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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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FT: Man City 3 Newcastle 1 – Magpies Ruthlessly Exposed

3:40 pm, Saturday, September 29th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 25 Comments

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For the second time in 5 days Newcastle were beaten by a faster and more skillful team and were almost overrun in the second half. The first half was OK as a contest with Martins getting a great goal for us. To be truthful – but for two wonderful saves by the restored and brilliant Shay Given we could easily have been 3-1 down at the break.

Not that it helped us much since Man City were 2-1 up inside a minute or two of the restart with Petrov skinning Taylor down the left wing and putting over a beautiful cross for Mpenza to easily head home giving Given no chance. After that – to be fair – Newcastle tried with tremendous guts but all the players with skill and speed today were wearing pale blue – and Newcastle played in their famous black and white stripes.

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Sam Allardyce - yes we have lots of weaknesses to fix, at least we know what they are now

Manchester City were almost toying with Newcastle during the second half as they exposed a weakness we have had – even since the first game at Bolton. We are too slow for a fast break and heaven knows how many times in the second Man City caught us short at the back with their fast breakaways.

That’s exactly how Arsenal played against us on Tuesday night so perhaps other teams can see what our weaknesses are already – not enough speed in midfield and defense. What’s also noticeable is that we are not a skillful side and City had many players today who took on Newcastle players and beat them for speed and/or skill.

So unfortunately we cannot complain about this loss – we were well beaten by a wonderful Manchester City side – the English fans will soon have to stop complaining about Sven Eriksson – who is quickly showing what a fabulous club coach he is. Sven certainly won the coaching test today with Big Sam.

Sven would have walked from London to take the Newcastle manager job if it had ever been offered to him. While it wouldn’t have gone over well with the fans, we’d be happy enough now with the football being served up by Sven.

Don’t think we’re deserting Sam – we just now know what our weaknesses are – and we’ll have to fix them by making January a time to bring in the players we need. But to be fair to the lads we’ll not meet many sides as good as Man City were today – wasn’t that what we said on Tuesday night ?

OK – we were well beaten – what can we take out of the game to improve on. Lots.

We lack speed and skill in the team and we should be looking for players who have these attributes.

We are still not solid enough in defense and we may need to bring in some more players there – which yes is a bit of a surprise. We need to bring in Edmilson form Brazil – since we can get him for a couple of million at most.

The Manchester City fans today went wild at the finish as their team put on a wonderful performance of skill, organization and brilliance. Didn’t we say that same thing about the arsenal youngsters on Tuesday night.

A great game for City but it leaves Allardyce with lots and lots of weaknesses in our team, that have been ruthlessly exposed by Eriksson and his side.

Comments welcome.

Here’s the full match report:

In a pulsating first half with both teams playing attacking exciting football the score at half time is 1-1. Both teams from the KO made it clear they were going for the win and both teams attacked each other form the first whistle.

On 6 minutes Given almost scored when his first touch from a back pass was bad and he just kicked it away from the incoming City forward – rustiness? Then after 12 minutes Given made a brilliant world class save when he touched the ball with left hand around the post for a corner when he had no right to get anywhere near the ball as it was going into the top corner. A stunning save from the Irishman – guess he’s back.

What’s apparent early on is the the midfield and attacking players of City have piles of skill and are taking on the Newcastle players – a little worrying they seem to beat them one on one. Milner is very prominent and is Newcastle’s best player and he makes a great run to the byline – beating two City players but his pull back is to a Manchester City player.

Then after 22 minutes it looks like it’s a penalty when Richards seems to bring down Milner. The commentators say no – but for me the replay shows Milner is brought down. Milner is playing excellently on the wing and is only too willing to take players on. Then after 26 minutes a cross from the right wing eludes Given and shaves the cross bar before going out wide – a similar scare to a similar incident in our win against Barnsley. Given was nowhere.

Then after 29 minutes Newcastle get a wonderful goal from Martins. A high ball comes in just inside the penalty and Martins kills the ball beautifully and lobs the ball over the onrushing Hart. He was just between the two center halves – but a brilliant goal for Newcastle – and yes Martins does his somersault.

Manchester City after 30 minutes are starting to attack and Newcastle midi field have to help the defense – it’s looking like waves of attacks from City and our midfield needs to help out and keep the ball.Hart then has a terrible first touch to the ball and the ball dribbles along the goal line before he kicks clear – it may have been over the line – replays showed he kicked it clear when it was almost level (??) – of course the commentators say no – but the replay shows it’s very very close to being a goal.

After 35 minutes Given makes a good save down to his left. City are attacking well and then after 40 minutes Manchester score . Newcastle are again caught short and the back and a diagonal cross comes over and Petrov puts is away at the far post. Bad goal for Newcastle to concede – where was Beye?

Then after 41 minutes City should have scored when Ireland got clear through but the amazing Given stayed his ground and brought off another tremendous save to save Newcastle – again. Ireland should have scored.

The worrying thing is that the last 10 minutes is almost all City – they look an excellent side as does Newcastle. The entertainment value is sky high. We could have been 3-1 down but for two tremendous Given saves. It’s going to be a difficult game for us in the second half.

Following the resumption of play Mpenza heads home after Petrov had skinned Taylor for speed on the wing before crossing and it’s 2-1 to City. We were right – this is going to be tough. Newcastle were at least trying to come back in the game and like the first half each team is still attacking. But Man City are counter attacking Newcastle so effectively and create multiple chances caused by their speed on the breakaway – our players just look too slow.

Oba Martins is doing what he’s good at – he’s unnerving the two big City center backs Dunne and Richards because Martins is so quick. He’s looking good. One 77 minutes Sam brings on Enrique so we can move N’Zogbia up on the left. Enrique immediately makes a forward run so obviously he has orders to also attack.

In the last 20 minutes there are quick breakaways from Man City as Newcastle are piling forward to try to get something out of this game. We can’t criticize the willingness and guts of any of our players – but in this game they’re just not good enough :(

On 84 minutes minutes Mpenza is clean through but Rozehnal makes a wonderful block and saves the day for Newcastle. Rozehnal has been all over the field for Newcastle today. He’s going to be a great player for us for years to come. Sam brought on Emre hopelessly late with just a few minutes to go.

Then on 87 minutes Man City get a free kick from 35 yards out. The brilliant Elano magically turns the ball into a rocket as it flashes into Given’s top right hand corner. Given gets off the ground and stretched as far as he can but the speed and direction of the shot are unbelievable. No goalkeeper can save this type of shot. The Manchester City fans go wild as their team has put on a wonderful performance of skill, organization and brilliance.

Bt didn’t we say that same thing about the Arsenal youngsters on Tuesday night.

A great game for City but it leaves Allardyce with lots of weaknesses in our team that have been ruthlessly exposed by the brilliant Eriksson and his new team. Today they looked the team that can crack the top four this season.

TEAMS

Newcastle: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Steven Taylor, David Rozehnal, Charles N’Zogbia, James Milner, Alan Smith, Geremi, Nicky Butt, Mark Viduka, Oba Martins
Subs: Steve Harper, Jose Enrique, Emre, Abdoulaye Faye, Matty Pattison

Manchester City: Joe Hart, Vedran Corluka, Javier Garrido, Richard Dunne, Micah Richards, Stephen Ireland, Michael Johnson, Martin Petrov, Dietmar Hamann, Elano, Emile Mpenza

Referee: Chris Foy

Comments welcome.



Tags: Match Reports





25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Big Sam Fan // Sep 29, 2007 at 3:54 PM

    Please some one answer these questions cause i am going insane!!!
    Question 1: why did sam make Geremi captain if he gets taken off so much??
    Question 2: why doesnt Smith use his head and stay in position instead of running his heart out after the ball all over the pitch??
    Question 3: what the heck is happened to our solid defence today??
    Question 4: Why is Nicky Butt a footballer? ive seen him snort coke in a pub toilet, he cant tackle, he cant run, he cant pass or shoot the guy is just too hot headed!!!
    Question 5: On that performance would you give Taylor the contract he wants? i wouldnt but id make sure i sat down with him and taught him when to tackle and when a yellow card is worth taking!!he shpuld of taken ball man and everything else for their 2nd goal!!
    Question 6: Why is sam not taking any notice of these problems??? Central defence abit of a prob still, Midfield has one to many hot headed players there i would remove butt and Viduka is getting marked out of the game every game bar 2 this season!!!

  • 2 Ashton // Sep 29, 2007 at 4:02 PM

    @ Big Sam Fan

    don’t ask us go and ask your hero FAT SAM

  • 3 Murvar // Sep 29, 2007 at 4:13 PM

    Er – maybe that Butt comment ought to be removed………. and why hasn’t Sinead been on yet to squeal that Steve Harper wouldn’t have saved the free kick either? The subs came on far too late – getting Zog further forward has to be the plan – he was our best driving force in that first 30 minutes when we were in the game. Smith is badly done to by playing him in left midfield – when Vids tired he should have been up front with Oba – who did his flash Harry stunt again but gave away the ball far too easily. To be fair to him he had a better game than he usually does.

  • 4 Rocky // Sep 29, 2007 at 4:13 PM

    Man City were awesome in midfield today. They just outclassed us like ARsenal did on Tuesday.

    What we are lacking is creativity and pace in midfield. Injuries aren’t helping and having Joey barton back against Everton will be a welcome sight, saying that, he will be rusty and will take some time to get match fit. When Duff comes back in October and a fully fit and comitted Emre we should be better but we still need some more creativity.

    Does anyone else think Martins is too greedy? That chance he had in the 2nd half where Viduka was unmarked and he decided to go for goal, he wud have been better off passing to Viduka. There was a similar incident in the West Ham game. Martins is a fantastic player and his layoffs and turns are fantastic but he needs to be aware of other players around him.

    After the Keegan era, Bobby Robson got us playing again but I can’t see BSA doing that. Yes, he will make us harder to beat and more compact, but we love our football. His 1st prority is going to have to be to stop leaking silly goals. Taylor shud have tackled him before the cross.

    WIth 2 home games coming up, hopefully we can get some more points on the board and keep the early season momentum going.

  • 5 Rocky // Sep 29, 2007 at 4:15 PM

    Waiting 4 u sinead

  • 6 Alex // Sep 29, 2007 at 4:19 PM

    Sam really needs to start 442 with Barton and emre central midfield geremi just cant pass a ball.butt is a battler but has no real skill and smith is a striker not a midfielder.We need more flair in the middle of the field or this is going to be another long hard season with not mutch to cheer .with barton and Emre fully fit and playing central midfield. milner and nzogbia out wide we will have enough skill and pace to out play most other teams and create chances for Viduka and Martins.

  • 7 Alex // Sep 29, 2007 at 4:49 PM

    Murvar and Rocky she is proably sitting in a dark corner some where cry cuddling her shay given doll.

  • 8 Sinead // Sep 29, 2007 at 4:59 PM

    Oh so it’s his fault for the 2 goals??

  • 9 fiso // Sep 29, 2007 at 5:07 PM

    newcastles game play is shit im afraid from defence to midfield.only 2 players re good oba martins and Nzobia.and BSA tactics is shit too.im not realy happy with all the long ball games he is playing.he needs to go training under arsen wenger

  • 10 Sinead // Sep 29, 2007 at 5:08 PM

    Man City out played Newcastle in the middle of the park, the defence was horrific, like usuall..but no no let’s all blam Given like, what’s yere problem like.

  • 11 SteveD // Sep 29, 2007 at 5:18 PM

    I was really looking forward to this game after a slog @ work and after the goal felt ok about things but there’s always that sense that we’ll go to sleep, and sure enough it happened again. I agree with you comments Rocky regarding Oba – good player but needs to play FOR the team and not as a sole stirker – it really doesn’t matter who puts the ball in the onion bag.

    Given played well and with credit to Harps, I think the scoreline might have reflected Pompey’s fortunes today – bring on MOTD tonight.

    Tight and compact is a fair way to play but we prefer flair and I only hope the coming home games with the 12th man in the stands can put lead into respective pencils.

  • 12 Darren // Sep 29, 2007 at 5:51 PM

    A few things ….

    Given had one super save first half, however a cross he should have got bounced off his crossbar, he miss-kicked and almost presented City with a goal & let a goal in at the near post, all in all not a great game.

    N’Zogbia is not a full back when faced with a true winger, he can get away with it as a stop gap but Elano/Petrov cut him to bits.

    Taylor has potential and that is it, he is nowhere near the finished article, he looked very shaky.

    Elano was the best player on the pitch by a country mile – never mind his free kick, he ran the game and looks a snip at 8m.

    And good luck to Eriksson – he got shite while England manager & I hope he comes back and proves to everyone that it wasn’t his management that prevented England winning anything, it was the English footballers (Dyer included) who thought they were better than they were.

  • 13 big pea ov the weab // Sep 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM

    newcastles defence wants a good kick up the arse that beye is shit hes no good n y is enrique not playin so n zogbia can tererise the defences

  • 14 Steeley // Sep 29, 2007 at 6:10 PM

    So, some realities (some of which I had been denying to myself) really sunk home today, namely:
    1. Shay Given really is our No1 goalie.
    2. Steven Taylor is a defensive UTILITY player….Cacapa and Roz are way better than him, and he cant run for toffee – if he really wants to pull teeth by squeeling that he’s better than the contract offered then let him go.
    2. Geremi and Butt can not play together in our defence…EVER AGAIN! They are rubbish when they play together and quite frankly are embarrassing us with their lack of skill, agility, and ball winning prowess.
    3. Alan Smith is crap. Full stop. Not too bad at ManU, but crap for us. Please Sam, never play him again ….blonde hair or not.
    4. Martins is a class player, but by God the man needs to learn when to play a back so someone else (who’s in an infinetely better position) can score instead of skying it!
    5. Man City are a country mile better than us. Their one-touch football was scintilating, and we couldnt match them for skill if we practiced non-stop for the rest of the season.
    6. I am (for the first time this season) doubting Sam’s managerial skills. No doubt, he is a great motiviator and man-manager. However, his dour away tactics of defend defend defend away from home arent working. If our team was good enough in midfield to at least challenge for a ball in midfield then it might work, but when we lose every ball, the defensive game doesnt work. We need to attack more to keep the heat off the defense who struggled today (see point 2 for blame!).
    Also, why on earth (when we were playing so poorly in the second half, did we only use one sub (Enrique for Geremi)??
    7. Why is Geremi captain? With th exception of his first game for us, he has been poor at best.
    8. We need Joey Barton as badly as we have ever needed any other player at the moment! Our attacking options through the centre of midfield are dire!
    9. What on earth are we going to do when an on form Man Utd team are our opposition….I dread to think!!

    Good points:
    1. We played better than against Derby…but that didnt take much.
    2. Man City were class today – everything about them was better than us today, and I think they will be the ones challenging for 4th spot this year.
    3. Ameobi didnt appear – hopefully he’s had his contract burned!

    Overall, a pretty poo day. It was made all the worse as I had Man City as on of the teams we should be comparing ourselves to this season. Unfortunately we came off worse in EVERY SINGLE aspect of the game (perhaps our keeper was better than theirs…but then Casper wasnt playing!).
    Sam has no excuses now – with perhaps the exception of one game so far this season, we have consistently performed terribly in midfield. Smith is abysmal, and Geremi and Butt dont work together. There is no excuse for fatigue, and he had choices to make for places all over the pitch.
    The heart wasnt there today, and this needs fixed rapdily, otherwise we will slide down the table like shit off a stick.
    Fingers crossed for some arse kickings before our trip to Merseyside!!

  • 15 Steve // Sep 29, 2007 at 6:10 PM

    we’re lacking a midfield – smith, geremi and butt are at best useless – taylor shown for what he is today …. a potentially good player who still needs to learn
    Martins goal superbly taken though

    Unfortunately I can’t see us getting into top 6 unless we move to 442 and get a new midfield :(

  • 16 Steeley // Sep 29, 2007 at 6:15 PM

    RE: point 2 – I of course meant Butt and Geremi cant play in our MIDFIELD! D’Oh!

  • 17 Tom // Sep 29, 2007 at 6:31 PM

    I don’t think there is any way, with or without Owen that we can’t play in a 442. The 433 is weak, the midfield lacks creativity and more often than not gets outnumbered especially by a ball playing wide team like city. In a 442 zog is playing in midfield where he can make much more of an impression and also milner is playing on the wing – where he is much more suited for running at defenders. Butt should be dropped, Emre/Barton put in and up front it should be Viduka and Owen/Martins. What is wrong with that????? It’s solid and as plenty of creativity. We’ve just bought a 6 million left back why not play him??? I’m sick and tired of this boring play when we’ve obviously got the players who can do so much better.

  • 18 CJ // Sep 29, 2007 at 6:45 PM

    Hi all

    Just came across this article now and i would just like to say thank you for the honest opinions. The majority of others fans wouldn’t give where credit would be due, and i think big sam should watch the game again, as his comments read along the line of “a point was the least we should ofwalked away wth”. thanks again lads n good look for the season.
    chris – city fan

  • 19 Sinead // Sep 29, 2007 at 7:13 PM

    Darren..he produced some world class saves the almost goal (which was a terrible short back pass from N’Zogbia), that’s just rustyness really now like. He should be our no. 1.

  • 20 razor // Sep 29, 2007 at 10:15 PM

    Thanks for your honesty lads, I’m a city fan and I find some of the comments about barton being the man to bring your midfield up to scratch, interesting! yes he has talent but he has issues realizing the limits of that talent, last season for us he had his moments and at times shone for us, but they were occasional at best, in honesty we were a disgrace last season so it wasn’t hard for him to stand out. His general play was more headless chicken than steven gerrard. To be honest I’d rather have butt than barton and like 99% of I was glad to see the back of him. I hope for your sakes, defiantly not his he plays consistently well for you I just can’t see it though.
    Good luck geordies
    razor C.T.I.D.

    p.s no keeper in the world would of saved that freekick Shay Given s class, can we have him.

  • 21 Jonny Sheffield // Sep 30, 2007 at 12:14 AM

    Someone has put a link up to this site on our board ” mancityfans.net” and I’m chuffed they did. I’m stunned by the honest and earnest discussion that happens here – we tend to get I love/hate it type stuff. I was amazed by the quality of our play today and just hope we can keep it going for the rest of the season (stil be pleased with 10th though). When you have a full strength team you will be fine – I just feel it’s the lack in depth thats hurting you. Trust me though thats the best we’ve seen in a while.

    Good luck against the rest, hope ya finish 11th!

  • 22 eastlandsblue // Sep 30, 2007 at 2:48 PM

    Nice comments have been made on here, and my estimation of newcastle fans as just gone through the roof. About the game. Up until halftime Newcastle were playing good football, and this led to an open game. Not many teams as good as you will visit eastlands this season, so we wont see these sort of open games. Elano was different class to everyone on the pitch, and it was his vision and ability that seperated both sides today. Milner IMO was Newcastles best player. It was also refreshing to see the great sportmanship shown by Martins when Corluka went down injured, its not often a ball is kicked out these days, due to the cheats in the game. But Martins knew Corluka was in pain and did what i would expect a City player to do. So well done Mr Martins. Goodluck for the reminder of the season, see you New Years day.

  • 23 Ed Harrison // Sep 30, 2007 at 3:42 PM

    Thanks.
    I think the Newcastle player was James Milner – if that was when there was a throw in during first half and he was clean through on the left but he stopped and kicked the ball away – we didn’t know why he stopped but knew via the commentator that Man City had not been ready( ?) – think the flag was waved but he couldn’t be offside from a throw in.
    Anyway – I agree it was good but the whole game was played very sportingly- it was just the wrong result for us. :D

  • 24 maggpie // Oct 1, 2007 at 4:58 PM

    It was most definitely Martins who put the ball out first although Milner did also later, but Oba was in a better position. Very sporting.
    I am very worried about a lot of things but some are unexpected, like Beye and Enrique looking crap. I was at the Arsenal game and saw the Citeh game on TV and Enrique in particular looks worryingly poor.
    Totally agree about how dour and negative we look in mid field. Smith, Butt and Geremi perform a similar role, none of them very well.
    After all of the optimism our squad suddenly looks weak.
    I’ll be at SJP on Sunday hoping for a big improvement, and it’ll be needed or we’ll lose and once we start being poor at home again then we really are on the slide.

  • 25 maggpie // Oct 1, 2007 at 4:59 PM

    Sorry meant Beye in particular looks poor.




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