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.
I will do my best and make sure that the next time I score it is to win the game ! Thank you for the love ?? pic.twitter.com/ADsf498x96
— Allan Saint-Maximin (@asaintmaximin) November 20, 2021
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.