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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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Howay The Lads!!

Dense Fog On The Tyne

4:11 pm, Sunday, February 3rd, 2008 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 93 Comments

nufc-crest.png middlesbrough_crest.png

This was a rather inept performance from Newcastle United, and even when we went a goal up after 60 minutes, we didn’t have the resilience to hold on for all 3 points.

At the end Middlesbrough deserved their draw – and probably should have taken all 3 points, with a late game surge, when they created several chances, and had what looked a reasonable goal disallowed.   At this point in the game, Newcastle looked all at sea.

  • Newcastle lacked penetration up front and looked as though they no bite at all in attack and seemed to be playing in slow motion.
  • With these performances you have top start questioning why the players we have are under-performing so much. They are good players and get paid huge wages – but are not producing the goods. Questions have to be asked of the players
  • Whenever Middlesbrough attacked the Newcastle defense looked anything but tight, and we are still weak in central defense with Cacapa today having some dodgy moments at the back. It may be he’s not good enough for this league, as we found out with Rozehnal.
  • It was good to see Barton, Emre and N’Zogbia all starting because at least they can play a bit, and Emre’s skill made the goal for Michael Owen.
  • We have to question why Alan Smith is playing. he sometimes seems to be a detriment to the team, because he keeps giving fouls away, and he didn’t win anything in the air at all. He did pick up his 9th yellow card of the season, so one more yellow and he’s suspended for two games.
  • We may be in bigger trouble than we think, because our run-in for the next 13 league games is not easy, and we should be winning these games at home, if we are to avoid being dragged into a relegation scrap.
  • We should probably see if some of our youngsters can stir things into action – we seem to be playing in a haze of mediocrity – we look a second rate team right now – but we cannot strengthen the team until the summer.
  • Chris Mort looked worried today, and even under a bit of stress. At the end of this game we realized why – and he should be stressed out.
  • We’d like to see both Beye and Faye back in the defense next week at Villa, and hopefully Enrique can also return. Our most attacking player was Charles N’Zogbia and it was one of his runs that led to Emre’s free kick for Owen’s goal. He’s wasted at left back.
  • The reality from this game is we could well be dragged into a relegation tussle, having taken only 2 points form the last 24 at stake in the league. :(

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News


93 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom_Toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:16 PM

    it will be a miracle if we dont get relegated, and it all fat sams fault as we didnt beat reading, wigan, derby twice and other easy games.

  • 2 A geordiedoonsooth // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    I didn’t think we played that bad we looked decent in the 1st half & okay until we wnet 1-0 up when nerves seemd to take over. Everyone one on here seems to be doom & gloom merchants. I don’t think you lot are REAL supporters. Get behind the team there are a lot worse teams than us in the premier league, Derby, Wigan, Birmingham, Fulham, Sunderland & Reading sping to mind. Have faith wait to see what KK doeas in the summer

  • 3 arlyz1 // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    I said after the Wigan game that I feared relegation. Even though big fat sam has gone, nothing much has changed, hopefully keegan will soon see that butt and smith are useless, and start putting out a side that can play – and win. We’ve got to be nervous when we cant beat teams like boro

  • 4 Aaron // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Extremely harsh on Smith today, whenever he has played upfront he has been a pretty good target man and works his socks off! His reputation is tarnished due to him being constantly played in midfield.
    Barton was very promising today as was duff!
    Some players however look extremely uncomfortable in position, i think we need a real class class central midfielder to sit in their along with Barton and the injection of some pace in the team.

  • 5 Southern_Magpie // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    We should just aim to stay up this season. In the summer major changes are needed for sure because many of the players just are not good enough.
    We didn’t play particularly badly today but we were run ragged by Boro at times. We have some tough fixtures coming up and have no choice than to do with what we have already.
    Stay strong for the next 3-4 months and the real business can start in the summer. One thing for certain is that Kev and his staff have a massive amount of work to do.
    Come on toon.

  • 6 Jim // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    The ref should have been red carded!

  • 7 cloudstrife // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    it’s a tough reality to accept but it’s true: we’re not that good. Spurs, Everton, City, Portsmouth, Villa… they’re all better than us. we’ve got a long way to go.

  • 8 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Keep the faith. Also, need to massively lower expectations, the team have not started to gel.

  • 9 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    And even the Sun takes some time to clear off the Fog ;-)

  • 10 daiv // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    KK keeepsplaying Smith and Butt who are the worst players in the team. Butt is far too slow ans keeps giving the ball away. We are playing more long balls than ever.Why? Because we cannot retain it in midfield. We cannot press when the opposition has the ball and the central midfield is too slow to support the atttack. Smith is atotal embarassment. NIL GOALS IN 25 GAMES. Why are we playing him. Not only does he look incapable of a goal, I’ll be amazed if he gets a shot off. We look like relegation material. Wake up the Toon….. 3 points from 24 is relegation material. We are in a slump ant its the wrong time . Look at the run in and tell me where 40 points are coming from. If we cannot beat the likes of Deby, Boro, Bolton at home we should be worried.

  • 11 sparetheman // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:34 PM

    I’m quite surprised everyone’s so down. Not a great performance I agree, but there are reasons to be optimistic I think. I’ve been a lot more depressed than after this game.

    With Emre and Barton only just coming back we couldn’t have expected them to hit the ground running. They both looked eager though, and their performances are something to build on. They are due a run in the team.

    I think Faye and Beye coming back against Villa would help us immensely. Not convinced by Carr and Cacapa still – thought they both had poor games today.

    Viduka must start ahead of Smith though next game. I’ve been calling for Smith to be dropped all season and as awful as it’s to say I think his exclusion will benefit our attacking play tremendously. Don’t think he won a single header today.

    There things to improve on but it was good to see Owen score and that seemed to give us a new lease of life for a period after the goal. I’m confident the more we score, the better we’ll become. Keegan must choose the right team in the future though from the players available. That is crucial.

  • 12 graham // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    bit harsh I think ed. No we werent fantastic for the full game but we did pass the ball well in spells. I’m struggling to think of any clear cut chances that the unwashed of boro had other than the goal and the one which was dissalowed.

    Put it this way – 6 weeks ago we would have lost this match. We are improving slowly and the confidence is starting to return (in spells at the min).

    We have players coming back from injury, suspension and the acn. We well improve week on week until the end if the season.

  • 13 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    ah, by next week more guys will be back… Looking forward to seeing Beye, Taylor and Faye at the heart of our defence.

  • 14 micepie // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    It always seems that no matter who we get as manager, they can’t see as clearly as the fans!! Maybe life is very distorted looking out from within the “goldfish bowl”. I suppose the manager HAS to be upbeat, but jeeez, shake it up!
    Yes, I would bring back Beye, Faye and Enrique, and I’d also play Carroll up front with Owen. The way we have been playing, I can’t see us beating anyone!

  • 15 daiv // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    The most pressing problem is not the defence. Its the midfield which is too old and slow to offer any protection for the defnce and the centre mid creates nothing for the attack. We need 3 points quickly from soewhere otherweise we are in a relegation fight. Keegan is not the best man for a relegation battle. sam must be laughing counting his millions.

  • 16 Crazydave // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    I wish everybody would take their gloom and doom heads off and take something positive from the game. To say this “At the end Middlesbrough deserved their draw – and probably should have taken all 3 points, with a late game surge, when they created several chances, and had what looked a reasonable goal disallowed.” is totally out of order, Middlesborough goal was clearly offside and the one that was chalked off, unlike Owens first which clearly was a goal. Its decisions like that eats at the players. Its hard to play football when your playing against 14 players.

    The worse player for me today was Nicky Butt, he was terrible

  • 17 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Is there anybody doubting Keegan here???

    It will take time, NUFC will pull through. Patience && Support please.

  • 18 Scottyt // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    think your being a bit harsh on cacapa there mind .. i thought he had a really good game tbh and made a lot of crucial tackles that saved us from conceding more smith also wasnt as bad as u say imo but i agree he still didnt do much

    thought given was poor today really slow of his line and decision making was dodgy at times, nicky butt was also quite poor imo but i though barton was better than usual

    it is worrying now though that we are only 6 or so points off the r zone and after looking at our next 4 games (villa a man u h blckburn h l’pool a) i dont see many points coming from them games :(

  • 19 mark // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    It grinds on me this like


    pi55 off the lot of you, n’Zogbia is a headless chicke and I hope he fcks off. 3 goals at the start of the season, nout since, hope he is sold the little sh!t.

    Nicky Butt is an unsung hero who is made out to be a villain, isnt it funny, how people who GO TO THE GAMES dont slate him? unlike yankee dicks.

  • 20 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    next 4 games (villa a man u h blckburn h l’pool a) i dont see many points coming from them games

    12 points, a cakewalk mate. Chins up!

  • 21 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    All of us might be disgruntled and disappointed, but there is not much we can do. If we want to help our team ride through the rough weather, support them please!

  • 22 arlyz1 // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:51 PM

    Its ok to be optimistic, but what about being realistic? Can’t see us winning any of the next four games, and be that time it won’t be a seven points gap to the relegation places. Keegan need to pick the right team and get the team playing with some cohesion – SOON! Its not enough with players working their socks off as long as they are working one and one and lacking organization offensively and defensively.

  • 23 valle // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Did Given look unalert at their goal?… I love the man but at times he reminds me that he is not THAT good… Also Butt is at fault for allot of our problems, he really gives the ball away to much and we should remove him from the starting 11 asap.

  • 24 midlandstoon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Hey all stop being such doom and gloom merchants.
    Remember we still arent a full side out there and when beye, faye and martins comeback we can expect to have some other strings to our bow.
    Lets get excited about the great new things happening at the club and also about the fact that keegan hasd got us starting to attack again.
    We will not be relegated but this season is one big learning curve. A few steps back for the greater good. Are all of you guys negative or what. Get ur head together and be a true supporter like i know u can.

  • 25 arlyz1 // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Valle – Given stood watching and let Carr take on Huth in the air. Just like Given does on most crosses.

  • 26 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:56 PM

    If we want to be realistic, we have players off form, teamwork is absent, and morale and self confidence has sunk to depths greater than the Challenger Deep. What can we do to help improve the situation?
    Players Form – nothing
    Players Teamwork – nothing
    Morale – Aye! Dont start booing, it might not be very pleasant to know that one mis-kick will get 50k fans booing and jumping onto your back. Dont build up pressure, the season is wiped out. For our quality, we shouldnt be thinkin of relegation, and at the same time not think of a top half finish as well.

    An improved morale will help our team past lower ranked opposition. Keep the faith, please!

  • 27 daiv // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:57 PM

    We are now being quoted by the bookies as fifth favourites to be relegated.

  • 28 Ivan // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    Come on people, we played really well! With more luck and better officials of course, we would have won that match.

    Keep The Faith and pray!

    Toon forever

  • 29 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:00 PM

    fifth favourites, not 1/2/3. its ok, the remainder of the season will be exciting!!!!

  • 30 Matt // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    I’m sorry Ed but disagree with your summary of the game.
    Owen should have had 2 goals. We should have been 2-0 up.
    And not sure how Huth’s goal should stand. Were the two Midd players standing with him not influencing play?
    Cacapa saved us many times. Our defence isn’t the problem.
    Everytime Butt gets the ball he turns it over. Ok maybe not everytime. Only about 80% of the time.
    Was Emre knackered when he went off, because a midfield of Emre and Barton would have been much better.
    Duff and Zog were good down the left and worked well.
    And Carr was actually ok today.
    We won’t get relegated. We get Beye and Faye back soon (who will help us immensely). And Nigeria will be out soon, so Martins upfront to cut teams apart with some pace (which Owen doesn’t have anymore).

  • 31 Loisss // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    I have not seen the game so I can’t comment on Smith or Cacapa’s performances. But, my team for next game would be (if everyone of these players are available) :
    Carr, Faye, Taylor, Enrique
    Duff, Beye, Emre, N’Zogbia
    Viduka Owen
    Subs : Harper, Cacapa, Milner, Butt, Smith
    Never wanted Butt in midfield and he’s proving every match that he should not be there… Smith is substitute material, just like Milner… And I will never agree with the idea of having Joey Barton in my team, whatever his talent… Should be in jail.
    I think Beye is the best available solution for defensive midfielder because he has the engine and the skills with the ball… while Faye is solid defensively but doesn’t know what to do with the ball… And considering Carr has done a fairly good job so far, I could do with keeping him at right back in the circumstances…

  • 32 cloudstrife // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    it’ll be scarily exciting. i’m keeping the faith, but i’m not blind. u know if we actually start a game with 10 players, we’d be better off than playing Butt! he plays for the opposition. it’s like they have 12 men playing for them! shame we dont have options there.

  • 33 Dave Atkinson // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:12 PM

    Lively for about 15 mins today.

    Keegan has to show real strength now – that is the strength to drop ‘reputation’ players – Owen must be dropped when Martins is back (too slow, movement pathetic), Butt must go from the team (he’s just not got it anymore and putting him on the bench would be a waste as he’s unable to turn a game), Smith another one, Duke (sorry mate, not good enough).

    Why not try play Milner central midfield and put Charlie and Duff on the flanks? Milner’s looking like another Robert Lee to me – not fleet-footed but very good at holding on to the ball.

    I’ll always suppot Keegan but he’s got everything to lose if he sticks with the carthorses that are in the team at the moment.

  • 34 Dave Atkinson // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    Here’s anothe one – we DO look like we’re playing in slow motion – I think its the black socks! Change ‘em for some white ones (maybe some ballet shoes as well). That’ll have us dancing around the opposition defence!

  • 35 Chicken // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    Martins was shite before he went to Africa and he’s been shite over there too. There is no way on earth he should be replacing Owen in the team. Play them both together, yes, but don’t drop a genius for some with the footballing brain of a 3 year old.

  • 36 dopaz // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    ok were not good enough and we cant do anything till summer, the club is changing throughout, for the best, lets all get behind them and support them, it will improve

  • 37 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    well said Chicken.

  • 38 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    aye dopaz. There is no point frustrating ourselves further. Lower expectations, support our team and have fun!!! we aren’t going down. lets have fun for the rest of the season! Cheer up mates!!!

  • 39 Gordon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:25 PM

    At least glad to see no one is defending that footballer impressionist Butt anymore…

    Quite frankly many of our players are ‘names’ on the way down. That’s why the team sheet looks good but the performances never deliver.

    7/8 years ago Owen, Smith, Butt, Duff, Carr, Cacapa even Given were top drawer but not anymore.

    Emre also dwells on the ball far too much, Zog is turning into Lua Lua and Milner lacks end product.

    Scales fell from my eyes today, all the players tried and they STILL weren’t good enough…

  • 40 Mike // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    Yes our players aren’t playing well but I think our squad is just sub par….We have a bunch of hard working “crashers” like Barton, Butt, Smith and players like Duff, N’zoggy, and Emre are trying but they are on an island because players like Barton Butt and smith just ruin any buildup and can’t string together some good passes…

  • 41 UTD111 // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    The verdict from the UTD111 jury! Dunno which game some of you lot were at but from my seat:
    Given – some dodgy moments and why did he just watch their goal go in?
    Zog – played his little heart out all over the pitch and showed his class
    Taylor – made quite a few mistakes
    Cacapa – one of the candidates for Man of the Match, brilliant tackle in the penalty area 2nd half to save a certain goal
    Carr – solid and got forward well
    Duff – lively and caused them problems
    Emre – the other candidate for MoM – that Allardyce wasnt playing him was a joke
    Barton – some great through balls which showed vision, great stamina and effort, got us out of Jail on a number of occasions LOL
    Butt – awful
    Smith – played his socks off and was a good target man
    Owen – intelligent play, put his shift in and should have had 2 goals
    Thats me folks!

  • 42 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    Scales fell from my eyes today, all the players tried and they STILL weren’t good enough…

    They tried, they tried alone, not as a unit!!! It will improve guys, mebbe the player doesnt pass the ball, because he is unsure where his mate is!! The passing has improved over the last 3 games i saw(Bolton, Ars, today), and is getting quicker.

    Toon forever!

  • 43 ksmit // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:30 PM

    Well said Mike, another name you can add to that “crashers” list is Viduka. He has talent but is slow and needs a top class midfield (which we do not have) to feed it to him at the top of the box.

  • 44 cloudstrife // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    as i said before, we need strong leadership. both on and off the pitch. off the pitch, KK’s gonna get it done. but who’s gonna do it on the field? Owen is not a true captain. look at Gerrard, Terry, those are captains.

    i believe Taylor can become our Tony Adams.

  • 45 yet_another_indian_toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:33 PM

    Oh yes, he can, and if he sticks with us (iff any of the clubs above us arent interested) he is future captain.

  • 46 Eve // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    You know it’s strange half of ye are saying that
    Cacapa was brillant the others are saying he’s the new Bramble.
    Then there the ones who are complaining about their goal how Given just watched it, so it leads me to ask them the questions….
    a)did you see where it went and how the ball travelled
    b)Alliadeare had blocked his sight till it was too late so are ye saying that he should have x ray vission
    b) do ye really think that human beings can fly??
    Then some are praising Owen giving him 8 out of 10 while others are saying he should be dropped to the bench.


  • 47 Punk Skunk // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    I’m with you UTD111, good assessment mate!..
    …Also, good on ya’ Yet another indian toon, like ya’ attitude bro…P.s…The ref was a C.u.N.t yet again, i can’t believe how shite the reffing has been this year & not just against us…SHITE, they should be having their collective asses kicked!..
    …Howay the Lads!..

  • 48 Penalty-Spot // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:41 PM

    Ed: your article over-reacts. We were had by the ref on more than one occasion. Whilst I agree that the next lot of games are not easy all we have to do is hold our own. Forget eveything but staying up, get as high as we can and build a good team spirit. We ahve a hard time ahead of us but I now we will be Good. As for next season…:-)

  • 49 Mac // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:43 PM

    we had 3 goals dissallowed,the ref was against us from th eoff,we had a definate penalty turned down,so a 1-1 draw isn’t too bad and Boro have been having a bit of a purple patch of late and are high on confidence. We’re still waiting for our best 3 players to return and then we can judge the team. I still think we’ll fininsh in th etop 10

  • 50 Gordon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    Best 3 players? You including Geremi in that?!!!

    Seriously, bit of a sad reflection if two of our best three players are Faye and Beye… we need Martins ASAP though.

    Personally I think we lack composure on the ball and we simply don’t have enough players you can PASS the ball and there isn’t enough pace in the side. It’ll be a bit summer…

    PS – 7 points clear of Birmingham, even more ahead of Fulham and Derby. We WON’T get relegated.

  • 51 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:48 PM

    Fulham beating Villa 2-1 with a few mins to go…………………. *shakes head in disbelief* …………

  • 52 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:48 PM

    Best 3 players —you including Martins in that ??!!

  • 53 cloudstrife // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    once we gel, the team will be a lot better. only problem is that our confidence will have been shot by the multiple losses. i hope none of our existing good players leave. a few might be tempted especially if we finish low in the table. The Zog will be a prime target for bigger clubs and we gotta hope he and others stay.

  • 54 dragoner // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Given is a world class shot stopper, not a world class keeper,unlike Reina, Cech, Van Der Sar etc he is not good at dealing with crosses and does not command his area in general, add to that his passing this year has been poor.

    “We have to question why Alan Smith is playing. he sometimes seems to be a detriment to the team, because he keeps giving fouls away, and he didn’t win anything in the air at all.”

    I am not a fan of Alan Smith any more Ed but that is massively inaccurate, he was great in the air in the first half against huth and wheater.

    Also, you singled out Cacapa, but what about Taylor, Taylor made mistakes today and didn’t make up for it with any life saving challenges like Cacapa did, so why do you not mention him!? deluded

  • 55 dragoner // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    i cant believe people are using the officials as a reason to why we are so shit! bad decisions happen, they happen to other teams aswell.

  • 56 obafemimartins // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    to obafan2 – here is the offical list of players we have been linked with. most of them have been mentioned twice but idnt put them on twice.

    Ole Soderberg (BK Haken)
    Fabio Zamblera (Atlanta)
    Kevin Prince Boateng (Tottenham Hotspur)
    Alvaro (Levante)
    Labos Kalouda (FC Brno)
    Julio Baptista (Real Madrid)
    Ezequiel Garay (Racing Santander)
    Leroy Lita (Reading)
    Giles Barnes (Derby County)
    Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City)
    David Bentley (Blackburn Rovers)
    Michael Ciani (Lorient)
    Pascal Chimbonda (Tottenham Hotspur)
    Luka Modric (Dinamo Zagreb)
    Oscar Cardozo (Benfica)
    Sami Hyypia (Liverpool)
    Goran Pandev (Lazio)
    Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough)
    Peter Crouch (Liverpool)
    Gilberto (Hertha Berlin)
    Tiago (Juventus)
    Dean Ashton (West Ham United)
    David Beckham (LA Galaxy)
    John Arne Riise (Liverpool)
    Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg)
    Nicky Shorey (Reading)
    Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham Hotspur)
    Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur)
    Alan Hutton (Glasgow Rangers)
    Carlos Ceullar (Glasgow Rangers)
    Marek Cech (FC Porto)
    Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
    Barry Robson (Dundee United)
    Scott Brown (Glasgow Celtic)
    Eidur Gudjohnsen (Barcelona)
    Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich)
    Micah Richards (Manchester City)
    Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
    Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough)
    Olof Mellburg (Aston Villa)
    Rafael Van der Vaart (HSV)
    Momo Sissoko (Liverpool)
    Richard Dunne (Manchester City)
    Sol Campbell (Portsmouth)
    Barry Robson (Dundee United)
    Johan Elmander (Toulouse)
    Deco (Barcelona)
    Wayne Bridge (Chelsea)
    Wes Brown (Manchester United)
    Jermaine Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur)
    Cristoph Metzelder (Real Madrid)
    Daniel Jarque (Espanyol)

  • 57 Annoyed // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    The real business starts in the summer…..with a return to the Premiership high on the agenda !

  • 58 milnerfan // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:03 PM

    I thought smith had a great first half won pretty much every header. I think butt needs to go and we need to bring in a striker who can bag 20 goals a season and a decent cb to team up with tay the bull n beye. Cant expect to much this season, PLayers who underperform now will be shipped out in the summer, look at roz lol ( i no his was attitude, but just shows NUFC will get players out who dont want to be there, or dont deserve to)

  • 59 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Owen can get us 20 goals and so can Oba, we just need a couple of players who can give 8-10 assists.

  • 60 Elliott // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    You lot are off your heads. We actually showed a lot of decent attacking movement today. We tried to pass in triangles and got behind them quite a few times. The defence looked dodgy and Butt let us down in possesion a lot but it was much better than under allardyce.

    I’m sorry but if Keegan can get us passing better like that in a week I’m not worried about relegation. Barton, Zog, Owen, Duff, Emre all played well. We showed enough today to give me much optimism. How many of you actually watched the game?

    We’re def improving. Having Beye (who rarely wastes possession like Carr) and Faye back will help a lot. We needed Faye today. Cacapa, despite a few good inteventions, is not quick or strong enough unfortunately.

    Barton is improving fast under Keegan. Him and Owen will be key for us until the end of season. Keep the faith for God’s sake!!!!!

  • 61 Elliott // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    I reckon we can get something vs Villa and Blackburn.

  • 62 IanG // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:26 PM

    Agree with UTD111 and others who were positive about this afternoon’s performance. Sorry to have to be a bit negative but But needs to be dropped and soon. Heard the commentator say he’d been our most consistent performer this season, well, I don’t know which team he’d been watching but two incompetent passes to Boro players led to the goal (which would have been goals if the if the ref didn’t decide to even it up).
    Otherwise loads to be positive about and we’ll also be getting reinforced from Africa soon.

  • 63 gloryhunter // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:30 PM

    Contrary to what some of us are saying, I thought we were EXTREMELY well-balanced today. Goalie = shite, defence = shite, midfield = shite, forwards = shite.

    We should stop kidding ourselves (us Geordies should stick together, stop being negative, support the lads, etc, etc, etc). Even with Owen’s well-taken goal, we were shite.

    I’m off to the pub.

  • 64 Mson // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    “daiv // Feb 3, 2008 at 16:31

    KK keeepsplaying Smith and Butt who are the worst players in the team. Butt is far too slow ans keeps giving the ball away. We are playing more long balls than ever.Why? Because we cannot retain it in midfield.”

    What he said, its soooooo clear axe butt pls and put any, ANY one else there please.

  • 65 Matthew Tom // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:34 PM


    Not his best game by a long stretch, but he can’t really be blamed for being fooled when he was unsighted initially and Huth’s header looped into the far corner. However, overall Given does seem to be on less than his full sparkling form and I’d give Harps a few games.


    Pretty average. Didn’t get forward much, didn’t do much of anything. Can’t really blame him for the goal though, given that he was surrounded by other offside players. Habib Beye should always start ahead of Carr.


    One or two errors today, yes, but he made an astonishing tackle on the 6 yard line towards the end and overall I feel pretty happy with him over recent games. He is improving, but is still settling in this league. Might bring Faye in for Villa to counteract Carew’s height, but overall Cacapa seems pretty decent to me.


    Committed again and made a few important blocks. I do think his positioning and overall awareness and reading of the game can improve, and that Cacapa can help him with that. He’s still only a boy, but he will be amazing for us over the next 10 years.


    Needs to come out of the LB spot as soon as possible. He wasn’t embarrassed there defensively today by any means, but this lad is the new Ginola and we need him in the final third of the pitch all the time. Did very well going forward.


    Looked out of place on the right but he seems to be improving every time I see him. Must be installed quickly as Butt’s permanent replacement at DM/CM.


    Jesus. Get this bloke out of our team as soon as possible. He just does nothing these days and he looks every inch the former Man United bench player he always was, and a shadow of his former best as well.


    Short of fitness still I think, which is probably why KK replaced him after an hour. But he is the closest thing we’ve got to Fabregas now and should be in the team alongside Barton every week. Great ball in for Owen’s goal.


    First time today I thought the 5 million might have been well spent. He seems to be finding his form at last and I am very excited about him at the moment. The left channel was by far our most productive area today and I thought he showed some real spark and energy at last, let’s hope he keeps it up.


    Tried his heart out today and put in a decent, combative performance up front, winning quite a few headers. However there was nothing by way of end product. Won lots of headers but didn’t find our players with them. Battled and scrapped, but did he make one quality pass or even look like having a shot on goal? Replace him with Viduka, Ameobi, Martins, Carroll or Zamblera – he is another like Butt who has faded considerably. Remember his strike against us for Leeds at SJP in the first 10 minutes a few years ago? I’ve seen nothing like that from him since he came here.


    Typical Owen performance for me. Many times for Liverpool you’d think he’d done nothing all game, and then his quality would make the difference when he pops up and gets the winner. Apart from a shocking refereeing display, that’s what he would have done for us today.

  • 66 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:45 PM

    looks like Oba is coming home. 10 mins remaining and Nigeria down 2-1.

  • 67 gloryhunter // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:45 PM

    Just found out the Metro’s off so I’ll stay in and sulk

    Aftet that bloody essay I’ve just read, try this one:

    “Down with the Makems.
    We’re going down with the Makems”


  • 68 cloudstrife // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:54 PM

    Oba’s coming home. Nigeria are out. Oba/Owen goal machine axis!

  • 69 Gordon // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:00 PM

    Matthew Tom absolutely spot on.

  • 70 Gordon // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:03 PM

    Martins on way home – whoooo hooooo :)

    He didn’t score a single goal in the whole tournament which kinda sucked form-wise though…

  • 71 cloudstrife // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:08 PM

    he didnt score coz he barely played. the 1st game he was played on the wings ala Fat Sam tactics. Nigeria were a shambles through the whole tournament. they just lost a game where Ghana had their captain sent off and Essien had to play CB.

    good to have him back though. his finishing will improve, that’s for sure. it cant get any worse!

  • 72 Hammy // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:13 PM

    Thought the Toon did o.k today with Emre pulling the strings, as long as we are still in the league by the end of the season I’ll be fairly happy, Boro have had some decent form lately and I doubt they have chopped and changed line ups as much as we have, any points from the next four games will be a bonus for us.
    Thought 2-0 today would have been fair as how can two players standing in front of your goalie NOT be interfering with play? Nothing wrong with Owen’s other goal either.
    Oh well, looking forward to Beye and Faye returning and hopefully an upturn in fortunes.

  • 73 Tom_Toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:16 PM

    Luis Suarez first summer signing please followed by Chermiti, Chikhaoui, Toulalan etc.

  • 74 iain // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:17 PM

    same old problems, been saying it for ages our mf is crap mainly the cm butt. makes our defence look worse than it is having to mark every boro player bar there ch and gk. what good is a defensive mf player tha cant tackle ???

    barton did nowt wide right. did ok cm but looses the ball sometimes and just lets players go past him. not as bad as butt who was again shocking.

    smith is useless what does he actually contribute to the team ???

    oba/beye/faye please come quick and save our season.

    says a lot that even carr has raised hi game since keegan has came yet butt and smith cant.

    taking emre off was a huge mistake imo. still cant believe he isnt pushed up to play behind owen as he would be more effective than any of viduka/smith/shola.

  • 75 scott9 // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:24 PM

    going on to another subject i no its a bit early but we definatley need to buy in the summer who do people think we should get (realisticly) i think players of this qaulity would be good
    van buyten 3m
    top qaulity cb 7m
    shorey 5m
    scott brown 9m
    park ji sung 4m
    toulalon 8m
    pandev 11m

    ameobi 3m
    rozenhal 2.5
    butt 2m
    smith 4.5m
    = 11m that means ashely would need to fork out about 36m

  • 76 blue // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:24 PM

    I cant believe our own fans are giving stick to keegan already we have no right to beat teams that is the mentality that some supporters still have. why should we have beaten middlesbourgh they are in better form than us better defence than us and fresh young talented players like it all not we are miles away frm being a good team and some supporters have the press and papers jumping in laughter because we are so unrealistic what do expect today we are going to turn over middes and score five goals and keep sheet with the players we have got not keegans team sorry!!!. Nzogbia playing left back becausee enrique is injured, Viduka is not fit, milner cant cross and has looked shattered for weeks Keegan is picking what he can do best with and they are not that good WAKE UP support your team stop slagging them off SUPPORTERS from other teams have a go at us because some fans are so fickle Keegan has had THREE prem games do you really think we would just by magic start winning games and playing great football scoring loads of goals with the players he is stuck with. I hate seeing us like this but some players are not pulling there wieght and I expect Keegan to rip this team apart in the summer. I love my team and I still will support them all the way and if you have nothing positive to say support someone else.

    UP THE TOON!!!!!!

  • 77 davey // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:35 PM

    3 weeks ago everyone is shouting from the roof tops that we will give the lads and king kev time to build and come good and now mostly everyone is twisting and whinging again.the only thing consistent about the toon is the fickle attitude of some fans. you know who you are. hang your heads in shame

  • 78 Leo* // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:35 PM

    how butt can still manage to get into our team, he is ruining the proformance, i wish he was not at our club, its not fair for the youngsters who are better than him to have to watch him as he fks up again and again.

  • 79 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    off topic but do you guys remember who things looked in August ??? Man what a change, we were hoping for Top 6 now we are hoping to stay in the Premiership. …………….You gotta’ love the Magpies, not a dull moment lol

  • 80 carl // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:42 PM

    not too bad, but beye and faye back will help us ,as soon as kk plays barton and emre in cente midfield we should be ok

  • 81 Andreas // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:57 PM

    Doesn’t matter how bad the players was, the ref team decided the outcome in the end, f**c*ing KUKBÖGHORA (<- very strong cursing)

  • 82 Tripp // Feb 3, 2008 at 8:43 PM

    LOL ToonKing. BTH, I always thought top 6 was Bollocks. I was thinking 8th or 9th. Still, I was off the mark (or so it would seem) a bit too.

    At least we got a point. It’s too bad about Fulham, I’d have liked to see them lose but that just makes Villians that much closer to us. ;)

    We still have games agains Reading, Brum, Fulham, and Sunderland all teams below us. Blackburn has had some dodgy performances away from Ewood (Wigan 5 – 3 Blackburn) comes to ming. So we could well get points from that match. We’ve got gooners out the the way so they can only help us now. Our remaining game against manure is probably points lost, but then again, we drew with them last season at SJP. Liverpool has been erratic of late, lets up they remain unsettled over the coming weeks.

    It really is a shame that we only got 1 point off of DC, having the extra 5 points that we really should have would be tremendous.

  • 83 Andy1 // Feb 3, 2008 at 8:56 PM

    Come on. We’re not going to get relegated. There are enough shit teams to see us to safety.

    Our team is not that good any more and we shouldn’t expect to hammer Boro who are in good form and have a solid defence.

    We played well in spells and could have won the game easily if some decisions had gone our way.

    Our best players performed pretty well today and that’s why we will have enough to stay up. Barton was really good, showing a range of simple passes and also spotting the pass to open up the game. Emre will be important when he gets some fitness back. Duff looked good – N’zogbia was great in attack but we need Enrique fit. Owen will bang ‘em in with the right service.

    Butt and Smith should be relegated to the bench and not considered as starters because they are not good enough for Newcastle or the premier league.

    Steve Bruce reckons 38 points to stay up and as we are are on 28 – that makes 10 from 13. Reading, Fulham, Blackburn and Sunderland are easily winnable home games at least.

  • 84 Jeff // Feb 3, 2008 at 9:01 PM

    Listen the whole top and bottom of it is the ref f***king bottled it…..Owens goal in 4 th minute should have stood…….then we should have had a penalty for hand ball,boro’s goal should have been blown for offside…people might argue but when the ball was kicked there was two players in an offside position and the linesman should have flagged for that….when two players are offside when the ball is kicked the flag should have went up straight away because linesman had no idea where that ball was going to f***king end up…Its a f**king disgrace…..I said to my mates that sky would make it out that boro were unlucky to not win that match but when you look at it we were totally f***king robbed and Im totally f**ked right off with it……….the referee was shit…..why is it ref’s seem to think when they come up here they have a point to prove and they give nothing to the home side but if they reff’d at man utd,chelsea arsenal liverpool they seem to give things to the home side…..I might be rabbitting on but I think we have been hard done by tonight……Robbed totally robbed…

  • 85 mitch // Feb 3, 2008 at 9:23 PM

    I remember a few seasons ago Everton were just saved from relegation I hope this is not us. but I think moyes is getting it right at the moment down there . KK needs time also Today was the first time I have seen are team play some sort of football we were not bad compared to the crap that has been played in SJP this season We need to get behind are team now support them as we can otherwise if we keep going as we have the past few years we will go down and I don’t fancy all the shite games in the championship and do you think all those who boo our team would be there in the championship know they won’t it will be left to the die hards Yes I was there under managers like Ossie Jim smith we were shit and we knew we were lets not go back there lets support our team we know they are not Man U or Chelsea Arsenal but we will fight to get there again lets just enjoy the rest of the season and give the lads a break they are obviously trying I saw that today did you

  • 86 ChrisL // Feb 3, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    Ed, you do talk shit sometimes.

  • 87 Dunc // Feb 3, 2008 at 9:53 PM

    Glad I had a free bet here today and not down the bookies.

    As per usual the reffing team sucked ar2e but hey when doesn’t Mike (…I’ve got a bet on…) Dean NOT have a Laurel and Hardy day?
    He really shouldn’t be left in charge of his toothbrush never mind a premier league game.

    The same goes for Nicky Butt who’s experience really showed today. Giving the ball away constantly and more importantly giving it away late on when we should be trying to dominate posession. It was Butt giving the ball away that eventually led to them scoring.

    And I foolishly sit around pondering over that big mystery. One of lifes… unanswered questions.

    Why did the Manc Skanks sell Nicky Butt? Why on earth did they not want him?????

    Cacapa looked shaky for no reason at times giving them the impotus to have a go at us but, he also dug us out with some solid reliable defending too.

    Barton gave up on the ball after losing it a couple of times and I want more effort from a player who owes us some games after missing the past so many.

    Zog and Duff looked awesome in spells and the team as a whole played 100% better than under Sam. By the way did anyone see Sam on the telly saying he never set us up like Bolton cos he didn’t have Kevin Nolan. Does this mean he would have tried to lure him in the transfer window?
    The lying snake… never set us up like Bolton. Never played like Bolton either did we Sam??

    I want Oba, Beye and Faye back in the team and Nicky Butt subs at very best.

    Who said Chermiti in the Summer? I agree!!!

    Just in case anyones interested, have a look at this.

    Win prizes with free bets!!! Worth a kick about!!!!

  • 88 Dunc // Feb 3, 2008 at 10:12 PM

    I forgot to stand up for Shay Given.
    He’s a solid and reliable premier league keeper and someone who would be hard to replace.
    I think he’s NUFC through and through and we’re lucky to have him in the team.
    With a solid defence in front of him he could shine the way he deserves to.

  • 89 paul // Feb 3, 2008 at 10:49 PM

    Ed why do you think smoggies were unlucky with their offside goal how should that have stood? Did you not see the first half when we had a goal chalked off for nowt. also a cast iron certain penalty turned down?

  • 90 Tooner // Feb 4, 2008 at 3:18 AM

    Scott9 #75

    ameobi 3m
    rozenhal 2.5
    butt 2m
    smith 4.5m

    If you could get anywhere near those prices for the players, I’d be enthralled. Nobody is going to pay 2m for Butt when he has only a few years of mediocrity left. Ameobi for 3m is a pipedream.

  • 91 cupiddstunt // Feb 4, 2008 at 4:31 AM

    I have to agree with Matt, I must have been watching a diff. Game to the ed. Barton was slow, gave the ball away too much and did not track back and graft when he lost the ball.

    Before you can blame the defence you have to look at the midfield and wonder how easy it is for the opposition to get through to the defence, a defence look really good when the midfield take a lot of the pressure of them by digging in and tracking back when they loose the ball and helping the defence out.

    There is not a defence in the country that will survive without a midfield that grafts in front of them.

    I also appear to watch a diff game to “Loisss” he slags Butt and Smith “… Smith is substitute material just like Milner” and yet he is putting Carr as a first choice right back gis a break ya w*nk. Although I do not like to pick on individual players I have to say Carr has never looked sound at right back. In my opinion for a defender you either have to be big and a passable player or if you are not big you have to have speed and/or guile to make up for it and Carr unfortunately has none of the three. He is not big he is not fast and he is not particularly skilful. I would sooner have Milner (Loisss’s sub material) at right back than Carr, at least he has guile and a bit of pace he also grafts the whole game.

    I thought today’s game was quite watchable we dominated for long periods of the game and it bodes well for future games, as long as the wanks stop demanding instant success.

    The ref did us no favours so 11 against 12 not a bad result, four in the net three crossed off one goal up and bring on two subs that were attack minded that’s the way to go, entertainment is the name of the game. Better to loose trying to win then to loose trying to defend and draw. Keep it up Kev bring back the entertainment.

    Sorry to say Ed. But you just seem to let your personal opinions cloud your comments.

    Oh by the way “Dunc” Harper can fill in for Shay any day of the week as he has already done so and without any real drama and not put a foot wrong, beginning of the season he never put a foot wrong but was dropped for Shay when he was fit.

    If Steve Harper was playing first choice keeper then I really believe he would be in the running for an England shirt, he has to be about the best second choice keeper in the prem.

  • 92 cupiddstunt // Feb 4, 2008 at 4:50 AM

    If you read between the lines,,10278~1231883,00.html

    ie. the fact that G Southgate thought the smoggies were good for the point, which generally come down to “we did well to get the draw” cos if he thought they were good enough for a draw he would have said they were robbed of the win.

    That put in the right perspective the opposition manager though we were the better team.

    Most of the time the manager bulls their team up one level so….we were the better team we should have won we were unlucky be happy look forward to the next game and more entertaining attacking football

    If you play every game to win then you will win some if you play not loose then you will not loose some.

    One win is worth three draws

    I know what I would rather watch.

  • 93 Graeme // Feb 4, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    I watched a different game to most in here I’m afraid!!!

    We should have been 3-0 up before they scored what would have been a consolation goal. The ref had an absolute howler and should be banned from PREMIER MATCHES FOR A FEW WEEKS.

    Agreed, we had quite a few inefectual player on board; Smith is no better than a bench player and has been for weeks. Butt didnt have a great game and hasnt for weeks. Some time out of the starting 11 would do them both some good!!!

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