3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Leeds 1
Friday night’s match ended Newcastle 1 Leeds 1.
Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.
A match where Leeds dominated the first half and could / should have won the game by the break, only to go in all square, then a more even second half with chances at both ends but surprisingly no more goals.
This time it is Billy Miller:
The Saint of St James’ performs again
If nothing else, we’ve got a player of real star quality.
Could this be the year that we see the returns his abilities deserve? We need him to if we’re going to stay up.
In both of ASM’s previous seasons he has scored 3 PL goals and had 4 assists. This season in 5 games he has 2 goals and 2 assists. If he can keep anywhere near that sort of ratio, he will have a phenomenal season.
Can he stay fit and can we stay competitive enough to allow him to fulfil his potential? Many of my non-Newcastle supporting friends are always chatting to me about how good this guy is but we all know he needs a bit more consistency. It’s hard for him to show that when the team regularly plays so poorly and negatively though
I would be amazed if he is here for a fourth season. He’ll soon be getting caps for France and then off to a quality team where we’ll no doubt see him flourish. He was brilliant on Friday and on top of his solo goal he had a few left footed blasts that may have flown in on another day. He drove at Leeds again and again. Had he not been playing I think Leeds take a comfortable win.
We actually had a few attempts.
The 7 shots on target was our best tally of the season and was as many as we had against Man United, West Ham and Aston Villa put together. We had 17 shots in total and although this was less than our opponent (when’s that not the case?) it was a lot more positive than 75% of our games last season.
As I’ll mention shortly though; this was at home, against a team with no wins and that had a weakened first team. But hey, I’ll take any positive I can.
It appeared atmospheric
I’m a firm believer that fans should stay away in protest. It winds me up further that the ones that do go aren’t then generating any atmosphere. It’s hard to tell when watching on TV but it sounded like St James Park was lively on Friday with the fans in good voice. There was plenty of booing and anti-Bruce chants too.
If people are going to attend and stick money in Mike’s pocket, then I think this is the right way to behave at games. Back the team as much as possible but let Bruce know he has zero support and that we all know him for the fraud that he is.
We’re in the relegation zone
I watched on as the rest of the weekend unfolded, wondering if we would sink to rock bottom.
Fortunately, we finish the weekend in 18th, which is only one place off a successful season for Ashley and Bruce.
Opportunity knocks but Bruce doesn’t open the door
Leeds have loads of players out and a bench filled with teenagers. They had to sub off three important players to be replaced by far less experienced ones. Yet at no point did it look like Bruce wanted to go for it.
We started and finished the game without an out and out striker once again. From the hour mark we should have gone for it but Bruce was over the moon with a point and an ‘enjoyable’ game.
Outplayed at home
We all know how Bruce’s luck has carried us at times. In both the previous seasons there have been multiple games where we have been absolutely battered but managed to grab a win or draw out of nowhere. We weren’t battered on Friday but we were outplayed and Leeds definitely had the bigger chances to win it.
Even after dragging ourselves level, we gifted Leeds a chance to retake the lead moments later. Fortunately, after a couple of good blocks the ball fell to Firpo, six yards out, who blazed the ball over the practically open goal. There were other good chances for the visitors which is always going to be the case when you gift them 65% possession.
Don’t worry, it’s only two and a half months until we play Norwich at home. That could be a game that we edge the possession in and maybe even snatch a win.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Friday 17 September 8pm
(In brackets the first half stats)
Possession was Leeds 65% (65%) Newcastle 35% (35%)
Total shots were Leeds 21 (13) Newcastle 17 (7)
Shots on target were Leeds 9 (5) Newcastle 7 (3)
Corners were Leeds 5 (4) Newcastle 4 (1)
Referee: Mike Dean
Darlow, Manquillo (Krafth 81), Hayden, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Fraser 62), Willock, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton (Murphy 90+1)
Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Fernandez, Gayle
50,407 (3,200 Leeds)
(Match Report – For one Friday night only, it was great being at a Newcastle United home match again Read HERE)
(Dwight Gayle comments from Steve Bruce raise important questions – Read HERE)
(Allan Saint-Maximin – Enjoy him in the time we have left – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce says he will continue to keep out the noise and keep his dignity – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Marcelo Bielsa gutted after Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – It’s a game we should have won – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Leeds 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s draw – Read HERE)
You can follow the author on Twitter @billymerlin
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