FT: Reading 2 Newcastle 1- Disastrous Defending Deserves Defeat



Newcastle were beaten by Reading 2-1 at the Madejski stadium this afternoon and the home side thoroughly deserved their win and it could, and probably should have been by a bigger margin. This was because Reading missed multiple chances, and certainly not because Newcastle defended well. They didn’t.

In fact the Newcastle defending was abysmal again – just when we thought our defense was improving they remind us again they are still hopeless – it really was that bad. And we are not going to pull any punches on this performance.

Reading created enough chances in the first half to have been comfortably ahead but the break came with the teams level at 0-0. However, after just 8 minutes into the second half Reading finally went ahead when Kitson hit a beautiful left foot shot high over Given into his left hand corner, giving the Irishman no chance.

Allardyce then tried to change the game and brought on Smith for Martins and N’Zogbia for Butt after 58 minutes, and Newcastle started to come back into the game. Milner was brought on for Faye, who had been given a yellow card and then James did really well on the right hand corner to win a free kick after 74 minutes.

Emre took the resulting free kick and curved the ball beautifully into the goal. Michael Duberry then amazingly chested the ball into his own net. After being outplayed for most of the game Newcastle found themselves all square with just 15 minutes to go. This in itself was amazing.

Newcastle had somehow put themselves into a position to even steal all 3 points and at least get a draw – which they hadn’t deserved. But then some absolutely disgraceful defending gave a goal away. Reading brought on Shane Long with just 8 minutes to go and within 30 seconds of being on he had put Reading ahead.

A high ball was played into the Newcastle penalty area and amazingly it wasn’t cleared with several Newcastle players attempting to play the ball. Shane Long, with his first kick of the game, put the ball past Given. It was a terrible goal to give away and can be used in the future as a perfect demonstration of how not to play a high ball into the box. It was that bad.

Manager Sam Allardyce has to be furious with the defending by his team today, because it cost Newcastle the game. With a bit of luck, which away teams often get when the home teams squirms so many chances, Newcastle could have stolen all 3 points. They didn’t deserve any but they were 1-1 with 6 minutes to play and had no reason to be even level.

But this display was as bad as the Derby and Manchester City defeats, and puts the Newcastle defense back into the limelight – and it’s back to the drawing board. Sam will have to change the defense around and David Rozehnal has to be fancied to force his way back into the team for the next game against Portsmouth at St. James’ Park next Saturday. A win then now becomes even more important with our away form being so terrible.

This display has to be disappointing to all those involved with the Newcastle club, since Reading were the better team from the off and outplayed and even out-fought Newcastle. It looked more on the day that Reading were the Sam Allardyce team on the field. Reading of course deserve great credit but Newcastle did nothing to thwart them.

Lack of communication at the back is costing Newcastle too many goals and too many points and it has to be stopped and stopped quickly. With points like these thrown away our defense just has to come together more if Sam is going to take Newcastle into Europe next year. A TV shot of Sam Allardyce just before the end told it all – as Sam had his hands in his head – and even looked like he could do with a good cry.

Everything Sam has said this week about defending better and not letting our guard down seems to have gone completely unheeded by the defense, who have cost Newcastle goals and points again in this away fixture. This is not good.

On looking at the other results today and trying to find something positive to cheer us up, we’ll just mention that Manchester City were hammered 6-0 at Chelsea. They may have worse problems in defense than even Newcastle. There – we feel better about things now.

There is one good thing to finally end on though – it cannot get much worse than this- before it just has to get better.

Reading (4-4-2): Hahnemann; Murty (c), Shorey, Duberry, Sonko; Gunnarsson, Harper, Doyle, Hunt; Kitsonm Lita
Subs: Federici, Ingimarsson, Rosenior, Convey, Long

Newcastle (4-4-2): Given, Beye, Enrique, Cacapa, Faye; Barton, Butt, Geremi (c) Emre; Martins, Owen
Subs: Harper, Rozehnal, Milner, N’Zogbia, Smith

Ref: P Dowd

Attendance: 24,119

Comments welcome.

71 comments so far

  • AlexW

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #1

    i think i would rather be a mackem

  • AlexW

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #2

    wait, thats a bit silly really :P, but seriously shocking today newcastle

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #3

    What’s wrong with the attitude and mentality of the players we have! What’s wrong with going away? Play simple football without losing shape.

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #4

    HOWAY THE LADS! right…. AWAY THE LADS! more like…

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #5

    Bring back Steven Taylor. Cacapa is just another boumsong. Get 4 in midfield with two wingers! C’mon!

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #6

    Cacapa is making stupid mistakes, we will lose more games, mark my words, you’ll see it when we play against teams with better strikers drogba. Lita had a stroll in the park!

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #7

    how are you suppose to break down the opponents with 4 CM in midfield!! how tell me how!!might as well put beye and enrique as wingers and barton and geremi in lb and rb!

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #8

    im so sick of this frustrating football. when we have the players to play normally we choose not to. When we had injury problems we did!! arghh so frustrating!

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #9

    no wonder shearer says top 8 is good enough.. WTF.. might as well sit back and not watch them! we are going for 8th anyways!!!!

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #10

    who has reading got!! huh!! this sucks losing to players with no skilll with no talent.! spurs has more talent than reading! wtf!!!

  • Sinead

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #11

    There was no shape and like Reading fully deserved the win. They would have felt completley cheated if they hadn’t won. Cacapa can be good at time but he’s a liablitly, the miscomunication between Given and him in the match kinda summed it up. Given could scream at him for an hour and he still wouldn’t get it, cause of the language barrier, most be so infuriating for both I suppose.
    The defense was horrible, Given had no chance for either of the goals, he’d a decent enough game other then that, I think he’s the only one I can say about that. Defend like that and Doyle, Lita, Hunt, Long..etc. Will have a walk in the park..sorry did have a walk in the park.

    Formation was wrong, attitude was wrong, everything was just bad. There’s the old Newcaslte for ya.

  • valle

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #12

    Getting things right will take time, and hopefully most supporters will actually be “supportive” about that (got it?)

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #13

    I dont dare imagine what will happen when we visit old trafford, stamford bridge and anfield. Don’t show it live i beg of u. Might as well admit me into an asylum. 6-0 10-0 5-0 respectively. Oh no……..

  • Rich

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #14

    Sam made it clear we were going for a 0 – 0 draw !!! How disgraceful is that ??? Would any of the “Big 4” go to Reading looking for a draw ???

  • wsq

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #15

    More like lets get things wrong beforehand. This is not a science experiment. The tactics of winning football has been laid down for centuries. These players have been playing for decades! Still need time to get it right???!!! 4-4-2 and width gets you trophies! and more doubleyous!!! No chances created no goals simple 1+1=2!

  • Sinead

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #16

    “who has reading got!! huh!! this sucks losing to players with no skilll with no talent.! spurs has more talent than reading! wtf!!!”

    That’s kinda unfair isn’t it??

    Not only did Reading finish well ahead of Newcastle last season they’ve a lot of talented, young, hard working, honest players. With the likes of Doyle, Hunt, Long, Lita..etc. There’s no massive names in there like but they could say the same about Newcastle. Except who Given fine, but up front, Owen, Martins. They could easily argue that Doyle and such are better.

  • valle

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #17

    Wsq… What part of “the best start in 10 years” is that u dont get?… Try to look at things a tad more realistic, rome wasnt build on one day.

  • Southern_Magpie

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #18

    wsq it’s getting silly now. We’re all disappointed but if you’re a real toon fan you will learn to get behind the club, even in times like this. Poor performance or not, just be glad Freddy Shepherd has gone and we have a decent manager in charge ffs. Things will take time, we’re still recovering from the turmoil Souness, and to a lesser extent Roeder caused.

  • valle

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #19

    Southern_Magpie… Exactly!, we are already in a much lighter position than the dark times of Souness and we’re only getting started.

  • Chappa

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #20

    really startin 2 P*SS me off newcastle like!!! GRRRRRR! so inconsistant WTF!

  • apan

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #21

    wsq ur being overdramatic chill

    for me the first biggest mistake is not playin zogbia or milner on our wings, we have only 2 shots on target if im not mistaken, that shows how poor our attackin is today, and defending i guess there’s stil lack of communication aka language barrier, come on send them to intensive courses or tuiton classes asap! we could not risk losing all our away games! 0 point in 3 away games, thats horrible

  • Ashton

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #22

    Deserved win by reading they have a clever manager unlike us we have the stupidest manager in EPL

  • valle

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #23

    Apan… We did look much brighter when the wings came on, tho i see it as a complete off day from the whole team, we simply didnt stand up to the physical and pressing play of Reading

  • Todd B

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #24

    I was nervous before the game when Sam was more focused on a clean sheet than winning the match. And neither one happened. I only hope they bounce back from a bad result.

  • Sy

    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #25

    Patience is a virtue and yet again it looks like a virtue Newcastle fans haven’t got! I can believe all the negativaty, this is pretty much a new team, the back 4 have done well in the last coupe of games, not brilliantly but well……. What happens? Everyone starts to hype them up beyond belief and then low and behold, a poor result and we start calling for heads to roll. A top 10 finish this season will be a good result, we need to start taking the rough with the smooth. There will be more bad results over the season, but Im sure there will be more good than bad in the long run. Come on the Toon.

  • callum

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #26

    I havent seen the game but it sounds awful i love big sam but you have to wonder were taylor has gone because he was probably our best player last season and now we are playin 2 brand new defenders IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER

  • Ed W

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #27

    Haven’t seen any of it but did we really start with 4 central midfielders?? what a joke. Zogs and Milner have been outstanding so far… and we put that midfield out!

  • Alex

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #28

    There is definately something wrong in the heads of the newcastle players when we play away games . This was as pathetic as the derby game, at home we look like a team that could gain a CL place, away we look like relagation material.Our defence today looked as bad as last season our midfield was completely outplayed and our strikers never had a chance with no service.The problems away from home need to be resolved quickly or we will finish no higher than last season. For the first time i am begining to doubt big Sam . His tactics are to defensive ,to score goals you need width yet today both Milner and n zogbia were on the bench our only two talented wide players!!Wake up Sam goals win games not clean sheets.

  • Sy

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #29

    ZZZZZZ Staggering really no wonder we haven’t won anything for so long. So I suppose if we lose next week it will be ‘Allardyce out’? Sad. Really sad.

  • craig chisholm

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #30

    listen to you bunch of moaning, dripping fair weather supporters. we are on our best start in donkeys years and just cos we loose to reading 2-1 you are all calling sam shit and anyone else you can think of. as fans you are classic examples of the newcastle team itself. . we win a few games, find ourselves with 2 points of champ league spot and then wot happens, you lot (along with the players) start thinking we are the dogs bollocks and act all shocked when we get a loss. wake up lads and smell the coffee. we are still a long way away from being a top six contender. you lot want to stop dreaming. you sing sams praises when we beat spurs and within a week want to sack him. you are all a joke and crap as supporters. i guess you are the same lot the boo owen too. go and support the mackems cos you sure aint supporting us.

  • Ross

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #31

    alex..im impressed you can use a computer if your brain is telling you turning to the mackems would be a decent idea 😛 ha
    but calling BSA an idiot, stupid, shouting about him being sacked, i think thats pretty ridiculous. every manager makes mistakes. i can understand, he got it all wrong today, and we showed nothing. but come on guys, its not like any of us are shocked to have to say that after watching our lads on saturday afternoon, its not the first time something like this has happened!
    i agree, i couldnt understand not starting milner and zogs, for me theyre the best option for creating chances we have.
    we need to play 4-4-2 away from home. playing at st james, we have shown, with a full strength 11 out we can be very good. i think if we take it away from home, we’d see similar results. rozy needs to get back in the team, and i cant wait for mark viduka to return, owen and martins need someone to play the ball to their feet.
    all in all, a disappointing day for the mags, but lets not get ahead of ourselves, reading wanted it,and deserved their win. doesnt mean we need to go for the throat. bar today and derby, we’ve looked good this season. its early days with allardyce and the new squad and things can only get better.
    glad we didnt have chelsea today. putting 6 past man city? ouch.

  • Sy

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #32

    Couldn’t have put it any better Craig, well said.

  • Tripp

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #33

    Sy, couldn’t agree more. Top half finish should be the goal this season. There are far too many new cogs in the machine to expect greatness out of the gate. It’s just not realistic. We’re not a top flight side… yet. It’s going to take time for people at all levels of the team to sort things out. Incessant whinging about results is just a bloody waste of time.

  • Haway man

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #34

    Someone made a good point on Century radio tonight that if you’re playing well at home and getting results why change when you play away especially at places like Reading its not exactly Old trafford.

  • briss

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #35

    i wouldn’t have mind the defeat today if we played well, if not descent. Everyone on the pitch besides maybe shay and owen played horrible, defenders gave them chances, midfield couldn’t create anything and the limited oppurtunies we did create we couldnt finish! dissapointing to say the least. Nicky Butt was horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i would have been happy with a point after that match

  • carl

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #36

    big sams lost the plot, why on earth did he play 4 centre midfielders. sorry big sam but its you who lost us this one

  • briss

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #37

    Big Sam is doing well, he’ll correct the problems

  • gordon

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #38

    wsq what a knob you are.

  • Darren

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #39

    Half of you lot on here a an effing disgrace – call yourselves Newcastle fans, go swivel!

    We are not going to win the league
    We are not going to finish top 4
    We have a brand new defence getting used to each other.
    We ARE improving on last season.

    You lot calling Cacapa shite must be on drugs, maybe he had a bad game – SO WHAT!!

    Every England player had a bad game in Russia, Rooney has bad games, Shevchenko had a bad season, I remember Beardsley, Shearer, Hibbett, MacDonald, Ginola & Waddle all having bad days – all players have off days! You lot are like Man City fans, fickle as fcuk.

    Go support Man U/Chelsea/Arsenal if you expect victory after victory

  • Sinead

    Oct 27, 2007 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #40

    I’ve never been a great fan of Sam’s when he came first I just didn’t see why all of ye were so hyped up with and obbsesed with defending an ok manager. I never thought he was great. He’s seemd to be doing something right though. But sometimes he either puts too much empahsis on the forwards or like today on keeping a clean sheet. Sometimes concentrating too much on keeping a clean sheet can be costly and it was today. He needs to get the balance right before anything can happen. Reading outplayed and outbattled Newcastle all around the park today and they were deserving winners.
    If Sam can get the balance right then things will click more so and the clean sheets will come. You can’t force them. Too much emphasis on it can be costly, playing negatively is what they did today and it didn’t work.


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