Did anyone watch the Newcastle versus #Sheffield match yesterday? What a lack-lustre performance by the Magpies. You could see on Benitez's face in the post-match interview his disappointment in the team's performance, being the fantastic manager he is though he was fair and diplomatic as always, he never puts his players down but he's always honest. Newcastle should have been at least 1-0 up at half-time with all the chances they had but they seem to be suffering from de ja vue from last season - numerous chances and attempts at goal but none of them actually finding the back of the net..
Shelvey - our hero!
There was a glimmer of hope at the end of the first half when the heroic Shelvey blasted the ball goal bound from 70 yards out, almost catching Westwood out, but luckily for Westwood the ball ricocheted off the crossbar! Was I the only one wondering what on Earth he was doing at first - it looked like the biggest blunder of Shelvey's career but turned out to be the most amazing attempt at goal I have seen all season - it's nice to see at least one of the Newcastle players with some passion!
And of course Shelvey got the goal for Newcastle, but it was too late; with the help of Mitrovic he scored a fantastic goal to give the Toon fans some hope. Thankfully the Toon still have 10 point between them and 3rd place, but there's still time so I hope the players aren't complaisant there's still plenty of work to be done lads!
After the controversy last weekend with Ritchie's disallowed penalty, or should I say complete blunder from all the officials on the pitch? I was fully expecting the referees to be right on top of their game, extra vigilant to get the rules right....did you see the tackle on Ritchie? He was hacked down by Bannan, when the TV showed the replay even the commentators were saying how lucky Bannan was to not be sent off - he could have broken Ritchie's ankle it was a horrendous tackle and consequently Ritchie had to come off later with injury.
Not acceptable, VAR would have spotted the dangerous tackle and the referee's decision would have been changed to a red card I am sure. This highlights once again the desperate need for VAR in high level football games, it's not acceptable for referee's to be getting it wrong pretty much every match now. I don't know if there's discrepancies in the rules where it's based on the opinion of the official but there shouldn't be it should be clear cut rules that every ref can manage to get right. Once again they ruined the moral of the Toon players because they just weren't getting the decisions.
So what is Rafa going to do for the game against Leeds? It's an even tougher match and they just beat Preston 3-0? I think Mitrovic should be in the starting line-up, when he came on as a sub yesterday he was fantastic, showing Rafa the trouble he can cause other teams.
Come on the Toon! Premiership here we come!