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Just Five Points From Fifth – Newcastle Can Still Push On But Form Must Get Better


Despite Norwich being the bottom dwellers in the Premier League, you have to admire the way they play. We saw yesterday at St James Park, a newly promoted team on a limited budget take the game to Newcastle and really should have won.

But for Teemu Pukki missing a few chances and Martin Dubravka again playing out of this world, the Canaries could have taken all three points.

As it is, Norwich remain at the bottom of the league a full 7 points behind Aston Villa in 17th. They have a third of the season left to mount a promotion push. They’ll likely need a return to the early season form of Teemu Pukki to have that chance.

Newcastle are currently in 10th place on an unbeaten run in all competitions since the New Year’s Day loss to Leicester City. However, it’s hardly been smooth sailing as we’ve had a string of poor performances in the streak.


We continue to pick up the points that will keep us safe. However, there has to be a concern with the form. While grinding out results could very well keep us up, it’s been three dreadful performances in a row, including the draw against Oxford in the FA Cup.

Steve Bruce has done well to have Newcastle in 10th, he’s still not getting the best out of a squad that has some real quality players in it.

He hinted yesterday that a change of system is something he’d like to try. However, he’s not going to mess around with things too much until he feels enough points are on the board to ensure safety.

Newcastle are in 10th but still only 7 points clear of West Ham in 18th. So there’s more work to be done getting points on the board.

Daniel Farke and Norwich may get the plaudits for the way they play, but they still look to be heading straight back to the Championship.

Newcastle have been a dire watch all season long. Though after a tumultuous summer and start to the campaign, Bruce has beaten expectations to be at mid-table.

The recent displays will hardly earn him much praise, however. Yesterday against Norwich just wasn’t good enough, but other results went our way, and we’re still only 5 points behind Sheffield in fifth.

Hopefully, we get past Oxford on Tuesday, which we are concerned about after yesterday.

However, the squad will have almost two weeks to reset and maybe, with the 3 new signings in the mix, we can see something more in the performances for the final third of the season.

FA Cup glory and a run at Europe are still achievable. However, it’s up to Bruce to get this squad to reach a level where either of those become possible.

He hasn’t done that of late but with new signings and players returning from injury, there’s still hope for the rest of this season.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player In Draw Against Norwich?

  • Martin Dubravka (70%, 1,162 )
  • A. Saint-Maxmin (9%, 142 )
  • Federico Fernandez (5%, 87 )
  • Joelinton (5%, 82 )
  • Miguel Almiron (3%, 53 )
  • Nabil Bentaleb (2%, 29 )
  • Ciaran Clark (2%, 28 )
  • Matt Ritchie (1%, 22 )
  • Jamaal Lascelles (1%, 14 )
  • Valentino Lazaro (1%, 12 )
  • Danny Rose (1%, 12 )
  • Sean Longstaff (1%, 10 )
  • Isaac Hayden (1%, 9 )
  • DeAndre Yedlin (0%, 7 )

Total Voters: 1,669

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44 comments so far

  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #1

    So are Carroll , Muto or Gayle fit for Tuesday night to play Oxford? Don’t think so . So he leaves Miggy and Joelinton out? Who does he play up top then the young Scandinavian lad who failed at Blackpool and Carlisle and they hardly gave a game to. No striker came in in the window because Ashlie thought we were safe so why shell out large lumps of cash. That’s why we only brought in loan players. Rose should be ok but the Austrian has already said he doesn’t want to stay after the end of the season and unlikely to make the deal permanent. Not sure about Bentaleb as he doesn’t look any better than what we’ve got.Can’t understand why Bruce won’t pick Matty. He’s got goals in him and is probably the best home grown prospect we have. Why aren’t we offering him a new lucrative contract when he is attracting attention from Milan? Definitely play him against Oxford. Would also play Schar and Le Jeune up top to be provided with crosses from Ritchie ,ASM or Atsu. They’ve scored more goals than Miggy and Joeyboy this season anyway. Need Shelvey back fit. At least we’ve got a fortnight now to work on fitness and hopefully tactics and passing

    0
  • jazzyp

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #2

    Hehe he I admire ya optimism sunshine,European football here we come

    4
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #3

    Against Oxford go with ASM as the point man. He played there for Lille on occasion so has as much of a case to playe there as Joelinton, will cause a lot more trouble for defenders than he does, can turn out of tight spaces and immediately threaten, players get to close and he swiftly makes fools of them – CBs are even less agile typically than fullbacks he regularly does this to. Pace in behind.

    1
  • #cans ( formerly known as Mindshaft )

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #4

    I’d say 4 dreadful performances in a row , Chelsea, Everton, Oxford and Norwich – even though we picked up 5 points and remain in the f.a. cup , we’re an extremely hard watch and have had a lot of luck in those games with defenders scoring

    8
  • #cans ( formerly known as Mindshaft )

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #5

    Quite ironic that fatty gave 10,000 season tickets away and now they’re the ones booing the team

    22
  • The Sheikh'sMate

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #6

    Repost re:missed the Harrison Express.
    I’m confused about the takeover /fake over stories. Why would Staveley sisk her name and reputation a second time if it’s all lies? Why would the Reuben? bros risk their reputation if there’s nothing in it?
    I think they are trying to lever Ashlies fat sweaty fingers off our club… but he won’t sell ever, he doesn’t want to sell but for some reason he hasn’t got the minerals to admit it

    3
  • The Sheikh'sMate

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #7

    Sisk? Risk… twonker

    1
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #8

    With this shower and the weakness of the squad ,European football is the last thing we need. Sheff Utd are doing really well and playing decent football but they don’t need qualifying for Europe next season. Look what happened to Fulham, Stoke & Wolves as they just died not have the required depth in thew squad.
    Bruce the Clueless One has been very lucky to find himself where he is. No way should we have beaten Chelsea, we were very fortunate to get a point at Goodison and could very easily have lost yesterday. We can’t keep the ball . Possession only 42 per cent yesterday and that apparently is good for this season even at home. Yesterday we won very few headers going forward and second ball winning was abysmal. We just surrendered midfield and just tried to counter at home against the bottom side. “Not very good”! !!!!

    1
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #9

    Wish Ashley would do us all a favour and just fcuking do one, and while he’s at it shove Sports Direct up his arse.

    12
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #10

    The Sheik with the money doesn’t want NUFC he wants MANURE and thinks with the “turmoil ” there might get it. However Ashlie doesn’t want to sell, he is now looking for the end of season payout – wherever we finish providing it’s not 18th ,19th or 20th AND the TV money. We all know he’s fuelled by greed.

    6
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #11

    Welsh – fecking unlikely sadly!

    1
  • Jamaal Dubravka

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #12

    https://youtu.be/LBPawi2NDvg this made me chuckle

    0
  • lochinvar

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #13

    Watch videos of Shearer and Ronaldo and Super Mac powering through the air to score powerful headers.
    JoeLinton needs more bounce.
    Can Ashley get him some fancy Nike Vapourmax boots with extra bounce or Bruce could Introduce skipping into training. Needs Red Bull to give him wings.

    Something,anything.

    0
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #14

    So who takes 10th place off us Burnley or Arsenal or both? Are we bothered? Not really

    3
  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #15

    All transfer window, crying out for a forward, all of ours are absolutely shite, more goals in defence than up front.

    We need to put all of our centre backs up front and put the three stooges in defence.

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #16

    Oxford starters for me:-
    Darlow
    Lazaro Lascelles Clark Rose
    Ritchie Bentaleb S Longstaff Hayden
    Carroll M Longstaff

    0
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #17

    Lochinvar – I wonder if Springy can help him?

    1
  • lochinvar

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #18

    If and when we are safe from relegation will Bruce even contemplate changing the teams formation.

    He’s risk averse.
    Wolves and Sheffield United are not.

    0
  • wynsleap

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #19

    A Cup run and a tilt at a European place eh Neil? I’d like some of what you are obviously on.

    1
  • jane

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #20

    Leganés just scored a brilliant 94th winner Newcastlesque!

    0
  • lochinvar

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #21

    WestLancs

    Zebedee ?
    Bong !

    0
  • jazzyp

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #22

    Cans

    A simple but thoughtful post and truly shows where the club is at.We may survive another Pl season but even the most hardened amongst us must surely see why fans are of a negative nature for what the club has become.

    12
  • Mag52

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #23

    It’s pretty obvious why takeover rumours crop up at regular intervals isn’t it.
    It’s Ashley’s chance (excuse?) to spend time over dinners with the delightful Amanda.
    The fact that everyone assumes he’s talking business provides a perfect cover story, and couldn’t be further from the truth.

    0
  • IrishRob

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #24

    Wouldnt surprise me in the slightest if Bruce asked Shearer privately to say what needs to be said, because Bruce cant say it.

    But he is trying and working much much harder the last few games. He needs to be coached on what to do. Why on earth doesnt Bruce ask Shearer to come in and coach the forwards even if he only has time to do it a couple of times.

    Could you imagine the boost that would give them, being coached by one of the greatest of all time, it’s a no brainer, why on earth doesnt he get him in.

    1
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #25

    Don’t think you’ll be far off the mark JIB but don’t think we can afford to leave ASM out and I think he’ll play Schar or LeJeune at CB.
    But Carroll can’t be even 50% fit can he?

    0
  • kilcline

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #26

    Let’s not kid ourselves, we are very lucky to have as many points as we have. Sooner we get to 41 points the better, a lot of the bottom 5 will pick up points now

    Think West Ham could be in trouble with their fixtures

    2
  • Bring back benitez

    Feb 2, 2020 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #27

    Jib

    Feb 2, 2020 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #166
    MagpieRanger
    “NUFC haven’t said a peep about how much was paid for Joelinton
    The figures comes from numerous German sources.
    I guess like toon22 you believe Keith Bishop tells the German media what to publish.”

    Nah, I’ll just believe what Mike Ashley said!!!!

    From daily mail….

    “So here’s the deal. I’ll pay £20m of it personally. Nothing to do with the club. Above and beyond the budget. Rafa valued him at £20m. So that’s what would come out of the club budget. The rest, £23m – I’ll pay. ”

    PR failing today.

    7
  • JDdubai

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #28

    Bruce’s only thought is it’s either this 541, 32% possession style or we change to a back 4. That is the only way he thinks we can change how the games are going.

    It shows his lack of coaching ability and modern mindset.

    Keep the 3 CBs if he wants, but create a style where we us this formation to become an effective outfit going forward.

    Sheff united do it with (on paper) worse players than we have. How? Because their manager created a way to make them solid but use their formation to attack, pass, move, press and keep possession.

    That’s what a coaching team should be able to do. Bruce only sees it as a choice between this crap and 4231..

    4
  • IrishRob

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #30

    The one positive from yesterday is that Longstaff had his best game all year. He looked fast and sharp for once and his passing was lovely, at least to my eyes.

    4
  • Bring back benitez

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #31

    Get French Football News..

    “Newcastle United charged Allan Saint-Maximin with trying to give Boubakary Soumaré a tour of the club’s facilities over FaceTime; Soumaré was not convinced”

    Hats off to charnley and co!

    3
  • Assassins Inc

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #32

    Here’s how to fix the false rumors your fed up with Mike Fcuking Ashley.

    Remove the gag order, simple really, allow yourself and the potential buyers to talk about it.

    This way you control the narrative and so do they, then no false rumors if your both talking about the same thing.

    Just an idea Mike, but this is how most things are sold in the world and as it’s open ended then other might be shite let’s also try and purchase Newcastle. This way as you’ve said in the past, you can allow the club to be sold.

    So MA, stop hiding, feeling like a victim, the fans once again and the club are the victims, dipshite.

    3
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #33

    Lochinvar – Zebedee is he a free agent? If so we could sign him even after the window has closed. After all we brought it Shefti Kuqi. Wonder what he’s doing now? I surprised Bruce hasn’t turned to his great mate, Big Al and asked him to come back for a dozen games. Even if he just lurked around the 6 yard area he couldn’t be any worse than what we are getting at the moment.

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #34

    Ashley: “And very occasionally, I get to be me in this world. So here’s the deal. I’ll pay £20m of it personally. Nothing to do with the club. Above and beyond the budget. Rafa valued him at £20m. So that’s what would come out of the club budget. The rest, £23m – I’ll pay.”

    Ashley’s amour-propre is on the line.

    2
  • geordiemark

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #35

    only way to get shot of ashley is a complete empty stadium

    8
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #36

    Hold Public meeting with all parties to Fakeover – open to questions from the media. No hiding place then. The Pinocchio would soon stand out.

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #37

    Bring back benitez
    Your capacity for misunderstanding posts is so massive you deserve some kind of award

    It can’t be just down to stupidity – I don’t believe anyone is that dense

    3
  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #38

    We didn’t look like scoring yesterday and poor Joelinton despite putting himself about and making a few good tackles is the furthest thing from a natural centre forward I have ever seen.
    His movement, instinct and awareness in and around the box is just not that of a natural goal scorer.
    Compare him to Samatta who’s fluid darting runs and instinctive positioning tell me that despite giving the hapless Joe more than half a season’s start he will finish up with more goals.
    Hats off to Mikey and Lee!

    3
  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #39

    Have we sorted then? I’m off for a bit of lunch and then watch the afternoon games on Sky.

    0
  • crawfordm

    Feb 2, 2020 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #40

    I have been going to NUFC games 1968 – 2016 and this is by far the worst fare I have ever seen. The fat heed states we are playing poor but not getting beat ( at home to bottom team with 11 behind the ball.) As poor as it is for the fans to watch the players will also become disillusioned with it all. Bruce is rubbish and cannot change the tactics – I cringe watching him on the sidelines licking his lips constantly like a nervous dog. I do not care about money not spent – he has the players at his disposal to change the dynamic of the side – he cannot !!! Ashley to stay as owner means Bruce stays for the foreseeable. I have two mates off to Oxford on tuesday and they quoted this morning they are not looking forward to it as we are so boring and negative !!!!

    6


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