Newcastle United fans were in uproar after the embarrassing 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
And rightly so after a dreadful performance from the Magpies.
But what did we learn from the defeat, which ended any hopes of a run in the league cup for another season?
There aren’t enough words to describe how poor the performance was:
Siem De Jong was among a clutch of Newcastle players to under perform against a Sheffield Wednesday side 14th in the Championship.
And the visitors made 10 changes. It was their reserve team yet a strong Newcastle side still couldn’t muster a challenge.
They managed just one attempt on goal all night. A shameful statistic.
The impressive visitors could smell blood and in they end they went in for the kill and walked away with a major scalp.
Picking Siem De Jong over Ayoze Perez backfired, huge learning curve for Florian Thauvin:
Steve McClaren gambled on Siem De Jong leading the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Ayoze Perez restricted to a place on the bench.
And it backfired.
De Jong didn’t threaten in the first half, isolated up front, he had to keep tracking back to get the ball.
And when he finally got a sniff at goal late in the second half, he screwed one shot wide and blazed the other high over the bar.
He limped away from the ground after a night to forget. Thauvin’s night wasn’t any better.
He was hooked at half-time after a dismal display. A big learning curve for the Frenchman and a major improvement needed.
Fabricio Coloccini should have started.
Newcastle United have spoken openly and publicly this season about a change in approach to the cup competitions.
You wouldn’t have guessed it on last night’s performance.
And to make matters worse, the club captain was left out of the side again.
Coloccini was presumably watching through his fingers as his teammates out on the pitch crashed out of the cup.
Under fire for his performances recently, yes, but he still should have started and led by example.
Newcastle underestimated Sheff Wed.
The team is lacking leaders:
Talking of leading by example, this Newcastle United side is desperately short of leaders.
When the going got tough, there was nobody thumping their fists, organising the players or leading from the front.
The captain was sat on the bench and with few other natural leaders, it is a major problem for Steve McClaren as his side continue their run of miserable form.
Newcastle need to throw off the shackles:
McClaren is keen to get his misfiring side going while also trying to mask their defensive frailties.
But against Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle were too conservative, too one paced and lacking any real cohesion or attacking impetus.
Too many times the ball was passed to Vurnon Anita by a centre half, the Dutch midfielder would then pass it back and so on.
It was too slow and the side lacked invention in the final third making it easy for Sheff Wed to defend against.