After a tough run of games for Newcastle which saw the Magpies play four of the top teams, during the opening rounds of the season, Newcastle headed to Palace with a sigh of relief. It is no secret the fixture list has been very unkind to Rafa Benitez’s side, in a game where Newcastle had the chance to get their first three points of the season, the Magpies looked off the pace for most of the game.
A game of few chances, Ayoze Perez had Newcastle’s best chance, nicking the ball away from James Tomkins. The Spaniard race through one-on-one with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, only for Perez to fire straight at the Palace ‘keeper. Palace dominated much of the game, hitting the post when Luka Milivojevic’s free-kick from the left beat everyone and rebounded off the post.
Palace missed a glorious chance to take all three points in the last few minutes, Sakho, had the goal gaping when Andros Townsend crossed from the left, but he somehow headed wide of the near post from barely four yards.
Rafa Benitez had suggested Newcastle would be more attacking during this game, however, Palace’s ten shots to Newcastle’s three in the first half made it abundantly clear that the Magpies came to defend. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley decided to finally show his face at a game since Newcastle won the Championship. When news filtered through that the Newcastle owner was in attendance, supporters quite rightly made their feelings known. Ashley, sat with Lee Charnley, Keith Bishop and Justin Barnes, all four men contributing to the club’s decline over the last eleven years. Ashley appeared to be in good spirits, pictured joking with Charnley, although if he was paying attention to his club’s plight, there certainly isn’t much to be smiling about.
Next up for Newcastle is a home game against Leicester City, lose this one and alarm bells will certainly start to ring. If Newcastle’s opening six matches tell us anything, it’s that the continued lack of investment from Mike Ashley is there for all to see. Forced into a defensive style of play, due to the lack of options, this signals a long season for Newcastle supporters.
It is not the fault of the players or manager, who are giving their all, particularly Benitez who cannot continue to work miracles. The blame lies at Ashley’s door, an owner with no interest whatsoever in the club, he has let the Newcastle United fester. Until the club are rid of Ashley, it will continue to rot. It is obvious that Ashley doesn’t know a thing about running a football club never-mind a business. Ashley has been called a “good businessman” in the past, from what’s been witnessed in the last eleven years at Newcastle United under his control, it begs to differ.