Reasonable Reaction Monday: NUFC 1-3 WBA

Forgive me if this week's reaction is a little less reasonable than usual. I should probably wait for at least another day before I write this, but I couldn't help myself as I read through other reviews from this match. It can be described in so many words, but bluntly it was nothing short of horrendous. Fundamentals were flawed, leaderships was lacking, execution exited the building, passion took a pass, the offense was (pardon me) offensive, the defense deplorable. Our Magpies couldn't pass, possess, shoot, cross, clear, tackle, or keep the ball out of their own net. Other than all that they didn't play very good football either.

I think I'm done ranting, come with me past the jump and let's see if there's anything worth learning from this atrocity.


What in the world is he doing? This was a common question today.
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In my preview I gave you three reasons each that we could win or lose this match. I'll be danged if I wasn't right about every one of them. Respect, I echoed Shola Ameobi, must be given to these middle table teams. I'd say we failed at that pretty resoundingly as we didn't even seem to show up at the game till the second half rolled around.

We obviously didn't score early, and I said our fullbacks would have to play well for us to win. Sol Campbell had what I'm sure he'll call one of his worse performances. On that note, I said goalkeeping could cost us; well, it did, but it wasn't as if Krul had much of a chance on any of the three that went in.

I said that if we got behind we'd have to keep composure and pass the ball well. The first half was bad enough in this regard, but when the second half started we seemed to be getting our head around it. But, when Guthrie fell down and allowed Odemwingie in virtually uncontested it seemed to break the spirit of the NUFC side.

And so it ended with a Lovenkrands consolation goal, and about that all I can say is, at least we busted up the clean sheet.

Hughton kept the lads in the dressing room for upwards of an hour after the game. In his post game interview he was the picture of composure, though obviously disappointed. I can only hope that the lads can take what ever he said and however he said it to heart.

Player notes:

Danny Guthrie had a terrible day. His crosses and set pieces were very below average, he was a complete non-entity on the defensive side, and then of course there is that howler that let the second goal in. He had me wishing for Joey Barton every time he touched the ball.

Andy Carroll had one of those days where nothing gets funneled to him successfully and he gets more and more frustrated throughout the day. So frustrated that he put one from 18 yards into orbit instead of on goal like he can from that range. Another thing that I see with my amateur eyes that is holding him back a bit is his first touch. If he could refine that touch so he can settle a long ball down better I think he'll find his frustrations melt away, at least a bit.

Sol Campbell had an uncharacteristically inconsistent day. I was hoping to see him shake a bit more rust off and make a serious bid for first team play, but Sunday he had me missing Mike and Fab.

Even Cheik Tiote seemed to be struggling to control the midfield, though he wasn't losing the head-to-head stuff. It just seemed as though the flow of the match dictated that he needed to be everywhere all at once. He's just one man!

If I have one complaint about Danny Simpson it's that he can be at risk to be outpaced from time to time. Even then he makes up ground quickly and I thought he was one of the bright spots in the defensive four.

Jonas Gutierrez has been an enigma for me of late. I love his drive and obvious passion, but sometimes I'm left to wonder what was he thinking? He has the skill to pick his way 'round a defender, and even through a crowd, but he has to learn what the heck to do with the ball after he does. When he broke free on that run toward goal I think he would have scored if he shot two steps sooner.

Of Wayne Routledge my opinion is falling every week. He has hustle and pace, that I'll give him, but when you boil it down I just don't know if he has the necessary skill set to be successful at this level. His pace makes him a good backup, but it makes us rely too much on Jonas and Jose when he's in the game. A one dimensional offense can pretty much pack it in in the Prem.

Man of the Match- Vacant, that's right I'm still livid.


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