Miles Starforth’s match analysis: Leicester City 3 Newcastle United 0

Leicester City's Marcin Wasilewski (left) and Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez battle for the ball.
Leicester City's Marcin Wasilewski (left) and Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez battle for the ball.

THERE was no defence for Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium, literally.

The 1,915 travelling fans witnessed one of the most, if not THE most, shameful performances of the Premier League era on Saturday.

Leicester City’s 3-0 victory was more comprehensive than the 3-0 scoreline suggested.

Newcastle were abject, abjectly awful.

United’s players were branded “cowards” by a group of fans as they boarded the team bus.

Goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman tried to reason with them, but what could he say?

The only people who can save the club are the players, and time is fast running out for them to show they are fit to wear the shirt.

The time for talking has long gone.

And the club, on the evidence of the last eight games, is destined for the Championship.

The only question is whether John Carver will be in charge for the last three matches.

Carver, it’s clear, will not step aside.

His back against the wall, Carver spoke to a small huddle of written journalists in a corridor at the King Power Stadium long after the final whistle had gone.

Carver was asked if he would step down.

The answer was unequivocal.

“I’m not going anywhere until someone comes to me and tells me otherwise, he said.

But will someone tell him otherwise? And who, if anyone, is prepared to take charge in such trying circumstances?

Steve McClaren is, technically, available, with Derby County’s season having ended at the weekend, but the odds are against him taking charge this week.

If McClaren is to come to St James’s Park, it will most likely be in the summer long after United’s fate has been decided.

The club is in a mess, on and off the pitch, despite the tens of millions in the bank.

That unspent money is not much use over the coming weeks.

The time for hiring was in January – and last summer – and it’s not an ideal time for firing, either.

That said, Carver DOES care. The same can’t be said for many of his players judging by their performances.

Carver also loves the club – he’s passionate about it – and he IS giving everything.

It’s just that his best just hasn’t been good enough. That’s not his fault.

Carver is an easy scapegoat, but those at the very top must share responsibility for the club’s plight with Carver and a group of players whose fitful performances have left the club just two points above the relegation zone.

A week ago, I wrote about the “breathtaking complacency” of the club’s board.

At the King Power Stadium, we saw a breathtaking lack of leadership on the field.

Whatever Carver’s managerial failings, the players’ own collective and individual failings can’t be ignored.

There was a chant of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” as they trudged off the pitch.

It’s hard to disagree.

Too many have let the club down over the past few months.

Too many simply aren’t good enough to play for Newcastle.

Too many, like Alan Shearer said last week, simply don’t look like they care.

It took Leicester just 38 seconds to get off the mark – despite United having kicked off the game.

Moussa Sissoko, back from a two-game suspension, did his best NOT the head the ball that Leonardo Ulloa directed past Tim Krul from a Marc Albrighton corner.

And no one came close to stopping Wes Morgan meeting a 17th-minute free-kick from Albrighton.

Leicester were first to everything.

Newcastle’s midfield diamond didn’t help matters – Nigel Pearson’s side had too much space on the flanks – and things unravelled further after the break, when Emmanuel Riviere bundled over Marcin Wasilewski.

Ulloa beat Krul from the penalty spot, and that looked to be that.

But then came second yellow cards for Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat, both for needless and inexplicable fouls on Jamie Vardy, who had tormented United all afternoon.

After the game, Carver said he felt Williamson had been sent off “on purpose”.

Williamson yesterday denied this in an apology to the club’s fans and his team-mates.

Just what Carver’s astonishing post-match comments means for his relationship with his players is anyone’s guess.

But it’s hard to see Newcastle taking another point this season under Carver, who absolved midfielder Jack Colback for any responsibility after the match.

And that would mean relegation from the Premier League.

The only people who can save the club are the players, and time is fast running out for them to show they are fit to wear the shirt.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: KRUL 6, Janmaat 2, Coloccini 3, Williamson 2, Dummett 4, Gutierrez 4, R Taylor 4 (de Jong, 58, 5), Colback 5, Sissoko 2, Riviere 4 (Anita, 64, 4), Perez 6 (Armstrong, 74, 5). Subs not used: Woodman, Abeid, Ameobi, Cabella.

LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, Wasilewski (De Laet, 68), Huth, Morgan, Albrighton, Cambiasso (Hammond, 74), James, Mahrez, Schlupp, Ulloa (Kramaric, 78), Vardy. Subs not used: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Wood.

Man of the match: Tim Krul. He kept the score down.

Highlight: There wasn’t one. This was an afternoon of lows.

Lowlight: Daryl Janmaat’s stupid dismissal added insult to injury.

Goals: Ulloa 1, 48 (pen), Morgan 17

Bookings: Janmaat 16, James 29, Gutierrez 28, Williamson 55, Dummett 70

Sent off: Williamson 62, Janmaat 90

Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral)

Attendance: 31,576 (1,915 Newcastle)