Alarm bells will be going off at the Newcastle club right now, as Newcastle’s best performance and win last Friday evening, has been followed by their first defeat in 16 league games, and the first time in the league this season that Newcastle have conceded 3 goals.
And the first two sentences of our preview last night said the following:
“After their best performance of the season last Friday night, when they hammered Cardiff City 5-1 – what do you expect Newcastle will do in their next game?”
“A let-down is what usually happens after such a great performance, and we have to remember that even though the lads were just great, it was just one game.”
It’s amazing what has happened in the last 3 league games – just 4 points, two pathetic performances and squeezed in between was the best display of the season, but after all this is Newcastle.
We play terrible football at Leicester and have a hard time holding a 10 man Leicester City side. And then we come out all guns blazing in the next game and hammer an in-form Cardiff City side 5-1.
And just in case Newcastle fans were getting too carried away – and we were probably guilty of that – the team suffers their worst defeat of the season against middle of the table Derby County, who are now in 15th position following these 3 points.
Oh well – it’s got to be up from now on – hasn’t it?
The game was all square until the 40th minute, when the best player on the pitch tonight, Kris Commons, put in a good center and Rob Hulse headed in, without a challenge, from just 6 yards out.
Very poor marking by the Magpies and that was the score at the break.
We would have expected to come roaring back in the second half, but it was Derby who did all the attacking, and they had another couple of goals within 18 minutes of the restart.
Following a rapid Derby counter-attack, Michael Tonge played the ball into Hulse, but then fell when challenged by Gutierrez.
Referee Anthony Taylor waved play on, but the linesman must have had a bet on a Derby win, and he flagged like crazy, and the referee relented with a penalty kick against the Magpies.
Isn’t it the referee who decides penalties – whatever the linesman thinks?
Kris Commons, a former Newcastle target, and he may be on the radar screen again after this impressive display, easily beat Harper into the bottom corner of the net – and it was 2-0 to Derby.
Then just 5 minutes later as the Rams were continuing to press forward, a Commons corner saw Carroll head clear, but only to Paul Green, just outside the area.
Green put the ball back into the penalty area, where center-back Shaun Barker swiveled nicely before lashing the ball past several Newcastle players and into the net – would you believe it – 3-0 to Derby County.
Surprisingly Hughton had waited until the 67th minute to make any substitutions, but he made 3 all at once, with Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi and Alan Smith coming on for Leon Best, Patrick van Aanholt and Andy Carroll.
But Newcastle couldn’t even get a goal back, and for the second time in a couple of weeks, Derby County brought to an end a Championship side’s unbeaten run. They had recently beaten Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Pride Park.
Just when you think Newcastle may be becoming a good attacking side, this is what happens.
You can bet your life there’ll be changes to the starting line-up on Saturday after this disastrous result, but we have to remember it’s just a single game, as bad as it was.
Wins can still get us back on track, after this sobering defeat, which was a long time coming. However, we do seem to be starting to tail off, at the worst possible time, and in our last 8 league games we’ve drawn 5, won just two and lost this game.
Draws mean nothing, and are not much better than defeats, so it may even be a good thing that we’ve been beaten after all – if we can quickly get some wins under our belt then things will not look too bad.
But there’s an “if” in there, and 11 points from 7 games is hardly promotion form, let’s face it.
WBA won 2-0 at home to Scunthorpe, but Nottingham Forest are also going through a bad patch and they lost 1-0 at Coventry tonight.
We’re told that our lads have the mental strength to get us promotion, but this result infers the opposite – but we’ll see what they’re made of on Saturday at Swansea City, and a win then will help to steady the ship.
However, it does look like Swansea are in good form, as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in London tonight.
But the very last thing to do is to panic, and we should use this result for our own good – go through this game and see what the lads did wrong, and this should at least ensure we never get too big for our boots.
But we do have to get back some consistency in our play.
We have also been knocked off top position, with WBA now level on points with us on 59, but they now have a better goal difference (30 to our 28), with a 5 goal swing in their favor tonight.
Nottingham Forest have 55 points in 3rd place, but Newcastle have a game in hand on both WBA and Forest. Cardiff are 4th on 48 points.
So as long as we keep our heads, we are still in a decent position to win automatic promotion – as long as we take this defeat the right way – and use it to come right back – starting on Saturday against Swansea City.
The situation Newcastle are now in is nothing that 3 successive wins can’t put right – but we need to stay balanced – which is very hard to do when you are supporting Newcastle United of course. 😀
Let’s all try to stay positive.