Newsletter

Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!

Opinion

‘And the blame for this latest (Watford) failure is down to Allan Saint-Maximin???’

4 months ago
Share

In a poor game, out of nowhere Allan Saint-Maximin went on a solo run and finished with a great low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, giving Fraser no chance.

That effort in the 49th minute was to be Newcastle United’s first AND only effort on target against Watford.

Newcastle then looked to have decent control of the game but as the match moved on, Watford began to press more and more without really being able to carve out any decent chances, EXCEPT when our generous central defence and centre midfield gifted them opportunities, Jamaal Lascelles particularly poor / generous.

With the clock ticking down, Allan Saint-Maximin was subbed with his job done, Miguel Almiron coming on to see out the final four minutes of normal time and any added  by the referee.

Only two minutes later, a one-two on Watford’s right saw Almiron get too tight on his man, enabling the visiting player to get the return ball with the Paraguayan left trailing, Paul Dummett with a great effort to cover for Almiron’s appalling defending but just fractionally not getting there in time, the cross delivered and Lascelles beaten in the air for a headed equaliser from Pedro.

I was sitting in a different part of St James Park yesterday to normal but it was the same experience as where I usually sit. A very vocal (I think) minority continually pointing the finger at Allan Saint-Maximin all the way through the match.

I just find it absolutely bizarre.

People watch a different game to me, at least some of them do.

Allan Saint-Maximin is the ONLY player who does anything in terms of creativity or goal threat. The other team know it as well, Watford doing a pretty good job on him on Saturday, doubling and trebling up on ASM, at least one of the Watford bookings was for hacking Allan Saint-Maximin down. Yet the rest of the team are totally incapable of them taking advantage of the space the Frenchman creates and the sheer number of opposition players who are drawn to him.

Yes, Allan Saint-Maximin is frustrating at times BUT not as frustrating as the rest of them!

I though Trippier was excellent and Dummett did very well in his first game for eight months but after that…?

You have to feel sorry for Chris Wood as he got so little service and support but Newcastle United are so predictable, the opposition know that the likes of Fraser, Longstaff, Shelvey and Joelinton are going to present minimal / zero goal threat and creativity.

Newcastle United have now played 22 matches in this 2021/22 season, Callum Wilson has scored six goals, Allan Saint-Maximin has five, not a single other player has scored more than one goal. Incredible. Well, incredibly bad!

Newcastle have scored 20 goals in those 22 matches and Allan Saint-Maximin has been directly involved in 40% of them, scoring five and three assists.

Yet these idiots around me at the match and the ones online, think Allan Saint-Maximin is the problem?

When it comes to which players who are part of the problem at Newcastle and who is part of the solution, I know which side ASM sits on AND I know which side the vast majority of the rest of the NUFC squad sit on…that is, the different side to where Allan Saint-Maximin is sitting.

There is hope, mainly because there are other clubs at the bottom who are just as bad as Newcastle United, so far. It is all ifs but the next two games are against Leeds and Everton, two other clubs desperately trying to join Newcastle, Watford, Burnley and Norwich in this relegation battle. If Newcastle could beat those two then things would have a very different complexion. Though there again, we all said that about Watford and how it was a must win game, victory needed if NUFC were going to set off on a run / crawl towards survival.

It is still possible, still 18 games to go. Actually, Newcastle United have only lost four of their last ten Premier League matches and they were to Man City at home, Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal away. However, only one win over Burnley and those draws against Watford, Man Utd, Brentford, Brighton and Norwich…at least two or three of them could and should have been turned into wins. If another six points had been picked up in this run of games and it had included a win over Watford yesterday, then Newcastle would have been five points clear of relegation now.

Small margins at times but when you have so few goalscorers in the team and a defence that will always concede, you are always going to struggle to win many games.

If…yes, another if, more ifs.

If Newcastle can bring in a central defender and central midfielder (and ideally at least one more attacking / goalscoring player), then just maybe if the current players also manage to step up a bit, including finding a way to feed Chris Wood better than Saturday.

Then just maybe NUFC can survive.

However, what I would say, is that if that survival does happen, then Allan Saint-Maximin will be sure to have been a key element in it.

Allan Saint-Maximin speaking to Sky Sports and asked ‘Having led for 88 minutes, how disappointing is it not to have won?’:

“A lot, I think you can see [it in] my face.

“I am really disappointed tonight because we work a lot in training, we try to do everything to win this game and to concede a goal with only three minutes left, it’s really difficult.

“When you are in this position you need a little bit of luck and at this time it is a long time we wait to have more luck, to help the team to win a game.

“I think we managed the game well, they didn’t have a lot of opportunities to score but they did.

“It’s really hard because we know if we keep drawing, we are not going to survive.

“It is really difficult but we need to go again.

“We have a really important game this week against Leeds and we have to do everything to try and win that game.

“If you concede a goal in 12 or 20 minutes it is not the same, you have maybe the time to come back, but when they score in the 88th minute, and you know you have only two minutes left, you feel like again it is the same story. You try to fight again but they [Watford] start to manage the game for just a draw, so they kick the ball long and it becomes really difficult to score.

“It is a good draw for Watford and really bad for Newcastle.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Watford 1 – Saturday 15 January 3pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Goals:

Watford:

Pedro 88

Newcastle:

Saint-Maximin 49

Possession was Watford 48% Newcastle 52%

Total shots were Watford 12 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Watford 5 Newcastle 1

Corners were Watford 4 Newcastle 6

Crowd: 52,223 (1,200 Watford)

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Dummett, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Fraser (Murphy 74), Joelinton, Saint-Maximin (Almiron 86), Wood

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Darlow, Anderson, Lewis, Krafth, Willock, Ritchie

(Newcastle 1 Watford 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(‘My faith in Eddie Howe is now being tested’ – Read HERE)

(Claudio Ranieri reacts to Newcastle 1 Watford 1 – “I am happy…but it’s half and half” Read HERE)

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

Share

If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2022 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks