Dense Fog On The Tyne

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.

93 comments so far

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #1

    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.

  • A geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #2

    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

  • arlyz1

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #3

    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

  • Aaron

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #4

    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.

  • Southern_Magpie

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #5

    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.

  • Jim

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #6

    The ref should have been red carded!

  • cloudstrife

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #7

    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.

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #8

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

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #9

    And even the Sun takes some time to clear off the Fog 😉

  • daiv

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #10

    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.

  • sparetheman

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #11

    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.

  • graham

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #12

    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.

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #13

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

  • micepie

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #14

    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!

  • daiv

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #15

    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.

  • Crazydave

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #16

    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

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #17

    Is there anybody doubting Keegan here???

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

  • Scottyt

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #18

    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 🙁

  • mark

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #19

    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.

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #20

    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!

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #21

    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!

  • arlyz1

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #22

    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.

  • valle

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #23

    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.

  • midlandstoon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #24

    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.

  • arlyz1

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #25

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

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #26

    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!

  • daiv

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #27

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

  • Ivan

    Feb 3, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #28

    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

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #29

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

  • Matt

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #30

    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).

  • Loisss

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #31

    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…

  • cloudstrife

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #32

    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.

  • Dave Atkinson

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #33

    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.

  • Dave Atkinson

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #34

    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!

  • Chicken

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #35

    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.

  • dopaz

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #36

    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

  • ToonKing

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #37

    well said Chicken.

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #38

    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!!!

  • Gordon

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #39

    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…

  • Mike

    Feb 3, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #40

    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…


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