Newcastle were sent tumbling out of the FA Cup by Brighton this evening at the AMEX Stadium.
There can be no excuse for a performance like that. Quite frankly we were awful and the whole team, from manager down to each player, must take a portion of the blame.
I’m honestly trying really hard to think of a player to give some grudging credit to and I’m really struggling. The only candidate I can think of is probably James Perch which says a lot. Too many poor individual performances and a lack of effort and intent done for us in the end. We weren’t good enough to win and that pretty much sums it all up.
Newcastle made just one change from the side that lost resoundingly at Fulham last week, and it was enforced change with Fabricio Coloccini sitting out the match after picking up a groin strain in training. James Perch deputised and didn’t actually do a lot wrong. He was probably our best outfield player, but I’ll be glad when Colo is back against Blackburn hopefully.
I’d like to go into detail regarding the match but the simple fact is that there wasn’t a great deal to talk about. Certainly not in the first-half anyway. The highlight was probably an attempt from Leon Best who cleverly trapped the ball from a Yohan Cabaye pass before firing just past the post.
The second half had a bit more bite to it though as the tackles started to fly in. Yohan Cabaye may well be crossing his fingers and hoping that the FA don’t investigate his wandering foot which ended up in the face of a Brighton defender.
Newcastle had a lot of possession but they just didn’t do a lot with it. There are a number of reasons for this in my view. One being Jonas Gutierrez wandering all over the place and doing not a lot. The same can be said of Hatem Ben Arfa while Shola Ameobi and Leon Best offered virtually nothing up front and at times looked like they had barely even seen other.
The winner came on 76 minutes courtesy of another player who had a stinker – Danny Simpson. Well the goal wasn’t scored by him so I lied, but his weak attempt at trying to dispossess Will Buckley on the halfway line allowed the Brighton man a free run towards goal. Buckley jinked an twisted his way into the penalty area before shooting at goal and seeing his shot fortunately deflected off Mike Williamson over Tim Krul and into the back of the net.
Some have credited it as an own goal against Mike Williamson but I’m not so sure. I’m really to angry to give a toss about it in truth. The nuts of it that it hit the back of the net regardless of who is credited with it.
What followed the goal is what annoyed me the most. The sheer lack of urgency and fight on display from the lads representing NUFC was disrespectful to say the least. At times we were playing at walking pace which is just not cricket when your chasing a game.
Newcastle did have half-hearted appeals for a penalty waved away after a shot from Yohan Cabaye struck the arm of a blocking Brighton defender. I’ve seen them given but my instant reaction was that it would have been a harsh decision. I certainly wouldn’t be happy if it was awarded against Newcastle, and being honest if we’re going to start looking at the penalty and bemoaning it then there is something wrong.
We weren’t good enough. End of!
Brighton: Peter Brezovan, Inigo Calderon, Gordan Greer, Lewis Dunk, Adam El-Abd, Liam Bridcutt, Matt Sparrow, Jake Forster-Caskey, Will Buckley, Craig Mackail-Smith, Ashley Barnes
Subs: Casper Ankergren, Will Hoskins, Alan Navarro, Ryan Harley, Romain Vincelot, Torbrorn Agdestein, Grant Hall
Newcastle: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Davide Santon, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Rob Elliot, Tamas Kadar, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan, Peter Lovenkrands