On Saturday, Newcastle put up a truly embarrassing performance for the fans to watch, with a 3-1 loss being put on our record. Keeping Brighton level on points with us after they beat Derby County 3-0. For those of you who didn't watch the Reading game. THIS is what it was like.(I didn't get to see all of it, which Is why I didn't write a review) The only difference being that Reading are awful and cant score.. (I didn't get to see all of it, which Is why I didn't write a review) Also, just to confirm. That was THE worst performance I have ever seen from a Newcastle United side. Ever. (from when I've been watching)
So what happened?
Well, from the start we were lazy, slow And lacked any type of attacking prowess. With our main tactic being a long ball to a 90% fit Dwight Gayle who never ONCE caught up to it. But to be fair, inside the first 10 minutes we almost scored when a compilation of scrappy crosses from Atsu and Ritchie almost found a man to slot it home.
But just 5 minutes later it all just fell apart. With a truly amazing 25-yard goal by Tom Cairney which found the top right corner of the net started the downfall.
Usually when you (as a team) concede a goal. Your team will start ATTACKING. Start getting up more. But not Newcastle at home. We got even MORE defensive. With the main culprits being Mo Diame and Vurnon Anita. Both of whom I witnessed literally turning 180 degrees around and passing back to the defense. Embarrassing.
As the first half went on, it was as if the team had forgotten how to play football. With Newcastle just resorting to hoofing the ball up the pitch straight back to the Fulham defenders, and the attacks we DID have just resulted in awful passes that were either overpowered, or nowhere near the targeted player. Just minutes after the Cairney goal, Karl Darlow's cat-like reflexes were put to the test when Sone Aluko made a fake shot into the box, before attempting to put it into the left hand side of the net; only to be met by a strong Darlow hand.
But at last, we had some kind of attack. When Daryl Murphy caught onto Vurnon Anita's cross. And it almost went in, but Fulham shot-stopped David Button tipped it over the bar. Maybe the game would've been different if that had just gone in. But no, from then on, all we did nothing but get dominated and give the ball away in that first half afterwards. And then there was yet another half time boo-fest.
I expected another Rafa half time team talk. But in reality, it was just a team self destruction. As just 8 minutes into the second half, Ciaran Clark basically just passed the ball straight to the feet of Sone Aluko, who backheeled it to SIXTEEN year old Ryan Sessegnon (where have I seen that second name before?) who firmly put it away into the bottom right corner. Child play defending from Clark, who could've easily just cleared it away up the pitch or even for a throw in. But instead, he decides to awkwardly semi-kick it to a Fulham player. That won't do well in the premiership at all...
And from there it just fell to pieces. And all hope was drained out of the Magpies when just 8 minutes later, (59th minute) a long ball played across the ball once again found Sessegnon who ran with pace into the box with ease, completely outpacing Vurnon Anita, who had seemed to have GIVEN UP going in for a tackle before he even had a shot. Which obviously found the back of the net for the third time, Game. Set. Match.
And rightfully so, about 10 minutes later Dwight Gayle was substituted for in-form Daryl Murphy, who scored a great goal of false promise on the 76th minute, when he took the ball down from the air, turned his man and scored from about 26 yards out. World class. In my opinion, he should be starting every game until Gayle is 100% fit. And even then, Murphy should start some of those matches.
We could've had a second about a minute afterwards, but a linesman marked Matt Ritchie offside just as he was about to cross it in, even though he received the ball on the left wing near the edge of the box, when the defense were receding further backwards, madness.
From then on it was the same thing, poor passes, poor defending and small semi-attacks. But on the 93rd minute, the referee awarded Fulham a penalty when Ciaran Clark flattened Sessegnon in the box. Sessegnon was going to take it for his hat-trick, but Tim Ream offered to take it instead, which subsequently missed the goal entirely. Should've been 4-1.
I don't know what the hell is wrong with this team at home and I've ran out of ideas as to why we are so bad. I don't get why Rafa isn't getting them to play the same as they play away at home. It really baffles me, that's a FIRTH loss at home this season, not good enough if we want to be champions. Thankfully, we are playing away on Saturday, against Birmingham City, a team we beat 4-0 AT HOME last time we played. Really, we should demolish them. If we draw or loose, we probably won't win this title. Howay the lads, don't let me down next time, lets go back to winning ways!