In a disappointing result today at St. Jamesâ€™ Park Newcastle couldnâ€™t hold onto their one goal lead Owen gave them on the hour mark.
It was a frustrating game for Newcastle for the first 60 minutes as they has most of the play, but had no bite at all up front and seemed to be playing in slow motion.
Then after 60 minutes from a nice floated free kick from Emre Owen rose above everybody to head a great goal and put Newcastle onto their winning ways.Â Â But then the defense started to wobble again and Cacapa in particular was found wanting at the back a few times as Middlesbrough wasted some decentÂ chances to draw level.
In fact after 79 minutes Cacapa made a great clearance as Given couldn’t hold a shot, and the Brazilian got the ball away on the six yard box.Â Keegan brought on fresh legs with Milner replacing Emre and then Viduka for Smith.Â Smith didn’t do much all game, but gave free kicks away and pick up his 9th yellow card of the season. To us Smith is looking more of a liability to Newcastle these days, and should hardly be a starter now that Viduka is fit.
And just as it looked as though we would hold out, Middlesbrough’s Huth headed in for the equalizing goal. Then Middlesbrough came at Newcastle in the last few minutes full pelt, and could easily have taken all 3 points, as they created several good chances. They also seemed to score a good goal, two minutes into stoppage time, but it was disallowed. Youâ€™ll have to ask the referee Mike Dean why he disallowed that one, since he had also disallowed a perfectly good goal from Newcastle after 5 minutes.Â The referee and his two assistant were not good today, for either side.
This was an excellent chance for Newcastle to get a valuable 3 points, but in all truth the team just weren’t good enough and unless we start to play a lot better than this â€“ we will find points hard to come by from now on.Â We have to wonder why these players are under-performing all season – what’s wrong here?
The defense didnâ€™t have much to do but still looked unsteady when Middlesbrough came forward. At the end of the game it was Newcastle who were holding on and Middlesbrough had chances to win the game outright.
Michael Owen had done his job when he beautifully outjumped everybody to get on the end of a nicely floated Emre free kick and it was a very good goal for Michael. But we still couldn’t hold on to get the 3 points.Â Â Â
The unwanted truth is we’re just not good enough, and when you saw how Tottenham outplayed ManchesterÂ United yesterday in a wonderful display of attacking football, you have to admit that and those teams above us in the table seem to be miles ahead of us.
We seem to have made a lot of backward progress this season – it looks that bad.
This was not a good display by Newcastle and we now have Aston Villa away and Manchester United at home in our next two league games, and unless we are going to lose both games, some big improvements will be necessary in the play of this Newcastle side.
Newcastle United: Given, Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, N’Zogbia, Duff, Barton, Butt, Emre, Owen, Smith.
Subs: Forster, Milner, Ameobi, Edgar, Viduka.
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Young, Wheater, Huth, Pogatetz, O’Neil, Rochemback, Cattermole, Arca, Downing, Aliadiere.
Subs: Turnbull, Boateng, Lee, Johnson, Grounds.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)