Alan Shearer gave this response on Monday night after the 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) November 25, 2019
It was a pretty accurate description of what was a disappointing performance from Newcastle as Alan singled out the lack of a threat up front.
Shearer was singing a much different tune last night after Newcastle’s terrific point against Manchester City. The Chronicle have published some of Alan’s Match of the Day comments in which he was thrilled with the performance from Newcastle.
He noted that they carried much more of a threat on Saturday than on Monday night. This is some of what Alan had to say about Newcastle’s improved performance:
“Despite having only 23% possession when they did have the ball, their first or second pass was positive. That was crucial to how they got something out of the match.
“With the goal, an easy ball in the run up is to go sideways but because they wanted to get out of the press they played it forward. It was superb skill, a lovely touch from Willems and what a finish it was.
“The easy ball for Newcastle would have been to go backwards because they’ve been chasing the ball for a long time and they need a pass but that wasn’t how they played. The intention was to get it forward as quickly as they could.
“With the goal they did the same thing. Fernandinho was lucky with the foul on Almiron: he was on a yellow and he should have had another one. The free-kick was really, really clever. They got done by a set-piece that cost them the game on Monday: this time it’s saved them a point.”
Newcastle were a lot more positive with the ball yesterday. That showed in the two tremendous goals from Jetro Willems and Jonjo Shelvey.
It also appears that Steve Bruce put an emphasis on that in training this week. However, another area that Newcastle showed a great deal of improvement over the Villa match was in how they pressed Manchester City.
They were far too docile against Villa, and we just never got fully into the game.
Speaking to NUFC TV after the game, Jonjo Shelvey talked about how Bruce and his assistants made sure they worked much harder to press Manchester City yesterday. This is what our stand-in captain had to say:
“It says a lot about us as a squad and obviously, the manager and the coaching staff.
“We worked a lot this week on what we did wrong against Aston Villa. We probably gave them too much respect and didn’t get up to ball enough.
“We did that really well today and we worked our socks off. I thought we thoroughly deserved our point today.”
Steve Bruce has shown a decent ability to make adjustments after a poor display. After the Villa game, Bruce bemoaned the fact that his team was too passive. He put that right this week and it worked wonders yesterday.
An excited head coach, also on NUFC TV, had the following response when asked if this point was deserved:
“For our effort, for our endeavor, and the two goals we scored – 100%. They’ve had to run a million miles like you do when you chase the ball.
“And you need your goalkeeper to play well. You need that bit of quality to score a couple of goals like we did.
“We weren’t up in their half very often. But when we did you detected a threat. The two goals we scored were terrific.”
It was a well-deserved and unexpected point yesterday. We still need to see more consistency from this team and Bruce is going to have to somehow get goals from his forwards.
However, the ship was righted yesterday after a wayward performance on Monday. Now it’s on to Sheffield United where we’ll need to get another result.