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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Newcastle Can Still Survive – If We Do This

7:45 am, Monday, March 21st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 5 Comments

There are going to be reports after yesterday’s game that maybe both Sunderland and Newcastle now look destined for the Championship next season, and certainly a draw was the perfect result for Norwich City, who won their game at West Brom on Saturday and remain 2 points ahead of Sunderland and 3 points ahead of Newcastle.

Both north-east clubs have a game in hand on the Canaries.

But Rafa Benitez still has eight games to play this season and things should continue to improve and certainly the second half yesterday is the best we have played under Rafa.

Newcastle made an excellent comeback to avoid the disaster and allow Sunderland to get their 7th win in a row against us.

That would have been more than terrible, but we dodged the bullet.

Rafael+Benitez+Newcastle+United+v+Sunderland+Fge0c_JUJaXl

Rafa Benitez and players celebrate Mitrovic’ equalizer

Newcastle were better going forward in that second half, but there was slack marking for the Black Cats’ goal from Defoe just before half time – and we must get much tighter in defense from set plays.

After the game Rafa Benitez was positive and talked about Mitro first – who after scoring a great equalizer suffered a concussion late in the game and had to be withdrawn:

“He’s fine. He wanted to be on the pitch again but he lost consciousness. We had to be careful and the doctor was right.”

“I have to believe they can play better, I saw that in the second half. We have eight games to play and we have to play the level of the second half.”

“To win would have been perfect but when you are losing in the first half and keep the same gap, it’s positive.”

“The main thing was that the fans supported us and we want that in every single game. I think we can stay up.”

“We have to keep working, I believe they can play better and from what I have seen today in the second half, they can do well.”

With more time with the players on the training field,  Rafa can continue to improve the Newcastle side and  we can still rack up the number of wins necessary to survive this season – although it will be close.

Here’s hoping.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Mar 21, 2016 at 7:46 AM

    Only reason we got a point today was Allerdyce’s lack of commitment in going for another goal to kill us off instead he sat back – brought on defensive players and sat back which allowed our players more time and space.

    Must admit we were lucky to go in only one down – first half display looked like McClown was still managing. Would of hooked Colback after his yellow card – was a liability. Give to many free-kicks away as the Mackems were quicker to the ball and wanted it more.

    Total lack of movement off the ball.

    Build up play to slow and sideways lack of movement resulting in being easy to close down and the ball being passed back to Elliot who HOOOOOOOFs it aimlessly. Elliot had a good game but his distribution crap like Krul’s.
    Nobody really stood out. Mitro battled well with little help fro Perez but I gave our MoM to Lascalles who had a solid game.

    Shelvey played too deep almost as a third centre half. Bringing on Anita and Di Jong seemed to steady the ship a bit of composure in the centre of the park

    Gonna be a BIG struggle to get out of the bottom 3

  • 2 Veltman // Mar 21, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    Couple of players also frustrated me like hell .
    Perez should be dropped.He should take his chances coming on the bench.He was poor,weak and poor judger of the ball.Benitez should consider other alternatives like Siem,Cisse,etc etc
    Mitrovic is good in the air and good finisher through his head than his legs.He needs more high balls and crosses inside the penalty box like that.Yesterday was a good finish by him.
    Everything can’t be fixed overnight.I feel for Rbz.
    We are very fortunate to have him.
    He has a big task ahead of him.He inherited a team that has suffered with poor confidence and setup for the last 6 or so Months.
    A point is better than nothing but Sunderland were more comfortable on the ball,tackles and
    organizations than us.We were second best apart from the last 10 to 15 minutes.This game was the best chance to grab 3pts and drag down those around us than the next Norwich game.If we can’t beat Norwich next,unlikely for me,I’m afraid we are down!

  • 3 ToonDownSouth // Mar 21, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    Awful game yesterday, we didn’t show up for the first half, and I’m not sure the second was anything to shout about tbh. They looked far far fitter than us – did they have a two week break coming into the game? Last time we had that it was used as an excuse for being off the pace!

    24 points left to play for, but worried about the ‘2 of 3’ nature of things, unless Palace manage to get dragged into it. There’s plenty of teams in the league with nothing to play for, and I can see Norwich & Sunderland picking up points in those games, not something we’ve been great at lately (see that Stoke game..).

    Also, amazing Rafa is being questioned so much. He certainly shouldn’t be beyond question, but he’s got such a great CV that he clearly knows a little more about football than internet blog commentors (;

  • 4 mad-serb // Mar 21, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    Morning Guys

    Have to agree, I think a draw was a fair result. I am just happy that we showed some fight and got that goal we deserved.

    Very happy RB decided to come. Its going to be hard fight till the end but with him here I believe we at least have a chance of escaping. His sub are accurate and he at least gives it a go.

    Don’t know why people were slacking him off for putting Sissoko at lb and getting another attacker on the field and preventing Colback from being send off. Sissoko did what was required at lb. Firstly Borini had Colback in his pocket the hole afternoon. Colback did not have the pace to deal with him and secondly at the time we were dominating possession and it was more of him Play LM that LB. He tracked back and did his defensive duties better than Colback in handling Borini.

    I think Sissoko needs to swap positions with Gini. He looks far better in defending when forced to than attack and he can use his pace to push through the middle as a box to box midfielder but he is more than capable in defending. this is were he played when we bought him in anycase.

    As for Mitro. He might lack some thinks but he has the fight and if he gets some decent chances he will score goals for us. RB is right. The service in the box to him this season is one of our biggest problem in attack.

    Strikers need 3 or 4 chances a game on average. Most games he has been given 1 chance and if he does not covert he gets slacked off. How many does Suarez get a game at Barca for that matter? Between 7 and 10 probably on average and he aint scoring 7 a game. It is what it is. We need to create more. our conversion rate of chances are actually decent if you look at the stats. The amount we create is the bigger problem.

  • 5 ArtyH // Mar 21, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    What is so funny about the whole situation is the last idiot thought he would still keep us up. Thank the heavens for Rafa at least there is hope, admittedly very small hope but its better than nothing.




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