"The boot is well and truly on our throat": An instant reaction to Southampton 4, Newcastle 0

Richard Heathcote

Was this the worst performance ever for Newcastle? It sure feels like it.

We've seen some terrible performances from Newcastle United this season - 0-4 to Manchester City to start the season, 0-3 to Swansea City, and 0-3 to Sunderland all come to mind immediately. I'm sure there are others. This one stands out among all the rest. Newcastle never threatened the opposing goal. Southampton did it all game long. If not for some heroic saves from Rob Elliot, the home side could have easily scored 7 or 8 goals. (Note to my future self, who is probably looking back at this in May for some kind of season review: This is not an exaggeration. To say they could have scored 10 would only be a slight embellishment.)

Newcastle only have themselves to blame. There are squad construction and managerial issues, to be sure. At one point, the Magpies had 3 natural left backs on the pitch at the same time. No, really. Their problems go beyond that, however. You can only blame the Director of Football and/or Owner for so much when the back line plays two players onside on a long ball from the back half of the pitch, and only one of the four hustle back to try to do anything about it.

These last several games, Newcastle have had nothing to play for. The shame of it is that they're acting like it. Guess who else has nothing to play for? Southampton.

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