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Season 2018-19
Southampton (a) Premier League


Saturday 27th October 2018, 3.00pm

 St.Mary's Stadium

Conditions: Pitiful, frankly.

Programme: £4


Newcastle United

0 - 0




Half time: Saints 0 Magpies 0
Full time: Saints 0 Magpies 0

We Said


Rafa Benitez:

"We are in a difficult position but it is a small step forward in terms of confidence and showing the team can compete.

"In terms of work rate and team spirit I can't complain. The fans realise it's a difficult situation and they got behind the team.

"I think we have to consider the circumstances, going away from home at the bottom of the table, getting a clean sheet and a point.

"They pushed hard in the second half so we did well to keep our clean sheet. A bit of better possession at times would've led to clearer chances, but it was difficult."

On Rondon:

"It is good to have another striker and more competition, b
ut his match fitness needs to improve by playing games. He was training with the fitness coach.

"Now in the last couple of weeks he has been more involved with the team. He is a little far away from his condition but he is another option and that’s quite positive.

On Muto:

"Muto worked hard as well. We needed hard work from the strikers and we needed pace.

"Then we had to make substitutions to have fresh legs.

"I am happy with Muto. He has to learn about English football especially when challenging in the air. But he is working hard and I am happy with him.”

On threatened supporter protests:

"I think it is important for us to have the fans behind us. Some people think it is more pressure playing in front of them, but it is a difficult situation and be united: that’s what we have to do. 

"We can help the atmosphere in the city by winning games. We have to try that. In the meantime, we need the fans going to the stadium supporting the team for 90 minutes. 

"If we make mistakes, we make mistakes. I will be the first one to make mistakes. We have to keep supporting the team.

"If we want to stay in the Premier League - like we proved last year - we are stronger all together.”

They Said


Miserable Mark Hughes said: 

"It's disappointing once again in respect of not getting what we deserved, we had 22 shots and we weren't able to convert any of them.

"At the end of the day it's back-to-back clean sheets, but at the top end of the pitch we need to start scoring goals.

"Clearly we are creating chances, right at the death we had a good chance for Shane, there were balls bobbling around the box, but sometimes you need something to go in off someone's backside and the football gods aren't smiling on us at the moment.

"Newcastle came here for a point: every time we tried to press they were looking to knock balls behind us and trying to turn us round. We had to keep starting over. 

"We stopped them on the halfway line and broke from high positions. It was a clean sheet and defensively we look more solid. We need to start scoring goals.

It is two games back to back that defensively we have been rock solid. At the top end of the pitch we need to make more of the chances we are creating, in moments we need a killer edge to our play.”


United have now lost seven and drawn their other three games since the start of the season - making this their worst-ever league opening sequence, inferior to the 1898/99 campaign, when their ten match winless start comprised of six defeats and four draws.

That sequence was broken in the eleventh game, a 3-0 home success against Liverpool. United managed to avoid relegation from the top flight that season, ending up 13th in an 18th team league (two went down).

Newcastle kept a clean sheet in an away league match at Southampton to end a sequence of 27 games without one, since a 0-0 draw at the Dell back in February 1969. (We did manage a clean sheet in an FA Cup tie, winning 3-0 at St. Mary's in January 2004).

Three goals from our opening five PL away games leaves us on track to emulate our worst PL away scoring record of 12 goals in the 2015/16 season.

We're also yet to score away in the second half of an away game this season:

Cardiff City 0-0
Manchester City 1-2 (Yedlin 30)
Crystal Palace 0-0
Manchester United 2-3 (Kenedy 7, Muto 10)
Southampton 0-0

Toon @ Saints - Premier League era:

2018/19: Drew 0-0
2017/18: Drew 2-2 Hayden, Perez
2015/16: Lost 1-3 Townsend
2014/15: Lost 0-4
2013/14: Lost 0-4
2012/13: Lost 0-2
2004/05: Won 2-1 OG, Carr
2003/04: Drew 3-3 Ameobi, Bowyer, Ambrose
2003/04: Won 3-0 Dyer 2, Robert (FAC)
2002/03: Drew 1-1 Bellamy
2001/02: Lost 1-3 Shearer
2000/01: Lost 0-2 No scorer*
1999/00: Lost 2-4 Shearer, Speed*
1998/99: Lost 1-2 Hamann*
1997/98: Lost 1-2 Lee
1996/97: Drew 2-2 Ferdinand, Clark*
1995/96: Lost 0-1 No scorer*
1994/95: Lost 1-3 Kitson*
1993/94: Lost 1-2 Cole*

* At the Dell, all subsequent games at St. Mary's

NUFC last ten PL seasons after ten games:

2007/08 17 points, 8th (scored 17, conceded 13)
2008/09 9 points, 15th (scored 12, conceded 18)
2010/11 14 points, 7th (scored 19, conceded 14)
2011/12 22 points, 3rd (scored 15, conceded 7)
2012/13 14 points, 10th (scored 12, conceded 14)
2013/14 14 points, 9th (scored 14, conceded 16)
2014/15 13 points, 12th (scored 11, conceded 15)
2015/16 6 points, 18th (scored 12, conceded 22)
2017/18 14 points, 9th (scored 10, conceded 9)
2018/19 3 points, 19th (scored 6, conceded 14)

For anyone still awake, our third scoreless draw of the season to date was the 65th example of a "nowts apiece" we've been involved in during our 892 games as a Premier League club.

228 of those 892 were stalemates, with 28 of our 108 home draws scoreless ones. Away from home, 37 of our 120 draws were goalless. 

The most 0-0s recorded by Newcastle in a PL season to date is six in 1994/95, of which a record five were away from home. Christ, we've even bored ourselves now.



Positives from Saturday's 646 mile round trip to Hampshire:

Newcastle's first league clean sheet at Southampton in 49 years combined with results elsewhere saw them elevated one place from 20th to 19th.

A fifth away game of the season saw the Magpies earn their third away clean sheet, the first time that they've done that in 24 seasons of Premier League involvement.

Three clean sheets on the road is one more than we managed in the whole of 2017/18 and equal to that achieved in the entire 2015/16 season. 

Following a three game absence when they failed to collect a point, main striker Salomon Rondon's return from injury came earlier than expected and coincided with a third draw in the opening ten league games.

With ten games played, just eight points separate the bottom eight sides in the Premier League.

More negatively though:

This was a pitiful excuse for a football match, with two awful sides woefully out of form - and the Saints now failing to score a single league goal in 475 minutes.  

However, the only reason Mark Hughes wasn't able to celebrate his side's first home win since April and only the second one of 2018 was Martin Dubravka.

The visiting goalkeeper (and a post) made various vital stops to keep his goal intact, but by contrast, opposite number Alex McCarthy had almost nothing to do as the visitors were unable to get any shots on target.

Southampton pressed for a late winner and used their four striking options but for once, veteran Shane Long managed not to rain on our parade.

Our graveyard slot on Match of the Day was once again assured, although transmission just before the test card may have been more fitting for what was footballing equivalent of the twilight zone for Toon devotees.

The sole solace after stomaching this grim fare is the realisation that several sides other than ourselves are almost equally as inept - although our scoring issues mean the comparatively low goal difference is being achieved partly to the impotency of other sides.

With Rondon returning for the closing stages - albeit lacking match fitness - a sequence of three home games out of the next four provides an opportunity of finally registering a first win of the season.

Mike Ashley saw today's desperate display first-hand - a fifth consecutive helping of this tripe which if nothing else gives him evidence of the malformed, malfunctioning squad assembled on his terms.

It's anything but a given though whether he'll reprise the mid-season transfer spend that 20 points from 19 games and 15th place prompted in 2013.

And even if he does, who makes the decision on which player to buy and how those transfers are conducted remains a large imponderable. 

To our minds, deals need to be struck now for instant inclusion in the team that faces Manchester United on January 2nd - not Spurs a month later.

The late desperation that brought the futile loan arrivals of Seydou Doumbia and Islam Slimani in previous January windows is certainly no blueprint for success.  

Back to the here and now and the defensive strength shown on the road needs to be replicated at Gallowgate if we're to halt an unprecedented run of home defeats. 

At the other end, refocusing on exactly how to "win ugly" is sadly overdue, namely our continued failure to make absolutely anything of corners and free kicks. Our most useful set piece this season has been a throw in.

Desperate times then, but not quite the end of the world. Yet.


Page last updated 29 November, 2018