PODCAST & REPORT: Sheff Wed 2 Newcastle United 1, Hillsborough, 8/Apr/17, KO: 5:30pm. Att: 28,883

by • April 8, 2017 • Match reportsComments (8)1934

Newcastle United produced their worst away perfromance of the season as Sheffield Wednesday completed an unwanted double over us. It was only our second league defeat since January 2nd, but that didn’t make it any easier to take following Brightons comfortable win on Friday night.

United made one change from that team that beat Burton on Wednesday, with Yoan Gouffran coming in to take the place of Christian Atsu, a change that would leave nobody suprised. Illness to Jack Colback and a slighy knock to Isaac Hayden meant that Mo Diame continued in central midfield with Jonjo Shelvey. We look short in midfield at the moment, anyone remember Rafa wanting to sign another centre midfielder in January? Never mind, that’s something that will rumble on into summer after promotion is surely secured.

In a totally forgetable first half the home side came closest to scoring when firstly a Gary Hooper volley came back off the
cross bar after a poor Paul Dummett clearance and then ex mackem Steven Fletcher screwed horribly wide when well placed, he ought to have scored. We then lost Dwight Gayle to what looks like a re-occurance of his original hamstring injury, he hasn’t looked right at all for weeks has he? I don’t know if it was the fact that it was a 5:30 kick off and that I’d had more than a few stouts but I really don’t remember anything else of any note happening in that first half, in which other than the two chances mentioned, United never really looked troubled, yet we didn’t test home keeper Kieran Westeood at all either until Jonjo Shelvey with his first notable contribution popped the ball one side of his man and unleashed a brilliant effort from the half way line which he was unlucky to see crash off the woodwork.

The second half was a totally different affair, in which United couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm and our very few short comings this season became apparent. We cannot have a go at the team for there performance this season as a whole, but, and this maybe a bit controversial but I’m going to say it…. Jonjo Shelvey had another poor game, and unlike Matt Ritchie when he doesn’t play well, the work ethic isn’t quite there with him. This probably explains why Rafa had him out the side fairly quickily at the back end of last season. He just doesn’t seem to have been at the races since coming back from that ban. Shoot me down if you please, but I want more from him. He wasn’t the only one who under performed today however, Ayoze Perez, who I seen make his United debut at the same ground a few years earlier again turned in another really poor display. What has happened to this lad, full of promise in his early Newcastle career, he now looks a really bad imitation of his original self. Anyway, it’s easy to criticise after a defeat.

Wednesdays first goal arrived on the hour as a Ross Wallace free kick was met by the head of Tom Lees. That goal didn’t alter the away ends support for the team which was on the whole fantastic all afternoon. 10 minites later there looked to be no way back for Newcastle, when Fletcher headed in direct from a throw in, a really poor goal to conceed. United rallied late on and when a Mitorvic attempt hit straight at Westwood, Shelvey was there to tap in the re-bound. Then as injury time came round, a right wing corner found the head of Lascelles, only for the captain to head wide in what would have given us an unlikely and undeserved draw. As it was it stayed 2-1 and Wednesday completed the double over us.

A song and drink fuelled bus journey home seen us all still in good spirits, quite literally! I’ve no doubt Rafa and the lads will still get the job done, just get us out of this horrible league as soon as possible!

In Rafa we trust!

Darlow 6, Anita 5, Lascelles 6, Mbemba 5, Dummett 4, Ritchie 6 Shelvey 5, Diame 4, Gouffran 5, Perez 4, Gayle 5

Murphy 6 (for Gayle)

Atsu 5 (for Diame)

Mitrovic 6 (for Ritchie)

Leeds up at home next on good Friday, lets make it one of those nasty hostile atmospheres at St James’ and get ourselves back on track.

CHRIS WOOD – Follow Chris on @ChristophWood


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8 Responses to PODCAST & REPORT: Sheff Wed 2 Newcastle United 1, Hillsborough, 8/Apr/17, KO: 5:30pm. Att: 28,883

  1. Bob says:

    Another ref who bottled two possible sendings off for studs up, Bannen and, I think, Wallace. Not a great performance but a very good try from Shelvey when he beat the keeper but hit the bar, unlucky.

  2. john rush says:

    When defoe scored against us last season a lad who sits in front of me said when his mates started going radgie “you cant polish a turd” he was right then but rafa has since proved him wrong. He has done so to get us this far on the brink of promotion with an ordinary team, occasionally like tonight we get caught out by shite like tonight by a bunch of fg rugby players. Put in in perpective keegan waddle beardsley terry mac roeder etc got 80 pts from 42 games. Rafas team has 84 from 41 with players nowhere near the class of those above. Sadly i can see a repeat of that 84 for arthur cox read rafa leaving after promotion due to lack of ambition. For jack charlton read pardew or ranieri but no waddle or beardsley. In 84 i was 20 and i hung around in 17 im 53 and if rafa goes thats me finished till ashley and co go

  3. Tomb says:

    In the 80s a lot of second division teams had quality players so the league was a lot tougher. Promoted teams would find there wasn’t a huge step up in standard. These days decent players from the second tier are signed to sit on the bench at premier clubs. A fairer comparison would be to compare our players to Brighton and Huddersfield in which case I would say we’ve underachieved slightly. I think its recognised we have the best squad on paper in the division. But if we get promoted which is looking very likely it’s job done and we’ve found a way to get results which Villa and Norwich haven’t done consistently. It shows how good a job Chris Hughton did with us and has done with Brighton.

  4. Tomb says:

    And just to labour the point the Arthur Cox team was very entertaining, a joy to watch which used to be almost as important as results before the money came in. I can’t remember too many entertaining games this season despite our impressive goal tally. Saying that I think we’ll finish top come the end of the season with Brighton playing a few of the form sides away they’ll probably drop a few points.

  5. Rob says:

    83/84 was probably the most excited I’ve ever been following us, but to be fair we couldn’t defend to save our lives, had maybe the slowest defence I’ve ever seen us put out and shipped over a goal a game. Best team I’ve seen at this level was 92/93 and that had 81 points from 41 but won the last 5. Still reckon the point stands that Rafa has squeezed all he can out of the current crop of players. I don’t think our squad is THAT great on paper to be honest, mainly players in there who have played PL football and been shown to be not good enough for that level versus squads that have mostly never played at that level at all but are decent at Championship level. Take out Shelvey, Gayle and Ritchie and we would have been fighting to get into the playoffs.

    • mikey says:

      Totally agree Rob , Rafa’s doing the best he can with the lot he has got, and we have done well to get here, just hope he does not walk at the end of the season, and Ashley realises what needs to be done, just get us over that line Rafa

  6. Tomb says:

    Rafa has nothing to prove to anyone. He has had a stellar managerial career. Just thinking that this season hasn’t proved his genius hopefully that is to come.

  7. Stephen says:

    Without doubt 83/84 produced some of the best memories ever but make no mistake that was mainly down to our unbelievable front three.

    We lost to the likes of Grimsby and Shrewsbury at home, got humped at Carlisle hardly the heavy weights of the division lost to Oxford, Cambridge and so on.

    We also got humped off Chelsea 4-0. By contrast i have not seen media darlings “Brilliant Brighton” hump us this season.

    Not as spectacular but i have some brilliant memories from this season, Brighton home and away, Leeds, Huddersfield.

    Hopefully a couple more to come.

    i was proud of that 83/84 lot and i’m proud of this lot.