley can’t see that, then prepare for the Championship now. Expect relegation, then at least you won’t be disappointed. Get your coat Steve!

In summary, we are a side limping towards relegation and only the amount of games left to play will save us. We have a cushion, yes. But this cushion is a castle built on sand. We have no right to be in this league and are proving it week in week out. It doesn’t matter about the side we field or the side we are playing against, the performances are the same humdrum negative nonsense week in week out. We are set up to avoid defeat and invariably end up falling short more often than not. Getting battered on possession and shots no matter what the opposition or result, is a common sight.

There are sides in this division that are absolutely awful (including Sheffield United) that are saving this manager’s skin. That said, we are dropping like a stone and failure to beat teams down the bottom (and Championship and League One clubs in the cup) is a sure fire way to continue that slide. Lets forget about a cohesive style of play, one doesn’t exist. Just winning matches by hook or by crook would do. If that means profiting by a dodgy VAR call like down at Spurs last September then I’m sure Bruce would jump at that straw with all his might.

This mess continues week by week and the less sympathetic pundits and obviously less informed would actually look at Steve Bruce and want to give him a cuddle. Personally, for deliberately mismanaging the decent squad we have and the constant drivel he comes out with in the press, out of sheer anger and frustration I’d sooner strangle him.

Not being the aggressive sort, his resignation or sacking would be most welcome and would instantly improve the prospects of this team no matter who is parachuted into the dugout, ANYTHING has to be an improvement. Continuing with what we are seeing at present is akin to professional self harm and torture and is only heading one way .

Stats from BBC Sport:

Sheffield United 1 Newcastle 0 – Tuesday 12 January 6pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Ryan Fraser 45 red card

Sheff Utd:

Sharp 73 pen

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Sheff Utd 66% (61%)  Newcastle 34% (39%)

Total shots were Sheff Utd 17 (10) Newcastle 7 (3)

Shots on target Sheff Utd 4 (2) Newcastle 3 (0)

Corners were Sheff Utd 5 (4) Newcastle 2 (1)

Referee: Andy Madley

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin (Murphy 84), Schar, Fernandez (Carroll 77), Clark, Dummett (Ritchie 74), Hayden, Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Fraser, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, M Longstaff,  Joelinton, Gayle, Almiron, Anderson

(Jamie Redknapp makes it look like Harry is the credible one in his family – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce refuses to resign after ultimate embarrassing night at Bramall Lane – Read HERE)

(Sheffield United 1 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Sheffield United 1 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Tuesday’s defeat – Read HERE)

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