3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 3 Brentford 3
Saturday’s match ended Newcastle 3 Brentford 3.
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 Newcastle United found their attacking edge but in an open game, had serious issues when it came to defending.
This time it is Billy Miller:
I used this as a positive after the Tottenham game. I had been in the top corner of the Gallowgate that time and it had been rowdy. I was told later that this atmosphere hadn’t been replicated throughout the stadium.
However, sat in the Milburn Stand this time, I could hear other parts of the stadium getting involved frequently. The Gallowgate was still the main catalyst for the atmosphere and sometimes the Brentford lot could be heard but I feel we outdid them significantly.
I chatted to another fan as the stadium cleared out and he said that nobody ever sings in the block we were in, and it showed just how up for it everyone was. Something I thoroughly enjoyed was how the whole stadium started singing both times we went behind. The message was clear. We’ve had a setback, but we believe in you boys and we’re behind you all the way. Both times the players responded by getting us back into it.
So many fans stayed behind to give hearty applause to a team that gave everything on the pitch, as well, which will have been appreciated by the players and management alike.
I never thought I would see the day.
At the Tottenham game that I attended with my Brazilian girlfriend, who was making her Newcastle watching debut. She grimaced every time fans around us hurled abuse at her compatriot. This time he did her proud. I was gutted that he didn’t grab the winner at the end. He played his heart out and fully deserved to get a brace and win the game for us.
Asides from that very Joelinton moment he was a beast.
Even early on when he first fell over in a chase for a forward ball, he got straight back up and won possession back before whipping in a quality ball that Wilson nodded marginally wide. His surging run and deflected shot led to the corner that then gave us our opener.
I’ve never seen him rolling the ball from one foot to the other to escape tight situations but he did it frequently this game. His goal was well taken, and he worked so hard all game. I would love it if Howe could turn him into a quality player, but we need a quite a few more performances like this one, before we’ll be convinced. Extremely happy for him though.
Worth the Admission Fee
It can be easy to forget as a Newcastle fan that the idea of football is to provide entertainment. That’s what we are supposed to be paying our money for.
I thoroughly enjoyed this game despite the fact we failed to win it. For any of those snooty neutrals (is anyone truly neutral anymore when it comes to us) that say we were no better than we were under that lovely bloke that used to manage us, here are a few comparisons to throw their way.
This was the first game this season that we had more possession AND more shots than our opponents. Only once in the Premier League under Bruce, this season, did we better a team for possession (the 2-0 loss to Villa) and only twice did we have more shots (the draws with Watford and Wolves). We had more shots and more shots on target than in any other game this season too. We also scored more goals.
Allan Saint Maximin was just phenomenal and would have had his own positive if it weren’t for Joelinton’s display. He really can be a spectacle on his day. From his outrageous skill to set up Joey’s equaliser to the well taken third goal and the backflip that followed. Not to mention the fact he started that move by driving forward and picking a good pass to Fraser before continuing his run to get on the end of a quality cross.
Did anyone else in the stadium notice him flip to his feet (much like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson used to do in his WWE days) after being slid out. His run for Joelinton’s late chance was exceptional too. Players desperately trying to foul him but unable to even catch him unfairly, let alone fairly. He scythed through the midfield and defence before picking the right pass to Joelinton. I still don’t know how he fell over, despite watching it back several times on MOTD. It was a day that ASM not only lit up the game with individual skill but more often than not picked the right passes and made the right decisions.
We had a shot blocked on the line, we had dangerous cutbacks intercepted. On another day we could have scored six. Normally that’s a comment reserved for our opposition. I thought Shelvey had a solid game too and he even sprinted a few times. Everyone looked up for it and looked fitter and hungrier than they have in a long time. This is after just two weeks of our new boss so I have high hopes for the rest of the season. There is such a long way to go yet so I am not someone who already has us mentally resigned to relegation.
No Howe For Now
Only at Newcastle United Football Club could we be so full of optimism and ready for the debut of our new manager, only for him to contract Covid and have to conduct affairs from a hotel room.
It was a bitter personal blow having driven for six hours to be at the first game of the new era.
It must have been devastating for Eddie, who has spent a fortnight drilling these players and would have been excited to step out to a packed St James’ Park for the first time.
Bottom Of The Table
Unfortunately, despite an excellent performance, it was two points dropped.
Elsewhere, Dean Smith was getting off to winning ways with Norwich. Gerrard was ending Villa’s run of losses. With Watford trouncing Man Yoo, it was a really bad day for us results wise.
It’s not ideal but if our players keep playing the way they did on Saturday, they will start picking up victories and will begin to climb the table.
An All Time DarLOW
The defending was absolutely shambolic and this was compounded by one of the worst goalkeeping performances I’ve seen at Newcastle in a long time.
None of our defence played particularly well but I think the shakiness of the man between the sticks would have knocked their confidence further.
Toney couldn’t believe his luck when a poor shot squirmed under the keeper. Had we held out for a few more minutes after scoring, I feel we could have gone on to win this one by a few goals but from that moment we looked dodgy at the back.
The flag saved us from going behind once. But then we actually did do. Poor defending to leave Rico Henry free at the back post and Darlow found himself in no man’s land throwing his limbs out in every direction, like an electrified cat, only for the ball to bounce under him.
He flapped at crosses all game and didn’t come off his line when he needed to. The third goal was due to this hesitation. He should have collected the ball early in the move but was in two minds and ended up sliding for the ball. We made a hash of clearing it and less than a minute later it was back in our net.
I will be amazed if Dubravka isn’t back in for Arsenal. Darlow has done well for his in the past but he’s nowhere near the player our number one is.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Saturday 20 November 3pm
Toney 11, Henry 31, Lascelles own goal 61
Lascelles 10, Joelinton 39, Saint-Maximin 75
(In brackets the first half stats)
Possession was Brentford 48% (45%) Newcastle 52% (55%)
Total shots were Brentford 10 (7) Newcastle 23 (16)
Shots on target were Brentford 4 (4) Newcastle 9 (7)
Corners were Brentford 2 (0) Newcastle 8 (5)
Referee: Robert Jones
Crowd: 52,131 (Brentford 3,000)
Darlow, Murphy, Schar (Longstaff 71), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock (Fraser 71), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Wilson
Dubravka, Hayden, Lewis, Krafth, Manquillo, Almiron, Gayle
(Match Report : Newcastle United – One step beyond – Read HERE)
(Alan Shearer excellent as he tells it straight on good AND bad parts of Eddie Howe’s first game – Read HERE)
(Eddie Howe deputy gives verdict after Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Read HERE)
(Newcastle United part-owner issues public message to fans after Eddie Howe’s first game – Read HERE)
(Thomas Frank really fair after 3-3 draw despite no invite to the ‘big party’ at St James Park – Read HERE)
(Martin Keown spots Newcastle’s very obvious weakest link against Brentford – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)
You can follow the author on Twitter @billymerlin
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