Newcastle were hammered 6-1 at Manchester City yesterday and the first half was almost a continuation of how we had played so well against Chelsea in the last game.
Newcastle went ahead through Aleksandar Mitrovic in the 18th minutes – his first goal for Newcastle – and we then scored what looked like a perfectly good goal that was disallowed for whatever reason and Mitrovic had another great chance that Joe Hart saved.
Steve McClaren – yes it was that bad in second half
Aguero scored before half time and so at 1-1 Newcastle were in this game and if anything were even the better side in the first half.
Then we completely collapsed and let in five goals before the 62nd minute with Aguero getting four of them and Newcastle’s Achilles heel of the last three seasons kicked in – our weak defense.
The defense was ripped to shreds by City in those devastating first 18 minutes of the second half.
To say that Manchester City played great at that time is to completely miss the point – Newcastle let them play that way.
In the last three seasons, we have conceded 190 goals in the league for an average of around 63 goals a season which is very poor.
After eight league games that have yielded only three draws we have the worst goal difference in the Premier League (-11) and have conceded 17 goals – also the worst in the Premier League.
Newcastle are on track to concede 81 goals this season if that average per game continues.
So it would be a difficult argument to make to say we had strengthened our defense in the summer.
We brought in Chancel Mbemba as the only defender good enough to start for Newcastle with Jamaal Lascelles also brought in, but the 21 year-old is not ready for the first team yet.
It’s hard not to see that Newcastle’s big weakness is still the defense, but we spent big money on midfielders and a striker last summer.
It’s not working to rely on Coloccini as the center back who always starts – because he is the captain.
The top target for the January transfer window has to be a top center back like Joel Matip from Schalke as one example.
While you will not hear any sounds of panic from the Newcastle Board our start this season is almost a continuation of last season.
This cannot be what the powers that be at Newcastle expected after eight games played and over £52M spent last summer.
The good news is that we are only 5 points from safety – and we still have a massive 30 league games to play this season.
It’s certainly not the time to panic.