It was both a surprising and shocking performance by Newcastle yesterday, as the game at home at Brighton was over in the first 7 minutes when Newcastle conceded a dubious penalty after just four minutes.
Three minutes later Newcastle were still asleep when a low cross came in from the right and was converted and one could ask – where was our defense?
It got no better as the game went on, and we were simply shocked that we looked so awful yesterday.
Brighton hit the woodwork twice and then another goal late in the game made it 3-0 and it could have been worse than that scoreline.
Especially when we had looked so good in the game at West Ham last Saturday, and the Hammers had given Arsenal a run for their money in the Hammers 2-1 defeat on Saturday.
Steve Bruce – his team were surprising and shocking yesterday
And this is Brighton who are not a top half side.
One of the things we have noticed with Steve Bruce’s sides in the past, and here at Newcastle, is sometimes they just don’t turn up.
It happened at Leicester City last season when we were just awful, and this may be an Achilles heel of Steve Bruce’s management, that the teams are not always ready for a game.
His man-management is very good so it must be something else.
This kind of display yesterday would hardly have happened with Rafa Benitez, who demands 100% in every single game and in training too.
And his teams are always well organized.
Maybe our lads were over-confident with two wins last week, but we looked a relegation side yesterday, and in truth we never got going in the game at all.
Our defense was poor and that’s both surprising and discouraging.
In the first season back up in the PL in 2017-2018, our goal difference was -8, and we conceded 47 goals.
The following season it was -6, and we conceded 48 goals.
But last season our goal difference was -20, and we conceded 58 goals.
In all three seasons we couldn’t score many goals, but at least we didn’t concede too many goals under Rafa.
To be fair, Bruce is trying to turn Newcastle into a more attacking side, but we cannot forget that we have to always play solidly in defense.
That didn’t happen yesterday, and in fact we didn’t play well at all as a team throughout the game.
Tottenham hammered Southampton 5-2 yesterday, and they look like an in-form side, so we better be prepared for that game at Spurs next Sunday afternoon, otherwise our goal difference will take another hammering.
We play Morecombe in midweek in the League Cup, so a win there may help to raise the confidence of the side, although we expect almost the same reserve side that beat Blackburn to turn out at Morecombe.
The new players will have quickly learned on Tyneside, that if you do well at Newcastle you get great praise, but if you look hopeless you get the adverse criticism too.
Sometimes it is severe.