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Season 2019-20
Wolverhampton Wanderers (h) Premier League

 

 
Date:
Sunday 27th October 2019, 3pm

Venue:
 St. James' Park

Conditions: Dismal
 
Admission: Cheapest tickets were £35

 




Newcastle

Wolves

1 - 1

 

Teams

Goals

37 mins An awful clearance gifted the ball straight to Sean Longstaff who sent over a cross from the left side of the box that was partially cleared. Federico Fernandez picked it up on the opposite flank and whipped over a dangerous centre that Jamaal Lascelles headed in at the Leazes End. 1-0

Half time: Magpies 1 Wolves 0

73 mins Martin Dubravka's ill-advised flap at Matt Doherty's centre from the Wolves right allowed Jonny to volley the loose ball in. 1-1

Full time: Magpies 1 Wolves 1

We Said

 

Steve Bruce said:

"I was delighted the way we played in the first half and needed more of it in the second but for some reason we didn't play in the second half. We needed to gain composure and a foothold in the game but we gave the ball away so many times and sat back too much.

"We forgot to take part in the second half. We said we wanted to win the second half as well. Second half it was that horrible cliche of a game of two halves - if ever there was one.

"We've invested in strikers, in the second half they were feeding off scraps. We need to do better to give the players at the top end of the pitch chances.

"I was delighted with the way weíve played in the first half - itís, arguably, as good as weíve played here. We needed exactly the same (in the second half) and to get the second goal. Unfortunately, we went far too deep and didnít do enough with the ball.

"When you get to 75 minutes, I always thought Almiron and Saint-Maximin would be a threat. Yes, you can make a change to hang on, but I didnít want to hang on; I wanted to try to get another goal.


"We didnít come to terms with (Adama) Traore in the second half, and we didnít do enough when we had the ball. That was the most disappointing thing - the number of times we gave it away cheaply.

ďFor the last couple of years, it hasnít been any different, has it, since the club came out of the Championship and probably the couple of years before that, too. We hope we can go on a run that will take us up the table. 

"If you look at the Premier League, two or three points separate 11 teams Our aim is to go higher but I was under no illusion that it was going to be difficult.Ē

On the red card:

"Itís a difficult one. Longyís played the ball, I can see then heís not in control of his foot but, howís he supposed to be? 

"The reaction of
(Ruben) Neves, rolling around and screaming, Iím always a bit dubious.....if youíre hurt youíd be motionless. Itís harsh on the boy.Ē
 

They Said


Nuno Espirito Santo
said: 

"We performed better in the second half. Newcastle were organised and we had problems but in the second half we were better and created so much. We combined well and I'm happy - the challenge is to do it in both halves.

"Managing the game depends a lot on who scores first and I think we punished ourselves and it's happening too many times this season. We concede first and it requires a lot of effort. But the boys want to compete and they do well, so I'm not disappointed at all.

'It's not about the result, it's how you do things, how you want to build for the future. You cannot concede first - let's try to be the first team to hurt and try to control the game better.


"We are embracing the challenge. We have played 20 games, that is a lot of effort. There are no days off and so a lot of credit goes to the boys.

On losing Willy Boly in training:

"He's a big player and a big man and we will miss him, but it is something that can happen. He was doing a box in training and fell - it is sad that has happened."

Stats


NUFC last ten PL seasons after ten games:

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)
2019/20 9 points, 17th (scored 6, conceded 15)

This was the third successive home game against Wolves that we've ended up with 10 men: Sean Longstaff today, DeAndre Yedlin in December 2018 and Vurnon Anita in September 2016.

This was a second meeting with Wolves this season, following on from a 0-4 friendly defeat in Nanjing back in July, before Steve Bruce was confirmed as Head Coach.

Just two of the starting line-up in China were in today's XI, Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark.

Jamaal Lascelles scored his first competitive goal of the season, meaning that he's joint top scorer along with five of his colleagues. That was his sixth PL goal for the club and his first since netting during a 1-1 draw with Burnley at SJP back in January 2018.

Lascelles' header made it six goals from our first ten games, equaling the lowest total in the club's entire history going back to 1893 that was set....last season.

That half dozen have all come in different games, meaning that we've not scored more than once since the 4-0 success at Fulham that concluded last season.

NUFC goals scored after ten games - PL seasons:

2019/20:
6 goals
2018/19: 6 goals
2017/18: 10 goals
2015/16: 12 goals
2014/15: 11 goals
2013/14: 14 goals
2012/13: 12 goals
2011/12: 15 goals
2010/11: 19 goals
2008/09: 12 goals
2007/08: 17 goals
2006/07: 7 goals
2005/06: 8 goals
2004/05:
21 goals
2003/04: 15 goals
2002/03:
16 goals
2001/02: 18 goals
2000/01: 11 goals
1999/00: 20 goals
1998/99: 15 goals
1997/98: 12 goals
1996/97: 20 goals
1995/96: 26 goals
1994/95: 27 goals
1993/94: 15 goals

Our worst-ever goal total in a 38 game PL season remains 35 in 1997/98. If we're to beat that sparse return, we need to find our shooting boots PDQ....

Wolves in Toon - last 10:

2019/20: drew 1-1 Lascelles
2018/19: lost 1-2 Perez
2016/17: lost 0-2
2011/12: drew 2-2 Cisse, Gutierrez
2010/11: won 4-1 Nolan, Shola Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez
2003/04: drew 1-1 Bowyer
1992/93: won 2-1 Kelly 2
1991/92: lost 1-2 og(Madden)
1990/91: drew 0-0
1989/90: lost 1-4 Brock
1982/83: drew 1-1 Wharton

 

Waffle

Sean Longstaff became the third home player to be sent off at St. James' Park against Wolves in as many games, as United almost turned victory into defeat on Sunday afternoon.

A reasonable first half display from the hosts was capped by a header from Jamaal Lascelles' eight minutes before the break that gave Steve Bruce's side an interval advantage.

It took over half an hour to rouse home players and fans from their slumbers however, when Miguel Almiron dashed forward but could only shoot into the side netting.

Seeking their third successive victory on Tyneside, the visitors looked to be suffering a hangover from Thursday's Europa League exertions and were little threat to Newcastle in the opening period.

The goal came when Federico Fernandez reached a long centre from Sean Longstaff on the United right and whipped over a dangerous centre that Lascelles rose to head home at the Leazes End.

Sadly though the Magpies failed to build on their interval lead and offered clear encouragement to a Wolves side who were unbeaten in four Premier League games and looked steadily more dangerous as the second half wore on. If we'd retreated any further we'd have been in Leazes lake.

With Adama Traore finding a concerning amount of space down the right flank, it was no shock that the equaliser stemmed from an attack on that side; Matt Doherty's cross tempting Martin Dubrava off his line to divert the ball into the path of Jonny Castro Otto who duly obliged.

Even at that point though, there was no instant response from the Newcastle bench; Steve Bruce seemingly oblivious to his side's visible decline from the restart and doing nothing to alter either his team's formation or personnel.

A change did then follow - but only after the 82nd minute dismissal of Sean Longstaff for a lunge on Ruben Neves - whose histrionics swayed referee Kevin Friend into brandishing a red card. In the current climate it was probably the correct decision, but Lobby looked to lured into the challenge in an attempt to compensate for Joelinton's failure to challenge after the ball ran away from him.

Sadly that sort of application, albeit misplaced, was in short supply today. Instead there was the usual loss of possession, lack of basic control and vision and unwillingness to dwell on the ball.
  
Thankfully Wolves were unable to take advantage of the numerical advantage and Doherty steered a header wide during added time. There was a late scare when an innocuous-looking challenge in the home area was referred to VAR, but remote referee Graham Scott saw nothing wrong.

Steve Bruce's side remain unbeaten at Gallowgate in four league games since the opening weekend of the season, with a trio of draws and a solitary victory.
Nobody here today will be celebrating that feat though, having witnessed an uninspiring home display verging on the unwatchable at times.

The point and defeat for Norwich on Sunday ensured that we remained in seventeenth - one point and one place outside the bottom three - a position that they had been elevated into thanks to Leicester City's remarkable 9-0 victory at Southampton on Friday including an Ayoze Perez treble. 

As has been the case all season, we just don't do enough on the field, quite how we fill in 90 minutes remains something of a mystery to us. The opposition penalty area remains a foreign country.

There's virtually no evidence of any progression here since August; Almiron visibly trying but just not cutting it, Meanwhile, our big money buy Joelinton is seemingly expected to take the place of both Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon, left in splendid isolation up front to try and knock long balls down to himself in the absence of a team mate within hailing distance. It's painful to watch.

That may be the sort of tactic reserved for a trip to Manchester City, but is beyond foolhardy for a home game such as this. As was the case here against Brighton and Watford, we almost willfully passed up a reasonable chance to collect three points by a collective lack of focus and disinterest.  

And sadly the almost complete absence of a spark on the field is reflected in the moribund stands of St. James' Park, where indifference and apathy abound. Today was particularly awful.

Breaking our self-imposed policy of harking back to Bruce's predecessor, watching the home dugout today really brought home the difference between this season and the last couple. 

Where Rafa Benitez was constantly involved in the minutiae of his team's play and attempting to apply delicate tweaks, his successor's sullen and statuesque approach can't even be painted as broad brush. Yard broom perhaps. Today, Bruce just stood and looked on as it all went to pot, no more involved than if he'd been standing on the touchline watching a local league game.

Resisting the temptation to dump the whole thing like many of our contemporaries this season, our hope back in August was for something of a new start; an opportunity for players untainted by the past to build reputations - even if that hastened their departure to clubs with actual ambition.

Where some tried to portray this as a new era of freedom and self-expression though, we see only a lack of guidance and great big void where the game plan(s) should be. The goalscoring problem is the same as 12 months ago, but the feeling of helplessness is pure 2016 and Steve McClaren. 

It's unfair to portray this as mismanagement; it's debatable if there's actually any at all here now. 

Biffa

 

This report is dedicated to Ann Darling OBE, who passed away on October 15th.
A season ticket holder at St. James' Park for many years, Ann's father was the
former Magpie Jack Allen, scorer of both Newcastle goals in the 1932 FA Cup Final. 

Our condolences go to her friends and relatives.



Page last updated 29 October, 2019