Wolves 1-1 Newcastle: Not pretty but a precious point as Almiron scores again

It wasn’t pretty and may be last on Match of the Day tonight, but that could be a precious point for Newcastle United come the end of the season.

After three league defeats on the spin and a FA Cup collapse in the second half at at Rochdale, we needed to respond today – and we just about did (even if it was far from pretty at times).

We were below our best and didn’t play particularly well, but a superb finish from Miguel Almiron – who was one of the best players on the park at Molineux – some brilliant saves from Martin Dubravka and an organised defensive effort has helped us to a hard fought point here.

There were some positive early signs. Gayle’s movement and energy was causing Wolves problems and Almiron was a man on a mission from the off – and he got his reward immediately, smashing past Patricio after some lovely build up play from Willems and Gayle:

After failing to score for almost a year, he’s now bagged 3 goals in his last 4 games. That said, he did much more than just find the back of the net, not only being our most lively threat in attack and a constant out ball, but also doing brilliantly to get back and help Jetro Willems out against the dangerous Adama Traore.

Then to the negative news – injuries and an avoidable Wolves equaliser which all came in a nightmare 15 minutes for Steve Bruce.

Dummett pulled up and was replaced by Lejeune, Wolves then equalised from a corner after Dendoncker got away from Fernandez and, to round it all off, Dwight Gayle limped off with a hamstring injury, seeing Atsu come on earlier than expected in his place.

From that point onwards we struggled as an attacking force and were hanging in at times, but a combination of some outstanding goalkeeping from Martin Dubravka, a solid defensive line and a bit of luck meant we held on for a precious point.

Wolves were far below their best, but we made it difficult for them, limiting Raul Jimenez to very few chances and starving Adama Traore of the ball in good areas.

Almiron and Dubravka the stand out players, but Hayden did a good job at right wing-back, Clark was arguably our best centre-back on his return, Willems kept Traore pretty quiet, Matty and Sean gave us energy and bite in midfield and Carroll played his part up top in the closing stages too.

The fact we had only one shot on target is a concern, combined with the reoccurring theme of us only surviving via a few superb Dubravka saves, however it’s a good point and solid defensive effort nonetheless – something we needed badly after a damaging festive period.

The concerns are yet more injuries (Dummett and Gayle look set for new spells on the sidelines) and another ordinary display from Joelinton up top, but it’s a good point against a side aiming to break the top 6 this season and a result that helps Bruce stop the rot.

Next up, a FA Cup replay against Rochdale on Tuesday night. Beat them and we’ll be going into next weekend’s home game with Chelsea on the back of a very productive week.

HWTL!

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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.

49 thoughts on “Wolves 1-1 Newcastle: Not pretty but a precious point as Almiron scores again

  1. We haven’t changed the medical staff from last season Bruce says. Didn’t Rafa take his conditioning coach coach with him? I think there’s a good argument to make that Bruce hasn’t done any rotation and even players who haven’t had a lot of games are picking up muscle injuries so maybe the training sessions just aren’t up to scratch?

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  2. Bruce said he will investigate all of these muscle injuries. Good job his alter ego is a detective in his novels.

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  3. Not looking good for Norwich. I think we can safely say they are down. Bournemouth and Burnley also being dragged into it. Are there 3 worse teams than us? Probably not in performances but we have some quality to come back in like St Max and there is the slight possibility we will sign someone in Jan.

    February is a much easier schedule.

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  4. Didn’t see the Mackems result coming.

    Will be happy if Man U stay 5th or 6th as that will keep OGS in the job. There is just no chance they will ever win the league with him at the wheel, which will make me happy.

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  5. Lovely goal for Almiron – great build up play and cracking finish. Pleased for him coz he’s starting to get that confidence in front of goal now.

    But MOTM was Dubravka. Reminiscent of Krul against Spurs a few years back.

    Another 2 injuries ??‍♂️. Was Dummett rushed back?!.

    Gayle has taken himself out the transfer window.

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  6. I still see loads of moaning about Bruce on other blogs – you know the ones. But if we sacked Bruce, who could we realistically get? I had thought Brendan before he went to Leicester. Now the only one I can think of I Steven Gerrard. There is probably someone in Portugal or Germany but a lot of teams have a chance of CL there (look at Hoffenhein or Gladbach or Leipzig) and we have no chance.

    We are stuck with Bruce for the foreseeable future so there is no point b!tching. I probably will anyway if we lose our next 2 games 🙂

    I have no idea what team we will/can put out for the FA Cup. Just watched liverpool and they look exhausted so Brucie does have a point about the number of fixtures.

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  7. We will have to play some kids on Tuesday. There is just nobody else. Rolando Aarons is back from loan so I would play him. Plus Ritchie, Darlow, Atsu and Krafth if he is fit. There is no way I would risk/start any of the following:

    Dubravka
    Almiron
    Carroll
    Lejeune
    Fernandez
    Hayden

    Bruce might get some stick but really, this time the league is more important and Bruce will not be making excuses. We have to try and nick it and maybe bring on some of our better performers for the last 20 mins. Brucie is sort of forced to play both Longstaffs again, but they are young.

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  8. Sharpy17:
    Lovely goal for Almiron – great build up play and cracking finish.Pleased for him coz he’s starting to get that confidence in front of goal now.

    But MOTM was Dubravka.Reminiscent of Krul against Spurs a few years back.

    Another 2 injuries .Was Dummett rushed back?!.

    Gayle has taken himself out the transfer window.

    Sharpy: Bruce said he was never going on loan anyway. Charnley had said we were not BUYING anyone in January so it would have been dumb to loan out Gayle just to save on wages. We will probably get Lookman but Steve should be on the phone to Klopp and Pep to get a striker on loan. We would probably have to guarantee 6-8 starts.

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  9. I saw something online which showed paper articles where Bruce was saying the injuries he’s got where as bad as he’s ever seen. The only problem was the articles where when he was at Sunderland, Villa and Hull!

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  10. I’m sick and tired of hearing about how resilient we are. I want ya to play better. I want us to play attacking football and at least show some excitement.

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  11. Stuart79:
    I’m sick and tired of hearing about how resilient we are. I want ya to play better. I want us to play attacking football and at least show some excitement.

    With you on that Stuart.
    Annoys me how pundits bend over backwards to support London teams like West Ham. Clear hand ball by West Ham player for third goal eventually disallowed yet VAR is criticised for disallowing. Should never allow unfashionable Sheffield United to beat wonderful West Ham.

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  12. Well if it’s true and we are not getting a decent forward in, then we deserve all we get by way of league position or rather Jabba does.
    Can’t say i’m all that surprised though, we have been a team who doesn’t score for many seasons now. This owner has sucked all enjoyment out of following nufc, it’s not a desire to be winning every game, i know that will never happen but rather the desire to watch a thrilling entertaining game. Where are the bums off seats moments gone, seems every team has a player or two that can create something special whereas we have only the remotest chance of that with Miggy or St Max who is out injured anyway.
    Depressing doesn’t even cover our situation right now, we are a zombie club with an owner too entrenched in running us like a cheap sport outlet to see the wood for the trees .

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  13. Robbie Savage is so precious. He is continuing his crying about NUFC fans saying they crossed the line when they made “vile” threats against his family. EMPTY threats if any were indeed made. Do they know his address or even mobile number? The chances of any threat being carried out is zero and he knows it.

    It just serves Savage’s purpose to carry this on like it serves him to be controversial. He was a crap player who somehow got a job as a pundit but he knows he doesn’t have much credibility given his career and the way he played so he has to be the one yelling the loudest.

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  14. It is quite funny seeing Savage’s media career. It is a mirror of his football career – a niggly little sh!t with limited ability always saying look at me, look at me!

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  15. Not a lot of quality on show B’mth vs Watford. Makes you think there is a chance of NUFC staying up. I think they have both spent a bit of money as well. It shows what the TV money means when a team with a ground capacity of 11,000 can buy 20 mil plus players.

    You have to think that if B’mth go down and don’t get immediate promotion they would be stuck in The Championship for years. They have big earners and that’s where the parachute payment would go. Same with Watford really.

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  16. 2 of the teams that went down last year are 20 and 21 in The Championship. Huddersfield and Stoke. Promotion is not a given, ask the Mackems. Best not to go down in the first place (obviously). Then you have Boro in 16th. Remember when people were saying Steve Gibson was the best owner in all leagues.

    For all Fatty’s many faults we have only spent 2 years in The Championship.

    I echo Stuart’s and everybody else’s thoughts that it is time we played a better brand of football. I missed the Leicester and Woves games because there was some internet fault that stopped me signing up for live games. I called twice but gave up and just decided I would try again when I thought there was a game where we had a chance of winning. Then I listened to Ando and could only take 30 mins of his “for me, I think he should have done much better there”.

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  17. Mike dean has been spending too much time in the VAR booth eating do-nuts. Do they not have weight requirements for Refs. Jon Moss is so fat he is always 10 yards behind where he should be.

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  18. FFS the Bmouth goalie tries to roll his studs over the ball leading to him giving the ball away and a goal. Sometimes you just have to hoof it. Another Big Nige miracle on the cards?

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  19. B’mth are in total free fall at the moment. I know there have a few defensive injuries, but their forwards are effective as ours at the mo.

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  20. Nigel Pearson is certainly making a difference at Watford!

    What’s happened to Bournemouth? Maybe just the natural cycle. I can’t believe they’ll sack Howe but he’s someone I’d like to see given a chance at a bigger club. Although I see this period as scuppering that opportunity.

    Was that a good or bad result? Maybe a draw would have been better for us but it puts Bournemouth right in the clarts.

    Let’s hope City tip Vile a new one!

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  21. Isn’t the pattern for relegation usually:

    At least one of the promoted teams. Norwich.

    A team in freefall which could be B’mouth or Burnley.

    A team too good to go down. Us, Villa, West Ham?

    You add Watford who could still have a reversal and I would say it is 3 from these 7. Not saying anything earth shattering here but at the start of the season you would probably have S’ton and Brighton in the mix but that looks unlikely now.

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  22. Looking at the Villa team today and it is not really that good without McGinn and Wesley. If they are to survive it will be on the back of Grealish. Match about to start, C’mon City.

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  23. Tom Heaton also out for the season. We know how important a good goalie is. I think we would be bottom without Dubravka.

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  24. The commentator actually mentioned a useful fact. Villa’s next home game is against Watford, the only team in the bottom half they play for the rest of the season. They then have 7 home games left all against teams currently in the top 10.

    With their injuries to key players as well I think they are doomed.

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  25. Jon Moss looks like a turquoise stuffed turkey. Luckily he just had to stand in Villa’s half for most of the game and not do any running.

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  26. Out today for lunch, looks like i missed all the fun re the Villa game, anyone watch it was it as bad as the result suggest

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  27. Worse Kimtoon: there was a 10 minute period where Villa didn’t touch the ball except for a couple of blocks that went straight back to Man City so Villa really didn’t regain possession.

    The goal where the goalie rolled his foot/studs over the ball in his own 6 yard box is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen. It is the sort of move you see Zaha or Ronaldo do in the opposition half, but I have never seen a goalie do it ever. Who was the goalie who tried to do the Cruyff turn in his own box this year? 🙂 Anyway, he half scuffs it, it comes up short cuassing himto mi**** the clearance leading to a goal. This was his 3rd game FFS. He could also have done better on 2 more of their goals.

    Tom Heaton is out for the season and this clown might send them down.

    HOPEFULLY, eh 🙂

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  28. Eric Sykes:
    Bruce said he will investigate all of these muscle injuries. Good job his alter ego is a detective in his novels.

    Bruce medical team are from the Charles Dickens era,i remember at Hull he had half his team out with injurys,then at Scumland he said it was the worse injurys problem he had ever seen in his time in the game,he hasnt far to look imo

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  29. Kimtoon; just to add on Villa. We get a lot of games in the US and the timing is great because they show them starting a 6.30 am and ending at 1 pm so I have the rest of the day after football. That means I watch a lot of games. That Villa performance yesterday was the worst I have seen all season, worse than our 5-0 against Leicester where we had the excuse of 10 men. One caveat, I didn’t see the S’ton 9-0 against Leicester.

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  30. Read an article in Football365 where they went back and looked at quotes Brucie has made at former teams. He has bemoaned the injury situation on many occasions using almost the same words as he is now. It is not just bad luck it is Steve and his team selection and methods. He obviously brings in players who are not fully fit and/or overplays them. We cannot blame him for Joelinton but he has to accept the blame for the injuries.

    If you want to read it it is in the winners and losers piece on Football365.com. The words that are used are almost exactly the same as today and were said at:

    Sheff Wed Apr 2019
    Villa Nov 2017
    Hull May 2015
    Wigan Feb 2009

    He may not have to go back 40 years to see an injury crisis. Not even a year but it probably wasn’t as bad as ours. That’s actually a bad thing because it shows he hasn’t learned and is making the same mistakes.

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  31. Eric Sykes:
    Read an article in Football365 where they went back and looked at quotes Brucie has made at former teams. He has bemoaned the injury situation on many occasions using almost the same words as he is now. It is not just bad luck it is Steve and his team selection and methods. He obviously brings in players who are not fully fit and/or overplays them. We cannot blame him for Joelinton but he has to accept the blame for the injuries.

    If you want to read it it is in the winners and losers piece on Football365.com. The words that are used are almost exactly the same as today and were said at:

    Sheff Wed Apr 2019
    Villa Nov 2017
    Hull May 2015
    Wigan Feb 2009

    He may not have to go back 40 years to see an injury crisis. Not even a year but it probably wasn’t as bad as ours. That’s actually a bad thing because it shows he hasn’t learned and is making the same mistakes.

    bloody spot on Eric its the point i was making

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  32. As usual Mr. Ryder gets it wrong. He is saying that this NUFC is different to the last 2 relegations because they are showing spirit and fighting. I think Rafa might disagree although I thought Rafa had enough time to keep us up. We also went down on the last day under Shearer when Owen refused to play and Barton had been ostracized. Plus there was the not too small matter of Ian Dowie as coach. But none of this fits Ryders narrative. He needs to make the complicated simplistic (not simple, simplistic) and it is all about team spirit to him.

    The obvious and biggest difference this time is Dubravka.

    Can’t fault most of the lads for effort but that is not what is getting us points. The effort is usually 2 banks of 4 defending for their lives and a stranded number 9 with Miggy doing the running of 3 players. That is not a recipe for survival without the outstanding Dubravka.

    I don’t think we are at panic stations at the back which we had been under Pards and Ugly John, but whenever the opposition score I can hear echoes in my head of Ando saying “you saw that one coming”. Or Ando saying “we got lucky today”. He is right sometimes, but just cheer the f@ck up will you, I am sick of hearing it (Ando rant over for now 🙂 )

    If the deer in the headlights Darlow was in goal I think we would have 10 less points. 2nd bottom.

    Just my take and I do tend to disagree with Wor Lee most of the time 🙂

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  33. Steve Bruce says Jabba was supportive in the summer. How? What did he do for that was supportive towards Bruce? He sanctioned a splurge on players Bruce had never heard of!

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  34. Never mind Bruce never hearing of most of the players. I knew next to nothing about most. Krafth? Joelinton had 1 season at Hoffenheim. Willems I had heard of because he was very good when he was young but someone unsuccessfully tried to change him from wing back to midfielder. Had never heard of St Max but that is more because they haven’t shown French football in the US for 3 years.

    Then again, I had never heard of Dubravka when he signed.

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  35. Is there anybody banging them in in the Dutch League we could loan? That is a bit of a crap shoot with successes and failures but there has been Suarez, Van Nistrooy and Van Persie to offset the busts like Luuk de Jong and Kezman. Might be worth a look.

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  36. Hope Bruce doesn’t persist in playing Atsu tomorrow night. I would rather Fernandez or some other under 23 player is given a chance. Surely Atsu has been given far too many chances to shine and more often than not he fails.

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  37. Groucho: not much point in a winger who can’t beat his man, doesn’t cross and can’t shoot. Oh, and he is too small to head the ball in defense and attack and can’t tackle.

    Apart from that, he is great. But the PL is too high a standard for him and he needs to find his level.

    He did well at ACON which my guess the average player is about League 1 to Championship. Sell him to Boro.

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  38. Just a couple of things from the pundits this weekend that have baffled me:

    1. Andy Gray says Grealish is better than any of the Liverpool midfielders. Where he gets this from when he has played 22 PL games and doesn’t have an international cap I have no idea. Been around Keys too long.

    2. Everybody is writing off Mourinho and saying he is a dinosaur. He won the league with Chelsea 2nd time around. He also won the Europa League and FA Cup with a crap Man U team. And then finished 2nd in the PL with probably the 5th best squad. I am a bit sick of his antics and his sour demeanor but I would like such a “failure” at NUFC. That said, I think Spurs might be a bridge too far as they need 4 or 5 players to compete and I doubt they have the funds to buy them. That’s not Mourinho’s fault and neither is the fact that Liverpool and Man City have much better players.

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  39. Yeah, Spurs need a whole new defense including the keeper. They also need a box to box midfielder and backup for Kane. That’s 7 players. If Mourinho gets them top 4 next year it will be a miracle. And Vertonghen has lost it and they just extended his contract. He is rotation/backup at best now.

    I am pretty sure Jose took the Spurs job because his wife and kids are settled in London and he was sick of living in a hotel in Manchester. That, plus 15 mil a year is no lose for him even if Spurs stagnate because that’s where they were headed anyway.

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