Newcastle came out blazing at Rochdale yesterday afternoon, creating many goal-scoring opportunities. Both strikers had clear cut chances to add a second goal in the first half.
However, neither Joelinton or Yoshinori Muto took those chances. Newcastle paid the price as Rochdale came roaring back in the second half to force a replay at St James Park.
Many of those chances came from the two wing-backs Christian Atsu and DeAndre Yedlin. They both spent much of the first half in the Rochdale end, beating their man and whipping in deliveries.
While it changed a bit for Atsu when 17-year-old Luke Matheson was brought on to shut him down, the 27-year-old had done enough damage in the first 30 minutes for Newcastle to have been up by more than just the one goal.
Christian spoke to NUFC TV after the game stating that Newcastle should have been by at least four goals in the first half.
? Christian Atsu spoke to NUFC TV after today's #EmiratesFACup draw with Rochdale.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 4, 2020
Newcastle have to pick up the pieces from another disappointing result. Not only do they now have another week with three fixtures, but two players could be missing through injury in Yoshinori Muto and Miguel Almiron.
It was only Almiron who found the net yesterday on an assist by Atsu. When he and Muto went off, Newcastle sorely missed both of their energy and constant running.
However, it should have been done and dusted by then. Atsu and Yedlin created enough clear cut chances, as Christian stated, where the game should have been put away.
Speaking to Football Insider, former England international goalkeeper Paul Robinson thought Newcastle had the right strategy in the first half by using the wing-backs. He was particularly impressed with Christian Atu’s performance.
This is was Robinson’s take on Newcastle’s performance:
“I thought the two wing-backs Atsu and Yedlin dominated the game, particularly Atsu on the left-side.
“I thought in the first half it was a textbook display by Newcastle on how to play a lower league side, Steve Bruce would have been disappointed that they only got one goal.
“They only didn’t win the game as they didn’t perform in the second half, they also lost Almiron to injury so that added to his growing injury list, so all in all, it turned out not to be a good game for them.
“I thought Atsu and Yedlin were both very very good yesterday as they were positive in the first-half but as I said it eventually ended up being that Bruce couldn’t take many positives from the game as more injuries and due to a replay he didn’t want.”
It just wasn’t good enough yesterday to not get the win. Newcastle were second best for the final 30 minutes against a League One side and were lucky to escape with a replay.
Bruce has to take care of the striker situation this month. It looks like that message has hit home as Newcastle have already contacted Chelsea about Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi. There’s also reports that AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek is on the radar as well.
Any of the three would improve us immensely and are the right type of targets at this point, even if it’s just on loan. While there are strong doubts Newcastle could get them in, at least the club is working early to address a glaring problem in the team.
Who Was Newcastle's Best Player In 1-1 Draw At Rochdale?
- Miguel Almiron (33%, 546 )
- Martin Dubravka (26%, 428 )
- Christian Atsu (15%, 255 )
- DeAndre Yedlin (8%, 139 )
- Joelinton (6%, 96 )
- Matty Longstaff (4%, 61 )
- Matt Ritchie (2%, 37 )
- Emil Krafth (2%, 30 )
- Isaac Hayden (1%, 18 )
- Sean Longstaff (1%, 15 )
- Federico Fernandez (1%, 13 )
- Ki Sung-yueng (0%, 8 )
- Yoshinori Muto (0%, 2 )
Total Voters: 1,648