FT: Wigan 1 Newcastle 0 – It’s Hopeless

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In what has been a disastrous Christmas program so far for Newcastle United, the Magpies went down to a Ryan Taylor goal after 64 minutes at the JJB this afternoon. That’s just one point from two successive games against the two bottom-placed teams in the league.

Taylor put the ball over the Newcastle wall and well beyond Shay Given to give the Latics all 3 points against an uninspired Newcastle United side this afternoon. It was a brilliant free kick and the only skill shown by either side all afternoon. Wigan looked poor, that’s why they are second bottom – but Newcastle were even worse. That’s the bottom line on this game, and it’s just not good enough.

Any hopes the Newcastle faithful had that the team could collect 6 points against Derby County and Wigan Athletic in successive games, have been well and truly dashed this afternoon. This result will put tremendous pressure on Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce. We should be beating teams like Derby County and Wigan Athletic – everybody else is.

There was probably some evidence of Newcastle wanting to hold out today at the JJB, when Big Sam said before the game the team wouldn’t be “go hung” like they were against Derby County on Sunday. If that was gung ho we wouldn’t like to see a dour defensive display.

But this is a very bad time to collect just a single point from teams we should be beating easily, and it will bring some gloom and doom on Tyneside. It was only recently the team went 6 games in getting but a two points. Over our last 10 games we have just 2 wins and 3 draws for a measly 9 points.

It’s just not good enough with the players we have in the squad.  Our next game is at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea on Saturday – 3:00 pm KO.

Comments welcome – please try to keep the language decent – thanks.

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Here is the Sky Sports commentary of the game this afternoon.

Full-time: WIgan 1 Newcastle 0. It’s all over, Wigan pick up the three points in a disappointing contest.

90 + 4 – Deflection: Emre with the last effort of the game, but once again it is blocked by heroic Wigan defending.

90 + 3 – Launch: Emre drops the ball into the Wigan area, but Bramble stands firm again and clears the danger. He has had a good game against his former club.

90 + 2 – Careful: Emre with another mistimed tackle. He has already been booked and needs to be careful.

90 – Well worked: More good football down the Wigan left almost gets Kilbane in behind. The Newcastle clearance goes straight out of play and hardly puts an end to the pressure.

89 – Shift: Aghahowa creates a yard of space in the left of the box but his shot hits the side netting. Some of the crowd thought it was in, but Newcastle remain in touch.

88 – Booking: Wigan enjoy a spell of keep-ball and Taylor’s rash tackle is rightly cautioned.

87 – Bounce: Newcastle finally get the ball into Viduka’s feet on the edge of the area, but his touch is awful and another opportunity goes begging. Newcastle just can’t hold the ball up.

Last five minutes and Newcastle don’t look capable of finding an equaliser.

85 – Fighting: Brown is still chasing everything down in midfield. Wigan need these three points.

84 – Needed a touch: Valencia drives a ball right acorss the six-yard line but there are no Wigan players to put the chance away.

83 – Bad touch: Taylor gives a poor ball back to Given. The keeper’s touch is a poor one and he is forced to slice the ball behind his own goal.

82 – Lucky: Steven Taylor’s clearance goes straight up in the air, and Given has to come out and help his defender out. Taylor can look solid one minute and shaky the next.

Booking: Smith adds his name to the referee’s list with another poor challenge. It was only a matter of time before Smith picked up a yellow card.

80 – Unlock: Good combination between Viduka and Martins, but the Australians through ball is just too strong.

Sub: Duff has been replaced by Jose Enrique. Duff has not been able to stamp his authority on the game.

78 – Chance: Milner skips past Olembe down the right and closes in on goal. He pulls the ball back towards Martins but the Nigerian misses his kick.

76 – Head tennis: Wigan fail to clear their lines but hopeful balls back in by Newcastle never look like opening up the Latics.

Sub: Ryan Taylor is to be replaced by Olembe. Taylor has been the best player on the park and scored a wonderful goal.

73 – Lurking: N’Zogbia with a solid headed clearance with Bent waiting in acres of space behind him.

72 – Parried: Taylor again threatens, but this time his swerving drive is pushed behind by Given. Newcastle clear the corner.

Sub: Sibierksi makes way for Aghahowa as Wigan change things around.

70 – Same again: More wasted possession by Newcastle. Milner with time to deliver but his cross goes behind.

69 – Almost caught: N’Zogbia wants too much time on the ball and his clearance cannons off Valencia towards Bent. The striker is in an off-side position though.

67 – Not good: Viduka sums up Newcastle’s afternoon as his attempted pass to Milner goes straight out of play.

Sub: Geremi replaced by Martins for Newcastle. Attacking move by Allardyce.

64 – GOAL: Wigan 1 Newcastle 0. Ryan Taylor with a fantastic free-kick. He swings the ball over the wall and across Given into the top corner. Taylor’s free-kicks always looked like Wigan’s biggest threat.

64 – Clumsy: Smith trips Brown on the edge of the box. He is not happy with the decision and needs to calm down.

63 – Chase: Valencia and Faye chase a long-ball down the right and the Newcastle man wins the race and thumps clear.

Taylor’s deliveries from set-pieces are beginning to let him down. Another free-kick is cleared by the first man.

60 – Not needed: Melchiot tries to shield the ball safely out and Duff pushes him in the back. The defender was going nowhere.

Booking: Emre was also booked in the same incident as Milner.

58 – Long-range: Another ambitious effort from Scharner which dips in front of Given, but the Irishman holds on. The ball was actually drifting wide anyway.

58 – Free-kick: Taylor hits his worst effort of the afternoon straight into the wall.

Booking: Milner cautioned.

56 – Well out: Sibierski finds space in the box but the ball across to him is intercepted well by Steven Taylor.

54 – Burst: N’Zogbia breaks into the middle, but his promising run is stopped in its tracks by a crunching Scharner tackle.

52 – Mix up: Melchiot and Kirkland have a misunderstanding on the edge of the box. Viduka lobs an overhead kick goalwards and Bramble has to head the ball off the line. Closest we have come to a goal.

51 – Good footwork: N’Zogbia dances past Valencia, who hacks him down. The resulting free-kick is dealt with.

50 – Free-kick: Emre delivers, but it is cleared by Bramble. Beye strikes the breaking ball goalwards but their are too many bodies in the way and it bounces clear.

49 – Claim: Milner gets down the right and his cross is plucked out of the air by Kirkland. A rare touch for the Wigan keeper.

48 – Pressure: Damien Duff has hardly got into the game, and on this occasion he is forced to give the ball back to Given under good pressure from Melchiot.

46 – Danger: Another good delivery by Taylor onto the six-yard line and Faye is forced into a hurried clearance.

Kick-off: Newcastle to get the second period started.

Half-time: Wigan 0 Newcastle 0. Defences definitley on top at the JJB. No real chances for either side and both goalkeepers could have had the afternoon off. Hopefully the second-half will see more openings.

45 + 2 – Last chance: Ryan Taylor with a free-kick but it is easily cleared by Faye.

45 + 1 – Off-side: Geremi lifts the ball over the top to Duff, but just as it seems we may have a clear-cut chance he is given off-side. The decision is correct, but the game needs a chance.

Two minutes of stoppage time to be played.

45 – Battle: Sibierski attemtps to steal the ball inside the box, but Taylor is once again in his way.

43 – Wild: Landzaat with a shot from the edge of the area, but it is awful and flies high and wide.

41 – Long-throw: Ryan Taylor delivers into the box, but Sibierski is surrounded by defenders are hardly gets off the floor as he attempts to win the ball.

39 – Missed: Steven Taylor takes a wide swing at a clearance, misses the ball but is saved by Faye as Bent chased the loose ball.

37 – Good defending: Difficult bouncing ball for Bramble to deal with, but he calmly heads it back to Kirkland under pressure from Viduka.

35 – Free-kick: Emre with a promising opportunity 25-yards out in the middle of the goal, but his effort hits the wall. Disappointing strike.

Both defences are holding up well so far and any danger is swiftly dealt with.

Booking: Brown cautioned for a rash challenge on Emre.

30 – Mistake: Kilbane with a good run down the left and his cross into the box is headed up in the air by Faye with no-one anywhere near him. Given comes and claims to end the danger.

29 – Waste: Both sides are lumping long balls forward but their front-men are not able to hold the ball up well enough.

28 – Good head: Sibierski rises well to flick the ball towards Bent inside the box, but he gets too much on the ball and it loops harmlessly into the hands of Given.

26 – Safety: Wigan put Newcastle under a bit of pressure and N’Zogbia is forced to just hammer the ball clear. Newcastle haven’t seen much of the ball in the last few minutes.

24 – Poor: Duff lays the ball across to Geremi 20-yards out, but he takes his eye off the pass and it rolls under his foot.

23 – Distance: Valencia with a well struck effort from 20-yards which hammers into the head of Faye and goes up in the sky. N’Zogbia manages to deal with the dropping ball.

21 – Too high: Beye slips past Kilbane down the right but his centred cross is fractionally above the head of Viduka.

19 – Almost: A long-throw is allowed to bounce inside the Wigan box and Duff almost pounces, but Scharner hammers the ball clear.

18 – Stray ball: Valencia with a wayward back-pass which is chased by Viduka but Bramble gets the ball safely back to Kirkland.

17 – Free-kick: Emre delivers to the back-post but no Newcastle player can get a head on it.

16 – Barge: Free-kick into the box and Taylor appears to push Sibierski in the back. The striker takes a tumble but Dean waves away the protests.

15 – Stabbed away: Taylor manages to get a toe to the ball as a Brown header threatens to free Sibierski through the middle.

13 – Free-kick: Dangerous delivery by Taylor which is put behind for a corner. Valencia threatens with a good ball back into the box after the initial set-piece was cleared, but it is just too high for Bent.

12 – First shot: Scharner allowed to roam forward and hits a left-foot shot from 30-yards, but it is straight down Given’s throat.

11 – Too much: Viduka tries to beat Brown about eight times on the edge of the box and ends up standing on the ball.

10 – Good football: Wigan knock the ball around well in midfield, but everything is sideways and Newcastle are happy to let them have the ball.

9 – Muscled out: Duff comes all the way across the pitch to pick up the ball on the right, but he is easily nudged off the ball by Bramble.

7 – Quiet start: Both teams yet to really test the opposition defence and the ball is just pin-balling around in midfield.

Smith has started in midfield meaning Viduka is a lone figure in attack for the Magpies. That may change depending on how the game unfolds.

3 – Problem: Sibierski was caught on the back of the head by Faye and has stayed down. Referee Mike Dean is slow to allow the physio onto the pitch. The Frenchman looks like he is going to be OK to continue.

2 – Chase: Bent chases a long ball from Valencia and almost gets to Given before he can clear Taylor’s back pass.

1 – Intent: Wigan straight on the offensive. Sibierski is throwing his weight around up front and looks like he will be a handful for Taylor and Faye.

Kick-off: Wigan to get us underway.



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