Newcastle 0-1 Man City: Another pointless home result but there’s positives to take from this one

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve got no complaints with that – even if Raheem Sterling’s first half strike ended up inflicting our fifth straight home defeat in the league.

I sat down in my seat just hoping I wasn’t about to see a real trouncing. This is a Man City side who’re enjoying the biggest winning streak in Premier league history, boasting a bigger lead at the top by Christmas than we’ve ever seen before in the top flight. They’re favourites to win this year’s Champions League with several bookmakers and a one who’ve put 3 past Arsenal, 4 past Tottenham and 5 past Liverpool so far this season – not forgetting highly convincing away wins at Man Utd and Chelsea recently.

Does this mean I accepted defeat before a ball is kicked? No. But if someone said we’d be in the game with 10 minutes to go and have a late flurry where I genuine believed we had them rattled for a moment, I’d have bitten your hand off!

We put in a great shift and kept fighting until the end. We may have given the home crowd little to shout about form an offensive point of view, but the St James’ Park crowd seemed fully onboard with what we were trying to achieve and the players were rightfully clapped off for their efforts following the full time whistle.

Team selection, Rafa’s defensive tactics and our lack of attacking intent has been questioned, but I honestly don’t see how any of these arguments can be deemed valid in the circumstances – especially the former with our limited squad having to manage 3 games in just over 5 days!



Now back to our approach to last night’s game itself. Gary Neville described our approach as incredibly ‘negative’. Quite frankly, any suggestions that we should be attacking Man City and going toe-to-toe with one of Europe’s most devastating sides are ludicrous. It wasn’t pretty at times, but keeping it at 0-1 meant we were always ‘in the game’. With 22% of the ball and so little goal mouth action to shout about, we were rarely knocking on the door, but you always give yourself a chance when there’s only a single goal in it – and very few sides have been able to go into the latter stages of a game with a genuine chance of a result against this formidable team.

It would’ve only taken Gayle’s header to go in or a scrappy set piece goal to give us a precious point in a game we expected to be trounced in, so those suggesting we got it all wrong are incredibly naive. Go toe to toe with Man City and we have have scored, but I’d like to bet that we’d have conceded four or five (at least!) – and don’t forget that any heavy defeat would’ve given our goal difference a real hit too!

In an ideal world, we’d play our strongest side and field a team slightly more capable of hurting City when hand the odd moment to spring a counter, but handing rests to the likes of Merino, Ritchie, Atsu and Gayle will look like a masterstroke if they were the driving force behind a win over Brighton on Saturday. Now that IS a game that we should be looking to attack and one that will define our season far more than last night’s free-hit against Man City.

Dummett’s return was a bonus. He was solid and will add to the sense organisation and compactness Jamaal Lascelles has brought back to the team.

Hats off to Diame too. The last time he was on the SJP pitch he was sarcastically cheered off, but he reacted last night with the sort of dogged display we’ve not seen nearly enough from him. He’s limited technically and is a frustrating player to put it mildly, but he’ll have far less Geordies on his back each weekend if he can get into the opposition and make a nuisance of himself as he did last night.

Atsu and Merino also had some nice moments in short cameos from the bench. Hopefully those two will be firing on all cylinders at the weekend.

A good atmosphere and a great effort from the boys which should put us in decent stead for Brighton on Saturday.

HWTL!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan – he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

44 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-1 Man City: Another pointless home result but there’s positives to take from this one

  1. Rafa was spot on. I can’t believe some people wanted us to have a go at them. Better teams than us have tried it and got battered. His plant was clear – try and still be in the game with 20 mins to go and we were. We just didn’t have the quality to score. We tried it a different way. Ok, it didn’t work as we still got beat but when goal difference may well play a part losing only 0-1 is reasonable. Especially considering Rafa rested some players with Brighton in mind.

      (Quote)

  2. Carra has joined Neville is saying the same crap. If they did their jobs and actually looked at other teams in the past other than Liverpool and Man U they would have seen that goal difference was a killer for us last time we went down. It effectively gave our fellow relegation strugglers an extra point. In the end it didn’t matter but I am sure it had an effect on how we approached some games.

    Remember we were constantly getting tonked by 3 or 4 under Schteve and we had a GD of like 10 worse than the Mackems until Everton gifted them a reprieve.

    This year could be the same and with it all being so close at the bottom there is a fair chance a team will be relegated on GD or go all out for a win when of their GD was better they would only need a draw.

    These pundits cannot see the woods for the trees sometimes. Do they seriously think we had a chance trying to play City at their own game? Our only chance was the tactics we used and that Stuart explained above.

      (Quote)

  3. I mean, the pundits should be required to have in depth knowledge of all the teams and not just the ones they played for. PHIL Neville is the worst. He is on a few games over here and you would think he was still at Man U FFS.

    Lee Dixon obviously has a soft spot for Arsenal but if anything that makes him hold them to higher standards. He sort of goes out of his way not to show bias. That might be taking it a bit too far but at least he is not Carra or the Nevilles.

      (Quote)

  4. The team put in a real effort last night. Cannot really fault any of them. Even Shelvey’s audacious effort from the kick off was at least on target. Just imagine if that had sneaked in… I thought tactics were spot on. So pleased to see us give it a real go in the last 15 mins or so. Saving our goal difference could be the difference between surviving or relegation judging by how tight it is at the lower half of the table. Onwards and upwards. Our future will be defined by the next 3 games, not the City match.

      (Quote)

  5. Most of the decisions seemed to go against us too, which was to expected I guess, but I have to say, I think Murphy was a lucky boy to not see red for his early tackle. A tad naughty and we could easily have been down to 10. Another ref could easily have given us a penalty for Gayle going down although it would’ve been a bit soft. However, if that had been Aguero instead of Gayle I would put money on a pen being given…

      (Quote)

  6. People asking us to have a go and play City at their game are mad. It’s like asking Rafa Nadal to play Roger Federer right handed just so they’re both playing the same.

    These pundits are stupid too. They criticise certain teams for being open against City and then criticise a newly promoted side (very average one at that) for being defensive. What do they want? They just want lots of goals.

      (Quote)

  7. Yes we tried to park the bus and failed but not a 0-3,4,5,6 failure that will assist us at the end of the season. In the last 15 we may have stolen a point. Tactics spot on with a team worth 100 million against a team worth over a billion.
    As for Neville what a prick!!!
    Benitez, who won two La Liga titles during his time as Valencia boss, had his name chanted as he took his Real Madrid side to the Mestalla. Don’t criticise you IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!
    We play with what we have and fat Ashley needs to invest or loose another 100 million off the clubs value.Speculate to accumulate DONT Gamble Ashley!!!!
    IN RAFA WE TRUST HWTL Good luck for Brighton game lads.

      (Quote)

  8. Yeah the pundits showed themselves up last night imo.
    If Rafa had us playing that way week in week out then I get it, this is a team destroying their title rivals, never mind the rest.
    I get that we done nothing in the first 30mins, and it was attack v defence and we barely closed them down. But the whole point was stay in the game. If we came away with a point, would the pundits say the same – probably yeah – coz they are kiss arses. They have a Pep & City love in – which I get, but surely their point is to be impartial.

      (Quote)

  9. Cannot fault Rafas approach to that game, spot on, we could never of taken it to them for the entire match. Keeping it tight and having a go late on was the only way . Pundits , and I use that term loosely, haven’t a bloody clue . They are just twisting cause a low score doesn’t give good TV when you have in the region of 40 odd countries screening the spectacle that is Man City. Well tough shit, we are in the business of keeping our goal difference as intact as possible.
    Ashley simply has to invest or sell up now, even he can’t be stupid enough to think we can survive without investment.
    Tosun to the toffees for £25m, really, can we not afford that to try and survive ? We spoke to the lads dad ffs, he wanted to play for Rafa so what’s gone wrong there then? Wages/fee ? again.
    Would he of signed for them 6 weeks ago, I think not, they look doomed until fat sam arrived.
    Pissed off with that if true, zero ambition, zero funding , zero backing for Rafa, piss off Ashley .

      (Quote)

  10. If we went toe to toe with them and got beat 4 or 5 nil the same ‘pundits’ would have been saying – what the hell was Rafa thinking, has he watched nothing this season?!.

    I don’t think Carra likes him from his time at Lpool for some reason. Yes they had success, but I don’t think Carra liked the way Rafa did things – he always seems to have a pop or be critical whenever he can.

      (Quote)

  11. Stuart79:
    Blimey, Swansea have appointed the former Sheffield Wednesday manager, Carvalhal! What a strange appointment.

    Stu – is that because he’d just be grateful for the job and unlikely to demand a load of money in the Jan window do you think mate?

      (Quote)

  12. Neville did a great job of manager in Spain got hammered in every game and got his butt kicked oot,he’s a good judge NOT,arsehole

      (Quote)

  13. So saints are going to have £75m to spend then.

    Not sure VVD is worth £75m like – but it just shows this market isn’t settling down any time soon.

      (Quote)

  14. Sharpy17:
    So saints are going to have £75m to spend then.

    Not sure VVD is worth £75m like – but it just shows this market isn’t settling down any time soon.

    Tosun a snip at 25 mil you always pay more for strikers,but jabba cannot see the end of his nose,mind I think 75 mil is well over the top imo

      (Quote)

  15. Icedog: Tosun a snip at 25 mil you always pay more for strikers,but jabba cannot see the end of his nose,mind I think 75 mil is well over the top imo

    Ice – in terms of our spending history is miles away from what we’d spend on a player (which is the big problem under Ashley). But in the scheme on the transfer market, yeah £25m is a snip – and I think he’s only around 26 – so you’d think his best years are ahead of him.

    I don’t know what the situation is with the transfer budget though. Ashley won’t be putting money in – so it will be player sales first I reckon. I have no idea if Mandy could or would put money in before the sale is finalised – and I don’t think it’s even close til they agree on some kind of relegation compensation.

      (Quote)

  16. VVD becomes something like the 6 player Lpool sign from Saints. Saints spent a total of £37m on those players – Liverpool have spent about £170m buying them off them 😳 …. wouldn’t it be cheaper for Lpool to buy the scout 😂

      (Quote)

  17. Another transfer window I don’t expect us to be shopping at Harrods or Fortnum and Mason I just know we will be grubbing around Poundland Car Boots for someone else’s rejects. Ashley is cheap and will always will be ” use a sticking plaster when major surgery is needed” Takeover or not will not change that. Rafa is doing really well working with what he’s got.
    Which makes me wonder and here is another conspiracy theory did he really knock on Ashley’s door offering his assistance, or was it on the bequest of Samantha and her gang that wanted a man on the inside. He seems to be very patient and long suffering where transfers etc are concerned. Is he just waiting for the end game?
    Yet another fairy story. A man walking down the road comes across Ashley and a pig lying in the gutter. The man shakes his head and says “You can always tell a persons quality and character by the company he keeps”, and the pig got up and slowly walked away 😆

      (Quote)

  18. There’s still a lot of rumours flying around that the takeover has actually happened but it hasn’t been announced in case it scares up the prices in the transfer window. Would be nice!

      (Quote)

  19. nutmag:
    Another transfer window I don’t expect us to be shopping at Harrods or Fortnum and MasonI just know we will be grubbing around Poundland Car Boots for someone else’s rejects.Ashley is cheap and will always will be ” use a sticking plaster when major surgery is needed” Takeover or not will not change that. Rafais doing really well working with what he’s got.
    Which makes me wonder and here is another conspiracy theory did he really knock on Ashley’s door offering his assistance,or was it on the bequest of Samantha and her gang that wanted a man on the inside. He seems to be very patient and long suffering where transfersetc are concerned. Is he just waiting for the end game?
    Yet another fairy story. A man walking down the road comes across Ashley and a pig lying in the gutter. The man shakes his head and says “You can always tell a personsquality and character by the company he keeps”, and the pig got up and slowly walked away

    not that daft as far as conspiracy theories go mate, in fact highly believable considering reports that they want Rafa there or the deals off.

      (Quote)

  20. So what would you reckon is our best team. Here’s my guess and all but one were in the Championship with us:

    Elliot

    Yedlin Lascelles MBemba Dummett

    Merino Shelvey

    Ritchie Mitro Atsu

    Gayle

    Maybe Leguene for MBemba or Perez for Mitro.

    But you cannot get away from the fact that this is a Championship team.

      (Quote)

  21. I was cheating a bit above saying they were a Championship team because most had PL experience or had been bought from the PL. Still, they didn’t run away with the Championship as I thought they would so you could say they are Championship quality in some cases.

      (Quote)

  22. kimtoon: not that daft as far as conspiracy theories go mate, in fact highly believable considering reports that they want Rafa there or the deals off.

    Did you see what big Al said about takeover,remember 17th😉😉

      (Quote)

  23. Also Ice: I have watched Tosun in the Turkish league and he has looked brilliant. However, he is 26 and only now has made a name for himself, or is being widely recognized because he has scored a lot in the CL.

    Of course I would have loved us to go for him but he is by no means a certain success.

    Everton were always going to be safe anyway with a manager who had a clue so I don’t consider them as a relegation rival. Better he went there than say Stoke or West Ham who also could have afforded him.

      (Quote)

  24. Eric Sykes:
    Also Ice: I have watched Tosun in the Turkish league and he has looked brilliant. However, he is 26 and only now has made a name for himself, or is being widely recognized because he has scored a lot in the CL.

    Of course I would have loved us to go for him but he is by no means a certain success.

    Everton were always going to be safe anyway with a manager who had a clue so I don’t consider them as a relegation rival. Better he went there than say Stoke or West Ham who also could have afforded him.

    Very true mate,seems gunners bubble has bust

      (Quote)

  25. I have a positive thought. We have 18 points from the first 19 games and that while we won 1 in 11 games, losing 9 of them. It’s highly unlikley we will go through another run like that so I imagine/hope we can have a better second half of the season. There’s also a good chance another club will have a similar run in the second half of the season. It’s better to have a run like that early than late.

      (Quote)

  26. How many points did Palace get having a go at Arsenal? Did they get bonus points for the way they approached the game?

      (Quote)

  27. Ice & Kim, when Shearer is saying things like that, makes me think he does know, said he doesnt too many times, think it will be announced toward the end of next month after first couple of signings made

      (Quote)

  28. Simon:
    Ice & Kim, when Shearer is saying things like that, makes me think he does know, said he doesnt too many times, think it will be announced toward the end of next month after first couple of signings made

    You might be right😉😉

      (Quote)

  29. Simon:
    Ice & Kim, when Shearer is saying things like that, makes me think he does know, said he doesnt too many times, think it will be announced toward the end of next month after first couple of signings made

    hope so mate, god knows we need it, his time is well and truly up, was up years back in truth.

      (Quote)

  30. I doubt Shearer knows anything. If he did, wouldn’t he have just “let the cat out of the bag” by saying it in front of millions of people?

    It will be a loan deal special window. Whether that’s enough to stay up, that will depend on what everyone else does. Southampton are after Sturridge and have a lot to spend, we know Brighton’s ambitions and West Ham will also be spending.

      (Quote)

  31. Icedog:
    Tosun scores two again tonight,strange to play when talk is he’s signing forEverton

    Ice – apparently they are interested but no official bids yet. That deal is not done yet. Not saying we’ll get him, just saying he ain’t a toffee yet.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green