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FT: Newcastle 1 Middlesbrough 1 – Warning Signs on Tyneside

3:51 pm, Sunday, February 3rd, 2008 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 49 Comments

nufc-crest.png middlesbrough_crest.png

In a disappointing result today at St. James’ Park Newcastle couldn’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.   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 decent  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.  Keegan brought on fresh legs with Milner replacing Emre and then Viduka for Smith.  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. You’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.  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 – we will find points hard to come by from now on.  We have to wonder why these players are under-performing all season – what’s wrong here?

The defense didn’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.    :(

The unwanted truth is we’re just not good enough, and when you saw how Tottenham outplayed Manchester  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)

Tags: Match Reports · Newcastle News


49 responses so far ↓

  • 1 yongMalaysia // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    keegan look like happy with the draw, but i was very disappointed with the match. Second half Middlesbrough play better than us.

  • 2 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    i’m sick……….

    just gonna paste my earlier comment in here

    i’m furious. Is it just me or are the referees constantly making game changing decisions against us ????? Goal disallowed, penalty disallowed, yet they score from offside…..

    i feel like crying, if we can’t beat this shite’ Smoggie team at home, what are we going to do ?????

    Butt is appalling, Barton was wasted on the right wing, Viduka is crap, Smudger was much better today. Zog is killing me with his unwillingness to let the ball go. Our only hope is Owen, he was very good today, worked his ass off, but you can see that he hates coming deep for the ball and that’s what he had to do all day. Something needs to change fast..

    ..i’m really starting to have relegation goosebumps… :(

  • 3 Taiwan Toon // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    I thought we were outplayed by Boro. It is true that we had most of the ball in the first 60 minutes, but we did not use the ball well enough. In the last 30 minutes, I was disappointed by Butt. He just didn’t seem to be concerntrated when the team needed him most.

    The equalised goal is surely debatable, but I think it is more important that we look into the fact that we are not good enough at the moment both attackingly and defensively.

  • 4 // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Full Match Highlights:-

  • 5 Robert from Serbia // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:58 PM

    oh god.ooooh god,i cant belive we actually draw against this loosers….jesus :(

  • 6 MattyDread // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:58 PM

    Warning signs? Are you referring to the warning signs that referees are constantly ruining any chance of Newcastle getting decent results?? Newcastle were the better team throughout and it is only down to the decisions of the officials that we didn’t win.

  • 7 briss // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    i agree ya toon king except the the statemen about smudge, he’s done nothing for us, can’t shoot, can’t tackle can’t pass he’s just there. the second he gets the ball i know its going to be the end of the move, without a goal

  • 8 Andy1 // Feb 3, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    Bit more negative than the game deserves, in my opinion. We started to attack really well after the goal and Barton was excellent. Owen scored – that’s a big positive. Duff looks like he is coming back to his best and N’Zogbia was great going forward as always. We were put under real pressure at the end and the defence looked nervous but we got the point and I enjoyed the match. When we got the goal we really tried to push on and the positive approach made it a much more exciting game to watch than under Big Sam.

    When all we can aim for is a secure midtable place I’d prefer to watch some exciting games than grind out a couple of one nil’s and maybe move up a place. The defence will be much better for Faye and Beye and with Martins back and Barton playin well I think we can score goals.

  • 9 Toon_Under // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    Beye and Faye must go into the starting lineup. Enrique must start when available – we can’t play with 2 LM’s and no LB.

    Barton must play instead of butt, and I like the idea of Duff on the right and bringing Milner on later – he again ran his heart out, when he came on, but still can’t pass or cross.

    Viduka went a long way to getting some browny points back with me – for once he was interested and moved about. Lets start him against villa, drop smith entirely and put Shola or Andy on the bench. If Martins is back, then he’s on the bench instead.

    Given was covered in the half time comments, but give him a game or 2 off and put Harper in (provided he’s not injured and hasn’t vanished – where is he?). Might fire him up again.

  • 10 gloryhunter // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    Smudge is the opposite of a constipated owl. He shoots but can’t hit :)

  • 11 Eve // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Ya out of all seriousness where is Harper??

  • 12 Tom4NUFC // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Just wait for Obafemi Martins to come back, with emre supplying him, barton playing holding midfeild, I honestly feel Keegan could instill some confidence into Oba, I feel, this is Oba’s chance to prove the critics wrong, Please say I am correct :)

  • 13 Eve // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Toon_Under..Not a bad idea they have him spread a little thin, he most be bloody knackered, it doesn’t help that he’s off to play Brazil in a week or so.

  • 14 Steeley // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    I thought the midfield were bloody poor! Some of their work on the wings was OK, but as soon as anyon got the ball in CM theu held onto it and held onto it until they lost it. Also, hoe many times could players have either ran in with the ball, or at least passed it forward and then ended up playing it back into nothing.
    Is Cacapa the new Bramble? He has some outstanding moments in part of the game and then is done like a kipper in others!
    We really need to start having shots at goal….and quick!! No-one seems to want to shoot….EVER! And when they do, they want to take a million touches before they do shoot! Why cant they just take a crack!?
    It was a poor game to be honest, and has proven that Keegan has so much work to do!!!! God we need this season to just end!!

  • 15 Toon_Under // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    One other thing. Boro weren’t that bad, they plaed within themselves and stuck to their game plan. The biggest concern is how our team of names can’t manage to work a ball out of our half and begin an attack, yet Boro use all the pitch, spread out and hit us with quick accurate passes??

    Oh and one more. I wondered during the game what the ‘rough edges’ were that BSA thought Taylor needed to knock off? I’m hoping one of them would be to start building play from the back and stopping these stupid long balls when our mids (‘xcept Butt – does he count?) are keeping the ball on the deck.. That and to start talking/yelling/organising.

  • 16 gloryhunter // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:10 PM

    Amazingly Harps was second choice to Pav and Shaka before being second choice to Shay. I can’t see any future for him at the toon. I reckon he’ll end up at Hartlepool.

  • 17 captain optimist // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:10 PM

    Slow motion movement and stagnant players in the box. No real momentum in the final third. Kev has to get the balance right.
    We have no sting

  • 18 AlexW // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:11 PM

    Given – edgy, but some decent saves – 6
    Carr – looked quite good in attack, edgy in defence – 5
    Cacappa – some dodgy touches but solid – 7
    Taylor – solid as always, some great blocks – 8
    Nzogbia – Very threatening on the wing, sometimes lost in defence – 7
    Duff – Some excellent touches, got lost during the middle of the game, but overall good – 6
    Butt – Good cover work in defence, lost the ball FAR too many times – 5
    Emre – Some really nice balls, didnt influence enough though – 6
    Barton – wasted on the wings, did much better when brought into the middle – 6
    Smith – Worked his socks off, won loads of headers, great effort – 7
    Owen – Great finish to score, some great runs, good game – 8

    Milner – run his socks off – 6
    Viduka – wasted a glorious chance, looks luggish – 5

  • 19 Eve // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    Steeley..I don’t know I tell you what if Cacapa tries to score an own goal by kicking the ball at Given’s head then ya we can safely say he is. LOL!!

  • 20 NUFC_omgs // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:13 PM

    Garbage – played off the park by Boro’s reserve team. Thank god they had no strikers. Could have have shipped 5 goals in the 2nd half. KK out – he hasn’t got a clue !!

  • 21 gloryhunter // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:14 PM

    @toon_under. I wasn’t at the game today, but you’re right. No one seems to shout at each other. They need to go out together and have a really good p*ss up – Barton can organise it. Don’t let Butt organise it, especially if it’s at the Fed Brewery.

    No wonder Emre does his little nut at times.

  • 22 Alex // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    if Faye had played instead of cacapa then i think we would have won this game.Capaca is just not up to premership football far to slow.At least today we wanted to attack ,with Beye and Faye back in the team at villa the defence will be stronger and if Nigeria loose to Ghana today then Martins may also be involved and we will have pace in the team.Although the equaliser was a real pisser there was at least signs that we can play attacking football and Owen scored at long last.

  • 23 Eve // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:24 PM


    Owen 8??

  • 24 Reb // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Eve — the lad did have a hat-trick…if you count the ones he put in the back of the net. And a brace if you count his perfectly legal goals without referee interference. Owen did his job, more than once. That’s worth a good rating, IMO.

  • 25 ToonKing // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Eve, Owen was good today, but his still not getting balls. As soon as he got the ball in a decent position, he turned and tried to shoot and he worked his socks off. And the header was a beauty.

  • 26 Eve // Feb 3, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Reb what, this is what I hate about forwards and the media, they’re always the heroes, it wouldn’t matter how good anyone else plays especially a keeper or the defenders, a forward could play crap for an entire game and a keeper could be outstanding and make save after save and then the forward score one goal that’d win the team the match and they’d be on backpage, they’d grab the headlines they’d get the high ratings. Other then putting the ball in the net he wasn’t great.

  • 27 greg // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:03 PM

    two goals disallowed for nothing (yes Duff was onside for his ‘goal’) yet denied a penalty (dubious) and awarded a goal against that was very offside

    sick as a bastard

    Having said that, as soon as newcastle scored, you could see the players grow in confidence

    Barton was very good, pleased with ihs effort. Head down, calm football, good touch, nice passes – when fully fit we’ll have that midfield who’ll grab the game by its balls

    Smith? Some good hold up play, but, seriously…

    Butt kept hitting long, directionless balls.

    We’ve got a small squad, we could do without having to run around after balls we could have just kept hold of

  • 28 Michael // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:11 PM

    Yes, I seem to remember someone say to me when I remonstrated about appointing Keegan as manager. I was told we were going to hit bolton so hard that they were not going to know what hit them. Several games on we have hit one goal. one lousy goal.

    These are the days we could use the useful goals Dyer used to get us. He read a game had pace and passed well. Nzogbia has got pace but cannot play for the team. He does not know when to pass and when not to pass.

    Sell him to Tottenham.
    Smith, ruffian on the pitch. To quote an article in the guardian, since he recovered from his injury, “he is a championship striker masquerading as a premiership midfielder” Playing rough football and getting booked all under the guise of being fully committed.

    We should have got Hesky instead of looking at the unlikely Berbatov, Why did we not bid for defoe, instead we are giving Martins £90K a week for someone who cannot read a bloody game and is too erratic in front of goal.

    Keegan should have made purchases and realistic ones at that. They are talking about Deco, Ronaldhino, Beckham. Just to keep the fans from putting pressure on the board for signings. We need 12points from our remianing games in theory to survive. If we cannot get three points at home the boro, then we are certainly not going to get any against united. We should have kept Sam till the end of the season, he is more likely to keep us up then Keegan is.

  • 29 Jamie G // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    I think there are lots of positives to take out the game. We got our first goal under KK and defended well for 85 mins. at least we know now that our midfield should be barton and emre. duff, owen and zoggy played well. with beye and martins coming back into the starting line up, things are on the up. Remember, Ramos had a similar start to his tottenham tenure and look at them 10 games later. The toon are coming back and hopefully the geordies will love it again.

  • 30 mitch // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    I thought we played better today than we have in a long time I thought shay was terrible for there goal WHERE IS HARPER HE WAS NOT ON THE BENCH I enjoyed the game in the second half zog and duff played some lovely football. Kev has a lot of work to do but I think the defence will be better for having beye and Faye back I fancy a draw at villa The team still lack confidence going forward this was down to sam and some players still cannot believe they are allowed to attack instead of defend first this turn around will take time but I thought Owen looked like a weight had been lifted when he scored Big Duke needs to be on from start butt dropped for a few games and Barton in the middle with Emre. One thing for sure We have to give KK time

  • 31 Gordon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:24 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…

  • 32 nufctj // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:32 PM

    Here we go again, almost everyone thinking we should have smashed Boro. Like over night we should have become a top four team. The rest of the way through is going to be like this lads, we will have to grind out our results and re-tool in the summer. We, NUFC, are a low to mid table team in the EPL. We will be better than that soon, but we will not see those results until next season. Get behind the squad, we got a point, we’ll take it, and let’s get ready for Villa, which we should be able to also get at least a point from. Yes, it is hard to take that we cannot beat a side like Boro, but that is what we are right now. Lest we forget, Faye and Beye will be back, and I think Keegan has learned a bit more about the squad today, I expect Viduka to start against Villa, with Smith taking his deserved spot on the subs bench. As for ManU caming to SJP, all I know is we have some payback for them, they will not come out with any points without having to earn them. We’ve got 39 possible pts left to play for, if we can earn half of them we will be safe, and ready to head into the summer where we can begin building the type of side KK needs, and the type of side we all want to see.

  • 33 nufctj // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Gordon, tend to agree with you (except for given, anyone criticizing him is daft), but they are the players that have to get it done for now. We must stand behind them.

  • 34 nufctj // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    Jamie G, spot on, mate!

  • 35 dragoner // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    i honestly do not care about the poor decisions made by the officials, this stuff happens, our problem lies deeper than that. We were shocking today, there is no ‘pass and move’ mentality in our team apart from zoggy and duff on the left, everyone else just passes and stands still. The amount of times i saw the midfield lose the ball today was astounding, what was even more astounding was the poor fitness of our team. By the 60th minute everytime we lost the ball we made little to no effort in trying to get it back, couldn’t be bothered. we run out of ideas after about 20minutes in almost every game, and our strikers are not reliable or consistent in any way. Where do we go from here? what action do we take? i honestly believe we need to scrap the whole team and buy a whole new team come summer. that arsehole Midd the Yidd was right, which players of ours could get into Tottenham first 11? or even their first 16! Maybe Given (despite being below par this season). This is the team directly above us, yet miles ahead of us.

  • 36 stjames // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    “… We seem to have made a lot of backward progress this season – it looks that bad…”

    It’s bad when even Ed, the eternal optimist, is getting pessimistic. But we ere still playing a mostly Big Sam team. Until we can improve on that there is not much hope for better football. Sorry!!!

    So we have to give KK time and hope for the best in a wasted season.

  • 37 dragoner // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    “We have to wonder why these players are under-performing all season – what’s wrong here?”

    whats wrong!? are you serious!? whats wrong is our players are crap, why do people keep talking like we have a good squad, we dont! What we have is a team full of rubbish players being carried by their past.

  • 38 Gordon // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:54 PM

    well said dragoner

  • 39 toon4lyf // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:54 PM

    gordon u are completely wrong emre dus not nat take to much outa d ball
    there are a lot of positves both teams played well we wer unluky on a few decisiuns
    middlesbrough are on form at d moment
    emre was exellent also duff did gud as the game progressed we will start to pik up better results wen d african nations cup is over
    given: 7 solid enuf jus sumtimes crelessly huffed d ball up d pitch
    carr:6average enuf nawin spectaculre
    dogy but sum great tacles reedemed him
    taylor:8brave and a solid performance
    nzogbia:6decent but hesitates makin decisiuns and it cost us
    duff:7nervus at d start but did sum nice passes n clever movement wen he was near goal nevr luked up
    emre8:great performance gud passin and crossess tacklin always made d rite decisun
    barton :6
    gud wurked hard made d ryt decisins
    smith5:won headers nat much else held it up ok
    owen6:sum bad touches wasint involved scored a great goal

  • 40 Johann // Feb 3, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    Agree with Eve on this one. Owen isn´t good at all. What world class striker needs the serivce? World class strikers might the goals out of nothing. Most of those world class strikers origin in a poor team where they stand out. They make goals out of nothing. Luca Toni is an obvious example in my mind. I don´t feel Michael Owen is good at all. I don´t care about his record all those years ago. He just isn´t doing what he has to do these days. He simply lives on his reputation.

  • 41 Eve // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:24 PM

    Johann..*picks jaw up from floor*, for once I agree with you. Now I’m scared.

  • 42 Ben // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:53 PM

    I was 60% happy with the teams play today although BUTT is runing our team.Yes he breaks the play up well,but thats only because the play needs to be broken up because of his wayward slow passes which never got to a nufc player,theur goal, he had an easy 8 yard pass to play with 80 sommet minutes on the clock he tries a 40 yard pass which is easily cut out,middlesbrough counter and the end result is that German heading in a looping cross which any goalkeeper worth his salt would have come for!Given is past it,great goalkeeper,2 seasons ago!

  • 43 Gordon // Feb 3, 2008 at 6:56 PM

    toon4lyf would like to respond, but can’t understand a word you’re saying. Assume you aren’t English.

    Anyway, thanks for commenting.

  • 44 scott9 // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    in thought cacapa had a blinder today we deserved to win but we just cant finish teams of without a doubt this needs to be the starting 11.
    beye cacapa/faye taylor enrique
    duff barton emre zog
    martins owen
    however i would have a bit of a headache about milner cant decide if i would play him or not

  • 45 Leo* // Feb 3, 2008 at 7:37 PM

    BUTT OUT!!!

  • 46 Reb // Feb 3, 2008 at 8:14 PM

    From Eve — ” Other then putting the ball in the net he wasn’t great.”

    That statement sums up your argument for me. It also sums up a few other things about you but…I digress needlessly. What more do you want from Michael Owen? He’s NEVER been known for anything other than putting the ball in the back of the net. Which is what a striker is paid to do.

    What kind of world-class striker needs service? A lot of them. I think if you put a lot of truly great players in this side, they’d still struggle. Which striker do you think could be prolific in this team? I’d not even put money on C. Ronaldo to be prolific if he were at Newcastle.

    And, by the by, if you didn’t have anything worse to complain about from this match than Michael Owen, you’ve had blinkers on. HE did his job, he scored goals. Slag off the players who didn’t do their jobs. Not the ones who did.

  • 47 Private James Frazer - Dad's Army // Feb 3, 2008 at 8:23 PM

    We’re DOOMED I tell ya………..DOOMED!

    Seriously, I aggre with scott9 – I thought Cacapa had a blinder today.

    Smudge – I thought he would be a great signing but all he ssems to do is run & foul – he has had the chance as he wanted to be a striker but hasn’t pulled it off. Funny how Fergie let him go……he NEVER lets go of his good players.

    BArton had a good game – lets hope he puts the last few weeks behind him but I still think we’ll ,lose him the the HMP team….

    Owen has proved that when he gets the service he WILL put the ball in the net – he just doesn’t get good service. Watch how he plays on Wed for England with world class MF’ers & wingers! He just isn’t getting the service at the toon.

    I have been a season ticket holder now for 18 years & this has got to be one of the worst seasons I have seen – not just on but oof the pitch (and I’m not just talking about JB). I hope Ashely knows what he’s doing because points are ging to be thin on the ground if we play like this.

    51k fans……….lower than normal……..are people starting to vote with their feet? Derby’s (I know, not a REAL derby) should be packed to the rafters & Boro outsang us like a lot of away fans have this season. I was disgusted with how quiet it was today from mags but then again, with the drivvel we are seeing on the park is it any wonder?

    I hope & pray we can stay up this season & build in the summer.


  • 48 Pele's toenail // Feb 3, 2008 at 8:31 PM

    Mediocre players – might be 1/2 decent in the championship but wouldn’t bet the family jewels on it.

    Let’s just hope we can get to the end of this season still in the premiership………………..

  • 49 Toon_Under // Feb 3, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    Toon4lyf, from what I can read of your post you seem to think Emre didn’t get caught up. Sorry but I don’t think we were watching the same game. Emre and Barton were caught in possession so many times, and lets again leave Butt out of this.

    The problem, as pointed out above, is that there is no movement and no communication out there. I think I said it earlier but how is it that even Boro can find space and cut us apart? Answer: movement. Until we get that, our midfield will continue to die a slow death, as will our team.

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