Defensive lapses condemn Newcastle to defeat

Posted by Lee Ryder

MacNicol/Getty ImagesNewcastle allowed two leads to slip through their fingers in their home defeat to Hull City.

Newcastle United came crashing back down to earth with an almighty bump against Hull City.
But if this defeat proved anything, it was that there is plenty of work for Alan Pardew and his director of football Joe Kinnear to get stuck into in the months ahead.

- Match report: Newcastle 2-3 Hull City

Kinnear was in the stands against Hull City today, and despite declaring he was happy with the strength of the squad, United crumbled against a team that they should really be taking three points from. If they shouldn't, then perhaps Newcastle fans should be worried about stiffer tests to come.

Kinnear probably needs a rethink after this reality check.

It all started well enough for the Magpies as Loic Remy grabbed his first goal for the black and whites with a well-taken header on 10 minutes. That was the cue for United to build on the lead and put the game beyond the reach of the Tigers.

Instead, they switched off and allowed Steve Bruce's side back into the game with a host of chances before Robbie Brady finally took them up on the generous offer with 26 minutes played.

Of course, every Premier League team makes mistakes, but it is all about learning from them.

And after Remy had regained the lead to score at the right time -- just before the break -- it appeared to be set up for Newcastle to push on and finish off the men from the KC Stadium once and for all. However, if the Toon defence had clocked off after taking the lead in the first period, there was merely more of the same on the menu in the second half.

Not even three minutes had elapsed in the second half before Hull were handed a second written invitation back into the contest. With nothing to lose, they were never going to turn down the opportunity.

If Brady's equaliser had been a well-crafted strike, the second leveller of the game from Ahmed Elmohamady came as a result of some static defending as Newcastle's defence appeared to stand still to let Hull in again.

Even then, there was plenty of time and plenty of players with the capabilities to put Newcastle back into the lead that would have taken the maximum haul and would have left them in the top four of the Premier League.

But Remy looked like a man who'd given everything in his locker, Hatem Ben Arfa went missing, Yohan Cabaye hobbled off, Papiss Cisse remains out of sorts and was promptly hooked and Moussa Sissoko had a day when nothing came off for him.

Lacking both spirit and creativity, it left the door wide open for Hull to take advantage. It may hurt for United fans to accept it, but Sone Aluko's goal was a strike worthy of winning the game. True, he did have time and space to weigh up his crisp volley, but it was a goal of genuine quality.

By the end, Newcastle fans were struggling to take solace from any aspect of the game as the boos rang out at the final whistle. Clearly both problems from last season and that lack of investment aren't going to disappear after a handful of narrow wins.

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