Newcastle crash out of the FA Cup at the hands of Watford… but insist they aren’t bothered to exit the competition
- Newcastle were sent crashing out of the FA Cup by a second-string Watford side
- Watford made 11 changes with those on cup duty desperate to make a point
- The same couldn’t be said of some of Newcastle’s players, they looked desperate
When one team wants to win and the other isn’t that fussed, you should not be surprised by the outcome.
Watford made 11 changes yet such rotation proved a positive, those on cup duty desperate to make a point and win a stay in the side.
The same could not be said of some of Newcastle’s fringe players, they just looked desperate.
Newcastle were sent crashing out of the FA Cup by a second-string Watford side
‘I think we showed that bit more desire,’ said Watford’s Will Hughes, trying his best to be diplomatic.
‘I don’t know about their mentality and how they went about it, but with the greatest respect, I think our desire and quality counted from the outset.’
When a fellow professional questions your commitment, it should serve as an insult. Not that half of them will be bothered.
Neither will owner Mike Ashley, whose tenure has now seen 12 consecutive FA Cup exits before the fifth round.
Andre Gray celebrates scoring the opening goal against the Magpies at St James’ Park
Isaac Success is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring Watford’s second goal
How sad it is that Newcastle United – the 19th richest club in the world according to new figures – are reduced to this, going through the motions in a cup tie against an opponent whose average attendance is less than half the 52,000 who turn up at St James’ Park every week.
But credit to Watford, they are at least attempting to compete on two fronts. Eleven changes were an example of their strength, not a disregard of the competition.
They are currently the best of the rest in the Premier League, comfortable in seventh.
Scorer Andre Gray said: ‘To finish in the top six would be our best ever in the Premier League, but at the end of the day, we’d love a Cup final at Wembley. So why not do both?’
Watford play Spurs on Wednesday, and midfielder Hughes added: ‘Let’s hope this is the first of three visits to Wembley this season!’ Such ambition would soon be shot down on Tyneside, the club where dreams have long since died.
Rafa Benitez is still unsure whether his side will sign any players before Thursday’s deadline
MAGIC OF THE FA CUP
Newcastle going through the motions made this a poor excuse for a cup tie.
The one player who emerged to talk on Saturday, Isaac Hayden, again spoke of wanting to leave, albeit for family reasons. Newcastle, though, appear incapable of finding a replacement.
‘Today is the 26th, so I don’t need to say too much. We don’t have any players here,’ said Rafa Benitez afterwards.
‘I have been talking about this (transfers) for the last two years. I don’t want to any more. I have nothing to say.’ Newcastle host Manchester City tomorrow, 48 hours before the transfer deadline. What a painful week this threatens to be.