Newcastle United have somehow found themselves in the relegation dogfight and for all of last season’s excellence it now seems as though reality has truly bit at St James Park.
The watershed moment should have been the 3-0 defeat at home against Sunderland but it seems if that didn’t do it then this weekend would surely have been the wakeup call; 6-0 at home against Liverpool.
While many were to blame for the defeat; including Cheick Tiote who had an abysmal game in the heart of Newcastle United’s midfield the finger points mainly at the two men tasked at stopping such a scoreline…Newcastle United’s hapless centre-backs.
Steven Taylor is something of a fan favourite with many pleased to see him get an England call-up earlier in the season but personally I have never seen the appeal.
He is certainly a brave and strong centre-back who will put his body on the line; all characteristics of the typically English defender but his footballing intelligence is not exactly Mensa standard.
Then there is Mapou Yanga M’Biwa. When The Toon snapped him up in January I sang his praises. I thought it was a bargain buy that would prove a master class in the end however so far he has not lived up to the heavy expectations I laid on his door.
But yesterday the combination of both players’ individual faults was a recipe for disaster.
Firstly Taylor seemed to forget the off-side rule. He was stepping up when he should have been sitting back and vice-versa; standing around with his hand in the air most the time appealing for phantom off-sides like a park player. He was at fault for Daniel Agger’s first and as the lynchpin of the defence was more than culpable for the shocking fourth goal.
Then there was M’Biwa’s woeful display.
When he decided to double up on Phillipe Coutinho with Taylor he left Sturridge in behind him wondering if Christmas had come early. Coutinho, who played the pair like Punch and Judy all game, duly slipped him in to score.
He then decided to take his eye off Borini for the fifth and to not go full steam ahead to block Henderson’s delivery for the sixth.
If Newcastle do not want to suffer a shock relegation then this partnership has to be broken up otherwise Aston Villa and Wigan might just fancy their chances.
What did you make of the display?
image: © mikebrown59