A decent match to end an indecent season
There was literally nothing to play for in this final Newcastle United game of the season against Fulham.
However, I still expected a good sign off to end a comparatively good run of form at the end of what all in all was a poor season.
As the game kicked off, I was shocked that Bruce actually listened to one of my tips (play ASM and Almiron up top) and this worked quite well, as we did dominate the game in terms of chances, with Joe Willock’s amazing solo goal topping that off.
A great run ending with a somewhat fortuitous bounce of the ball off the defender, giving the chance for the Arsenal loan man to coolly finish. This allowed him to draw level with Alan Shearer, scoring goals in seven consecutive Premier League games for Newcastle United.
Fulham never really threatened and even when they got into our final third they never looked likely to score. Newcastle continued to dominate chances but couldn’t take any of them – Gayle spurned a free header, and Almiron made some poor decisions in the box.
The game was finally wrapped up after Ritchie was fouled for a penalty, Schar stepping up to roll a second home and that was that, 12th place. How we ended up there I’ll never know… here are a few points from the match.
Squad depth needs work
When we’re stretched, our bench does not look good.
Hendrick and Gayle coming on is really something we do not want to be relying on for another season.
Another couple of injuries at the wrong time, from our admittedly injury prone players, and without reinforcements we’re back in the same predicament as before, with sub par players unable to step up.
We’re in desperate need of a box to box midfielder
Shelvey is a deep lying playmaker, the Longstaffs are a work in progress, Almiron is better in an advanced position, and Hendrick is a joke of a footballer.
Joe Willock has shown us what a true box to box player can do and we need one desperately next season.
Imagine if we’d played like this all season
I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, this was a season of wasted potential and wasted chances.
If this level of intensity and performance was the benchmark in every game, who knows where we would have ended up…
Stats from BBC Sport:
Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 23 May 4pm
Willock 23, Schar pen 88
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
Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Krafth (Schar 73), Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Hendrick 80), Saint-Maximin (Gayle 65)
Mark Gillespie, Ciaran Clark, Javier Manquillo, Matty Longstaff, Jamal Lewis, Andy Carroll
(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)
(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s victory – read HERE)
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