There’s a lot of things that Newcastle United can’t do.
We can’t dominate possession against teams. We can’t go one game without relying on our goalkeeper.
Creating chances? Not much chance of that. Scoring goals? Rarely.
We can’t trust that our manager will choose the right team. What about trusting that the owner has the club’s best interests at heart? Nope.
We can’t dream of a season where relegation isn’t an option.
But one tiny thing that really bugs me is the fact we can’t even take a simple throw-in.
‘Hold on lads, let the opposition get back in position then take the throw-in’
It’s been a bugbear of mine for ages. There are plenty of things wrong with Newcastle United. A throw-in shouldn’t be one of them.
Picking the ball up and throwing it to a black and white shirt shouldn’t be an issue. Yet whenever we get one, you’d think we were trying to reinvent the wheel.
I’ve never known a team take so long to take a throw-in. We waste so much time on them that we’ve probably missed about half an hour of actual football.
And it’s not like we take our time because of some elaborate plan – most times we just hoy it into a crowd and lose possession.
It was even more frustrating when we played five at the back.
Steve Bruce had some fascination with one of the centre-backs taking the throw-in. Federico Fernandez spent most of the game running back and forth from the touchline.
And of course, by the time he got there, the opposition were set up perfectly to ensure we had no options whatsoever.
I can’t think of any other team in world football that would get one of their centre-backs to run out of position to take a throw-in – unless he’s capable of launching it into the box to cause chaos. Unsurprisingly, ours aren’t.
Thankfully that’s stopped now with the move to a back four, but the dilly-dallying remains.
It happened time and time against at Stamford Bridge. There was a moment in the second half where Jamal Lewis stood like a statue with the ball behind his head, unable to throw the ball despite having multiple options.
By the time he decided to take it, it was hurled up the line to no one as Jonjo Shelvey lunged in on Andreas Christensen to chase a lost cause.
What is stopping us taking a quick throw-in? Why do we feel the need to dawdle for at least 30 seconds while the opposition gets organised?
It’s a minor issue, but just sums up how limited this Newcastle side are under Steve Bruce.
Taking a throw-in is one of the most basic things in football, and we can’t even do that right.