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Opinion

Sub-par and a painful watch – My matchday 16 review

1 month ago
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Newcastle United were up against a Leicester side who have underperformed so far this season, especially in recent weeks.

This was the ideal fixture to go into, coming off a victory against Burnley (where we gave a brilliant second half showing that should be the bare minimum going forward).

Leicester weren’t up for it, sloppy even when in the lead, and playing a makeshift team.

I’m really afraid now for what the next three games will bring us.

Here are my thoughts on the team after Leicester 4 Newcastle 0

Keeper – 3/10

Not sure he could have done better for any of the four goals.

Highlight of his game was making a save on a header that was going wide.

Less involved today and would be hurt to concede four.

Defence – 3/10

Sliced and diced on three occasions by some neat passing through tight spaces.

Did well at defending set-pieces but were ultimately not good enough over 90 minutes.

Midfield – 2/10

Poor.

I thought Almiron should have stayed on, put in a good shift as usual.

Shelvey was poor with the Hollywood passes today.

Allan Saint-Maximin and Willock again suffered while being played out of position.

Forwards – 0/10

No service, no output.

Manager – 2/10

I praised the 4-4-2 last time out against a Burnley side who played the same system. Today, however, it was exposed for the joke that it is.

We are losing our threat playing this way. Joelinton at the supporting striker position was expected to pick the ball up from the halfway line and create attacks, while our most creative player wasted away hugging the touchline.

A middle two of Shelvey and Willock – one plays deep but cannot defend, while the other is played deep but really should be up the pitch. Willock is great at making tackles and winning possession but he is not a defensive midfielder.

Hayden, Longstaff, and Schar can all play at CM/DM. We are nothing without Saint-Maximin.

If Eddie Howe doesn’t understand these basic things and make adjustments, he won’t be / shouldn’t be in this job by March.

Summary

We said anything would be better than Steve Bruce and we have definitely seen a change in performances since he left.

However, today’s performance was as shambolic as some of the games from the Pardew era. I’m upset and disappointed.

Leicester were there for the taking even after going two up.

I might seem impatient but the task at hand requires just that.

We have only 22 matchdays left to salvage our season and I expect the manager to move with some urgency and pass that message across to the players as well.

I hope the new owners will be ruthless to good effect come January and there would still be hope for survival when the market opens.

Position: 19th

Record: W1 D7 L8

Goals scored: 17

Goals conceded: 34

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

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Leicester 4 Newcastle 0 – Read HERE)

(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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