Newcastle got the job done at St Mary’s in the first leg of the league cup semi-final. It was a difficult match but the Magpies hold a slim 1-0 advantage heading back to St. James’ park for next Tuesday’s second leg.
It was another frustrating night in front of the net as the lads failed to take their chances until late in the match. It took a moment of sheer determination and class from Alexander Isak to provide a ball for Joelinton that the Brazilian couldn’t fail to put into the net.
The double substitution of Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin sparked Newcastle as the move came after a nervy ten minutes with the Saints on top. It took some timely saves from Nick Pope to keep yet another clean sheet, the 10th in a row with the 30-year-old manning the net.
Eddie Howe will have to give some thought to altering his starting eleven for the second leg. Isak and Saint-Maximin were lively and threatening. The pair added a new element with their pace and trickery.
Interestingly, Saint-Maximin said the following to BBC Newcastle about playing with Isak:
“I like to play with all the players, but I spend a lot of time with Isak. He’s an incredible player. I want to be able to play with him and show what we are capable of doing on the pitch.”
With Maxi and Alex fit, Howe now has options up front. While his preferred eleven have been sensational, things can tend to grow stale. Therefore, Howe may make at least one change next Tuesday night and possibly two depending on how training goes.
47 comments so far
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:31 AMComment #1
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:31 AMComment #2
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:32 AMComment #3
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:33 AMComment #4
Sky reporting we are in talks with everton for gordon this morning
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:35 AMComment #5
Adam – I couldn’t spot him but I’ll take your word for it. Shows the passion of the lad!
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:35 AMComment #6
Still don’t want Gordon but if EH and the team see something in him then that’s good enough for me
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:39 AMComment #7
I don’t know if Gordon is an arse, but if he is, and comes to us, he’ll be our arse and we’ll have plenty time to knock it out of him.
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:43 AMComment #8
WorB – Yup, agree.
When are we paying dividends from Les Miserables , we must be in profit by now 😀
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:45 AMComment #9
You’ll be pleased to learn I’ve reinvested the profits in Powerfully Hopped IPA.
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:48 AMComment #10
Sadly I can’t say I’m a big fan of Gordon but if he is signed by NUFC I hope he turns out to be a good signing and grows up a bit but…..
I’m not talking about his height!
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:50 AMComment #11
Just got pipped to a win in my FFL – I need to find a player that will bring me another 9 or 10 points!
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:55 AMComment #12
When you find him let me know please, I won’t tell anyone. 🙂
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:00 AMComment #13
Gordon could honestly thrive here. Trippier will ground him to ensure his attitude is right on the pitch. Howe will be able to harness all his good attributes, like work rate, pace, pressing and movement and take them to a higher level. As well as help his overall game. He comes across as a player who feeds off the crowd, so can imagine him closing down and getting blocks in which then gets the crowd going even more in return. He’s young so has plenty of time to fulfill the potential which is definitely there.
I reckon fans will quickly take a liking to him and i’m sure if Howe or the club are aware of some fan discontent, they’ll try to get him in the good books. Get him to do some local charity work like helping out the food banks etc like our players tend to do now and again. Or hospital visits like ASM has done etc.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:00 AMComment #14
If Newcastle get another versatile forward this window, it’s very healthy competition and options upfront.
Also Howe need to force Almiron to use only his right foot in training. Teams are forcing Almiron to his right these days, that’s why he hardly have space to shoot with his left.
My dream front line is ASM – Wilson – Isak
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:01 AMComment #15
But at the end of the day if he works hard on the pitch and outs in good full blooded performances, the fans will take to him quickly enough anyway.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:04 AMComment #16
When Southampton’s Brazilian defender was booked for the foul on Bruno near the end it looked to me like he got up after the tackle then bent down & “tweaked “ Bruno’s nipples!
Did anyone else see this?
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:04 AMComment #17
Southampton centre-back Duje Caleta-Car will serve a one-match ban after he was sent off against Newcastle United on Tuesday night.
However NUFC won’t benefit from that next Tuesday!
The Croatian international was shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Attwell for a late challenge on Miguel Almiron and then another for cynically bringing down Allan Saint-Maximin.
As of the 2019/20 season, the rules were changed so that suspensions from accumulating yellow cards only applied for the specific competition. However, red cards are carried across all domestic competitions, meaning Caleta-Car will miss Southampton’s next game on Saturday against Blackpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
That seems hard luck on us!
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:05 AMComment #18
Happy birthday David Ginola.
Not only one of the most handsome, but also gifted footballers I’ve ever seen.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:09 AMComment #19
ASM and Isak are certainly explosive players. Isak definitely pus the running in so I don’t think we’ll lose any work rate with him.
Plus ASM is definitely tracking and passing better now too.
I’d love to see them both play from the start.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:14 AMComment #20
Noticed that too. ASM often looking for a pass into the box now.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:19 AMComment #21
Wilson has offered very little in the last few games and should be rested, Bruno struggled with pace during the game and clearly is not fully recovered from his injury.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:25 AMComment #22
The first thing they will need to address regarding Gordon,is his dress sense.
If he wanders around the Toon in them Rupert The Bear troosers,he will get the sh!t kicked oota him! 😆
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:25 AMComment #23
Maybe Isak wouldn’t be a better starter than Wilson at the moment. Similarly, maybe Maxi wouldn’t be a better starter than Willock at the moment.
But I would like to find out. I’d like one or both to start for a few matches. Because it was clear that both Isak and Maxi caused new problems when they came on. I would say that Maxi is a lot more talented than Willock at beating players and shooting. Now the effect could purely be that they have fresh legs and are full of running. Or it could be that the combination works well.
Wilson looks a bit out of sorts to me. Yes, works really hard but not at his best at the moment and certainly not getting much service. It seems that MIggy is now being given the level of attention by defenders that his performances in the first half of the season deserved. So I think Maxi on the left might work well.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:28 AMComment #24
Why is it hard on us JohnJ?
It means he can get sent off next Tuesday anarl.. 😀
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:30 AMComment #25
If Gordon comes to us he’ll need his own song.
Jilted John anyone? 😮
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:32 AMComment #26
I wondered that last night myself How Isak managed to escape a yellow card, as soon as the goal went in he made a beeline for the crowd.
Do they not give yellows for jumping into the crowd in cup games?
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:33 AMComment #27
Jan 25, 2023 at 10:39 AM
I don’t like the sound of knocking something out of our arse 🙂
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:35 AMComment #28
I’m with you. Maxi also seems like he’s getting there with the work ethic too, maybe not the level of Willock but he also doesn’t need to. Teams fear him so he’ll have less tracking back to do as most teams will commit less forward on his side for the fear of exposing there defence if we counter.
There was one point last night where from the camera angle I assumed Maxi was just stood offside and not chasing back and I was thinking, oh well maybe he hasn’t changed… then as the play progressed he was already back in a defensive position… so he is improving that aspect.
One thing I was very impressed with last night was Maxi beating a man then running across his path, meaning the player either has to let him keep going or bring him down and be booked… he was causing panic in that back line and it was a joy to see.
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:35 AMComment #29
If he arrives I’ll think of a better phase. 🙂
Essex Geordie Bill
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:40 AMComment #30
A got a reet telling off from the missus cos a was swearing at the TV very loudly with aal of the Willock, Longstaff and Joel skyers, needless to say a have a sore throat this morning.
At least Joel redeemed himself so a was able to shout more quietly! 🙂
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:42 AMComment #31
Clearly we are having problems unlocking defences. Our lineup is predictable. A bit of variety in the attacking 1/3 might be good. Agree that Maxi does not track back like Willock /Joe and hence the concern might be exposing BDB. But as it is, we’re just going to end up with a lot of draws
Essex Geordie Bill
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:43 AMComment #32
One of Maxi’s big assets is that he will draw the booking type fouls as he did last night.
*hand waving emoji*
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:46 AMComment #33
If ASM continues to improve his teamwork gameplay, we have two tricky, creative and pacey goal scorers work well in our system. And a very industrial Almiron.
I feel like if we face teams who aim to snatch a point from us, starting Willock, Wilson and Almiron till their defence get tired, then getting Isak, ASM and potentially Gordon on the pitch may get more space for their creativity.
Facing team who may attack us from the start, I fancy Isak and ASM at the starting eleven.
Charlie in the Gallowgate
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:55 AMComment #34
Thought ASM looked better playing down the middle last night – terrified the life out of their defence
Jan 25, 2023 at 11:58 AMComment #35
As much as being unbeaten is good, two draws and worse than a win and loss. I know that’s obvious, sorry if it sounds patronising.
As we come up against most teams who try and shut up shop, we’ll need to take some risk to create more chances. It’s not about going all out and gung ho, but about taking a calculated risk. I have total faith in Howe to figure that out though as he knows a lot more about me.
Jan 25, 2023 at 12:01 PMComment #36
Maxi has been tracking back quite a bit recently. He put in a belter of a sliding tackle a couple of games ago. He’s not going to regularly stick a boot in for a tackle but he’s there deep waiting to receive the ball and fly up the pitch.
Once upon a time you’d never see him deeper than the half way line. But now he’s primed to launch a counter, and his choice of pass vs dribble has greatly improved.
Still think he’d have been better leathering a left foot volley last night rather than play it across goal though when Murphy ended up hitting side netting.
Jan 25, 2023 at 12:04 PMComment #37
Potts; we don’t have a problem unlocking defences, we have a problem with our finishing.
We’re creating chances, having plenty of attempts at goal. We’re struggling to hit the target.
Our inability to score is not a tactical issue.
Jan 25, 2023 at 12:06 PMComment #38
If Eddie can add composure to what Willock and Longstaff already have, we’ll have 2 x fantastic midfielders on our hands. This is why we need another couple of bodies to give competition for places and more flexibility from the bench.
W & L did everything bar score last night. No one could have complained if they’d got a couple each – they had the chances. Just calm down before you swing your clogs at the ball.
Apart from his one inexplicable bloomer, Joe is looking far more relaxed and within himself in front of goal now. Again, he should have had 2, and a hat trick if he’d done the easier thing and kept his other one in the Earths atmosphere!
We are so close to being awesome, I find myself massively frustrated when we miss sitters, make bad passes, or get caught in possession. It shows how far we’ve come that those issues which were commonplace only 15 Months ago, now irritate me. 😀 😀
Jan 25, 2023 at 12:08 PMComment #39
We are looking set for a final, which will be brilliant, but only if we take the game to Saints next week. We need to score at least 2 goals to kill the tie, preferably by half time. But I suspect the odds are against us winning the cup. We are likely to be up against our nemesis, Manure. Why is it we always seem to run into big teams in very good form. 98,99, 00 and 05. Never seems to be easy for us. But I can handle getting beat in the final if we play well and give them a game. We may win it which would seal a lifetime ambition, but if we don’t I’ll still be happy. We will get there.
Jan 25, 2023 at 12:10 PMComment #40
“…to provide a ball for Joelinton that the Brazilian couldn’t fail to put into the net.”
Check out the goal, see how far and how fast Joel travels to get to the end of that. Yes, he couldn’t miss but he got himself in that position
“Teams are forcing Almiron to his right these days, that’s why he hardly have space to shoot with his left.”
Very true. Now, he’s obliging and going right where he is finding bags of space (since the defender is protecting that left bullet) and time to provide excellent passes to Longstaff for the latter to get in some shooting practice.