It was a blustery, miserable day at Turf Moor on Saturday. The conditions were not conducive to the beautiful game. What we got instead was an ugly battle between two teams that struggled to produce moments of quality.
It didn’t help that we were missing some of our talismanic players in Jonjo Shelvey and Allan Saint-Maximin. Their omissions meant it was likely that Newcastle would struggle to create many chances.
Though we did get a couple, they were ultimately squandered. The game ended with Newcastle having zero efforts on target. We just couldn’t overcome the loss of our stars and poor conditions.
Christian Atsu came on in place of Miguel Almiron and just couldn’t make anything happen. He struggled to find his rhythm and looked like a player who hadn’t started since September.
After the game, this was the 27-year-old’s take on the afternoon according to the Chronicle.
“We knew it was going to be very difficult.
“It wasn’t bad but the decision when the referee gave a corner instead of a goal kick changed the game.
“We had some chances also. We can’t make excuses but it was really windy and it made it difficult with long balls.
“We were a little unlucky.”
While it was a terrible game, Newcastle were still in it until the end. They never gave up despite the many frustrations that embodied the day.
It’s a game that’s best moved on from as quickly as possible, and Christian echoed that sentiment after the game as well.
“I was very happy to be back in the starting line-up. Saturday wasn’t my day but I need to keep going. I am looking forward now.”
We hope Atsu can shake off his disappointing performance from Saturday. He’s a key player over the next month with Allan Saint-Maximin’s hamstring injury.
If he can find the form he showed at Tottenham and in some of his substitute appearances, maybe we can keep a steady ship until the Frenchman returns.