April 22, 2024

Alan Shearer has criticized Newcastle United for their performance in a crushing defeat to Arsenal over the weekend.

Newcastle were never really in the game from the moment the referee blew the whistle, and once the first goal was scored, there seemed to be no way back in for Eddie Howe’s side.

Shearer noted on The Rest Is Football podcast that Newcastle’s lack of running, intensity, and closing down led to their disappointing defeat at the Emirates.

Shearer says Newcastle were ‘rotten’ on Saturday

It wasn’t a game many Newcastle fans expected to win, but it was one in which they competed last season and came away with a point after a tense 0-0 draw.

We saw none of the character and desire this weekend, as the defence could have easily opened up for the Arsenal attackers to walk into the box and seal the victory.

Sven Botman has already been identified as having the worst game in a black and white shirt, but none of the defenders could hold their heads high after that performance.

Shearer has now suggested that it was Newcastle’s worst performance under Howe, alleging that every player was off their game on Saturday night.

 

Newcastle United 1 - 0 Arsenal - Match Report | Arsenal.com

Shearer said of Newcastle: “That was as terrible as I’d seen under Eddie Howe, especially in the first half; they were an absolute disgrace in the first half. They weren’t ready to run around; there was no shutting down; they were just off in every position.

“They improved slightly in the second half, but they were unable to match Arsenal’s intensity, closing down, and overall performance. They are just very open at the moment.”

Newcastle’s defence has been woeful this season

For a squad that had one of the finest defences in the Premier League this season, this has been an astonishing reversal for all the wrong reasons, with 45 goals conceded in 26 games.

Of course, injuries have had an influence, and losing Nick Pope has been undoubtedly the worst blow to Newcastle’s season, but you wouldn’t expect such a massive defeat.

Kieran Trippier has had some difficult stretches this season, Botman hasn’t looked his best since returning from injury, Fabian Schar was poor against Arsenal, and we’re well aware of Dan Burn’s troubles.

Perhaps changing the system would enhance results, but there is only so much Howe can do; once the game starts, it is up to the players to carry out the strategy.

 

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