Three talking points as Watford ran rampant against Newcastle United
Newcastle United suffered an embarrassing home defeat to Watford, with their performance suggesting another relegation fight could be on the cards. The Hornets have been one of the success stories of the season so far and there is no shame in losing to them, but it will be the manner of the defeat that will worry supporters. They were second best in every area of the pitch and could have been beaten by an even bigger scoreline if the visitors had their shooting boots on. Here are three talking points from the match at St James’ Park:
Newcastle United are in a relegation fight
There is little separating the teams outside of the top six and there will be a lot of clubs that will be dragged into relegation trouble at one point or another. Newcastle United had a good start to the campaign back in the Premier League and were difficult to score against. During their opening 11 matches, they conceded only 10 goals and offered a threat on the counter-attack. However, the injury to Jamaal Lascelles has hurt them at the back and seven goals conceded in the last two matches will be seen as a real problem by Rafa Benitez.
It is too soon to panic, as there are a lot of other clubs involved in the relegation fight and there is little separating those outside of the top six. Newcastle have now lost their last four Premier League matches, but they remain four points clear of the bottom three. That said, they need to get a positive result soon to put an end to the rut and increase positivity in the stands. West Brom on Tuesday will be a tough game, but it is one the Magpies need to be looking to win.
Marco Silva would be a fool to leave Watford
The Portuguese manager has seen his managerial stock rise considerably over the course of 2017. He failed to keep Hull City up, but the team put up a good fight after his appointment as manager. There were rumours linking him to several Premier League jobs during the summer, but he decided to join Watford and that was a decision that surprised many. The Hornets had an ageing squad and it needed to be remodelled. Silva has done that and they now look to be one of the best of the rest.
Everton have been linked with a move for Silva as they continue their search for a new manager to replace Ronald Koeman. The David Unsworth experiment has failed and another loss this weekend will have caused panic in the boardroom. They will want to make an appointment soon and the Watford boss is top of their list of targets according to reports. There would be a temptation to take the job, but there is something special being built at Vicarage Road. It isn’t the right time to leave for Silva.
Benitez needs to make changes in key positions
One reason for Newcastle’s defeat was that they had several key players out injured. Mikel Merino will be expected to come back into the team to start against West Brom. The team have missed his dynamism in the centre of the park. It is not a surprise that the Magpies have lost every match that the Spaniard hasn’t played in. Paul Dummett is another player coming back to fitness and he would offer a natural left-footed player at left-back. He will be a welcome addition to the team.
Aside from the players that will be returning from injury, there are others that deserve to be dropped for recent poor form. Javi Manquillo has been poor in recent weeks and Dummett’s return should see him dropped. Matt Ritchie was at fault for at least one of the goals against Watford and looks a shadow of his former self, while Joselu is offering nothing in attack. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez are two players that should be given a chance in the starting eleven sooner rather than later.
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