Newcastle’s opening pre-season fixture of the summer has ended with a humiliating defeat, as Wolves ran out convincing 4-0 winners in China today.
We began fairly confidently, knocking the ball about quite well in the first few minutes, however we never looked remotely secure at the back – and that was punished by Jota just 14 minutes in.
As shown below, we gave Jonny too much space down the left before Jota’s low shot crept in beyond Karl Darlow – an effort he should have done better with:
After the goal we struggled to keep hold of the ball, with the pace of the game being noticeably slow at times – something which is to be expected in the humid conditions, coupled with the fact this was our opening game of pre-season on the back of a utterly shambolic summer so far.
It then got worse, with Gibbs-White firing home to make it 2-0 after both Ciaran Clark and Achraf Lazaar failed to clear their lines at the back:
The humiliation then continued before the break, with Jota scoring his second to make it 3-0 after Isaac Hayden was carelessly dispossessed in the box:
Finally, NUFC youngster Thomas Allan put the ball in his own net from a Wolves corner to round off the scoring, seeing the game end 4-0:
On the plus side, Elias Sorensen showed some promise during his second half cameo, however it was noticeable just how all at sea we looked defensively.
Have you ever seen a Newcastle United back line look this messy during Rafa Benitez’s time at the club?
We weren’t at it physically or mentally, but I am not surprised to see this in the slightest given the shambolic summer we’ve been forced to endure. Sadly, I expected nothing less when a dishevelled and disorganised squad faces an ambitious and prepared Wolves side who finished 7th last season.
For me, this was the highlight – Newcastle United’s local Chinese fan base make their feelings quite clear about Mike Ashley inside the Nanjing Olympic Stadium:
NUFC XI: Darlow – Sterry, Lascelles, Clark, Lazaar – Hayden, Shelvey, Colback – Ritchie, Muto, Murphy.
SUBS: Harker, Woodman, Dummett, Manquillo, Bailey, Fernández, Schär, Watts, Ki, M. Longstaff, S. Longstaff, Aarons, Allan, Sørensen.