Strong Defense And Clean Sheets The Key To Survival For Newcastle

In the first 9 games of the season we picked up a good 14 points, and in those games, we conceded 8 goals.

In the next 9 games things were a lot different, and we picked up just one point and conceded 19 goals.

And in our last four games over the festive period, we have picked up a good 7 points and conceded 3 goals.

We have a decent defense this season and have conceded 30 goals in 22 games – which is not too bad in the Premier League – but we can also improve through the rest of this season.

Newcastle have always done well when the defense has been solid and especially when we can get clean sheets.

With not having strikers who can score a lot of goals we have to keep the defense very tight, and then we can nick a 1-0 win which we did at Stoke on Saturday.

The other good thing is that conceding few goals tends to keep our goal difference quite good, which is worth an extra point in a close relegation struggle.

Ciaran Clark – how did he miss that one?

A strong defense can see us to safety this season, but it’s also obvious that Jamaal Lascelles is key to that and we must, therefore, keep him fit.

His partner in central defense for the last several games has been Ciaran Clark, and they play well together and formed a good partnership last season in the Championship.

As an aside – still cannot believe how Ciaran missed scoring in the first half when he was two yards from goal and somehow kicked the ball over the bar.

Anyway – we’ll get over it – and Ciaran is a good player for us!

This is what Ciaran Clark has said on the Newcastle website:

“I think for every defender, that’s their main aim; they want to keep clean sheets, and obviously the goalie.”

“But as a team, that’s what we’ve tried to do – it’s not just the back four or five, it’s the whole team working hard to try and keep the clean sheet and give ourselves the best opportunity to go up the other end and get a goal.”

“As a team, we want to keep as many clean sheets as possible and we know that if we do manage that, we’ll usually create chances that will give us a chance to win games.”

“We did well against Brighton to keep a clean sheet but didn’t manage to get an opportunity to score. But we created plenty on Monday and I think definitely deserved to win the game.”

“I think we created the better chances – I know they piled on a lot of pressure towards the end of the game but throughout the game, I think we were the better team and deserved to win.”

“I think the manager’s done it really well,” said Clark. “He’s managed to use everyone in the tough games.”

“With all the fixtures, it’s been a tough month and when the squad’s not as big as other teams, it obviously makes it more difficult.”

“Nut we’re just trying to keep everyone fit and as fresh as possible for the games that are coming up and I think – touch wood – we’ve done a good job of that.”

“You see teams getting a win and they’re jumping up a few places, and I think it’s going be like that throughout the rest of the season.”

“We can only concentrate on our own games and our own results. Hopefully now, from the results we’ve had, we can use that as a positive, push on now and use the form.”

A strong defense is also the hallmark of a Rafa Benitez side – and we looked very well organized and committed on Saturday.

But we should have been a lot more than 1-0 ahead after 75 minutes when Stoke came back at us.

There was some excellent defending from the lads and two brilliant saves from Karl Darlow those final 15 minutes at Stoke.

It was not good for the old heart!

Maybe if we can get two strikers in this month – things will be a lot easier in the future?

What do you think?

Comments welcome – but please be respectful to other readers – personal attacks are out of line – let’s make this a great year for Newcastle and on the blog too.

185 comments so far

  • Optimistic Panda

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #1

    Don’t worry Ed I’m working on the Sanchez deal, 2 canny bags of Tudor and fizzy pop for refreshments, things are progressing well.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #2

    Get French Football
    Get French Football
    Breaking | Villarreal striker Cédric Bakambu will join Beijing Guoan for €40m, subject to a medical, according to L’Équipe.

    We were looking at bakambu in the summer, safe to say that’s not happening now. Good player so disappointed to see him make a move like this.

  • Nufc-83

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #3

    Need a player through the door I can’t cope boohoo

  • Nufc-83

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #4

    Should go for Markovic from Liverpool if we have enough money to it stop the search for st and cam.

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #5

    During all the negotiations re: sale of Newcastle United …we have had no statement from the club…

    I know there has to be an element of secrecy during negotiations but the odd statement that negotiations are ongoing and are promising would be welcomed by supporters ..kept in the dark ..lack of respect ?

  • Nufc-83

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #6

    If you can make sense of that lol

  • Jib

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #7

    If anyone is twitchy about the lack of news

    Cheer yourself up by looking at this:-

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #8

    I was talking with Keith Harris , financial guru..and to quote him exactly he told me that the Newcastle supporters had broke Mike’s heart ten years ago. Apparently he’s a nice bloke.

  • jazzyp

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #9

    So Rafas has said all transfer business needs to be done by the 15th or 20th of Jan. What if it’s not…? Ashley being Ashley surely it won’t be! Unless of course Staveley has an agreement?! I don’t know! Hate all this uncertainty

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #10

    He’s made us pay ever since, I’d say in the heartbreak championships he’s winning comfortably.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #11

    I’ve no doubt you won’t find a nicer guy to run a workhouse business 😐

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #12

    We need to score goals……If you defend well but can’t score goals you are going down..

    Would be good to do both..

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #13

    Understatement from Chris Waugh:

    “Instead it is Ashley who must support Benitez this month and, as things stand, the Newcastle manager is likely to have a restricted budget from which he must operate.”

  • toon kk

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #14

    It’s not just about defence (which is important) but we desperately need quality new striker’s, we really struggle to score. Goals mean points. One goal against a poor Stoke side and you’d think we’d just beat Real Madrid. We have a lot of improving to do to save us from relegation. Let’s hope for a very good transfer window.

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #15

    What’s weather like over on East coast ? It’s horrendous over here West coast Blowing a hoolie.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #16

    Comment 7

    Yeah it’s good to see Middlesborough going up the table.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #17

    Well we’ve still got a coastline unlike some. Business as usual really. Horrible.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #18

    Yes it has a calming effect the championship table. I tend to drift off and dream of little aeroplanes with banners streaming behind them. Very relaxing 🙂

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #19


  • jazzyp

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #20

    NUFC 360?
    Follow @NUFC360

    It is believed that PCP did offer to aid United this month, but discussions over a potential January kitty – Ashley would likely have paid for players up front, then he would have been reimbursed further down the line – did not prove fruitful.

    Personally wouldn’t be surprised if the takeover happens this summer

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #21

    BBC just showed messrs Trump & Kim (hmm they could start a singing duo…) – I know this is highly political and I apologise for this but….. Do you think you will ever see two radgier barnets at the same time, other than a fancy dress shop window? 😀

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #22

    We at my Steading at Lanercrost priory so not to far from West coast . Short holiday away from the tinsel and entertaining.

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #23

    I can’t work out Trumps hairdoo.

    Trump is a good wind up merchant..he would go down a storm on this blog .

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #24

    Lanercost. Bloody spell checker is crazy on this Tablet.

    I leave it on because now and again the words it puts in are hilarious in the context of a sentence on whatever..I might just leave it as it is one time just to show how ludicrous it is at times …some strange words ..ycmiu

  • fairscup

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #25

    Yes the Championship table helps me forget sitting in the Milburn (without a roof) watching us get beat at water polo by them one night

  • lesh

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #26


    Yes, I can see Ashley turning his nose up at a loan to finance transfers. He’s effectively saying he has no faith that a deal’d be agreed and thus the club’d be left to pay players’s wages.

    It really is difficult to know what to believe. On one hand it’s all but agreed yet on the other, tweets such as 360’s which suggest it’s a long way off.

    I’m sure we all wish that PCP’d make the announcement we all want to hear – that Ashley’s reign is over!

  • lesh

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #27


    There’s one or two posters to this blog that’ll believe that Trump’s hair makes him a style icon rather than the………… Mmmmm, better stop there, nearly crossed the line

  • jazzyp

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #28


    I’m finding it hard to believe that anything has been agreed to be honest. Whether that’s years of systematic abuse from the owners have knocked all hope out of me I don’t know, But until something official is announced I am gonna keep my feet on the ground mate.

    To many false dawns of late have perished to many brain cells

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jan 3, 2018 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #29

    See people on twitter are still shovelling shite. They don’t know nowt.

    Know it alls, know fcuk all more like!

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #30

    Fairscup what a shoddy night that was – on the way home thought we’d pop by for a burger then my motor, just out of warranty, the alternator died in metro maccy D’s that very night what a shambles way to end a miserable evening.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #31

    Lesh @27 I had my finger poised on the button there, close one!

  • Mister Tuff

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #32

    jazzy/lesh – we’ll know within the next couple of weeks what the finances are.
    Hope to God that Mr Tubbs does not continue his penny pinching scrooge like policies when getting extra players in. Would not be a good sign at all.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #33

    That was the night i rechristened the Drive-Thru to the Drive-By. Nearly was i can tell you i was at breaking point 😀

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #34


    When Amanda suggested going Dutch in the transfer market, Mikey shut down the topic of negotiation.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #35

    Bah! Humbug!

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #36


    I think collectively Newcastle fans are a very patient group of people

    Can you imagine if the Scourers were kept in the dark over the sale of LIverpool.

    I think they would be updated with some reassurance from their club..we however are kept in the dark . Just a statement saying things are progressing would do .

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #37


    Trumps hair makes you laugh mind when it’s windy and he’s at the lecture. Like something out of Thunderbirds.

  • Online Guy

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #38


  • fairscup

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #39

    Fred Shep was sitting in front of us just where the roof finished and it was running off the roof all over him.
    Fair play he stuck it out for the whole match.
    One of the most miserable nights I have ever had watching little Philips beating Tommy Wright.

  • welshgeordie9

    Jan 3, 2018 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #40

    Can’t see us signing anyone this month.

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