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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Leicester 4 Newcastle 0

1 month ago
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Sunday afternoon ended Leicester 4 Newcastle 0.

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 Davey Hat-Trick who has the job…

POSITIVES

At least we have a plan

I should start by saying that the sight of Messrs Souness and Pardew in the Sky studios was too much for me, and thanks to the mute button, I didn’t hear a thing they had to say before, during or after the match.

So if my views differ from the accepted narrative, so be it. I’d do the same again.

It’s hard to find positives after a 4-0 defeat but I thought we stuck to our task quite well.

There is a plan and at least we tried to adhere to it. The plan doesn’t go much beyond ‘work as hard as you can and pass forward rather than backwards if possible’, and in that regard, I think we did OK. I didn’t think it was a 0-4 game

We kept going

You can’t accuse this team of lacking effort.

A couple of months back that would have been fair criticism – more than fair – but I didn’t see much evidence of that here.

Joelinton, again, gave everything he had to the cause, and there will be a number of Newcastle players who will have earned their ice bath

Still in the mix (just)

Make no mistake – we are relegation fodder.

Three other teams at the moment – Norwich, Burnley, Watford – look like they are too.

We have to hope that we are the one team out of that group which survives and at least we have the financial clout to buy our way up the league in January.

For now, those three teams are close enough to be caught / passed, so we live in hope. Of course, that may not be the case after our next three games (Liverpool, City and manure), and there is no guarantee that we’ll attract the sort of player we need in January.

However, in the absence of any other reason for hope, it’s a straw I’m prepared to clutch at.

NEGATIVES

Missed opportunity

I was quite optimistic at 2pm.

Leicester came into this game on a bad run, with mutinous fans and an outbreak of coronavirus.

Newcastle, on the other hand, are more united than they have been in a decade, were coming off the back of a win and a clean sheet.

When Leicester lost a key defender after three minutes, the stage was set for us to blitz them; an early goal to the Mags would have made us strong favourites to win this.

However, it didn’t come, Leicester steadily exerted control, and ended up worthy winners.

Press means press

Eddie Howe wants his Newcastle team to press, and as I said above, his appointment has certainly led to a higher work rate. However, if the team is set up that way, everyone needs to press.

One man not doing his job can negate the whole plan, and unfortunately, one or two of our players lost concentration and allowed Leicester to dictate a lot of the play – 95% of a press isn’t a press

Quality lacking

When you are at the bottom of the league, it’s obvious you lack quality.

We are well short in every area, I’m afraid, and our decision-making was way off today.

We tried to beat our man when we should have passed, passes we did attempt went anywhere but where they should have, and we lacked incisiveness – or the fabled final ball – when we did get up the field.

Some of our players have a poor first touch and others are easily beaten by opponents with a vestige of talent.

And don’t talk to me about our defence. Calling them Championship quality is an insult to Barnsley and Peterborough United.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Leicester 4 Newcastle 0 – Sunday 12 December 2pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Goals:

Leicester:

Tielemans (38 pen, 81), Daka (57), Maddison (85)

Newcastle:

Possession was Leicester 47% (56%) Newcastle 53% (44%)

Total shots were Leicester 8 (3) Newcastle 12 (4)

Shots on target were Leicester 5 (2) Newcastle 3 (0)

Corners were Leicester 4 (2) Newcastle 6 (4)

Referee: Peter Bankes

Crowd: 31,959 (NUFC 3,300)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lewis (Murphy 62), Shelvey (Ritchie 85), Willock, Saint-Maximin, Almiron (Fraser 62), Joelinton, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Hayden, Hendrick, Krafth, Gayle, Fernandez

(Leicester 4 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Leicester 4 Newcastle 0 – Where do you start? Read HERE)

(Leicester 4 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s hammering – Read HERE)

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