Alan Shearer has praised Newcastle for their improved attacking performance against Brentford but rued two costly errors that stopped us from grabbing all three points.
What some described as a must-win clash at St James’ Park didn’t finish the way we all wanted, but fans were still entertained by Eddie Howe’s first game in charge, with a goal-fest at both ends.
Newcastle committed men forward in a 3-4-3 formation, with wing-backs pushed on, runners arriving in the box and Allan Saint-Maximin – who Shearer praised – having licence to attack along with the much improved Joelinton.
Our record goalscorer was far from impressed by our defending, however, as he labelled them “hopeless” while speaking on Match of the Day.
Karl Darlow’s clanger for Brentford’s equaliser cost us the game, something Shearer was quick to point out.
This is what he had to say when assessing the performance on Saturday night:
“From a forward point of view, yeah (Newcastle played well).
“It was a lot better, more shots in this game than any other this season. But that creates its own problems.
“They want to play on the front foot, they want to get more bodies forward and they certainly did that. The chances that they created.
“They get men in the box, [in this move] they have six men in the box, Saint-Maximin, who had a good game, was really unlucky.
“Similar thing again, you have men in the box and this time they do punish them [Bournemouth], falling nicely for Joelinton [to score].
“But on the other side, with this defence, if you are going to commit that many men forward, then you leave this defence exposed and they will concede goals.
“So many mistakes all over the place, Darlow there, a basic error [for equaliser], he had a really poor game, looked really nervous.
“They lose the ball again and that protection has gone, another mistake from Lascelles and they are wide open, they get away with it on this occasion because he [Ivan Toney] was offside.
“Ritchie has got to stop this cross, he doesn’t, then Murphy doesn’t have a clue that Rico Henry is in behind him, so there’s another two or three errors. So they are going to concede goals.
“They are wide open, one ball and they [Brentford] are in behind and another error from Darlow, what he’s doing here coming with his feet, I’m not sure, he should go and collect it with his hands to settle that problem [instead, it leads to third Brentford goal].
“So, 23 shots and from a forward point of view impressive, but defensively they were hopeless again.”
Here’s what big Al tweeted before and after the game, paying tribute to Joelinton at half-time: