Let’s say it was a bad day at the office for Newcastle yesterday when we expected to do well at the Amex Stadium and three in five fans expected us to win the game.
But it wasn’t to be as we defended poorly and again missed the chances that better players would have converted.
But that takes a lot more money than Newcastle spent this last summer and just look at the four goals Chelsea scored on Saturday – all put away with aplomb.
Those are some of the significant challenges facing Rafa Benitez this season as he manages a squad that he was hoping would contain a lot more quality this season.
We gave away a goal from a set piece when Newcastle defenders seem to have dozed off to sleep.
This is what Rafa said after the game yesterday as reported in the Chronicle:
“We had chances but didn’t take them.”
“There was a chance for Joselu in the first half, and then in the second half we had three or four good positions where we should have done better,”
“We have to learn from this defeat. In the Premier League, you have to take your chances when they come along.”
“You have to take your chances, and you also have to be stronger in defense if you want to make sure that you will have a clean sheet.”
“Our fans are very clever.” “They know we were talking about three wins in a row.”
“But they also see that our team is a team that has to work very hard and do everything right to make sure they have chances to take points.”
“We made some mistakes and paid for that. We didn’t take our chances, and that is a key factor in the games in the Premier League.”
“The level of the teams is higher, but in these games, when you are playing against a team that is more or less at your level, it is important to take something.”
“I think we deserved to pick up at least one point, but we didn’t do it.”
“I’m also disappointed because the goal is a clear foul,”
“We didn’t defend well, I would say that, but at the same time there is some movement and it’s a push, not a block.”
“It’s a foul – that’s it – and the referee has a very good position.”
“No, I don’t need to ask the referee. It was very clear, you can see the replay.”
“It’s a player who is moving, it’s not a player who is standing still and blocking, it’s a player moving and pushing.”
“It’s a very clear foul when you talk about all the meetings we’ve had.
“Still we were not defending well so we have to be strong. I don’t disagree with that. But still, it’s a clear foul.”
Rafa was obviously not happy with the performance, and he has called out Joselu, who missed his 4th good chance in the last two games.
If the Spanish striker had converted that easy chance in the first half, it could have changed the game in Newcastle’s favor.
But that’s all fiction (woulda, coulda, shoulda) and in fact – we lost the game, and Brighton deserved the win.
We have to do a lot better against Liverpool in all areas next Sunday otherwise we could be taken to the cleaners.
Going into the International break with two successive defeats would not be good.