A big “fuck you” to the fans

That’s it, I’m done. I’m sick of defending players who refuse to play for the badge and a manager whose dithering is in endangering our position as a PL club.

I said after Norwich that Ciaran Clark should never kick a ball for NUFC again. That rumble you felt at 1pm was hundreds of thousands of Geordies groaning as Clark was announced as part of the starting 11. And within a few minutes of kick-off, he’d proved all of us right. Dubravka’s rushed pass resulted in a soft corner, but Clark gifted Man City an even softer goal. Centre halves are taught from being kids to be proactive and clear balls into the box, so why is a professional defender on £40,000 a week ducking out of the way of that cross?

City’s second could be called a comedy of errors – but for Newcastle fans this joke simply is not funny anymore. The farce began as Cancelo waltzed far too easily past Willock. Hayden had bust a gut to get back into position, only to fall on his arse as a simple touch from Cancelo took him out of the game. But the worst was yet to come. Cancelo drove forward unchallenged as our two central defenders backed off. There was ample time for one to close him down, but instead, as he shaped to shoot, they both obligingly ducked out the way. The “V” formed by Clark and Lascelles as they turned their backs on that shot was a giant two fingers flicked at the Toon Army. They could not have been any clearer in communicating the contempt in which they hold the fans.

I’ve been patient with Eddie Howe, but he has to shoulder some of the blame in picking Clark to start. Also, how many formations and different starting 11s has Eddie picked since arriving? He clearly still does not know his best team, and that’s a terrifying thought after seven games. While our overall shape has improved, the defence has gone backwards. Even Bruce got a better tune out of our back line, while Howe’s tenure has seen howler after howler.

VAR’s failure to award us a blatant penalty will continue to fan the flames of those supporters with a persecution complex, but let’s be honest here, it would have made fuck all difference.

Howe has been dealt a bad hand – it’s a poor-quality squad and there’s only so many ways he can shuffle the pack. But he’s running out of time to find a formula that works before we head into a crucial run of fixtures in January.

Dan Jenkins @PlumsGinger

 The expected defeat then. Part 2.

After Liverpool we didn’t really need one of the best teams in the world in rampant form but that’s the fixture list. We ended up getting hammered but for me (I’m in the minority I think) I think we did enough to have some hope that we can pick up points against teams that we can (at this point) compete against. We battled and tried, no argument there.

What really got up my nose was the complete gift of a first goal which was as bizarre as it was wholly predictable.

Dubravka should have cleared without conceding a corner and Clark should just have cleared. So NUFC.

What also got up my nose was the non-giving of a penalty when Fraser was wiped out. Just like the capers at Anfield, I repeat the question. Would they have got it at the other end?

Man City would have surely have upped the gears in any case but actually they were not 4 goals better.

People leaving after an hour and people murmuring around me didn’t help. What did people expect? We were never winning this match, I’m sorry .

What will delight me in future years when we wipe the smirk off the faces of this lot. We won’t for a few years , but we will eventually, and I will be ready and waiting.

Merry Christmas!

 Scott Robson

 Now time for a little break

The rush of football pre-Christmas is normally something to be celebrated and enjoyed. Thinking back to 2019 and after an awful display against Burnley (one of the worst trips home of my life) we were excellent against Palace and Miggy got his first goal for the club.

This Christmas has been a little different, though our players still seem happy to offer gifts to the opposition. There was no red suit for Ciaran Clark but that first goal was a disgrace, following up from his ridiculous red against Norwich and the penalty against Brighton. He isn’t good enough Eddie, please stop picking him.

The midfield was bossed for us by Joelinton and Hayden, who will now miss the Man United game. Hayden did what he does, he chased spare men, he tried to press but against arguably the best team in Europe and certainly their strongest midfield, we won’t get much joy. The Brazilian has a new song to cheer him on and to be honest looked the most likely to make something happen, but he still can’t do the simple things. For me he is the Brazilian Shola, but even less prolific.

There should have been a penalty, there wasn’t. That might have made it 2-1 but the opposition weren’t at their fluid best and to be honest Dubravka and some wayward shooting kept the score respectable. I didn’t expect anything from the last two games, but teams around us now have games in hand. That could be crucial come the end of the season, we need points. Let us hope that St James’ is at its raucous best for Manchester United, as if it is back behind closed doors I can only see an away win.

Stephen Ord      @smord84

What’s the point?..

Title Contenders Manchester City were the latest team to visit St James Park this weekend for the latest round from the Premier League. Eddie Howe made five changes to the team that lost to Liverpool with Callum Wilson, Ciaran Clark, Joe Willock and Matt Ritchie all returning to the starting eleven. The fan revival continues to shine under the new regime with a sell-out crowd expected. This is the first home game since the horrid Sports Direct signs have been taken down.

The match got underway, and it wasn’t long before the first goal was scored, and it was the visitors who took the early lead in the 6th minute. Cancelo hooked the ball into the box which was astonishingly left by Ciaran Clark and Dias headed home. An absolute gift of a goal thanks once more to a shoddy defence. Joelinton had the first chance for the hosts shortly after the ten-minute mark when his well struck effort after a deflected cross skimmed just past Ederson’s post. The Citizens doubled their lead halfway through the first half as Cancelo picked up the ball from just inside the Newcastle half, skipped his way easily past Willock and Hayden leaving them for dead then tucked it into the top corner of the net past a stranded Dubravka. The hosts were then denied a stonewall penalty two minutes later when City keeper Ederson clattered into Ryan Fraser which neither Martin Atkinson or VAR were interested in. If that had happened to any other team in the league or at the other end of the pitch it would have been given. Despite going two goals down, the hosts continued to push for a goal and will definitely feel a sense of injustice The half time whistle came without any further changes to the score.

Joe Willock was brought off at half time and replaced by Allan Saint-Maximin. There were no changes to the visitors as the second half got underway and Newcastle started the better of the two teams who were spurred on by the 52,000 strong crowd chanting “Eddie Howe’s Black and White Army”. The first chance of the second half fell to Saint-Maximin who was played in from behind and tried to set up a shot for Callum Wilson, but his pass was over hit and Laporte could easily let it fall into Edersons hands. City nearly had their third goal of the game just after the 50th minute mark when Jesus’s close-range header was spectacularly saved by a acrobatic Dubravka. However, just ten minutes later they were celebrating when Mahrez smartly volleyed home a cross from Zinchenko. It was originally chalked out for offside but after a short VAR review, it was given. Raheem Sterling rounded off the scoring for the Citizens in the 85th minute with a simple tap in from a Jesus Cross. The full-time whistle went and it’s the visiting side that travel home with the three points and the knowledge that they will be top of the league for Christmas.

Sutty’s Full Time Thoughts: Seriously what is the point of VAR? The Magpies will be rightly frustrated not to have had a penalty awarded after Fraser was brought down in the box. Martin Atkinson had none of it and many will compare it to the Marcus Maddison incident last week. I don’t think it would have made a difference to the outcome of the game as City still played well but it would have been a lot closer than the actual outcome. Mike Reiley desperately needs to have a word with his referees as once more their decisions are ruining football. The greatest league in the world? I don’t think so anymore. Our defence once more let us down massively, Clark and Lascelles aren’t Premier League quality, Joe Willock still hasn’t reached the same heights as what he did last season either. Joelinton continues to shine under Eddie Howe, and he was my Man of the Match out of the Newcastle United team today. I still believe in Eddie Howe’s capability to steer the team to safety, but a run of fixtures follow which the Magpies must gather points from.

What’s Next? Newcastle United host the other team from Manchester, Manchester United on the 27th of December at St James Park with an 8pm KO. Manchester City host Leicester City on Boxing Day with a 3pm KO.

Jack Sutton @jsuttonwrites