What we learnt from Newcastle’s 1-0 loss to Stoke.
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 2, 2016
After another miserable fixture as a Newcastle fan, I look at what we have learnt from yet another loss.
Steve McClaren has to go.
I thought I would start off with the most obvious. I have stuck by Steve McClaren this entire season, but I have had enough. You knew that Newcastle was most likely going to lose the game as soon as it was announced that Yoan Gouffran would start ahead of Ayoze Perez and Rolando Aarons. The game plan was clearly to set up for the draw and try to play it out. From the first minute, Newcastle sat back and soaked up the pressure from a rather wasteful Stoke City. There was no tactical plan other than to hold out for a draw. Why on earth Steve McClaren thought that the first substitution he should make is to replace Gouffran, a player whom should never have started, for Emmanuel Riviere, a man who has never scored a league goal for Newcastle is totally beyond me. It took until Newcastle were 1-0 down and 84 minutes in for Steve McClaren to bring Seydou Doumbia and Ayoze Perez on for Mitrovic and Colback. This is ridiculous, these two players created more opportunities in the 8 minutes they were on than Newcastle had in the entire game up to this point. It has been clear since the start of the season that Mitrovic cannot play up top on his own, so why McClaren started him alone is beyond me. I have given him plenty of time. He told Newcastle fans to judge him after 12 games and it’s now been 27. It is time for the tactically inept Steve McClaren to leave St James’ Park.
It was never going to be easy on a wet Wednesday night in Stoke.
There are no excuses for the hopeless performance given by Newcastle, but the weather wrecked havoc with the game. The wind was unbelievable and the rain was lashing down on a very cold night in Stoke. It made things very difficult. Still, there were no excuses as Steve McClaren’s men fell to a sixth straight away loss.
Seydou Doumbia should be given more of a chance.
He came on in the 84th minute and yet looked like our brightest player, he arrived on loan with no fitness and has been working hard on the training ground. He played in the Lillestrom friendly, yet created nothing. However, Peter Beardsley did come out and say that he was very excited by the January signing and even said Seydou reminded him of Faustino Asprilla. High praise indeed from a Newcastle legend. In 6 minutes it is hard to create a decent chance. However, he would have scored if it wasn’t for an amazing save by Jack Butland. He also delivered a low ball into the box that should have had a player in a black and white shirt get on the end of it. He looked very lively and I would very much like to see him play a bigger role in this Newcastle squad. Whilst we have him on loan I feel we should make the most out of him.
The 18-day break was a waste of time.
This time, could have been spent finding a replacement for Steve McClaren, however instead Newcastle spent a week and a half in the Spanish sun. They played a friendly against a below average Norweigan team and scraped a 2-1 win. Clearly during this break Newcastle have not improved. They look like the same side that lost 5-1 to Chelsea and show no sign of improving. The time off that should have improved Newcastle, and got the players prepared for this late battle to retain Premier League status has clearly been useless.
Newcastle’s away form is destroying their season.
Newcastle has now lost 6 away games in a row. In fact, during the entire season Newcastle have only picked up 7 points away from home, the second-lowest in the league. It is only 1 point above what Aston Villa have picked up away from home this season. This is horrendous and is that of a club which deserves to be relegated.
Saturday’s match against Bournemouth could be the biggest game this season.
If Newcastle loses this game, I am certain they will get relegated. This game is huge. The fight for survival is effectively a three horse race as of now. Sunderland, Newcastle and Norwich. Bournemouth is a game which Newcastle need to win to have any chance of staying up, especially as it is a home game. If Newcastle does not turn up or simply get overturned by a club that 6 years ago were facing relegation from League 2 then I have no doubt we will be relegated.
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