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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Watford 1 Newcastle 1 at Vicarage Road

3 weeks ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Watford 1 Newcastle 1.

Another failure to win a match this season, the seventh for Steve Bruce in a row.

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 Matthew Robson.

POSITIVES

Joe Willock

Ruled out by Steve Bruce on Friday until after the international break…starts on the Saturday.

Wearing a protective boot through the week after a training injury, Bruce said after Saturday’s game that Willock had said he felt ready to give it a go when passing himself fit to play against Watford.

Could have gone badly wrong but the former Arsenal player had a really good game, his powerful running against a Watford team of mainly 30+ ageing players was ideal.

For the first time really this season the big positive was Willock getting into goalscoring positions. Should have probably scored but one was an excellent Foster save when one on one with the Newcastle midfielder. An incredible eight goals last season for Newcastle from only seventeen chances, was a record that was never going to continue at such a conversion rate. Watford were really poor and you just hope that Newcastle can create similar numbers of chances for Joe Willock in the more difficult games ahead.

The fans

Chanted for Steve Bruce to be on his way and gave full backing for the team on the pitch.

What more could you ask for?

Quite incredible support as usual for a club that doesn’t deserve it under the ownership of this charlatan and head coaching of Steve Bruce.

At least the player / fan link is still strong, at least for the time being.

Sean Longstaff

I think often he has been made a scapegoat unfairly.

Treated abysmally by Mike Ashley (Longstaff still on same contract he signed in December 2018 before he’d played a single minute of Premier League football and paid a small fraction of what even Jeff Hendrick gets) and Steve Bruce, the midfielder never hides and shows obvious pride in playing for the club he supports.

Made a reputation for scoring spectacular long range goals in his youth and indeed on loan at the likes of Blackpool, his attacking ability has all but been completely stifled by Bruce.

Given more freedom on Saturday to get forward, he had a few efforts and found the top corner with one of them.

Newcastle have so few players who will even shoot from outside the box, never mind just how few natural goalscorers there are in the NUFC squad, need to give Sean Longstaff more freedom as we move forward, to get more strikes in on goal.

NEGATIVES

I’ve started…but I couldn’t finish

Saturday was one of those very rare occasions when under Steve Bruce, Newcastle did indeed have a fair few decent chances.

Watford look rubbish and certainties to be fighting relegation but are still four points clear of Newcastle!

The fact Newcastle’s players couldn’t take advantage against one of the weakest opponents in the Premier League this season, must be a major concern.

Unable to take advantage of at least six great scoring opportunities, when we are in the usual run of negative Steve Bruce NUFC performances, it doesn’t suggest that the same players will then take advantage of the one or two chances per game that is usually the case.

Dwight Gayle

The striker wasn’t the negative, more so Steve Bruce’s refusal to allow him on the pitch.

Five games he has been left on the bench and with yesterday’s game crying out for a finisher, Gayle was given seven minutes by the Head Coach.

Crazy stuff, especially when then Bruce has the nerve to go on and on about the lack of quality in the finishing against Watford.

Even if given a decent amount of time off the bench, I think there was so much space in this Watford game, Gayle would have had at least a couple of chances in that second half and scored at least once.

Steve Bruce

The buck has to stop with him.

Even against a very poor opponent like Watford, Bruce still not able to get a win.

That is seven games now this season and includes games against the likes of Burnley, Watford, Southampton and Leeds.

Just look back at the excuses he has came out with when failing to beat the likes of that quartet, then wonder what he will be saying when Newcastle have played Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool…

Steve Bruce hasn’t got the answers and whilst Newcastle don’t have a squad of world beaters, they are capable of a lot more if they had a credible manager in charge.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Watford 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 25 September 3pm

Goals:

Watford

Sarr 72

Newcastle:

Sean Longstaff 23

(In brackets the first half stats)

Possession was Watford 52% (50%) Newcastle 48% (50%)

Total shots were Watford 15 (6)  Newcastle 20 (11)

Shots on target were Watford 4 (2) Newcastle 6 (2)

Corners were Watford 5 (2) Newcastle 6 (5)

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Hayden, Almiron (Murphy 79), Willock (Gayle 83), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Fraser, Anderson

Crowd:

20,650 (2,200 Newcastle)

(Steve Bruce bewildering decision – Leaves Newcastle United fans wondering…Read HERE)

(Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer discuss Newcastle making history under Steve Bruce – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce declares ‘We created enough chances to win three games’ (One would be nice…) – Read HERE)

(Match Report – Watford 1 Newcastle 1 – 35 shots, end to end game and an Aussie rules referee – Read HERE)

(Watford 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s end to end draw – Read HERE)

(Xisco Munoz left ‘disappointed’ after failing to beat Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United – Read HERE)

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