FT: Derby 1 Newcastle 0 – Newcastle Don’t Turn Up

If Newcastle fans think the lackluster performances of previous years were over – now that Sam Allardyce has arrived at the club – think again.

Newcastle gave a very poor performance against bottom of the league side Derby County tonight at Pride park and surprising though this may be to Newcastle fans – Derby deserved to beat an insipid Newcastle team.

This was Newcastle’s first loss of the season and they are now in 10th place.


Sam Allardyce – cannot be happy with this very poor performance from Newcastle

First into tackle from the first minute the Derby players gave all they had – and the Newcastle players didn’t. That about sums up the game but this will come as a massive disappointment to Newcastle fans, who were thinking this was a new dawn for the club. Any more performances like this and Newcastle will again fail to qualify for Europe this season.

While Derby just don’t have much skill in their team – like most promoted Championship teams – they make up for it with spirit, guts and courage and that was enough to take all 3 points against a half-awake Newcastle side. While it is a massive disappointment to Newcastle, it was a great win for Derby County and success for Scottish manager Billy Davies – who seemed to get nearly as much exercise on the sidelines as his players did on the pitch 😀

Newcastle had only one change as Ameobia replaced the still injured Viduka and new signings Faye and Beye were both substitutes. Harper was again preferred in goal.


Derby County: Stephen Bywater, Tyrone Mears, Dean Leacock, Claude Davis, Andy Griffin, Gary Teale, Stephen Pearson, Eddie Lewis, Kenny Miller, Steve Howard, Matt Oakley
Subs: Jay McEveley, David Jones, Robert Earnshaw, Andy Todd, Benny Feilhaber

Newcastle: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Cacapa, David Rozehnal, Charles N’Zogbia, Alan Smith, Nicky Butt, Geremi, James MIlner, Shola Ameobi, Michael Owen
Subs: Habib Beye, Abdoulaye Faye, Oba Martins, Matty Pattison, Shay Given

Referee: Peter Walton

Newcastle started off rather lazily in the first half and the game was very start stop. It was obvious that Derby were going to give their all in this game – and were starting to win the 50-50 balls, which was an early bad sign for Newcastle.

However, after only 18 minutes Newcastle should have been ahead when a Milner run picked out Owen on the left and he was able to get the ball across the penalty area for Rozehnal only to hit it wide in front of an open goal. It looked harder to miss than score and Newcastle should have been a goal up.

In the early exchanges Eddie Lewis on the left wing was giving Steven Taylor some trouble with his speed. A few times Derby County got through on the Newcastle defense who were backing off too much. After 27 minutes Miller was allowed to progress too far into the penalty area and should have done better as his shot was blocked.

Then after 39 minutes Derby get a sloppy goal. Newcastle had a corner but the ball went out of play for a Derby goal-kick. Goalkeeper Bywater sent a long ball immediately into the Newcastle half and from 30 yards out, with no challenge from either of Newcastle’s center-backs, Kenny Miller, on his debut for derby hit a wonderful shot into the top corner over Harper’s head. It was so quick the Setanta cameras actually missed the goal in real time. A good goal for Derby but a poor one to concede for Newcastle.

Questions will have to be asked of Cacapa, Rozehnal and Harper and it looked a surprising and rather poor goal for Newcastle to give up. That’s not the first time we have been caught asleep at the back from a quick counter-attack as the Bolton goal we conceded was somewhat similar in our first game of the season.

One thing that was surprising is the defense did not look as comfortable or as sharp as it’s looked in previous games with Cacapa and Rozehnal looking hesitant at times. Derby Strikers Howard and Miller were proving to be a handful for them.

In the second half Derby were there to hold onto their lead and questions were being asked of Newcastle but the Magpies couldn’t get going and it just didn’t look their night. Sam Allardyce didn’t wait too long into the half before bringing on Oba Martins for Michael Owen after 55 minutes and then he brought on Abdoulaye Faye for Geremi for Faye’s debut after 59 minutes.

Allardyce had no choice but to try to change the game but Derby still looked the more dangerous side even in the second half catching Newcastle short at the back on a number of occasions. Habib Beye made his debut for Newcastle on 75 minutes as Steven Taylor made way in a straight swap at right back.

A couple of times in the second half Howard, who played really well for Derby, headed just wide, once following a breakaway when his diving header just flashed past the upright after 82 minutes.

To be fair to Derby they gave everything they had and deserved the points. This was guts and glory stuff for Derby. For Newcastle it will lower the expectations of Newcastle’s fans. It was a lethargic performance from the team and we don’t want to see too many more of these performances.

Milner and N’Zogbia were probably the pick of the Newcastle players and Smith as usual managed to pick up a 4th yellow card on the season with another one of his late and reckless tackles. One more and he’ll be suspended for a game.

Newcastle lacked creativity as the commentators pointed out time and again that we had run out of ideas. We need to free N’Zogbia up to play on the left wing. Even at left back he was an attacking thrust for Newcastle in this game. But his attacking flair is wasted when we have him at left-back. Ameobi had a poor game and we lost count of the number of times the ball bounced off him for his first touch – that is a big weakness he must put right if he has a future at this level. On this performance Ameobi may be on borrowed time at the club.

We need to get Emre and Barton back into the team quickly. Emre looks the best chance since Joey still needs 3-4 weeks to get fully fit. But it does look like Sam needs more creativity in this side – Deco in January would be a good move.

We’ll have our reflections on the game tomorrow morning – after a good night’s sleep – comments very welcome.

105 comments so far

  • stjames

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #1

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. I realy miss the passing of the ball. We either make long passes or run with the ball. Admittedly Derby made passing difficult but that hasn’t been the case before. Look at how Man City moves the ball, short, accurate with great confidence. That’s beautiful and effective football. 🙁

  • Cockney Magpie

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #2

    i cant belive wat i just watched i admit i thought these days were over but apparentlly not 🙁

  • Ian G

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #3

    “keeps us in 9th” – well look again, we’ve dropped a place.

  • Darren

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #4

    It sometimes happens – a team that on paper should walk it blows it. Unfortunately football is played on grass not paper. BSA has changed a lot of things in a short period of time, the odd mess up will happen, just forget about this one and start again.

    Pointless going into tonights shortcomings, there were too many.

    @ Rich – feel free to apologise RE the Harper/Given situation, I told you as it was but you acted the knob as usual (and yes I thought Harper was totally caught out for the goal, his positioning was way off, given is the better keeper in my books).

  • roscoe

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #5

    very very very disappointing!

    Heads up guys!!!
    Bounce back at home!

  • Toon Army

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #6

    Tonights performance was awful. BS got the tactics all wrong. Taylor playing on the right when we have beye? Why on earth was ameobi playing ahead of martins? ameobi is just not good enough for the premiership.

    Its the same old newcastle and the same old trend. I miss shearer 🙁

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:49 PM

    Comment #7

    We hope that’s the last to,e we see a performance like that. Sam should give the other players a shot – like Enrique, Beye and even Taylor back in central defense. The only way to get over this is to beat West Ham on Saturday. But Sam cannot be pleased with this performance. Just whene things looked to be going great – this happens

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #8

    As we said – no Premiership game is easy for any team. Tonight proved that once again – you cannot take anything for granted.

  • valle

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #9

    This was a nightmare, and one i have seen before. I must admit that i thought i would never see it again, but only Cacapa seemed to play well. I will single out Taylor, Ameobi and N’Zogbia for being able to seem AWFUL in a team full of players that played awful… that is some archievment, tho not in a good way. Taylor, by this showing is not backing his case for more money and Ameobi didnt make a single good move/pass/shot in the ENTIRE game…. Dreadfull, thats all there is to say

  • Graeme

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #10

    If it wasnt for the fact there was a new manager on the bench and a completely rebuilt team, it was like watching the same rubbish from Souness and Roeder. Our “performance” was poor, tactics none, all the blood and thunder came from Derby.

    If BSA thinks this is how to win matches and impress the fans, he’s in for one hell of a shock!!! We were quite simply garbage. Derby fully deserved their win, they were the only team who wanted it. Shambolic!!!!

  • valle

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #11

    Ed… How can u justify putting Taylor back in central defense on this showing and who would u take out?

  • Toon Army

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #12

    We can forget about top six, its not good enough. any news on michael owen? sky say hes had an injury? any news on that? We should of got rid of ameobi to preston and keep carrol.

  • Toon Army

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #13

    Tonights game just goes to show that as good as steven taylor is, he is not world class and he deserves a 15,000 contract.

  • valle

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #14

    Darren… Agree about Harper, he didnt even move his hands to try and save it, im pretty sure he saw it as going over and Given is by far the better keeper, tho i still rate Harper as backup ofc.

  • steve

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #15

    another season of rubbish awaits – that was woeful

  • Darren

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #16

    For F*** SAKE – yes we lost, yes we played atrocious, it was an abortion of a match. IT HAPPENS NOW AND THEN!

    If it happens two/three games in a row then yes get your knickers in a twist, but just forget this one.

    If Rozenhal had knocked in that open goal then things would probably have been different, as it is we got beat fair and square. Such is life, we are Newcastle fans, if a defeat shocks you then you are a johnny come lately, nothing about NUFC should shock any fan. We love ’em, but they are like a woman, unpredictable and guaranteed to cause you grief.

  • PK-Norway

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #17

    1.Sell Ameobi PLZ
    2.Play both Martins and Owen the score lot of goals
    3.Butt on the bench!!!!
    4.Given in
    5.One creative midfielder????
    6.Zogiba as left wing Milner as right!
    7.Beye,Rozie,Cacapa,Enrique as back 4!

    This was a mach we should win if we gonna be top 6!

  • Greg B

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #18

    So disapointing, the starting line up didnt inspire me with confidence from the off to be quite honest. I felt, even though Harper has been great while Given has been out that Allardyce may have given the nod to Shay. Harper is a great ‘keeper and has not put a foot wrong this season but Given seems to not only inspire confidence but is a better organiser of the back four, has better distribution and is a touch more agile than Harper. All in all there is not alot between them so it was a tough call for Sam.
    The defence looked OK however I cant understand why we spent over 6 million on a left back and yet we still play N’Zogbia there. His talents are wasted at left back and by playing him there it meant that Milner was played on the left giving us very little on the right.
    Taylor is a good right back but lacks the pace and trickery of Milner when getting forward. We were found out tonight that we are very poor at delivering the ball into the strikers without the likes of Solano. In a basic 4-4-2 Taylor is a very good option as right back but with the style we are playing we need much better quality getting down the right wing and getting the all important crosses in for the strikers, hence Milner should have played on the right and N’Zogbia on the left.
    Both Butt and Germemi were poor tonight, second to the ball and Geremi’s distribution from set pieces and throw ins was very sub standard for him.
    As for Ameobi, once again he was poor, very poor and how he lasted the full 90 mins was baffling. I think I would rather Allardyce give Smith a run out up front with Owen for the second half. I can understand Sam taking Owen off but the timing seemed a little strange, I think he should have given him at least another 15mins.
    Also we missed Owen for the last 20 mins or so when Allardyce pushed 3 up top. Would have prefered to see Martins, Owen and Milner/ Smith up there. I dont dislike the guy but Ameobi’s performance just wasnt good enough, he neither held the ball up or distributed it with any effect or conviction.
    Smith seemed a little lost in midfield but with Butt and Geremi being so inefective that can be understood.
    IMO I think we need to get Given back in goal, Taylor back at center back with either Rozehnal or Cacapa with Beye and Enrique full backs. Midfield needs to be a solid 2 center and 2 wingers, preferably Geremi and Smith in the middle with N’Zogbia left and Milner right with Owen and Viduka up top.
    Id actually put Martins up front with Owen rather than Ameobi, also once Barton returns it may be worth trying Smith up front.
    Like I said, very disapointing result and the sooner our next game comes the better, get this humiliating defeat out of the system.

  • Greg B

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #19

    As I was typing that essay PK summed it all up for me 🙂

  • Darren

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #20

    Greg B – Owen pulled his groin, that is why BSA took him off (well at least that is what he said after the game).

    Totally agree with you on Ameobi though, he was a waste of space. Wish BSA would try Martins & Owen together, we will lose one of them soon, at least give it a try.

  • Greg B

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #21

    Darren – thats fair enough then, if Owen was injured then fair enough take him off. Just so disapointing to concede the goal after we should have had a pen, now that was a stone wall penalty in anyones book.

  • PK-Norway

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #22

    Tonigh i will be thinking about WHY AMEOBI got 90 min on the pitch with BUTT!!!Smith is far better than Butt in that position to be honest!And we needlot of lot of creativity…Big Sam..Both Geremi and Butt are Defensive midfielder..what about one who can create chances…pass that brilliant pass that can be so important in games like this.!!!!!

  • ToonKing

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #23

    I’ve got nothing to say.

    What year are we in ?? is it 2006 ?? maybe 2005 ?? 2004 ??

    Absolutely horror.

    A team can play bad.

    A team can play really bad.

    A team can play terrible.

    A team can play like Newcastle today and it doesn’t get worse than that.

  • PK-Norway

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #24

    BAaaaaaaaaahhhhhh i caaaant sleeeeep’!

  • ToonKing

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #25

    I was always on Butts back ( 🙂 ) since he joined an never liked him, but i always backed Ameobi………………….but i won’t make that mistake again.

    Butt and Shola must go and go fast or become masseurs or stadium managers or mascots. Shola was a pretty good mascot today.

  • Greg B

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:18 PM

    Comment #26

    Also Allardyce seems to be obsessed with this big man/ little man combination. I personally dont see Ameobi as the ‘big man’, yes physically he is big but he neither puts himself about like a big man nor has the skill and vision to create anything for the ‘small man’. Just my opinion and like I say I have nothing personal against Shola but he is going to have to work bloody hard if he is to still be here come January.

  • Loisss

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #27

    Ed, your optimism of the past weeks is gone after one defeat? Look guys, it was poor tonight, but no reason to panic. I don’t know what’s the point of talking about replacing Rozenhal or Cacapa… There are two things to do : put Enrique in to let N’Zogbia go in midfield (on that, you’re right, Ed, it is a waste of talent right now to put him in defense). And obviously had creativity in the middle of the park. Unfortunately, the two solutions for this are Emre, who wants to leave, and Barton, who is still injured. That will be a place that will need strenghtening eventually. Duff is creative, but he really is a winger. Apart from that, I hope the doubters will begin to realize the importance of Viduka. On that note, let’s see what Sam does… (I think we will see Given next game)… Oh, today does not change the fact that BSA has done brilliantly this summer…

  • t-g-w

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #28

    To Darren and Loiss… Thank God some other people on here have realised thsi 1 defeat is not the end of the world. You need to look at the bigger picture. We’ve not been relegated and there are still about 32/33 matches left! Calm down!

  • t-g-w

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #29

    @ Darren and Loiss…
    Thank God some other people on here have realised thsi 1 defeat is not the end of the world. You need to look at the bigger picture. We’ve not been relegated and there are still about 32/33 matches left! Calm down!

  • Darren

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #30

    Like I said earlier – if this goes on for a few matches then fair enough, start getting worried, hopefully it is just a case of us being over confident and getting our arses kicked back into gear.

    We know we aren’t gonna win the league, we know (deep down) it is asking a lot to get into the top four. To get top six we can afford maybe ten defeats, that is one down, just gotta buckle down now and get another mini run going.

    must admit our lack of midfield creativity is scary (and Alan Smith is no midfielder BTW)

  • Sinead

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #31

    I don’t what should really happen is Given should come back in Martins should start, in fairness he needs to change it up a bit..a lot.
    It was a good goal, what annoys me though is that Harper didn’t even try, Given would have been in mid flight had he been there, he mightn’t of kept it out but I’ve seen him do some pretty amazing things that would be thought humanly imposible. He should deffinatly come back in for the next game.

    But what he should do and what he will do are completley different things, his pride will get in the way, he wont admit he was wrong.

  • Graeme

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:41 PM

    Comment #32

    So just what is the big picture?? I thought that was trying to gain qualification for Europe. Playing like we are so far this season, we are destined for mid-table mediocraty. We played well against Villa and dropped 2 points, we didnt play well against the smoggies and dropped 2 points. We scraped a win against Wigan and lost tonight, far to easily.

    With all due respect, if we have any expectation of qualifying for Europe, every one of those teams, with the exception of Villa, who played us to a standstill, should have been beaten. This is the Premiership – there is no time to wait for improvement, its dog eat dog and we played like pussycats.

  • Loisss

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #33

    The problem was Newcatle’s away kit 🙂

  • Darren

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #34

    New team, new manager, new backroom srtaf, new boardroom.

    Rome was not built in a day.

  • nightfall

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #35

    hm…no comment…

  • dee

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #36

    OBA get out of this team plzzzzzzzzz

  • dee

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #37

    oba its time u move on,BSA is not a coach hes a suit model,has he got any achievement than chewing gum on fans seat while his mate is busy co ordinating? this guys a quack ,hes beter with bungs

  • DocT

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #38

    I am from the US and this is my first season rooting for Newcastle or really as a soccer fan at all. I had been feeling a little guilty for missing all the years of suffering and just picking up the team this year…not anymore. The frustration I felt today watching the game must be some sort of rite of passage to be a Newcastle fan. Oh well, still not a half bad start to the season overall.

  • adam

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #39

    joke. the international break is not an excuse. man utd, arsenal, chelsea and liverpool didnt lose. we need oba to be playing more. dont think big sam likes him which is a joke, hes our best striker. f*&kn derby muppets!!!

  • Edd Case

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #40

    Just got back from the match…


    Before some people on here slate me for venting my rightful anger, what I say needs to be said, off day or not.

    Firstly, from where I was standing, Harper could/should have got the shot which flew past him. Shay back for the Hammers please.
    Steven Taylor’s game was riddled with mistakes, £30k a week – not a chance on that performance. Beye in for the Hammers, definitely.
    Rozenhal and Cacapa looked reasonable but were cut to ribbons on two occassions with Derby strikers astonishingly missing two great chances.
    Charlie N’Zogbia put the wrong boots on. He slipped his way into one mistake after another and his set pieces and crosses were appauling, utterly, utterly appauling.
    The midfield of Smith, Geremi and Butt does not work.
    All three are defensive minded and have no idea how to play football.
    Smith was lucky to stay on the pitch.
    Geremi, OUR CAPTAIN??!!! was rightly taken off after another woeful game in which basic 5 yard passes were beyond him – and his ability to take any form of decent freekick or corner has vanished completely too.
    Butt was equally poor and gave the ball away frequently.
    Milner runs alot, we know that…but today, that’s all he did.
    Owen? Vanished mysteriously after 53 minutes, straight down the tunnel. I can’t even recall Owen taking part in the game, other than to round the keeper early, but this is not his fault, we all know what Owen can do with service.
    Ameobi…….he is shockingly poor.
    I know, I know, everyone slates him but I don’t honestly think I have ever seen a striker of his size, or any striker for that matter, so much in the defenders pocket for the whole game – it was thoroughly embarrassing.
    Shola has to be 4th choice striker, at the best, he is so, so poor. I cannot recall a single time he was able to control the ball…Carlton Palmer springs to mind.

    If BS insists on playing this 433 system, why not play Owen, Martins and Viduka?
    Midfield or N’Zogbia, Milner and Geremi (only because he has to now he’s been made captain, personally, I’d drop him and play Barton, when he’s fit).

    Beye, Rozenhal, Cacapa, Enrique
    Milner, Emre, Barton, N’Zogbia
    Owen, Martins

    That’s my choice of team 442 every time.
    Someone above said something like ‘why are you all getting so wound up? it’s only one game, blah blah’
    It is, you’re right, only one game – but we played like this against Villa and were very poor against Boro too, so that’s three games….

    The worst thing about tonight though, was seeing Newcastle fans trying to fight each other after the final whistle.
    Doesn’t matter what it was about lads, to see our own trying to scrap with each other was shamefull. Don’t want to see that again.

    Easiest way to stop that happening again is this…

    ‘Play attractive football and win matches’.

    Something we are failing to do spectacularly currently.


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