Alan Shearer hasn’t held back in his assessment of our awful 3-0 defeat to Watford on Saturday, describing some of our defending as an ’embarrassment’ and admitting that it could’ve been much more than three if they had their shooting boots on.
During the days of Pardew and McClaren, rants from Shearer on Match of the Day happened all too often, however such negativity has been few and far between during Benitez’s reign on Tyneside.
After four defeats on the bounce, things turned sour at St James’ Park on Saturday, with Watford seeing us off all too easily in a convincing defeat.
Shearer didn’t hold back during his assessment of the game on Match of the day, saying the following after our heaviest home defeat of Rafa Benitez’s reign:
“When you are playing the opposition you have got to identify their strengths and their weaknesses and he (Watford boss Marco Silva) has without a doubt identified a weakness in Newcastle’s backline and their right-hand side.
“Time and time again it happened. Watford picked up their ball, looked to their left-hand side and it was so, so open.
“They get a bit of luck with their second goal but Watford deserved it because they were much, much better.
Alan then singled out each member of our back line for criticism, stating that our defending for their third goal (Gray’s tap in) was embarrassing:
“The third goal is an embarrassment for Newcastle United. Have a look at Yedlin and Manquillo and where they end up.
“They both don’t bother at all, to even attempt to get back in.
“The back four are all over the place, they are in a square. Lejeune has to do better to stop the cross and Clark in the middle does nothing.
“Space doesn’t score goals, players do – pick up the man!
“If Watford had their shooting boots on, it would have been and it should have been six or seven.”
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) November 25, 2017
A brutal assessment, but he’s not wrong. We weren’t at the races on Saturday, but our defence was shockingly open and a million miles away from the organised and compact look it had over the first few weeks of the season.
Shearer then refused to accept that off-field distractions could be used as an excuse for Saturday’s dismal display, stating that a potential takeover has absolutely nothing to do with the players:
“The players can’t use that as an excuse,”
“The takeover has nothing to do with them whatsoever. They have got to go out and perform a hell of a lot better than they did today.
“But for Rafa’s situation, he needs the takeover to happen quickly because he needs new players in, in January.”
A fair assessment from Big Al? Let us know your thoughts.