‘The crowd was now mixed between support for the team and abuse for Steve Bruce…’
Where do we start with this one?
Firstly, the pub before the game, usual faces quite buoyant and optimistic, opinions offered for team selection but all of the opinion was that this was almost a must win.
Entering the ground it was clear the attendance was going to be considerably lower than the West Ham game, the small away following was always going to amplify this but the gaps inside the home section were clear to see.
Team selection was much of an expected muchness and the teams entered to what was quite a crackling atmosphere.
Then what followed was 45 minutes of one sided football where NUFC were simply outplayed, the anti-Bruce murmurings started and were only going to get louder.
Southampton somehow managed to miss two nailed on tap ins and I thought maybe today the gods would be on our side….. how wrong I was again to be.
A couple of mazy runs by ASM caused a little bit of optimism but these were few few and far between.
I have only one opinion of the first half, the tactics were appalling, somehow a 3-5-2 was operating as 8-0-2, as the defence and midfield camped 30 yards out from our goal, this invited pressure and confusion and the buck stops with Steve Bruce.
Second half was mildly better, a well worked goal seemed to paper over the cracks, but as expected Southampton upped their game and duly equalised, maybe it was slightly fortunate but it was fully deserved.
The crowd was now mixed between support for the team and abuse for Bruce, the frustration on the field was clear also! ASM tried to take matters into his own hands but over and over again he was thwarted, or took on one man too many and his frustration grew.
There was quite simply no shape to anything, Graeme Jones regularly issued instructions while Bruce and Agnew looked on and totally ignored him.
Amazingly, a second NUFC goal did come, and the way ASM lashed it into the net seemed to get rid of all our joint frustrations, as the team and Gallowgate celebrated as one.
Finally, the gods were on our side.
But of course, this is Newcastle United.
Seconds after the ball seemed to go out of play, it is instead in our area with ex-Mag Armstrong bearing down on goal, my view was Lascelles produced a perfectly timed last minute tackle…but as usual VAR intervened, ignored the fact the ball was out of play earlier and a penalty duly followed…once the ref goes to the screen it’s job done.
James Ward-Prowse was not going to miss and of course didn’t.
Disappointment and frustration all round, but let’s be honest, the 2-2 flattered NUFC.
The buck stops with Bruce, he is tactically inept, why play wing-backs if they are not allowed over the halfway line?
Almiron runs around like a headless chicken as he is playing in a role where his only influence is tackling back.
Callum Wilson and ASM must be getting severely hacked off at the lack of support when we do get the ball.
Then we have a back line playing the ball out of defence getting in each other’s way…. As a one paced midfield stands on their toes.
Shambolic and appalling and Bruce needs to go now!
Who would come in I hear some of you ask?
Anyone! Me, you and a dog named Boo could all do better, f.ck me, Bill McGarry could do better (ask your grandad).
Nothing more to say other than that the crowd needs to stay on the manager’s back.
Have a great week!
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 – Saturday 28 August 3pm
Wilson 55, Saint-Maximin 90
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
Woodman, Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar, Murphy, Sean Longstaff, Almiron, Willock (Fraser 84), Ritchie, Wilson (Joelinton 67), Saint-Maximin
Gillespie, Clark, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Manquillo, Gayle
44,017 (950 Southampton)
(Mike Ashley suppressing the reveal of just how many empty seats against Southampton – Read HERE)
(Alan Shearer does miss one key thing with analysis after Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 – Read HERE)
(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 match highlights and all four goals – Watch them HERE)
(Newcastle 2 Southampton 2 – Wilson and ASM not enough to save NUFC from Steve Bruce negativity Read HERE)
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