Manchester United were absolutely shocking on Sunday.
Easily the worst team I have seen this season.
Go on, name a team worse than them that you have seen this season?
There is nothing wrong in saying how poor Manchester United are, actually I very much enjoy it!
However, I got stick from a few people in the pub last night for saying it after the game. Their argument being same old same old, refusing to give Newcastle United and Steve Bruce credit even when they win etc etc.
This is where we are at, any comment – positive or negative, is seized on by one side of the Newcastle United debate with an over the top reaction.
It is not a crime to say that Newcastle United were good AND Manchester United are the worst team we’ve faced this season. Both things can be true at the same time.
Watford, Brighton and Norwich had far more attacking threat than Manchester United did yesterday, never mind Leicester and Liverpool.
It is just a fact that Manchester United aren’t very good now and 12th place in the Premier League actually flatters them.
A totally mismanaged club who found themselves trapped into giving Solskjaer the job after a great run of form as caretaker against almost entirely poorer teams, in his 13 games as caretaker Man Utd played all nine clubs who would finish bottom nine last season, only beating one of the ‘big’ six in those 13 games.
Since getting the permanent job, Solskjaer now looks exactly like the manager who was a disaster at Cardiff, when you add a chaotic transfer policy for years, it adds up to what you see now.
On top of that, Manchester United were also missing Pogba, Martial, Shaw, Lingard, Wan-Bissaka, Jones and Bailly.
Man Utd have not won a Premier League away game for two and a half years, immediately after playing in Europe in the midweek.
They haven’t won any away game in seven months, those results reading:
Arsenal 2 Manchester United 0
Wolves 2 Manchester United 1
Wolves 2 Manchester United 1
Barcelona 3 Manchester United 0
Everton 4 Manchester United 0
Huddersfield 1 Manchester United 1
Wolves 1 Manchester United 1
Southampton 1 Manchester United 1
West Ham 2 Manchester United 0
AZ Alkmaar 0 Manchester United 0
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 0
Added on top of this, Man Utd haven’t scored more than one goal in any game since the first day of the season and going into Sunday’s game, all the comments from Manchester United fans were predicting their team not to win.
It would have been a huge shock if Man Utd had won yesterday and a killer result for Newcastle if they had been beaten.
Happily they weren’t and NUFC were the better team and deserved to win – but not by much.
It was a good performance but it was only Matty Longstaff who put in a great display. He was the difference. Although Fabian Schar did make some important interventions when Man Utd did threaten the odd time.
If Harry Maguire had scored with that free header from five yards just before half-time, I don’t think there is any way Newcastle would/could have won and indeed would almost certainly have got beat.
Newcastle as usual showed very little in terms of creativity and getting the better of the visiting defence, it was on the break that they caught Man Utd out as the visitors lost the ball and ASM had room to run into. That room wouldn’t have been there if Man Utd had been sitting back on a lead.
To our relief that wasn’t the case and Matty Longstaff topped off his man of the match performance with that superb winner.
What else did Newcastle create though? Only two shots on target including the winner and apart from Matty Longstaff striking the bar from distance and Sean Longstaff releasing Almiron with the ball over the top and the Paraguayan taking an extra touch which allowed a block, it was two teams with little attacking nous cancelling each other out.
Hopefully the Longstaff brothers can get into a goalscoring run because they can both strike and score from distance. Nobody else in the team ever looks like scoring from distance and indeed most will never even have a try, which is a major problem when Newcastle have so few touches in the opposition box.
Two months into the season and none of our attacking players look like scoring, Allan Saint-Maximin did provide a spark in terms of beating people but his passing was generally poor and his shooting radar on the blink. Whilst it did suit him coming in off the left on his right foot, Almiron really struggled to get into the game apart from that wasted chance created by Sean Longstaff.
It isn’t doom and gloom, just a reality check. Newcastle did well to beat Man Utd but still look to have big problems with creativity and goals, though a major plus that the defence never looked in danger against a feeble visiting attack, apart from when Maguire could attack set-pieces.
Still only a point above the relegation zone and we should hopefully find out a lot more after these next three games against Chelsea, Wolves and West Ham.
I also think that you have to acknowledge that even if Newcastle had played at Leicester like they did against Man Utd, then the Foxes would still have almost certainly won comfortably. They have far better attacking players than Solskjaer had out there yesterday. Again, that isn’t having a go at Newcastle, simply pointing out that Leicester look one of the best teams at the minute and Man Utd one of the very worst. They didn’t have a shot on target away at AZ Alkmaar on Thursday and needed penalties to beat Rochdale at home two weeks ago.
This remains a season very much in the balance in terms of survival but at least the scales have tipped a little bit in our favour.
I think the next big challenge for Steve Bruce could be that, after making five changes on Sunday, he may well find himself having to consider making one or two more unless the goals and points at least trickle in. If the likes of Gayle, Carroll, Ritchie and others are all soon fully fit and available, then Joelinton and Almiron will be facing close scrutiny if not contributing at the sharp end.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 0 – Sunday 6 October 4.30pm
Matty Longstaff 72
Possession was Man Utd 69% Newcastle 31%
Total shots were Man Utd 12 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Man Utd 3 Newcastle 2
Corners were Man Utd 6 Newcastle 4
Referee: Mike Dean
Newcastle team v Leicester:
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Willems, M Longstaff, S Longstaff, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 83), Almiron (Krafth 90), Joelinton (Carroll 56)
Darlow, Dummett, Shelvey, Gayle
Crowd: 51,198 – Definitely not that many actually inside St James Park (3,200 Man Utd plus however many amongst the discounted tickets given to local universities/organisations, competition winners and tickets happily sold by Mike Ashley to Man Utd fans in home sections)
(David De Gea says Man Utd defeat to Newcastle was unacceptable – Read HERE)
(Stan Collymore perfectly sums up the Longstaff brothers sinking Manchester United – Read HERE)
(Watch the official match highlights HERE)
(Gary Neville distraught after Newcastle expose how poor Man Utd are – Read HERE)
(An emotional Matty Longstaff interviewed after MOTM performance and winning goal – Read/Watch HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Man Utd 0 – Read HERE)
(Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players after beating Man Utd – Read HERE)