Poor. Very very poor.
That was about as much as could be used to describe Newcastle United’s away performance against Burnley.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche marked his fifth year anniversary with the hosts – he is the Premier League’s third-longest serving manager – by claiming all three points against a woeful Magpies side.
In truth, it was a game that lacked quality from either side, but even so Newcastle looked a yard off the pace at all times. Mo Diame, a surprise recall to the starting lineup, looked particularly slow and rusty.
Christian Atsu had one of the best chances of the first half when he stabbed the ball over from inside the box, though the ball did bounce up at an awkward height for the Ghanaian international.
Robbie Brady had the only other good chance of a dull half of football, when he expertly whipped in a poor cross, which struck a Newcastle defender and the deflection nearly caught out Rob Elliot, who was forced to make an awkward save.
That summed up the quality of the half, which had seen plenty of terrible crosses and wasted possession but little of anything good.
The second half didn’t produce anything close to a classic either.
Ayoze Perez, who was mostly ineffectual in this game, forced Burnley’s young goalkeeper Nick Pope to make a diving save from his curling effort early in the half.
Then there came a goal. Unfortunately for the travelling Toon Army – once again present in impressive numbers – it was for the home side.
Midfielder Jeff Hendrick turned in Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s cross on 74 minutes amidst some frankly laughable defending from Newcastle.
Both centre backs Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune need to take responsibility for how Hendrick was allowed free reign of the entire other half of the box, whilst Yedlin was nowhere to be seen.
Ayoze Perez was shrugged softly from the ball in the buildup too. It was a goal born from a comedy of errors in black and white.
Had it not been the Magpies conceding, but rather some goal seen on the Internet or Match of the Day, then it’d have been genuinely funny how bad the team were in conceding it.
Yet, it was those in black and white committing the calamity, and hence it was just both heartbreaking and infuriating.
Late on, Newcastle seemed to develop a little bit of fight and desire, with Joselu drilling a shot wide and Isaac Hayden forcing a good save from Pope in the Burnley goal.
The final chance of the game also fell to Newcastle, as Jonjo Shelvey – who was possible the best of a bad bunch in terms of Magpies players – picked up the ball after a corner came to nothing and whipped in a good ball, but Javi Manquillo’s header was just slightly too strong and it went over.
Burnley offered very little to threaten the Newcastle goal, either, with an Ashley Barnes strike drawing a save from Elliot being the only real effort of note.
Aside from that they were a side that too lacked much quality, but crucially, they left the game with three points. Newcastle left with nothing.
That made the performance that much worse for Newcastle and it brings concerns for the next few games.
The side still sits in ninth position with 14 points, but it looks like it could be a season where our points are won at home, and not always through convincing performances – at least if the past two results and performances against Crystal Palace and Burnley are to be considered.