Whilst they may have been holding Manchester United to 1-1 until the dying stages of the game, it almost felt inevitable that Newcastle were eventually going to succumb to defeat in the Premier League on Saturday night.
The Magpies took the lead thanks to an own goal from Luke Shaw in the opening few minutes of the contest, but their passive approach invited Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to keep pressing, and in the end, the defence crumbled under the pressure – by the end of the game, they had been out-shot at a ratio of four to one (28 to 7).
But if you’ve been watching Newcastle throughout this season, then the fact United were peppering Karl Darlow’s goal with effort after effort was hardly surprising.
The Tyneside club’s reliance on trying to soak up the pressure before being clinical on any counter-attacks or set-pieces has earned them a couple of notable results, but there has been elements of good fortune to them as well – not least being the beneficiaries of a hugely contentious VAR call that saw them earn a point away at Tottenham.
In fact, as per WhoScored, Steve Bruce’s side have faced, on average, 17.2 shots per game this season in the Premier League, which is by far the worst in the division.
Despite the fact the actual table shows them in 13th place with seven points from their opening five league games, it’s an approach that is completely unsustainable in the long-term.
You simply cannot rely on Darlow to pull off blinders week-in and week-out to keep a clean sheet, and the negative approach will end up taking its toll on a talented forward-line that boasts the likes of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin.
Unless Bruce finds a way to help plug a leaky defence, and prevent Darlow from having to work double-time every game he steps on to the field, then Newcastle are heading for an unmitigated disaster.