We should have known shouldn’t we? Smiles on the faces in the pub pre-match, confident predictions of a comfortable win, it could only mean one thing and true to form, United stunk the house out deservedly losing to a limited Hull side on a sunny Tyneside afternoon.
Pardew started with the same XI from a week earlier at Villa and for the first ten minutes, we picked up where we left off, looking bright and incisive. Just a shame the following eighty were absolute gash. After a period of crisp passing, Sissoko picked the ball out wide on ten minutes and swung a deep cross over. Depending on how charitable you want to be, Cisse either snatched at it or pulled the ball back over the six yard area for Remy to head home. It was pretty much both Sissoko and Cisse’s last meaningful contribution to the game, at that stage only ten minutes old but up to that point we looked much the better side.
However, we failed to push on and Bruce visibly changed their formation leaving Pardew scratching his head at the concept of a Plan B and whilst our midfield looked neither here nor there, Quinn and Huddlestone took control for the visitors. We received what looked like a let off when Krul saved from the hapless Danny Graham but with us still reeling under pressure, Brady equalised with a rifled shot past Krul.
It was in slightly fortuitous circumstances that we took the lead ahead of half time. Cabaye hit a hopeful shot that rebounded into the direction of Remy. With their goalkeeper flatfooted, he was able to steer the ball into the far corner. In effect it was a tap in but I thought he took it coolly and all was well with the world going in at the break.
The second half was as poor as we have seen at SJP under Pardews tenure, which is really going some but put simply we were absolutely garbage. With the half barely a minute old, they won a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard area and with the resultant cross, ex-Mackem Elmohady headed home totally unmarked in the box. The goal was embarrassingly simply executed and didn’t spark any meaningful response from us.
Cabaye ‘limped’ off all too eagerly after a meaty challenge and Cisse was howked off, with the ridiculously lightweight Gouffran and Marveaux brought on in their place but it was Hull that got a deserved winner with quarter of an hour to go and to be fair, it was a lovely finish with Aluko turning home a cross on the volley from 12 yards. Good goal, but Jesus how had we ended up in this position after being one nowt up inside ten minutes against relgation fodder?
We had half a chance to level in stoppage time through Remy but in truth we’d have robbed a point and the sheer lack of direction and heart from the team in the second half was frightening to see. Hull held on comfortably for the victory and it is difficult to pick out anyone who emerged with credit – Krul was ropey at best in commanding his area, Debuchy displayed his pea-hearted approach to our cause, Sissoko and Cabaye were totally anonymous and Cisse looks absolutely shot. And they weren’t alone.
Had we won today, people would have talking about a great start to the season but as it now stands we are looking beyond the next couple of games to a difficult run of fixtures and wondering which way the season might go. For me, there’s something not right with a team that can come out that badly after a half time team talk and really, what has changed from last season? Not good enough.
Keep the Faith
Newcastle United – Tim Krul 4,Mathieu Debuchy 3 (Chieck Tiote Tiote n/a), Mapou Mbiwa 4, Fabricio Coloccini 5, Davide Santon 5, Hatem Ben Arfa 3, Vurnon Anita 6, Moussa Sissoko 3, Yohan Cabaye 4 (Yoan Gouffran 3), Loic REMY 7, Papiss Cisse 3 (Sylvain Marveaux 4)
Ref – Atkinson – 7 – I can barely think of even a foul being blown up for?
Our Fans – 5 – Bubble popped
Their Fans – 8 – Good turnout, noisy.
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