We’ll have this piece after every game, as we look back and see what happened. We’ll make comments on the game and see what we learned – if anything.
- This was the first game Mike Ashley attended in person and yet he wasn’t recognized by the match commentators. After N’Zogbia’s stunning first goal chairman Chris Mort and Mike were seen hugging each other â€“ quite a site. Mike looked good in his Newcastle shirt and would go completely unnoticed in a Newcastle pubÂ Â
- This is a game where the defense let Newcastle down after good previous performances. With 13 minutes left in the game we should have been able to hang on to the 2-1 win but we let in a weak goal for Middlesbrough’s equalizer.Â We’re sure Sam will be looking at who was where for that Middlesbrough corner that led to the goal,. On the positive side we’ll only get better from analyzing these mistakes.
- The Mido goal did look offside â€“ but in these cases you can only look at how you performed and over a season these referee mistakes seem to even out. You win some you lose some â€“ yesterday we lost this one.
- Charles N’Zogbia again looked outstanding and is giving Sam a nice headache because this boy must play in the side â€“ somewhere. We’d like him to be given a run-out on the left wing and maybe even in center-midfield. We’ll probably see how Jose Enrique does in the game against Barnsley on Wednesday but Charles is playing so well â€“ he just cannot be dropped. Another great performance from Charles â€“ and what a stunning goal â€“ and with his RIGHT foot.
- We don’t like the 4-3-3 formation because we never seem to dominate midfield and there’s just too much room on the wings which seems to expose our full-backs. Maybe we haven’t got the right players to play 4-3-3. We’d like to see James Milner and Charles N’Zogbia as the wingers in a 4-4-2 formation and we would be much more solid in the center of midfield and on the wings.
- We have to watch being caught short after our corner kicks when we have so many of our defenders upfield. It’s happened in all 3 games and Bolton actually scored from one of these fast breakaways.
- Claudio Cacapa looked what he is yesterday â€“ a very experienced and good player and we just have to play him in central defense with Rozehnal â€“ who had another solid game. We may have to play young Steven Taylor at right back but Claudio has to come in to add a no nonsense solidity to the defense. His tackle yesterday on Downing when the winger was breaking through was a perfect text book tackle. He stopped Downing in his tracks and came away with the ball.
- Michael Owen still did not look sharp and he missed a good chance after 82 minutes that he normally would put away. We expect him to get sharper with more games – and the sooner the better.
- Stephen Harper had another good game and it also looks like Shay Given is fit again and will probably get a game on Wednesday. We hope they fixed whatever was wrong with Shay’s groin.
- While our injury situation was looking good before the game with only 3 still injured in Barton, Babayaro and Duff, we had 2 injuries yesterday which will lead us to buy a right-back before Friday. But overall, the injury situation is still much improved as players continue to come back.
- It’s going to take Sam a little time to get things right â€“ which he will â€“ so fans will probably need to be a little patient. But with all the disappointments of seasons gone – we know that’s not easy.
Comments very welcome.