Well that was an absolutely shocking game of football – and a deserved defeat meant it became the 13th straight year where we’ve failed to reach the last 16 of the FA Cup.
We were appalling, with a Watford reserve side beating us comfortably (a team who rested practically ALL of their star men after making 11 changes).
There was no energy, no drive, no creativity and no quality. It was a performance that reflects the depressed mood around St James’ Park right now.
Rafa’s future, the failed ‘takeover’ and the lack of signings are one thing, but the fact we are STILL yet to reach the 5th round of the FA Cup during Mike Ashley’s 12 year tenure just says it all. There’s no hope right now, and our performance showed it.
A 34,000 crowd turned up at St James’ Park today, yet our first shot on target came on the 67th minute – and that was a lob from right-back Javier Manquillo that was easily blocked by a Watford defender on the cover. The magic of the FA cup they say.
On the plus side, Murphy was better and had his moments, with Longstaff also putting in another tireless performance from midfield, but both Kenedy and Joselu were absolutely abysmal. Absolutely nothing came off for the former – with him losing the ball or trying something silly more times than he completed a simple pass – while the latter was his usual self. He (Joselu) only completed 50% of his attempted passes and failed to have a single shot.
One thing I did not understand was Rafa’s reluctance to bring on Rondon, with his third and final sub being to bring on Schar for Fernandez – who did not appear to be injured. Given how poor Joselu played we were crying out for Rondon’s introduction, although you could argue that we need to wrap the Venezuelan in cotton wool – with Joselu frighteningly the next striker in line if he was to get injured.
Next up is another home game on Tuesday with Man City coming to won. To say we need to be much better in that one is an understatement, otherwise we’ll be on the receiving end of an absolute hammering.
A day to forget for Newcastle United, although I don’t know how many times I’ve had to say that after a game at St James’ Park this season.
It was reported earlier this week that Rafa was at ‘breaking point’. After the events over the last 24 hours, I think the whole city is..