With so many Mags on social media left baffled and embarrassed by Sunday’s battering, I was intrigued to know the view from a Brighton perspective on their 0-3 win at St James’ Park.
Here’s what he had to say:
Q: – What did you make of NUFC and the game in general. Did it shock you how bad we were all over the pitch?
I think it was a perfect storm really from a Brighton point of view in that you played badly on a day when we had one of our very good days. We have played that well on occasions under Graham Potter, but doing it consistently has always been a problem. If Potter can find a way to get that consistency, then… well, you saw for yourselves what the Albion can do.
Conceding twice inside the opening eight minutes ruined you in a way. It is very un-Brighton like for us to be so clinical and I think that caused real shock among your players to the point whereby everything fell apart from that point on.
Q: Which NUFC players stood out as our worst performers and why?
Jonjo Shelvey’s only contribution that I can remember was to kick a lump out of Lamptey.
Saint-Maximin was a disappointment too, but again that was probably more down to Lamptey’s brilliance than anything else.
There won’t be many occasions where he is having to defend as much as he was because the opposition’s right back is that good!
Q: Bruce is being slated for going with a 4-4-2 and playing Carroll in a team trying to hit you on the counter. What did you make of our set up and tactics?
The one thing I would say is that it has been ridiculously difficult in the past to predict how Potter will line up and what to do to counter it. We rattled through 3-4-1-2 to start with on Sunday, switched to a 4-4-2 when Tariq Lamptey went off for Big Dan Burn and ended with a 4-3-3 with Adam Lallana on.
4-4-2 might have worked had your wingers – and in particular, Allan Saint-Maximin – been able to attack rather than being preoccupied by what Lamptey in particular was doing. Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster both struggled against more physical players last season, so had Newcastle been able to bring their wide men into the game to deliver crosses then it might have been different.
So I could kind of see the logic. It became pretty apparent very quickly though that 4-4-2 was not going to work all the while Lamptey was in that sort of form. Why it took until half time for Steve Bruce to change it, only he will know.
Q: Did any NUFC player impress you at all and why?
Almiron bolstered the midfield when he came on which is what you needed really. Other than that, it was a bad day at the office.
I would still happily have Callum Wilson at Brighton, even if Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly have given some ammunition to Potter’s argument that we do not need a striker in this window.
Q: Your thoughts on the penalty and Bissouma’s red card??
Yes to both. Saint-Maximin put in a tackle which screamed of a forward player not having a clue what to do in his own penalty area. And although Yves Bissouma kicking Jamal Lewis in the face was quite clearly an accident, you cannot raise your foot like that and not get it right, otherwise you risk straying into dangerous play.
If the boot was on the other foot and Bissouma was the man having to be substituted because Lewis had kicked him in the face, Brighton fans would have been screaming for a red card. That is always a good litmus test for whether a decision was correct.
Q: Do you think you’ll have an easier game all season? And did the nature of our defeat / your win make you believe we’ll be seriously relegation candidates?
Again, I think it just comes down to use playing really well rather than how bad Newcastle were.
Normally, we create those sort of chances but do not take any and then do something silly at the back which gifts the opposition a goal. On Sunday at St James’, it was the perfect team performance.
I still think you will be more than comfortable this season. Although we did beat Watford 3-0 in our first away game last season and look what happened to them by the end of the campaign. Sorry!
Perhaps there’s some merit to the fact we had an off day and they were brilliant, however it was alarming to see how badly Steve Bruce got it wrong, with the players also allowing their heads to drop and frustration to take over as soon as Brighton took an early lead.
Let’s hope there’s none of that tonight at Morecambe and we respond with a much needed win!