Newcastle 1-3 Fulham: Don’t Panic, Captain Lascelles

Yesterday’s result was a little out of left field (understatement alert).

With Rafa’s men in and out the other side of ‘that’ three-game salvo against Reading, Huddersfield and Brighton lots of people, myself definitely included in this, took little ol’ Fulham for granted. In the month prior, we’d beaten two of the league’s most accomplished sides on their own patch, and picked up a hard-earned draw against another one.

True to historic Newcastle form though, exhibiting a healthy dose of ‘Murphy’s Law’ (no, not Daryl) Benitez’s men collapsed at home for the 5th time this season under the pressure of the expectant SJP crowd.

Players who usually play well, played badly. Players who sometimes play well, played very badly. And players who never play well, watched the game drift aimlessly by on a gloomy afternoon in the North East.

Jack Colback, a player that has been no stranger to fan criticism in recent weeks definitely fell under the latter category on Saturday. Tom Cairney, a player of which Rafa had his eye on in the January transfer window made young Jack chase his shadow for much of yesterday’s proceedings.



And whilst I can’t fault the Ginger Ninja’s efforts (either today, or since he signed for us), if we’ve learned anything about the former Sunderland man this season, it’s that he sadly belongs in a side no higher up than 14th position in the Championship. Unfortunately for him, I think yesterday sealed his fate as one of the names to appear on Newcastle’s ‘For Sale’ list this summer.

Surely based on the last month, Rafa can’t and won’t persist with him next season.

But the book can’t solely rest at young Jack however. Our skipper had a torrid afternoon at the heart of Newcastle’s defence. Disappointing for me in particular, after I’d just lauded him and Ciaran Clark as nailed-ons to be our first choice centre back pairing should we go up next season.

Further up the field, Mo Diame seemed to contract ‘Sissoko-itus’ during the match as he failed to get a grip on the game and likewise Dwight Gayle made little-to-no impact, although the support he did get from the rest of his teammates yesterday afternoon was pathetic, verging on the non-existent.

All-in-all, it was certainly one to forget. But I’m not particularly worried. As far as I’m concerned, blips like theses are all part and parcel of what makes a successful team.

Just 7 years ago, at a similar point in the season, we suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened-Derby whilst trying to win promotion back into the Premier League. And what’s more, we weren’t even top of the table at this point in time. If Chris Hughton, (who, let’s face it, doesn’t quite have the managerial pedigree Rafa does) still managed to see us safely over the line, then I have little doubt the same thing won’t happen again this time.

So why all the doom and gloom?

With 9 games still to play, the Fulham defeat could prove to be the wake-up call we needed. The reminder that things aren’t quite sewn up yet.

It’s the human condition to place extra emphasis on things when they go wrong and to completely forget the times when things go completely right. Prior to Saturday’s game we were unbeaten in nine and law of averages states we were bound to have a stinker sometime soon. My advice would be not to dwell on it – there’s still plenty of time to put things right.

Don’t panic (too much), Captain Lascelles.

50 thoughts on “Newcastle 1-3 Fulham: Don’t Panic, Captain Lascelles

  1. Cheers mate. And yeah definitely, lots to work on the training ground this week though mind.

    shamrock:
    Good thread and agree with the content. We will be fine.

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  2. It happens to all teams. I just watched my second Barcelona game of the week. They came in top of the table and played Depor who were 4th bottom when the game started. Depor deservedly won.

    You might say it was a hangover from the mid-week heroics, and perhaps it was. But we have to remember how PSG tore them apart in the first leg. Just goes to show that all teams have stinkers.

    I am not suggesting that NUFC are Barca 🙂

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  3. What was up with clark yesterday, totally losing it with his team mates .
    Cheers Andy, good read and hope you’re right.

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  4. This is Newcastle, if we lose at Birmingham City panic will turn into a full blow crisis! Thankfully we are away from home, which is a rather strange thing to say. Plus we’ve played them three times already and know that we can beat them if enough players put in a 7/10. Then it’s a welcome break until April fools day, two home games against side near the bottom. We need to stick Murphy up front with Gayle and go for it. Get into them… Get into them…. 😮

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  5. Look at our last three games though, Preston, Cardiff and Barnsley. None of them will have anything to play for by then, we should be okay hopefully.

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  6. Why didn’t I photoshop Lascelles’ head on the pic of Lance Corporal Jones’?! Opportunity missed there.

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  7. kimtoon:
    What was up with clark yesterday, totally losing it with his team mates .
    Cheers Andy, good read and hope you’re right.

    most proberly lost his with some players that just did not try,he should know he saw plenty of it at Vikka mate

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  8. icedog: most proberly lost his with some players that just did not try,he should know he saw plenty of it at Vikka mate

    Aye mate, I bet he was thinking, I’m not going there again like.

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  9. i wish I was as confident as you lot. its the home games I worry about

    On current form we’ll finish 3rd, 1 pt behind H’Field

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  10. Derby said they had taken the decision following a “significant, unexpected and persistent decline in results, team unity and morale”.

    Rams chairman Mel Morris said: “We need a manager who shares our values and who is prepared to develop the team.”

    Ouch. Good luck finding another job anywhere near the top level Schteve. Wally with the brolly, signing out.

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  11. Sham: I said on here after the Brighton result that I thought McClaren had 3 games max only because they had nothing to play for and there wasn’t much point in changing. It was inevitable though and it was playing out exactly as it did with NUFC. Maybe they can challenge Norwich for Pards and we can see that pattern play out again, we all know which pattern I mean.

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  12. Yes Eric I said a couple of threads ago that he was a massive death spiral yet again, but nobody seemed interested. Yesterdays news I guess! I think there is a lot of panicking going on re; the Toon at the minute. You would think we were not top of the league.Looking forward to promotion and seeing what this board is actually made of in the summer. Huge window coming up.

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  13. Sham: the board and Ashley have to realise that they know nothing about football now. Just look at their record. Pardew was kept on at least a year too long and now sacked. He replaced the man most likely to challenge us for top spot in the Championship, and he was hired by default. McClaren, sacked again. Ugly John. Keegan suing for constructive dismissal. Shearer being pissed around but he was appointed with absolutely no experience and in turn appointed Iain bloody Dowie.

    They sacked Fat Sam so he could eventually keep the Mackems up after stabilizing West Ham allowing the Bongo Twins to steal London Stadium and now will probably keep the [email protected] at Palace up.

    They got lucky when Rafa called them and they even (allegedly) pissed him around in January when a couple of signings would have absolutely guaranteed promotion and maintained his goodwill.

    IDIOTS.

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  14. Remember that stupid football soap opera with a club called Harchester United, I think? NUFC could have been made into a better reality TV show. Joey Barton, and Andy Carroll having his car burned etc would have been TV gold, Jerry… In the words (acronym) of the now disappeared Troysta: YCMIU.

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  15. They had that football soap with Harchester United on over here in the US for more than one season if you can believe that.

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  16. Embarassing but at least we gave ourselves a gap over our rivals, if not I think we’d be into the playoffs and would consequently embarass ourselves further by not making it past the first set of matches.

    Colback seems to be completely shot now, funny as he had quite the impact initially didn’t he? Has he now been “Raffa’d” then I wonder 😆 or is it the fact that he stepped into the position when Tiote had lost his head so it looked a nice false dawn when in actual fact if Tiote was still anything like his old self Jack would still only have been tying his shoe laces pre-match.

    Get Mbemba in that side.

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  17. Reading the press this morning some are even predicting that Huddersfield won’t lose another game! Have I missed something? Are they Barcelona? For them to go up above us they have to continue a remarkable run of form which is unprecedented.

    Even with our ridiculously up and down home form we have games against teams we should be beating if we at least put some effort in, unlike Saturday. Away we play teams like Birmingham, Ipswich and Cardiff who have nothing to play for really.

    It’s in our own hands. The only thing that worries me is how tired we looked on Saturday but then again that could have been because we had just played 3 unbelievably hard away games in 8 days.

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  18. Clark to have opp on knee dam,Richie one yellow away from a two game ban,things not looking good,its hard playing with ten men when Colback is in the team

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  19. Ice: the slate is wiped clean on the yellows now, Saturday was the last game they could pick up a suspension for 10 yellows. No chance of a ban for Ritchie, I think the clock starts ticking on 5 yellows again so it unlikely any of our player will be banned for that reason.

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  20. I am not saying it will happen again but this is the second run of form Huddersfield have been on and last time it tailed off. I think they were top for a while and then hit a wall.

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  21. The 10 yellow expiration is a double edged sword because there is now no chance of Colback picking up a 2 game ban 🙂

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  22. Eric Sykes:
    The 10 yellow expiration is a double edged sword because there is now no chance of Colback picking up a 2 game ban

    i thought the cut off time was April the first?

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  23. Ice: the Championship yellow card amnesty kicked in yesterday, mate. I Googled it and there is an article in The Birmingham Mail today saying so. I would post it but I have a new laptop and haven’t figured out how to cut and paste an article yet.

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  24. That’s correct Eric. Wonder if that had anything to do with Ritchie’s poor showing on Saturday. Mind he wasn’t the only one. Gayle, Atsu and Diame were anonymous while Shelvey was very lethargic. Yedlin’s a big miss for me with his attacking impetus.
    Clark will be a big miss if he does need an op.

    In the Chronicle polls a week ago 98% thought we’d be champions. On Sunday 33% thought we wouldn’t even be promoted. After one defeat and a bad day at the office in 12 games! Talk about fickle fans!!

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  25. Eric Sykes:
    Ice: the Championship yellow card amnesty kicked in yesterday, mate. I Googled it and there is an article in The Birmingham Mail today saying so. I would post it but I have a new laptop and haven’t figured out how to cut and paste an article yet.

    cheers mate ill take that as read then

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  26. Eric Sykes:
    They had that football soap with Harchester Unitedon over here in the US for more than one season if you can believe that.

    Dreamteam mate used to come on on sundays if I remember.

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  27. Kimtoon: Ah, Deamteam. It was hilarious. The problem was that it portrayed footballers as self-centered and pampered but it was probably only a 10th of what they are now.

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  28. The Chronicle said Hayden and Aarons in full training looking at an April return. That’s some good news and might make the 55% that changed their minds about us being promoted change their minds back. That’s according to Georgio’s stats which are quite unbelievable – as he said, talk about fickle. And knee jerk.

    No wonder SJP is like a morgue when the other team have the ball if that’s the attitude.

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  29. Stuart79, Brighton and Huddersfield are attacking like furies, the toon are running out of steam and have a dubious home record. It stands to reason there is a certain amount of concern from the fans, no one was calling Huddersfield “Barcelona”…

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  30. Stuart79:
    Reading the press this morning some are even predicting that Huddersfield won’t lose another game! Have I missed something? Are they Barcelona? For them to go up above us they have to continue a remarkable run of form which is unprecedented.

    Even with our ridiculously up and down home form we have games against teams we should be beating if we at least put some effort in, unlike Saturday.Away we play teams like Birmingham, Ipswich and Cardiff who have nothing to play for really.

    It’s in our own hands.The only thing that worries me is how tired we looked on Saturday but then again that could have been because we had just played 3 unbelievably hard away games in 8 days.

    Yes, I would go along with that. And remembering that we have the international breaks starting up again now. Two weeks off after Sat, so the players have no excuse of fatigue. I thought some of them looked burnt out against Fulham, although we were totally out classed also.
    Amazing how honest our fans are when we’ve been tonked, yet we have this media reputation of being delusional? Huddersfield fans were all in denial that our team did a job on them, they only created chances from distance and thought having the most possession means you automatically deserve to win the game, despite scoring no goals (apart from a pen). 🙂

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  31. A bit of blow that if Clark is out. Hasn’t he just been called up for Ireland though? Strange. He’s been our best defender this season, which has kind of caught me by surprise. If I’ve learned anything though, it’s that players can look different from one club to another. You can sign a really good player and for whatever reason they just never make it at a club and visa versa. Clark just seems to get the club and has the bottle to play for us. He has made the odd mistake and poor clearance, costing goals, but nothing like what the Villa fans made out. He was just in a total heap of cack team then though so impossible to judge. He’s actually our best footballer at the back IMO apart from Mbemba and possibly Yedlin.

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  32. Thought Man U targeted Hazard last night. Disgusting tackles. Thought they were lucky not to go down to 9 men. Commentators still show a tendency to lean towards them. Or so it seemed to me.

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  33. Groucho:
    Thought Man U targeted Hazard last night. Disgusting tackles. Thought they were lucky not to go down to 9 men. Commentators still show a tendency to lean towards them. Or so it seemed to me.

    Groucho:
    Thought Man U targeted Hazard last night. Disgusting tackles. Thought they were lucky not to go down to 9 men. Commentators still show a tendency to lean towards them. Or so it seemed to me.

    I thought the ref tried to let the game flow but there was some real bad fouls he let go,no way you would have got away with them in ccc,mind I quite like a real hard game to many pussys playing the game now

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  34. IF Clark is out on Saturday then we have Hanley ready to come in. Now that does worry me! Hanley and Lascelles together? Really don’t understand the Mbemba situation. Just doesn’t make sense that he’s never played.

    The only thing I can find on Clark’s injury is Martin O’neill saying he went off as a precaution and should be fine for the internationals.

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  35. georgio:
    IF Clark is out on Saturday then we have Hanley ready to come in. Now that does worry me! Hanley and Lascelles together? Really don’t understand the Mbemba situation. Just doesn’t make sense that he’s never played.

    The only thing I can find on Clark’s injury is Martin O’neill saying he went off as a precaution and should be fine for the internationals.

    georgio:
    IF Clark is out on Saturday then we have Hanley ready to come in. Now that does worry me! Hanley and Lascelles together? Really don’t understand the Mbemba situation. Just doesn’t make sense that he’s never played.

    The only thing I can find on Clark’s injury is Martin O’neill saying he went off as a precaution and should be fine for the internationals.

    The storey with Mbemba is he won’t do what Rafa wants of him on the pitch and wants to play the game his way,that’s not going to work with Rafa is it?

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  36. Ice – I heard that too. Poor communication is what I heard. Poor English but still, I had him as our best player last season. I’d play him if Clark isn’t ready. Him and Lascelles were Rafas choice for ten PL games after all. If not I’d stick him in as a DM alongside Shelvey. He played 4 games for Congo there and had 2 assists.

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  37. georgio:
    Ice – I heard that too. Poor communication is what I heard. Poor English but still, I had him as our best player last season. I’d play him if Clark isn’t ready. Him and Lascelles were Rafas choice for ten PL games after all. If not I’d stick him in as a DM alongside Shelvey. He played 4 games for Congo there and had 2 assists.

    yes mate a shot in m//f is a goa for me

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  38. Icedog: let’s get this straight. You don’t really rate Colback, do you? It is almost like he is a red headed stepchild.

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  39. Georgio – I was thinking the same, get him in the side and play defensive mid, does Rafa not want him to go on lungbusting runs up the pitch perhaps? We needed them last season mind because nobody else showed any desire…and let’s face it hes’ actually ok at it unlike Stevie Taylor 😆

    I’m bored of Colback so why not see how Mbemba does?

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