It just wasn’t to be, was it!
Entering the fixture, against Leicester City at St James Park, the expectation levels were high that Newcastle United would get that elusive first win of the season.
But it was a familiar story, Newcastle huffed and puffed, but without looking anything like convincing and Leicester, without really breaking into a sweat, strode off into the sunset with the three points.
The defeat, the fourth straight defeat at home, meant that the 2018 / 2019 season has started with Newcastle setting a record, never before have they lost the opening four home fixtures of a campaign.
But, whereas the first three, in a way, could be excusable, with Newcastle losing to Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal, three top teams, the fourth was against a team that are nothing special.
Unfortunately, the performance was so poor that I can’t recall Kasper Schmeichel being forced to make a decent save.
Following the latest in what is becoming a long line of disasters, Rafael Benitez looked a troubled man when he spoke to the media, with the Spaniard, as reported by the BBC, remarking:
“Obviously I am disappointed. We conceded two goals from set-pieces and didn’t take our chances.
“The second goal killed us mentally. Leicester were well-organised and worked hard and they have some good players.
“When you concede, it is always difficult for you. When things are not going in your favour you concede penalties like that.”
But, with the side struggling for cohesion and with too many not, I feel, prepared to die for the shirt, we couldn’t even look to the bench for somebody to come on and change things around, the squad is that threadbare thanks to the boards recent lack of hindsight in the transfer market.
Continuing, Rafa added;
“We have to manage the squad. We tried to be more offensive but we didn’t take our chances and we were exposed in the second half. The team is working hard, you cannot complain about that.”
But working hard isn’t the be all and end all, we lack that cutting edge that can change games, there’s no energy when needed, no decisiveness when that crucial pass is required.
With just 2 points taken from the first 21 available, this isn’t relegation form this is Sunderland style free-fall.