Sloppiness, Complacency Creeping In – Players Must Step Up


In the last three games we have won only one and drawn two for a meager 5 points and in each of the games we drew we gifted the opposition their goals.

At Norwich we gifted the team their second goal with an embarrassing error from Karl Darlow and then yesterday a misunderstanding between the goalkeeper and Paul Dummett embarrassingly gifted Bristol City their second goal.

That put 4th bottom Bristol City 2-0 up after after 21 minutes after not having won any of their previous seven games.

And if we go a little further back the last time we didn’t win in the league was the 2-2 draw at home to QPR when we scored an own goal after 89 minutes after we looked as though we had the game under control.

There’s another soft goal we conceded

So there’s six points dropped in the last six games otherwise we could have been on 76 points and 11 points above Huddersfield in 3rd place.

But as we all know nothing comes easy for Newcastle and we have a history of making things difficult – sometimes making things very difficult.

Certainly this season is not the easy season those football pundits had expected and prophesied last summer, when we were going to have the best squad ever in the Championship.

That’s simply not true and we have amply proved that.

With Dwight Gayle out we don’t look the same strike force in the final third of the field and some worrying defensive errors are starting to creep into Newcastle’s game.

Also, even though Rafa and everybody else warns of complacency against teams like Bristol City we continue to struggle at home against teams lowly placed in the league table – think also – QPR, Blackburn and Wolves.

But we are still well positioned in the league table 5 points above Huddersfield with a much better goal difference,  but our play has become too sloppy and we must tighten up.

PosTeamGamesGDPoints
1Newcastle464594
2Brighton463493
3Reading46485
4Sheffield Wednesday461581
5Huddersfield46-281
6Fulham462880

A good time to do that is in the next three games against Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading all away from home; we were hopping to have cushioned those three tough games with what should have been an easy enough win yesterday.

But we messed up and we cannot afford to do that in any of the next three games.

And we cannot mess up in the final 13 games of the season if we want to be promoted, which is the only thing that matters this season.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player Against Bristol City?

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65 comments so far

  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 26, 2017 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #1

    In my opinion, we don’t have the players in our squad to control games. Shelvey is good for passing and creativity but he can’t manage the game.

    I’ve defended mitro often as I feel he gets a lot of unfair stick, like dummett but I’ve always been honest about him. He’s not a natural finisher and he doesn’t have a goal scorers instinct. These things are traits that cannot be learnt unfortunately. He does bring a lot of other qualities to the team our other strikers do not bring.

    Saying that though, considering there was only the highlights for most people to go by, I’m not sure how people can say certain players were poor judging from the highlights.

    I would start with Murphy next match as we don’t seem to have a problem creating chances, it’s just finishing them at the moment. Plus dunk and Duffy are good cb and are comfortable with mitro types of strikers. Need mobility to unsettle them like in the first match this year where Perez played upfront.

    I’m glad to hear atsu played well, would have loved to have seen the match. Hope he’s still starting the next match but gouffran will most likely start on the left. I’d be tempted to consider playing atsu as a no 10. He’s done well a few times in that position at Porto and Ghana.

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  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 26, 2017 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #2

    Repost

    In my opinion, we don’t have the players in our squad to control games. Shelvey is good for passing and creativity but he can’t manage the game.

    I’ve defended mitro often as I feel he gets a lot of unfair stick, like dummett but I’ve always been honest about him. He’s not a natural finisher and he doesn’t have a goal scorers instinct. These things are traits that cannot be learnt unfortunately. He does bring a lot of other qualities to the team our other strikers do not bring.

    Saying that though, considering there was only the highlights for most people to go by, I’m not sure how people can say certain players were poor judging from the highlights.

    I would start with Murphy next match as we don’t seem to have a problem creating chances, it’s just finishing them at the moment. Plus dunk and Duffy are good cb and are comfortable with mitro types of strikers. Need mobility to unsettle them like in the first match this year where Perez played upfront.

    I’m glad to hear atsu played well, would have loved to have seen the match. Hope he’s still starting the next match but gouffran will most likely start on the left. I’d be tempted to consider playing atsu as a no 10. He’s done well a few times in that position at Porto and Ghana.

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  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 26, 2017 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #3

    I’m frustrated that gabbiadini is doing well, I suggested on here we should have signed him the summer we signed mitro and we would have got him too for a similar price. He’s not displayed his long range strikes yet or free kick ability. Very classy, technical player.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 26, 2017 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #4

    Saints deserve to win this.

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 26, 2017 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #5

    Wwsbrd

    Nope I don’t like his style of play at home, it shows how it’s not working by the amount of points we’ve dropped at home. As for his record yes it’s very good for cup competitions.

    Elliot is more composed, better shot stopper, better communicator and makes less errors than darlow.

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  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #6

    Rafa needs to combat that sloppiness and complacency by dropping a few players and giving others a chance. Nobody should be guaranteed a place in the side. We have a fairly strong squad by Championship standards so we could mix things up a bit. Just a shame we have such vital games coming up as chopping and changing could be a gamble!

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  • Clematis

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #7

    Aaaaaaghh!

    Sick of all the WUMs, fairweather ‘fans’ and apparent ‘never been to the North East’ commentators.

    We are one point off top and six (when you factor in SUPERIOR goal difference) from third.

    Get behind the team and be positive.

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  • Novocastrian66

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #8

    Dummet should have cleared the ball into level 7. Not heading it back to the goalie. I’m not suggesting Darlow was blameless but Dummett’s poor play cannot be ignored.

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  • Ron Knee

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #9

    Exciting stuff at Wemberlee!

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #10

    Shane Long to get the winner.

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  • kimbo

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #11

    Colback cannot start, Diame must take that position. Dummett will be destroyed by Knockart so Rafa what are you going to do?

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  • Australian Pie

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #12

    I would love us to get Carrick next season. Such a calm head and simple play. Would be a good leader and sit well next to Shelvey.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #13

    Our Toon
    His record is only good in cup competitions? Be news to him am sure

    U must of seen a different Elliot to me then am thinking of the one slower than an oil tanker, loves an injury, can’t kick past the half way line and enjoys being beaten by any long shot going

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  • Jib

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #14

    Dear me Fraser Forster !!!!!

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #15

    Maybe not.

    Ha ha ha

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  • Jib

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #16

    Not even Sir Alex won something in his first season !!!!

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  • jasper

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #17

    Atsu got going down the left. What this showed was how much better it is to just get to the goal line and not cut back. But what the highlights did not show were the three occasions Atsu got there and then over hit the cross by twenty yards, something he is very prone to do.

    Longstanding problem is our inability to find space in central midfield between their midfield and defensive lines – really need an advanced CM.

    Lastly, an odd one, but most of the team seem unable to direct defensive headers towards a team mate or position themselves so as to pick up such balls from team mates or the opposition. I’d swear that we only pick up 20% of loose balls.

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  • Belfast

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #18

    Personally I think Elliott played well above his level last season and that made people think he’s a lot better than he is. I think he will probably revert to being average again. I do hope I’m wrong though.

    I definitely wouldn’t change goalkeepers at this crucial three game run.

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  • lesh

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #19

    I wonder whether this seeming lack of drive from the players might just be the effect of Ashley’s block on transfers last window?

    It’ll have cheesed Rafa off and the squad would see it as both a lack of confidence in Rafa’s judgement, a restriction on his authority and a lack of Ashley’s ambition.

    And when we hear of interest in Rafa not countered by the club, well, imagine your at work and you hear of your manager being undermined by his boss….. how might you and your colleagues feel? Fully committed to the cause? Pi$$ed off??

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #20

    Wwsbrd

    I don’t think it’ll be news to him, he’s got a fantastic record no doubt, that Valencia side he built and then rebuilt to win 2 league titles are his only league honours. In cups though his record is far better.

    Over the last 5 to 6 years his record has been quite poor compared to his stints at Valencia and Liverpool but he’s bought a lot to us off the pitch and hopefully he tinkers a bit with style of play at home and goes to attack teams otherwise we’ll continue to get the same mixed results

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #21

    Belfast

    Agreed Elliott played well above his level last season, darlow also made big errors last season, wba away comes to mind, spurs at home when he got beat by a shot that should never have gone in…..these mistakes have now come back into his game. Communication is key and the lack of communication has cost us valuable points

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  • Belfast

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #22

    He’s thirty years old and been a pro from 2004. As much as I would like to buy the late developer theory I think I’ll stick with my own.

    He’s a lot better that superhands Sels though.

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #23

    Lesh

    Can it not work the other way?

    The players could be a bit annoyed at the manager as he thought he needed reinforcements to a very strong squad in this league?

    Just playing devil’s advocate on this, in my opinion I don’t think the window has had an effect on performances

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #24

    Game over man! Game over!

    Bill Paxton RIP

    Howay jib you’ve got one job….

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  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #25

    our toon

    if rafa is only good in cups how do you explain the 2 la liga titles with valencia and the top 3 finishes with liverpool and chelsea?

    people moan about the attack (we’re top scorers with a massive positive GD)

    people moan about the defence (we’ve conceded the least)

    There’s not a manager alive who can legislate for darlow’s costly howlers and mitro’s misses.

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #26

    Rotonda

    You keep banging that drum of Valencia and Liverpool, Valencia was 13 years ago, his first title with them was 16 years ago. As for Liverpool he did well up to a certain point, they won cups but failed in the league. Liverpool was almost a decade ago

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #27

    Our Toon
    Hey if Rafas league performances aren’t good enough for u good luck to ya

    As I say I hope u are thoroughly unhappy for a long old time because I don’t see Rafa changing and I don’t want him leaving

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  • Mag52

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #28

    I’d give Elliot a game against Brighton, along with Hanley for Lascelles, and Murphy for Mitro.
    The experience these players would bring to the team would be important at this crucial time in the season.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #29

    How can someone continually slate our team and the best manager we’ve had in years, want Pardew back here while despairing at the thought of him joing his other club and still being allowed to refer to us as “we”. Why does this halfwit get the time of day.

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #30

    Wwsbrd

    I didn’t say I’m unhappy with Rafa as manager mate, however I’m allowed to not be happy with recent form and question the manager especially with recent dire performances I just don’t buy into the Rafa can’t do no wrong ideology. He’s a good manager and I’m happy he’s here but I don’t think the sun shines out of his backside though unlike some!!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #31

    WW…,
    You can’t keep all the people happy all the time.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #32

    Our Toon
    U said u don’t like his style of football? Also if it unhappy with our recent form (1 league loss this year I believe?) again I can only say good luck to ya

    We’re u this unhappy under Hoots last time round when we had a point less and a worse GD? (Think am right in saying we had 69 points after 33 games last time round? Certainly isn’t much difference in the two seasins regardless)

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #33

    Jail
    Apparently not

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  • anthc

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #34

    I thought lascelles was woeful yesterday and wonder whether the captaincy was a bit premature by rafa. Darlow also has to come under the spotlight due to his performances of late. Some great saves but he clearly lacks the basic skills of communication. Yesterday wasn’t the first time where simple communication could’ve prevented a goal. I’m pleased we come back but we won’t be so lucky in the premier league should we get there. I’d be happy with 4pts from the bha, Huddersfield and reading games.

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  • Australian Pie

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #35

    We are doing well this season, do some people on this blog ever find a reason to smile?

    Bring on Tuesday!!!
    Someone tell me the best pre match pubs in Newcastle

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #36

    Jail

    Calm down dear, not slating Rafa or the team just pointing some things out, and if I want to say we then I say we, besides don’t fans around the world point what they think is wrong in their clubs, just an opinion, oh yeah i forgot what’s it got to do with you what i say anyway.

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  • sing in the corner

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #37

    Anthc
    I’d be content with 5 points from theses 3 games myself.
    On Lascelles, I think he’s showing signs of ‘too much too young’ myself. After the game I mentioned he snarled back at the fans down near the touch line when they were having a reasonable dig at our laclustre poor 1st half – I did not like the way he did that at all. He maybe should be focusing on playing a leaders role and getting his team to wake up!?

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #38

    Not my fault i think we will finish in the play offs.

    0
  • sing in the corner

    Feb 26, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #39

    Australian pie
    I always liked Tilleys just up the road from the O2 academy..
    Up at the Haymarket there are a few close together…the 3 Bulls Heads and the Percy Arms good for a giggle but are rammed on match day.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 26, 2017 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #40

    WW…,
    I remember one game in the Championship against boro, we beat them 2-0 and it was freezing cold and one of the most boring games of football I’d ever seen, but we won. People have short memories, the footba?l under Hoots wasn’t always great.

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