Watford 2-1 Newcastle: Another disappointing defeat despite a tale of two halves

Another avoidable defeat for us today, with Watford’s total dominance in the first half proving costly despite our late push for a point.

We eventually woke up in the second half and could’ve easily come away with a draw in the end, but the damage was well and truly done after our embarrassing first-half ‘effort’.

Watford, who hadn’t won in 9, could and should have be 4-0 up at the break – and we hadn’t even had a shot on target at that point either. We know we lack quality, but defensive mistakes, Dummett giving away a penalty, several sloppy passes and a lack of intensity in all areas just wasn’t good enough when over 2,000 Geordies have made the long trip South today.

Rafa clearly gave them a rollocking at half-time and we responded positively in the second half as a result, but it was a bit too little too late really.

We ended up dominating possession (which is a first, with 61% of the ball) and had them well and truly on the back foot in the final stages, but it was another advert to Mike Ashley of why Benitez needs to be given money to spend this summer.



Performance wise, Dubravka kept us in it with a crucial penalty save and some big one on one stops, while Shelvey was one of the few players who showed genuine quality on the ball. Perez had his moments and finished superbly, but some of his final balls as a creative force have been absolutely woeful. Manquillo looked ok on the ball and quite comfortable going forward, but he doesn’t look much of a defender. Kenedy was quiet and Gayle was frustrating – as was Murphy who was hauled off on the 52 minute mark after making no impact whatsoever. Dummet was uncharacteristically poor for the second game in a row, giving away a needless penalty and failing to clear his lines for their opener.

With West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth and Palace all winning today, we’re actually only 3 points clear of 15th and holding onto our place in the top half on goal difference (Palace, Bournemouth and Watford all level on 41 now), so today’s defeat could prove costly as far as our 10th place finish is concerned.

We were away with the fairies in the first half, but did respond well in the second. Still, not good enough really, but let’s hope we can take that second half display into next Wednesday’s trip to Wembley.

Time to wake up if we want to finish in the top 10.

(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.

53 thoughts on “Watford 2-1 Newcastle: Another disappointing defeat despite a tale of two halves

  1. Seriously. don’t you think that 10th or above would have really been a false position…?

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  2. Porciestreet:
    Seriously. don’t you think that 10th or above would have really been a false position…?

    yes, but given we are there, it would be nice to retain it no.

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  3. Porciestreet:
    Seriously. don’t you think that 10th or above would have really been a false position…?

    Disagree mate, you get your league position on merit.
    It like I don’t believe the line ‘they’re too good to go down’.

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  4. kimtoon: Bleed on brain they said, in an induced comaafter surgery.

    Kim – I know we had our issues with Fergie in the past, but he’s the most successful manager of my time. I thoroughly enjoyed watching his Man Utd sides play and he was a big pal of our Sir Bobby.
    I wish him a full recovery personally.

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  5. On our game today. I questioned Murphy last week and said he looks scared when he’s playing and he did again today. We are safe and so today was a game for him to play without fear and take the opportunity to show what he can do – he didn’t. I’m not saying he was shite or at fault for defeat, he just didn’t make the most of a rare start.

    Manquillo though. I couldn’t really understand getting rid of Anita (a utility full back) to spend money on Manquillo, a player who would do the same role in the squad. Can we really say he was an upgrade on Anita?!. I don’t see it personally. I think Mbemba can play all across the back line and is head and shoulders better than Manquillo, but hasn’t been given a chance, and that’s frustrating.

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  6. I’ve always been a fan of Nathan Redmond and wanted us to sign him when he went to Saints. If they go down I wouldn’t mind seeing us go for him.

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  7. So Ashley is pissing about with yet another court case (this time with house of Fraser) when he should be focused on getting Rafa signed up.

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  8. That loss by Spurs is not what we wanted. It probably means they will be going all out to beat us to guarantee 4th. It depends a bit on the Chelsea/Liverpool result but our game is still important to Spurs.

    It really didn’t mean that much to WBA as they would have to beat Palace about 5-0 away and have other results go their way to stand a chance. Probably about the same odds as winning the lottery.

    What it did do is show once and for all how crap Pardew is. I watched the game and WBA never gave up on a single ball and were totally organized. You could still see the difference in class but the spirit was there.

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  9. I didn’t see our game but from reports we picked up a bit in the second half. When I was reading Rafa’s comments before the game they didn’t seem to have the same intensity as usual and with our team we need effort and organization to win. He needs to get that back for the last 2 games because, although it doesn’t mean much, I don’t want us to finish with 5 straight losses.

    I think we need to go out with at least a draw against Chelsea so that Rafa, the players and especially the fans can have a bit of fun on the last day.

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  10. And as I said on the last thread, they have to get Ando off Radio Newcastle. His negativity makes it unlistenable. If fact, I stopped listening after about 15 minutes and that was before it really got bad in the first half. I followed on text updates instead.

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  11. It is OK to tell it like it is, but at the first setback Anderson gets all morose like the world is coming to an end and a football game has never been turned around before. He is like the fan who stands behind you at the match who criticizes everything the team does, reserving extra venom for one or two in particular. And you just wonder, why are you even here? You must get pleasure in moaning.

    I know it is slightly ironic that I am moaning about moaning but I sort of have to to make this point 🙂

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  12. Sharpy17:
    So Ashley is pissing about with yet another court case (this time with house of Fraser) when he should be focused on getting Rafa signed up.

    I swear it’s the same every summer mate, he’s either on holiday or in court, anything but concentrating on us. Meanwhile Rafa is likely waiting on answers to questions that Mikes only able to answer.
    Getting the fatman to commit and be upfront must be like herding kittens. 🙄 👿

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  13. kimtoon: I swear it’s the same every summer mate, he’s either on holiday or in court, anything but concentrating on us. Meanwhile Rafa is likely waiting on answers to questions that Mikes only able to answer.
    Getting the fatman to commit and be upfront must be like herding kittens.

    Cats, Kimtoon 🙂 Kittens are easy to herd.

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  14. Kimtoon: you went to do the ironing early in the match. I can take us playing crap but Ando was getting me depressed. Was that part of it with you as well? The Spurs match isn’t live here so it will be Radio Newcastle but if we start badly and he starts his whining I am going to have to turn it off again 🙂

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  15. You know I live in the US and very rarely need to listen to radio coverage because they show most games live on TV. But does Anderson have a reputation for being Mr. Doom and Gloom Depressed in his commentary?

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  16. Eric, I did keep the radio on while ironing in the end, but I found it really annoying hearing how crap we were from the 2nd minute onwards. More so because Watford have been awful of late and I just think it was a waste of a chance to build on our 10th unexpected slot this season.

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  17. Well, Spurs will want to make amends for that loss yesterday so our game just got harder.

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  18. Eric/Kim firstrowsports.net

    Shockingly poor in the first half. All of them bar Dubravka and Kenedy. What Rafa sees in Murphy is beyond me. Surely it was a chance to use Arma or Roberts, who looks miles ahead of Murphy. 2nd half Shelvey was at his imperious best and Perez scored another class finish.

    I’ve said before that under our first 11 we have nothing. Manquillo, Murphy proved that and Gayle is rubbish.

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  19. kimtoon:
    Apparently Shaqiri has a release clause of 14m euros
    Is he worth a punt ?

    a big yes for me,i saw how hard he worked in defence which i didnt think he would he done well,bit of a cry baby like,hes a steal at that price imo

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  20. poor Murphy it just shows what a big step up from ccc to PL is,a star in the ccc cannot seem to handle the PL

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  21. Ice, it’s a real shame, lads a massive toon fan too. Rafa did say he didn’t want to put him in first team yet and that he was one for development .

    Georgio, yeah they were really poor in that first half.

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  22. Kimtoon: thanks for the article. I knew most of it and said a lot about it on here. They are by no means out of the woods either. I think they are in administration if they don’t go straight back up. I doubt Short paid off the loan to the bank out of the goodness of his heart either. The article said the loan meant the bank could take over the SOL and training ground but my guess is Short had to put up his own guarantee or there was some tax reason.

    Imagine that. A bank foreclosing on the SOL and the training ground. They really would have been SMBs then.

    I have been saying for a while that the mackems were fcked financially and the journos said nothing. Why didn’t they ask the finance professors who were so quick to give valuations on NUFC?

    Enough for now about Mackem finances until we find out, as we will, that these new owners are not white knights but a bunch of chancers.

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  23. Apart from: if you want to talk flip-flops: Sunderland 3 Wolves 0.

    Huddersfield have done well first half.

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  24. Sorry, I just have to do it. Remember when the mackems were saying to us to enjoy playing Burton Albion in the Championship. Well, Burton have just joined Sunderland in the 3rd Division – so enjoy, Mackems. Don’t you just love karma.

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  25. kimtoon:
    Apparently Shaqiri has a release clause of 14m euros
    Is he worth a punt ?

    Kim – in terms of quality absolutely. But he’s not a Rafa signing imo. He’s workrate is poor and for that reason I don’t see Rafa going for him – but I’d happily be wrong coz I think he’s a top player.

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  26. Sharpy17: Kim – in terms of quality absolutely.But he’s not a Rafa signing imo.He’s workrate is poor and for that reason I don’t see Rafa going for him – but I’d happily be wrong coz I think he’s a top player.

    He might get the best out of him though mate, you never know

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  27. kimtoon: He might get the best out of him though mate, you never know

    Kim – he reminds me a lot of Benny – deadly going forward, but doesn’t like to track back. If we took him I think Rafa would have to accept that he’s probably not going to be much cop at that side, but he’s a player that can win a game on his own – and we don’t have many of those. If he has a release clause for £14m or whatever it was, we should absolutely snap him up. Murphy was £12m that how much of a bargain he’d be.

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  28. Finally someone is speaking up about the fitness of referees. I had said months ago that John Moss looks about 2 stone overweight and cannot keep up with play. I forgot which match it was that he missed a clear penalty because he was 35 yards behind play. Now Mark Hughes has said it pointing to the (almost literal) elephant in the room that is John Moss.

    He is not the only one that cannot keep up either. These are overweight 45 year old blokes trying to keep up with elite athletes. The game has changed and is much faster but the Refs seem the same old plodders from the 70s.

    I had asked if there were fitness checks and tests which I am sure there are. However, I doubt they go far enough and do they extend into the season?

    I think Mark Huhhes is a bit of a prick but not this time. Perhaps because he agrees with me 🙂

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  29. And the Refs should be made aware by somebody of their bias against certain teams and certain players. I think Palace have like 10 penalties and we have one. Our player breathes on an opponent and is suspended. Opposition players go all WWF on Dwight Gayle and he never gets a penalty.

    I don’t know how you do it because they will say they are all individual decisions but give me a break, this keeps happening every game.

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  30. I actually think this is a reason to get rid of Gayle although I think he would be good as a sub. You have to weigh that with the fact he gets manhandled every game and the Refs give him nothing. En Masse they seem to have decided that he is a diver or faker and give him bugger all. I don’t think he is by the way, but it is the Refs’ opinion that counts.

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  31. And Hughes is right again when he says teams worry when they see who is appointed to their games. I would add that fans worry as well. He says Jon Moss is always 30 yards behind the play, which I have also noticed. Mike Dean is always free with the yellows and reds against non top 6 teams. There are many other examples of incompetence, lack of fitness and even bias. Golden Boy Harry Kane could cut down a player with a machete and would only get a yellow.

    People on here of a certain age will remember Trelford Mills 30 years on.

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  32. We had the preening ponce Clattenberg in the US TV studio today. He of the CL and WC tattoos and new hair. They were talking about the City/Hudderfield game and he again said that he is aware of and wary of giving decisions where games are this important. Shouldn’t an offside or penalty or sending off be given on its own merit rather than a predetermined idea the Ref has about how it will affect the table?

    If you remember when Spurs were chasing the title there was a pivotal game against Chelsea that became known as the “battle of the bridge”. It got totally out of control and the players started kicking lumps out of each other because Clattenberg lost control. He said later he didn’t give key decisions because he didn’t want his name in the papers the next day saying HE changed the course of the game.

    No wonder Hughes is furious and it shows that even a CL and WC Referee has predetermined biases. It is not a stretch to think that they also have biases, conscious or subconscious, against teams and players.

    I think Man U went about 5 years without giving up a penalty at Old Trafford. The there was Fergie time. And we all know our record on penalties and opposition players being sent off.

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  33. I have said before it is not a conspiracy theory if it is a fact. Gayle getting manhandled and no decisions going his way are facts. Us never getting penalties and opposition players sent off are facts.

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  34. Spurs are going for top 4 and we are safe. I bet if Harry Kane or Dele Alli hired a tank and drove over our players on Wednesday night they would only get a yellow.

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  35. So Rafa has put the ball into Jabba’s court. He’s basically said, show me your ambitions before I commit to a new contract. Good on him!

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  36. Stuart79:
    So Rafa has put the ball into Jabba’s court. He’s basically said, show me your ambitions before I commit to a new contract. Good on him!

    It’s the only course of action for Rafa Stu. He would be a fool to go into the talks any other way.
    I can honestly see him walking away because Jabba is a stubborn idiot who won’t do the right thing even when he knows he should. I also honestly believe he is jealous of the admiration Rafa has from the fans.
    Jabba seems to revel in trying to drag legends of the game down, in so far as NUFC are concerned.
    Just needs to sell up now really, fresh start needed.
    Who would he bring in to replace Rafa ?, the only way is down really.

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  37. Stuart: we should have a really good idea on Tuesday who is going down along with Stoke and WBA. S’ton and Swans are about evens with the bookies whereas ‘Uddersfield are now about 6-1. That’s no criticism of your call that Hudders would be in the mix because without the latest point they would be, and could still be. I watched the City game and they weren’t lucky at all even though City were surprisingly off their game.

    Bloody Phil Neville was on the call and said that what City really needed was a centre forward to replace Sergio Aguero. I swear he knows nothing about football.

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  38. kimtoon: It’s the only course of action for Rafa Stu. He would be a fool to go into the talks any other way.
    I can honestly see him walking away because Jabba is a stubborn idiot who won’t do the right thing even when he knows he should. I also honestly believe he is jealous of the admiration Rafa has from the fans.
    Jabba seems to revel in trying to drag legends of the game down, in so far as NUFC are concerned.
    Just needs to sell up now really, fresh start needed.
    Who would he bring in to replace Rafa ?, the only way is down really.

    Are you both saying that Rafa should wait until some transfer business is done BEFORE he signs? No promises that Fatty can renege on. Action first, contract later! If so, I completely agree. There is only 1 year left on his contract and I am sure a club like West Ham would buy that out if Ashley baulks.

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  39. Eric Sykes:
    Stuart: we should have a really good idea on Tuesday who is going down along with Stoke and WBA. S’ton and Swans are about evens with the bookies whereas ‘Uddersfield are now about 6-1. That’s no criticism of your call that Hudders would be in the mix because without the latest point they would be, and could still be. I watched the City game and they weren’t lucky at all even though City were surprisingly off their game.

    Bloody Phil Neville was on the call and said that what City really needed was a centre forward to replace Sergio Aguero. I swear he knows nothing about football.

    BTW, after that had come out of Neville’s mouth he spent the rest of the broadcast trying to explain and backtrack.

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  40. Eric, I am indeed saying that Rafa should do nothing until he sees the club act and then he can make a educated decision on his future.

    As for the relegation sides. I still fancy Southampton but obviously it all depends on Tuesday. It’s such a big game though so it could be. Draw and then given Southampton have to play Man City on Sunday it’s unlikley they’d stay up.

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  41. Eric Sykes:
    NOBODY AGREES WITH ME ON FAT REFS?

    Or you didn’t read my rant about them

    I do, and their weights not their only issues, hence why none are off to WC.

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  42. I think the likes of Mark Hughes criticising refs for being over weight is just a joke. Imagine if refs came out after the game and slagged off the managers for their selection or slagged a striker off for missing a chance? It’s just managers having cheap shots. They complain about VAR and then complain about refs. They just make themselves look stupid.

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