Most of us would have taken a point before a ball had been kicked – goes without saying. It also goes without saying (even though I am) that in end it was two dropped.
Ciaran Clark’s ninth-minute brain fade ended up impacting both teams negatively. Newcastle for obvious reasons but City too because, armed with most of the possession and the initiative, they were incapable of doing almost anything with it.
Dean and Shaky’s game plan would have been formulated on the basis of the Toon being roared on by the “50,000” (as mentioned 50,000 times by Shearer), having most of the ball and us having to be solid and resolute in defence while dangerous on the break. When asked a different question they, unfortunately, didn’t have the answer.
After two-and-a-half games of looking the part (I can’t include that first half against Southampton), last night we were offered a painful reminder of why we are where we are.
The lack of creativity, the laboured passing, the dearth of quality in the final third – all of the Premier League failings of old were on show, aside from the defensive frailty which, happily, wasn’t tested to the level anticipated.
But it was a tough watch and an even tougher listen, with Shearer reminding us how “poor” we were at three-minute intervals while eulogising over Newcastle’s ability to tackle and run.
All in all, it was a miserable old night, yet one that could have been so much worse. And to the 1,200 who made the trek and who could be heard, loud and proud throughout, we salute you. Undoubtedly the stars of the show.
Dean Smith’s post-match appraisal was, as we have come to expect, spot-on, with the lack of intensity and the super-sloooow passing at the top of his could-have-been-better list.
Thankfully, amid the huffing, puffing and wildly overhit crossing, there was one brief moment of quality that salvaged the point for City. Teemu Pukki’s thumping left-foot volley was out of keeping with everything else that happened but was well worth the wait.
We remain both lucky to have him and worryingly impotent in front of goal without him; something not lost on Messrs Smith and Shakespeare.
For all of Josh Sargent’s undoubted qualities – tireless running, tenacious closing down etc – he’s currently a long way off being a viable alternative to Pukki if the Finn, God forbid, was to get injured. A long way.
As far as being an out-and-out striker goes, I’d suggest Adam Idah is ahead of the American in the pecking order but is he ready or prolific enough to lead a Premier League line? Equally, there’s no way City will have the funds available in January to go out and buy a viable Pukki alternative.
Of all the conundrums with which Smith and Stuart Webber have to wrestle, this for me is the biggie. No Pukki, no equalizer is the stark message that emerged from last night.
But, for all the sub-plots that unfolded during 96 Tyneside minutes, it was another point on the board and City have now gone four games without defeat. Despite the horrible lack of quality on show last night, we’re no longer the soft touch we were a month ago.
Another plus to have emerged over the last three games is around the new coach’s use of his subs and how, almost invariably, they are able to impact the game. Last night, the standout change was Dimitri Giannoulis for Brandon Williams, with the Greek international proving a better fit to the side’s ebb and flow when we have a lot of the ball.
Williams is the better defender of the two and adds bite when bite is needed – as he showed on Saturday – but Giannoulis’ natural inclination to join in and his left foot are qualities that come to the fore when we have more of the ball. It’s easy to see why Williams started and why Giannoulis was the better option when we were pushing.
Smith got that call right, as he did to add Idah to the fray when Pukki needed someone to help him alleviate the physical burden of having to battle three defenders. Pierre Lees-Melou for Christos Tzolis was another change that almost worked – especially if the Frenchman had buried that late chance.
For one day at least, we move up to 18th and if Wolves would care to do us a favour tonight we could even head into the weekend in that position. With Watford playing Chelsea later we could also go into the weekend just three points shy of Utopia, aka 17th.
So, once the dust settles on a frantic night on Tyneside, the upshot is, while improvements are still needed on an industrial scale, we are in the mix. Properly in the mix. And we’ve gone the whole of November unbeaten.
Who saw that coming after the Leeds defeat?
Herr Cutz says
Gary, can’t fault what you say, without the Goat we’re like Christmas turkeys. We need goals from other players, Deano said that a few days ago. Games are won on the training ground and that takes time, just hope we’ve got time, but I do think we’ve got the management duo that can do it.
Idah should’ve been loaned out to the Championship this season.
You’re right, if Teemu gets injured we’re toothless. Its no good bringing in an unknown to learn the trade at this point of the season, we need a proven goal-scorer – this is why so many Norwich fans shouted out in favour of Jordan Rhodes a while back; enthusiastic, able, a good fit and a likeable lad.
We should’ve beaten the Magpies, we should’ve beaten Wolves. We would’ve been out of the bottom three with 14 points today, instead of hoping we can get a result at Spurs. We’d also have had a lower negative goal difference, which will matter a lot at the end of the season.
I still think we’ll stay up, we’re doing alright, but we could have been doing even better!
Just seen an Ex Newcastle player called Micky Quinn might be spelt wrong but his comments were strange saying that even after going down to 10men they were the better side and should have won.
All stats prove him wrong but there ex players like to get air time on sky
Can anyone explain why Newcastle use Hey Jude as their anthem
Given that Newcastle held us to 1-1 with 10 men, it probably feels that way to them, I think Jamal Lewis hints that online somewhere.
The stats come out in favour of us having 69% of the overall possession (BBC radio which was how I followed the game), we should really have come away with the three points.
Not particularly blaming our team and S&S, but I don’t see how we did not take all three points last night.
We either need to bring in another scoring striker to supplement and assist Teemu Pukki or the team need to start shooting on sight, as we have a 20 goal deficit to reduce, and we need a few games bringing us 3 point hauls so we can pull away from the bottom three.
Teemu’s goal was a stunner last night!
A solid point at a place we normally do something stupid last few seasons
No Norman, no Rashica lets take any of the other bottom 10 sides most creative players out see what they do?
Their keeper has a half tidy game apart from his flap for our goal
Newcastle are down for me hopefully pick up points Sunday and next two home games it makes Christmas almost worth doing this year!
Oh and was never a pen as long as I live if it takes 90 secs to work it out it’s not clear cut!
Someone needs sacking at hq and if that’s a pen what about one down our end?
OK, all doom and gloom because of last 2 games having produced 2pts when most think it should be 6pts. (could you honestly of seen us winning 4 games on the trot ), NO not one of us.
Dig a bit deeper.
Last 8 games 10 pts extend that with the next 24 games total 40 pts
Last 6 games 8 pts 42 pts
Last 4 games 8 pts 58 pts
Last 3 games 5 pts under Dean Smith 50 pts
I’m not a great believer in Stats, but that’s not bad reading
Newcastle have to play Man C & Liverpool twice.
Watford have to play Chelsea & Man C twice
Brentford have to play Chelsea & Man C twice
Everton have to lay Liverpool & Chelsea twice
A. Villa have to play Man C & Liverpool twice.
At least we only have to play those 3 once.
Yes we need to score more goals without doubt, but conceding 3 in the last 4 games not bad from what went before and one of them a silly penalty ( last night ).
So perhaps we wont reach any of the points totals above, but we have a fair chance of achieving at least 0ne of them which would keep us in the PL.
KEEP THE FAITH..
Jim Davies says
At least last night Newcastle’s favourite son wasn’t quite as disparaging about us as he was earlier in the season, he even managed an odd favourable comment, but it was still very difficult listening to him.
If Pukki’s goal doesn’t make the list of choices for goal of the month, there ain’t no justice!
I hope S&S look at the penalty, and decide there is no need to have Gilmour in the middle of the penalty area. He’s never going to win the ball in the air, so why not post him just outside the area to pick up the loose ball when it gets cleared, and get us moving forward again. With everyone back, there’s no out ball.
martin penney says
Great point about the lack of an outball following, say, a corner.
I honestly cannot remember the last time we kept one up so I would have to guess it was back in the days of Foxy and Darren Eadie!
First of all, Teemu gave Norwich very good chance to win. He has incredible fantastic football instincts and now he used those for Norwich, for Finland he has made those kind of things so many times. Red card or penalty or both same time, its decisive stuff.
Lack of quality outside Pukki is something what is depressing to watch. Playing 11 vs 10 showed lack of experience, but mainly lack of quality. Norwich almost lost that game after Gilmours idiotic playing. Teemu saved you with his brilliant shot. Technically very difficult weaker leg shot which proves again that we have done great job with teaching technical qualities. Laziest lazy candy eating machine has striked again with his incredible talent! Clearly man of the match by large gap.
I have to rant about Gilmour. I dont get it any kind of hype. Is this some kind of scottish wish hype? I suppose he is very different type of player than scots usually has seen, I cant see any other explanation. I do believe that his role in Scotland team is better suiting to him.
Norwich defence is now better, it gives chances to get points. There is so many teams which are nothing special and gap between top teams to others is honestly killing also interest. Norwich have now played 4 games without loosing, it has not been any better than opponents but not any worse either.
First I would like to say yesterday was a sad day two well known footballers have departed in Ray Kennedy and John Sillet so condolences to their families
S&S were possibly slow in reacting to the Red card for Clark hoping that the players would take advantage of the extra man.
We missed Normann in midfield he is becoming the Skipp of this season and many clubs that were unsure of him in the premiership will be taking notice come the summer even if city stay up.
Last night we had no energy when needed and our long passes were way off target so a few things for S&S to work on plus let’s hope Normann and Rashica are able to play
A sobering summation of the nights proceedings Gary.
The pre match bad news regarding Saturdays star man Rashica was a portent of things to come, allied to the loss of Normann and the continued absence of Cantwell, it almost completely emasculated the team. Apart from, that is the wonder that is Teemu Pukki.
The pressing, energy, commitment on show over previous games disappeared to be replaced by sloppy passing, lack of movement and poor quality.
With over 60 percent possession of the ball we lacked ideas and nous and a large slice of composure. Sargent, the bulk of who’s work takes place when City are not in possession of the ball is a passenger when his team is dominant. His technique and movement are poor in the extreme and in front of goal he is appalling.
Tzolis, who combined with Sargent accounted for approximately 18 million quid from the Buendia proceeds was proclaimed the best teenager in Europe when we purchased him. Somebody wasn’t being truthful. Clearly bought with a future profit in mind, most definitely not what was required now. Indeed, combine the fees and salaries of these two and we might have afforded somebody capable of making a difference when it mattered last night.
The midfield four as it became after the interval should never see the light of day as a premier league midfield. So lacking in dynamism and imagination it’s untrue, frequently over or under hitting their passes and failing to track back and provide adequate effort. As for the goal threat from any of them, it’s totally non existent. I include the pundits favourite in this criticism. We have been told on many occasions how Gilmour can take a game by the scruff of the neck, dictate the play and win matches at this level virtually on his own. This situation was the ideal opportunity to prove that. Instead, his contribution was largely the concession of a penalty which left us trailing to the worst team in the league, a depleted worst team at that.
We rescued a point by introducing giannoulis to the fray and his instincts when going forward and great left foot teed up the magnificent finish from Teemu. It’s criminal haw we are compete,y dependent on him for the majority of our goal output. During the summer,we were fed the line that Idah was ready and waiting to supply a potent back up to pukki. In reality, most of us smelt the bullshit and deciphered the code to mean that there was no money for a decent back up option. The triple loss of Normann, rashica and cantwell is crippling, imagine adding the Finn to the list.
As I watched the evenings entertainment unfold my mood was made even worse, if that’s possible by the frequent biased intervention of officialdom. You will never convince me that VAR isn’t corrupt and selective. The penalty and subsequent lack of intervention for identical incidents in the home box prove it beyond all doubt. Who was operating the wretched thing? Ant and bloody Dec?
Newcastle’s impending relegation will be warmly received by many, in particular for the hurt it will cause the repulsive Alan shearer. Idiot.
You are spot on about Sargent and he didnt come cheap.Him and Tzolis at the moment seem a waste of money,surely that money could have been put towards a goal scorer,we could even have kept Hernandez then.2 points dropped but if Normann and Rashica had been playing and Cantwell available I think it would have been 3.God forbid if Pukki gets injured!!!
mystic kev says
Pukkis goal brilliant p loos miss terrible rest of game pants no energy just safe little passes no wonder Delia fell asleep 😪
Love the Stadium FX option on Amazon. Did not have to hear a single word Shearer said, but still got the stadium noise, even the odd burst of OTBC.
Hi Gary and everyone, hope you’re all fit and well. Everything you have written Gary is spot on from what i witnessed at SJP last night. I got back to Derby at midnight hoarse for all the shouting I did throughout the 90 minutes. “Forward !” was one cry. “Switch it and tire them out City” was another. In summing up. Harsh penalty call…not given in the Championship so how does that work in domestic footballing terms ?? The Sarge was well off. Tzolis is NOT, i repeat, NOT a Premier League footballer…Who scouted him ? Rashica and Normann play we certainly have a better advantage playing against 10 then what we created last night. Great finish by the GOAT. We’re still in the mix, after being 8 points cut adrift after the Leeds defeat.
Tim N says
Is jordan hugill out on loan? Any chance we could get him back in January? He is an oven ready striker that could be the difference between staying up. Josh S should only come on from the bench. Until he can improve his touch we should never start him again.
Tim Ball says
Definitely 2 points dropped but before the game I saw the game as a must not lose. So there is that at least.
And it isn’t always easy playing against 10 men, I know it is an old wives tale to some extent but we couldn’t use Tzolis supposed pace with 9 men behind the ball.
The last four games (- first half against Southampton) are by far an away the best we have played in the Prem since beating Leicester all those months ago. So that is progress of some kind, and
credit to Dean and Shakey.
I thought Teemu looked a bit off in the Burnley and Brighton games but now he looks more like his old self thankfully. What a goal that was last night.
Now recruitment. I still am of the opinion that the outlay of £29-33 million on Rashica, Sargent and Tzolis maybe money well spent one day but at the moment it looks poor.
Rashica is now showing signs of his talent but he is only a goal in every 5 games in his career to date and he is now playing at a higher level. I do not see him being prolific at this level.
Sargent and Tzolis are very young but triers and they may well come good it is far to early to write either off yet. But I bet Dean Smith’s biggest worry at night is where are the goals going to come from Teemu aside.
I would like to hear Stuart Webber’s reasoning on the recruitment of such young players as Sargent, Tzolis plus Gilmour, Williams and Kabak likewise very young.
Obviously with the self-funding model we use we have to try to get players with a sell on value most of the time but has the right balance of youth and experience been struck this summer ?
David Bowers says
A month ago that result would have been disastrous. As things stand it’s frustrating. We remain in contention and unbeaten in four. Plus, what a goal.