Newcastle 3-3 Brentford: Plenty positives but defensive woes deny Howe debut win

A six-goal thriller at St James’ Park and much improved display in many respects, however more poor defending has let us down once again.

We came back from losing positions twice, had over 20 shots, played some good attacking football and had the chance to win it late on, but it’s a real kick in the teeth to score three goals at home and come away without the victory we so badly need.

What’s even more frustrating is results elsewhere left us bottom of the table. Norwich won 2-1 against Southampton in their first game under Dean Smith, relegation rivals Watford thumped thumped Man Utd 4-1, Burnley and Palace shared a point in a 3-3 draw at Turf Moor and Aston Villa beat Brighton on Steven Gerrard’s debut.

Back to the game itself, Eddie Howe made three changes from the side who drew 1-1 at Brighton as he watched on from his hotel room, bringing in Fabian Schar, Joe Willock and Joelinton for Emil Kraftth, Isaac Hayden and Miguel Almiron; who hasn’t long returned from South America.

(STARTING 11: Darlow – Schar, Lascelles, Clark – Murphy, Shelvey, Willock, Ritchie – Joelinton, Saint-Maximin – Wilson)

The system wasn’t that much different, with us playing three centre-backs once again, however the approach was much more attacking, seeing Murphy and Ritchie often venturing forward and runners arriving into the box.

Jamaal Lascelles opened the scoring with a towering header, only for Ivan Toney to fire the Bees level with a low strike Karl Darlow had to do better with.

Rico Henry then arrived unmarked at the back post to make it 2-1 to the visitors on the half hour mark, but their lead didn’t last long as Joelinton fired into the bottom corner five minutes before the break. A confident finish from the big man and a goal his superb first half display thoroughly deserved.

The second half saw us concede yet another avoidable goal to edge Brentford back in front with 30 minutes to play. Murphy and Shelvey were weak in the challenge, the ball fell to Onyeka – who wasn’t closed down quick enough – and the midfielder’s shot was deflected in off Lascelles.

An unfortunate own goal for the skipper, but another one that felt avoidable.

Nevertheless, we battled on and were rewarded when a Ryan Fraser cross was bundled home at the back post by Allan Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman jumped into the Gallowgate to celebrate and there was a real feeling of belief around St James’ Park that we could go on to win this in the 15 minutes that remained.

The game was on a knife edge at this point, with us looking tired and Brentford also looking for a winner of their own, and it looked like we were about to win it when a brilliant run by Saint-Maximin set Joelinton through on goal.

The Brazilian latched onto his through ball and the stage was set, but just as 50,000 fans inside St James’ Park were off their seats and waiting for the net the bulge, he cut inside, lost his footing and the chance was gone.

A real shame for the big man, who deserved to be the match winner in what was a man of the match display from our £40m man.

So, a point it is. A much improved performance, filled with more action, attacking intent and exciting football that could soon equate in wins if we continue to build on what we watched today.

However, with results elsewhere going against us and defensive frailties letting us down again, it’s absolutely vital we pick up wins in upcoming home games against Norwich and Burnley – especially when you consider the frightening run of fixtures that await us over the festive period.

Back to the positives, I thought Shelvey looked much better, with his sweeping balls in behind causing Brentford’s back line problems all afternoon.

Joelinton put in his best display for the club, not only taking his goal well but showing for the ball, linking up nicely, imposing himself physically and putting in a real shift for the team.

Saint-Maximin also looked lethal in patches in a wide role and Ritchie seemed a little more like his old self, however the likes of Darlow, Clark, Lascelles, Schar and Longstaff didn’t do themselves many favours, with the latter struggling during his second half cameo.

Next up, a trip to Arsenal next Saturday, but as ever the final word must go to Wor Flags, who paid tribute to the absent Eddie Howe with another brilliant display.

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.

108 thoughts on “Newcastle 3-3 Brentford: Plenty positives but defensive woes deny Howe debut win

  1. I thought it was a toss up for MotM between Joelinton and Shelvey. Unfortunate for Joe that his legs seemed to buckle after that drag back. He did everything right and then lost his footing.

    If Joelinton continues to play like this I will have to stop calling him Donkey.

    I thought it was a fair result. We have to sort that defense out somehow though.

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  2. Stevie G has banned ketchup in the club cafeteria. How much can they possibly put on their food to make any diffference? If it is a grand gesture, it is not very grand.

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  3. When Darlow had to play last year I said I was worried that he was a bundle of nerves and would cost us games. He actually played quite well and I almost had to eat my words. Howver, it seems I was right, just a year early. He had a shocker today and it would have been worse if Murphy had not have saved him when he came out of his box.

    The corners were a bit better today. Not perfect, but OK. Usually they are so shyte we have no threat. I dont think we hit the 1st man once.

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  4. Arsenal are getting thrashed. Some NUFC pessimists will say they will take it out on us. I prefer to think it will make them sad rather than mad.

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  5. As for Man U. They are between a rock and a hard place. Their defense has no confidence and their centre mids are crap. They have enough forwards but so do NUFC and we are suffering in the same way. The Pogba situation will make them a laughing stock when he leaves for free again. He is even out for 8-12 weeks now so will probably only play another 5 or 6 games for them.

    Will Zedane really join with them in a shambles? They wont win anything with Rodgers. Conte even chose Spurs over them rather than wait a couple of weeks. They have an emergency board meeting today but I cannot think of a ready replacement for Ole. Whatever our fate, watching Man U implode is good craic.

    Who does that leave? Probably Ten Hag and Overmars as a package but that means another major rebuild at a cost of probably 300 million. I thought they were getting close to a challenge because they finished second last year. I am not even sure if I would swap our midfield for theirs McFred and Matic, by far the worst of the so called Big 6. Then they have rented a 35 year old (Cavani) and a 37 year old (Ronaldo) for a year to see if they could catch lightning in a bottle. Looks like they caught raw sewage in that bottle and long may it continue.

    There is a cabbage on a farm in Cheshire waiting for their call.

    How about letting some of their ex-players who make their mouths go all the time have a go – Keano, GNev, Rio, Robbie Savage.

    I have been reading The Guardian comments section which has 1,600+ comments on their game. Hardly any are from Man U fans with most others gloating about their predicament. Quite a few are Red Bindippers as you would imagine. Hardly any Citeh fans. It is quite funny because up until recently the Man U fans were more than happy to defend Ole and tell us next year would be their year. A bit like the Scousers when they didnt win the league for 30 years.

    Sorry about the ramble, but I am enjoying this even as we stare relegation in the face.

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  6. After Big Joe’s performance today he might not be the worst signing in PL history. He has picked up a lot this year and if we got him for say, 20 mil, and didnt have to suffer Bruce trying to turn him into a number 9, there wouldnt be as much complaining. Especially from me! But he spent 2 years in the wilderness not knowing if he was coming or going, having the ball hoofed to him and having no-one to pass to. Some alternatives for worst PL signing ever:

    Alexis – was on 400 grand a week and he had lost it all before he signed.

    Pogba – signed for 90 mil, leaving for nowt.

    Mata – cost 35 mil and had 1 year left in him.

    Wan Basaka – 50 mil and is pretty useless. He wasnt even established at Watford when they signed him. They signed him on potential like we did with Joelinton.

    Fred – what does he do again? Cost 50 mil.

    Shaw – cost 30 mil. Has 6 good months and then disappears.

    McGuire – cost 80 mil. He must have had a very good agent. He was never that great even at Leicester. Better for England but that is because we play San Moreno and Albania more than Italy and France.

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  7. There might be a pattern in my worst signings. Can anybody guess what it is? I am trying to think of others. There was Kepa at Chelsea. Haller at West Ham. Everton have made a lot of blunders but theirs are usually in the 30 mil range.

    No, there is one team that dominates worst signings over the past 10 years. And that doesnt even include Ronaldo, who even though he scores, seems to unbalance the side and change the way they play. And if he is unhappy, you know about it so that might get on the other players’ nerves.

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  8. I have changed my mind on the fact it was a fair result. We should have won today. It was pretty even box-to-box but all of our goals were excellent and they got the rub of the green on theirs. A Darlow howler and a deflection.

    What we did see is that our attackers are actually quite good. We have a full squad and can choose from Wilson, ASM, Joelinton, Fraser, Miggy and Murphy up front. That is a top 10 attack.

    Our midfield if not as crap as we think it is if it is not under constant pressure in the 8-0-2. I thought Shelvey played almost HIS perfect game today. Every pass was spot on and he didnt try to be the hero all of the time. Shelvey and Willock with Hayden protecting a back 4 is not a bad midfield.

    Switch Dubs for Darlow and all we have to work out is the defense. I would play a back 4 and have Hayden as an advanced sweeper. I am sick of wingbacks and would play defenders as defenders. That means Manquillo and Dummett if he is available.

    Do we consider Arsenal a free hit given our record against them? I actually think we can get after them and with a bit of luck can get something out of that game.

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  9. Tough one to stomach today because we looked considerably better today – certainly offensively.

    But defensively & keeper wise – very poor. Darlow in particular made some very costly mistakes. Clark & Lascelles aren’t good enough and I’m not sold on Schar either to be honest – Dummett is always injured & Fernandez is old.

    Howe may need to spend the bulk of the January budget on defence to stand any kind of chance.

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  10. I wonder if Miguel Delaney will say anything about Formula 1 being in Qatar and their human rights record? How about Richard Keys? On the subject of F1 there are 3 races left and they are all in the mid east in countries with dodgy human rights records. Has Amnesty International said anything?

    On the races themselves. What’s the betting Verstappen tries to run Hamilton off the road again in one of them. I bet he does a Schumi coz that guarantees the Championship.

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  11. I am watching Man U/Watford. McGuire has been found out. He likes to bring the ball out of defense one on one, but if you press him he panics. The PL teams know this now so he will be a liability at the WC if picked as the international managers must surely get the message as well.

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  12. Yep, but for dodgy keeping and better luck we’d have won it. Darlow was doing the hokey cokey, in when he should of come out, out when he should of stayed in and what was that funny little jump he did. Could and should of done better on two of their goals, seemed to panic in a way that Dubs never seems to.
    Can understand why Eddie is looking at keepers and as sharpy says money needs spending on our defense.
    Say what you will about Rafa but I loved how stingy we were defensively under him, you would never believe it was the same players .
    Sharpy, Schar is a liability sadly, he plays to much on the edge for me. I prefer a back four if I’m honest as well.

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  13. Oh and Joelinton was very very good yesterday, played well and excellent goal, yes he slipped when we had the chance of a winner but Wilson’s control when he had a chance let him down as well.
    Joe was motm for me, long may his form continue.

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  14. kimtoon:
    Yep, but for dodgy keeping and better luck we’d have won it. Darlow was doing the hokey cokey, in when he should of come out, out when he should of stayed in and what was that funny little jump he did. Could and should of done better on two of their goals, seemed to panic in a way that Dubs never seems to.
    Can understand why Eddie is looking at keepers and as sharpy says money needs spending on our defense.
    Say what you will about Rafa but I loved how stingy we were defensively under him, you would never believe it was the same players .
    Sharpy, Schar is a liability sadly, he plays to much on the edge for me. I prefer a back four if I’m honest as well.

    Kim – Rafa did have a tight defence with the same players, but that was 3 or 4 years ago – these players are now in there 30s and coming to the end of their careers.
    I know there are exceptions like Silva at Chelsea – but he has Rudiger & Chalobah either side him – young legs to cover him. We’ve got 3 30 plus CBs who’s legs have gone.

    I love that Darlow analogy 😂. He was doing the hokie cokie – and defenders needs a confident keeper behind them.
    Apparently Dubravka still wasn’t quite ready, but he has to come back against Arsenal.

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  15. I suggested Rico Henry as an option for our LB improvements and based on what I saw yesterday I’m sticking by that. I think he was excellent and a real threat down that side.

    I know Brentford won’t want to lose him, but he’s my pick.

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  16. Given that he had no defender marking him all game of course he looked good. Yes we were exciting but we played 3-0-7 the exact opposite of Bruce, and it was a long’hoof’ball from Darlow that led to our third.

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  17. Last year there was debate about whether Dubs comes back in for Darlow, there can be no debate this year. PL games are often decided on fine margins like JoeLinton’s slip or Toney clearing off the line. You cannot afford a keeper costing you 2 goals and looking like it was his first game spreading fear among his defenders. I thought he had matured and got rid of his deer in the headlights indecisiveness but this is not the only time he has done this this season.

    Sorry to say it, but on this form he is not even a 2nd keeper and needs to be sold.

    BTW, De Gea cost Man U 2 goals yesterday. He seems like a confidence keeper as well and that Man City goal at the near post seems to have affected him. Darlow is like that as well.

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  18. They just put up the Everton team sheet for Man City. On paper it is not very good despite all of the money they have spent. Even worse, the subs are terrible. This, and the Man U defense and midfield should tell us that even with all the money in the world we need to spend wisely. Cannot have Nickson in charge of recruiting.

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  19. Wow, just wow! Man U are keeping Ole’s coaching staff and are looking to appoint an interim Manager until the end of the season. That has train wreck written all over it, and who would take the job? Steve Bruce is free.

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  20. One more thing on Man U. Apart from the crap defense and midfield there is something else that is so obvious in their current form. Ronaldo is taking up the space and receiving the balls that used to go to fernandez. Bruno has been marginalized and is dropping farther back. This seems to have put him in a strop. I have no idea how a new interim coach will fix this as Christiano has to play and Fernandez has been their best player for more than a year.

    Long may this shambles continue and then they lose Pogba for free in the summer 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Yeah I know we are bottom, but I can still be happy for small mercies.

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  21. I think Darlow got the message when Anne Robinson was waiting to interview him when he walked off the pitch yesterday.

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  22. Just watched the highlights back and their goals in particular.

    Toneys goal is just awful goal keeping by Darlow – simply awful!!. It doesn’t get more routine than that really – and so soon after we had just scored.

    Henry’s header could be put on Darlow as well but that one less so for me. Henry should never have had such a free header – but equally, the cross that was put in for the header was too easy as well. If we are playing with higher wing backs, that’s always a risk – but then the CBs have to defend the box better – see the danger and defend their space better.

    Their third is an unfortunate deflection – BUT, Murphy & Shelvey have to press the ball better. They closed the player down but neither showed any real commitment in intercepting the ball. As a result the lad got through and they end up getting the shot off.

    The fact we came from behind twice showed great spirit. But conceding 3 goals is always going to make it almost impossible to win the game – and that’s 3 to Brentford. We have games coming up against teams that could punish us even more.

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  23. I’ve read a few fans hammering Willock yesterday. I know he ended up getting subbed, but I don’t think he played that badly. I think he’s been asked to adapt his game to fit more with playing alongside Shelvey – who seems to be a player Howe wants to build the team around his passing abilities.

    I think once we recruit, things will likely change again. But Howe is having to ‘make do’ for now and look to get what he can out of the players he has now.

    But Willock is a quality young player and the more he gets used to playing a new way, the better he will get imo.

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  24. Is Rafa in trouble with 16 points from 12 games? The Everton fans dont want him so that might make his position more dangerous than it would otherwise.

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  25. Everton had 10 points after 4 games so have only picked up 6 from the next 8. I can see the Blue Bindippers getting restless!

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  26. Rafa was never Saint Rafa of NUFC to me. Sharpy thought the same. I thought he did a decent job but some of our fans went over the top.

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  27. I think Rafa might be in trouble actually. Their next fixtures are:

    Brentford A
    Liverpool H
    Arsenal H
    Palace A
    Chelsea A

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  28. I would really like a NUFC fan to put the pundits on the spot at Talksport about Steve Bruce to Man U. Simon Jordan and Danny Murphy to start with. They would have to do a sneak attack though and say they were going on to talk about something else like NUFC’s survival chances as I doubt the producers would let them ask the Man U question.

    Then I was thinking of the others that should be asked about Bruce to Man U. Among the ex-player pundits and national journalists. Then I thought, all of them because they all defended Bruce at NUFC, even Shearer.

    The only ones that didnt defend Bruce were the ex-NUFC players and the NE correspondents for the Nationals. Even The Chronic, except John Gibson, went easy on Bruce until this season.

    I really, really, really would like to see his pundit pals squirm and explain why a Manager with 1000 games and who is such a nice man couldnt be their interim manager to steady the ship until the summer and allow a proper recruitment process.

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  29. Bruce has 1,000 games more Managerial experience than Michael Carrick who has been put in charge of the next few games. He is the Man U equivalent of Graeme Jones.

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  30. Man U are broken, I just cannot see Carrick fixing it. Their strength is their forwards but Ronaldo and Fernandez are stepping on each others’ toes and I am increasingly getting the feeling that Rashford is not as good as the pundits made him out to be. They acted like he was MBappe but he is 24 now and doesnt seem to have pushed on.

    Taking this Man U job is a hiding to nothing.

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  31. What to make of the match? Was a new experience actually enjoying watching us play. People complaining about 3-3 at home against Brentford but they only had 7 shots and scored 3. One was a deflection (and was a consequence of poor keeping) and another was a real keeper **** up. So in the scheme of things it was better than it looked.

    We need to beat Norwich and Burnley that is for sure but we also need to defend better.

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  32. Stuart79:
    What to make of the match? Was a new experience actually enjoying watching us play. People complaining about 3-3 at home against Brentford but they only had 7 shots and scored 3. One was a deflection (and was a consequence of poor keeping) and another was a real keeper **** up. So in the scheme of things it was better than it looked.

    We need to beat Norwich and Burnley that is for sure but we also need to defend better.

    Stu: I said earlier that PL games often come down to fine margins and your keeper cannot gift the opposition 2 goals. It was pretty even but we scored by far the better goals and had the better chances. That ASM goal was outstanding, even though it started route 1 it required great skill from Fraser and ASM to put it away.

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  33. And with Carrick’s record I expect him to get injured on the training ground and not be able to perform his caretaker manager duties. Therefore, the obvious choice is Steve Bruce. Some of the Man U players could do with a few extra days off the way they have been playing. Pogba and McGuire got a head start on that with stupid sendings off but Shaw, Wan Bassaka, McTominay and Fred look like they need some Brucey love.

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  34. A dilemma here. I really want Spurs to lose. Really really want them to lose, but if Leeds win they go even further away from us, so much as I hate to say it, I hope Spurs win this game.

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  35. This Man U job circus will rumble on for weeks if not months. There should be plenty of time to ask a few pundits about Bruce. As fans there is really only access to Talksport though, we would have to hope for friendly journos (Craig Hope?) to bring it up elsewhere. The place I would really like the question answered is Five Live. I only get the poscast so I am not sure if fans are ever allowed to ask questions.

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  36. I watched the Spurs game. Conte celebrated like they’d made it into the cup final or something like that. He’s easily pleased coz his side were bang average today like.

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  37. I dont think that discussing Bruce to Man U is dwelling on the past. I see it more as pointing out the bias of pundits towards NUFC which continues even now. The main way is to discuss human rights as it pertains to NUFC but not to other clubs such as Man City, PSG and any club with Chinese owners. They never really mention formula 1 – Beckham was there today asa n ambassador, the WC, tennis events or a new golf tour headed up by Greg Norman.

    The pundits have used false equavalencies of Bruces record and finishing places as a stick to beat NUFC fans with. They have ignored the boring formations and ultra-negative football. I think we can use them ignoring Bruce to Man U as a stick to beat THEM with. If he was so good then why not have him as a caretaker? That is what Man U say they are looking for and who better than a former Captain, with 1,000 games of experience and a house in the area?

    I am not going to push this too hard, but I could go on Talksport tomorrow and slaugher Danny Murphy and any argument he could come up with. Of course, I would ambush the clown and have my answers already prepared for his inane rebukes 🙂 I would have done my research which is more than I can say for most of Bruse’s pundit pals who think that watching Match of the Day is sufficient.

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  38. These interviews with Ole and fond reminiscing as if he was retiring after 30 years service 🤦🏼‍♂️ What are Man Utd doing man????.

    The guy failed. He had 100s of millions spent on players and won nothing!!.

    He gets a golden handshake of over £7m for what? – failure. I don’t get to keep my parking pass if I’m sacked.

    They didn’t want Conte coz he’s not Man Utd enough for them. There’s only Pep who has won more trophies than the bloke – what more do they want???.

    I like Gary Neville and think generally he talks a lot of sense. But when it comes to the Man Utd manager I just don’t understand what he’s saying, what he’s hoping for – maybe it’s a combination of success & sentiment – but is that not just dreamland?? – and WE get labelled deluged 🙄

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  39. League games and goals for Man U:

    Bruce 309/36
    Carrick 316/17

    Number of games as a Manager

    Bruce 1,000
    Carrick 0

    C’mon pundits you are missing a trick here. Brucie is the obvious choice for caretaker and the Athletic even says he wants the job.

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  40. I think any interim Manager at Man U has as big of a job as Eddie does with us. Does anybody remember how bad they were before Bruno Fernandez galvenized the team? Now Ronaldo is occupying his spots so he doesnt know what to do.

    I watched the Liverpool and City games because they were the biggest games of the weekend. Then I watched a full replay of the Watford game. Their defense looked appalling. Dalot is not a PL player. Bailly was a joke. McGuire looked Sunday League and Shaw looked like the Mourinho Shaw. They have shipped 11 goals in 3 games.

    None of the midfielders would get in ANY of the other BIG 6 and that includes Spurs.

    They have some very good attackers but they all cant play at the same time.

    C’mon down Steve Bruce. He will sort it out. It would be so funny to see the Mancs turn on “one of their own”. I reckon it would take 2 games.

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  41. Is Harry Winks any good? He played for England, but then again so did Eric Dier. I think it is a Spurs thing. When I have watched Winks I could never really work out what he did.

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  42. Thinking more about Bruce to Man U. It is sort of amazing that ALL NUFC managers under the Fatman are now unemployed. You could say Keegan and Kinnear are too old, but the rest?

    Allardyce
    Keegan
    Shearer
    Kinnear
    Hughton
    Pards
    Ugly John (part time coach w/Scotland)
    McClaren
    Rafa (dead man walking)
    Bruce

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  43. Eric – you joke about Bruce but I think as Sky bet stands Bruce is 16/1 and Zidane is 12/1.

    Carrick would be mad to take it through to the end of the season!!. It’s such a toxic job already.
    The fans are already steaming so if the losing streak continued they aren’t going to be kind – put it that way. As a coach with no managerial experience, I wouldn’t touch it.
    He’s 6/1.

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  44. Sharpy17:
    Eric – you joke about Bruce but I think as Sky bet stands Bruce is 16/1 and Zidane is 12/1.

    Carrick would be mad to take it through to the end of the season!!.It’s such a toxic job already.
    The fans are already steaming so if the losing streak continued they aren’t going to be kind – put it that way.As a coach with no managerial experience, I wouldn’t touch it.
    He’s 6/1.

    Sharpy mate. I want to see Bruce get it for the comedy to see his Pundit Pals squirm as he makes a complete hash of it. Their defense and midfield is so much more crap than I ever thought it was or could be. I thought they had a chance to challenge for a top 3 again after they added Verane, Sancho and Ronaldo. I never figured how much that would unbalance their team and the effect CR7 would have on Fernandez. I am loving it though 🙂 Plus, they have the whole Pogba circus coming up. I think he can talk to teams from other leagues beginning Jan 1. That shouldnt be a distraction !!! His choices are Juve or PSG but neither should take this massive show pony. Imagine MBappe, Neymar and Pogba in the same team competing for social media followers and clicks.

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  45. Imagine If the cabbage goes to manure. Ronaldo in defence, el mohamedy brought in as a star player, Maguire on the wing, van de beek in goal. How many square pegs can go into round holes. 😂😂😂😂

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  46. Darlow AND Lascelles have to be dropped. They have cost us about 8 goals this season. 3 on Saturday alone. Lascelles sending off. A penalty? Darlow just stinking the place out.

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  47. Perhaps Bruce/Jones put them under pressure but it is time to clean house. Darlow, Lascelles and Clark need to be gone.

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  48. I am trying not to be knee-jerk and say just coz Shelvey and Donkey played well in the last game that they should be starters. They have played OK this season though.

    Then there are the players who have been total shyte – Lascelles, Longstaff, Clark and Ritchie as a defender. These 4 in the same team drag us down. Oh, and Darlow as well.

    THEY WILL ALL BE OUT OF THE TEAM BY CHRISTMAS.

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  49. PSG want Zidane, and if they can get him then Poch will go to Man Utd I reckon. But Zidane wants the France job apparently – so it’s not straight forward.
    Wherever Zidane goes I reckon his contract will want a clause to allow him to leave for France – but I can’t see a CL club wanting a clause like that.

    I don’t think this one is straight forward & it may HAVE to wait til the summer.

    It may be that they HAVE to get an interim manager – maybe Carrick if the results turn. But if not, I could see a Blanc come in short term – but I would LOVE if it were Bruce.

    They might as well you know. He’s seen as a good man manager by ‘those in the game’ – ASM spoke well of him so I’m sure there is some truth in it. Maybe they get him in to put his arm round the players while Carrick & the rest do the training.

    It’s a complicated & interesting one – but baffling that such a massive club keeps getting themselves in such a mess.

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  50. Sharpy: It should be interesting today when Man U play Villareal. It is on the Spanish Channel over here so I might watch it. They really got outplayed in the Europa League final. If that happens again it might push Man U to replace Carrick and I hope you get your wish.

    I dont really understand appointing the coaches who were responsible for the mess along with the Manager. I knew Graeme Jones would be a failure. The only ones I can remember working were Dean Smith and Duncan Ferguson and I am not sure they saw eye to eye with their departed Managers.

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  51. Neither Murphy nor Ritchie contributed to the defence leaving the flanks wide open, see Henry’s goal. We played 3-0-7 with 3 poor CB’s. Hope we learn. Either we go to 4 at the back with Fullbacks or we have more defensive wing backs. Shows how much we miss Dummett. Also we played without a defensive midfielder. Personally I think 4-1-5 would be more prudent. Our front three looked good given the service though

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  52. I am being serious now. Bruce’s Pundit Pals should be pushing him for the Man U job. Ole was working in the Norwegian league when he was installed as caretaker. His only experience of Management in England was getting relegated with Cardiff and then sacked when they were mid-table Championship. Bruce was Captain and has 1,000 games under his belt. We know he is shyte but the pundits said he wasnt. Have any of them come out and backed him? He has put his name forward?

    Gabby?
    Rio?
    Danny?
    Simon?
    Chris (Sutton)?

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  53. I do not for a second belive that Eddie Howe has banned biscuits. It is not a coincidence that Lee Charnley has left and now there are no biscuits to be found. He was in charge of procuremnet and delivery of the buscuits along with the tea and now he is gone a biscuit shortage was inevitable.

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  54. What biscuits was Charnley passing out anyway that were so bad for the players? Was it the empty calories? Jammy Dodgers? Chocolate Digestives. Dark chocolate is supposed to be good for you! Lee probably had a stash of milk chocolate digestives. Walker’s Shortbread, that is all butter! Wagon Wheels? I bet it was Wagon Wheels. They always seemed more like gooey cakes than biscuits to me.

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  55. Olly: I agree with you that loans to buy would be best for NUFC but it impractical. Everybody seems to forget that we are just coming out of/are still in Covid. Money will be tight and clubs apart from the super rich will need money. Even clubs like Spurs who have stretched themselves or Arsenal who have cheapskate owners. They will want the money up front and even more so, the Agents will want their money up front.

    Even clubs like Burnley may do business with us because they are skint and can use the money to buy players for their own survival. That is why I think we have a chance at Tarkowski who would be leaving in the summer.

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  56. I am enjoying the mess Man U are in even though you could argue that we are in a worse state. But some comments anyway as they play the 12th placed team in La Liga. Villareal has a population of 50,000 and yet they are dominating the Mighty Mancs. De Gea has made a couple of decent saves and Man U have not had a shot yet, unless you count Ronaldo belting a free kick into the wall balls high. They are playing Carrick-ball and just knocking it around the back with no real intent.

    Fernandez, who was their talisman last year has been dropped because he plays in the same space as Ronaldo. I have no idea what Martial is doing. I think he is an early Christmas ornament on the left wing. I think he has touched the ball twice.

    Then there is McFred in midfield. I honestly think we are better there if Shelvey can keep up the form of Saturday and Willock’s toe gets better.

    I know this is a Newcastle blog but I am enjoying the Mancs squirm. I wish we got Keane and Scholes over here. I am watching on the Spanish Channel.

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  57. You know this “horror” run of games we are supposed to have around Christmas? Yeah we play Man City and Liverpool, but Man U are a sh!t show and Everton and Leicester arent much better. It looked bad on paper but some of our fans should look at the form of these teams and realise it may not be as bad as when the fixtures first came out.

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