There was no sunshine over St. James’ Park today as Newcastle United lost their second game of the week 3-1, this time at the hands of AFC Bournemouth.
The lack of attacking threat continued from earlier in the week as the Magpies failed to find their finishing touch. Despite support from his own players, Steve McClaren’s seat gets even hotter as his side have nnow failed to gather a single point out of six.
It was all Bournemouth early on as Newcastle characteristically struggled to see much of the ball. When on the ball, they failed to capitalise. Emmanuel Riviere controversially started over Aleksandar Mitrovic and struggled to make better of two early chances. His woeful performance earned him a half-time substitution.
Newcastle would agonizingly fall behind at the midway point of the first half, courtesy of a Steven Taylor own goal. A pair of chances fell flat for the hosts as Bournemouth took the ball back up field. After finding open space, Joshua King’s effort across the face of goal was turned past Robert Elliot by Taylor’s clearance attempt. It was a goal that adequately reflected the state of the club: frustratingly poor.
St. James’ Park was silent for a majority of the first half as fans struggled to find anything worth shouting about. There was zero creativity from Newcastle going forward as they continued to predictably dink balls forward to no one and send crosses to phantom players. Newcastle’s lack of a proven striker showed as no one on the pitch looked up to the challenge.
Boring Newcastle offer little in final third
The second half offered little improvements despite the introduction of Mitrovic. Newcastle harmlessly passed the ball amongst themselves, putting no effort or energy into creating chances. Their attitude mirrored their midweek match as the Magpies looked content with the result on the scoreboard.
McClaren had received little abuse during the match, but the fans could heard loud and clear as they chanted ‘Sacked in the morning’ at their manager. Shortly after, Joshua King would receive the ball in the box before turning and firing into the nearside corner. McClaren stood on the touchline silent as Newcastle continued to unravel.
Ayoze Perez would pull one back for Newcastle just ten minutes later, offering the Magpies a lifeline. If there is one light in the darkness for Newcastle, it is Jonjo Shelvey as the January signing sent Perez on his way with a brilliant ball over the top. Perez was able to avoid the Bournemouth defense before finishing.
Just as Newcastle looked like they could steal a point on the afternoon, poor defending allowed Charlie Daniels put the game away as the defender scored Bournemouth’s third. Not a single defender picked up his run as he found the far-side corner virtually unopposed. It was dreadful end to a dreadful evening at St. James’ Park.
As apparent by the team’s performance, Newcastle United appear to be a team in shambles. Matters won’t be made easier for Newcastle going forward as an injury to Paul Dummett leaves the Magpies thin in the full-back department. With nonsensical lineups, the fans fed up with him, and little to offer going forward, it is only a matter of time until Steve McClaren’s time is up.