The wheels really came off for Newcastle United at St. Jamesâ€™ Park today when they were outplayed and outclassed by a good looking Portsmouth team and on the wrong side of a 4-1 hiding.
This was Newcastle’s first home defeat of the season and Portsmouth’s first win on Tyneside for 58 years.Â Yes, it’s a really sad day for Newcastle United, but they were completely outplayed by a much better side on the day, that’s the truth.
Newcastle were 3-0 down after just 11 minutes with Claudio Cacapa being responsible for at least two of the goals. The Newcastle defense just didn’t seem ready for this game at all and the game was lost in the first 11 minutes – that’s just unacceptable to Newcastle fans.
After just 8 minutes and following a corner, the ball rolled out to Pamarot, and from 30 yards out, he hit an unstoppable shot into Harperâ€™s top left hand corner giving the goalkeeper no chance.Â A goal of the season contender.
Then within a minute, Benjani went straight through the middle and Cacapa should have stopped him, but was on the wrong side of the Pompey forward. Benjani kept going through, brushing by Cacapa, and curled the ball past Harper. Portsmouth were 2-0 up.
Then after just 11 minutes, the left winger got around Taylor easily, and Cacapa was beaten to the ball easily as Utaka easily took the ball around Harper, and put the ball calmly into the back of the net. Portsmouth were 3-0 up after just 11 minutes – incredible.
Cacapa was taken off shortly after Portsmouthâ€™s 3rd goal and was replaced by David Rozehnal who added good defensive strength to the Newcastle team and had a good game. To say it was a terrible performance from Cacapa is to be kind, and it must have been a big embarrassment for the proud Brazilian. Whether Cacapa is good enough for the Premiership must now be a cause for concern for Big Sam.
Newcastle did get a goal back after 16 minutes when Owen pounced on a mistake by David James, who could only parry the ball. Owen stabbed the ball in off Sol Campbell and the goal was awarded to Campbell as an own goal.
Newcastle were then 3-1 down after 16 minutes.
A second goal by Newcastle could have got them back into the game but it never came. In fact Portsmouth got a 4th goal in the second half when Kranjcar took a free kick on the left and with no Portsmouth player anywhere near the ball, his shot went straight into the goal offÂ Steven Taylor. Questions have to be asked of Steve Harper for this goal.
Sam tried to turn the game around when he brought on Oba Martins for Enrique in the second half, with Zog switching to left back. But Newcastle were just not good enough on the day.
Time was played out during the second half and fans streamed out of St. Jamesâ€™ Park very disappointed at another Newcastle non-performance. The team was completely outclassed on the day. If this is how Newcastle are to play against the better teams things may get even worse before they get any better.
The next two home games are against Liverpool and Arsenal. As we said earlier, the wheels have come off the wagon today, especially in defense where more schoolboy defending put Newcastle 3-0 down and essentially out of the game after just 11 minutes.
This was Newcastleâ€™s first home defeat of the season and Big Sam certainly has a lot of work to do with this team. As we mentioned earlier this is the first win at St. Jamesâ€™ Park by Portsmouth in 58 years.
The next game is at our rivals Sunderland next Saturday and if the defense plays anything like this, then we can kiss goodbye to any points next week at the Stadium of Light. But we are expecting a vast improvement next Saturday – but Sam and his staff will just have to get busy on the training field next week. It’s back to basics – that’s for sure.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique, Claudio Cacapa, Abdoulaye Faye, James Milner, Charles N’Zogbia, Nicky Butt, Joey Barton, Michael Owen, Alan Smith
Subs: Fraser Forster, David Rozehnal, Emre, Geremi, Oba Martins
Portsmouth: David James, Sol Campbell, Sylvain Distin, John Utaka, Niko Kranjcar, Papa Bouba Diop, Glen Johnson, Sulley Muntari, Noe Pamarot, Sean Davis, Benjani