Here we are again, sat after another Newcastle United match in another season and yet it's just like the last several years. 45 minutes of decent play yields to fundamental mistakes and poor play and another match from which we should have taken something turns into a loss. It is a frustrating situation for the Toon Army as the team find new ways to choke things away.
It has to be said that Newcastle started today brightly. It looked like we had every intention of taking the match to Southampton which was a departure but logical idea seeing as we were at home and all... but another early concession changed that. Southampton new boy Eljero Elia got past the Newcastle defense and put a hard shot low to Tim Krul's right... but close enough that the Newcastle 'keeper really should have done better. Following the soft goal, Newcastle looked set to fold it up, ceding 68% possession to Southampton over the next 10 minutes. To their credit, we clawed our way back into the match eventually and were beneficiaries of our own odd bounce as an attempted clearance ricocheted off of Yoan Gouffran and past Fraser Forster.
The second half started with Southampton on the back foot, but there was very little result from Newcastle's control and it was another deflected goal that would give the Saints their license to sit back and absorb pressure without much idea on how to produce an end result. Without a target man, crosses and long balls are really a doomed idea, but that was largely what Carver's tactics dictated as the team attempted 32 crosses in the match – completing a mighty 6 of them.
John Carver will doubtlessly bemoan the lack of a penalty given in stoppage time when Fonte handled a shot from Riviere, but let's be honest. Pinning the lack of a result on that one play is misguided at best. Ultimately, it's yet again "the more things change the more they stay the same" as on the day we were yet again not good enough. If we were a sailboat we're sitting in the doldrums without a rudder... and Mike Ashley's front office look to have very little gumption to change that. We'll continue flapping about pretending like we're doing due dilligence while the team and the supporters suffer the results. It's a helpless feeling to know that swift action is needed from ownership who don't care to take any action.