10 observations from our 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace after watching the game again

I didn’t have many fingernails left at the full-time whistle on Sunday, but was quite relieved to see us come away with a point in a game we could have very easily lost on another day.

After seeing it live and watching it back since then (yes I’m sad aren’t I), I thought I’d share 10 thoughts and observations from what I made of it all after being keen enough to watch it twice:

1. What’s happened to Matt Ritchie’s delivery?

I couldn’t be overly critical of him from this one as his energy and persistence helped us out defensively against Zaha/Van Aanholt, but I watched so many of his crosses hit the first man or go sailing over. He lacks pace so we rely on him to deliver technically – and this is something he did with ease on a regular basis last season. Hopefully this improves given how key it will be to feeding Slimani.

2. Diame’s like a new player

A few months ago he was struggling to get around the pitch, make 5 yard passes or even control the ball. Now he’s pinging it about like an on-song Shelvey, tackling like a in-form Tiote and seems to be everywhere in the middle of the park. A deserved goal, but in the bigger picture it’s great to see him using his power, playing with confidence and getting around the pitch much better. He looks fitter, stronger and sharper in everything he does at the minute. Long may it last!



3. Darlow worries me

He did make some crucial saves, so his overall contribution was largely positive, but his hesitancy on crosses, his lack of communication (noticed this twice with Lascelles and Dummett taking charge after he failed to shout) and his woeful kicking is a worry going forward. One minute he’s the MOTM (Stoke away), but the next he’s capable of costing us (Everton home) and that concerns me when the slightest error could be so so costly at this stage.

4. Dummett’s return a blessing

I got bashed by a few anti-Dummett fans when saying this on Twitter, but the lad is our best left-back for me and a solid defender. He’s put in several strong displays since returning and despite his limitations going forward, we’re better defensively when he’s around. He kept Townsend quiet and covered well for the CB’s superbly on occasion.

5. Shelvey – ran it first half, disappeared in the second

When I watched the game back I noticed how often he was picking it up for us and instigating attacks. This was all when we had possession and a foothold in the game, but when the tables turned in the second half I saw so little from him. He became wasteful, was slow to get back and didn’t do enough to protect the back 4. Is this to do with fitness or is he simply just one of those players whose so much better with the ball then without? I’d guess the latter.

6. Kenedy looks a class act

I expected him to be raw, naive and quite frustrating but he’s been anything but so far. He looked a cut above the rest at times and gives us something different down the left – with Dummett’s reliable defensive work giving him some freedom to do damage. Could and should have scored and wasted a big chance in the 2nd to put Perez in, but I’m very pleased with him so far.

7. Where’s Jacob Murphy? He deserves minutes over Atsu on current form

Atsu did little when he came on and was poor all night against Burnley, yet we have Jacob Murphy (a player nominated for January POTM) sitting on the bench. Rafa will be watching them in training and will know their fitness levels and frame of mind, but I’m disappointed that he’s barely been used in the last two games. After some positive performances and a goal and an assist in away games at City and Stoke, I had hoped Rafa would give him a run of games.

8. Gayle and Perez didn’t offer nearly enough

In their defence, there was too many hopeful long balls put up to them at times in the second half, but their touch was often off, they were too easily dispossessed and they were giving the Palace CB’s an easy time of it. Gayle barely got a kick, whilst Perez was so wasteful and soft in the second half despite two decent efforts on goal and a superb through ball to Kenedy in the first half.

 

9. Yedlin just about survived the Zaha onslaught

Wilfried Zaha is one of the best players outside the top 6 and is a player few full-backs can handle on his day, however I thought DeAndre Yedlin coped quite well in the circumstances. I’ve been critical of his ability to actually defend of late, however he competed well with him and wasn’t being beaten at ease like so many are when he squares you up down that left wing.

10. That’s a game we would’ve lost in previous relegation seasons

And finally, although the second half was hard to watch, the commitment and fight in the team was there to see – and that’s a big plus moving forward. Defenders throwing their bodies on the line on countless occasions to block goal bound shots and preserve our point. It’ll take more than effort to stay up this season, but this sort of attitude and spirit is something we’ve not always had in previous relegation scraps.

Got anything you want to get off your chest from Sunday’s game? Share your views in the comments below!

 

(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.

136 thoughts on “10 observations from our 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace after watching the game again

  1. funny I always look at our last 10 games at start of every season to see what we are up against should we look like being in a dog fight.
    Must confess I looked at that 10 with a heavy heart.
    Need a big dose of lady luck and a bang in form Slimani and brave hearts.

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  2. kimtoon:
    funny I always look at our last 10 games at start of every season to see what we are up against should we look like being in a dog fight.
    Must confess I looked at that 10 with a heavy heart.
    Need a big dose of lady luck and a bang in form Slimani and brave hearts.

    Imo mate we have to hope there three worse teams than us

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  3. Icedog: Imo mate we have to hope there three worse teams than us

    I think that’s spot on Ice. With Palace losing Zaha for up to 8 games and the Hammers beset by injuries we really need to take advantage. The baggies have injuries too and Swans. Hudders are in poor form as well so we really need to make the most of that given we are at relative full strength.

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  4. Anyone watching the winter Olympics ? really looking forward to it, prefer it to summer really .
    I only really watch swimming and diving in the summer Olympics, where as I watch loads of the winter one, especially the skating and snow boarding events, Bob sleigh too.

    Ice, just realised it was 4 years ago I had that blood disorder when I ended up in hospital, I remember watching the winter Olympics from my hospital bed, how fast does time fly mate.

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  5. In 2003, Newcastle had a higher revenue than Barcelona. In 2017, we had a lower revenue than Bournemouth.
    From 2007 to 2016, Newcastle’s match day income dropped by 26%. Over the same period, Arsenal’s increased by 10%, Spurs by 32%, West Ham by 59% and Liverpool’s by 62%.
    In 2007, NUFC had the 13th highest income in the world. In 2017, we didn’t feature in the top 30.
    From 1892 to 2007, NUFC were relegated 4 times. In the 10 years since, we’ve been relegated twice and escaped a further two relegations on the last day of the season.
    Newcastle’s gross debt in 2007 was £76.6m. In 2017, it was £144m.
    From 2007 to 2016, Newcastle’s commercial income dropped by 9%. Over the same period, Spurs increased by 81%, Liverpool by 177%, Arsenal by 181% and West Ham’s by 233%.
    In the 5 seasons prior to Ashley taking over, NUFC averaged 8th place in the Premier League. In the ten seasons since, they’ve averaged 15th place.
    In 2007, only 30% of NUFC’s revenue was generated by broadcasting income. In 2016, NUFC were reliant on broadcasting for 59% of their revenue.
    In the 5 seasons prior to Ashley taking over, NUFC averaged a net spend of £9.5m per season on transfers. Since then, we’ve averaged £3.4m whilst receiving over £0.5b in TV income.
    The average net spend on transfers by other club owners – Lerner : Aston Villa (£17m), Abramovich : Chelsea (£55m), Henry : Liverpool (£19m), Hicks /Gillett : Liverpool (£8m), Glazer : Man Utd (£45m), Abu Dhabi : Man City (£87m)
    In the 5 seasons prior to Ashley taking over, NUFC qualified twice for the Champions League and twice for the UEFA cup. In the ten years since then, we’ve qualified only once for the Europa League.
    Sports Direct’s share price has increased by 33% since 2007. They have not paid a penny in stadium advertising to NUFC over that time.
    Since 2007, every Premier League club have broken their transfer record. Except Newcastle United.
    In 2007, Newcastle had the third biggest stadium in England. It’s now the 7th biggest

    This was posted on Ed’s blog the other day, food for thought.

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  6. Ice, just realised it was 4 years ago I had that blood disorder when I ended up in hospital, I remember watching the winter Olympics from my hospital bed, how fast does time fly mate.

    god was it four years 🙄 🙄 seems unreal,hope you had no more problems since,aye i threating to come down to get you well lol

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  7. Ice, all clear touch wood mate, just yearly blood tests now, platelets behaving lol.
    Not too well today have caught lew’s lurgee and full of it, he’s home all this week ill, was off for 13 days, went back for 3 and off again all this week. Everyone is so ill, it’s rife round here at the moment.
    Anyway a Toon win and some winter Olympics should cheer me up.

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  8. Man Utd come be a huge game.

    If you look at how Swansea have changed their fate – a win against Arsenal & Liverpool – points they were never expected to get – that’s a confidence booster for every game there after.

    If we can start picking up unexpected points then it could be huge.

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  9. shamrock:
    We dont really pull off results against the big teams. Reckon it will be very close this season.

    Sham – you’re right there mate, but looking at the fixtures left over something will have to change if our fate is to be in our hands.
    If we don’t start picking up some points from the bigger teams then we are going to depend heavily on others form being worse than ours.

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  10. Didn’t we pick up more points against Chelsea than any other Prem team for a few years? City have always battered us but we have taken points off manure in recent years, reckon they’ll smash us tomorrow though like.

    Kim – depressing stats there, unless Islam steps up we’re done for I think, Gayle can’t cut it at this level and I don’t see our new keeper making a huge difference either.

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  11. Gayle did OK as an impact sub for Palace in the PL. I think that will be his role now unless Perez continues to stink.

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  12. Don’t think Slim will play on Sunday he didn’t train today due to injury thigh still not right,that’s us stuffed then

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  13. Relegarion odds from Bet365:

    Huddersfield – 8/15

    WBA – 4/7

    Swansea – 5/4

    Stoke – 11/8

    Newcastle – 2-1

    Brighton – 3-1

    West Ham – 6-1

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  14. Slimani won’t start. He’s been training but only in the gym. Joselu again is unbearable against a half decent team.

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  15. Hope this isn’t a long term injury for Slimani, he can’t face Leicester so that leaves 10 games not including Manure.

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  16. We should at least be utilising mitro at this stage, I don’t care how crazy he is. 20 mins at the end of the match when we’re losing, it can hardly get worse can it? How many games have we turned around when we’ve been losing in the last half an hour?

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  17. Newkie:
    We should at least be utilising mitro at this stage, I don’t care how crazy he is. 20 mins at the end of the match when we’re losing, it can hardly get worse can it? How many games have we turned around when we’ve been losing in the last half an hour?

    Well, he’s no longer an option this season so we have to hope a few others chip in with goals if our forwards have lost their touch.

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  18. So, Slimani probably won’t start but will probably be on the bench. That means Joselu. He is not a bad player and I hope the crowd don’t give him stick. The problem is that he is a non-scoring striker, he would be OK if we had a Liverpool Michael Owen and he was our Emile Heskey – but we don’t 🙂

    Now the question is if we get a penalty who takes it? Hopefully they are like buses and after not getting one for like 100 games we might get a few now. I think it will be Ritchie, if he is on the pitch. You really wouldn’t want one of the loan players to take it. Shelvey is the best striker of the ball so he should really step up.

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  19. I know I am dwelling but in the Burnley game Shelvey and Ritchie were on the bench so that probably left Perez, Merino and Joselu to take the penalty. They had probably never thought about who would take it SINCE WE NEVER GET PENALTIES. Nah, Rafa is thorough so he would have decided before hand.

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  20. Eric
    If you want to have a bet on the teams relegated , Southampton might give you a good run for your money at odds of 7/1.
    They only have 5 home games left which include Liverpool , Chelsea and Man City.
    I’m tempted to have a flutter.

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  21. sidekick:
    Eric
    If you want to have a bet on the teams relegated , Southampton might give you a good run for your money at odds of 7/1.
    They only have 5 home games left which include Liverpool , Chelsea and Man City.
    I’m tempted to have a flutter.

    West Ham have a terrible run in as well. I am getting a bit worried for us though.

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  22. I didn’t want to bring up the R word but when I looked at the fixtures it was as plain a the nose on Phil Thomson’s face that we were in trouble and would need results to go our way as well as get a few unexpected points ourselves. The good news is that a lot of the relegation “rivals” play each other or the top teams.

    It will come down to the last 2 games I fear.

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  23. Happy Clapper, Doom and Gloomer, Realist? I don’t know. I think you have to look at it from all angles. A result against Man U and relative calm for the 2 weeks when we don’t play. A loss and negativity will engulf the Toon.

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  24. kimtoon:
    Eric , if it’s down to the last two we are done, Watford and Chelsea are both likely to beat us

    Kimtoon: We have Arrogant Alan and Ugly John 3rd last. That will be a spectacle and a half. Imagine the emotions if both teams have a chance at relegation or staying up, which seems highly likely. We are at home as well. Pards and Carver on the touchline! FFS that will be drama.

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  25. Was looking at The Chronic NUFC pages but below there are other news stories. Newcastle Crown Court have had a couple of particularly nasty people up for judgement in the past few days and the Chronic show their mugshots. I had to do a double take as both looked like John Carver. If you did a computer composite I swear it would look exactly like the pickled walnut with hair.

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  26. Man Utd are going to batter us.
    Only reason I think Lascelles said that is to rile up thr crowd and get am atmosphere going. We will neeed to start full blooded though to make that happen. If that happens, we may have a chance of geting a point – very slim chance…

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  27. Very slim indeed but it wouldn’t be the first time. I do fear for our defence though against that lot. Sanchez has never scored against us yet. Mourinho has never won at SJP.

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  28. georgio:
    Very slim indeed but it wouldn’t be the first time. I do fear for our defence though against that lot. Sanchez has never scored against us yet. Mourinho has never won at SJP.

    yep, lets hope that doesn’t change tomorrow

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  29. Good to see the scum losing yet again. Hoping that the toffees can win today to keep Palace in sight.

    I hate having to wish on other teams results to ensure we can stay up.

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  30. Dubai Toon:
    Good to see the scum losing yet again. Hoping that the toffees can win today to keep Palace in sight.

    I hate having to wish on other teams results to ensure we can stay up.

    Agree mate, Everton winning at the moment

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  31. Bottom 3 by tomorrow. Bad results for us today. Swansea… 😱😱😳😳😳. How the hell are keep winning now? I think we are in big trouble now. ☹️

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