We expected to win the game yesterday – as did 80% of our readers in our poll.
That was true, especially after we went ahead with a good goal from Jamaal Lascelles – right from the training pitch.
But then the real reality came when within seconds of the kickoff after our goal, we conceded a terrible goal with goalkeeper Darlow making a schoolboy error.
He let a shot from former Newcastle striker Ivan Toney, that was basically straight at him, slip through his fingers into the goal, and we were level.
It was Darlow’s fault, and he was also partly responsible for Brentford’s second goal on 31 minutes, when he allowed Henry to head home from 4 yards from an inswinging cross.
He should have come out and either try to catch it or, better still, punch this ball away.
Of course, the defense in front of him was poor, once again.
Without being too hard on Darlow, he probably cost us the game yesterday – if we had started with a now fit Martin Dubravka, we probably would have won the game.
Alan Shearer, on Match of the Day last night, said the obvious about the first Brentford goal.
“There were so many mistakes all over the place.”
“Darlow there (first goal), it’s a basic error, he had a really poor game. He looked really nervous.”
While Darlow was excellent at the beginning of last season, he hasn’t been that good this season, and Eddie Howe will realize he should have started Martin Dubravka yesterday.
Martin is more than just a goalkeeper, he is a leader, a shouter, an organizer, and controls his penalty area.
That air of confidence from 30 times capped Slovakian International is sensed by our players during games.
The defense was again like a sieve – and seemed full of holes, and if we are going to start picking up wins soon – that must be fixed.
That was the bad stuff.
The good stuff is that Eddie Howe came through with his promises of how the team would play, and we saw a refreshed and reinvigorated Newcastle team, who continued to attack from the first whistle.
The two players called out and praised by Howe, before the game, Shelvey, and Joelinton both had good games.
You get what you expect from players.
Joelinton was simply excellent and scored a great second goal for us – Brazilian style.
He has had a lot of criticism, but the fans are now behind the big man, and he’s showing what a good footballer he is.
Newcastle were an attacking force with 23 shots in the game, with 9 of those on target, and of course 3 goals.
But if we are to avoid the drop this season, and also get some points on the board before the new year, it’s sides like Brentford at home that we have to beat.
We look to be very good going forward, but as weak as ever in defense.
What do you think?.