Reflections on Newcastle Bolton Game

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It wasn’t an exciting game today, but what was good to see was Newcastle pressing Bolton in the second half, when the lads attacked Bolton continuously, but really lacked a cutting edge up front. Here are some reflections on the game.

  • To play the kind of game Keegan wants it’s obvious we need strong players in central midfield and we had 6 missing for selection today and the two that played there, Rozehnal and N’Zogbia did well – even though they are not regular middle men.
  • The defense looked quite solid and the full backs, Carr and Enrique, both had quite good games as they tried to push up to help the attack. But also Bolton didn’t come today to attack Newcastle.
  • Shay Given saved us near the end (how many times have we said these last 10 years?) when he made a good save from JLoyd Samuel on 90 minutes when he blocked Samuels, shot with his left leg.
  • The from two of Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi were hardly in the game today, probably due to having a weaker central midfield than usual.
  • Kazenga Lua Lua was introduced in place of Duff after 80 minutes, and he again showed some nice touches and didn’t look out of place at all.
  • On this display we need another striker in the January transfer window, so it was good to hear the news this morning that we may be after Sweden’s Johan Elmander. But he’ not worth anywhere near £10M according to some of our Swedish readers.
  • Jose Enrique again looked a good player in the making but he still has things to learn in the Premier league. But his last few performance make it hard to understand why he played so little when Sam Allardyce was at the club, especially since Sam was the one who paid £6.3M for him from Villarreal.
  • We’ll need to see how many new players we can get in during January, but the real excitement on the transfer front when we’ll not only bring in new players but Kevin will probably be letting some go, once he’s had a chance to assess then through then end of the season
  • We didn’t expect the 3 points we wanted today but we have to be realistic and Kevin only arrived a couple of days ago, and at least we got something out of the game, so we are pleased enough.

Kevin will now have a full week to prepare the side for our two next games, both against Arsenal at the Emirates. The first is next Saturday in the league ( 3 PM KO), and then we’ll play Arsenal’s second string in the FA Cup 4th round on the following Tuesday evening ( 7:45 PM KO). Those will be 2 tough games for the lads.

Comments welcome.

27 comments so far

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #1


    Under the Circumstances: Ok

  • Zx

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Well done to the team 🙂

  • Black and White Blood

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #3

    Only way is up – come on king kev

  • James

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #4

    Relax lads, we finally have the RIGHT MANAGER, the RIGHT CHAIRMAN, and the RIGHT OWNER, to fix all of this.

    It would have been far worse if we won 5-0 cause then Keegan wouldn’t try and fix it. And we all know from the last 6 months this team needs better players.

  • UTD111

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #5

    The best bit for me was the cardboard “return of the king” paper hats we got given lol

  • Latex

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #6

    Hate to bring this up again but the game mostly served to show how much we needed to get rid of Big Sam.

    1. The players playing without confidence or belief caused by what he’s created in the time he was here.

    2. Looking at the way Bolton played us, it’s the same way they’ve always played and that’s how they were winning under him. To imagine this is the type of team he was trying to build us into almost makes me cry, can only thank Mike for rescuing us from mediocrity in time.

  • neil09

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #7

    I thought that most of the team performed quite well today, given the circumstances, its going to take a little while to coach a new way of thinking into the current crop of players.

    Shola didn’t do too bad, Owen was quiet, still have high hopes for the Owen-Martins partnership, they say two small players with similar games can’t play together, but two strikers with the same games worked in Shearer and Ferdinand

  • Ben

    Jan 19, 2008 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #8

    Good performance otday considering we were missing 9 first team players,rozenhal grew intot the game,outrageous 40 yeard outside of the boot pass to owen!He is alot more talented then we know,another Big Sam sigining that will shine under a encouraging manager such as Keegan! we do need a CB, Dunne, LB cover for Enrique (very impressed otday with him!), at least 2 midfielders,Arsharvin and a combative midfielder (e,g David Batty and Rob Lee characters) and finally a holdiong striker for Owen and Martins, maybe Ashton,but then again not too sure if he has the pace for the speed of attack Keegan likes to play?

    Negatives-Given great shot stopper but needs to command his box more, maybe come form crosses and anything over the top into the box, there was some confusion there today!

  • jimmer

    Jan 19, 2008 at 9:22 PM

    Comment #9

    i was pleased with Rozenhal today, he wasnt brilliant but was fairly solid, looked a little calmer and passed reasonably well, i think he is a worthy squad player. perhaps the less pressure of playing an unfamiliar role relaxed him, we werent expecting greatness after all.

  • ronaldeano

    Jan 19, 2008 at 9:25 PM

    Comment #10

    If MIDD THE YID comes on this blog can everyone please tell him to piss off, as he is not an NUFC fan and he is a knob.

  • Gordon d

    Jan 19, 2008 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #11

    I agree my wife also said a knob is useful

  • dragoner

    Jan 19, 2008 at 9:59 PM

    Comment #12

    midd the yidd is tottenhams scum who just came on here because they are now higher then us on GOAL DIFFERENCE, pathetic. what sort of fans call themselves ‘yids’!? i bet half of them don’t even know what it derives from. they are all idiots i tell you.

  • iain

    Jan 19, 2008 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #13

    thing i noticed most today after ht our players came out and got better. under sam bolton would of wrapped up victory after 10 mins of the 2nd half. who says king kev has lost it.

    we need a cm or two soon as possible. i wasnt keen on deco our players of that age, big club rejects etc, but they cant be worse than rozehnal/smith/butt in cm.

    that was the worst ref performance ive ever seen, no wonder rob styles is actually rated as one of the better refs these days. 20 yrs ago or in modern italy the ref would of caused a riot.

    thank god sam is gone if thats what he wanted us to play like (nolan anyone). i hope thte fat arse never gets another job in football. wenger was right big sam was killing football.

  • Leo*

    Jan 19, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #14

    what does yids name come from mate?

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 19, 2008 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #15

    Jewesh language, Yiddish.

  • John H

    Jan 19, 2008 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #16


  • petworth magpie

    Jan 20, 2008 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #17

    Duff and Milner are just not good enough

    nor Owen or Ameodbi

  • scott9

    Jan 20, 2008 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #18

    wasnt a great game but its what u expect when zog n roz have to play in the middle its not ideal we need a cm or 2 this window i think we should sign
    deco (someone of that moulding)
    danial van buyten
    beye van buyten taylor zog
    arhsevin deco emre duff
    elmander owen
    im not saying get deco cause i no thats inlikely but someone like that would be good

  • John H

    Jan 20, 2008 at 12:11 AM

    Comment #19

    how shit are bolton fans singing for sam allardyce today. i was at the reebok stadium 1st game of the season and he got a load of stick from them shit fans. 400 fans what a joke

    Ginger mourinho needs a good cleaneo

  • Griff

    Jan 20, 2008 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #20

    OK so Milner and Duff didnt play so well today but theres no backing for saying they are shit i think that it was v encouraging today.

    Look at the last league games compared to today, we were attacking a a lot less long ball, was good, things wont change overnight.

    Also, does anyone else think that N’Zogbia looks like Henry 😀 not in how he plays but his serious face and big french lips 😀

    He was silky skilled today though..

    BTW whoever thought Rozey was good today needs to go to specsavers, ok he isnt a CM but almost every ball was a hoof long ball or gave it away. I am worried for him.

  • Ozzie dave

    Jan 20, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #21

    Latex’s Comments are spot on for the first time in 30 yrs I could not even watch my beloved NUFC as it was depressing under SAM

    I don’t care how long it takes kk & AS I know they will get the football right.

    As bad as people seem to think last night was I still felt we were actually trying to win the game and are already turning the corner. the last miracle took time.

  • Steeley

    Jan 20, 2008 at 2:20 AM

    Comment #22

    Well, I have to say that although it wasnt the worst we have played, it was most definitely the worst game to watch….it was so very boring!! I was out with neutral fan friends tonight and everyone was billing it as a great game – however, in reality it was the most boring match I have seen so far this season. And by no means am I blaming NUFC – it was very much a Bolton side who came to SJP with the intent of stifling the whole game – their midfield bossed ours, and I’m sorry but depsite the fact we have so many out through suspension or ACN, are there REALLY any of them who would have helped this game? Smith? NO! Geremi? No. Butt? No. Emre? Perhaps. Faye? No etc etc.
    It has pointed out that we need a radical overhaul of the midfield. Poor Charlie Zog as well – the big game to impress and he was pretty poor to be honest – looked very much out of place.
    I thought that the strikers werent great either – we may indeed need another one in the window – if only to freshen up the stagnating mess that we have already – perhaps Oba may do it when he gets back from ACN.
    Defence did OK, but they werent tested at all, so it means nothing really.
    I thought that the Ref (Alan Wiley) had a shocker! The game couldnt really have been stop-start more than it was – and him constantly pulling players back 2 yards for a misplaced free kick was very poor. I hope we dont see him in the vicinity of SJP any time soon.
    Positive is that we looked so much more confident – Shay not hoofing the ball upfield straight away whenever he got it was great to see!!! We had the optimism but not the clinical last touches to make anything of it. I think the team need to be taught how to play 1-touch football….especially Enrique.
    Overall, it was promising, but far from the ideal. I reckon the Gunners will stuff us in the league match, but we may give them a better run in the Cup game. Hopefully we’ll have some new players in by then….SWP perhaps???

  • Steeley

    Jan 20, 2008 at 2:24 AM

    Comment #23

    Scott9 – had you ever heard of Elmander before he was mentioned on this site?? I had never heard his name mentioned by ANYBODY until Ed published it in an article and then suddenly people have him in their best buy tables….have you ever seen him play? I presume you have to mention him in your list….what does he play like? What are his best (and worst) qualities? Incidentally I have seen him play and have my own thoughts (not what we should be after)….but if you think otherwise it would be good to see your view justified.

  • Johann

    Jan 20, 2008 at 3:04 AM

    Comment #24

    Johan Elmander is absoloutly fantastic in my mind. Better than Zlatan imo, not going into details about him now but maybe later. Seen him pretty often play and known about him for a long time!

  • Jon

    Jan 20, 2008 at 3:48 AM

    Comment #25

    I don’t like Duff he’s too left footed and Owen is too lazy.

  • AdamCF

    Jan 20, 2008 at 4:08 AM

    Comment #26

    I thought Bolton pressed well in the midfield and made it difficult for both N’Zogbia and Rozehnal. Zog is too small to be a great centre mid and will always be a winger, leave him there please.

  • Nobby!

    Jan 20, 2008 at 5:48 AM

    Comment #27

    Man. I saw that game on the tele, and Bolton had ten men down for defense. Ridiculous.


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