MATCH REPORT: Watford 2 Newcastle United 1, Vicarage Road, 23/Jan/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 20,611

by • January 23, 2016 • Match reportsComments (20)4417

Sometime being a Newcastle United fan is easy. It’s fun. You watch a team you connect with wearing a shirt you adore. You watch players who strike a chord with you and share emotions with others who bleed black and white blood just like you. You travel the country with like-minded souls and optimism flows through your veins. You drink, sing and dance the night away to a sound track of majestic football sharing stories of daring do and stupidity of the highest order. Then there is following Newcastle United at the moment and none of this exists. I travelled with Barry Evans (off Eastenders) to Watford and we had a great weekend which was quite simply spoilt by the football. The 2016 version of Newcastle united is one that I don’t think I share any true connection with anymore. I go to games not because of desire and passion but more as a sense of duty. The enjoyment of last week’s two decent performances replaced by the tough realisation that we are deep in a relegation dogfight and that we don’t look equipped to get out of it. I feel distanced from the players, I feel complete antipathy towards the head coach and the management stirs hostility in me which I never thought I would feel towards the club that I love. In summary, it’s miserable being a Mag.

We took a pain free train ride down to that London and after dropping the bags into the hotel, we blagged our way up to WatfordawayJan16Watford Junction with a zone 1-6 ticket when apparently we needed a zone 1-9 (I knaa, I didn’t understand either). A couple of pints in a decent little watering hole not far from the station (looked like someone’s front room though so it might not have actually been a pub) left us with a decent walk up to the ground. The sun was shining though and we had a spring in our step. Even the staged flag waving in the home end didn’t spoil the occasion too much (like a shite version of Marseille or Olympiakos – I type that whilst wiping a tear away from my eye as I had the pleasure of being at both). If there’s one thing you can rely on though, it’s that the smile can be wiped off your face very quickly following us. Because of our chronic lack of investment in defensive staff, the team was changed completely from the one who did so well against Man Ure and West Ham because we didn’t have a left back available. Three centre halves (Colo, Mbemba and Lascelles making his debut) were deployed to nullify the Watford strike force of Deeney and Ighalo with Janmaat and Aarons being used as wing backs. We started off pretty well and a decent move down the right led to a chance for Aarons who flashed his shot wide. In the 17th minute, poor play by Lascelles in the right back spot led to the impressive Elliot making a good double save from Deeney fist and then Capoue. In the 23rd minute, a nice lay off by Wijnaldum gave Mitrovic the chance to finish but his poor effort hit Gomes’s legs and spooned over the bar. Perez showed him exactly how to finish the same chance against West Ham but for reasons only known to the coaches, he wasn’t on the pitch. Now I thought Mitrovic was decent against the Hammers but he has to start scoring goals. It’s what he is paid handsomely to do and he is failing. He had chances in this game but fluffed his lines every time. We need a striker who can finish or we are down, it’s a simple as that. We have done for ages but it seems what is glaringly obvious to the fans is not being seen by the people in charge of our club – it’s criminal to be honest. A couple of half chances for both side then saw the half out and we went in 0-0 and looking ok if not brilliant. Watford aren’t a great side by the way but their application and effort is admirable. Top that off with a couple of decent forwards and a good coach and you’ve got yourself a side that can challenge in the top flight.

The second half started off terribly with Deeney shrugging off some pathetic attempts to challenge him in our midfield andNorthern Threads Winter Sale lifting a ball over the top to an unmarked Ighalo who rounded Elliot and scored. All that in the first minute. Obviously another awe inspiring team talk from Schteve then? Mitrovic flashed a effort across the goal and then in the 58th minute, Watford went two up when a punt to the back post was heading back across goal by Deeney to Ighalo who tee’ d up Cathcart (a centre half) to volley a left foot shot past Elliot. Poor defending to be honest. In the 71st minute a Shelvey corner from our right saw Lascelles climb well and power a header past Gomes from about 10 yards out. By then the very poor Aarons and Saivet had been replaced by Gouffran and Perez and the little Spaniard looked determined to play some football, something that was sadly lacking by others. Elliot made another great stop from Ighalo and then three minutes before the end, Gouffran showed just how weak as piss he is when he was shrugged off the ball easily by Capoue who skied his effort miles over the bar.

Just a footnote but the setup of the side completely nullified the effect of our best player from the West Ham game. Shelvey was not influential in the game and the formation of the team was completely to blame in my opinion. I heard McClaren’s interview on Match of the Day and he is either talking shite because he thinks he needs to tell the world lies to make us feel better or he is completely deluded. We didn’t play well and we weren’t squandering clear cut chance after clear cut chance. I’ve seen this smug bastard use this line before and it’s starting to get on my tits. The team isn’t unlucky Steve, it’s poor. Players who are outstanding one week (Wijnaldum) are shocking away from home. We are desperate for a centre forward who knows how to bloody finish (Austin for £4 million for God’s sake) and we need some defensive cover badly. The coach needs to play a formation that the players understand and which brings out the best in the talent we have (Shelvey). It’s not unlucky that we are where we are. Our performances are weak and pathetic against teams around us and we seem to only play against teams who our players would like to move to. And one final thing, Perez, Gouffran and Riviere need to practice headers all week because I’ve never seen three more terrible efforts from great crosses in one game – shocking. Make no bones about it; if we continue like this, we will be relegated.

Anyway, we made our way back into central London and got smashed around Camden. Drinking cocktails (several) at a certain age doesn’t bode well. I woke with what can only be described as a chronic hang over on Sunday morning.

Newcastle United: Elliot 8, Janmaat 6, Lascelles 6, Coloccini 6 (Riviere 88), Mbemba 7, Sissoko 6, Saivet 6 (Perez 59 6), Shelvey 6, Aarons 4 (Gouffran 59 4), Wijnaldum 5, Mitrovic 4

Subs n/u: Darlow, Taylor, Marveaux, Thauvin.

Attendance: 20,611 including around 2,000 Mags

Our Fans: 8 – got behind the side and made ourselves heard

Their Fans: 3 – not offensive in any way shape or form

Ref: Andre Mariner  7 – OK but I think he could have booked more of their lot for diving and generally cheating especially Capoue.


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20 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Watford 2 Newcastle United 1, Vicarage Road, 23/Jan/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 20,611

  1. mike says:

    Joke of a manager…………what was his team selection ? Tactics? Goffo as a sub???? WE ARE GOIN DOWN

  2. Bob says:

    Goufran on….really? I thought Saivet was a winger before moving infield so why not move him out wide if you want a winger on, save on subs. Lascelles had a decent game and we have a central defender who can score. Deserves more starts. Mitro is getting more frustrating, he had a great chance when put away with one defender to beat before taking on the keeper but he slowed down and gave the ball away. Wtf. To add to it all Austin scored and Charnley still fiddles away. We were lucky in that Norwich got beat and sunlan drew with Bournemouth. Still looks bleak though.

  3. Andy bee says:

    Mr steve mcclaren perez is a genius , he doesn’t need resting , he links with and understands Gini particularly well. Which part of above don’t you fkin understand?! Let’s roll out gouff and Aaron’s to disrupt any progress……wtf? Incredible……

  4. Ian Summers says:

    What is staggering is Mc Laren talking about Riviere being like the proverbial new signing. Can someone point out his record last year, was it 2 premier league goals in a season? God knows what his his goals per game ratio is at Newcastle but it probably makes Frank Pingel look good. The work rate of Mitrovic was phenomenal against West Ham but his lack of goals is slowly killing his belief and we clearly need an alternative right now, forget about sell on value in years to come Mr. Charnley. For Gods sake a short term measure like loaning Peter Crouch would keep us up but we need goals NOW. Does Charnley realize it is the bottom 3 that get relegated, we are third bottom Mr. Charnley. I love Mitrovic though and he will come good, people forget he is only 21 but it is obvious we need an alternative source of goals now.

  5. Kenny Henderson says:

    We need a poacher, goal scorer, fox in the box… call it what you like but we need one & bloody quick. Oh & a captain who won’t turn his back/ hide when a shot needs charging down, have a look at the 2nd goal then try telling me he’s not a shit house fuckin sort arsed fairy at best, or a coward at worst !

  6. Phil Atkinson says:

    Spot on Kenny. Colo is spineless, lacks physicality, leadership qualities, shits himself if faced with an aggressive striker, all palpably obvious to anybody that has a clue about football, yet numerous coaches/managers( and, most disappointingly to me,the majority of supporters seem to think he is a class act !!) have never sort to replace him. On their day Townsend or even Borini may do the business but unless you get the basics right and acquire a decent centre back to play alongside the promising Mbemba we are doomed simply because we’ll always concede more than we score.

  7. Andy bee says:

    Jesus…….borini?? Thanks Phil you just made me laugh.
    So we played ‘tremendous’ thanks steve I’ll take that on the tremendous trudge to work on a dark Monday morning. (Ps Swansea played tremendous today = 3 points ) . Not looking such a tremendous jan window at moment.

  8. tom Bates says:

    If we get more points than Norwich over the remainder of the season we should stay up. We still have to play all our relegation rivals so all is not lost but thank god Norwich threw away a two goal lead yesterday. Had to laugh with Austin scoring seven minutes into his debut if it wasn’t for our stubborn transfer policy we could have had him in the summer instead of Mitrovic. Yes he would have cost 15 million then but a small price to pay to stay in the league. If we have been as unlucky this season as Mclaren makes out in terms of missed chances then surely Austin would have had us up in the top ten.

  9. Gareth Harrison says:

    Spot on, unfortunately Ted. Cocktails though, marra? You’ll be turning up to the Forth on a miniature BMX next.

  10. Wallace Wilson says:

    I don’t get what people are saying about Mitrovic. I’ve seen him have a couple of good halves, no more. He is slow mentally and physically, His work rate is lax, he gets bullied by centre halves, his hold up play is no better than adequate, he has no pace and his finishing…. I think he’s benefiting from our love of a radge packet. He’s a big lad up front, and a limited one at that. Nowhere near worth £13m. Compare him to Deeney on Saturday

  11. Chris Steel says:

    Mitrovic is a disgrace. Compare him to other’s who have never played in the premier league this season like Vardy/Mahrez/Ighalo. Absolute whopper of the highest order. Sell him now get Crouch on loan and townsend and lets at least try and stay up man

    • Matthew Symonds says:

      Chris, Mazrez and Vardy played in the Pemiership last season? Why would you want to sell a 21 year old that we’ve just signed? He would be a great striker if we weren’t in the current situation. I firmly believe that if he wasn’t our No.1 striker he would have more of an impact – especially in away games, if we played to our strength. Also why Townsend? We create chances as it is – Would you not rather sign a better striker for the extra money that you would spend on Townsend? And please don’t say sign berahino, he had one good season last year, and is 21/22, that’s the last thing that we need at the moment.

  12. Anton says:

    We need defenders.
    The Saturday game was rubbish, Watford are not very good and there is no excuse for conceding two goals (and if not for our much maligned keeper, it could have been much worse).

    The ugly truth is that averaging 1 point per game from now on will probably keep us in the Premiership. It may not be pretty, but if we want to avoid relegation, our first priority is to stop conceding goals. We are simply not good enough to score 2-3 times every game whether we have Mitrovic or Austin (or Suarez) up front. We need to gamble on 1-0 flukes and 0-0 battles. Norwich and West Ham were outliers.

    Are we going to get a left-back? Are we going to get a right back and a central defender?