The Premier League takes a break once again as Newcastle’s next two matches are against Southampton in the Carabao Cup semi-finals. The first leg takes place on Tuesday night at St Mary’s with the second one week later at St. James’ Park.
This cup competition is the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal campaign for the Saints, who lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa yesterday to remain rock bottom of the Premier League.
It’s a polar opposite feeling up north as Newcastle are having their best season in a decade with a chance to make it a historic one. Newcastle are rooted in the top four of the league and have silverware in their sights.
Southampton are the next focal point for Eddie Howe and the Magpies. Coming away from St Mary’s on Tuesday in good shape for the return leg is the aim. A multiple-goal victory would ease any angst on Tyneside.
Newcastle need to quickly solve their goalscoring woes for any hopes of an easier second leg. Goals have been in short supply – except when playing Leicester City – since football returned after the World Cup break. More struggles finding the back of the net against Southampton could prove costly.
The other end of the pitch has been nothing short of sensational as Newcastle continue to keep clean sheets. Southampton are the last club to breach Howe’s preferred eleven with Romain Perraud’s late strike in early November.
The Magpies continue to be very difficult to breach but goals are going to be needed for a Wembley final. Hopefully, the lads can take their frustration in front of the net out on the struggling Saints on Tuesday.
259 comments so far
Jan 22, 2023 at 11:50 PMComment #201
I saw the Viagara boys down here, supporting the Ex-Hex a few years back.
Jan 22, 2023 at 11:55 PMComment #202
Good call, too!
north east lincs toon
Jan 22, 2023 at 11:56 PMComment #203
Had a quick look at the unwashed v the smogggies earlier,can’t believe how shite they are both way off prem standards
Essex Geordie Bill
Jan 23, 2023 at 12:13 AMComment #204
north east lincs
I watched most of that game, much of it in fast forward, and agree with you.
Can’t see why people are suggesting the Sunderland striker as a possible buy, I reckon we probably have better in the kids.
AnyToon in Indiana
Jan 23, 2023 at 4:11 AMComment #205
Looks like the weekend of draws…at least in the H2H Division 2. 🙂
AnyToon in Indiana
Jan 23, 2023 at 4:19 AMComment #206
I must say watching Arsenal today against Manure I figured out why it upsets Arteta so much when we beat them….they do a play a similar style but just have an edge in quality perhaps in a few spots with several that can score. They give up a little opening up going forwards when they go into attack mode but overall it was very similar watching them today as it was us against teams the last few games.
Jan 23, 2023 at 5:05 AMComment #207
We need 1 stellar Isak-type signings this window. Diaby Maddison Savic type…
We are lacking midfield creativity and someone to add goals…This could be one player or two different ones…
Our position gives us a certain advantage over previous windows…I do think we can get One…
Gordon does not make a big difference to our first team…Maybe initially he might…first impressions and all…Both him and Pedro can be good squad players for Europe…
Jan 23, 2023 at 5:06 AMComment #208
I leave you for a bit and you go bashing Wilson, come on! 🙂
Our difficulty in scoring, lately, isn’t one person’s fault. It’s down to our new status, teams play us like City and now we’re having a similar problem: breaking teams down.
I agree with comments that we have to mix it up, we’ve been found out, as in they’re figuring out how to play us. That’s why, for instance, Almiron and Bruno are not destroying opposition. It’s not their fault.
So, others must step up. Willock is getting lots of space as is Longstaff too. Start scoring lads.
Jan 23, 2023 at 5:14 AMComment #209
Transfers who’ve had an immediate impact: Mudryk and Trossard.
Dan, can you do something similar, like till later today? Those kids for the future, excellent idea, but that’s your homework for next month.
Now, I need me two players of Trossard calibre to stave off that wee club from Manchester and to catch the bigger one from the same place.
Get cracking Dan!
Not another deJong
Jan 23, 2023 at 6:59 AMComment #210
I can’t see Eddie making the 8 changes he made in the FA cup again tomorrow night, even though we have a home return leg. But I think some changes will be necessary. I imagine Isak, ASM start and probably Murphy. That allows one of the midfield four to drop to the bench, as I don’t think Anderson will start. The real question is how much can the defence be changed, when we preferably need to at least keep a clean sheet. Although Eddie would say he always aims for a win.
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:10 AMComment #211
With a free weekend coming up due to the FA Cup, and a full week’s rest to the home tie, Eddie might just go all-out with whatever he considers to be his strongest team.
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:14 AMComment #212
I agree WOR B…but with the current available squad I would suggest Wilson on current form is not part of our strongest 11.
I think Isak has to start and the rest stay as they are with a small possibility of ASM getting a good run depending on where we are at half time tomorrow night
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:16 AMComment #213
Full strength defence has to start…if we end up with a clean sheet down there then we have to be favourites surely!
Not another deJong
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:29 AMComment #214
Casual generalisation is that levels have dropped since WC, so some players need rotating. Likewise the players that come in are not at the same level and so may need more participation in matches to develop, reflecting the improvement shown by others that have played regularly.
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:34 AMComment #215
It’s a borderline call for me on Wilson / Isak. I think you might be right though and Isak will get the nod to start this time.
I have mixed feelings with Joelinton still out on the left, but it seems to be working with Sean, Bruno and Little Joe running the engine room.
Defence stays as is for me.
Just need to work out how to penetrate the opposition more effectively, now they’ve worked out how to blunt our system. Time for Miggy to find his shooting boots again and others to chip in.
Over to you Eddie. 🙂
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:45 AMComment #216
One things for sure..if ASM gets on the Park, whoever plays on the left hand side of the middle 3 will have to be on high alert to protect BDB and that àutomatically puts us on a more holding pattern than an attacking one.
I just cant help but think ASM on the pitch creates more negatives than positives because the Maverick positives have been coached out of him.
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:45 AMComment #217
Oh, and don’t call me Shirley.
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:49 AMComment #218
I won the bet 🙂 … I knew you’d say that! 🙂 🙂
Raj of Hailsley
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:50 AMComment #219
Bloody permits 😕
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:53 AMComment #220
I feel your pain jail…but its not like its something new eh! 😉
Jan 23, 2023 at 7:56 AMComment #221
Haha, played me like an old fiddle. 🙂
Still time for Maxi to come good, but if he hasn’t cracked it by the summer it’s probably best he goes elsewhere while his value is high. There has to be a team that can set up to get the best out of him…surely?
Jan 23, 2023 at 8:01 AMComment #222
🙂 🙂 Great cast with huge amounts of bait there mate!
Jan 23, 2023 at 8:05 AMComment #223
Hardy’s 12’ carbon fibre beachcaster with Mitchell600 multiplier reel. Tackle baited with rag worm dipped in pilchard oil.
Jan 23, 2023 at 8:20 AMComment #224
Maxi doesn’t get any space to run into these days. But he does, at least, pass a little quicker.
Everyone defends deeper v us, which is extending our unbeaten run, cool…but, strangling our attack, uncool.
Crosses, final passes need delivering earlier, before either, the defense settles and/or our attackers stop and have to stand waiting for the ball…kills momentum stone dead.
It happens with most teams now.
Trying to constantly walk the ball in is dumb.
I’m all for patience in attack, but the flip side is static cf’s, standing headers etc.
Lack of goals.
Jan 23, 2023 at 8:52 AMComment #225
These days, with stubborn defences, we need someone who can break them down, with a bit of magic.
If, just to mention an example, we had the best dribbler in Europe, now that would help, wouldn’t it?
Just saying like.
The overrated Frenchman
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:01 AMComment #226
Cyprus@208. I think you make a valid point.
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:03 AMComment #227
Saw someone post and remind us last night that the average prediction made on this blog for our league finish was 8th. As it happens, that was my prediction too.
I know some fans say they would now be disappointed finishing outside the top 4 but would they really? I honestly think that 8th would have indicated good progress and it seams many other fans did too. I highly doubt we’ll finish as low as 8th now but anything above that is great.
Will anyone genuinely be disappointed if we finish 6th or will it be fleeting disappointment that there’s no CL football next season followed by pride for what our lads have achieved?
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:04 AMComment #228
Looks like Jail’s permit to work has scuppered his permit to blog!
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:09 AMComment #229
I think we’ll see the same starting 11 against Southampton tomorrow, as we saw in our last 2 games. Howe likes a consistent team and with a break before our next match, can play Bruno again and then allow him a rest.
I still think with Isak there’s a hint of easing him back from injury. Last thing we need is to play him too much too soon and he get’s another muscular injury. I think Isak himself said in an interview recently that he’s feeling fitter but isn’t 100% yet. So that may be why we’re not seeing him start yet, so he can be an impact sub late on like he was against Fulham and to get his fitness back safely and gradually.
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:09 AMComment #230
Looks like Fresneda is off to Arsenal
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:19 AMComment #231
I’m also of the mind that we don’t really need to change anything. If we were struggling to create chances and not controlling games as much, then sure mix things up. But we are still the dominant team in games and are creating good opportunities, we’re just in a patch of not being clinical.
Crystal Palace game we had: 61% possession, 16 shots, 7 on target, 15 corners
Fulham game we had : 60% possession, 20 shots, 5 on target, 10 corners
Leeds game we had: 59% possession, 16 shots, 5 on target, 9 corners
That’s dominant and the only thing lacking is that clinical finish. No sign to suggest we need to change our approach, we just need to take the chances.
Compare that to 3 games we won convincingly in before the World Cup break:
Fulham game we had: 69% possession, 19 shots, 10 on target, 8 corners
Aston Villa game we had: 60% possession, 20 shots, 7 on target, 3 corners
Southampton game we had: 44% possession, 7 shots, 4 on target, 2 corners
Not really doing anything different other than just not being clinical. It would be a risk to start swapping things up much now, when how we play has us sitting 3rd in the table and also still dominating games and creating chances. We’ll start converting our chances again soon don’t worry, no need to panic and start changing our approach just yet.
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:19 AMComment #232
There you go Wor B, there’s a nice coffee break filler for you 😀
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:20 AMComment #233
Foest fans saying to burn the 15 million there paying for Chris Woods hahaha
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:21 AMComment #234
Predicting 8th at the beginning of the season seemed at the time like a reasonable punt. We’d just put in a superhuman record run to escape a relegation spot with top 3 form in the second half of the season to finish 11th.
Not many (me included) were confident we could carry that form into this season and maintain it in what was supposed to be a consolidating / rebuilding period.
Hats off to check the toastie and one or two others who kept the faith!
Toonarmy of Frogs
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:27 AMComment #235
Bit harsh on woods forest debut.
He’s never trained with any of them and probably met most of the team that Saturday morning….
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:28 AMComment #236
Wood burners are very popular at the moment.
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:36 AMComment #237
Last one whilst my coffee is still kicking in. I don’t agree with needing to change wingers either so they’re on their natural foot side. So like Miggy on the left for example.
Miggy has a wonderful understanding with Trippier, his work rate defensively means Trippier can get forward at will which has been one of our main attacking threats with his passing and crossing. Take Miggy off that wing and Trippier’s impact on the game would shrink or that side would be caught out on attacks more often.
The fact Miggy is so left footed so cuts inside is also a positive and not a negative. He cuts in meaning the full back has to track him a bit, which then leaves space out wide for Trippier to go into. Giving him more time and space to put in a delivery. We’ve also seen how effective Miggy can be linking up with Bruno when he comes inside. Teams are wiser to this now but it still leads to some attacking play and chances.
Even on the opposite flank we’re seeing a similar thing happening with Joelinton, Willock and Burn. Joe will come inside allowing Willock to charge forwards into the space out wide and drive into the box. Burn has started to overlap now too with good success as shown by his goal in the cup.
So inverted wingers is a clear preference to how Howe want’s us to build our attacks in the final third and it’s been working well all season. A slight blip now because we aren’t being clinical with our chances, I don’t think warrants changing to natural sided wingers. Which will upset the balance we currently have and would be more of a negative move in my opinion.
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:36 AMComment #238
Aaaaaand breathe. I’m done don’t worry 🙂
Charlie in the Gallowgate
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:41 AMComment #239
4 games before World Cup had 23 shots on target scored 11 just under 50% success
4 games after World Cup had 24 shots on target scored 4 goals about 16% success
chances create very little difference but the goals scored massive difference
Jan 23, 2023 at 9:45 AMComment #240
Aye, which is why it’s just a blip in my opinion.
Chance creation is still high, just the players taking those chances aren’t taking them well. It can happen. If we weren’t creating chances i’d be concerned. But we’re still creating which suggests our play is absolutely fine, we’re just having a patch of not being clinical. That’ll change and there’s no need to start tinkering with a system which has worked superbly to date.