Newcastle 0-3 Leicester: Errors & injuries give NUFC nightmare start to 2020

Well, if anyone was trying to recover from a hangover today, or was planning on having a dry January, your task was surely made harder by the fact you’re a Newcastle United fan. What a horrible day.

It seemed ironic that we started the new decade against Leicester City. If you think back to the difference between the fortunes of the two club’s over the last 10 years it highlights Mike Ashley’s putrid tenure in all its horrific light. Leicester had just been promoted from League One ten years ago. Now they are everything we aren’t and want to be on and off the pitch.

Bruce sprung a surprise by giving Yoshinori Muto a game in the place of Andy Carroll, and the game started exactly how you would expect, with us on the back foot and unable to string 3 passes together against a vastly superior team. However who needs quality and superiority, when we’re in such a generous mood as we have been over the last two games.

There’s no getting around it, Florian Lejeune had an absolute mare in the first half but his two errors will probably switch the attention away from how bad we were. Of course it was Ayoze Pérez who scored, and Maddison’s strike was just brilliance from a brilliant player. Here’s both goals:

Joelinton also struggled badly, failing to convert a huge chance at 0-0 and seeing most balls bounce off him. I’ve tried to defend him but it was hard to today.

Half time ended with the added ridiculousness and disappointment of Sean Longstaff, Emil Krafth and DeAndre Yedlin replacing Jonjo Shelvey, Javier Manquillo and Jetro Willems, all due to injury.

Then on top of that, Fabian Schar pulled up 20 seconds into the second half meaning we had to play the none event of the second half with 10 men.

I’m not even going to bother summarising the game, there’s no point. I’m doing match ratings after this and I’m not putting myself through it twice – it was that bad!

The only other thing I have to report is Hamza Choudhury’s goal, which was brilliant. But again, it had to be him didn’t it. The man who has deprived us of Matt Ritchie with that disgusting tackle back in September.

We’re back down to earth with a bump, we’ve lost 3 games against 3 good teams and it’s important to remember that over the next few days.

I wrote an article on Christmas Eve praising Steve Bruce for the start to the season, and how he has done brilliantly to come in and stabilise the club after a toxic car crash of a summer. I stand by that 100%. I also said earlier in the season and also in that article that I have concerns long term, and that Bruce’s career shows a pattern of good starts and then nosedives. Sadly I also stand by that 100% and I have everything crossed in hoping I’m wrong.

We’re now entering a dangerous period and a difficult run of games, and Ashley needs to help his manager in January.

Bruce can’t be blamed for the individual mistakes that we’ve seen over the festive games, and while the injury situation is unlucky to a point, there is a worrying bigger picture. I haven’t mentioned Rafa in a while, but it sadly isn’t coincidence we had a good record with injuries with the meticulous nature of his back room team, compared to the problems we’re currently having with Bruce’s “tape em up and get them out there” approach. The fact Schar tried to run off a hamstring injury is just baffling.

Today was an absolute nightmare. We simply have to dust off and move on, just how we did after the last horror show against Leicester.

Credit to the players for not completely folding here like they did that day with 10 men. Many people probably expected a similar result.

An FA Cup exit at Rochdale is unthinkable, hopefully it doesn’t become a reality. Our start to 2020 can’t get any worse!

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102 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-3 Leicester: Errors & injuries give NUFC nightmare start to 2020

  1. Sharpy: Nickson was promoted from the U21s in 2017 when Carr left. I posted the link to the press release earlier. What had he done there to deserve it. We had not had an academy player come through since Dummett at that point. Now we have the Longstaffs but they were promoted after he became chief scout and sort of fell into any academy directors lap because they are from North Shields. And they haven’t even proved themselves yet.

    So Nickson makes the decisions and from what I can see he really didn’t have the CV to warrant it. That was fine with Rafa here but who knows how his own choices will pan out. As I also said earlier, I am sure he came cheap.


  2. And you know Rafa wanted rid of Carr and wanted complete control right. So they promote the cheap option who is no threat to Rafa’s authority. Now this cheap option is the one making the decisions and we spend 40 million on Joelinton. He could turn into a decent player but he has shown nothing so far to suggest he was worth that. He hadn’t even shown it in Germany so it is completely baffling that a notorious cheap-ass like Ashley would spend that sort of money on an unproven quantity.


  3. “Nothing has changed. We’ve lost players and signed players since the end of last season, but it’s pretty much a similar squad and so it’s going to be a similar story.”

    Words by Isaac Hayden. That to me gives a insight into the players minds. He’s clearly thinking “what’s the ****ing point” and why on earth would he sign a new contract?


  4. Another thing I’m pissed off about is the injury situation. Bruce is blaming Christmas period but it’s the same for every club and no other club have as many injuries and certainly not muscle injuries. Dummett, Clark and Saint all with muscle injuries were injured before the Christmas period. Manquillo, Yedlin and Shelvey all who are injured and blamed on fixtures all had a rest at some point over the reactive period. Why did Kraft not get one single start through the period? Why did Longstaff brothers only have one start in such a heavy Period? Why didn’t Gayle get a start? What about Atsu?

    The squad use and management if the players has been bang average.


  5. We seem to have acquired a conveniently large injury list right before our FA cup game meaning we have a ready made excuse to not try and to justify things when Rochdale kick our a.rse.

    Since we have all these injuries I would give players like Sorensen and Kelland Watts a chance. We need to see what they can do. They may need to step up sooner than later as we will not sign anyone significant this month.


  6. If Bruce is serious about playing a strong team against Rochdale we can maybe patch one together. I think it has to be 4-4-2 as we don’t have any centre backs and Lejeune is too tired to play. May have to jam Hayden in that slot and play Krafth on the wrong side. But we could start with:

    Dubravka or Darlow

    Yedlin Hayden Fernandez Krafth

    Almiron Longstaff Longstaff Atsu

    Gayle Carroll


  7. Watched Liverpool yesterday and 2 things struck me. They look unstoppable and even if they lose to Man City they will still win the league.

    And secondly, Van Dyke, Robertson, TAA and the front 3 play every week and they had at least as hectic a schedule as us. Actually MUCH more hectic because they had Champions League and that lot played in most of those games. They remained fit. And a lot of our injuries were before Christmas anyway.


  8. Noticed that not only is Wesley out for the season at Villa but also Tom Heaton who is a quality goalie. They now look like the second relegation team along with Norwich who can’t defend. Now, what we have to do is get some players fit and get ready to fight when this current death spiral is over. A couple of loans and even a purchase would be nice but I am not holding my breath.

    It’s a bit of a disaster if all of Arsenal, Spurs and Man U do not qualify for the CL – which looks likely.

    Arsenal are in transition but who screwed it up in the first place.

    Man U – 2nd richest club in the world. There are no excuses for hiring OGS.

    Spurs – that stadium has to be paid for and that needs CL football. Grumpy Mourinho is back and their defenders are making as many errors as ours.


  9. And if Yedlin did not break his hand, which he didn’t, why is he still doubtful for the FA Cup. Surely he can play with a badly bruised hand?


  10. Eric – the other thing is playing a team like Rochdale or smaller clubs – the money they get from progressing through FA Cup rounds can really make a difference to those smaller clubs.
    They won’t be interested in resting players or prioritising the league coz a potential draw of Man Utd or Liverpool away would bring them more money than any league placing (bar promotion that is).

    They will be licking their lips at a home tie against an injury hit NUFC – a giant killer live on BT Sport ?


  11. Sharpy: get ready for wall to wall Ronnie Radford and that Hereford goal. Although that was probably before your time.

    I think I went to the home match and it ended up a draw. It was so long ago it is a bit fuzzy. I do remember the pitches back then resembled a world war 1 battlefield by this time of year. Even in the First Division.


  12. Also Sharpy, I think League 1 get about 300k a year from the league. That is why an away tie against one of the big boys would be so important. It is also why the Mackems are in such deep sh!t without promotion this year.


  13. Just read Olly’s article on those that will be missing at Rochdale. Yedlin. Seriously!!!! He had x-rays and his hand is not broken. How can a bruised hand keep him out. Who is he Marcelino FFS.


  14. Do the medical staff not have bandages to protect Yedlin’s hand. If it is not broken then he is just as likely or unlikely to break it as any other player. You don’t play football with your hands. I don’t understand. I have seen NFL players play in casts and they actually use their hands as part of the game.


  15. Olly: are you sure Yedlin is out. Just read in The Chronic Live that he is available for Rochdale.


  16. Isn’t it time that some of the misery guts pundits cheered up a bit. I don’t necessarily disagree with what they say, it the miserableness of their delivery. You know who I am going to say:

    Big Fat Sam
    Roy Keane
    Garth Crooks

    And many more of them. Phil Neville is the worst co-comm ever because everything is always wrong and he is only happy when he talks about Man U. Sorry, I will correct that. He is happy now when he is talking about how good a job HE is doing with the Women’s National Team.

    There… got that off my chest. Complained about the complainers 🙂


  17. I see Trump has just picked a fight with Iran ??‍♂️.
    I hope Boris has the sense to stay out of this one.


  18. Sharpy17:
    I see Trump has just picked a fight with Iran ??‍♂️.
    I hope Boris has the sense to stay out of this one.

    About time someone pulled them idiots up on their nonsense that kills thousands upon thousands every year


  19. Just watched a Mourinho interview and it got me thinking that it must be strange watching yourself get old on TV. Like Jose or Jonathan Ross. Or on film like Ian McKellan.

    The other thing that I always wonder is when some 80 year old actor plays someone on their death bed and then dies. It must occur to them that “this will soon be me in real life”. I am sure Woody Allen would never do it, he has been worrying about death in his movies since he was about 22.


  20. And why doesn’t Tomothy Spall have a knighthood? Everybody else of his age in Harry Potter does. I know he played a rat, literally, but he was brilliant in Turner and Auf Wiedersehen Pet.


  21. Sharpy17:
    I see Trump has just picked a fight with Iran .
    I hope Boris has the sense to stay out of this one.

    Agree mate, will be interesting to see what he does.


  22. On Gayle, he’s not doing it is he. Got a feeling the bottom lip is out over not starting regularly . Reckon he’ll be off this month if the price is right.


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