‘Newcastle United are humiliated’ Hmmm, really, are you sure?
I have found it interesting to read some of the reaction to the Newcastle United defeat on Sunday.
Eddie Howe and his team losing 5-0 to Manchester City.
Not the best of Sundays, or indeed best of any days, for anybody bothered about Newcastle United, but up against a team going for the title it wasn’t the biggest of surprises to lose.
Indeed, it was expected.
Despite that, I have seen plenty of mentions in the media about how Newcastle United were ‘humiliated’ yesterday.
Hmmm, I don’t know about you, but that isn’t how I felt, nor do I believe the Newcastle United players felt that way either.
Looking up the definition of humiliated, it is something that makes you feel ashamed or lose respect for yourself.
I can think of numerous times I felt like that when Mike Ashley owned the club but that wasn’t the case yesterday.
As a Newcastle United fan, I was ashamed to see the discriminatory treatment that cancer sufferer Jonas Gutierrez experienced at the hands of Ashley. Similarly, the way that the tat empire supremo behaved towards club legends Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.
When it comes to just the football side of things, losing on Sunday to the best team in the country didn’t really spell humiliation for me. Why would it?
Nobody likes losing and most definitely nobody likes losing by five to anybody, however, the simple truth is that Manchester City and Liverpool are capable of doing this to anybody.
If Man City had taken even half their clear chances five nights ago, they would have scored at least five goals and now have a Champions League final to look forward to.
The two very late (90 and 90+3 minutes) goals at the Etihad skewed the scoreline anyway. It was more a 3-1 than a 5-0 game. Newcastle actually did ok in the attacking third in terms of a threat, a decent number of other half chances AND two absolute sitters that were arguably easier than any of Man City’s chances – Wood a free header six yards out, then Wilson one on one with just Ederson to beat. Newcastle didn’t deserve anything by the end but what if Wood had given NUFC the lead and something to hold onto, Man City having to push on even more and potentially leaving good opportunities on the counter for Newcastle to exploit? At worst, if Wood and Wilson had taken their chances you could have had the home side only 3-2 ahead and facing a nervous final few minutes.
Lazy journalists wanting to make out that the 5-0 scoreline is some kind of special proof that Newcastle United are light years away from the levels Man City are at. I think we already knew that didn’t we, Man City and Liverpool on another planet this season compared to the rest of the Premier League, as has been the case for a few years now, although Liverpool did dip relatively speaking last season when finishing only third and allowing Man Utd into second, Liverpool already now with 14 points more than they finished last season and three games still to go in the league.
Liverpool showed last season that even the likes of them are in danger of (relatively) struggling when key players are missing. They may have finished third last season but that is quite astonishing really when you factor in that they at one point lost six of seven PL matches, plus only three wins in a run of 14 PL games. They were pretty good much of the rest of the time, hence still third place.
At the Etihad, Eddie Howe was missing arguably half his first choice starting eleven, with Schar, Shelvey, Wilson, Fraser, Willock and Trippier all unavailable when it came to starting the match.
A typical Manchester City match sees them keeping a clean sheet (21 of 35 in the Premier League this season now) and scoring on average three goals (89 scored so far). Very similar story to Liverpool, they have 20 clean sheets in 35 PL matches and have scored only two goals less (87) than Guardiola’s team.
It makes me laugh seeing journalists making a big story out of yesterday’s 5-0 scoreline, reality is that arguably Newcastle United played better than they did, certainly going forward, than they did against Liverpool the previous weekend. Yet 5-0 instead of 1-0, to me it was just a case of things evening themselves out. I think both Man City and Liverpool deserved to score at least three against Newcastle, whilst at the other end of the pitch NUFC deserved nothing at all against the scousers but definitely for me at least one against Pep’s boys.
Liverpool had more wayward finishing (like Man City against Real Madrid) and Newcastle made more mistakes on Sunday than eight days previously, plus Martin Dubravka was man of the match at St James Park but was poor yesterday.
So many factors dictating the final scoreline (if not necessarily needed when it came to who got the points), some of those down to what Newcastle did in the two games BUT so much of it out of their control, such as how clinical the two bets teams in the country / world were on the day.
So many people, including many Newcastle fans, seem incapable of understanding a bad performance and a bad scoreline, that they don’t always exactly match the other, indeed rarely do. So much is down to luck, to small margins. I am no big fan of Jordan Pickford but he has just shown these past two games how much influence a goalkeeper can have at times, Everton would have lost to both Chelsea and Leicester and yet won both matches with multiple world class saves the difference between zero and three points in both games.
I did used to often feel humiliated due to Mike Ashley owning our club and blighting the name of our great city as well, I also felt humiliated pretty much every time Steve Bruce opened his mouth, I always dreaded ever having him as Newcastle manager and the reality proved far far worse than what I’d imagined.
Eddie Howe has swept that away and thankfully now we once again have somebody who represents our club so well and speaks articulately and with integrity / honesty. He wasn’t throwing any players under the bus after yesterday’s defeat, instead he takes it on himself and speaks only of how he intends to put it right, over time.
Humiliation on a football pitch is for me, when you lose heavily to a team that are clearly inferior and especially, when players don’t put the necessary effort in.
Neither of those things were the case on Sunday, not a great day BUT we have all seen far far worse.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Manchester City 5 Newcastle 0 – Sunday 8 May 4.30pm
Sterling 19, 90+3, Laporte 38, Rodri 61, Foden 90
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Man City 71% (68%) Newcastle 29% (32%)
Total shots were Man City 21 (10) Newcastle 7 (2)
Shots on target were Man City 9 (5) Newcastle 3 (1)
Corners were Man City 8 (4) Newcastle 2 (1)
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 53,336 (Newcastle 3,000)
Dubravka, Krafth (Trippier 68), Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Almiron (Murphy 80), Wood (Wilson 68)
Darlow, Dummett, Schar, Ritchie, Manquillo, Gayle
(Pep Guardiola gets it half right… Read HERE)
(Newcastle v Manchester City player ratings results from NUFC fans – Brutal but fair? Read HERE)
(Three Newcastle United players set to miss the rest of the season – Official NUFC injury update – Read HERE)
(3 Positives and 3 Negatives taken from Manchester City 5 Newcastle 0 – Read HERE)
(Manchester City 5 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Manchester City 5 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Sunday’s defeat – Read HERE)
(Manchester City 5 Newcastle 0 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)
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