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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Fulham 0 Newcastle 2

3 weeks ago
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Sunday afternoon ended Fulham 0 Newcastle 2.

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 Lacey-Hatton who has the job…

I want to end the campaign with some crumbs of comfort, so I’ll start with the…

NEGATIVES

Another dire game

In a similar mould to Wednesday, we won, but the opposition were woeful and the quality of the game, not much better.

Whilst you can never be unhappy with a victory it does feel like our final points total has been positively skewed, by two wins over poor relegated sides at the end of the season.

A lack of options up front

The fact that Bruce felt he couldn’t start Andy Carroll (yes I know his fitness record) or Dwight Gayle up front today spoke volumes.

Instead he decided to play Saint-Maxi and Almiron both slightly out-of-position. In truth, despite playing ok, neither really looked like scoring.

Wilson has been a magnificent buy but our lack of depth behind him is a worry.

We failed to control the game

Whilst it wasn’t a bad performance by any stretch, it was a little disappointing that we didn’t get hold of the game more, and control possession.

Fulham still dominated the ball for vast periods in the second half.  It would have more of a handle on the game in the second half.

We only finally got breathing room in the dying minutes with Schar’s penalty.

POSITIVES

We finished 12th

Twelfth place in the Premier League should not be the limit of what Newcastle United can achieve.

I can’t believe I had to actually type that but you need reminding sometimes. However, you always want to finish as high as possible.

At the start of the day the best we could do was 12th and it was a pretty satisfying way to sign off the season.

Perhaps even more incredible was the fact we have finished a whopping 17 points clear of the relegation zone.

Willock equalled the record

What a singing Willock has been. One of the best loan deals in our history.

I strongly believe he made the difference, between going down and staying up.

From the Southampton game, which at the time was a huge win, he gave us something we had been sorely missing. If this club, whoever owns it, has any ambition whatsoever, we will sign him in the summer.

If we can’t sign him, our midfield looks threadbare.

We finished off a strong end to the season in the best possible way

To win again today, made it five wins from nine in April and May. Regardless of how we were ever allowed to get into that situation, the turnaround should not be underestimated.

When I watched us against Brighton I thought the team looked dead and our only hope would be a Fulham collapse. In fairness, the Cottagers did collapse, but for once it was nice to take care of business ourselves. The reality is even if Fulham had managed a decent run, we were high and dry.

To end up on 45 points is a remarkable achievement, from where we were at the end of March. I still think this is easily our worse campaign since returning the top flight. The points total doesn’t tell the full story.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 23 May 4pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Willock 23, Schar pen 88

Fulham:

Possession was Fulham 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were Fulham 14 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Fulham 0 Newcastle 4

Corners were Fulham 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Krafth (Schar 73), Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Hendrick 80), Saint-Maximin (Gayle 65)

Unused Subs:

Mark Gillespie, Ciaran Clark, Javier Manquillo, Matty Longstaff, Jamal Lewis, Andy Carroll

Crowd: 2,000

(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s victory – read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @JackLaceySport

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