When Ryan Fraser knocked off the field after receiving a red card, Newcastle’s reaction to the bench said a lot at Bramall Lane.
True, no one expects to give their best after a player has been sent off, especially for two stray faults that arguably played a big part in the defeat, but Toon’s head coach Steve Bruce and his backroom staff Stephen Clemence and Steve Agnew looked through the Scottish winger.
Usually there is a pat on the back or a sign of encouragement or condolences at a moment like this, but vacant looks suggest a lot about the dressing room at this moment.
You can forgive Fraser for his first mistake on John Flick given that Newcastle was trying to compete in a physical match against the stale Chef United.
But his second yellow card just moments later when Newcastle were looking to regroup and prepare for the half-time, was a silly challenge you’ll see this season.
It might not have been as brutal as Joy Barton dealt with Xabi Alonso in 2009 under Alan Shearer when the midfielder’s red card meant he missed the rest of the season due to suspension.
However, Fraser’s actions indicate that he either did not appreciate the battle that Newcastle was fighting or that he was looking for a way out of the conflict.
A quick dive for a rookie bug after booking made no sense from a guy who knows how the game works and will turn 27 next month.
Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmat echoed in Leicester as well, when the duo were fired and later accused of “intentionally” sacking him by coach John Carver.
It’s something Carver couldn’t really stand up to but with feelings high who can blame him for his team looking like he’s walking away from the fight?
Unlike Shearer and Carver, Bruce sits above the drop zone with lots of toys to spare and has chosen not to play. Any drastic comments at his press conference.
Some crazy moments like crazy Fraser episode and Newcastle will be close if they weren’t careful.
The lack of urgency from the Newcastle seat does not help the magpies on a frustrating night
The unfortunate penalty kick by Federico Fernandez was a bitter pill for Newcastle but they weren’t helping themselves at the time despite 10 men.
It was clear that Paul Domit was suffering from muscle spasms and underwent treatment before leaving the field of play.
This means United was reduced to nine men when the penalty was issued.
It is true that referee Andy Madley refused to allow Matt Ritchie to attend when he was quickly changed over when he learned Domette’s number had risen.
But could the process be faster?
On a night like this, every match-time decision is vital and it seems that ceding nine players on the field is avoidable.
That sinking feeling of Newcastle
The way Newcastle plays reminds me of the 2009 and 2016 relegated teams.
They seem to be in some kind of bubble and cannot see the danger of danger around them as they slide into the downside problem evident to most other observers.
Newcastle not only had the disgrace of being the first team to lose to rock bottom Chef United, but they also managed to match one of their unfortunate stats from the ill-fated 2015/2016 campaign.
In fact, they lost to a side that were at the bottom of the Premier League for the first time since 2015 when Sunderland beat them 3-0 and the club continued to relegate.
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