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Alan Shearer does miss one key thing with analysis after Newcastle 2 Southampton 2

2 weeks ago
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I was interested to hear what Alan Shearer had to say after Saturday ended Newcastle 2 Southampton 2.

A match that produced plenty of talking points.

Southampton by far the better and more dominant team overall, yet Newcastle United took the lead twice.

Alan Shearer talking on Match of The Day following Newcastle 2 Southampton 2:

“Well, they [Newcastle United] have got to manage the situation better than they are doing…

“I know it was a really poor first half performance from them but they led twice against West Ham and didn’t get anything out of the game, they led twice today, a much better performance in the second half.

“Then you get the goal with a minute to go, manage the game [once in front] but they gave it away, [Sean] Longstaff with the pass, they win it back but then give it straight back to Southampton, then Ritchie…believe it or not they then gave it away a third time. If you have to, get it in row Z, then you get in your shape.

“Fabian Schar then gives it away again, you are inviting the pressure and inviting them on to you, it can be difficult in the stadium when the fans aren’t happy, [which they are] rightly so.

“Yes it is a penalty…a desperate lunge from [Jamaal]Lascelles.

“[James] Ward-Prowse was right, it was a pressure penalty, he sticks it away really well.

“You can understand the frustration from Newcastle United fans, after being in such a great position with a minute to go.

“They deserved something from the game for me – Southampton.”

I take it that Alan Shearer was obviously meaning Southampton deserved a minimum of a point. The order that the goals went in and fact they equalised so late on is an irrelevance when deciding who deserves what from a match.

Southampton had 63% possession the first half and 67% in the second, in terms of shots it was the Saints with 11 v 4 for NUFC in first half, 11 v 6 after the break.

Southampton the better team in both halves and should really have won the game by half time after Newcastle United were sent out with such a negative game plan, inviting the Saints to dominate from the off.

This is what we have seen week in week out these past couple of years, Steve Bruce refusing to go on the attack and press, even at home against a relegation rival.

Alan Shearer quite rightly points to the poor defending at Newcastle United now BUT fails to point the finger at the man responsible. What is Steve Bruce doing about it?

Bruce continues to set his team out so negatively and invites the opposition to control play and easily move into Newcastle’s half, the idea supposedly to rely on counter-attacking. However, when Newcastle have spent so much money on attacking options, some £125m on Wilson, ASM, Joelinton, Almiron and Willock, surely we should be looking to get on the ‘front foot’ and get on top of the opposition, certainly teams like Southampton at home.

Instead, Steve Bruce invites the opposition to press Newcastle’s defence time after time and the net result is they then concede chances and goals, eight (goals) already in only three Premier League matches. The stats are stark, in two seasons under Rafa Benitez we saw 47 and 48 goals conceded in the PL, under Steve Bruce it has been 58 and 62 AND it looks to be getting even worse this season.

To continue playing Murphy and Ritchie as wing-backs is asking for trouble, both of them so poor defensively. Perfectly summed up with the first equaliser, Murphy a feeble effort to prevent the cross and Ritchie a spectator as the man he should have been marking put the ball past Freddie Woodman at the second attempt.

The old saying about attack being the best form of defence perfectly sums up what Newcastle United should be doing against teams like Southampton, especially when you have Wilson, Willock, ASM and Almiron on the pitch.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 – Saturday 28 August 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Wilson 55, Saint-Maximin 90

Southampton:

Elyounoussi 74, Ward-Prowse (pen) 90+5

(In brackets the first half stats)

Possession was Southampton 65% (63%) Newcastle 35% (37%)

Total shots were Southampton 22 (11)  Newcastle 10 (4)

Shots on target were Southampton 6 (3) Newcastle 5 (1)

Corners were Southampton 4 (1) Newcastle 4 (1)

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar, Murphy, Sean Longstaff, Almiron, Willock (Fraser 84), Ritchie, Wilson (Joelinton 67), Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Clark, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Manquillo, Gayle

Crowd:

44,017 (950 Southampton)

(Steve Bruce can’t help himself with these latest embarrassing comments post-Southampton – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 – You just hate to see it happen this way – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s lucky draw – Read HERE)

(Ralph Hasenhuttl finds it ‘unbelievable’ that Southampton weren’t leading against Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 – Wilson and ASM not enough to save NUFC from Steve Bruce negativity Read HERE)

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