Complacency Creeps Back In To End Winning Run

Blackburn Leave Toon With Maximum Points

On the cusp of winning a 10th game on the trot and setting a new club record The Magpies turned up and gave one of the most Newcastle United performances possible to see struggling Blackburn leave with 3 vital points.

Firstly before I start moaning about our performance I would like to say top marks to Blackburn, they played well and fully deserved the win - they came and did what the likes of Huddersfield and Wolves did and pressed us from the off rather than just sitting back and we just struggle to cope with that.

This may be classed as blasphemous by some but the blame for Saturday lies mainly with the manager for me - he made some very questionable calls before and during the game.

He may have denied it but he clearly picked a team with Tuesdays cup game (and possibly Fridays League game) in mind. For me you have to play the game in front of you and cant be looking too far ahead.

We had a winnable game on Saturday that should have allowed us to consolidate our healthy position at the top of the table not to mention another near sell out crowd hoping to see us set a new record in terms of our winning run.

Compared to the 3 points that wasnt important but it is still pretty depressing that we passed up the chance to make a bit of history by not winning a home game against a side in the bottom 3.

I know he makes a few changes game to game but no matter how he wants to spin it the changes made on Saturday were more than the usual tinkering.

We made 3 changes to a back 4 that has been performing so well which included resting/dropping our captain who is without a doubt our best headerer of a ball at the club and Blackburn are a bigish side who were always likely to lump a few balls in the box.

I can half understand the Mitrovic v Gayle decision but if you are going to play Mitrovic then he needs better supply than he got on Saturday with Atsu really disappointing for me.

Ill be honest I have not been impressed with him that much since he joined and I dont actually think he looks any better than the likes of Sammy Ameobi who we have of course shipped out on loan. He may come good of course and has had limited opportunity but he is just far too sloppy with the ball and his delivery is just so hit and miss.

Some people seemed to be getting irritated with Mitro on Saturday - whilst I dont think he had a great game I actually felt a bit sorry for him because on top of Atsu having a poor game the likes of Ritchie, Yedlin and Perez also had shockers with Shelvey and Hayden not much better so the service to him just wasnt good enough and was just aimless at times.

To be honest I think the only person that could come out of the game with any credit was Darlow who once again looked assured and could do nothing about Charlie Mulgrews 75th minute winner.

Dont get me wrong here this is not a Rafa out rant by any stretch of the imagination and I understand this is one defeat after a run of 9 wins but it just frustrates me a touch that he seems to still be totally immune from any form of criticism and I was actually a bit offended about the way he tried to make out that the team wasnt selected with Tuesday in mind - at least have the guts to admit it.

I understand that a bit of rotation is needed but I just think when you make so many changes after playing so well in the previous game then you pretty much write the oppositions teamtalk for them as I think it just looks very cocky and very complacent and we were punished for that.

I also dont like his reluctance to use his subs earlier when things are clearly not going our way - why is Gayle coming on 10 minutes after they have gone ahead with barely 5 minutes left on the clock and we need a goal?

Just really frsutrated and worried that there is too much complacency in the squad. I think we have been a bit lacklustre in quite a few games this season but just havent been punished by some teams but the likes of Huddersfield, Wolves, Fulham and Blackburn have obviously taken full advantage and after winning so many in a row it is very easy in this league so suddenly go on a bad run.

All the teams behind us won on Saturday and our result will have given them all a sniff so no matter what people think this isnt all done and dusted yet by any stretch of the imagination.

Of course the players also have to take a large portion of the blame - we didnt play well and didnt create much yet still missed 2 or 3 real gilt edged chances and then only really seemed to step up a gear when we were behind and it was all too late.

If we win on Tuesday then of course this will likely be all forgotten but that is a big if for me and the flip side is if you also lose on Tuesday then you look a bit stupid having tossed off the 3 points on Saturday.

I dont care how Hull are doing they are still a Premier League side and have some decent players. They will be looking to get a win tomorrow to maybe act as a bit of a platform to kickstart a survival bid and there is no doubt that if we stroll up like we did on Saturday and just expect to win because of our recent form then we wont be in that pot for the semi final draw.

Hopefully come the end of the season this will be one of those games that is simply seen as a minor blip on a bigger achievement but for me this complacency needs to be nipped in the bud quickly and that starts with the manager. I am not saying Rafa has got complacent but I think he has to see that some of his decisions can possibly breed complacency with the players.

It also frustrates me to see some of the players once again spouting quotes about this being a wake up call to how tough this league is - that seems to get churned out after each poor performance but surely anyone with any sense knows this is a tough league before a ball is kicked - we shouldnt need any kind of reminder that if you dont turn up and play to your maximum then you will likely get beaten at any level of the game.

We need to show that Saturday was a minor blip and the only way to do that is go out all guns blazing tomorrow night and then follow that up on Friday night too because no matter how much people want a cup run the league has to be the main focus.

Finally thought has to be with Jesus Gamez who picked up another injury on Saturday after finally getting a start - seems he may have broken his collarbone which whilst obviously not life threatening will likely keep him out of action for a few weeks which is not ideal for us or him given the interrupted start to his NUFC career so far. Lets hope Jesus is a good healer!!

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