There can be no great detail of analysis in Newcastle United's play this weekend other than the fact it was poor, woeful and pathetic for a club that should be battling for survival in the Premier League.
Other than Jonjo Shelvey, the players exhibited no grit or metal which is vital for the position they now find themselves in. In an almost mirroring performance to the away game at Stoke, the Newcastle players did not press high enough up field to challenge the Bournemouth defence and did not close down the likes of Afobe, Gradel and King who plagued the Newcastle back line all game.
With Newcastle’s back partnership of Fabriccio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba broken, Steve McClaren had to look for alternatives and unfortunately his choices are dire.
Steven Taylor, as illustrated by his own goal, is still recovering from his injury and is taking time to adapt. Sadly for Newcastle, time is not something they have, as with 10 games to go, United now find themselves in a three way relegation battle with Norwich and arch rivals Sunderland. The other defensive slot is Jermain Lascelles who played his first starting debut in the game. For the dangerous position the club are in, can the club afford inexperience as a defensive solution? Definitely not.
In the midfield, the only saving grace for Newcastle is Jonjo Shelvey who is the only small ray of hope the fans have to cling to in this dark period for the club. His precise pass to Ayoze Perez was the only consolation for the home faithful which was inevitably obliterated by Charlie Daniels who rendered Newcastle’s only goal of the match useless.
In all fairness, Moussa Sissoko stepped up from his game on Stoke and tried to penetrate Bournemouth’s back line repeatedly throughout the match.
Sadly, his charging runs could not inspire the same movement and position in his teammates as Jack Colback and Giorgino Wjinaldum remained very statuesque in the game and were repetitively playing long balls which was easily defended by Bournemouth who looked like a solid unit throughout the match. In a complete contrast to United, Eddie Howe's team looked like a team enjoying their football as they dominated all areas of the match.
Cracks are opening quickly
Easily the most puzzling factor to emerge from the game was Newcastle’s mentality during the match. After getting a goal back, the team should have been rejuvenated and fought for the fans as it had seemed the pendulum had swung, albeit for the briefest of moments, in Newcastle’s favour.
That was not the commitment witnessed by the home faithful as they saw their team remain passive in a game that was of imperative importance.
It seems as though the spark of belief has been extinguished as Newcastle fought like a team that will imminently relegated to the Championship as the loss against Bournemouth which was Newcastle’s first loss as St James Park since Boxing day, shows that they have brought the atrocities of their away form to their front door.
As a side on the lowest points total in the clubs history at this stage of the season (24) Newcastle have a monumental mountain to climb and it will undoubtedly take a miracle for the Tyneside club to survive in the Premier League.
The biggest question on everyone’s mind following Newcastle’s recent defeat is whether McClaren will be sacked. Though many fans have called it, Mike Ashley’s commitment to his sides mangers suggest that maybe the former England Manager will be stuck at the club.
However media reports claim the club is talking to David Moyes, so whether these reports are to believed or not, McClaren’s future at the club looks shaky as with ten games to go, perhaps, replacing the manager may be the best step Newcastle can make.