Prior to the game against Southampton, NUFC manager Alan Pardew stated that his return to the stadium would have a positive impact. Unfortunately, for the 2,100 fans who traveled to the South Coast to see Newcastle play, it was anything but, as the Toon were absolutely hammered by Southampton 4-0.
The scoreline didn’t flatter Southampton by any means as they could have easily won by at least six or seven. Newcastle were that bad. The starting line-up was one most Toon fans would have wanted, with Rob Elliot, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Massaido Haidara given an opportunity. Unfortunately, the effort shown by the players did not match the effort shown by the traveling fans.
It was one-way traffic for the entire first-half, and Newcastle were fortunate to only go in at half-time one-nil down. We had zero shots on targets to Southampton’s 14 (aye, you read that right). At half-time, Pardew all too predictably brought off Hatem Ben Arfa as well as Mapou Yanga-M’biwa. I have issues with these subs (no shit!). Ben Arfa’s withdrawal for Luuk de Jong made us entirely too predictable. There was no creative outlet in Newcastle’s game (and no doubt Ben Arfa will be used as Pardew’s scapegoat). Secondly, why even start M’biwa as a full-back when it’s clear for everyone to see that playing on the outside is not his game? Why not give Santon that spot and have M’biwa on the bench as cover? Makes no sense at all.
Towards the end of the game, we had three left-backs on the field – Santon, Dummett, and Haidara. Who in their right mind thought that would be a good idea? It’s an all too familiar sub from Pardew though, and quite frankly, it shows that he hasn’t got a fucking clue.
An absolute shambles of a performance from the vast majority of our players, with stand-in keeper Rob Elliot the only player who can come away with his head held high. Quite frankly, those players who represented Newcastle United today should be ashamed of their performances. ‘Not good enough’ doesn’t even come close. How about ‘not fit to wear the shirt’.
If there’s not a major change at this football club over the next few months, it could be an even more perilous time at St. James’s. There was no silver lining on today’s defeat. There were no positives to take. Bring on the summer. This season’s done.
What do you think?