It’s clear that the only aim for Newcastle United this season was to stay in the Premier League, while that safety now appears to be certain so they don’t have much else to play for.
They fell to a fairly regulation defeat to Arsenal at the weekend as they went down 2-0, and there are some accusations that some of the players didn’t really turn up.
Obviously that kind of thing is going to be on Roy Keane’s radar, and he had a fairly brutal assessment of the performance during the TV coverage for Sky Sports:
“You say it’s a good finish, he’s obviously hit the target. It’s good movement from Bellerin, we know he’s capable of doing this. Elneny, you think ‘hit the target’, but for me, the keeper has to save this.
“To me, he’s got a good hand to it, he has to save it, not good enough, but Arsenal have been the better team and deserve to be in front.
“Obviously, they’ve had a decent run recently, but there was no intensity to their play like they were already on their holidays. It was an easy afternoon for Arsenal, but Newcastle certainly never turned up.
“That is going to be a problem for Brucey now in the last few weeks to get them going again and say they still want a couple of victories.”
Safety could be assured in their next game and it’s unlikely that Fulham will take enough points from their remaining games to make it close anyway, but it’s not a great look for Steve Bruce if the season does simply fizzle out with a few poor performances.