Newcastle were just terrible yesterday at St. Mary’s (I almost ended this article right there), and we were completely outclassed and outplayed by a rampant young Southampton side, who should probably have been 4-0 up at the half, but for goalkeeper Rob Elliot and in that first half alone they had 14 shots on goal to Newcastle’s zero shots on goal.
Rob Elliot – wondering where his defenders were for that first goal
Here are some of the things we learned about Newcastle yesterday.
- Rob Elliot always plays well when he comes into the first team, and yesterday was no exception, and but for the Irish goalkeeper we would have been down by 4-0 at half time, but Rob made three brilliant saves, and seemed the only player awake in the Newcastle defense. And if Rob keeps up this kind of form he could stay in the side for the next six games to the end of the season, even after Tim Krul is fit.
Rob had another excellent game for Newcastle yesterday afternoon at St. Mary’s, and the performance will do nothing to harm his chances of remaining in the Ireland squad.
- Just when we thought Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was settling down and playing consistently for Newcastle, he had another one of those nightmare first halves, which he last had at Everton last year, when he was also hauled off at the break. Davide Santon replaced the Frenchman at half time, and Mapou was the player who played Rickie Lambert on for that first goal, scored in added time in the first half.
Mapou also couldn’t cross the ball from the right wing, and at least twice put the ball into the stands – it was simply a terrible display by the French International.
- It was one of those games where maybe 90% of the Newcastle players were not ready for the game, and all the talk about wanting to pick up as many points as possible through the end of the season seemed to be comical – not many Newcastle players turned up for this game yesterday – and at the end of the game the Sky Sports reporter said it looked like all out of Newcastle’s outfield players had an off day. :(
We’re not sure what happened, but a lot of the players yesterday are still playing for their Newcastle careers, and it was a bit like the Tottenham game in that we were never in it – and looked decidedly second-rate compared to a fee moving attacking Southampton side. It could have been 10-0 – it was that bad a performance from the Newcastle players - and it was totally unacceptable.
- Newcastle have been in a slump since we hammered a 9 man Stoke City side 5-1 on Boxing Day, and in the last 14 league games we have only four wins and a draw, and in ten of those games we have failed to score a goal – so we’ve been in a slump – and don’t look like coming out of it any time soon either.
- Newcastle were again terrible in the final third of the field, and this doesn’t bode well for either Luuk de Jong or Papiss Cisse, since the two strikers have been unable to offer any real threat up front for Newcastle since Loic Remy has been out injured. But one of the things it shows up is our complete lack of creativity in the side, and we are now paying for selling our most creative player – Yohan Cabaye – in January – half way through the season.
- That was the 9th league game that Loic Remy has missed this season for Newcastle by our reckoning, and in those games we have scored only one goal – the last minute winner against Crystal Palace last weekend. That doesn’t auger well for next season, since Loic will be leaving Newcastle for a bigger club in the summer – which will probably be Arsenal – so we need to bring in a number of good strikers this summer – and it seems we need at least three decent strikers brought in.
What do you think?
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