3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 match
Saturday ended Brighton 0 Newcastle 0.
A fairly level first half with a few opportunities / situations at either end but second-half seeing disciplined and determined defending earning Newcastle United a point.
Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers / contributors to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game, this time it is Jamie Smith.
A point won
So many times over recent years I’ve looked at a Newcastle draw as two points dropped.
Either sitting back too early on a single goal lead or showing no ambition to break a deadlock going forward has been frustrating, as you would constantly leave games with a feeling we’d let the opposition off lightly. Not this time.
Brighton are a very solid team that will see off some decent contenders at the AMEX this year and there’s no shame in leaving with a point at all. However, put in the context of the game and there can be no doubt that a draw was a more favourable result for Newcastle.
Last week, Fabian Schar produced a “split screen moment” as his rocket against Forest was near identical to his effort against Burnley 3 years ago. This week Fab’s two touch clearance off the line was alarmingly similar to Kieran Trippier’s incredible effort earlier in the game. There must have been 70% of the ball over the line when Tripps belted it clear.
Add in a stunning sliding block by Dan Burn and a series of fine saves (see next positive below) and Brighton must be wondering how the hell we stopped them joining the clubs with 100% records. We’ll take that point and kick on.
Potter is a wizard
As I said, this will surely look like a good point in the wider scheme of things, but there is further cause to admire the achievements of Graham Potter, in making Brighton a Premier League force.
With the mind-numbing Nations League giving an indication that Southgate may need an impressive World Cup to save his job, there’s every chance England could be looking for a new man after Christmas for the ever-appealing “impossible job”.
Potter remains a leading contender, as of course does Eddie Howe. I would hope that Eddie’s long-term contract and commitment to the project means he wouldn’t be tempted away from NUFC, but it helps matters that there’s an equally likely prospect in Potter who, with due respect to Brighton, is perhaps more likely to see England as an appealing move.
I can’t help but wonder if the introduction of a fourth kit was a cleverly planned out cash grab, giving the chance to raise a couple of million for the transfer kitty in superfluous kit sales. I actually hope it was, because it certainly didn’t work as a change kit.
Saint-Maximin in particular dismantled several attacks after some excellent work by obligingly squaring the ball to a Brighton player as light turquoise shirts clearly did not stand out from blue and white shirts in the blazing sunshine.
ASM was notable for this but several players on both sides were guilty of some awful surrenders of possession, and no one can even begin to convince me that the blue and gold change kit that made its debut against Bilbao, wouldn’t have been a far better option here.
Despite some excellent defensive efforts, this was one of the most impotent attacking performances of recent memory.
Wilson’s disallowed goal (for a high foot) was the only threatening moment that stands out and despite some hard graft in midfield and the ubiquitous high press, the same old problem stood out, as promising approach play never managed to evolve into chances created.
Shelvey’s injury has highlighted this further. I have time for both Longstaff and Murphy but their introduction from the bench didn’t exactly scream “game changer” when we were looking for a breakthrough. This may turn into a positive as it could increase the emphasis on the need for offensive recruitment as the transfer window ticks away.
Another week without reinforcements may be a bit unsettling because…
Who’s Next Please?
Again, I’ll emphasise that Brighton are a good side and this match was played in difficult conditions.
However, if the standard of performance here is repeated against Man City next week, we will get eviscerated. Despite the strong defensive effort there were still moments where Brighton should have done better from excellent positions. City will be far more clinical if handed the initiative in this way.
The sudden injuries to Matt Targett and Emile Krafth threaten further limitations on team shape, as an excellent effort from Burn defensively covered the absence at left back, but perhaps he wasn’t as well suited to covering and supporting ASM as Matty is, or Trippier may be should Krafth be available to cover right back.
Again, I’m looking at the positive in this negative. We are unbeaten after two games and, should the team arrive back on home ground regalvanised and focused, there could be a real opportunity to make a statement for the season ahead against the perennial champions, while surely taking up one of the league’s top positions to help entice those pesky signings.
As is always the case these days, I’m bloody excited for the next game. Man City are ominously good but bring ‘em on.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 13 August 3pm
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Brighton 55% (48%) Newcastle 45% (52%)
Total shots were Brighton 13 (6) Newcastle 4 (3)
Shots on target were Brighton 7 (4) Newcastle 1 (1)
Corners were Brighton 7 (3) Newcastle 3 (0)
Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 31,552 (NUFC 3,100)
Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Willock (Sean Longstaff 76), Bruno, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson (Wood
87), Saint-Maximin (Murphy 76)
Dubravka, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Manquillo, Anderson
(Honest Eddie Howe reflects on Brighton result and performance – Spirit, unity and potential signings – Read HERE)
(Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Saturday’s battling draw – Read HERE)
(Match Report : Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 – Eddie Howe and his players emerge from south coast heat with battling point – Read HERE)
(Graham Potter ‘loved’ what he saw – Reacts to Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 performance and result – Read HERE)
You can follow the author on Twitter @Mr_Dolf
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to firstname.lastname@example.org