Newcastle were beaten 4-0 today at the Britannia Stadium, and it was one of the worst results of the season, and with Wigan and Wolves both winning this afternoon, Newcastle are now a slim 4 points above the relegation zone.
Not only that, but our goal difference was hit today and it is now -1, and we again have to wait another long two weeks before we entertain Wolves, who won away from home 1-0 today at Villa Park, only their second away win of the seaosn.
And the doom and gloomers will no doubt be out in force, but on the other hand, Newcastle must waken up and not get dragged into a relegation scrap, which is now looking more probable.
This is two defeats on the trot for Newcastle by teams below them in the league table, and a long long two weeks to wait to see if the lads can do something right against Wolves, but let’s say this right now – it’s a must win game in two weeks against Wolves.
If we lose to Wolves we will start to look in some trouble – that’s for sure.
For the first goal today after 28 minutes, Fabricio Coloccini wasn’t close enough to Jermaine Pennant, and he allowed Pennant to put in a good cross that was headed home by Walters, who easily beat Sol Campbell at the near post.
And that was Stoke’s first goal from open play since January 4th, and not a good reflection of the Newcastle defense, who were to concede another 3 goals in this game, and they have been preparing a full two weeks.
And even before the first goal Jose Enrique limped off injured, with what looked like his hamstring again, and obviously Jose should not have played today, and presumably he could now miss the game with Wolves.
Much better to have not risked him today, but we seem to be risking players, and also getting players injured in training again, just like the old days, as Leon Best missed out today, as he picked up an injury in training yesterday – that’s what Alan said after the game today
What’s going on with all these injuries, which is decimating the small squad we have.
The way the lads played today, you would have thought they had been preparing for about 5 minutes for this game, and not two weeks, and no doubt Alan Pardew will take some heat over the recent results and especially today, because the tactics looked woeful at best.
Stoke were fairly comfortable at the break with that one goal lead through Jonathan Walters.
But then any chance Newcastle had of coming back and getting something out of this game were dashed seconds into the second half, when Newcastle went further behind, and it was self destruct time, and a terrible error from goalkeeper Steve Harper.
Steve seemed to hesitate with a back pass by Mike Williamson, and simply kicked it into the path of former Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones, who put Matthew Etherington through and his cross eventually found Pennant who easily tapped in, and it was 2-0.
And then 3 minutes later it was Danny Higginbotham who scored his second goal in consecutive matches, and his terrific free-kick took a slight deflection off the shoulder of Tiote, and it just flew past Harper into the back of the net and it was 3-0 and the game was over.
And what Newcastle have shown all season, fight and passion, seemed to even be missing and two minutes into injury time Ricardo Fuller completed the rout, and a dreadful result for Newcastle.
Stoke now leapfrog Newcastle in the league.
This was hardly a good display from the Newcastle side, and a terrible result on a day when lower level sides again picked up points, and now we have taken just one point from the last three games, two of which have been at home, and we have one win in the last 10 games.
Wigan and Wolves won, and WBA and West Ham got good draws against top 5 sides, Spurs and Arsenal.
It’s not a good time of the season to go into a slump, and Alan Pardew will have his work cut out in the next two weeks to get Newcastle back into a fighting force, before the game against Wolves, because we simply cannot lose that game.
But the Newcastle side will now need all the help they can get from their supporters in their remaining games this season, starting with Wolves in two weeks, so we just have to keep behind the players, and not make things even worse than they are at the moment.
We can still pull away with just a couple of wins in the last 8 games of the season, and panic is the last thing we want to see.
But to be honest, this is also a really depressing result for the side today.