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The Theme Emerging From The Dressing Room Is NUFC Must Address Poor Defending

Newcastle put in an encouraging display in Eddie Howe’s first match since joining almost two weeks ago. Unfortunately, the head coach had to self-isolate at his hotel room due to a positive Covid test but his fingerprints were all over yesterday’s performance.

Howe and the new coaching staff have had just two weeks to work with the lads. While the early signs are positive, there is still much work to be done if Newcastle are going to dig themselves out of this ever-widening hole at the bottom of the league table.

The defending was again very poor as Newcastle conceded three cheap goals. But the lads fought back from going down a goal twice to ultimately pick up a point. However, due to the dire circumstance surrounding this campaign, it was two points lost.

After three frustrating performances under caretaker manager Graeme Jones, Allan Saint-Maximin put in an electric display against The Bees. The Frenchman grabbed the equalizer and was a constant threat against Brentford.

He posted this message on Twitter following the match.

Saint-Maximin returned to his former glories on Saturday. Along with the goal, Allan had 7 shots, 5 dribbles, and 2 key passes. It was the type of performance we have come to expect from our dynamic forward.

After the match, assistant head coach Jason Tindall said the following about Saint-Maximin’s excellent display:

“We know what quality Allan’s got. He’s one of the best dribblers I’ve ever seen in my time in football. When you can get him the ball in the right areas, he can make a real difference.

“He put Brentford on the back foot every time he got the ball. He scored a fantastic goal from a good Ryan Fraser cross.

“We know how good Maxi is going to be for us throughout this season.”

Saint-Maximin himself was interviewed after the match. He spoke about his newfound respect for Eddie Howe as well as his disappointment with how this match panned out. Here is some of what he had to say as published in The Northern Echo:

“He’s (Howe) a great coach. For me, I don’t need to be with him for one year to know if he’s a good coach or not. He’s a good coach, and they have a nice philosophy and nice ideas.

“We can see in the first game, we played more in attack and had more chances to score, and it was more difficult for the other team to defend against us. We just have to keep going like this and concede less goals, and I’m sure we are going to win more games.

“With the way we played, for every defense, it can be a difficult game. But when we score, we have to do the best things and stay together and not concede a goal. If we score, and they score again, and we score, and they score again, it’s impossible to win a game like this.”

While there were many positives from yesterday’s performance, the final result was a letdown. Newcastle needed a win and poor goalkeeping and defending ultimately cost us a valuable two points.

We’ve heard from Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, as well as Tindall about how the poor defending cost us yesterday. That will need to be addressed very quickly or Newcastle could be in even further adrift when the winter window opens.

Now it’s on to Arsenal next weekend. The Gunners will be looking to redeem themselves after their 4-0 drubbing at Liverpool yesterday. It was their first defeat since a lopsided loss to Manchester City in August.

Points will be difficult to pick up at the Emirates next Saturday. Hopefully, Eddie Howe can return as soon as possible as his absence will affect preparations for Arsenal. But the aim going forward has to be to pick up 3 points.

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7 comments so far

  • John Tudor

    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #1


  • Romford mag

    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #2

    Second from last

  • Zhongguo Geordie

    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #3

    Darlow needs a top class save or two to get his confidence back. I don’t think he’s made a single good save since he come back. Perhaps he wasn’t ready after covid. It’s a worry a guy with his experience is looking like a shaky 18 year old debutant that’s just made a howler.

  • sparky55

    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #4

    Chelsea have appealed Maguire’s sending off against Watford…they want him to play against them next week! 🙂 🙂

    (Stolen from the BBC) 🙂 🙂

  • sparky55

    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #5

    Agreed…Darlow should have stopped the first two.

    Same sentiment as most on here…We played like we haven’t since Keegans era…with the same issue we had in the Keegan era…Poor defending.

    if Keegan could have attracted top talent for the back four in his day, we’d have won the league at last twice under his leadership.

    So in a very brief summary…I thought that game represented a good start, we should have won it, but didn’t…but the way we played bodes well for the future on the basis we can improve the defence.

    No doubt we’ll improve more leading up to the winter break, and no doubt we’ll win at least three and scramble a couple of draws…so I’m positive we’ll survive!

    Fingers crossed…onwards and upwards

    Sheikh rattle and roll 🙂 🙂

  • Fenham to Chalfont

    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #6

    My score prediction was 4-1 for yesterday. In hindsight Silly of me really as when you have a defence consisting of Lascelles, Clarke, Ritchie (who is too slow and a winger), Murphy (winger not a great defender) and Darlow as keeper who is so out of sorts in goal at present. With all those in our team we are going to leak goals unfortunately. Why Fernandez has not been chosen is a mystery to me as he is needed big time. I’d even give Hayden a shot at the back. Something needs to drastically change in our defence until we can get new bodies in January.

    However, our attack looked good yesterday. St Max and especially Joelinton were good and we played on the front foot. Joelinton was absolutely everywhere all over the pitch and if he’d had scored right at the end instead of loosing his footing would have been a hero but it was not to be but he was still 8/10 and MOTM. Happy for the lad and I do see him getting better and better.

    Not sure what is going on with Willock. Could be a confidence thing maybe as he is yet to score this season after last seasons antics. Once the lad gets a goal I hope he can kick on again. He is a decent midfielder and I’m sure Wor Eddie will coach it out of him. We will see him come good soon IMO.

    Will be interesting to see who will be selected for Arsenal next week…One thing is for certain we won’t be seeing Darlow. We will have Dubs back which will be huge as we look so much more assured with him in goal.

    Does anyone know when Dummett is back at all from injury? I’m concerned and cannot believe he is still injured with that calf injury. Not sure how true but me missus is on Twitter and she read that he may need another operation and if it’s not successful it’s game over for him? Hope it’s just Twitter Rubbish? If we need a player to sort that defence out until January he is the man for me.

  • ottawageordie2

    Nov 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #7

    If it wasn’t for the terrible blunder by Darlow we would have won handily. It took a bit for the lads to recover. I really liked the way the team stuck together and fought back each time they were a goal down. That’s belief in themselves. Haven’t seen that for years.
    We will survive! That’s a song too.


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