In classic Newcastle United fashion, our fans were drastically bought back down to earth following our impressive beginning to the season.
Following the unusually impressive transfer window in the North East, we began our season with 2 wins across the board. Firstly, we cruised to a 2-0 win against West Ham in our opening Premier League fixture, before progressing in the EFL Cup with our complete second string team. We were suddenly filled with optimism, what a weird feeling…
Up next was a home game against Brighton, with many fans hopeful of another 3 points. What followed was 90 minutes reminding us that we support Newcastle United, and that things with this club are never straightforward.
The match turned into a horror show within 8 minutes, already finding ourselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline. There was not much improvement shown throughout the remaining 82 minutes, as we succumbed to a whimpering 3-0 home defeat.
But you know us over here at NUFC Hotspot, we like to keep a positive mindset on things. There’s already enough doom and gloom surrounding this club. With this in mind, we list our 5 positive (ish) points to take from the match.
It wasn’t going to be easy. the lifeless performance didn’t offer many glimpses of hope, but we like a challenge. Seriously, this could be the most difficult piece we’ve ever wrote!
#1. We didn’t waste our time going to St James’ Park
It can be argued this point is not all positive as a trip to St James’ Park is about more than just a football match.
The whole matchday experience is still missing, and with the local lockdown now implemented as of Friday, our return to the stadium is likely still far into the future, but hear us out.
With our last visit to St James’ Park coming in February 2019 and ending in a 0-0 draw against Burnley, would this really have been a football match you’d want to witness on your return?
Beginning slowly (Understatement) we allowed the team from the South Coast to gain a 2 goal cushion within the first 10 minutes, never once threatening to mount a comeback, or even registering a decent attempt on target.
At least being at home there were some distractions to take your attention away from the game unfolding in front of you. Hoovering? Napping? Painting that spot you missed behind the radiator?
#2. We ended the match with 11 players (Kind of)
Within the first 34 minutes, we saw 3 of our players earn a yellow card. It was clear to see that frustration was flowing throughout the players in black and white, but luckily we managed to avoid any red cards.
Jamaal Lascelles, Jamal Lewis, and most worryingly Jonjo Shelvey were all walking on tightropes from the first half. By navigating the way through the 90 minutes without any dismissals, it affords Bruce a full squad to choose from next week.
We have seen how damaging a red card can be for the scoreline, by simply referring to our horror show last season at the King Power Stadium…
With this being said, Lewis will need to be assessed before our trip to Tottenham following a nasty challenge from Brighton man, Bissouma. Leaning forward with his leg outstretched behind him, the Brighton midfielder unintentionally caught Lewis square in the face with his studs earning himself a flash of red.
Lewis subsequently could not continue the game, as we did close out the final passages of the game with 10 men.
#3. The Transfer Window is still open
With the Transfer Window open until the 5th October, and the extended Domestic-Only transfer window running until 16th October, we still have time to bring in recruitments.
Admittedly, it can be assumed that our spending would be near, or completely finished for the window, however the urgency to sign a backup striker and a right back is still present.
Looking at things from a different viewpoint, the poor performance of Allan Saint-Maximin against Brighton could also be a blessing in disguise. I for one was apprehensive that we could have received some big money offers for the Frenchman.
In particular I am under the impression that Wolves would be interested in his services, especially following the transfer of Diego Jota to Liverpool for a huge £41 million fee.
However with the less than impressive display on Saturday, mixed in with a potential injury, it seems that Wolves may seemingly focus their attention elsewhere. I mean he might even have a Portuguese cousin…
#4. Still time to turn things around
Cast your mind back to Matchday 2 of our 2019/20 Premier League Season, and you will remember a 3-1 defeat at the hands of newly promoted Norwich City.
Relegation fears were seemingly set in concrete, while each member of the squad was heavily criticised, and rightly so. However, if you cast your mind back to Matchday 3 of last season you will also remember the 1-0 win in the capital against Tottenham.
Who do we play next week? Tottenham.
It would be the prefect opportunity for the squad, and more importantly Steve Bruce, to show they have what it takes to turn things around.
With just two games gone in the 38 game season, we have averaged 1.5 points per game. If you multiply this by 38, we would be foretasted to end the season on 57 points, enough to earn an 8th placed finish last year.
I understand we will not be playing West Ham or Brighton each week, but still this highlights that there is still a long road ahead before May swings around.
#5. Gareth Bale won’t be making his debut next week!
Tottenham Hotspur were on fire at St Mary’s on Saturday. The partnership of Son and Kane became the first pair in Premier League history to combine for 4 goals and assists.
With their strike force on hot form, it will prove to be a tough game on Saturday. One positive however, is the fact that returning Welshman, and 4 times Champions League winner, Gareth Bale has been ruled out of the fixture.
The Real Madrid man joins Tottenham while nursing a knee injry meaning he will not feature for Spurs until next month. With 19 year old Lamperty destroying one side of our defence on Saturday, the though of one of the worlds best wingers running at the other side is truly a recipe for nightmares.
There we have our five positive to take from our 3-0 defeat to Brighton, lets hope this piece will be much easier to write next week!
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