Dissecting the Tyne-Wear draw: Mitrovic Header Avoids Disaster but Magpies Fall Short

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s late equaliser may have got Newcastle out of jail on Sunday but in truth the performance fell way short of what is needed if we are to survive.

Maybe it was a little naïve to assume that Rafa’s arrival would see Newcastle despatch Sam’s Sunderland and pull themselves closer to Premier League safety. The feel-good factor of his appointment had all things pointing towards that eventuality, but the first half performance certainly brought Newcastle fans back down to earth as the players trudged off slightly fortunate to be only one goal down.

It was a dreadful half where the Magpies seemed frustratingly lacklustre and so disappointingly despondent. The midfield’s inability to keep hold of the ball and the team’s extraordinary ill-discipline, giving mindless free-kicks away, was utterly depressing and at half time I thought the Championship was most definitely looming. A towering header late on at least gives us some hope that all is not lost.

The positives are that again, just as at Leicester, Newcastle responded well to going a goal down and Benitez was able to influence the game with his tactical switches and substitutions. They showed fight and hunger in the second half and deserved the leveller. It is however very worrying that Sunderland, for large parts of the game, were outplaying Newcastle.

The point does keep us in touching distance with eight games to go, and don’t forget, there are eight games to go.

That is a lot of football left to play and points to play for. The sobering thought is that Benitez has only one point after two games. The phrase ‘must-win’ game has been bounded around all too loosely and I was pleased to hear Rafa say that he is treating every game as a ‘must-win’ game.

Newcastle need wins, not draws or anything else. We must start to win, if we don’t, I’m afraid we may be saying ‘Adios’ to Rafa and ‘Farewell’ to Premier League football.

95 thoughts on “Dissecting the Tyne-Wear draw: Mitrovic Header Avoids Disaster but Magpies Fall Short

  1. I see the papers are saying Rashford is in for a new & improved contract at Man Utd – £15k pw is was is being reported.
    I reckon he’s had a far greater impact on Man Utd than Aarons has at NUFC, so hopefully when it comes to negotiating a new deal, that might put some perspective on things for him & his advisors.


  2. Seems like Rafa’s making real structural changes at the club and not before time. Strange though if he thinks he’s leaving in about 7 weeks. Maybe he’s decided to stay whatever happens (one can only hope!). Whatever, they’re not the actions of a short term appointment.
    We know he wants to stay in England and that the top eight jobs are beyond him for now. I can only see him being interested in Everton and possibly Swansea from his Wirral home. If Everton hang on to Martinez I think he’ll stay here and bring us straight back up. Wishful thinking?


  3. GEORGIO I also think if jabba gave him full control to sort things out top to bottom I think he would enjoy that and take it as a challenge and he would stay,that’s only my view like 👿


  4. How stupid is Johnson?

    The Guy is an idiot and in some ways you have to feel sorry for him. He had a big party when he knew he was faced with a long jail sentence and the papers would be outside. He asked her her age and still went ahead. He plead guilty and acted like nothing had happened. He was joking in court when there was a 5-15 year jail sentence waiting.

    I really cannot believe how stupid this man and his representatives have been. Possibly only surpassed by Margaret Byrne the CEO of SAFC.


  5. I didn’t mean sorry for Johnson’s jail term or actions, just that he must be such a moron to have behaved the way he did and then hire lawyers that didn’t seem to have a clue.


  6. ERIC from earlier comment,there is only one Batty,I know him quite well and know it’s the only name he uses hasn’t been on much lately,he’s a miss doesn’t mince his words calls a spade a spade


  7. I mean, his attorney’s were obviously assuming that if he plead guilty to the lesser charges that he would get off with the worse offenses and get a suspended sentence. They could not have been more wrong and Johnson should sue them rather than appeal. Everybody in this whole case has proved to be stupid cowards, except his ex-girlfriend and the girl who went through with the prosecution.

    I really do hope that nobody takes the law into their own hands and beats him up though. Really, he will have 6 years in jail so nobody should think they are his new judge and jury and dish out their own punishment.


  8. We all might have missed something here.
    Ashley has been saying that he has no control over the manager or how the money is spent – and this lot have cleared the account. He only picks the board.

    Could be his way of saying that this lot are out on their ear in the summer & the new board will come in & let Rafa get on with it.
    He might not have spoken to Rafa yet but he did say that he felt Rafa was the right man.
    If Rafa can keep us up and ensure we get a slice of that TV money – and he keeps SD on mainstream TV, then I reckon Ashley could well make the changes.


  9. Think he’ll stay if we go down Sharpy? I’m beginning to think that way but I could be overly optimistic


  10. Icedog. Some words from the website Football365 that I think you might like:

    “As a player he turned football into an art form,” says former Barcelona president Joan Laporta. “Johan came along and revolutionised everything. The modern-day Barca started with him, he is the expression of our identity, he brought us a style of football we love.”

    It is no coincidence that Cruyff’s two natural homes – Ajax and Barcelona – have the most iconic youth academies in world football, and his longest-lasting legacy at the Camp Nou came away from the first team. He was an advocate of football as education. Total Football was not a style of play learned in first-team training sessions, but a way of life.

    The logic is clear: If young players are already accustomed to the style and demands of the first team’s tactics, they have a greater chance of making the grade. It may seem foolish now, but Barcelona were filtering out hopefuls according to physical attributes rather than technical ability. Something had to give, and Cruyff’s request for a new academy system was accepted by president Josep Lluis Nunez. La Masia was born.

    “Johan Cruyff built the cathedral, our job is to maintain and renovate it,” said Pep Guardiola when taking over at Barcelona. The La Masia graduate became head coach in 2008. By 2010, all three Ballon D’Or finalists (Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi) had come through the system.

    La Masia was Cruyff’s masterpiece, his Sistine Chapel. No Cruyff, no Guardiola. No Cruyff, no Xavi. No Cruyff, no Iniesta. No Cruyff, no Messi. No Cruyff, no Busquets. No Cruyff, no dynasty.

    The hyperbolic tendency is to state that Cruyff invented modern football, but that is not true. There is no one forefather of any of football’s great movements. Michels took his influences from Hungary and Brazil, Cruyff took his from Michels, Guardiola in turn from Cruyff. Yet the effect Cruyff had, and the legacy he left at Ajax and Barcelona, makes him the game’s most influential individual of the last 40 years. His methods led the European football Renaissance.”


  11. That’s some good writing. I don’t mean to trivialize anything, but Ryder could learn a thing or two from it.


  12. Sharpy: Carr is gone my dear. Charnley will be demoted to contract negotiator if he stays. We knew this. I said this.


  13. ERIC a great read,I remember we made a attempt to buy Gaurdiola when he was coming to the end of his playing days it didn’t happen for some reason.
    Ryder brain would crumble reading the first sentence


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