Newcastle 0-0 Burnley: Toothless Toon booed off in St James’ Park stalemate

Well wasn’t that just an absolute waste of everyone’s time. The two worst footballing teams in the league playing out a drab goalless draw, in a result that wasn’t much use to either team.

We’re one point closer to that 40-point mark, but to say we’re limping towards the line is an understatement.

It was one of those games where you thought it actually couldn’t be so predictably bad, surely something had to give. Nope.

Steve Bruce gave us all a huge surprise by leaving out Saint Maximin as he reverted to a back 4 and tried to get us more on the front foot. Manquillo came in at right back, and in attack Joelinton and Matt Ritchie started either side of Almiron in the trio behind Dwight Gayle. Shelvey and Hayden came into the middle in place of Bentaleb and Longstaff who to be fair, have been woeful the past two games.

We started the more aggressive team, trying to force the issue and Joelinton and Shelvey looked lively. Jonjo played one early through ball to Gayle that was pure footballing filth but our number 12 (doesn’t have the same ring to it does it) couldn’t make his first touch firm enough to take it on, despite Pope slipping as he came out to shut him down.

We looked up for it initially, and despite Hayden doing his best to give the ball back to Burnley every chance he had, we found ourselves in the uncharted territory of having more possession than our opponents.

The visitors always looked dangerous though, (but that was definitely more to do with my nerves than any quality), particularly through Westwood’s set pieces. We finished the first half on the front foot however, with Matt Ritchie driving narrowly wide from just inside the box, and Gayle shooting straight at Pope after a promising counter attack which started with a wonderful turn and run from Almiron.

All in all, as expected it was 0-0 at half time, a thoroughly mundane watch, and well on course to being last on MOTD as many great thinkers had predicted. It was however definitely better than recent performances as we actually attempted to attack.

The second half began with the urgency the second half finished on, the front 4 of Gayle, Joelinton, Ritchie and Almiron definitely offer more when it comes to pressing teams high up from what we’ve seen recently, but there was a distinct lack of quality and end product. Everything good came through Shelvey’s desire to get on the ball and make things happen.

Almiron buzzed around but chose the wrong option on so many occasions and despite a promising start Joelinton faded badly.

The biggest cheer came on 77 minutes when ASM replaced Joelinton, and the Frenchman livened things up instantly, but it ultimately amounted to nothing. Ritchie hit an outstanding long range effort that seemingly curled wide at the last minute, and then him and Shelvey managed to mess up a 2 on 2 situation during stoppage time when it was seemingly easier to score.

Other than that, Bruce’s bold move to try and play with a back 4 with a team that supposedly can’t (despite history telling us otherwise) ended in an absolute turgid stalemate.

We finished 10th with a back four of players who are all currently still in our squad, and that ironically equals Bruce’s best ever Premier League finish in 20 odd years of management, but don’t forget these players aren’t good enough to implement HIS plan………anyway that kind of cynicism of our commander and chief’s ability is probably best left for another article.

Make no mistake, Newcastle v Burnley is now the Premier League equivalent of Bolton v Stoke circa Allardyce and Pulis era, and that is probably being unkind to Burnley.

We ended the game as we began, 7 points clear of relegation despite a win for West Ham and a point for Bournemouth, and at the time of writing Watford are yet to play Liverpool.

An anxious 10 games await us. Anxious because we simply don’t score goals.

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64 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-0 Burnley: Toothless Toon booed off in St James’ Park stalemate

  1. We were better today than we have been recently. Gayle who is probably not fully match fit gave us better movement. Joelinton was better playing out left and linked well with Rose. Where we fell down apart from not scoring goals was again midfield. Shelvey wasn’t as good as you say; guilty of hitting blind high balls up front when a simple pass was called for. You say Longstaff was atrocious last week. Nevertheless he was never as bad as Hayden was today. He doesn’t seem to know which goal we are playing towards and his passing was awful. Nice to see Manquillo back. I have been quite depressed by the way we were playing before today. In spite of not scoring today I am a little more optimistic if we play the same formation in future.

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  2. Groucho:
    We were better today than we have been recently. Gayle who is probably not fully match fit gave us better movement. Joelinton was better playing out left and linked well with Rose. Where we fell down apart from not scoring goals was again midfield. Shelvey wasn’t as good as you say; guilty of hitting blind high balls up front when a simple pass was called for. You say Longstaff was atrocious last week. Nevertheless he was never as bad as Hayden was today. He doesn’t seem to know which goal we are playing towards and his passing was awful. Nice to see Manquillo back. I have been quite depressed by the way we were playing before today. In spite of not scoring today I am a little more optimistic if we play the same formation in future.

    What I was really looking for today was more attack minded play. And from what I saw, we got that from the team.
    I won’t be staying up for match of the day, but it’s a step in the right direction.
    I actually thought Shelvey did well today, though.

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  3. Well we certainly looked more offensive today and over 20 chances ??.

    But we could still be playing now and not scored.

    Credit to Bruce for changing things, but it was no shock to us that we still didn’t score – the problem is a lack of quality up front, regardless the formation.

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  4. So Bruce couldn’t find anybody better than what we had in Jan? Bowen has already matched Joelinton and Gayle put together after 1.5 games.

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  5. Burnleys defense are a tough nut to crack so the fact we created chances is a positive. We need Gayle to find his championship form and he actually did well today though ran out of puff after 60 mins or so i thought.
    Shelvey had a good game too and Ritchie could of should scored.
    I much prefer Joe on the left and Miggy looked to be much happier in that 10 slot . I think that given time the system could prove fruitful but we don’t have the luxury of time do we.
    Rose was hit and miss for me, looks unfit but to be fair made a couple of good decisions as well as bad ones, so so for me.
    Manquillo looked good again, i do like him.
    Maybe had we been up against a weaker defensive unit we’d of scored, who knows but we defo have to start scoring or we are surely down with the other teams now picking up .

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  6. On a good day one of those deflected / blocked shots would have gone in. Better performance all round.

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  7. Stuart79:
    So Bruce couldn’t find anybody better than what we had in Jan? Bowen has already matched Joelinton and Gayle put together after 1.5 games.

    Stu – and further to that, Newcastle was Bowen’s preferred choice as well if rumours are to be believed.

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  8. KIMTOON:
    Agree Georgio, football gods were smiling on us first half of the season , not so much now.

    Kim – yeah I think those gods have turned their smile to Palace now.

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  9. Kimtoon: Almiron played as a number 10 for Atlanta and was the best player in MLS. I think I have been a bit harsh on Rose. He is an average PL left back who has been promoted above his skill level to play for England. That’s the way it was though. Start for Spurs and you start for England. Same sort of thing with Joe. He’s not a bad player, but as Shearer said he is not a centre forward and that price tag is a burden.

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  10. That win for Watford yesterday will be huge for their confidence – and I think they have the players to go on a bit of a run.

    Good win for Norwich against Leicester – but I think they lack the quality to pick up the points needed to get out of it.

    Brighton are in free fall and could be in trouble.

    Villa I think could be in trouble too.

    A win yesterday for B’mth could have boosted their confidence, but they are struggling too.

    I think the points we already have on the board is what keeps us out of those relegation spots come the end of the season – but maybe only just.

    I think we finish above Norwich, Villa, B’mth and Brighton – but just.

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  11. Bruce said St Max had a hamstring and that is why he didn’t start. And yet he comes on 2nd half. I don’t really get it, not really criticizing but with his record with hammys you would think we would be careful. Wasn’t he out for like 6 weeks with a hamstring injury around Christmas. Whatever, it is NUFC and Brucie and I should just accept it is always like this.

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  12. Sharpy: West Ham have some very difficult games coming up which will hopefully keep them mired in relegation trouble. Watford should never have been in the bottom 3 anyway with the players they have.

    We are probably the worst team in the league based on Manager and performances but personnel wise we are probably 12th. Hopefully Brucie will get better. Probably should have hired Pearson.

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  13. Just saw on news that Boris Johnson and his girlfriend are expecting a child. The first thing that entered my mind on seeing this was – who would f@ck that ugly tw@t.

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  14. Eric Sykes:
    Just saw on news that Boris Johnson and his girlfriend are expecting a child. The first thing that entered my mind on seeing this was – who would f@ck that ugly tw@t.

    shes on drugs mate.MONEY

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  15. Yeah, it wasn’t too long ago that Boris and his missus were kicking off in her flat was it?!.

    Does anyone know what number child this will be for our leader and saviour?.

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  16. We need to get lucky in two games in my opinion. We need the same luck we had at the start of the season. How likely is it? We’ve failed score against Oxford, Norwich and Burnley at home in the last three games.

    The fact we have to play Villa and West Ham at home is worrying. I doubt we will beat them. As for Bournemouth, Brighton and Southampton away, anyone think we can pick up anything in them games? I don’t…

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  17. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: West Ham have some very difficult games coming up which will hopefully keep them mired in relegation trouble. Watford should never have been in the bottom 3 anyway with the players they have.

    We are probably the worst team in the league based on Manager and performances but personnel wise we are probably 12th. Hopefully Brucie will get better. Probably should have hired Pearson.

    Eric – I don’t see WHU going on a great run and finishing well above us. But I think they have the quality in the final third to catch us and finish a few points better off than us.

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  18. Don’t know if anyone watched MOTD last night but Big Al slaughtered our recruitment like – proper vein popping stuff ?

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  19. Sharpy, do you think anybody at the club is under pressure from the recruitment? Who’s idea was it really not to sign a striker but bring in two full backs and a centre midfielder? How is it possible to spend £80m on attacking players and only have 4 goals to show for it? That’s twice we have done this and it’s twice when non managers have done the buying. We got relegated the first time…

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  20. Giant arsed t-rex armed Mackem made another mistake. I have been saying for more than a year that he will cost us at the Euros if he remains #mistakewaiting tohappenforEngland.

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  21. Stuart79:
    Sharpy, do you think anybody at the club is under pressure from the recruitment? Who’s idea was it really not to sign a striker but bring in two full backs and a centre midfielder? How is it possible to spend £80m on attacking players and only have 4 goals to show for it? That’s twice we have done this and it’s twice when non managers have done the buying. We got relegated the first time…

    Stu – I cant get my head round it mate. When you think about how tight those purse strings were and how little a budget Carr had to work with.
    I get the money spent on Almiron based on his MLS record. ASM to a degree as well. But the Joelinton one has me baffled. If he was a similar fee to the other 2 then yeah, fair enough – but £40m takes him in to the next tier of player and he’s not that like.

    I get the Rose and Bentalab signings. But Lazaro?!. He’s not a wing back from what I’ve seen of him – but now Bruce has switched to 4-2-3-1 he may work out better on the right of that 3. But, while Bowen was available, that should have been the signing imo.

    But even Kraft?!. Williems looked decent, but was always a risk with his injury history. Carroll was a token signing to try and get season tickets sold.
    Contract renewals aren’t getting done either.

    No mate, I don’t thats a department under any pressure at all.

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  22. Stuart: NBC Sports Net. Is Cable so might not be on a hotel TV where they have limited channels.

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  23. SSN showing stats board of keeper errors so far this season – De Gea and Pickford both on 7.
    Surprisingly though, they have Dubravka on 7 also (along with Leno at Arsenal).

    I think maybe we focus on the forwards not scoring – and they have performed far worse than Dubravka.

    But that just shows that under Bruce we are poor at both ends of the pitch really.

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  24. Sharpy, man. It is a bit of a shocker that Ashley gave Nickson so much money when he really had no experience of top level recruitment. Joelinton looks marginally better that Donkeylu and Nickson is supposed to have watched him more than 20 times. You could have got Timo Werner for 40 mil in the summer FFS if you were paying attention to German football.

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  25. Matty Longstaff will be next out of the door. Apparently European club has offered him a contract. Why would he stay at NUFC from a professional point of view?

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  26. Sharpy: they are calling Dubs for errors that are very marginal. De Gea and Pickford’s are obvious.

    I would say Dubravka has made about 2 or 3 real errors but has saved us from a shellacking quite a few times as well.

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  27. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy, man. It is a bit of a shocker that Ashley gave Nickson so much money when he really had no experience of top level recruitment. Joelinton looks marginally better that Donkeylu and Nickson is supposed to have watched him more than 20 times. You could have got Timo Werner for 40 mil in the summer FFS if you were paying attention to German football.

    Eric – I think a champions league club could have got Werner for £40m – no way the player would have left for NUFC though.

    It’s a tough one though coz we were supposedly also looking at Wesley and Haller as well – and neither of those have done too well either.

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  28. If we’d have had Rafa and he’d have been able to manage and buy and sell as he pleases we’d be top 7 now with a chance if CL the way the league has panned our. Jabba won’t see it as a missed opportunity though. He will see it as absolute success if we just stay up. The man is a walking contradiction

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  29. Stuart79:
    Matty Longstaff will be next out of the door. Apparently European club has offered him a contract. Why would he stay at NUFC from a professional point of view?

    Stu – a few seasons back I think people would say ‘first team football’. But now there have been a few young players go abroad and do just fine. I’m not putting him in the Jaydon Sancho bracket. But why not give it a go.

    I do think if we stopped d!cking about and offered the kid a decent contract, then the chance to keep playing for his boyhood club would see him sign it – he may eventually leave like Carroll did, but I could see him signing the contract now.

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  30. Pickford just did what he does which is fantastic reactions but he is a mistake waiting to happen as well. I would take Dubravka over him every time.

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  31. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: they are calling Dubs for errors that are very marginal. De Gea and Pickford’s are obvious.

    I would say Dubravka has made about 2 or 3 real errors but has saved us from a shellacking quite a few times as well.

    Eric – I don’t know if it’s conceded goals they think the keeper could have done better with or ones they are directly responsible for – like De Gea clearance today – or a combination of both.

    Dubravka has made some poor saves this season – but at the same time would be a strong candidate for player of the season again.
    Which for me highlights just how busy he has been this season.

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  32. Stuart79:
    If we’d have had Rafa and he’d have been able to manage and buy and sell as he pleases we’d be top 7 now with a chance if CL the way the league has panned our. Jabba won’t see it as a missed opportunity though. He will see it as absolute success if we just stay up. The man is a walking contradiction

    Stu – we signed some sh!te under Rafa mind mate. But that said, I think a player like Werner may have signed for an NUFC if Rafa was in charge.

    I think like Everton now, they don’t have CL football, but players would sign for Anchelloti.

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  33. I have watched a few Leipzig games recently – Spurs and Shalke – and Werner has been absolutely brilliant.

    Out of our league now I am afraid. Liverpool or Man U.

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  34. Pickford really is pants, England going nowhere with him in goal.

    The Joelinton signing is very odd to me , Jabba was desperate to sign him, all very odd

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  35. Pickford doesn’t come for the ball at corners either. Flashy, reaction saves and that is about it. And his vaunted kicking!!! That works about 1 out of 40 times like every 60 yard hoof up field does for every keeper and centre back. Looks great when it succeeds but it hardly ever does.

    The more I see him the more I hate the SMB 🙂

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  36. Lack of renewal contracts not being negotiated. Is this because of the takeover? Just me being hopeful.

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  37. KIMTOON:
    Pickford really is pants, England going nowhere with him in goal.

    The Joelinton signing is very odd to me , Jabba was desperate to sign him, all very odd

    Kim – Ashley had 2 options as I saw it.

    Signing Joelinton for £40m essentially saw Rafa leave.

    If Ashley went the other way, I think Rafa would still be there – and Rondon would be our forward for probably £15m.

    I think Perez may still ended up leaving, and I’m not sure Rafa would have given Matty the chance Bruce has.

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  38. You may be right on all 3 counts mate.

    If we lose Matty for peanuts that’s just plain daft, this game of brinkmanship with the longstaffs just sums up the regime, too miserly for their own good. The positive in me would say maybe it’s to do with a takeover in the offing and that it’ll get sorted end of season but i know how the regime works now.

    Back to the joelinton deal, that stinks the place out, something really suss about that deal imo.

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  39. KIMTOON:
    You may be right on all 3 counts mate.

    If we lose Matty for peanuts that’s just plain daft, this game of brinkmanship with the longstaffs just sums up the regime, too miserly for their own good. The positive in me would say maybe it’s to do with a takeover in theoffing and that it’ll get sorted end of season but i know how the regime works now.

    Back to the joelinton deal, that stinks the place out, something really suss about that deal imo.

    Kim – what’s mad is Ashley’s working strategy is to buy young and sell for a bigger fee.

    The Longstaffs cost nowt, and have the potential to generate big fees – yet they run the risk of loosing them by not paying them a fair wage – yet the wages they have wasted on the players like Colback and Saivet – players we couldn’t give away!!.

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  40. Sharpy17
    March 1, 2020 at 17:24
    KIMTOON:
    You may be right on all 3 counts mate.

    If we lose Matty for peanuts that’s just plain daft, this game of brinkmanship with the longstaffs just sums up the regime, too miserly for their own good. The positive in me would say maybe it’s to do with a takeover in theoffing and that it’ll get sorted end of season but i know how the regime works now.

    Back to the joelinton deal, that stinks the place out, something really suss about that deal imo.

    Kim – what’s mad is Ashley’s working strategy is to buy young and sell for a bigger fee.

    The Longstaffs cost nowt, and have the potential to generate big fees – yet they run the risk of loosing them by not paying them a fair wage – yet the wages they have wasted on the players like Colback and Saivet – players we couldn’t give away!!.

    Yep, total madness

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  41. Dubravka
    Manquillo Lascelles Fernandez Rose
    Schar Matty
    Shelvey
    Lazaro Almiron
    Gayle

    If that lot can’t beat WBA .. . .

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  42. OK then, trying not to be a grumpy old man, mainly because I am not old. But WTF is this with the St Max hamstring? If he wasn’t fit to start then why bring him on to aggravate a problem Mr. Brucie?

    Anyway. I figured out Eds. They were all giving their ages the other day and they are all OAPs shouting at clouds. I always wondered about all of the bickering on there. Grumpy Old Men. I think I might be banned as I got an e-mail saying I should cease and desist winding them up. I haven’t been interested enough to check out if I am definitely banned though.

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  43. ROY kEANE says Pickford is crap a very poor keeper never a England standard kept going on about him on Sky,mind i agree with him

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  44. Icedog. I have been b!tching about Pickford for a couple of years at least. He’s an arrogant tw@t who thinks he is better than he is.

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  45. My only problem with Keane is that he was a bully. He makes a lot of sense as a pundit. Same as Souness, Surprised neither made it as Managers. Souness was the better player.

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  46. We really do have to move on from Rafa and Rondon though. It is getting so tedious living in the past on Blogs and in The Chronic.

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