Newcastle 0-0 Fulham: Toothless Toon miss huge chance ahead of tough fixtures

For anyone who felt a bit of a ‘Scrooge’ heading into St James’ Park, today’s result and performance did absolutely nothing to get you in the Christmas spirit – with us serving up a 0-0 and one of the worst games you’ll see this season.

A stat that perhaps says it all is the fact we failed to muster a single shot on target against the league’s bottom side – a team that have the worst defensive record in Europe after conceding 42 goals in 17 games before today.

As we know, our home form going into this one was awful (the worst in England’s top four tiers after 7 defeats in 9), but we showed absolutely nothing against a Fulham side there for the taking. We now play 5 of the divisions ‘big six’ in our next 7 games – starting with a trip to league leaders Liverpool on Boxing Day – this was a huge chance to break further away from the bottom three.

It’s a big chance missed, but on the subject of chances, I can’t think of one clear cut one we created today – and that is pretty damning when up against a side who’ve shipped goals for fun all season, with this being their first clean sheet of the season.

It was a toothless performance and a perfect advert to show just how badly we need some attacking reinforcements in January, but there were some big mistakes made today and issues all over the pitch.



Lascelles and Schar looked shaky throughout, our midfield couldn’t get anything going and Rondon was absolutely starved of service or numbers around him – with even the ultra reliable Dubravka almost gifting them a huge chance as he overplayed at the back.

I feel Rafa got it wrong at times today as well if I’m being honest. We were set up with five at the back on occasion – which is baffling when up against a bottom of the league side there for the taking – and I’d also question certain subs, or the lack of them. It was clear for a while that nothing was working for Atsu and that Manquillo was out on his feet. It’s easy to say in hindsight, especially when we’re not exactly blessed with bundles of quality on our bench, but I’d question why Rafa’s £10m man Muto didn’t come on – especially when we were crying out for pace and energy during an off day for Perez.

Here’s how the table now looks after today’s results:

Burnley lost 3-1 at Arsenal, Cardiff are behind at home to Man Utd as we speak and Huddersfield lost another six-pointer up against Southampton, so results didn’t go badly in terms of the bottom three, but the fact we failed to take advantage of that just adds to the frustration.

Now the tough run begins – with us set to play 5 games against the ‘big six’ in our next 7 games:

  • Liverpool (A)
  • Watford (A)
  • Man Utd (H)
  • Chelsea (A)
  • Cardiff (H)
  • Man City (A)
  • Tottenham (A)

We’re five points above the drop zone as it stands, but we’ll do very well to maintain that gap over the coming weeks if we don’t up our game against this lot.

HWTL! 

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & 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.

36 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-0 Fulham: Toothless Toon miss huge chance ahead of tough fixtures

  1. Well that was truly awful today. I have no idea why we find it so difficult to perform at SJP – it should be a fortress for us!!.

    I would say it was a point gained after the game, but really that was a fixture where we should be looking at 3pts – and by not getting 3pts from games like this one, means we can be certain of a relegation battle again this season.

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  2. Olly Hawkins:
    Merry Christmas folks!

    I sincerely hope yours is better than today’s game..

    Have a good one guys.

    Aye all the best Olly, hope Santa is better to you than Ashley is to Rafa 😉🎅🏻

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  3. Merry Christmas Olly and all who regularly post on the site. Hope you all have an amazing Christmas break, and don’t get too down when we get stuffed by the Pool … we may just be surprised… we tend to have good games vs Liverpool, although we also tend to get beaten.. hey ho..

    We are staying in Dubai this year, just me and the wife. Going to have a brunch and stay over on the QE2 which is permanently moored here now. Wherever you are, make it special.

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  4. That was absolutely dire. No one played well not even Dubravka. There were some truly terrible performances. It’s no good blaming Rafa when 10 players can’t manage one shot on target in 95 minutes. Having said that it looked a definite penalty to me when Kenedy was hauled down. That’s the third stonewall this season that could have yielded an extra 7-8 points. Never mind we can win at Liverpool now.

    Merry Christmas to all!

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  5. Merry Christmas all, may it be peaceful and relaxing. Forget about takeovers and signings for a bit cause you can bet fat Ash will .

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  6. Thought Manquillo had another good game yesterday, he’s making some nice passes, pity we can’t do much with them.
    Lascelles made a fine late block but his overall game has dropped a level in last few games he’s played. Could well of been sent off last weekend and conceded a pen this week. Our defence just played it sideways and backwards yesterday, Schar the only one capable of passing forward to start an attack and even he had a shocker by his recent good standard. The whole team was really poor yesterday in truth. It’s hard to score when a team put everyone back when you attack and even harder if you as a team don’t score much anyway.

    Kenedy was poor again, is his toe still hurting ? or is it a case of he’s not our player and it shows ?
    Thought Ki was our motm, shame he’s away.

    Liverpool will kill us if we play that poorly again, hopefully our better away form will be enough to snatch an unlikely point though in reality I know I’m dreaming.

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  7. Merry Xmas one and all.

    Regarding yesterday, I think it’s as clear as crystal that we don’t have the players who are talented enough to break down teams at home.

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  8. I’m watching the Villa v Leeds game and Abraham has been excellent this first half. He has scored and his workrate has been very good – I can see why Rafa likes him. He has scored something like 9 in his last 6-7 games – so he is clearly a very good Championship forward at this stage of his career.

    Who knows if he can develop into a top PL forward, but my thoughts just now are that he certainly has the potential at the right club and with the right manager overseeing that development – and he’s certainly an upgrade on Joselu imo.

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  9. Villa are garbage!! We won’t be seeing them back in the PL anytime soon imo.
    But that could be a good thing in terms of Abraham staying there or moving on.

    I still don’t really know how good he is, but Rafa has always seemed keen and I can see why in terms of his style of play. I want Rafa to get the players he wants, so hopefully there’s a chance with Abraham.

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  10. Hope all current and past posters on this site has a great Christmas.
    I know the numbers have dwindled in the last few years, but in my opinion it’s still the best NUFC blog out there 👍🏻🎅🏻

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  11. Sharpy, nowadays I just come on every couple of days and binge read the articles and comments. It’s still a good source of NUFC stuff, but the debate and ethos seems to have disappeared.

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  12. Silva is a myth. He got relegated at Hull and took Watford on a horrendous run and got sacked. Everton have spent nearly £400m and they’re 11th. Imagine what Rafa could do with that…

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  13. Stuart79:
    Silva is a myth. He got relegated at Hull and took Watford on a horrendous run and got sacked. Everton have spent nearly £400m and they’re 11th. Imagine what Rafa could do with that…

    Well, we’ll never know with Ash lie sadly 🙁

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  14. All the best everyone. Something to think about…
    Santa lives in the North, he wears red and white
    He works only one day a year
    He rides around in an unlicensed vehicle
    His main job consists of breaking and entering people’s homes …
    The truth is out folks… He’s a Mackem!!

    So don’t expect to get those pressies you want and don’t expect a win against the Pool! 😂😂 Merry Christmas

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  15. Rafa imo has given up his statement will not help players shocked he has made a Moyes type statement thinking we cannot stay up 😯 😯

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  16. Rafa sounding the alarm bells again. Should we assume the club will be doing very little business again in January…?

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  17. Rafas comments worry me that he might now know there is no sale happening and little to no money in January.
    If we can improve our home form, there should be no need for miracles. Looking at the results so far this season, the stand out disappointments have been the draws with Cardiff and Fulham – those 2pts should have really been 6pts. Had they been, we would have been sat on 21pts at 13th and I think most would have been perfectly happy with that.
    It’s been fairly fine margins again this season – being overly defensive at time – certainly lacking a bit of quality with finishing – and against Wolves, probably not being defensive enough at the end to gain that point we worked hard for.

    I still see at least 3 clubs finishing below us this season – Fulham, Burnley and Huddersfield- maybe a few more, but we time will tell.

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  18. I need to amend that. I say overly defensive and that’s not right. What I mean is a lack of urgency in attack – that’s not the same as overly defensive. At times we do not move the ball forward quick enough – passing it sideways and back rather than looking forward. I think Ki has improved that since coming him, as well as Schar actually. I think he’s a ball playing CB who can see a pass and makes it.
    But I think Kenedy has been disappointing as has Perez to a slightly lesser extent – but both could and should be doing better.
    Too many games they have performed below par and it’s affected our offensive play.

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  19. We have a really tough run of games coming up. The 9-0-1 formation will probably be employed on boxing day.

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  20. I fear for us v Liverpool, it’ll be a mauling. They will not want to relinquish top spot now they are there and it was a tough game before that.
    We’ll have to hope we can nick something at Watford cause a revitalised Manure will beat us ,especially given we are at home and go into our shells at SJP.

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  21. Rafa could be doing a spot of reverse phycology on the players saying what he has in the hope it’ll fire them up. Maybe they were to ****y prior to playing Fulham, who knows.
    More likely is that he knows we are not being bought and has little if any funds for January.

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