If Steve Bruce wants respect from us Newcastle fans, then he needs to start overseeing MUCH better performances than that, with us throwing away two points against a Wolves side well below their best.
With the exception of maybe a 25 minute period in the first half, Wolves were in control. Just like Brighton, we barely got a kick at home and gave the home crowd little to get exited about, yet somehow managed to come away with a point.
It was an all to familiar start to the game today. We were supposed to be the team with the fitness advantage because we didn’t play on Thursday, but Wolves had more energy, more possession and certainly more of a clue.
Lascelles, Clark and Fernandez are all more than competent defenders, but our lack of ability to play out from the back was evident. We were so deep and couldn’t get any kind of foothold. Yet as the half went on we gained momentum, upped the tempo and suddenly were on top.
Bruce talked about wasted opportunities at Chelsea and it was more of the same here, so many times we had players in the right position and the final ball was awful, with Almiron’s execution and Saint Maximin’s decision making both poor. However we undoubtedly got better as the half went on, Matty and Sean started to take control of the middle despite being numerically outnumbered and on 37 minutes, the skipper got on the end of a brilliant cross from Fernandez to score a bullet header and send us in 1-0 up at half time.
The second half started pretty much the same as the first, with Wolves dictating the game and us struggling to string two passes together. Sadly this time it stayed like that.
We were very lucky to not concede twice to Jota, who headed over unmarked from 8 yards, then shot straight at Dubravka after a brilliant run. In between that Saint Maximin picked up the ball in his own half, glided through the entire Wolves midfield, advanced into the area, then simply ran the ball out of play. Then it came.
After a cross from the right, Dubravka needlessly palmed the ball down into the path of Jonny who equalized. It was an avoidable goal to concede, but it had been coming.
We managed to push back a little and get back into the game but the momentum was lost on 82 minutes when Sean Longstaff was sent off for a tackle on Neves which was reckless but not malicious, but now we have to cope without him for 3 games. We limped over the line and it ended all square, with Doherty missing a golden chance in stoppage time.
Really hard to find positives from this to be honest. He’s our biggest threat and clearly very talented, but Saint Maximin needs to learn how to release the ball earlier, while Almiron and Joelinton just look lost, with the latter being so isolated yet again. Both are victims of a lack of service, tactical plan, and being played out of postion.
We head to West Ham with a due sense of exhaustion and dread.