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Season 2021-22
Watford (h) Premier League

 

 
Date:
Saturday 15th January 2022, 3.00pm

Venue:
 St. James' Park

Conditions: Exasperated
 
 



 

Newcastle

 Watford

 

1 - 1

 

 

Teams

Goals

Half time: Magpies 0 Hornets 0

49 mins Allan Saint-Maximin took a forward pass from Jonjo Shelvey and deceiving Jeremy Ngakia out on the left flank before heading infield and pulling the trigger at the Leazes End. 1-0

88 mins Substitute Kiko Femenia evaded Miguel Almiron and Paul Dummett on the Watford right and his deep cross saw Pedro out-jump Lascelles to power a header beyond Martin Dubravka. 1-1

Full time: Magpies 1 Hornets 1

We Said

 

Eddie Howe said:

"Hugely disappointing, because we were so close. I thought we dominated the first half. The start of the second half, we got the goal, and then were probably content, not intentionally, of seeing the game out Ė and we were close.

"I think the players were so desperate to win that they went into a little bit of protection mode, and didn't want to take too many risks. That brings the opposition into the game, and Watford had their best period.

"We were within touching distance of a really important win, which we obviously didn't get.

"We need the second goal, and need to keep believing it's not over to get more goals. We need to manage the game better in the last phase. I think we invited it on ourselves.

"I donít think itís the time for shouting and screaming and that kind of reaction. I donít think the players would welcome that and I donít think that would do any good apart from just airing my frustrations on them and I donít think thatís healthy with the current league position.

"
We've damaged ourselves to a point, but you always have an opportunity to bounce back.

"I think it's psychological. There was a thought to protect what we had so early in the game and we lost our attacking threat in the match, but that should never be the case with so long to go.

"That's linked to confidence, and probably not having won as many games as we would have liked in a long period of time.

"I just hope it doesn't leave mental scars for the players. I'm sure it won't because we will analyse the game and then work to try and change it.

"We still believe in ourselves and the players. Obviously we know that every game gets more difficult. They don't get any any smaller, they get bigger with every match."

They Said

 

Claudio Ranieri said: 

"I am satisfied, but I want more from my players. We played our football in the last 30 minutes. We conceded too many chances to them with set pieces.

"In the second half they created just the goal and we created more chances. But I wanted to see my players more combined. I have a very good squad and we have to show this.

"That is why I'm happy, because at the end, we drew the match. But I'm not happy because we played not so good that we are used to do. I could understand it because after six defeats in a row, maybe you are a little anxious, but they had to play.

"They understood that when we were desperate, we tried to go more combinedÖ We had to shoot at goal, we had to do something more. These players can do more.

"Fortunately, they scored at the beginning of the second half and we had all the time to draw the match. Also, we created two or three great chances to draw the match earlier, but finally, Joao Pedro scored the goal.

"I'm happy because they never gave up and that is important for us. But I ask more from my players because I believe in my players. I know very well what they can do."

 

Stats


This was the tenth game that Newcastle have played in all competitions since Eddie Howe was confirmed as Steve Bruce's permanent successor. At this point in time he's got a better record than Steve McClaren and Kevin Keegan (second time around):

NUFC bosses - first 10 PL & cup games:

Howe: won 1, drew 4, lost 5
Bruce: won 2, drew 2, lost 6
Benitez: won 3, drew 4, lost 3
McClaren: won 1, drew 3, lost 6
Carver: won 2, drew 3, lost 5
Pardew: won 3, drew 3, lost 4
Hughton: won 4, drew 2, lost 4
Kinnear: won 2, drew 5, lost 3
Keegan: won 1, drew 3, lost 6
Allardyce: won 5, drew 2, lost 3
Roeder: won 5, drew 1, lost 4
Souness: won 7, drew 2, lost 1
Robson: won 5, drew 1, lost 4
Gullit: won 6, drew 0, lost 4
Dalglish: won 5, drew 1, lost 4
Keegan: won 4, drew 4, lost 2

There were Premier League debuts for two January arrivals, extending the number of players to have represented us in that competition to 249.

Kieran Trippier
(248) is the 98th English-born player and our 28th England international.

Chris Wood
(249) (pictured below) is the first New Zealand-born player and first New Zealand international.

(NB: No account made of whether caps were gained while with NUFC)

That 249 comprises of no less than 5different nationalities (it would have been 54 but Hungarian Tamas Kadar remained an unused substitute when named in a PL matchday squad).

England 98
France 
3
2
Scotland 9
Spain 8
Netherlands 7
Ireland 7
Switzerland 5
Senegal 5
Argentina 
5
Northern Ireland 4
USA 4
Wales 4
Brazil 4
DR Congo 3
Germany 3
Italy 3
Nigeria 3
Australia 2
Cameroon 2
Czech Republic 2
Denmark 2
Greece 2
Ivory Coast 2
Jamaica 2
Paraguay 2
Sweden 2
Algeria 1
Angola 1
Austria 1
Belgium 1
Burundi 1
Canada 1
Central African Republic 1
Chile 1
Colombia 1
Croatia 1
Cyprus 1
Georgia 1
Ghana 1
Japan 1
Kosovo 1
New Zealand 1
Norway 1
Peru 1
Portugal 1
Serbia 1
Slovakia 1
Slovenia 1
South Africa 1
South Korea 1
Turkey 1
Uruguay 1
Venezuela 1
 

(For clarity, we go by place of birth not country represented, so for example the three Germans noted are Alan Neilson, Didi Hamann and Joselu and there's no Finnish entry as Shefki Kuqi was born in Kosovo).

Allan Saint-Maximin
has now scored five times for Newcastle in the PL this season - all at SJP and all in games that ended in draws. The Frenchman now has 11 PL goals for the club, which takes him level with Dwight Gayle, Salomon Rondon, Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Keith Gillespie and Steve Watson.

Hornets in Toon - all time:

2021/22 drew 1-1 Saint-Maximin
2019/20
drew 1-1 Schar
2018/19 won 1-0 Perez
2017/18 lost 0-3
2015/16 lost 1-2 Janmaat
2009/10 won 2-0 Lovenkrands, Pancrate
2006/07 won 2-1 Martins (2)
1999/00 won 1-0 Gallacher
1992/93 won 2-0 Peacock, Lee
1991/92 drew 2-2 Hunt, Clark
1990/91 won 1-0 Quinn(pen)
1989/90 won 2-1 Quinn, Gallacher
1988/89 drew 0-0 (FACR)
1988/89 drew 0-0 (FAC)
1987/88 won 3-0 O'Neill, Wharton, Tinnion
1986/87 drew 2-2 Anderson, McDonald
1985/86 drew 1-1 Gascoigne
1984/85 won 3-1 Megson, Cunningham, Reilly
1981/82 lost 0-1
1980/81 won 2-1 Hibbitt, Shinton
1979/80 lost 0-2
1931/32 won 5-0 Allen 3, Boyd, Richardson (FAC)

Newcastle named two goalkeepers on the bench for the second successive PL game, Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie understudying Martin Dubravka today.
Gillespie and Freddie Woodman were among the substitutes for the 1-1 home draw with Manchester United.

Paul Dummett made a first competitive appearance of the season after recovering from injury, although he did feature in pre-season matches. Today's outing means that he's featured for the club in nine successive seasons. He's the 26th player to feature in our 20 PL games to date - one less than the final total in 2020/21.

 

Waffle

 

Newcastle's hopes of avoiding relegation this season received a body blow at St. James' Park on Saturday afternoon, as fellow strugglers Watford earned a point thanks to an 88th minute equaliser.

And on a day when hopes were high that they would exit the bottom three, Eddie Howe's side instead found themselves overtaken by a victorious Norwich City and kept only off the bottom of the table by an idle Burnley side who now have three games in hand on them. 

Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood both made their Premier League debuts for the club, with Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett returning to the back four and Martin Dubravka keeping his place amid claims of a toe problem. 

Losing the toss and defending the Leazes End against a red-clad Hornets side, the Magpies made a frantic start to the game and came close to a 10th minute opener when Joelinton's shot struck the goal frame after reaching Ryan Fraser's deflected right wing cross.

The Brazilian was guilty of a more glaring miss soon after, shooting wide of the target from another Fraser cross, while new boy Wood was twice unable to keep his headers down. Half time was reached scoreless though with visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster untested on his return to the side.

That changed just four minutes after the restart though, when a typical solo run and shot from Allan Saint-Maximin gave the black and whites a 49th minute lead - taking a forward pass from Shelvey and deceiving Jeremy Ngakia out on the left flank before heading infield and pulling the trigger.

However, United inexplicably failed to build on what was to be their only shot on target; their attempts to stonewall a Hornets side aiming to avoid an eighth successive defeat looked remote well before Joao Pedro's late sickener.

Having survived for 49 minutes thanks to some resolute defending and play-acting, Claudio Ranieri's side inevitably took up the invitation offered to them once United got a goal ahead and declared.

Former Magpie Moussa Sissoko was guilty of an awful miss in the 67th minute, ballooning his shot wildly into the gloating Gallowgate End when well placed to round off a defence-splitting attack.

Just when it seemed that the home side would hang on for a desperately-needed three points, substitute Kiko Femenia evaded Miguel Almiron and Dummett on the Watford right and his deep cross saw Pedro out-jump Lascelles to power a header beyond Dubravka.

The lateness of the leveller brought added drama, but had Watford broken their duck earlier in the game then they would have been favourites to go on and win - it's arguable that this was a point gained rather than two thrown away, such was the alarming extent to which we faded from view as an attacking force.

Wood was acquired at significant expense after third tier Cambridge United exposed our attacking inadequacy in the absence of the crocked Callum Wilson. Sadly though, the Kiwi replicated the games when Wilson provided no genuine goal threat - and he didn't have the alibi of having jetted in from foreign climes or lacking match fitness.

Today was the ninth time that we've failed to win a match after being ahead: a divisional high 23 points dropped from winning positions underlining the fact that we just cannot see games out. That makes our post-goal behaviour here even more inexplicable; a collective abdication of responsibility in the form of backwards and sideways passing ambitions suitably punished - quite what is going on with Joe Willock is unclear, but for him not to be capable of starting in this side or coming on to boost it almost defies belief.

One win in 20 PL games this season leaves us in a perilous position and while efforts to boost the squad during the remainder of the window continue, an inability to recruit a central defender (or two) in time for this game looks like a monumentally expensive failure.

Even before the goal, Lascelles looked like an accident waiting to happen and can count himself fortunate that a series of tugs and shoves weren't punished more severely by referee Paul Tierney.

It's not just recruitment though that is open to question; while the concept of game management remains alien to us, we're doomed to perpetually rake over the ashes of yet another must-win game that didn't produce three points.

The challenge this season was always  to find three teams that can finish below us; sadly this outcome makes that increasingly impossible.
For all the bonny flags and fuzzy feelings of unity, the clock is ticking on relentlessly and there's no discernible change to our fortunes.

Biffa


Page last updated 24 January, 2022