Quality summary there AM - and about how I saw it.Enough of the goo feasting and conspiracies.Time to be analytic.
Last night's performance was crap.
Too many things worked against us and they showed.
1- We could not lift for a third time in 3 games. The last two games the team gave 100% and played above themselves. Last night was a bridge too far. Olly especially looked tired.
2- The strategic timed release of the rumour of DDS going to the Bulls was a low act by Macarthur. and obviously affected the squad's mental state. Add to that missing Ruon would not have helped the confidence even though Hall filled in well.
3- For the first 20 minutes Newcastle played with flair with nothing to lose. They played a game that has always unsettled our team even going back to the days when Roar under Ange used to do it. They continually attacked the player in possession with a swarming forward defence. Usually they usually run out of puff and if it can be withstood for the the first 20 to 30 mins ascendency can be regained. Last night we conceded and did not have the attacking firepower to get back in the game.
4- Newcastle were allowed to play a physical game with the ref allowing many fouls. They used these tactics to stop Matty holding the ball and the ref allowed it.
I do not think too much should be read into players blowing up and not shaking hands when subbed. They were totally pissed off with the performance. I would have been more concerned if they accepted it with no emotion.
I will post later about what I saw in our on field tactics and individual performances.
Lifting for the next game will be vital and will tell us a lot about finals hopes. Personally I am hopeful without being overly optimistic, however I have been surprised many times this season.
I was quite pleased by Dan Hall's performance and think he will become a mainstay in CB next season unless we can hold onto Ruon.
Essentially, the scum flooded the midfield and snuffed out any potential for central forward play. They compensated by allowing in more crosses but with their giant 3 at the back were happy to let us send those in ineffectively all day. I'm usually not too critical of Staj but I think it was his job to recognise this and shift the structure. Urena into 10 and Bouman upfront was the answer (IMO) but we didn't do it.