As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Lee Clark: Newcastle need Almiron goal; Noble tribute; Souness right on Man Utd

Without being disrespectful to Brighton, because every team you come up against in the Premier League are tough opponents, but if Newcastle are playing teams in the same situation as themselves at St. James' Park, you expect them to be on the front foot, be positive and taking the game on.

I think Steve Bruce would have wanted his team to play that way. He certainly wouldn't have wanted the 71 per cent possession to 29 per cent possession ratio in favour of the away team. In the first-half Brighton were totally dominant and in saying that if you look over the course of the game Newcastle probably had as many clear cut chances as Brighton.

The chance that Miguel Almiron had is one that a striker with confidence puts down the side of the goalkeeper into the corner of the goal. Instead he just fired it straight down the goalkeeper's throat. That's a player who is trying desperately hard to break this goalscoring duck. He's got such a brilliant work ethic for the team, the reports you get from the training ground is that he works ever so hard on the pitch and I think everybody that is associated with the club are willing Almiron on to get this goal because I think if he gets the first one, his confidence levels will rise and he'll go on a bit of a run.

I know Brighton had their own chances and they were the dominant team. So I think all in all it was a disappointing performance and a disappointing weekend because I think Steve Bruce and his staff were probably expecting three points. The positive thing out of it is that they haven't lost the game, they've kept the clean sheet that will help the defenders and the goalkeeper and then obviously they've got a point from a performance that probably didn't warrant it.

The problem they've got now is they've got extremely tough league games in the next three. They've got to start to picking up points because it's getting really tight at the bottom there in terms of there being five or six teams where one or two wins can get you out of the relegation zone and on the other hand two or three losses puts you right in there and gives you confidence issues.


DELIGHTED FOR ANDY, BUT…

I was absolutely delighted to see Andy Carroll back in Newcastle colours, but the problem we've got is everyone is hanging their hopes on him because of the season we've had.

It's a big call because of his injury problems, he's not going to be straight into the firing line in terms of starting games. It's going to have to be a gradual process with Andy working up his match fitness.

He got 10-15 minutes against Brighton and I think Steve will be trying to use him from the bench and maybe giving him a little bit longer with each appearance, then seeing how long it will take before he believes he is ready to start.

But Andy has obviously lifted the mood around the club and around the city. All I'd warn is that there's a lot of pressure on him because everyone is hanging their hopes on him to be the one that turns things around for the club.


HUDDERSFIELD

I've seen the two games since Danny Cowley took over and I totally agree with his sentiments from what he said after those games: it's a club that has forgot how to win.

It's been that long. It's a group of players, I think he used the words, that play the scoreboard rather than the game, so even when they go ahead they are worrying about getting pegged back, and if they get overtaken it seems to effect their mentality and confidence.

I thought for an hour they did great against West Bromwich Albion, it's always a tough place to go the Hawthorns. But then as soon as West Brom got back to 2-2 there looked like there'd be only one winner and that ended up being the case.

Danny has come out and said he feels the team isn't fit enough to play the way he wants to play for 94, 95 minutes. It's a really tough period for the club. The manager is trying to get his ideas across, it's not going to happen overnight, especially if he wants to change so many things.

Reports stated that ten days leading up to the game Danny gave the players so much information, so you could worry about it being overload for them. You just hope that they can get this first win sooner rather than later because the longer it goes on the longer it will just frighten the life out of everyone in terms of fans, players, staff, because everyone starts losing their confidence and wondering where the next result is coming from.


SOUNESS WAS RIGHT ABOUT MAN UTD

I think there is a good chance that it could be the worst ever Manchester United squad in the Premier League era without a doubt.

I was really disappointed with their performance against West Ham United. The three guys in the Sky Sports studio - Graeme Souness, Roy Keane and Jose Mourinho - know a hell of a lot about winning major trophies and what it takes, and they were quite scathing and rightly so on the performance level that Man Utd delivered against West Ham.

I thought it was quite inept, quite flat to be honest. All you expect from a Man Utd team, even in the games that they've lost, you expect them to be up and at you, creating numerous chances, playing with lots of a tempo, lots of speed, hitting you on the break, you're always worried even when you're in front that they can come back and hurt you because of their pace.

They just look like a run of the mill Premier League team at the moment. People are talking about them breaking into the top-four, I would say that you've got to worry about them getting into the top-six at this moment in time, never mind the top-four, because I think their performance levels are quite average at best.


NOBLE RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS TO BE

The answer to Mark Noble joining a bigger club is tough when you're playing for the club that you love and support and you're playing every week and you're classed as one of the main men.

He's been a terrific ambassador for West Ham. You can see he loves the club. When they've had the times of turmoil and disappointment, he's always been the one that steps up and comes to the fore, whether that has to be communicating with the fans or on the pitch.

He's the leader for those West Ham supporters and their fans - and the group of players who are in the dressing room would understand what the club means to play for West Ham because of Mark Noble.

Am I surprised he hasn't been in the England set-up? Yeah I probably am. But in terms of playing for a big club, I don't think he'd be too bothered or interested in that. He's living his dream so I don't think moving anywhere else would've been of any interest to him.

Tags
TransfersOpinion
Lee Clark
About the author

Lee Clark

Have your say
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free