Newcastle come crashing down at Swansea

Posted by Lee Ryder

Stu Forster/Getty ImagesThe road does not get any easier for Alan Pardew's Newcastle who next face a wounded Manchester United.

Before departing Swansea and ahead of a long journey back to Tyneside on Thursday, a Swansea fan approached just before checking out of the hotel.

He said: "Well, you were taught a lesson in passing and possession last night weren't you?"

I could certainly see his point given that Michael Laudrup's men love to play keep ball and knock it around. And it's not that it isn't easy on the eye because at times watching Swansea is a pleasure. But Newcastle's problem in Wales wasn't because they weren't capable of passing the ball around or even holding on to it.

- Report: Swansea 3-0 Newcastle

Their game plan was to let Swansea have it and let them play -- before hopefully nicking one or two on the counter and giving themselves something to defend. Unfortunately, it was the lack of conviction that cost United so dearly against the League Cup winners.

It was refreshing to see both Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko grab goals in the 2-1 win over Norwich City at St James' Park last week. Before that, I'd been a bit worried that when Loic Remy didn't manage to get on the score sheet, United struggle for goals.

Sadly, they reverted to type on Wednesday evening because when Remy was denied early by Michel Vorm and when he lashed at a shot and sent it spinning wide, there didn't seem to be any other alternatives in the forward line.

Shola Ameobi has played very well in terms of being a presence in recent weeks, yet possessing a killer touch has never been his strong point. He could only manage a couple of daisy cutters at Swansea on Wednesday night, and by that time United were already trailing by Nathan Dyer's goal.

A second seemed inevitable and when at 2-0 down, Pardew used one of his changes to introduce defenders Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and earlier Massadio Haidara. Winger Gabriel Obertan didn't bring much to the party and the money seemed on Swansea to add a third killer goal rather than see Newcastle make a game for it.
That they barely threatened and looked like a different side to the one that had strung together wins over Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich and West Bromwich Albion shouldn't be forgotten here. It was evidence that when Newcastle are on a high, they seem to scale the highest highs. And the flip side seems to occur when they lose.

The match at Swansea was night and day compared to recent weeks when Newcastle have shown both conviction in front of goal and know-how to finish off opponents. Now it doesn't get any easier with a trip to Manchester United, a venue that Newcastle have failed to win at since 1972 against the Red Devils.

Regardless of Man United's indifferent form, one thing is for certain. If Newcastle don't take their chances this time, the home side are more than likely to take theirs, especially after flunking at home to Everton in midweek.

United have been warned. Man United have struggled recently but they still have the class to see off an out of sorts Newcastle team. By that time, Pardew could have been named manager of the month, although the champagne may have a sour taste by Saturday night, unless we see a return to form from the Magpies.


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