Sat 16 Mar 2024, 20:29 · Ash Harrison

'The simple truth': Alan Shearer gives his opinion on Newcastle's FA Cup exit at hands of Manchester City

'The simple truth': Alan Shearer gives his opinion on Newcastle's FA Cup exit at hands of Manchester City
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Manchester City booked their place at Wembley with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-final at the Etihad Stadium tonight.

Nobody was really expecting it to go any other way, but were it not for a couple of huge slices of luck, things might have gone a bit different on the night.

Despite the 2-0 scoreline, Martin Dubravka's goal was rarely threatened throughout the 90 minutes. Sure, Manchester City dominated possession and practically coasted through the game, but were it not for two big deflections from Bernardo Silva's first-half long-range shots, they may not have found the net at all.

That's not to say that Newcastle ever looked like scoring either with every attack breaking down at the last hurdle. Usually thanks to poor control by Alexander Isak or by excellent positional play by the City defence.

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Sven Botman making his presence felt early

Alan Shearer hits the nail on the head with his analysis

There probably is plenty to be mad about, and it was by no means a fun watch as a Newcastle fan, but when you take a step back and look at things rationally, we did alright on the whole.

Alan Shearer was on pundit duty for BBC's Match Of The Day and he summed it up perfectly at full-time.

“Despite the two lucky goals, they were much the better team.

“I think the simple truth is they were better than Newcastle, and are better than Newcastle, in every position. That’s where Newcastle want to get to – that’s the standard.

“They tried. No problem with their attitude. They just lacked that bit of quality in terms of the opposition who they were against.”

We do have a pretty solid excuse to fall back on but it can only take us so far

We keep going back to the injuries excuse and it might feel a bit cheap, but it's still a genuine excuse. Sean Longstaff is playing with an injury (why he's playing is beyond me, but that's on Eddie Howe), but we still have a big group of first-team players out: Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento, Joelinton, Callum Wilson, Harvey Barnes and of course Sandro Tonali who is banned.

Add to that now, Sven Botman who came off injured tonight, and that's a hefty chunk of quality players we can't call upon.

The number of injuries is something that absolutely needs to be looked at in the off-season, though. Whether it's how the players are training, Eddie Howe playing them when they're not fit or pushing them too hard in training when they're recovering, whatever it is, it needs addressing.

I'm nowhere near wanting Eddie Howe out, and I find those calls that I'm seeing online to be absolutely ridiculous, but I am starting to question a few things as patterns emerge and injuries is a big part of that.