Newcastle 0-1 Everton: Costly errors continue to haunt toothless Toon

Ugh. This isn’t good is it. A costly error from Karl Darlow allowed Wayne Rooney to prod home and hand Everton a 1-0 win at St James’ Park last night – leaving us just 1 point from the relegation zone and two points from the bottom.

Like Leicester on Saturday, we started pretty quickly and I was hopeful early on. It’s fair to say we looked the better side for most of the first half. We were by no means blowing them away, but with Ritchie and Merino both seeing clever efforts crash back of the woodwork, it felt harsh on us to be going in at the break 1-0 down. Rafa’s got it pretty spot on here:

As Benitez says individual errors cost us dearly once again and hampered the control and momentum we had in the game, and it’s that man Karl Darlow who has to be doing better. He should’ve done more to stop Mahrez’s equaliser on Saturday, but this was worse again, gifting Rooney an easy tap in after some really slack handling.

Darlow will get a lot of the flack, but there were a few dismal displays elsewhere. Diame was woeful (although cheering when he was substituted was poor from several inside SJP) and Lejeune was worryingly poor.

Forget individual errors or sub par performers for a minute though, the team just lacked ideas and really does lack quality and the ability to unlock the door in the final third. Everton threw very little at us, but that didn’t stop our defence looking anything from convincing either.

We never looked likely in the second half. Sometimes it looked like there was a real lack of urgency, but it was simply down to a total lack of confidence, ideas and quality that hampered us against a very ordinary looking Everton. The fact we still lost a game of this nature shows just how much we’re struggling to compete right now.

Rafa has tampered with the squad and the formation over the past three games. 3-4-2-1 at Chelsea, 4-4-2 vs Leicester and 4-2-3-1 last night, but I’m not sure its helping. The players didn’t know exactly what they were meant to be doing – a far cry from earlier in the season when each and every player seemed to know their exact role in the team.

Time for a re-think and a fresh approach. With Arsenal, West Ham, Man City and Brighton to play before the year is out, we must look to be getting result in at least two of those if we aren’t to be in or around the relegation zone come the new year.

Great news emerged on the takeover front yesterday, but the result last night was another alarming development in what is becoming an increasingly edgy season.

Survival has never looked bigger. New owners are waiting to hopefully push the club onto where we’d love it to be, but lets focus on staving off another relegation before we start dreaming of what the future may hold in an NUFC world without Mike Ashley.

Benitez and the boys have a big job on their hands to clear up the mess he’s helped put is in.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

45 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-1 Everton: Costly errors continue to haunt toothless Toon

  1. Olly – thanks mate.

    I agree Diame was woeful, but I kind of disagree about the booing. Fans pay to watch these players and if they aren’t happy then they pay for the right to boo. If you have a crack meal would you not complain incase you upset the staff?.
    I also agree Lejeune was poor. I think our best CB partnership has been Lascelles and Clark and don’t get why Clark was dropped ahead of Lejeune personally.

    I know we had players come back from injury recently, which may be a reason for Rafa making the changes. But I think change for changes sake doesn’t help. All this messing around with Gayle, Perez, Joselu and Diame doesn’t help imo.

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  2. Sharpy17:
    Olly – thanks mate.

    I agree Diame was woeful, but I kind of disagree about the booing.Fans pay to watch these players and if they aren’t happy then they pay for the right to boo.If you have a crack meal would you not complain incase you upset the staff?.
    I also agree Lejeune was poor.I think our best CB partnership has been Lascelles and Clark and don’t get why Clark was dropped ahead of Lejeune personally.

    I know we had players come back from injury recently, which may be a reason for Rafa making the changes.But I think change for changes sake doesn’t help.All this messing around with Gayle, Perez, Joselu and Diame doesn’t help imo.

    Sharpy. Diame and Pérez keep failing game after game. Swappping one for the other match after match is not the answer . They keep on failing . Time to be brave if not reckless and try Saivet or someone from the reserves. I think we should give Woodman a turn in goal. He has played on a big stage but not the Premiership. Darlow is a bundle of nerves. Murphy I prefer to Atsu who runs into blind allleys too much and fails to release the ball. Manquillo had a reasonable game last night. We were better than Everton but in the end it is points that count.

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  3. I think it is counterproductive to boo your own players, how or why would they give a **** after that.
    Have a **** and moan by all means but booing is a no no for me liked.

    We didn’t look that bad first half tbf but second half was poor, they looked to have accepted defeat already. There are players in that side that should not be anywhere near a toon top but booing them isn’t the answer imo.

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  4. Groucho, I been calling for Woody for a few games now, I really don’t see how it can hurt. He’s no shrinking violet and could just be a masterstroke by Rafa if he gives the lad a chance.

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  5. I think throwing Woodman in at his age with zero experience of an elite league at a time when the squad is shot of confidence could destroy his career. If we were comfy in mid table and conceding 1 or 2 was not the end of the world then fine, give him exposure every now and then – but right now every mistake would be magnified and he would be a gibbering wreck by the end of it. The u-17 world cup is a far cry from the EPL.

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  6. kimtoon:
    I think it is counterproductive to boo your own players, how or why would they give a **** after that.
    Have a **** and moan by all means but booing is a no no for me liked.

    We didn’t look that bad first half tbf but second half was poor, they looked to have accepted defeat already. There are players in that side that should not be anywhere near a toon top but booing them isn’t the answer imo.

    Kim – I agree during their time on the pitch, but he was getting subbed. The fans have a right to show there displeasure both to the player and the manager for keep picking him when he’s not good enough. Look I think we genuinely do have the loyalist supports – we prove that every away game and relegation season – so I won’t criticise any of our fans for a simple boo.

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  7. Groucho: Sharpy. Diame and Pérez keep failing game after game.Swappping one for the other match after match is not the answer .They keep on failing .Time to be brave if not reckless and try Saivet or someone from the reserves.I think we should give Woodman a turn in goal.He has played on a big stage but not the Premiership.Darlow is a bundle of nerves. Murphy I prefer to Atsu who runs into blind allleys too much and fails to release the ball.Manquillo had a reasonable game last night. We were better than Everton but in the end it is points that count.

    Groucho – especially when these players are ****e and MItro isn’t getting a sniff. He doesn’t like the lad, but I tell you what, if he gets you 3 points, needs must in our position. I thought Gayle and Joselu did ok against Leicester – not great but ok. Worthy of another game together at least. But we defo need better.

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  8. I am quite amazed that some on this blog criticise the performance of some players but never criticise Rafa who repeatedly puts them on the pitch.
    There was a lot of criticism for Pardew on this blog . His biggest mistake was his obsession for playing Shola. In his three full seasons with us Pardew played Shola in 76 premier league games and Shola repaid this stubborn faith with 5 goals in those 76 games.
    We now have another stubborn manager in Rafa , resulting in a dreadful run of defeats.
    If we do fail to survive this season I have no doubt that most on this blog will claim it was not the fault of Rafa and look to blame anything and anyone else.

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  9. For the record Sidekick – I think and have said several times – I am not impressed with Rafa’s signings or his persistence in playing Joselu over Mitro.

    I think he spent money for the sake of it on sub standard players that result in a huge drain on our resources whilst offering very little. Should have held onto the money and played Roberts and Sterry instead.

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  10. Sidekick – I have sympathy with your view. Far too many of his budget buys have turned out to be dogs. The list is long. In the last 3 games we’ve been outplayed in midfield by a Kante, Gueye type. Surely Rafa could have found an energetic tacking DM from somewhere. Our players get caught on the ball all the time all over the pitch to the point of embarrassment. Diame, Joselu and now it turns out Lejeune are crap. To leave out Mitro, Mbemba and Clark is just too weird for me.

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  11. shamrock:
    For the record Sidekick – I think and have said several times – I am not impressed with Rafa’s signings or his persistence in playing Joselu over Mitro.

    I think he spent money for the sake of it on sub standard players that result in a huge drain on our resources whilst offering very little.Should have held onto the money and played Roberts and Sterry instead.

    Sidekick – yeah, I’ve questioned his team selection, subs and tactics plenty enough mate – but I know your comment wasn’t directed at me or Sham specifically.

    Look I think Rafas CV speaks for itself. I think he’s been hamstrung by the lack of investment and having to build on an already weak squad. But I think (like in everything) you have to get the best out of what you have – if Mitrovic is going to get more goals than Joselu (and his record thus far suggests he would) then you play him – whether you like him or not. At least til you can replace him.
    If you have a young inexperienced squad – make them run harder and further than the opposition. They lack the experience and ability to play that more disciplined game of sitting in and break us down that seems to be Rafas blueprint.

    I have the upmost respect for Rafa, both as a manager and a person. He conducts himself brilliantly and I love the fact he came & stayed at Newcastle. But when god gives you lemons make lemonade.

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  12. I don’t expect to win the league – of course I don’t, but I will use the Leicester side as an example.

    Before they went on that incredible run and became champions, how many top class players did they have? – nobody wanted the players in their squad, and actually, since winning the league, not many have left! – Kante and Drinkwater, can think of anyone else.
    So talent wise, top quality players weren’t there – they arguably became that during that time.

    But I think a big part of their success was that it was the same 11 week in week out (injuries & suspensions permitting). The players formed partnership, understanding and a solidity among them.
    The defenders knew their positions and knew they could depend on each other. They knew Kante would sit in and protect them. Drinkwater knew if he made the pass, Vardy or his wingers would make the runs – they all knew what their role was, and it wasn’t overly complicated – but massively effective.

    I would far rather Rafa picked his preferred 11 and go with it, rather than all these changes with the forwards in particular. I know he may not have the players he wants and long term, that 11 and the formation they are in may well change. But I don’t think all these changes with a young squad helps personally.

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  13. shamrock:
    I think throwing Woodman in at his age with zero experience of an elite league at a time when the squad is shot of confidence could destroy his career. If we were comfy in mid table and conceding 1 or 2 was not the end of the world then fine, give him exposure every now and then – but right now every mistake would be magnified and he would be a gibbering wreck by the
    end of it. The u-17 world cup is a far cry from the EPL.

    Sham all your points are perfectly valid but it is a risk that I believe we have to take. He could become increasingly frustrated by not getting a chance at Newcastle and want away. What good would that do us? I agree that u17 World Cup is not the Premier League but it is a test of nerve and shows he is rated as one of the top English goal keepers. Kilmarnock rated him highly and Rafa must do also as he has not sent him on loan and he was number two to Elliot at one stage. I also think the arrogance and confidence of youth is a good thing . Confidence wanes with age. Going on the last two games Darlow is not the answer and the point dropped last night mighty be just sufficient to relegate us. Of course Woodman may not be up to it but until we try him how do we know?

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  14. Sharpy, you are entitled to your opinion mate but for me we should never be booing players. It’s not his fault he’s not good enough and will certainly not help his confidence. Imagine if your son was booed off the pitch for a moment, it’s not nice and must hurt no matter what you are paid.

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  15. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, you are entitled to your opinion mate but for me we should never be booing players. It’s not his fault he’s not good enough and will certainly not help his confidence. Imagine if your son was booed off the pitch for a moment, it’s not nice and must hurt no matter what you are paid.

    Kim – I know where you’re coming from, I really do and until recent seasons I’d probably agree. But I’m sick of the extra grace footballers get because it might upset them or knock their confidence. They are competitive sportsmen, playing at an elite level – they should be mentally tough enough to deal with a few boos – and be more bothered about improving than feeling sorry for themselves.
    My son is 8, but if he was 28 earning £50k a week I’d be saying suck it up son, the fans are right – you know you can do better, now dry your eyes and let’s go for a pint ??‍♂️.

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  16. Depends if it is a lack of ability, or lack of application and effort. I it is the latter then they deserve the boos.

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  17. Every other team upgraded and we basically added depth. Mainly because we were not prepared to pay the NEW going rate. Rafa did make mistakes though. Joselu, the 4th choice at Stoke should never have been bought. Not sure if you can really assess Lejuene yet as some players take time to adapt.

    read an article in football365 and they did what I had suggested earlier in the week and compared the Everton and NUFC matchday squads. Their conclusion was that it was 12 to 6 in favour of Everton and that was probably generous. It seems we still did OK but then as the game progressed the belief there was drained away. That will happen with 6 defeats in 7.

    As for Darlow. he has always seemed nervous.

    Glad to see Ugly John putting his oar in on NUFC again.

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  18. I still think Rafa will get it done but just wish he wasn’t so stubborn. Sometimes the fans are correct and I think they are on Mitro and Diame even though we don’t see them in training every day. That’s the excuse many use to explain Rafa’s decision.

    Remember that show Weakest Link? One of the lifelines was to ask the audience and they were correct 80% + amount of the time. Sometimes there is wisdom in crowds and I think in this case there is.

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  19. I can only think he doesn’t trust Mitro, else it makes little sense. Reckon Jon jo will be all out of second chances now though, pity, he can be good when he applies himself but he is so immature and lets stuff get to him . Mitro is different, he’s just a nutter .

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  20. kimtoon:
    I can only think he doesn’t trust Mitro, else it makes little sense. Reckon Jon jo will be all out of second chances now though, pity, he can be good when he applies himself but he is so immature and lets stuff get to him . Mitro is different, he’s just a nutter .

    Kim – he needs to commit one way or the other with Mitro imo. If he doesn’t trust him, leave him out. He’s done it with the likes of Colback. But the issue for me is this putting him on the bench, bringing him on when the game is lost, or there are minutes left – what’s the point?!.

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  21. Takeover on verge of breakdown Amanda want clause in contract if we go down she wants some money back,jabba is not having it,will only complete if she takes it out,he won’t,stalemate Ime afraid

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  22. Icedog:
    Takeover on verge of breakdown Amanda want clause in contract if we go down she wants some money back,jabba is not having it,will only complete if she takes it out,he won’t,stalemate Ime afraid

    I totally agree with Amanda to put in the clause in contract. Otherwise Ashley won’t care! He may delay the funds to Rafa on purpose, just to make things harder. Just to make sure he behaves for the best interest of the club for the last month he is in the position Amanda should put it in the contract.

    if he does not accept it, I will laugh at him because he will be the person who suffer from it the most. Actually I want to see him to pay for his stupidity and irresponsibility. Ashley go ahead, not accept it.

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  23. Thing I cannot get my head around is without knowing how much Amanda wants back in case of us going down, she will pay 300 mil,but if we go down the club will be only be worth less than half of that

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  24. Icedog:
    Thing I cannot get my head around is without knowing how much Amanda wants back in case of us going down, she will pay 300 mil,but if we go down the club will be only be worth less than half of that

    Right, if we go down she probably ask Ashley to pay her back at least half of that amount.

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  25. Well I came up with my own worrying theory off the back of last night – Rafa walks.
    All this uncertainty of the takeover and not knowing his January budget – which must mean he hasn’t yet got a shortlist of targets (how could you if you don’t know what you’ve got to spend?). That means it’s highly unlikely any early arrivals – and having had his fingers burned last Jan with no additions. It really wouldn’t surprise me.
    We currently have the joint worst record in Europe over the last 5 games – with Arsenal next and no sign of our fortunes changing.

    With Mandy wavering, and no definitive budget for Jan (plus the prospect of possibly sticking with Ashley) – I’m not confident Rafa is fully focused on the task in hand.

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  26. A lot of top clubs talking about having to rest players because of the amount of games they are playing ( lazy swines imo) there little Burnley who have the smallest squad manager cannot rotate players where are they 4th something to learn there

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  27. SHARPY I think Rafa does work on the football 100%,I also think he will go even more defensive,takeover doesn’t seem to be happening Rafa said there could be good news after Everton game afterwards he seemed very down so it would seem he knows the bad news also PL has not been informed there is going to be a change of owner

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  28. Icedog:
    A lot of top clubs talking about having to rest players because of the amount of games they are playing ( lazy swines imo) there little Burnley who have the smallest squad manager cannot rotate players where are they 4thsomething to learn there

    Amen Ice, couldn’t agree more mate.

    Sadly I don’t think our rotation is down to resting players. I think it’s Rafa looking for the answer.

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  29. Icedog:
    SHARPY I think Rafa does work on the football 100%,I also think he will go even more defensive,takeover doesn’t seem to be happening Rafa said there could be good news after Everton game afterwards he seemed very down so it would seem he knows the bad news also PL has not been informed there is going to be a change of owner

    Ice – on the training ground I think it’s all about the football. But between times, I think he’s got to be weighing up his own situation – why wouldn’t he with so much uncertainty and so little backing in the last 2 windows.

    WH will be looking for a permanent manager in the summer.
    3hrs 23mins from Lpool to Newcastle. 3hrs 41mins from Lpool to East London.

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  30. kept seeing the number 17 today ! very odd, an omen perhaps?

    I’m going for an announcement on the 17th, and yes I know it’s a sunday.

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  31. Ice, must be a female thing then . I can’t wear watches they gain time and I get electric shocks off lift buttons and stuff flies out my hands all the time. It seriously gets on my wick.

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  32. kimtoon:
    kept seeing the number 17 today ! very odd, an omen perhaps?

    I’m going for an announcement on the 17th, and yes I know it’s a sunday.

    Kim – 17 is my lucky number, so hope it’s lucky for you too ???

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  33. Just another costly error made by sub standard players.

    I see people complaining about Diame. Yes he’s **** but who will replace him and do better? That’s the main problem here. We have no quality!!!!

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  34. kimtoon:
    Ice, must be a female thing then . I can’t wear watches they gain time and I get electric shocks off lift buttons and stuff flies out my hands all the time. It seriously gets on my wick.

    its unreal my mrs is the same she cannot even switch a light swtch otherwise she blows the hole house,mind she never wears a watch and isnt going to start lol

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  35. Aussie:
    Stuart what stand are you in at the cricket? Inverarity or Prindaville?

    Was in both for the first two days. Although it’s getting a bit tedious now… 😳

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