Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Suicidal Defebdung in a Humiliating Defeat

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Suicidal Defebdung in a Humiliating Defeat

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE United lie in their death throes amid the ruins of what was supposed to be a season of unlimited promise.

From fifth-top of the Premier League they have plunged towards soccer's graveyard.

A suicidal run of eight defeats in 10 horrible games has swept away any pretence of quality.

The seven-goal thrashing at the Emirates was the biggest nail in United's coffin. By the final whistle it was nothing short of humiliation.

However, the problem didn't arise upon Saturday teatime. It was merely confirmed then.

Home defeats to West Ham and Swansea hoisted the distress flag and surrender to Southampton, Fulham and Stoke on their travels helped to set up the festive fall from grace.

If points are surrendered to the average then an avalanche is always likely to engulf you when the best are in town.

United have scored six goals in back-to-back matches away to England's cream, Manchester United and Arsenal, yet have still lost because they have the defensive resistance of a chocolate fireguard.

They have leaked an incredible 11 goals in just 180 minutes of play. That is criminal.

Basics have been forgotten. The art of defence lost amid fear and schoolboy errors. Men have become boys.

United haven't been victimised or persecuted when their only crime was to be victims of bad luck. They have committed suicide time and time again.

I've trumpeted for a while that United's major problems are at the back, not up top. They are fine going forward.

However, defending when they haven't got the ball is quite another matter and any criticism includes their midfield shield Cheick Tiote along with others farther upfield.

Of course most of the basic errors at the Emirates and on other occasions were made by the back four, but the great Liverpool team of yesteryear used to list Ian Rush as their best defender. They closed down from the front and attacked from the back. It's called team work.

The Magpies gifted goals in the capital - Davide Santon played on Theo Walcott for the first, Danny Simpson threw the ball directly to an Arsenal player for the second, Tiote was caught in possession on the third, and so it went on. …

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