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Alan Shearer excellent as he tells it straight on good AND bad parts of Eddie Howe’s first game

1 week ago
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Alan Shearer watched on from afar as Newcastle United played their first game under the new Head Coach.

Eddie Howe of course also watching on from afar, having tested positive for covid.

Alan Shearer was watching from the BBC Match of The Day studios and reflecting on the match on Saturday night, saw a lot to make him happy…but also a lot to worry him.

Newcastle United having more shots (23) than any game this season, but Brentford with ten shots of their own, and if you are honest, when it came to clear chances and dangerous situations it was probably an even split for the two teams.

Alan Shearer was happy with a lot of the attacking play and chances created, three good goals.

He believes though that committing a lot of players forward, leaves the defence badly exposed.

That was true on a number of occasions on Saturday but I think when it came to the three goals Brentford did score, it was simply really poor defending, not a case of short of numbers.

Top of that list by far was Karl Darlow, Alan Shearer pointing out woeful the Newcastle keeper was. Surely the easiest decision Eddie Howe will have, when putting Martin Dubravka back in for Arsenal away next Saturday.

If Newcastle’s number one had played yesterday, Newcastle would have won, no matter how bad the defending was overall against Brentford.

Alan Shearer and Mark Chapman talking on Match of The Day – 20 November 2021:

Mark Chapman:

“Happier?”

Alan Shearer:

“From a forward point of view, yeah.

“It was a lot better, more shots in this game than any other this season.

“But that creates its own problems.

“They want to play on the front foot, they want to get more bodies forward and they certainly did that. The chances that they created.

“They get men in the box, [in this move] they have six men in the box, Saint-Maximin, who had a good game, was really unlucky [when shooting].

“Similar thing again, you have men in the box and this time they do punish them [Bournemouth], falling nicely for Joelinton [to score].

“But on the other side, with this defence, if you are going to commit that many men forward, then you leave this defence exposed and they will concede goals.

“So many mistakes all over the place, Darlow there, a basic error [for equaliser], he had a really poor game, looked really nervous.

“They lose the ball again and that protection has gone, another mistake from Lascelles and they are wide open, they get away with it on this occasion because he [Ivan Toney] was offside.

“Ritchie has got to stop this cross, he doesn’t, then Murphy doesn’t have a clue that Rico Henry is in behind him, so there’s another two or three errors. So they are going to concede goals.

“They are wide open, one ball and they [Brentford] are in behind and another error from Darlow, what he’s doing here coming with his feet, I’m not sure, he should go and collect it with his hands to settle that problem [instead, it leads to third Brentford goal].

“So, 23 shots and from a forward point of view impressive, but defensively they were hopeless again.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Brentford 3 – Saturday 20 November 3pm

Goals:

Brentford

Toney 11, Henry 31, Lascelles own goal 61

Newcastle:

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)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Murphy, Schar (Longstaff 71), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock (Fraser 71), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Hayden, Lewis, Krafth, Manquillo, Almiron, Gayle

(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)

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