The Newcastle United team lost only their second match against Premier League opposition since 2 September 2023.
Eddie Howe’s team losing at Goodison Park.
I make that only the second time in 96 days that a Newcastle United team had lost a match to another PL side, averaging once every seven weeks.
There were all kinds of factors as to why Newcastle lost to Everton.
Including of course maybe the most obvious one that happens ‘quite’ often in football, one team took their opportunities to score and the other side didn’t.
There were of course a lot of other things you could point to but football is really such a simple game and as we know, not many people these days, least of all the media, is really interested in what actually happens during a match, it is just about who won the match and who scored the goals.
However, if you do want to scratch the surface, even just a little bit. You do have to acknowledge just how savage the bad luck has been for Eddie Howe.
In other circumstances this could easily have been the Newcastle United team v Everton last night…
It all gets a bit bizarre when anybody brings up the crazy list of unavailable Newcastle players, as so many journalists, pundits and rival fans so desperate to say that every club gets injuries, can’t ever be an excuse and so on.
Yet so many of these very same people, journalists and pundits anyway, were so keen to put Man City’s midweek defeat down to how they were missing key players.
Yes, I know they were missing the likes of Rodri and Grealish but I have just double checked and their team against Villa was Ederson, Walker, Ruben Dias, Gvardiol, Akanji, Stones, Lewis, Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, Foden, Haaland. They brought on the likes of Kovacic from the bench and even had the likes of Ake and Phillips as unused subs!
Yet people are outraged if you point out that this entire Newcastle United team above are all unavailable, plus Javier Manquillo as well, as a sub for this out of action team.
I think even if three of those above in the seven midfield / attacking positions in this unavailable Newcastle United team had been on the bench / in the matchday squad last night, then Eddie Howe would have been making in-game changes and more than likely, would have won the game.
I love it when you get some Newcastle United fans who after last night’s game were screaming why didn’t Eddie Howe bring subs on? Then when they are quizzed as to exactly which of the players who were on the bench should have come on… they say that’s not the point, Eddie just needed to make some changes!
In reality, Newcastle United had 19 year old left-back Lewis Hall as the only possible viable sub to make, a teenager who has made nine Premier League starts in total in his career. I’m not convinced this was a glaring error from our manager that for sure would have seen Lewis Hall single-handedly win the match, if only the manager had listened to the fans (well the very vocal minority of them anyway).
Reality is that this is unprecedented, in the entire club history Newcastle United have never ever had such a strong group of players all missing at the same time. I can’t speak for elsewhere but I reckon with other English clubs you won’t be talking more than a handful who have experienced anything similar.
This doesn’t of course mean that we automatically expect Newcastle United to lose any game.
However, if it does happen, you then do have to accept that Eddie Howe has been impacted by this unprecedented number of missing players and all we can ask of him is that he manages the situation the best he can.
Which from where I am sitting, he has done pretty bloody magnificently so far.