United continued their horrific away form securing a seventh consecutive away defeat dating back to February this year.
I arrived in Wales’ second city after leaving the North East at 5am to the news we were unchanged both personnel wise and tactically. That’s really where the game was lost but more on that later.
The game began with Swansea exerting heavy pressure and after a couple of scares from distance Swansea took a deserved lead when Shelvey (bafflingly unmarked just 25 yards from goal) fed Gomes who easily went round a static Krul for the opener. The rest of the half was a none event with NUFC enjoying a spell or two of inane possession around the back line and Obertan had our only “chance” of the game when he shot from distance and Fabianski saved low down at his near post. Swansea didn’t really threaten at all as the games flash point approached.
Daryl Janmaat is a really good player and played 37 league games for United last season. He was a standout performer in a shocking, shambles of a team. Just 26, he’s good enough and young enough to play Champions League football. He currently has absolutely no competition for his place at NUFC. There isn’t another first team right back on the books of one of Europe’s wealthiest clubs (revenue wise). The same can be said of Tim Krul and Fabbricio Colocinni. While the club has replacements in their positions, it’s unthinkable to think they’d ever be dropped or face losing their place in the team. Daryl Janmaat picked up two pointless and needless bookings in the first half of a Premier League game. He knows when his ban is up, he’ll be back in the side. He could do what he did twice more this season and he’d still be straight back in the team. There’s absolutely no pressure on him at all. Like there isn’t Colo or Krul who are both operating miles below what they’re capable of.
People will rightly say Janmaat is an idiot for picking up two needless bookings – betraying his team mates and the travelling fans. Both bookings were soft. Both bookings were collected in the opponents part of the pitch with our goal under no immediate threat. So stupid and pointless to go with needless and unprofessional. That’s 2 red cards in two of his last 3 away games.
Mike Jones is a really bad ref. The worst. As long as I’ll live I’ll never forget him actively searching for a reason to disallow Tiote’s goal against Man City. The man went out of his way to look for a reason to stop NUFC from equalising. There wasn’t a real reason, none of the Man City players appealed against anything but Mike Jones still took our goal from us. He enjoys the limelight He has an ego. To do something as ambitious as searching for a reason to disallow a legitimate goal, not really finding a reason and then disallowing it anyway, live on national television, displays a special type of self lust and egomania. I know this. Daryl Janmaat, the Newcastle players and coaching staff should know it. When Janmaat picked up his first booking, he refused to walk over to Jones. Jones blew his whistle 3 or 4 times. The game was delayed. Janmaat made a public display of being unhappy with the ref for his soft booking and Jones forced him to walk back to him, just so the card could be brandished. It was a matter of time after that. Janmaat should have known Jones would be looking for him, desperate to send him off. Desperate for his name to be in all the newspapers tomorrow. He didn’t and there’s now a major doubt over Janmaat’s professional attitude and character.
Andrew Ayew scythed down a player from behind as he approached the box then body checked a player near the Swansea goal as we attacked at the start of the second half. Both offenses were worse than anything Janmaat did. Both clear yellow cards. Each time Ayew apologised to the ref immediately and took his talking too. He was booked for the second foul. He should have been off. Ayew scored the second after 50 mins and it was game over. McClaren withdrew Cisse and we went strikerless as damage limitation was the key – we didn’t create a chance of note in the whole 90. Really poor.
Cisse is a waste of space in this formation – especially away from home. He offers nothing outside the box. I’d imagine he spent about 30 seconds of open play in Swansea’s box. He hinders the rest of the team. Riviere gives you more than Cisse in this formation away from home. What is McClaren playing at?
Anita and Colback aren’t defensive midfielders. They provide zero cover for the defence The 4 2 3 1 formation hasn’t worked for 3 years under Pardew and Carver – away from home especially. Why are we still playing it. In what world is Obertan a better pick than Aarons? Why did we approach today sitting deep and conceding possession as if we were playing at Arsenal at the Emirates? Swansea finished 8th last season, they’ll be similarly placed this year. Surely we see them as direct rivals? Can you imagine them coming to SJP and playing the whole game from the start within their own half of the field.
Plenty of questions for the new head coach to answer.
Newcastle United and Swansea look miles apart and Swansea won’t get near the top 6 probably. Not good enough.
Newcastle United: Krul 4, Janmaat 0, Mbemba 7, Colo 6, Haidara 4, Anita 5, Colback 5, Sissoko5, Winjaldum 4, Obertan 2, Cisse 1; subs – Taylor 3, Aarons 4, Mitrovic 4
Our fans – nothing to shout about but subdued from the start. An odd mix of people in the away end. 4
Their fans – They have a drum and are part of the zany school of football support. They were reasonably loud though. Booed Mitrovic onto the field which was a nice mark of respect for him 5
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892