HT: Newcastle Struggle To Hold Middlesbrough 1-1



Surprising team news for Newcastle saw an unchanged side be named by Big Sam despite many players playing internationals in mid-week.

Middlesbrough also had a surprise when Jonathan Woodgate was names in the team after his knee surgery in the summer.

Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Schwarzer, Young, Woodgate, Wheater, Taylor, Boateng, Rochemback, Arca, Downing, Mido, Aliadiere. Subs: Jones, Sanli, Lee, Cattermole, Hines.

Newcastle (4-3-3): Harper, Carr, Taylor, Rozehnal, N’Zogbia, Butt, Geremi, Smith, Milner, Martins, Viduka. Subs: Given, Cacapa, Owen, Ameobi, Ramage.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

It also seemed that in the Directors box was Mike Ashley sitting on Chris Mort’s right with Sam on Mort’s left but the commentators didn’t mention this. Mike was wearing a Newcastle Team Shirt.

The game got under way and within 2 minutes Steven Carr was calling the touchline to be replaced. He had a hamstring pull when he had challenged for a head ball and was replaced on 4 minutes with Peter Ramage.

In the first few minutes James Milner is looking lively down the left. After 10 minutes the play is very scrappy with both teams struggling to control the midfield. Then after 22 minutes Newcastle went ahead with just a superb goal. Charles N’Zogbia had the ball on the left wing and cut inside across the penalty area with 3 Middlesbrough players in attendance. Charles then hit a wonderful curling right foot shot inside Schwarzer’s left hand post.

It was a terrific goal and Mort and Ashley were seen hugging each other in the director’s box and Sam seemingly very pleased. Charles is having a fantastic start to the season and it’s hard to see how he can be dropped when playing this well. After 27 minutes Taylor makes a good clearance when Rochemback was through on goal.

Then after 28 minutes Mido scored for Middlesbrough and it was not a good goal for Newcastle to concede. A cross from the right came in and Mido beat Taylor to chest the ball down take it forward and around Harper before placing it in the net. Mido then demonstrated in front of the Newcastle fans and rightly received a yellow card for his antics.

Then after 35 minutes with Middlesbrough pressure mounting Harper made a wonderful save to his left as he flipped the ball around his left hand post – a truly great save at a very important time as Middlesbrough were dominating.

After 43 minutes a good ball was played inside Peter Ramage who recovered well to block the ball for a corner.  Ramage was having a steady game at right back.

Half time came and the game was very even with Middlesbrough playing surprisingly well. It will take a big effort from the Newcastle side to secure a win with Middlesbrough probably just shading the first half.

20 comments so far

  • Ian Steele

    Aug 26, 2007 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #1

    Absolute tripe! First half we might as well not have even been on the pitch! I mean did anyone else think that we were missing an entire midfield???!!!

    I have never seen a team so rubbish on the ball as us so far (we’re at 57 mins so far!). The defenders and Steve Harper need to take a long hard look at their game and get back to basics with “Dummies Guide on How To Pass and Hold a Ball”. Mark Viduka then needs to go home and watch some videos of Alan Shearer and Antoine Sibierski on how to hold a ball when it’s kicked long by the defence!

    Ramage has just gone off so hopefully Cacapa will introduce some passing to the back line.

    I’m really tempted to turn this off at the mo!!

  • AlexW

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #2

    wow, we were outplayed by a less than average middlesborough team… signings?

  • Spacey

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #3

    why can we just revert back to the good old 4-4-2?

  • FFS

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #4

    For Futch Sake, what was that. Most Bull Crap of football I’ve ever seen! WHAT the futch does geremi do what the futch does alan smith do? useless players NO futchin right back ffs!!!!

  • Coolsmurf

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #5

    just like against villa, we look second-best once again…

  • Dave

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #6

    2-2. not impressive at all. we should have eaten them alive.

  • Tom

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #7

    The match preview stated that we could win fairly comfortbaly 2-0, i thought that after the Villa game it would make people see that we are not that good and we need to perform better, yet we still seem confident we can beat these teams with a fair amount of ease! Its not going to happen.

  • Edd Case

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #8

    gabage yet again.
    We might aswell be called Bolton United at this rate.

    1st half was terrible.

    2nd, in parts was better – ONLY when N’Zog was runing forward and Martins came off, not that Owen was that much better.

    We are so desperately in need of talent in the middle of the park to play the ball along the ground and to keep possession.
    Viduka, Owen, Martins or Ameobi are all pretty pure with these punts upfield.
    Geremi poor again, Smith, average, Tayls ok, Rozey ok.
    Mido is a prick and was offside but Tayls let him go…..bramble style.

    Thank god Carr went off…

    We have to get Enrique on the pitch to allow Zoggy to plough forward.
    Lets just hope Emre and Barton are also back soon.

    Ashley you tight get, get that wallet open now.

  • evil dick

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #9

    well now ramage is screwed too, new signings please…

  • Edd Case

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #10

    Newbolton United Headball Club.

    Utter, utter garbage.

  • toonoholic

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #11

    i see no reason to be so disheartened … true we dropped 2 points but if we play a match in a place where all that the opposition does is knock out players and the refree doesnt bother much with it .. i am pleased with a point …
    true newcastle dint play exciting football . but neither did boro …
    it was a boring derby with only the last 10 minutes looking lively .
    if this is a draw so that we cld get some extra additions in the squad .. i did very well take loss of 4 points than win 6 points and have no depth in squad !

  • Shaun Dean

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #12

    Im glad Carr and Leauge 2 player of the future Ramage are now f*&ked as now Big Sam may go all out to ensure we get new right – back.

  • Ross

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #13

    that was pretty pathetic.
    viduka scores a decent goal, and 3 minutes later, away from home, we adopt the typical sjp tactic from last few seasons of finding it seemingly impossible to hold a lead.
    that was really disheartening, we were rubbish. absolutly rubbish.

  • Magjp

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #14

    N’zogbia was our best player for me. The sooner Enrique gets in the team the better. Whichever fomation we use, get N’zogbia in the mix. Butt, Geremi and Smith were all defensive, no creativity in the middle. I would rather have Butt, Geremi and Nzogbia, drop Smith and play Enrique on the left.

    When Ramage was introduced I truly hoped that Geremi would drop to the Right back, Ramage take the Left back and Nzogbia take Central Mid…

    When will Sam realize that he is wasting a lot of chances by playing Nzogbia on the left.

  • Tom

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #15

    And many still feel that we will get into europe or maybe even top 5…….? Not in a million years with these performances.

  • TOON1

    Aug 26, 2007 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #16

    We wernt as bad as last week but still room for improvement.Midfield needs improving ,looks alittle slow.Formation looked better when we reverted to442 in the 2nd half.But we need wingers to get by defenders and whip balls over for viduka ,who again looked short of fitness.Martyns isnt getting used to his potential,with everything up top revolving round vid martyns is drifting wide .We need him down the middle.Smogs first goal was offside and the 2nd we didnt close down quick enough.Cacapa looked impressive when he came on .Last thing couldnt believe the commentry trying to imply that taylor may have meant to elbow aliadiere.

  • Dalston

    Aug 26, 2007 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #17

    Move Milner to the right, Martins to the left, Zogbia to the middle. Drop Smith!

  • apan

    Aug 26, 2007 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #18

    MIDO GOAL IS OFFSIDE! 2nd goal from boro is poor markin, we need bouba diop!

  • Lull , Malaysia

    Aug 26, 2007 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #19

    what an utter rubbish! We playing like a bunch of headless chickens! Giving the ball away so easily, passing like morons and sometime straight to opponent. I feel we dont have any midfield and most of the chances are thrown to the gutter! What was that actually?

  • JJ

    Aug 26, 2007 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #20

    When will Newcastle ever be able to score and then extend their lead rather than concede within minutes!!
    Our midfield is shocking to say the least, Roz looks quality in defense though.
    We need midfielder who can get into the box and do something ie. not Alan Smith. Milner good, NZog need to be ibn midfield, and Owen needs to retire. (Martins is far better). Joey Barton we need you back!!!

    ————————-Given (Harper)


    ————————Geremi (Butt)

    ——– Milner (Solano)——–Barton(Emre)———N Zogbia (Duff)


    (Stop playing balls onto Vidukas head, keep it at his feet and he’ll hold it up)


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